When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. – Deut. 20:10 NIV
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Today’s Devotional is the second part of the Devotional with the same title where it was made clear that;
- Not all desires are divine in origin.
- That all desires aim at taking something that is currently in the possession of another person.
- That non-willingness to meet this desired objective by the one who currently possesses it will always lead to skirmishes which can escalate into full blown wars.
- That the one who identified someone as an enemy is also seen as an enemy by that same person who has been so identified.
- That Jehovah does not expect believers to be enemies of one another since they can always obtain His view on all those issues that can potentially lead to disagreements and wars.
Today’s Devotional focuses on the prescription of Jehovah for the Israelites, nay all believers who intend to fulfil destiny, on how they can achieve good success. It must be stated that it is possible to achieve a divine objective in a manner that will not be in alignment with the plan of Jehovah, and this will introduce some imperfections into the success and thus make the one who is successful lose the full value that the success should bring – 1Sam. 13:5-14. Jehovah desires that His people should achieve success in a manner that will be according to His plans and these are as follows;
- Seek the support and view of Jehovah on that battle – Deut. 20:1-4. This should be the beginning of every battle that the Christian has to fight. It must be a fresh experience for each occasion as a previous Instructions may not be applicable to a current situation. Moses did not realize this and decided to apply a previous Instructions to strike the rock to the one that required him to speak to the same rock, and he paid dearly for it. Once the clearance to act has been received, such should then know that the battle has instantly become that of Jehovah and so should learn to take a back seat – Deut. 20:4.
- Avoid the company of people who do not believe the pronouncement of Jehovah on the battle – Deut. 20:5-9. Not many people have sufficient faith to go into a battle against an enemy who is obviously better positioned, simply because of a divine directive communicated through a Prophet or a Priest, so the Christian who intends to be victorious in battle that Jehovah has signified His intention to lead must eliminate such people of doubt as they may end up being the reason for losing the battle – Judges 7:2-3; Matt. 14:22-33; Jms. 1:6-8. Only those who believe in the vision behind a mission should be included in the team to prosecute any battle.
- Do all to avoid fighting if you can take over peacefully – Deut. 20:10-12. No matter how assured the believer may be of victory, all efforts possible should be deployed to avoid war. The truth is that victory achieved without war will be sweeter than one that will require re-construction of damages that will always be the consequence of war, and that is if lives are not lost. The believer must do all that is possible to avoid war situations as it will always claim victims that will bring a stain to the success when achieved – 1Sam. 25:23-31; 1Chr. 28:2-3. Wars must be fought only when they cannot be avoided.
- Under the directives of the Holy Spirit, eliminate what needs to be eliminated and keep what you are allowed to keep – Deut. 20:13-14. Every battle is the result of lack of respect for the Will of God and no such person will expect to continue to receive the mercy of God. Such acts must be eliminated if a repeat of the consequences of such disregard and disrespect is to be avoided. To do this, there will always be the need to do away with some doctrines that created the old personalities and replace them with doctrines to create new personalities whilst retaining what is fitting to be retained. That way, the thinking of the people are renewed and better personalities are created. Any victory achieved without a change in the orientation of the people will only be short-lived.
- Eliminate everything that will discourage you from the worship of Jehovah – Deut. 20:16-18. That there will still be vestiges of the old order is not in doubt and through re-orientation, all the factors that can make the victory short-lived must be addressed appropriately, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian today who has accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour is not expected to condemn anyone found to have been classed as enemy but must do all to bring such back to God by winning them over with deliberate indoctrination. No one must be written off until such has taken the last breathe without repenting.
All these instructions will only apply to situations and people who by their belief are far away from the believer and in situations where Jehovah has taken the decision to grant victory and success but will not apply to situations that develop around neighbors and fellow believers in particular – Deut. 20:15-16. The application of these guidelines will not be effective outside the defined areas, so believers should do all to ensure that they do not allow such situations to develop amongst them, else they will only end up destroying one another and that will not be the fault of Jehovah, the Devil or any enemy for that matter – Gal. 5:13-15. May God grant us all the willingness to operate in His divine plans for our lives so we can be victorious in all our life battles in Jesus name. Amen.