May 2009 - Vol. 30

The Battle is the Lord's

Are you ready to fight for him?

by Paul Jordan


Who does God choose to send into battle for his name and for his people? The bravest, the strongest, the best trained, and the first in the bunch?

One of my favorite stories in the Bible – and the Bible is full of stories – is about how God chose to use someone whom no one else would have thought qualified. That person wasn’t even a grown-up, just a teenager from a big family of the tribe of Judah in Israel. He was the youngest of a bunch of brothers and a couple of sisters. His name was David, and he knew God.

David appears in the Bible for the first time when the prophet Samuel is led by the Lord to anoint him as the future king (1 Samuel 16). He was probably only thirteen or so on the day when he was summoned home from the sheep fields to be anointed by this stranger, his bemused brothers looking on. But something happened to David on that day.

“Samuel anointed him and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.”

The spirit of the Lord came upon him? – God himself came to live in David in a powerful way.

A nation at war
The narrative then quickly moves to a battle scene (1 Samuel 17). Israel’s King Saul is fighting – again. “King Saul and the men of Israel were gathered in line of battle against the Philistines.” 

Israel? Battle? Philistines? Israel was God’s chosen people. God chose Israel. To be chosen is to be loved. God loved Israel, his people. He wouldn’t give up on them. His love is all about faithfulness.

Battle? Many of the stories of the Bible are about God’s people fighting. Sometimes they fought for survival, but they also fought in order to take land and be established. They fought because God was commanding them and they fought to bring glory to his name.

People only fight for things if they’re worth something. In fact, to fight for something is to declare its worth. It is to say, this king or this cause, this child or this friend, is worth fighting for. Or in other words, I am willing to suffer for this. Ask any winning athlete and they’ll tell you. Great cost, but it was worth it.

Still today, we can see such battles all around us. Everything that costs us in building God’s kingdom is part of the fight. Striving after holiness. Defending God’s ways. Winning souls for God. It’s a fight. These days it’s “not against flesh and blood” but in those days the Philistines were the worst enemies of God’s people and this battle would go down in the history books.

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This article is adapted from a presentation given at the “He is Alive” youth festival in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Paul Jordan directs the work of Kairos in Europe and the Middle East. He lives in Leuven, Belgium with his wife Noemi. 

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