Despite all the failures, all the ventures into idolatry, when the Israelites cried out to God during their battle and trusted in Him, the battle was His and He brought victory.
God knows we are going to fail often. God knows how easily we are tempted and how prone we are to succumb to temptation. He’s listening for us to cry out to Him. In the midst of our battles, He longs to come alongside us, to rescue us, to be our Shield.
But two things are required. In order for us to cry out to God for our help, we must have faith. “For without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
The second is almost more critical and, I think, perhaps where most believers miss the opportunity to have God provide the kind of victory described. It requires us to acknowledge our own need.
We don’t cry out to God if we think, “I got this.”
We don’t cry out to God when we believe, “I’m a powerful, strong, independent woman who needs no one.”
We don’t cry out to God when our intelligence, our wealth, our good works, our hard work, or our abilities seem as if they should be sufficient to bring success.
All of these self-empowerment schemes are lies from the enemy, strategically used to disengage us from the one weapon that will always, ultimately, bring victory over our adversary: God.
Our biggest mistakes frequently come when we overestimate our own abilities, strength, or knowledge and underestimate our need for God.
What if we viewed every single problem as one that is completely beyond us? What if we looked at our conflicts as an opportunity to cry out to God every single time? What if we gained our confidence not from characteristics within ourselves, but from the One we follow? Instead of citing my own abilities or reminding myself of what I’ve accomplished, what if I drew courage and strength from remembering what God has done on my behalf, over and over again?
We sang last Sunday, “Here I raise my Ebenezer, here by thy great help I’ve come.” The prophet Samuel set up a stone after God gave the Israelites victory, naming it Ebenezer, or stone of help, saying, “thus far has the Lord helped us.” What if we set up visible reminders of how God has brought us thus far to remind us that He will continue to be our only source of strength, our only power for victory?