Summary: This sermon looks at seven principles to win the battles of life. 1. Identify Your ENEMY 2. Don’t Be Driven By EMOTION 3. Take Your Problems To The LORD 4. Admit You Need HELP 5. Rely On God’s POWER 6. Relax In FAITH 7. Thank God In ADVANCE
How To Win The Battles Of Life
One of the metaphors that the Bible uses over and over again for the Christian life is that of a battle. The Bible says:
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:11-12 (NASB)
This of course is talking about battles that we fight daily – they may be: financial battles, spiritual battles, relationship battles – all kinds of battles in our daily lives.
In the Old Testament we find that Jehoshaphat, king of Israel, got word from a friend that three enemy nations were coming against him to fight him. The odds weren’t too good because it was three nations against the one nation of Israel. The Bible tells us that these three nations were the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Meunites. Let’s look into the story – it is found in Second Chronicles chapter twenty:
“Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea…” 2 Chron. 20:1-2 (NASB)
God put the story of Jehoshaphat in the Bible in order to illustrate to us certain vital spiritual principles in winning the battles of life.
Principle number one:
1. Identify Your ENEMY
Verse 1 shows us the first principle in overcoming the battles of life: Identify your enemy. This seems like a rather obvious principle – but actually it isn’t. Many people simply do not know who their enemy is. They start mistrusting everyone. Often we think the enemy is some other person – even our own family members. But they may not be the ones who are standing against us – but for us. Many times the enemy is our own attitude – the way we handle the situation. Before we can start winning our battles – we have to know who are enemy is.
Notice how Jehoshaphat reacted when he heard that these three nations were coming against him:
“Jehoshaphat was afraid……..” 2 Chron. 20:3 (NASB)
That brings us to point two.
2. Don’t Be Driven By EMOTION
Of course Jehoshaphat was afraid. He had every right to be. Three nations were coming up against him. That would be a typical reaction for all of us. But don’t let your emotions take control of you.
Some people do that don’t they? They let their emotions take control of them. They will get mad – they will get angry – they will be furious – and look out if you are standing anywhere around them when that happens. You can become a causality of their emotional explosion. But look at what the Bible says:
“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NASB)
The Bible also says:
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7 (KJV)
All of us are emotional beings – that’s the way God has created us. But don’t let your emotions get the better of you.
What you should do next is:
3. Take Your Problems To The LORD
Let’s look at verse three again:
“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” 2 Chron. 20:3
When Jehoshaphat learned that three nations were coming against him he was afraid – but instantly he “set himself to seek the LORD”.
The third principle in winning the battles of life is to take your problems to the Lord. Prayer ought to be the first weapon we use whenever we face the battles of life, not the last. Usually the last thing we try is prayer – maybe because we want things to work out on our own.
Jehoshaphat prayed and do you know what he said? In effect he said, “God, I know You’ve helped me in the past. I know You can help me in the future. So please help me now. Please take care of our enemies, for we have no power to face the vast army that is attacking us. We don’t know what to do – but our eyes are upon You” (vv. 6-12).
That brings us to point four:
4. Admit You Need HELP
The fourth principle in winning the battles of life is to admit you need help. Jehoshaphat did when he said: