Almost everywhere we look, we see conflict, hostility and offense.
Right now, it seems as though people are hunting for things that will offend them. The offense comes easily and quickly, consuming our thoughts, behaviors and relationships.
Life sometimes feels like Scrabble tiles that are all mixed up. All the confusion and chaos make us forget what we know to be true. In too many stressful situations, we choose the wrong words.
Within the mix of confusion, misinterpretation and chaos is where the offense is born. From that offense comes conflict.
Conflict. The dictionary definition says: "to fight or contend; do battle."
Conflict is always a power situation.
Take, for example, the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. Here, we see a situation permeated with conflict. The Bible says "a great multitude" of attackers were set against Jehoshaphat and his men (2 Chron. 20:2b, ESV). Jehoshaphat sought the Lord.
During a great assembly of Judah's inhabitants, a man prophesied, "Do not fear, do not be dismayed because of this great army, for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chron. 20:15b, MEV).
The battle is not yours, but God's.
It is not easy to stand up and proclaim the truth in times like these.
Before Jehoshaphat uttered those words in Chapter 20, he gave a critical, foundational statement in Chapter 19, "Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good" (2 Chron. 19:11, NKJV).
This statement is one of principle, one of priority and one of potential. It was after making this statement that Jehoshaphat and his men came under attack.
Right now, we are in a time of conflict as a nation and as a world. We are facing the battle of opposition on all sides. The tension we are experiencing today could rob us of our courage and confidence. Many have become disheartened, feeling as if there is no favor, and are overwhelmed by distress and anxiety.
Have you ever seen a sign in a window that said, "Distress Sale?" Those words mean the merchant is willing to sell at great sacrifice. Often, when you see those words, you can feel the heaviness in the atmosphere.
Amid conflict, discouragement and distress, it can seem that the opposition has won the victory. We begin to believe we are conquered. This is where defeat becomes inevitable. Our beliefs develop our behavior, and our inward thoughts become outward actions.
It is no secret that defeat was a potential outcome for the people of God when the man stood up and proclaimed to Jehoshaphat and the people, "the battle is not yours, but God's."
They chose to believe this promise even when the outcome looked grim. This confidence came from a relationship with the living God.
When you know the living God, you can stand knowing that He will establish priorities, and His plans will prevail.
So, brothers and sisters, I implore you to behave with courage.
Every leader is needed now.
Jesus said in John 16:33 (MEV) that "in the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."
It is time to behave courageously and to believe the promises of the living God we serve.
Let us speak the Word with confidence. Let us behave with courage. If we do this, God will release the victory, and we will hear shouts saying, "No weapon that is formed against [us] shall prosper" (Isa. 54:17a).
The battle is not yours, but God's.
"Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good."
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have a great week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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