Life for the believer is often a battleground; many days, we feel like we are in the middle of an all-out war. We face opposition from the world, from satan, and sometimes from the people nearest to us. David was a man who understood battles. He stood tall against Goliath as a youth. He fought for Israel even while the king fought against him. He led his men into many skirmishes before and after he claimed the throne. David knew how to fight, and he knew how to prepare for battle.
Psalm 20 was written before one of those battles and it gives us great insight into preparing ourselves for the fight ahead. Grab your Bible and read all nine verses of this Psalm.
David knew that the first and most important step is prayer: “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you” (v. 1). The only way that God can answer you is if you ask Him for help. And the help you and I need comes “from the sanctuary” (v. 2), from His holy heaven (v. 6). He also knew that God’s ears are attuned to those who consistently love and worship Him before they are in distress (see v. 3). He remembers and He responds.
Verse 4 is challenging. Is that a guarantee that God will “give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed?” If we have called on Him, sought His help and counsel, and have committed to follow His battle plan; if our heart’s desire is His will, our plan will be His plan and it will succeed.
And when the battle is done and victory is ours, then fellow warrior – it’s shoutin’ time! “We will shout for Joy!” Oh, how that resonates in my heart! And we will declare the victory in the name of our God who heard our prayers and granted our requests (v. 5).
David also reminded himself of what he knew was true – “The Lord saves His anointed,” and when we call on Him He responds with all “the saving power of His right hand” (v. 6). He also declared that God, not earthly powers, that will bring the enemy to their knees.
When we face a battle, we must remember two things: God, not you or I, will win the day, and “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Eph 6:12). So “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mat 5:44). Then get your armor on, (Eph 6:10-18). Beloved, “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam 17:47).