I have never been particularly good at playing chess. Growing up, David would beg me to play against him, and then he would grow frustrated with me because I made such foolish moves that the game could not last long. In fact, unless you count the games I've played when teaching my own children, I am fairly certain I have never won a game. So, when I tell you that I have felt lately like I have been playing a chess game against the devil, you will know that Satan has been smashing me with his superior cunning. Indeed, while I have not been able to see beyond the current move, the devil was looking six moves in advance. And time after time I have thought I was winning a victory, when in fact I was foolishly walking into his trap.
Yet just at the moment when I was in check, and check-mate seemed all but certain, God brought me to this surprising story about king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-30).
The armies of Moab and Ammon, have gathered a multitude to camp against Judah. When King Jehoshaphat learns of their plan to attack he is afraid and seeks God, ordering all of the people to fast. After Jehoshaphat prays, reminding God of his covenant with his people and acknowledging God's awesome power, God sends the prophet Jahaziel to the people. Jahaziel tells them that the battle is God's, and that they must go down against their enemies but that they will not fight. In confirmation of this prophecy, the armies camped against Judah fall to quarreling among themselves, and slaughtering one another. The men of Judah have nothing left to do but gather the spoils of war.
As I was reading this amazing story of God's deliverance one verse spoke to my heart.
2 Chron. 20:15b You shall not fear nor be terrified of the face of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, But God's.
Jehoshaphat's battle was God's battle, and so was my chess match against the devil. And while Satan might seem to be six moves ahead, God could see the final outcome of the game. In fact, while I was sitting in check, and check-mate seemed certain, God showed me that there was one safe move I could still make. That move, it turns out, meant taking a sin of mine, and putting it to death, as one might sacrifice a pawn, making a clear path for my KING to achieve the ultimate victory.
Maybe you've never felt like you were in chess match with the devil. But, if you are a lover of God, it is certain that Satan will not allow you to make it through life without facing some manner of attack. So please remember, when the enemy's arrows seem to be whizzing past your ears, it is God's battle. And he will always provide a way to victory.