Surrender your battles to the Lord

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We belong to the war front and our commander has never lost any battle. He is a mighty warrior, though I believe that many of us can testify to the fact that we’ve lost many battles. Many are times we’ve gone to the battle only for us to end up retreating; other times we’ve watched the enemy helplessly as he destroys and tears our lives apart thinking​ that he is much more powerful than we are. Sometimes we even wonder what’s the point of fighting because we believe we’ve already lost before we even get to the battlefield.

For every child of God, victory is guaranteed. Many do not seem to understand this truth and that’s why we let the enemy to have his wicked way in our lives. No matter how intense a battle is; or how powerful, enormous or scary a situation or the enemy is, God is able and more than able to deliver us. But why do we fail? Why do we get defeated so easily? Why do we experience defeat more than victory in our everyday life? Read on as I tell you the secret to winning battles.

In the book of 1 Samuel 17, we meet the Philistines who had gathered for battle in Socoh, a town in Judah. They had come to fight against the children of Israel. King Saul and the Israelite army assembled and camped in the valley of Elah, where they got ready to fight the Philistines. The philistines lined up one hill and the Israelites on another, with a valley between them. A man named Goliath, from the city of Gath, came out from the Philistine camp to challenge the Israelites. Goliath was a force to reckon with. He scared the army of Israel away just by mere words, and no one would dare fight him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified (1 Samuel 17:8-11) NIV.

For forty days no Israelite dared to step forward to face Goliath. They feared him. They saw in him a warrior who could not be defeated easily given his height, the bronze armour he wore, the bronze helmet, the bronze armour that protected his legs, the bronze javelin that slung over his shoulder, his spear that was as thick as the bar on a weaver’s’ loom, its iron head that weighed about seven kilogrammes and his shield that a soldier who walked in front of him was carrying.

They must have been thinking they were no match for him, yet the Israelites​ were not as hopeless as they thought. These were the same people who had fought and won battles in the past. They had a God who had promised to match before them and give them victory over their enemies. But this time round, something was wrong somewhere. They kept on retreating and running away from their enemies; a clear indication that they went to the battle alone, without God. They went to fight with their own power – the best way they knew how. I guess they were so much used to winning battles that they thought they would win this one without much effort, but the situation was different.

David was sent by his father to bring his brothers food who happened to be in that same battle. He arrived just in time as the Israelites were going out to their battle line. The Philistine and Israelite armies took up their positions for battle facing each other. David left the food with the officer in charge of the supplies and ran to the battle line to ask his brothers how they were getting on. At that time Goliath came forward and challenged the Israelites as he had done before. And David heard him.

The Israelites ran away in terror and David was not amused at all, and even though he was not part of the army, he was ready to take up the challenge. He asked around for the award of whoever would kill Goliath. David was courageous that he would defeat him. After all, he was used to killing lions and bears in his life as a shepherd. He knew that the Lord who had saved him from lions and bears will also save him from the Philistines. This is what made the difference: he trusted in God not on the weapons he was going to use.

Saul gave David what he thought was necessary for the battle, but David said, “I’m not used to this.” So he took it all off. He took his shepherd’s stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his sling ready, he went out to meet Goliath who scorned, mocked and challenged him, but David made a declaration;

“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (v 45-47).

Needless to say, David defeated Goliath. By making the above declaration, David literally surrendered the battle to the Lord and God gave Him victory. The secret is in knowing and acknowledging that we are vulnerable and weak and that we are unable to give ourselves victory. We may have our own weapons, skills and understanding, but it is all useless if we fail to involve God. As David said, it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. All we need to do is to surrender.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalms 147:10-11) NIV.

There are many mountains before us and they dare us every day to move them and no matter how much we struggle, we only end up weary, faint and tired in the process. We get slain by the enemy and all day the Devil mocks us because even though we are saved, we are like soldiers with powerful weapons but no ammunitions. He knows that we are unable to defeat him simply because we don’t know the God we trust. He also uses this opportunity to turn God against us. By lying and deceiving us that God cannot save us and that He cannot give us victory while in real sense he is deceiving us to bow to him.

We need to understand that going to the battle alone is like going there exposed. We are vulnerable and weak and this only leaves us at the mercy of the enemy. Everytime we fail to give God His rightful position and let Him take over our battles, we literally take the matter into our own hands. We carry unnecessary burdens because of our failure of surrender. The many times we often think that God cannot help us are the times we feel more burdened, stressed, frustrated, tired and discouraged. The real situation in such times is that we have deviated our eyes from the Lord and concentrated on the weight of our issues. This is the same as dethroning Him from the first place and giving it over to our issues.

When God assumes control of our lives and takes over, He lifts the burdens and we feel free, light and peaceful even if we are in total mess, but when we assume control and take over, things fall apart for us. God covers us with His glory when we let Him take pre-eminence, but dethroning Him exposes us, making us prone to the arrows and attacks of the enemy which is why we are easily defeated.