Throwback Thursday: Go To War

Happy Thursday! This throwback originally published on September 9, 2016 is a must read for this season. We must remember that we are in a battle whether we want to be or not. Please read this throwback and make sure you put on daily, besides your mask, the full armor of God.


Recently, while reading the bible, I realized this wasn’t just my daily routine reading (which it should never become just “I read it just to say I read it”). I was reading Deuteronomy 20. This chapter details Moses teaching Israel the laws for going to war. I realized God was speaking to me. In fact, He was teaching me and revealing to me things I had not come to understand until now.

GOING TO WAR

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

5 The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoys it. 7 Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8 Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” 9 When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?[b] 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.—Deuteronomy 20

BATTLING

Plenty of times in my life, I’ve let the devil intimidate me. I start to focus on the problems, storms, and the SIZE of my God-given assignments and subsequently my weaknesses and insecurities to keep me from fulfilling the things God has for me to do and overcome. I have went to the battlefield trembling and unprepared to put up a fight. I have had battles at work, in my relationships, and with anxiety and fear. Yet, we all have battles and you probably either just came out of a fight or going in one. Real talk, this is life. No journey is all roses and beautiful green grassy fields. Sometimes, your fields become brown and your grass becomes flat because Goliath stepping all in it and messing it up. But God!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.—Ephesians 6:12 KJV

As always, here are some Tools to encourage you along your Journey!

You have to remember that although some battles you may lose and some fights may wear you out, Jesus won the war and every believer is on the winning team. You are more than a conqueror and God has given you every weapon you will ever need to beat the devil’s behind and walk victoriously. Here is what I learned about going to war:

  • Don’t be afraid.

Naturally, you begin to assess your opponent’s strengths as well as your weaknesses. The devil gets you to do that—focus on the problem, focus on how he can retaliate, and what can further go wrong. He loves to intimidate.

God will neither leave you, nor forsake you.

God will fight for you.

Jesus doesn’t just have the solutions; He is the SOLUTION!

  • Talk with a spiritual authority and especially JESUS FIRST.

A spiritual authority/mentor such as your pastor will help you to get some clarity on the situation.

They will encourage you.

They will intercede for you and pray with you.

  • Get your affairs in order.

Put things in perspective.

Pray for God’s perspective so you can see it the way He does.

Assess how and when you should be “fighting”. Do you just pray and be quiet? Do you seek outside help? Is this a preparation period or a go period?

Have you forgiven others and have you mended what God has told you to mend? Are you walking in love? Are you providing for your household?

Is this really a battle or a diversionary one? The devil loves to distract us.

  • Are you pessimistic?

Do you have disbelief that God can move and do what He said He will do? Are you surrounded by other believers like this?

If you are pessimistic, those fears, disbelief and negativity can rub off on others.

Get with people who not only will help you to search God’s Word on the matter but believe and fight with you and vice versa.

Get with believers who remember that they already won because they are on the winning team.

  • When you are struggling with someone, be a peacemaker.

Don’t go looking to fight naturally.

Handle any wars period spiritually for we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Right? I know some people TAKE you there. Sometimes, I too have to catch even my thoughts because that is where the suggestions of giving someone an old fashioned butt whooping starts. Jesus, help us!

Perhaps that person is too struggling with something and cannot see clearly. Perhaps they are not. In any event, ask God for wisdom.

God will make your enemies your footstool, but the key is to LOVE and don’t be so proud. Love them anyway no matter the outcome.

  • Check the sin in your life.

Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus.

Cherish sin no more.

Ask God to reveal the root cause of any sin in your life and give you grace to repent.

Repent wholeheartedly.

  • Be a life-giver and a fruit-bearer.

When you are hurt and wounded, sick and frustrated, tired and fed up, you can do and say things you regret.

You can make decisions that you would later regret.

You can take every innocent thing a person does and think it was meant for harm, become easily offended, and want to retaliate as well as cut people off for good.

Don’t destroy others around you. Don’t stunt the growth of your love walk and yourself.

  • Finally, OBEY GOD and saturate in His Word.

His Word is synonymous to His wisdom and His will. You need all three: His Word, His Wisdom, and His Will.

God’s Word is a weapon.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience to God protects you, helps you and brings you prosperity.

JESUS used the Word against the enemy when he was tested. Jesus won! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4

  • Bonus: Pray and Praise! Talk with God and praise His Holy Name! Prayer and praise too are weapons!

Now GO TO WAR!

Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await,

Tannika

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To check out my new book, Bring It To The Surface, click here!

As I Look Back Over The Decade…I Got A Testimony

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end versus their beginning of the decade comparisons. This prompted me to review my decade and as I also looked at my 2019 vision board, I realized that God has been good. He is always good but sometimes the Holy Spirit need to give you a reminder. I saw some things on my vision board have been and are steadily being accomplished. And all glory goes to God!

I am also reminded some battles are not to be conquered in one fight but over a period of time so we can learn to depend on God. So some things may have seeped over into 2020 but be encouraged. I am speaking to myself too.

This decade, I became a homeowner and a parent/caregiver to a relative. I also started my online t-shirt business (on hiatus now and I am in prayer about it) and wrote and published three books within this decade. I was able to learn and grow professionally and spiritually. I healed from heartbreak and realized some of my deal breakers. I made it through betrayal and learned what true forgiveness looks like.

Instead of hiding it, I became more transparent in my struggles with anxiety and fear, especially with those I love. I also got my driver’s license in this decade and got acknowledged at work for my contributions. I saw my students grow and step out of their comfort zones. I bore fruit even during difficult seasons and impacted others in ways I could not have done without God. I also battled debt and high property taxes and saw God provide.

I learned I needed better self-care, I needed to set boundaries, and I needed to learn that I can’t earn God’s love. My family and I overcame some things I thought my family and I would not survive. I also learned that it is crucial to see things from God’s perspective. I journaled in my note pad like crazy. I did self-assessments prompted from bible plans and self-reflection. I blogged. I led a women’s group and bible study and we learned about waiting with God and learning to trust Him. I maintained a gratitude journal.

I travelled to New York with friends for the first time. I had a ball and it was such a faithcation. I went to a Christian concert at the House of Blues by myself and had a ball. I went to a Christian Education Retreat twice. I learned some awesome things. I learned about trauma care and self-love. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for a college tour, thanks to my job. Last year, my family and I found a cool, inexpensive place to travel to that is peaceful and a train ride away from home, thanks to not having at the time the money to go on vacation. I saw my family grow and get closer. I got such an awesome birthday gift in 2018; my youngest niece was born on my birthday.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid training for those who work with youth and realized also my mental health is important. I realized some of your battles people won’t understand and some blessings and successes people won’t cheer with you. The latter one broke my heart. I did the thing that rattles my nerves and spoke at a few events. I took deep breaths. I had anxiety attacks. I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I exercised here and there, valued my love for walking, and realized the importance of stretching every day. I worked on building my confidence. I started wearing a little concealer and foundation (something I thought I would never wear) and embraced my thick eyebrows. I learned how to do my own crochet hair styles. However, I still don’t know how to crochet a scarf. I gave up. I will try again this year. I learned that I enjoyed preparing Bible study lessons because I love God’s Word and preparing a lesson helps me to break it down for myself also. I learned that I can’t do everything or be everything, and that is okay. I learned that sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I prayed for God to teach me full surrender. I talked with Him about being afraid and not feeling like I could make it some days. I have a ways to go but I am not where I started. And although I ended 2019 still feeling anxious, I survived. I thank God for being my Father, my friend, my provider, my coach, and my protector. I also thank Him for being patient with me and loving me through every season, imperfection, fear, and triumph. May I lean into God evermore in 2020 and this new decade not for what God can give me or do, but for who He is. I am nothing without Him and can’t do anything without Him. I am more than a conqueror. I am grateful.