Early in my faith walk I took responsibility for every battle MYSELF with a perfunctory and shallow PRAYER to God for “insurance.” I know, ridiculous. But it was the beginning of my new approach to prayer that focuses on Christ and what he promises.
Sorting through the personal, self-inflicted carnage that came from those days when I played boss drives home this immutable truth from God: The battles of life are not mine to fight (2 Chronicles 20:17).
Those memories crashed into my consciousness last night in a bustling Southern California hospital emergency room with my wife Cindy who was experiencing excruciating pain in her abdomen.
With the bright lights painting every inch of the hospital’s waiting room, I was overwhelmed—once again–with God’s truth that our battles cannot (ever) be won by us. That they are between HIS light and the world’s darkness. Heaven and hell. Good and evil.
With a cold cup of Starbuck’s joe twitching in my nervous hands, I prayed for Cindy continuously and remembered that victory is assured because God’s light overcomes and trumps every kind of darkness.
It is a blessing to join God’s team in these battles and see how he would use them to grow my faith and witness to others who need to see and accept Jesus. Each challenge chapter, last night’s included, becomes a new entry in my journal of life and a fresh thread in the fabric of my faith.
Here are the three steps I took last night to give the battle to God:
I accepted reality and did not try to run from the battle.
I was not dismayed or discouraged because I knew it was not my battle.
I resisted fighting, rested on God’s promises, and then PRAYED in the wait.
The ordeal ended with us ruling out the most serious diagnoses (thankfully) but still searching for answers today. While traveling on that road, I will remember the imperative to TRUST God for everything and to pray without ceasing.
And I will remember that we do not have to be in the ER to summon God through prayer. No matter the test, Christians need to TRUST God for EVERYTHING, always, no matter the circumstances and no matter how much fear we are carrying.
I ask God to remind me continually to disengage from all self-fought battles and surrender them to him through PRAYER in total trust and faith that the outcome is in HIS hands, not mine.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What battle are YOU fighting on your own right now that you should take to God in PRAYER?
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17