August 14 - Victory Comes Through Surrender

By David Martz

Today's Scripture: Psalms 33:13-17

Central Thought: 'If only we had” statements do not honor God.

    The early Hebrew settlers in Palestine lived in the mountains and often feared the horses, chariots, and iron weapons of the Philistines. On many occasions they probably said, 'If only we had…we could defeat the plain dwellers.” Some may have forgotten that God told Joshua He would give them this land as a possession.The real estate was God's, and so was the battle! They saw the battlefield from a perspective of days and years, but God saw it in eternity.

    It is not by the sword or primitive weapons that the battle is won, but by the Spirit of the Lord; that is, God's divine intervention in His time. A wise commander carefully selects the battlefield, the timing of the battle, and then cautiously develops strategy. God carefully examines the hearts and minds, as most spiritual battles are waged in the hearts and souls of men and women. As believers, we must first surrender (to God) before winning victory over the enemies of our souls.

    While we run through our if-onlys—if only we had money, possessions, buildings, people, or other resources, we could accomplish this or that—God knows that if only we had faith in His promises and faithfulness, we could move mountains! One of the best ways to turn our focus around is by looking at how God delivered believers like David, the judges, Joseph, Abraham, and others. The key to victory in every account was surrender and faithfulness to God.

Devotional Prayer: Father, help us to understand that the battle is Yours and that only You have the weapons necessary for victory. Help me to first win the victory over who is Lord of my life before seeking to win a victory over external threats. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Bible Reading: Nehemiah 7:61–9:21; 1 Corinthians 9:1–18; Psalm 33:12–22; Proverbs 21:11–12