3: Positioned for Battle
Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
About Waging War Series
Choosing to be blind to the conflict doesn't change the reality that Christians are at war. Here Martha clearly delineates the ongoing conflict and the vital importance of every believers' position.
Hebrews 13:17 NASB
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
(Reading 2 Chronicles 18:2–20:30)
Authority in the kingdom is delegated by God. This is an undeniable scriptural foundation, basic and obvious to those with a heart for God.
Positioned for Battle under Kingdom Rule
There is no spiritual conquering without a spiritual army. The kingdom of God is a militant organization meeting ever-encroaching enemies. There is no army without ordered ranks, assigned positions and a chain of command. In the kingdom, we are positioned for battle.
The rebellious object on “moral principle” to the structure of kingdom authority. Their so-called “principle” takes them into the ranks of the enemy as his dupe to be the very foe of God. Soon they find that God is at war with them.
ORDER IN THE RANKS
An army without authority is not an army. Independent rebels are never sent into places of strategic importance by a commander. Such are maneuvered into safe corners and innocuous desk positions and most are rejected from service. Commanders trust only the obedient with crucial positions of battle. Only those who understand the necessity for authority, the wisdom of rank, and the protection of positioning, are part of the Spiritual Army of God.
THE BASIS OF VICTORY
The great chapter on warfare – the model for spiritual victory – is 2 Chronicles 20. But that story, so often taken out of context as a strategy and pattern for spiritual warfare, cannot be separated from its beginnings. The real story, and the underlying principle of warfare, actually begins in 2 Chronicles 18:28. There is no strategy or formula set out by God. As in the military, God directs step by step.
A KING PREPARED FOR WAR
When Jehoshaphat went to war without orders from the Captain of Hosts, he let Israel’s King Ahab persuade him to fight a battle to which he was not called. By alliance with Ahab, he was almost killed, surviving only by God’s intervention in answer to his cry for help.
Israel was defeated, and its king-in-disguise was wounded by a random arrow of God’s sending. And Jehoshaphat learned how NOT to war.
To be Positioned for Battle Means Bowing to the Captain
Returning to his house in Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat was confronted by Jehu the seer: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you. Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God (2 Chron. 19:2-3 NKJV).
Chastened by God, in some way experiencing His just wrath, Jehoshaphat meekly “dwelt at Jerusalem.” He stayed in his place until he understood. Because he set his heart to seek God, he came to comprehend some basics:
- Obedience is a matter of authority and disobedience can get you killed;
- Warfare is not a matter of fighting or might.
- The battle had better rest on long and disciplined obedience.
Positioned for Battle BY AUTHORITY
And Jehoshaphat began to set up his kingdom in the structure of delegated authority. First this king appointed judges, “city by city.” With specific instructions to them, he instituted civil government to rule in the entire nation.
He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
2 Chron. 19:6, 7 NASB
True authority in the kingdom is built first on the fear of God by virtue of accountability. Second, authority is a conscious commitment to His righteousness to live in everyday integrity.
Next, Jehoshaphat established priestly order for spiritual government. His instructions to the priests: “You shall act in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and with a loyal heart” (2 Chron. 19:9 NKJV). In a vivid picture of the Kingdom of God, Jehoshaphat made specific, named appointments. The king made it clear that Amaziah was chief priest “over all matters of the Lord,” and Zebadiah “for all the king’s matters” (2 Chron. 19:11).
We Are Positioned for Battle by Rank and Position
New Testament order follows a prescribed order of authority in the church:
1 Cor. 12:28 NASB
“And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…”
Authority is the foundation for battle and preparation for war – the foundation of any army of merit.
First we must discover God’s appointed leaders, then we are tested by the chastening of obedience to God’s delegated authority. These are military disciplines of the spiritual realm.
All military training is based on the issue of the leader’s power of position. And all rebellion is exposed in us by that same rank of leadership. Those who will not accept God’s order as His established way, will never serve in the true battle, nor see a personal triumph. Civil government is necessary. We accept that. But spiritual government is kingdom order and this is the order most believers will not tolerate.
Luke 19:14 NASB
But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, “We do not want this man to reign over us.”
Authority established by God, for God, is the absolute foundation of the Kingdom of God. The Almighty is uncompromising about this matter because it represents the holy way of executing His highest will.
UNITY FOR BATTLE
When several kingdoms rose “to battle against Jehoshaphat,” his kingdom was able to function as a unit because authority had been fully established.
Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.
2 Chron. 20:4 NASB
Jehoshaphat had learned the discipline of obedience and had abandoned his thoughtless warrings. He had learned God’s authority and as an obedient ruler, he established authority. So his nation was ready to meet the assault of masses of enemies.
Authority is the secret of spiritual victory. There is no formula of winning that can claim God’s victory without following His governing. Judah, under Jehoshaphat, prayed, fasted, marched and worshipped as a unified front. The amazing answer came from God:
You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping Him.
2 Chron. 20:17-18 AMPC
Position is everything in spiritual warfare.
“Take your positions…”
All of Judah knew their positions. They who had already functioned by obedience, could follow God’s ways in the face of war. Position must be within the order of spiritual authority established by God, not by humanity.
God has an order of authority always, but not a method or formula. Every war and every battle demands new comprehension and fresh orders. But the issue of “position” is ever the prerequisite for battle.
When Properly Positioned for Battle, We Can Win without Fighting
Judah saw a miraculous defeat from God’s hand. The enemies turned inward and killed themselves – “they were self slaughtered.” Without so much as a small battle, the victory was won by the undergirding of a practical daily training in authority. That practiced obedience caused Judah to obey every step laid out for them by the prophet who spoke for God.
And when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped! Judah took vast spoil and riches from the fields of their enemies’ total demise (2 Chron. 20:24, 25 Amplified).
Such victory as this is rarely seen but still possible – and currently happening – to true warriors in the real order of the Kingdom above all other kingdoms. Before there is war, there must be a prepared military. And there is no army that does not
- recognize the right and power to command those under its banner, and
- demand obedience as the very most basic foundation of a fighting force.
Our enemy operates by rebellion, by lawless disregard of God’s order and His ways. And never can this master of rebellion be defeated by the rebellious. Never!
Only the submissive, only the reverent, only you who – as Jehoshaphat – “set your heart to seek God (with all your soul’s desire)” (2 Chron. 19:3b AMPC) will come to fear God, see the revelation of spiritual order and authority, be able to go to the battle, and win over the spiritual beings of the air.
Copyright © 2003 Martha Kilpatrick, Waging War