I’ve always been stubborn or, as I like to sugarcoat it, independent. Even as a child things had to be done my way or not at all. You can imagine that doing it God’s way is something I struggle with. Trusting God comes easily when life is good but as soon as I face an attack, I retreat to my own methods. And by refusing to surrender my battles to God, I’ve more than often ended up losing.
I don’t know about you but I can tell you that I’m a sore loser. I’ve grown tired of experiencing defeat after defeat by fighting my way. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” I wouldn’t necessarily classify that as insanity but more as foolish stubbornness. The kind I am very guilty of.
Today I want to go through a passage from 2 Samuel 5 that shows how we, as Christians, should be fighting our battles to ensure victory is ours in the end.
fighting like david (2 Samuel 5:17-25)
17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.19 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?”
Do you sometimes feel like right when you’re FINALLY in the position God called you to, you come under attack in every area of your life? Here we see that as soon as David got appointed king over Israel, he faces an attack by not some or a few but all of the Philistines. What struck me the most in this passage is David’s reaction. He knew adversity was knocking at his door but instead of relying on himself, he went to God.
And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” (…)
Here we see God answer David in the most condensed way possible. He does not give him any details on how He will bring David victory. He simply gives David the command to go and the promise that the Philistines will be defeated. How often do we refuse to fight our battles God’s way because we don’t see how He’ll bring us through? Or because we want to be in control of how it will all play out? When we inquire and God answers, that’s it. If it’s not the answer we want, we need to stop waiting for a better one. There's no better answer than the one God gives Click To Tweet
22 And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
David didn’t get to enjoy his victory for very long because his enemy was ready to attack again. Sometimes when we have defeated something once, we forget that it was really God who brought us through. We let our pride get to us and we try to use the same tactic that worked before to defeat the same foe. But here David again went to the Lord first for guidance. And God gave David a command that’s almost the opposite of the first one yet the promise stayed the same! I can only imagine how counterintuitive this must’ve felt for David but he remained obedient and did exactly what the Lord commanded him to, which led to another victory.
Being under attack is a difficult position to be in. We often fight or flee without taking the time to surrender the battle to God. We try to defeat our enemy within the boundaries of our own limited tactics without going to the One who can deliver us. And even when we bring it to God, we remain fearful because His ways do not make sense to us. But as we see in this passage is that when we follow His lead, His faithfulness will bring us to victory.