This Is Not Our Battle

The battle is not yours
God said, “It’s mine.”
The battle is not yours
God said, “It’s mine.”
If you’ll stand, stand and see
He’ll show up on time
The battle is not yours
God said, “It’s mine.”

Did you ever sing this song? I remember this song bringing down the house when I was younger! People would dance and shout proclaiming whatever dilemma they were facing was in fact a battle and God would show up just in the nick of time and save them from their circumstance.

I actually hadn’t thought of this song in a long time, but something that was said to me today brought it to my mind.

Disclosure, this blog has political undertones so if that is a trigger for you, stop reading here. Also, I am not looking for a fight and will not engage in one with you on this topic. Like, ever. 

I was chatting with a group of people this afternoon about the current state of US politics and their effect on us as Christians. This was in no way a debate or heated conversation and the point wasn’t as much of conversing about politics, but more along the line of how we, as Christ followers, should treat our neighbors who may disagree with us on seemingly important and personal political topics. Everyone stated their opinions respectfully and in an adult like manner and we all left as friends just as Christians should.

The question was asked: “how far do we as Christians allow things to go before we stand up and fight?”

I think this is a valid response for someone who is very passionate about their beliefs. And let me just say, you should be passionate about your beliefs! Which is actually my very point here.

As I left that meeting, I began to really ponder over that question. My mind went to the New Testament and the followers of Jesus in those days.  I honestly could not think of a single situation where they got together and “fought” for their beliefs.  They were passionate about the gospel for certain and never denounced Christ, even while being persecuted, but I could not think of any instance where they rose up in a sort of revolt against their governing leaders. And these people were being treated terribly! They were being stoned in the streets, thrown into prison cells, crucified, beheaded, well, you get the idea.

Now, before you start fuming out your ears at my passive response to what some may perceive as a battle against the very core of your beliefs, hear me out.

IF we believe the Bible like we say we do. And IF we want to proclaim the gospel to our family, friends, and neighbors as we say we do, something very important needs to happen here.

We need to practice what we preach.

Romans chapter 13 tells us that God has appointed our leaders. Matthew 6 tells us that God takes care of even the sparrows. How much more will he take care of his children? 1 Peter 2 states we are to honor the emperor and accept the authority of human institution.

Now, I know where you’re mind is headed. “But Jen, what if our leaders say we can’t worship Christ?” Let me bring up Acts 5. Peter said he must obey God before men, but what was happening around this statement? God had miraculously freed Peter and the apostles from their prison cells. (Key word here being “God”) Peter didn’t bow down to the demands of the authorities to not preach the gospel, however, you don’t see the apostles going around to other believers and speaking disrespectfully about the authorities, they didn’t arrange a revolt, they didn’t even create rude memes and blast them all over Facebook. What they did do, is continue preaching the gospel and trust that God was going to take care of them somehow, and that’s exactly what happened.

I’m not saying we should compromise our beliefs as Christians. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do our civic duty and vote for whoever the Spirit leads us to. I’m also not saying we should back down in the midst of a difficult social situation. I’m not even saying we can’t advocate for change. What I am saying is this, trust God. We as Christians either believe he will direct or paths or we don’t.

I used to do this very thing. Wring my hands and worry about things that were outside of my control. That was the religious environment I was brought up in. I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. But, all that did was give me premature worry lines on my forehead and deprive me of nights of precious sleep.

So, my dear, fellow believer, stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. It’s not yours to carry! I’m sure it takes a lot of time and energy to get worked up about what’s going on in our world today and you shouldn’t. Not if you trust God! It’s not our battle to fight! It’s his!

Many of the apostles and disciples in the New Testament were tortured and killed for not backing down from their beliefs. There are amazing Christians around the world even today who have suffered a similar fate. It’s heart wrenching to think about. But the fact remains, our times and seasons are in God’s hands, and if we believe in him, we know there is life after this world. Does he not take care of you? Even when things aren’t going as we think they should here on earth, God is bigger. He is bigger than the political parties of the United States, he is even bigger than the Queen of England, and I have to think it breaks his heart a little when he sees his children all out of sorts stressing over situations he already has handled.

As we look back through history, God has always had a church. The church has been through so much worse than what is currently going in our first world country, why do we think we are any different than those who have gone before us? God’s got this.

If you are struggling to find peace in our world today, I challenge you to give that stress over to God. And you know what? His burden is easy and his yoke is light. We aren’t created to run around in a constant state of panic all the time. We were created to worship our Heavenly Father. Let’s not get distracted from what is eternal by what is temporal and fleeting.

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