Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fight Your Battles on Your Knees

KEY PASSAGE: Matthew 26:36-40

Psalm 103:19
Isaiah 40:31
Philippians 4:6-7
Romans 8:28
Acts 1:8
1 Timothy 1:18


What are you battling?
Some struggles are external—such as your finances, job, or health. Others take place within you. Internal enemies of anger, unforgiveness, or inadequacy can hinder your walk with God. How can you find victory?
Jesus set the example for us the night before His crucifixion. In the Garden of Gethsemane, our Lord prayed, “If it is possible, let this cup
pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39). After seeking the Father, Jesus was willing to face the cross—even though it meant their perfect fellowship would be severed for a time. Whether you realize it or not, you are in a spiritual war. You must stand firm for your
convictions, renew your mind, and resist the Devil. How is this possible? Fight your battles on your knees and you will win every time.


A Definition
What does it mean to fight our battles on our knees? Simply this—that you and I approach our holy God and lay our petitions before Him. Rather
than saying a quick prayer before we run out the door in the morning or fall asleep at night, we must invest time in seeking the Lord’s face and
listening for His answer. I first learned this lesson as an associate pastor at First Baptist Atlanta. The church was considering
me for the position of senior pastor, but many people were opposed to the idea. They expressed their animosity in hurtful ways and sought to
manipulate the situation to assure I would be rejected. God revealed to me that in order to win this battle, I couldn’t argue with them or defend
myself. Only by giving the problem to the Lord in prayer was I able to experience victory in that very difficult situation.

The Reasons
Why should we fight our battles on our knees? First, it is the biblical pattern. Throughout Scripture, we see God’s servants falling on their
faces before the Lord. For instance, Hezekiah prayed before leading his army to war, and Daniel knelt in prayer even though it meant being thrown into the lion’s den. Second, when we turn to the Lord, we are no longer battling on our own.We’ve engaged the help of the Sovereign of the universe (Ps. 103:19). He is omnipotent—all powerful; omniscient—all
knowing; and omnipresent—present everywhere. No one else on earth can help you more than He can. God acts on behalf of those who wait on Him—spend time in prayer to Him and trust in Him (Isaiah 40:31).
Third, prayer connects us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost, the disciples weren’t ready to preach the gospel to the world—
even though they had walked with Jesus for three years (Acts 1:8). If you have trusted Christ as your personal Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within you. We cannot accomplish anything for God apart from the power of the Spirit.

The Results
What can you expect if you fight your battles on your knees? You will have comfort, confidence, and assurance. There is nothing more powerful than having the Creator of the universe on your side. The Father encourages us. When we spend time one on one with Him, His Word and His Spirit lift us up. Prayer gives believers insight we can get no other way. On our faces before Him, we have the clearest view of the challenge ahead of us. Talking with the Lord changes our focus. The enemy wants us to dwell on our problem— how we can defend ourselves or get revenge.
Victory, however, is found in turning our eyes to God, the One who controls all things. He blesses those who are willing to trust and obey
Him (Isa. 40:31). You will have serenity. Believers who turn their burdens over to the Lord have supernatural peace even when situations and circumstancesdon’t change (Phil. 4:6-7).

The Process
How can you fight your battles on your knees? Set aside time to be alone with God. Find a quiet place and devote yourself to the One who has the greatest ability to help you. Listen quietly. The Lord desires to have
an intimate relationship with each one of His children. But you will never know Him better unless you are willing to take the time to listen
for His voice. Expect God to bring up other issues in your life. Before He responds to your cry for help, He may want you to deal with rebellion,
unforgiveness, or bitterness in your life. Until you repent and surrender to the Lord, sin will keep you from experiencing God’s best and stop you
from enjoying a close relationship with Him. Remember that in a battle, there can be only one general. Freely express your desires, but don’t expect God to take orders from you. As you surrender to His guidance, He will engage His supernatural power on your behalf. Know that battles are God’s tools. One of the most important lessons the Father has taught me is to see all adversity as coming from Him. This truth will protect you from bitterness, resentment, and hostility towards those who wrong you. Let me explain. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God causes all things to work
together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (emphasis added). In a battle, you and I may lose money, pride, or control over a situation. But if the struggle brings us to the point of total surrender to the Lord, we will always win— spiritually speaking.

What are you battling today? Does it seem as if God doesn’t see your pain or understand your heartache? Let me assure you that He knows exactly what you are going through. Go before the Father today and pray, “Lord, I don’t want anything in my life that displeases you. Take my bitterness, resentment, and anger. I give You this battle, and trust that You will turn it for my good in Your way and in Your timing.” My friend, you cannot lose fighting on your knees. Once a day, fall on your face before God and worship Him for who He is. Release your problems to almighty God, and you will findvictory every time.

Charles Stanley

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