It was an unfair fight.
Gideon, leader of the Israelite people (between 1162 and 1122 B.C), had 300 men and was up against armies of men whose sheer number made them look like a swarm of locusts spread across the valley of the battlefield. Their camels alone resembled grains of sand on the seashore (Judges Chapter 7, verse 12). It appeared that there was going to be a bloody massacre.
But far from being a one-sided encounter, Gideon had a secret weapon: God. In fact, it was God's idea to reduce the number of Israelite men from 32,000 to 300. God wanted them to be totally reliant on Him for victory and not on their numbers or military skill.
That day, God enabled the excessively outnumbered Israelite army to defeat their enemies without having to raise a single sword. The Israelites blew rams' horns, smashed clay jars and their enemies went berserk and starting fighting amongst themselves- to the death! (Judges Chapter 7 verse 22).
So what does an ancient fight have to do with your life today?
We fight every day. We argue in relationships with family, friends, co-workers and we fail to realise sometimes that there is a hidden enemy. The devil desires to destroy our relationships, cause hurt and to prevent us from having the abundant life God has for us (John Chapter 10 verse 10). God's plan is for us to have wholesome lives, free from fear, confusion, frustration, anxiety, doubt, bitterness, anger, regret, pain and worry. God's end state is a person who fulfilled not only spiritually but also emotionally.
God offers us an alternative way to avoid the stress and strain we face from human relationships and from problems that arise in life. We have the choice to adopt His approach instead of trying to solve it entirely on our own and reacting the way we'd usually do: in anger, out of selfish motives, wanting to be proved "right", needing to demonstrate our authority, position or strength, or satisfying the desire to punish the other person for the "wrong" we perceive they've committed against us.
A Better Approach
God says that when faced with a battle, we should first recognise that there is a spiritual war raging. Ephesians Chapter 6 verse 12 says that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powersof this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
It is significant that this reminder comes just after God gave some instructions for handling human relationships – wives / husbands, parent / child and employers / employees (see from Ephesians Chapter 5 verse 22 to Ephesians Chapter 6 verse 9).
Human beings are in the middle of a spiritual fight between God and Satan. Satan desires to use us as pawns and cannon fodder and ultimately to kill us in a bid to hurt God. He is against families, marriages and any productive human relationship. But if you've read the Bible you know that God defeats Satan and no scheme of Satan will ultimately prevail.
When we understand that Satan tries to use people as tools in his rebellion against God, we realise that we can let go of our anger towards them. It is hard, but we shouldn't let bitterness towards the person rule our hearts. So forgive them (even if they don't ask for it, or if you feel it is undeserved) and continue to love them, as Jesus does. God can help you deal with the hurt and pain you feel.
It's His Fight
Once you realise that the fight is being fought in the spiritual realm and not the physical world that we can see, then pray and ask God to fight for you. God is a superior strategist, military genius and has an unlimited supply of resources you can't even imagine. His ways are higher than ours.
God wants us to rest in the fact that His Will will be done and He is the Almighty. He reminds us to be strong in Himand in his mighty power (Ephesians Chapter 6 verse 10).
The fact is that He is fighting for us is comforting. Our responsibility is to arm ourselves with faith, the truth of His Word and to holy lives that reflect Jesus character: love, joy, peace,forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. (Galatians Chapter 5 verses 22 to 23).
Remember: the battle is God's (2 Chronicles Chapter 20 verse 15).
It's not a fair fight. Satan is outmatched. God has already won.
Sharma considers herself a child of the Caribbean, but when she arrived in New Zealand, she discovered that she is also a kiwi at heart. She holds a PhD in Law from the Victoria University of Wellington.
Sharma Taylor's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sharma-taylor.html