When the men of Judah came to the place . . . no one had escaped. (2 Chron. 20:24)

I sat in the courtroom, tense. Someone I knew was innocent had been accused, but making that clear isn’t always as simple as one would like. And as the trial progressed, the prosecutor’s case grew more and more oppressive. Deft legal maneuvering blocked almost any word from rising in defense, leaving twisted stories. Helpless, we prayed harder, again giving the battle to God. And in the end, the jury quickly returned a verdict: not guilty. It dawned on me that most likely the prosecution’s own over-aggressiveness left them mortally wounded and the defense strengthened. The battle was God’s.

God called the Israelites to the battlefield. Their part was to be obedient and unafraid. As they marched, they had no idea how things would play out. Go into battle but not fight? Seemed counterintuitive. How was this to be? Despite the questions, they obeyed and stood firm. And their reward was likely a joyous surprise. The enemy was defeated before they even arrived.

We must obey God, no matter how intimidating the task or how impossible it seems. God will give us the victory. Sometimes, we get to participate in achieving it. Sometimes, God does it without us, which often makes exciting stories to tell. Either way, as we walk into whatever seemingly impossible challenge God calls us to, we can proceed, like the Israelites, praising God for victory in advance.

Using a whiteboard marker, write “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” on your bathroom mirror.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband. She enjoys oil painting, theater, music, and church ministry.