Saturday, September 23, 2017

Faith in the Face of the Enemy

The Lord will do what is good in his sight” —2 Chronicles 19:13, NIV.

I’ve just begun reading Chip Ingram’s book, God: As He Longs For You To See Him. Over the weekend I worked through the chapter on the sovereignty of God and was challenged once more on my own thinking about just how much control God has over my life, over the lives of others, and over the universe.

As I read the story for Joab and Abishai this morning I was reminded of what I had just finished reading in Ingram’s book.

Joab and Abishai are David’s generals. They are faced with two armies: that of the Ammonites and that of the Arameans. They decide to split their forces, each one waging battle against one of the opposing forces. If Joab needs help, Abishai will come to his rescue, or vice versa.

Joab encourages Abishai to be strong and brave, and remember Who he is fighting for. Then he adds: “The Lord will do what is good in his sight.”

It’s an odd phrase in a way. We’d be more assured if Joab had said: “The Lord will give us the victory” or “We’ll teach them a lesson they’ll never forget.”  The phrase Joab does use rests firmly on his trust in God’s sovereignty. He doesn’t presume to know what God plans are, but he knows that God has plans, that God is able to carry out those plans, and that God’s plans are good.

What else is there to know?

I usually think my plans are pretty good. I think I know what I need, when I need it, and I can defend my choices. Sometimes my requests are pretty noble—things for others rather than for myself. I make all the preparations I can, just like Joab and Abishai did.

But in the end, I come to the same crossroads as these two generals did—am I willing to accept that God has plans that might not coincide with mine, that He is not only able, but will, carry out those plans and, drumroll please, that God’s plans are good and a whole lot better than mine?

Sometimes faith is uncomfortable. But when it is placed in a Sovereign God, a little bit of discomfort is a small price to pay for a guarantee that what God does will be good—for Him and for us.

 

Lynda is a missionary, speaker, educator, writer, editor, and cat lover. She was born and raised in Timmins, the heart of gold mining country in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Lynda has served with Fellowship International for more than thirty years, first in Colombia, a brief stint on home staff in Toronto, Ontario and, more recently in Venezuela. She is currently on staff at First Baptist Church in Timmins, Ontario where her primary focus is spiritual formation. The author of Divine Design for Daily Living, a 365 day devotional journey through the entire Bible (published in Spanish and English),  Lynda blogs Lynda’s Grain of Sand, maintains her own website Northern Breezes , and has been seconded by Fellowship International to serve on the Communications team of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada.

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