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A Kingdom Way to Fight

Are you fighting a battle right now? A few weeks ago, the Lord told me He was going to teach me about what it looks like to have the Lord fight my battles. The first thing He prompted me to do was look up the word “fight”. In Strong’s concordance, the first word I found was machomai. This word means everything you would expect fight to mean. It depicts a hard struggle that expends much energy, a hand-to-hand struggle, or even an argument (battle of the mind).

The interesting thing about this word is that it is not the word used when the Bible talks about the Lord fighting for us. Yet this is so often how we approach our battles. We exert a lot of energy, we attempt to gain power over the attacks, we argue with the enemy…and in this way, we are tricked into a power struggle that actually doesn’t even exist. Luke 10:19 reminds us “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”. That word “all power” means all! In our battles, the enemy has already been defeated. Our circumstances are nothing more than external pressure through which the enemy attempts to bait us into battles that we were never meant to fight in this way.

I then specifically looked for what word the Lord chose when He penned “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). This and many other Scriptures about the Lord fighting battles (Deuteronomy 1:30, Deuteronomy 3:22, Joshua 10:14, and many more) use the word lacham which comes from a root meaning “to use as food, to eat”. The word itself can be used to mean “devour, eat, ever, fighting, overcome, prevail, make warring”. Immediately I heard the Lord say, “You wage war in the Kingdom by letting Me prepare a table for you”.

Psalm 23:5 promises that the Lord will “set a table for us in the presence of our enemies”. This beautiful picture illustrates what it is to be the dinner guest of the Lord while the (external) circumstances wage on. In ancient Eastern cultures, we find that being a dinner guest meant that your host undertook an assignment to protect you at all costs (we see one illustration of this in Genesis 19). While we are seated as guests at the table of the Lord, the enemy’s tactics pose no threat.

It takes both peace and stillness to eat. In other words, we can’t eat and be battling in the effort-exerting and mentally exhausting way the world fights. Because of this, peace and stillness are the two areas the enemy wants to attack, and both are mental postures. Peace doesn’t profess that battles aren’t happening, but peace draws quiet confidence from the fact that they are already won. Like watching a movie we’ve already seen the end of, we can know even in times of “conflict” that the outcome is assured. God is pursuing us in every area in which we’ve “lost our appetite” for pursuing what He has made us for. Be it because of fear, worry, a sick heart, chaos, a busy lifestyle, or a performance mentality, God wants to break off what made us lose our appetite so that He can prepare our plate.

If you had me over to your house as a dinner guest, and I came in and immediately raided your fridge as you were cooking, it would probably be off-putting. As a guest, you expect me to come, enjoy, and receive what you have prepared without feeling the need to serve myself, fix the meal, or plan the evening. God struck my heart with this modern-day parable, saying, “You so often want to fix it yourself, when I am already preparing something. You need only to listen and receive.” Just like a dinner guest, He will invite us to help in areas that bless His efforts. If He hasn’t given us an action directive, our well-intentioned efforts may actually be “getting in the way in the kitchen”.

So what does it look like to battle in the Kingdom of Heaven? Eat at the table the Lord sets. And what does it look like to eat? Jesus said in Luke 4:34, “My food…is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work”. Jesus prayed for our daily bread- a beautiful echoing of the daily manna received in the wilderness. How we posture ourselves in seasons of battle is this: we receive each day what the Lord would put on our plate. We have the delight and joy of partnering in continuing the work of Jesus and in bringing God’s love, gospel, and Kingdom to this earth. Each day there is a “portion” we can delightfully consume that involves doing God’s will of partnering with Him on His adventures and missions. When we are delightfully digesting what the Lord is doing in and through us, we are warring in a way that is a thousand times more effective than any “battling” we could do in our own strength.

There is a “table” the Lord wants to seat you at in this season, but in order to do so, you must lay down your “battling” in the hands of the Lord. As we trust Him with our battles and receive from Him our daily feast, we will find that in seeking His Kingdom first (before the solutions to our battles), He takes care of all the rest.

Encounter questions (ask the Lord in your prayer time, and wait for His answers):

1. What battle do I need to stop fighting and realize that You already won?

2. What does it look like to eat instead of fight in my season?

3. What delightful things are you putting “on my plate” today that the enemy wants to distract me from?

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