Updated: Aug 31, 2020
“But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12).
It is important to remember that we are in a spiritual battle. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13).
If we view our struggles as being only in the physical realm, we will not be on our guard and fight the battle through prayer. Rather, we will seek our own methods to deal with our difficulties. The Scriptures tell us that we must face our struggles with prayer, the Word of God, and standing firm in righteousness, truth, the gospel, and faith (see Ephesians 6:14- 18). “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). As we use the Word of God as our offensive weapon and in faith speak out the truth, we will see great victories. The prophet Isaiah understood that victory is found through dependency on God and engaging in prayer to win the war. “‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17). God is our protector. He goes before us!
If only we had eyes to see what is going on in the spiritual realm! Sometimes the Lord has allowed men to see into this realm in order to realize that it is God who gives the victory. Before Joshua led his army to march around Jericho, he saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. Much to his astonishment, he learned that this was an angel (or perhaps Jesus), “the commander of the army of the Lord” (Joshua 5:14).
Many scholars believe that King Hezekiah is one of the men of faith who “conquered kingdoms” that the author of Hebrews was referring to in Hebrews 11:33. The king of Assyria had already conquered many nations. He sent a message to Hezekiah that Jerusalem would be next. What was Hezekiah’s response? Was it to surrender? No. Was it to make a pact with other nations in order to build a larger army? No. Was it to order his men to make more weapons and train more soldiers? No. He PRAYED! “Now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God” (2 Kings 19:19). His motivation in this prayer was that God would receive glory as a result of their deliverance. What is even more astonishing is how God answered his prayer. The Lord went in the night to the camp of the Assyrians and personally killed 185,000 men. He did not use the sword of men. He went before Hezekiah and destroyed the enemy before Hezekiah’s army even awoke from their sleep!
In story after story in the Bible, we see that as men and women pray, God goes before them and with them and defeats the enemy. Examples like the Israelites fleeing Egypt; Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego being saved by the fire, and Daniel being saved from the mouths of lions, all demonstrate men of faith depending on God through the weapon of prayer to defeat the enemy. Remember that the battle is won through prayer. Depending on God, not yourself, will help renew your strength. Persistent prayer unleashes God’s holy angelic army upon the enemy. “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29).
Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Kings 18-19; Hebrews 11:32-38; Ephesians 6:10-20
An excerpt from Mission Impossible written by Sue Corl