Have you ever wondered what it looks like when God fights? We pray, we ask Him for things as our Heavenly Father, we cry out “Lord, let Your kingdom come”, but are we ready for His answer? The book of Joshua is a book of battle. The Israelites are defeating nations and claiming land, whole cities are being devoted to destruction, and in the midst of the swords and blood, God fights. He fights for truth, for justice, for righteousness and His weapons are divine. When we look through the Bible, it is just incredible to watch the way God does battle.
1. He fights with power.
Joshua 10 tells the story of a great battle. Adonis-Zedek, king of Jerusalem, recruits four other kings and their armies to make war against Israel. It follows Israel’s request conquest of the city Ai, and God assures Joshua that he would have the victory. As the battle rages, we see God fight right beside the army of Israel.
[Joshua 10:11] – “And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horton, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on then as far as Azekah, and they died. There were died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.”
When God promises a victory, He follows through. He does not sit in the background watching, but He is here and present with us for the fight. He fights for His name, for His people and for His kingdom. He fights with power and with authority.
[Psalm 68:7-8] describes the power of the presence of God
“O God, when You went out before Your people, When you marched through the wilderness, The earth shook; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, The God of Israel.”
[Revelation 19:15], speaking of Jesus, also gives an image of our powerful God.
“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”
If even mountains are moved by the presence of God, then people, circumstances and fears can be transformed by Him. If the sword from His mouth can strike down nations, what can stand against it?
We have an all-powerful God and yet, we sometimes fail to acknowledge His power. Can we do more than He can do? Can we achieve the victory alone? Just as God struck down a greater portion of the enemy than Israel, so He continues to fight harder than any human can for the world to be healed in His name. Our response should be submission to His authority, to let Him lead the battle.
2. He fights with patience.
There is a time to fight, but also a time to wait. God does not always do battle with hailstones and destruction. Sometimes the fight is won with patience.
[1 Timothy 2:1-6] urges us to pray for all people because our Lord God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Jesus, who has already paid the ransom, gives time for people to know Him. He gives time for freewill, and He gives time for relationship.
So often, we get impatient. We want God to do the miracle now. We want Him to come with thunder and lightning and just hit the world with revelation of His power. We forget that God’s plans and His thoughts are higher than our own. He is not bound by time, but is eternal. He waits, knowing that His plans will be fulfilled in good time, and when hearts are ready to receive.
[2 Peter 3:8-9] – “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is Long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
We should not mistake God’s patience for His not caring. His thoughts and ways are higher than our own, and He knows the state of our world and of man’s heart better than we do. He, in His patience, is fighting for people know Him. He is fighting for lives to be saved and transformed by the grace He has already given.
3. He fights for love.
It is a common saying that people “go crazy for love”. All the movies, books and music we have in our world display the power of love. It motivates, it strengthens, it spurs people on to do what they otherwise might not. Our God is love, and He fights from and for His love. He loves us, He loves His creation, He loves His people and so, He fights.
He fights to protect the ones He loves, shielding them from discouragement, comforting them when they are hurting. He fights to keep the enemy from taking His precious possession, His people. He fights like a King who leads His nation. He fights like a Bridegroom who adores His bride.
[Romans 5:8] – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We have a God who dares to give His life to save us. He is powerful, He is patient, and He is so loving that even when we do not deserve it, He lays His own life down so that we can be saved. All this He considers worthwhile; every life, every human being. This is a fight and a sacrifice that is only possible through love, and only possible with the love God has for us. It is tangible yet incomprehensible, but the love of the Father drives Him to fight for our salvation, even when that costs Him suffering, and His life at the cross.
[Romans 8:37-39] – “Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor death, not any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s fight does not end at the cross, but is seen through it. He conquers at the cross because in rising from the grave, He defeats death. He conquers at the cross, because with it, He secures salvation for the nations. He conquers at the cross because it is proof that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
. . .
Powerful, patient and loving. The Commander of the armies of heaven has a strategy for battle that cannot fail. If we still ourselves and listen, He will lay out the battle plan and the fight will be won in His name.