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Ann Farabee: The battle is real

Do you feel the words ‘The Battle Is Real’ pierce straight into your heart? If so, it is probably because your battle is intensely real — and frightening, and painful, and overwhelming. It is constantly on your mind and on your heart. And you (we) can’t fight it alone. Fighting is hard work, but as David’s persistence in 1 Samuel 30 proved, it is worth it.

HELD CAPTIVE:

As David and his men came into the city, they saw that it had been invaded and burned by the Amalekites, who had taken captive their wives, sons, and daughters. (V. 1-3)

Is that your battle? Are you held captive? Or maybe someone you love is held captive? ‘Held captive’ means you are a prisoner or enslaved to something. Held captive to sickness, to family struggles, to finances, to addiction, to grief, to mental anguish, to hurt, to circumstance, to brokenness?

GREATLY DISTRESSED:

David and his people lifted up their voices and wept until they could weep no longer, and were greatly distressed. (V. 4-6) Greatly distressed means very much suffering. Yes, tears flowed until they could flow no longer and they were greatly suffering.

Are you at this point in your battle? You have cried until the tears can flow no longer?

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF:

David then had to choose between discouragement and encouragement. He chose to encourage himself. (V. 6) No doubt – he had to remind himself of God’s Promises. No doubt – he had to remind himself to walk by faith and not by sight. No doubt – he had to deal with bitterness, anger, disappointment, fear… and more, as he struggled.

Just like our physical body can be strengthened, our spirit can also be strengthened, and it took that ‘getting alone’ time for David to encourage himself in the Lord.

Do you need to encourage yourself in the Lord in order to move forward on your situation?

INQUIRE:

David inquired (prayed) of the Lord about what he should do. (V. 8)

People often ask the question, “How do I know what God is telling me to do?” One way God speaks to us is through His Word. (His Word is alive and speaks straight to our hearts.) God also speaks to us through others that He places in our path. (How amazing to know that words we say to someone may actually be words that God sent through us to help someone else!) And…. God speaks to us through nature. (How can we see the stars, the sky, the beautiful things of the world, and not hear God’s Voice?)

Do you need to inquire of the Lord in order to move forward on your situation?

Even though he was in the battle of his life- the battle for his family- he had to step back and take the time to encourage himself and inquire of God for help before he took the next step. He armored up. He rallied the troops. Just as a soldier would never go into battle without preparation, training, a plan, and his equipment, we should not go into battle defenseless.

PURSUE:

God’s Answer to David’s prayer: PURSUE, for you will surely OVERTAKE THEM and WITHOUT FAIL RECOVER ALL. (V. 8-10) Wow! God’s Promise, Power, Plan, and Purpose were all being provided as David was told that he was going to overtake them and recover all without fail! David went.

HELP AND ASK FOR HELP:

Along the way (V. 11-16) David stopped to help an Egyptian slave who was sick and had been abandoned by his master. (We should not allow our battle to keep us from taking time to help someone in need.) He then asked the slave to lead him to the enemy. The slave did. By David showing kindness to the slave, and humbling himself to ask for help, he was able to see some God results. (Guess you could say he worked his way down the ladder.)

SMOTE TO OVERTAKE:

David readied himself to smote the enemy. (V. 17) ‘Smote’ means hitting with extreme force, delivering a blow that strikes down or slays. Oh yes, he overtook them all! DIVINE FORCE = EXTREME POWER!

RECOVER ALL:

David RECOVERED ALL that had been taken. (Verse 18) “Recover” means to take back what was stolen. ALL means ALL!

God goes behind us, before us, and is in the midst of our situation, fighting for us. We are not alone. The battle is real, but we can overtake the enemy.

Ready? Set? Go….

Encourage Yourself. Inquire. Pursue. Help and ask for help. Smote to overtake. Recover all.

Ann Farabee has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. She is a Christian writer, teacher, and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com

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