I have a son named David. When he was little we would read to him the Bible stories of David. He loved to hear how David wrestled a bear and killed a lion. My son would go through the house doing air motions of fighting the imaginary enemy at our door. In his mind, he was not only David our son but for that moment he was David who slew Goliath. Moms of boys can totally relate when a son puts on the superhero outfit or picks up a slingshot he is instantly transported to that battle and all enemies are defeated easily with one fail swoop.
As adults victory against the giants in our life may not come so easily. The battle is real. Satan does not want to wound us, he wants to kill and destroy us. Our heart aches from hurts and wounds inflicted during battle. This is even more true as we move from 2020 to 2021. The events of the past year and the effects of social isolation, unrest, anxiety, and fear have begun to take their toll. Many churches and individuals begin the new year with prayer and fasting. Typically this involves seeking God’s direction regarding whether to change jobs, buy a house, change a behavior, etc. It typically is a time of renewal and expectation. For 2021, your prayers for this year may have switched to addressing the deeper issues of faith, grief, loss, anxiety. We are not asking whether to buy a new house or car, but are asking “Where is God?” For many of us, as we face the upcoming year and what lies before us, we feel less like victorious David going into battle and more like wounded soldiers looking for a retreat. We need to be reminded where our hope and help and strength comes from.
It is time to remember who Jesus is and who is fighting our battles.
When David faced Goliath, Goliath taunted the Israelite army. He called them the armies of Saul. The Israelites became fearful. Why? Because they identified themselves as the armies of Saul. When David faced Goliath he did not see himself as a member of Saul’s army but rather as someone coming into battle with God’s full complement of the regiment. He was ready.
1 Samuel 17:25 You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies-the God of the armies of Isreal whom you have defiled.
David’s identity was with God. He knew that victory would come not because he was good at using a slingshot, but because God is bigger than anything we face. Victory would not come because he had battle training or any kind of talent or expertise. Victory would not come because he was a special person from the right family or social position. Victory would not come because of who is in political office. Victory would come because David had God’s army with him. Victory would come because of who God is.
David knew this because he had a relationship with God. He knew who God was and what He had done. He had spent days praying and singing praises to God as he watched the sheep. Today, along with prayer, we have the Bible to learn who God is. I am reminded even more how it is important to pray and read the Bible daily. Romans 8 reminds us that tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, peril, sword, life, death, principalities, things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing are able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It doesn’t say that these things will not come and try to separate us because they will. It says that they are NOT ABLE to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. The battle is real, so be purposeful. Find a ‘Battle Plan’ for what you are facing. Discover who Jesus is. Discover who is on your side. Remind yourself that no matter how bad the battle is, nothing can separate us from Jesus.
2 Samuel 5:10 And he became more powerful because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him.
In 2 Samuel 6, David several times refers to God as the Lord Almighty. The word “Almighty” comes from a Hebrew word that means “hosts, organized army for war or battle. ” This army is organized and ready for the war campaign to begin. Their commander is God himself.
So, as we enter the New Year and are praying and fasting, remember who goes before you.
Battle Plan Ideas
Here are some suggestions for Battle Plans:
- Make a list of scriptures that pertain to what you are praying about. Sites such as You Version and Blue Letter Bible are a good resource for this. You can type in the topic and they will give you a list of scriptures with that word in it. Here are the links:
- Daily Bible reading plans and devotionals can be found on websites and Apps. I like the You Version and the Bible Project.
- Many churches are praying and fasting for the New Year and have scriptures listed on their sites as well. World Outreach Church has one called the “Battle Plan”, for example. There are many others as well.
- There are also books, such as Prayers that Avail Much or the Power of a Praying Mom by Stormie Omartian. You may have a favorite already.
- If you like to journal, I suggest creating a prayer journal. You can use a journal notebook or there are Prayer Journals with specific sections already there for you to comment on. Pick one that inspires you. A missionary nurse friend of mine gave me these: Daily Gratitude Journal with Bible Verses and the Prayer Map for Women.
- There are Bibles with sections for journaling and prayer. Personal comments in the margins are good reminders of how Jesus has been there for you. My other son, Nathan, gave me this one for my birthday. My creative side is loving it! the NIV Journal the Word Bible. There are lots others to choose from.
- The names of Jesus. I am always encouraged when I review the names of Jesus. It reminds me of His character and who is on my side. Tony Evans wrote a book, Praying Through the Names of God. Ann Spangler wrote a book entitled Praying the Names of God: a Daily Guide. There are others. Remember we need to know who our God is that goes before us.
- On this blog, I have past posts regarding prayer, praise, and the full armor of God. I pray these will encourage and inspire you as well.
What is your Battle Plan? Share with your fellow warriors.