WEEKLY ENCOURAGEMENT MARCH 1-5, 2021
How are you fighting your battles? Do you fight them alone? Are you choosing the right battles to fight?
In the book of Numbers, when God told the Israelites to fight battles and they obeyed, they won. Not just because of their God-given skill or the blessing of God but because of God. But in one particular battle, the last one that could have given them the promised land, the Israelites allowed fear to harden their hearts, stopping them from entering the long-awaited promised land.
God then told them that they’d have to stay in the wilderness for 40 more years before they could enter the promised land and none of the original Israelites who came from Egypt would enter except Joshua and Caleb who were full of faith.
Now, a group of Israelites changed their mind and decided that they wanted to go into battle and enter the promised land already. But Moses warned them that fighting the battle without God would end in their defeat. They didn’t listen, fighting anyway, and guess what? They ended up defeated.
Do you feel the same? How many battles have you fought and won? Or do you keep fighting without seeing much victory? Here are some things to consider...
When you’re fighting battles alone: • You have so much to say, but rarely say what you feel or think • You have so much to do, but little or no energy to do them • You have people around you who want to help but you don’t see it because (a) you think everyone’s too busy and doesn’t care (b) you want to do it yourself to still prove that you’re fine and “you’ve got this”
You’re choosing the wrong battles: • When you start ranting on social media or to someone who has no power to help • When you post along with everyone on an issue that doesn’t involve you • When you know that your decision was wrong but still did it anyway because you felt like it was the only way to release yourself and “be you” • When you force your way into things to get what you want even if it’s not what you need • And more...
Fighting Your Battle can be done by: • Talking. When you feel good, you talk about it, when you’re sad, you post about it, when you’re upset, you complain about it, when you’re mad, you yell about it, and so on. • Staying quiet. When you feel good, you give yourself a mental high-five but don’t tell anyone, when you’re sad, you feed your sad thoughts without telling anyone, when you’re upset, you rant in your head without telling anyone, when you’re mad, you shout so loud, you deafen your own mind with the words and anger, etc.
Physically moving. When you feel good, you go out and celebrate at some restaurant, when you’re sad, you isolate yourself from everyone, when you’re upset you find some way to make sure people know, when you’re mad, you hit, you shout, you slam the door, etc.
• Praying. When you’re happy, you thank God and those around you, when you’re sad, you talk to God and those around you, when you’re upset, you ask God to help you be patient and trusting, when you’re mad, you’re honest but gentle in coming to a conclusion, etc. So, if no one’s told you before, let me be the first to tell you that (1) you don’t always “got this” because you don’t have the eternal strength to do everything, especially the things you’re not made to do, (2) you’re not supposed to be the hero to everything and the everything to everyone, and (3) you don’t need to involve yourself into everyone’s business. There’s so much more to say about how to fight your battles right and this month, we’ll be focusing on that. But for now, let’s see what a few verses have to say...
Ecclesiastes 10:12 “Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.” (New International Version) “The words of a wise person are gracious. The talk of a fool self-destructs— He starts out talking nonsense, and ends up spouting insanity and evil.” (The Message version)
Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (New International Version) “Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise.” (The Message version)
Psalm 18:6 “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” (NIV)
Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (MSG)
Talk with wisdom that comes from God, with care that uplifts your family, with compassion to encourage others, and with grace to encourage yourself.
Be quiet when you don’t have anything helpful to say or when your words add salt to wounds. But speak up when you’re hurt to find a way to mend things, speak up when your child needs to hear your words or when your parents or friends need a loving reminder. Above all, cry out to God because He hears and loves you.
Physically move where God calls you to move (in love and grace) and be still when you no longer know what to do or if you just want God to take over. He does fight battles for you, you know nothing about.
Pray always because prayer is your weapon. Practice every day to start fighting with God and not against Him. It’s no easy feat and that is why it’s a battle. But I believe that you know that your family, your future, and God’s plans for you are worth fighting for, and fighting the right way. Don’t you?
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