Deuteronomy 9:1-3 “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, “a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’ “Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.
Israel in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the New Testament believer and the Church of Jesus Christ. The battles that Israel fought in the Old Testament are representative of the battles that the New Testament believer fights spiritually, not physically. People often look at the Old Testament as being a book of stories that happened to people long, long ago, but with no significance to their lives. When, in actuality, the Old Testament is filled with examples that God tells us in the New Testament were written for our admonition, or instruction.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
God intends for us to look at the stories of the Old Testament and understand that He is telling us these things so we can learn from them and have hope. He doesn’t want us to go through the same types of difficulties that His people in the Old Testament experienced, but instead that we might learn from their mistakes and battles and be strengthened and encouraged in our spiritual battles.
In the passage in Deuteronomy 9, God is speaking to His people about crossing over the Jordan to go into the Promised Land. There were giants in the land and He knew His people would be frightened as they saw the size of the giants and encountered the battles that were ahead of them. He wanted to assure them that they could fight and win the battles and that He would be going before them to assure them of the victories. That is the way that He is with us, His people today. He wants us to know that in our spiritual walk there will be battles, but He has equipped us to win. He is the God who goes before us and who walks with us through the difficult times. He has said in Hebrews 13:5, 6 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?”
God walks with us through the battles of life. He is there to strengthen us and help us; to give us the assurance that there is nothing to fear. We can win if we will allow Him to lead us into the victory.
Romans 8:31-35 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
God is on our side. Many times we credit God with the bad things that happen to us in life, when we should be looking at it as a battle that is brought against us by the enemy of our souls, Satan, that old deceiver, who is still trying to condemn and defeat God’s people today. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Just as the Israelites entered the battle with God going before them and walking with them through it, so He goes before us into the battles that we fight spiritually and is making intercession for us, helping us to fight and win the battles that we encounter today. There is nothing that can separate us from His love! His love enables us to fight and win in our spiritual walk through life.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
We are more than conquerors! There is nothing that the devil can throw against you today, Child of God, that God hasn’t equipped you to win.
Romans 8:38, 39 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 depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is nothing that you will encounter in life that will be able to separate you from God’s love. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but Jesus said He came to give you life and that more abundantly. When we come to understand that we are in a spiritual battle, but that God intends for us to win, we will be more well equipped to fight to the end knowing that the victory is ours in Christ Jesus.
Why does God want us to win these battles? Well, we find a key to that in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17:
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
God always leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus. He does that so that those around us will experience the fragrance of the Lord. He works through His people to show others that those who are perishing are experiencing death spiritually, so they will turn to the Lord and be saved. Those who are saved we are the aroma of life leading to life; a sweet smelling fragrance of how God is working through us to bring life to them. I have noticed that when I pray for people at the altar time at church that a certain fragrance comes upon my hands. I used to think it was from someone that I had prayed for, a certain fragrance from a ladies cologne, but I’ve realized lately that it comes when I lay hands on the people and pray for them, not from anything that they are carrying on their bodies, but from me. I sense the presence of the Lord during these times as He ministers through me to bring healing and wholeness to those in need. To me it is a reminder that He is there bringing the fragrance of Jesus into their lives, showing the world that He is real, that He is to be feared, revered and respected. He is God, working to bring the victory to His people.
What battle are you facing today? Have you seen it as an insurmountable obstacle, an impossible situation? God is with you; He is going before you into the battle. He will not leave you to fight alone. He told the Israelites that there would be giants in their Promised Land but that they should not fear them but go in an conquer them because He would be going before them to drive them out in preparation for the Israelites to win the battles. He is going before you into whatever situation you face today. Do not fear the battle, for God is with you, strengthening you to win.
God told the young preacher, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:12 to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
We are called to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is our Promised Land. It begins the moment you come into the saving knowledge of Jesus. Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is knowing God, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. We have an enemy who fights us all the way into our Promised Land. His name is Satan, the devil. But we can win in our fights against him. A good fight is a fight that you win. God has equipped us to win, if we will be faithful to fight and not give up. Lay hold on eternal life! Don’t let the devil steal from you what God has said is yours. Don’t give up; don’t quit and don’t cave in! The battle is there, but with God you are mightier than anything the devil can throw at you!
Father, I thank You for equipping Your people to win in the battles of life. Thank You, Lord, for going before us and making our way successful and prosperous in all that we face. You are our God. There is none above You or beside You and if You are for us who could possibly be against us? Thank You, Father, for the victories that You make possible as we fight through our relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray for my friends this morning who may be facing a battle. Lord, I ask You to show them that You are right there with them, enabling them to fight and win. Don’t let them give in to the plans of the enemy for their lives, Father. Give them a vision, Lord, of the good plan that You have for their lives. Show them that winning is possible, Father! Help them to draw their strength from You so they don’t try to fight through their own abilities. Show them how to win spiritually! Thank You, Father. I believe I receive the answers to my prayer as You have instructed me to pray in faith believing that whatsoever I ask in faith I will receive. Thank You, Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.