Battle Strategy

June 11, 2016

A few posts ago, I told you that the Lord had brought me back to I and II Samuel to read about David’s life and his battles. God has been using the book of Psalms to encourage me so much, and it made me want to re-read David’s life story.

In summary, the people of Israel asked God to give them a king. God appointed Saul and anointed him with the power of the Holy Spirit, but Saul was disobedient.  God then removed His Spirit from Saul and chose David to become king. Saul could clearly see the power of God on David’s life and, although David was fighting Saul’s battles, Saul hated him. He was jealous of the anointing. So, he decided to kill David. Because God had chosen David, there was really nothing Saul could do to win, but he sure tried. Isn’t that just like the devil? I mean, doesn’t he know what Revelation tells us? Doesn’t he realize that he loses in the end? But, he just keeps trying to win. Dumb.

Even though God had chosen David and anointed him to be the king, God allowed him to go through a long wilderness experience. David was literally running for his life for years while Saul chased him. Why would God do this? Why would’t he just kill Saul and put David on the throne? Because David wasn’t ready. God needed to teach him the lessons that would make him a great king. There are so many lessons in this story that God is using in my life right now, but the one I want to focus on today is God’s battle strategy.

Lesson #1 – Don’t make any decision, no matter how small, without asking God what He wants you to do. If you read the story, you will see many times David goes to God for directions. He rarely makes a move without prayer. And, God always answers. The few times that David does make his move without prayer, disaster follows. We can learn this lesson from David, rather than having to learn it the hard way, through our own mistakes. Don’t make a move without consulting God first.

Lesson #2 – God will give you specific instructions. Let’s look at 2 Samuel 6: 22-25,

“And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, ‘You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.’ And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines.”

God didn’t just say, “Go fight them.” He told David exactly how to do it. He laid out a specific battle strategy that was successful. As we know, God sees the future. He knows exactly what will happen and He knows exactly what we need to do in order to be successful. If we will ask Him and allow Him to answer us, He will tell us what to do.

Lesson #3 – God understands that we are human and He is patient if we need to ask, again. Look at 1 Samuel 23:1-4,

“Now they told David, “Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are robbing the threshing floors.” Therefore David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Behold, we are afraid here in Judah; how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord again. And the Lord answered him, “Arise, go down to Keilah, for I will give the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines and brought away their livestock and struck them with a great blow. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.”

God knows that we are human. He loves us. He created us. He is patient and loving toward us. Sometimes the decision to go into battle is overwhelmingly scary for us and, even when the Lord says to go, we can be impacted by the voices around us. But, if we go back to Him and ask again, He will lovingly answer us, again. He is such a good Father. If God has already told you, but you are afraid, go back to Him and he will assure you. Then go. Do. Obey. Don’t be afraid. He is with you.

If you are living for the Lord, you serve the same God that David served. God is no respecter of persons, so you have access to the same Holy Spirit that David had. He didn’t love David more than He loves you or me. The stories in the Old Testament display God’s character to us and they are there to show us how God desires to lead us and guide us. So, I encourage you today to take advantage of God’s willingness to provide you with battle strategy. If you are in a difficult time, ask the Lord to speak to you. Go to Him before you make any decisions. Seek Him with all your heart. This can’t just be a casual relationship in which you pray on Sundays. If you are in a battle for your life, you need the Lord every second. Tell Him you need Him. Tell Him you desire to walk closely with Him, like a friend or a companion. Ask Him to make you a man after His own heart. Ask Him to give you ears to hear Him. Then, when He does….do what He says. Like, David, be obedient. Don’t be afraid. Walk in confidence.

Since the beginning of our diagnosis, I have been asking the Lord to give me a clear battle strategy. Our dear friend, Dr. Gummadi, spoke something over us several weeks ago that has stayed with me everyday. He said that God is taking us across our Red Sea, but rather than parting the waters all the way across, so we can see where we are going, He is parting the waters as we walk. He parts it a little, then we take a step, then He parts it a little more. What a cool way to think about our situation. Although I desire, and have been asking God to part the water so I can see the destination, He isn’t choosing to do that right now. He is only showing us the strategy for today. But, praise God he is showing us and speaking clearly.

But, I am asking Him to show me the end of the story. I ask Him often to please speak to me and tell me what is going to happen. I want to prepare my heart and I want to know how to pray. I want to have the strength to accept whatever He has ordained for our lives. If He plans to take Clay home, I want to know so I can allow Him to prepare my heart for what that will mean. If He plans to heal him, I want to know, so I can pray and believe. So I can stand on that promise from Him when I pray. And, in His love for me, I know that He is hearing those prayers and He reminds me everyday that He is listening. He may not be answering that prayer like I want Him to answer, but He is with me. Pastor Lee told us many years ago that when we pray for God to reveal His promises and His plans for our life, He will do it in His perfect timing. Because, as soon as He tells us, the devil is going to find out. There are things that God keeps hidden from Satan because as soon as Satan finds out, he will begin preparing his battle strategy to attack us. So, apparently, God is not ready for anyone, including me and the devil, to know what He has planned for the end of our story. But, that’s ok. I’ll keep asking Him, but I’ll also keep trusting Him. And, as He reveals His plan for today, we are praying for continued strength to do exactly what He says.

My prayer for you today is that you will seek God’s battle strategy for your life. That you will listen to Him and you will obey what He tells you to do….no matter how difficult. I pray that if you are walking across your own Red Sea, that God will reveal to you that He is the one parting your waters. If you are in your wilderness, running for your life, I pray that He will give you clear battle strategy. He is in control. Trust Him. Seek Him. Obey Him. He loves you. He knows your future. Follow His leading.



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  1. Janice Mathis says:

    Love ready your Blog! We are praying for you and Clay… Someone told me the best way to hear God laugh is for him to hear us say ” I’ve got it all planned out”
    God Bless all of your family.

  2. Gail Sides says:

    I continue to be inspired and blessed by every testimony. God is using your family in an evident and powerful way. Your eloquent interpretation of the Word and application to your circumstance is nothing short of awesome. As Gary and I pray for Clay, we pray for all that surround him. In Christ, Gail Sides

  3. Aunt Jean says:

    Enjoyed our visit soooo much. My sweet Clay. How MUCH I love him. I am always so encouraged with your Blog. You are a inspiration to me and everyone who reads this. Yes, God is in control and knows our future. Make every minute count!

  4. Charlie says:

    I needed that post…thank you for sharing!

  5. connie faber says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am truly inspired by the wisdom our Lord is giving both of you. Clay is a remarkable young man and you a remarkable young man. Clay and is family are in my prayers.

  6. Pastor Denny Brown says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. All you write is very encouraging to those who are in battles of all kinds or in the midst of the Red Sea etc. I hope to encourage you today. My wife was 7 months pregnant when we discovered she had cervical cancer. Long story short, we now had 2 lives we were fighting for. We did not know Jesus, we were not born again(John 3:3) as Jesus said we all must be. We knew nothing. Three days after surgery the doctor came into our room with bad news. The cancer had spread into my wife’s lymph ducts and was throughout her body. He said there was nothing that could be done. He told us to go home and enjoy what time we had left. She was 26 yrs. old. We went home to die. Four months passed and she was still holding on when we got invited to a revival. We didn’t even know what a revival was. But we went, gave our hearts and lives to God and started reading the Bible, praying and made that church our home church. Two weeks later I was praying in our bedroom when the Lord spoke to me for the first time. I was 31 yrs. old and I didn’t know God talked. He said “She will not die she will live for my glory and I want you to preach my gospel.” I ran and told my wife what God told me. That was 34 yrs. ago, my wife is still alive, our baby girl is 34 yrs. old with 3 of her own children and I have been pastoring 32 yrs. We have not been without many other Red Sea experiences. My wife had cancer again and I have had cancer 4 times in the last 7 yrs. We both are cancer free today. Not in remission, cancer free. I also ended up at M.D. Anderson. My last visit I had a Pet scan that showed no cancer anywhere in my body. I know I said ‘short’ but I’m a preacher what can you expect. God has been through it all with us, one step at a time. There is much more, but maybe another time. God truly does hold our lives in his hands and He is final authority not any doctor. Keep the faith as Paul said. We are believing for a miracle for Clay and your family. We know Cory and Stephanie and all the Smith family. We love them they are wonderful people. God’s best to you and your family.

  7. Darlene Ballard says:

    Always enjoy your words of wisdom and strength. Thank you for sharing you are a blessing to all who reads your blog. God Bless you and Clay and family.