What if I told you I held the key words to success in battle? If you are competitive like me or just curious, you should read on. Perhaps you are acquainted with slogans as such-“fight like a girl”, “fight to the death”, of “fight to the finish”. They may get your rah-rah on, but what do you SAY in battle that gets you heard and changes outcomes? These skirmishes may be as minute as a disagreement as to what temperature the thermostat should be in your home, to larger health issues you are facing, to the heartbreak of loved ones battling addictions, to the devastation of relationship failures, to all out war of countries fighting for freedom. Conflict. It is a reality of life.
Self-help books and wisdom from other’s experiences in life may be of some value, but ebb and flow with time. The wisdom of the ancients also hold merit, and yet may be outdated. Wisdom from heaven however is timeless, and we obtain this timeless and often unconventional wisdom from God’s Word.
I’m drawn to the story of the Israelite army facing a vast army of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. The Israelite King Jehoshaphat was alarmed at the odds stacked against them. He inquired of God what to do and proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. God answered as the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, a Levite. The message from God was to go into battle, and to not be afraid or discouraged because they would not even have to fight this battle. The circumstances remained as their enemies were poised to attack, and because of this, great faith in what God had said He would do was required. What did the Jewish people do in response? What did they SAY that ensured their victory in battle? We find the answer in verse 21 out of the NIV 84 version which says, “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, SAYING: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.'”
Now I don’t know military strategies, but I’m pretty sure that the first to go into battle typically are not men singing and praising God. In the United States of America, the Marines are the branch of service designated to be the first in and the last out of war. Yet we see God’s response in verse 22 that as they began to sing and praise, not using one military weapon, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies. He even arranged it so their foes destroyed one another. The praise of God was the key at the beginning of the battle as it ushered in God’s faithfulness to His Word and His plan.
How does this correlate to a conflict or crisis in our lives? God is still faithful to His Word and His plans. Just imagine how outcomes might be different if we began our battles singing and praising God. How might our success look if we took that time before we slung our weapons of malice and hatred or more palatable-our prayer requests disguised in gossip to say, “God, I give thanks to You, for Your love endures forever”? How might our stress levels melt as we praised and thanked God, not for a disease, but for the One who has the power to heal? Could marriages be saved if we said a prayer of praise and thanks to our God before complaining about those annoying habits? The battle is not about getting what you want. This is about God’s plan for your life. Perhaps the outcome of the fight is not what you desired, even if you used these keys of success. Look deeper. The outcome could be that your own heart is changed and the transformation happened within you. Since this is a proven strategy of war in the Bible, surely it is worth incorporating in our personal lives.
Unconventional wisdom? Most assuredly. I dare you to begin your battles this way. See how God shows up in them. Be the one who enters first, not with weapons in your arsenal, but with the fighting words of worship and praise to the Almighty God. Let Him have His way and watch the miracles unfold.