Showing up for the battle

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You know those moments when you really don’t want to be somewhere, but you need to be, so you go anyway?

I want to talk about that.

Imagine facing an enemy that greatly outnumbers you. Your side has no chance of winning, and you don’t exactly have a warm, fuzzy feeling about this. Nah, we can probably assume worry, fear and anxiety greatly outweigh every ounce of hope and courage you once possessed.

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In Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat of Judah (don’t you wish you had that name) was in a similar position. A huge army wanted to destroy his people and was gathering to battle him the next day.

Naturally, as most of us tend to do when things start to look bad, the king cried out to God for help. And God answered with these words:

“Do not be afraid. Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them.” II Chronicles 20:15b-16a

In verse 17, God continued by saying, “But you won’t even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory… Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you.”

So, King Jehoshaphat obeyed. He went to meet his enemy in battle. He showed up and took his position. And God showed up, too.

Jehoshaphat’s side won the victory that day. And you know how they did it? They literally just showed up to the designated battle area and praised God for His faithful and enduring love. When the enemy heard King Jehoshaphat and his army thanking God, it fell into chaos and defeated itself.

Now, the average person reading this probably — and thankfully — doesn’t have to face a physical enemy in battle. But we each face our own enemy — be it depression, anger, disappointment, fear, anxiety, addiction or whatever. And when we face that enemy in battle, it seems impossible that we can ever win. It’s overwhelming, debilitating and there’s seemingly no way to defeat it.

That’s when we need to remember that sometimes all it takes is showing up and taking our positions.

Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be discouraged.

Just show up to the battle.

Because showing up proves that we’re ready to fight. It proves to ourselves and others that we still care. It proves to the enemy that we still have the guts to face this battle. It proves to God that we trust Him enough to show up, too.

Just show up. And then show up tomorrow. And the next tomorrow. Because the Lord is with you and He’ll help you fight the battle against whatever enemy you’re facing.

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