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  • Allen Domelle

Overtaken By the Battle

Judges 20:42

Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them.

A civil war broke out between Benjamin and the rest of the tribes of Israel. Benjamin had won two previous battles, but Israel figured out a way to finally win this war with Benjamin. As Benjamin was drawn out of their cities to pursue Israel, the liers in wait went into their cities and set them on fire. When Benjamin saw their cities on fire behind them and the armies of Israel in front of them, they began to flee to the wilderness, but the battle overtook them. Benjamin was so used to fighting that they could not make peace with their brethren because they did not agree with what their brethren were saying about them.

You can sometimes get so used to fighting battles for truth that you fight everyone because they don't do everything like you. Now, I am not saying that we don't fight the battle for truth because God knows we have so few who will even take a stand for truth; however, many have been so involved with battles that the battle overtook their spirit.

Several years ago, I was sitting with my pastor, Dr. Jack Hyles, and we were talking about battles. He was in the latter years of his life, and those latter years seemed to be engulfed in battles that he did not choose. As he talked with me, he told me that my ministry would have many battles because of the nature of my preaching. He was not at all admonishing me, but he was warning me that my preaching would enrage compromisers and cause them to fight against me.

He made one statement in this conversation that I have never forgotten. He said, you must be careful that the battle doesn’t destroy your spirit. He told me that the biggest battle he fought was the battle to keep his spirit right. He said that he battled not letting the battle to destroy his spirit. He looked at me and told me that I must never let the battle cause me to become a bitter preacher that uses sermons to fight against people instead of helping them. What he was teaching me was not to let the battle overtake my spirit.

My friend, everyone will not like you if you stand for truth, but you must never let their antagonistic spirit cause you to have a bitter spirit. People will fight you if you stand for truth, but never let the battle overtake your spirit. There are people who need you to have a happy, overcoming spirit that brings joy to life instead of bitterness. There are a couple things I do to keep my spirit from being overtaken in the battle.

First, I go soul winning several times a week. Soul winning allows me to keep a tender heart toward people. The more people you lead to Christ, the more you will have a broken heart for those who are broken by sin. I have found that I don't have time to get bitter when I see what sin is doing to the lives of people who need to be saved.

Second, I don't look for battles; I just keep doing right. Don't seek battles, but seek to continue doing what you are supposed to do. No, you should never run from a battle, but you must never seek to always be in a battle.

Third, I spend much time in prayer. My daily prayer is for God to give me grace for my spirit. I don't want a bitter spirit; I want a tender and loving spirit that is about helping people. If God gives me grace for my spirit, I will see the reason people attack me is because sin broke them.


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