Surrounded (Fight My Battles)

Some worship songs are so theologically rich and full of weighty substance that they simply must be sung in corporate worship when the church gathers together. Others are wonderful examples of Ephesians 5.19-21 wherein we read that we are to encourage one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

Surrounded is a great example of an encouraging song that we can take into the day on repeat in our head to make melody to the Lord.

There are basically two lyrics sung over,

This is how I fight my battles

It may look like I’m surrounded but I’m surrounded by You

The song represents the victory that we have over our battles before we know the earthly outcome by trusting that God is going before us and He wins (NRT). This is how we fight our battles.

We can face our daily battles with more courage and strength because we know that the outcome is guaranteed to be based on His promise in Romans 8.28:

God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”.

Michael W. Smith, who recorded this version, said this about the song,

When I hear the song I go back to the 2nd Kings Scripture and how Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened. It’s so incredible that the song has only a few lines and it catches fire and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to record it. It lights up the room when you sing it. He’s got your back. He said He’ll never leave you or forsake you. He’ll never leave you. God’s at work and we don’t understand it all. Even in the valley, He’s working for our good.

This is an attitude we must take forward into today and everyday; the blessed assurance that God will never leave or forsake us, that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, and that because He is outside of time, He is already there in our future having made a way, won the victory, and having fought our battle.

If you are walking through a season of difficulty and trial, please, listen to this and take comfort from knowing the Lord is walking ahead of you, fighting your battles, and that He loves you.

Revelation 20.7-10 – Over before it starts

When I was younger I played a lot of rugby and the team I follow, Castleford Tigers, were a bit of a yo-yo team for a few seasons. By this I mean that one year they were promoted, the next year relegated. This carried on for much of the mid-2000s and in 2007 they were cruising towards promotion as the season ended. The last game was away at Rochdale who, incidentally, had already been relegated.

So we had the league champions visiting the basement dwellers, both leaving the league next year; one via promotion and one via relegation. In rugby, unlike football (soccer), an unlikely result or upset is far less likely due to the physical nature of the game, and, as you may have guessed, the Tigers cantered to a 106-0 victory that day with my Dad and brother in attendance…can’t remember where I was. The point is, basically, the game was a foregone conclusion, over before it started as a contest.

REGULAR PATTERN ... Mark Leafa crashes over for Castleford Tigers during their record-breaking victory over Hornets at Spotland on Sunday.

Picture from the Manchester Evening News

Did that stop Rochdale turning up that day? No.

Did they approach the game with hope for a victory? Possibly.

Did the Rochdale fans still believe in their team and leaders? Yes.

Was the result ever in doubt? No.

We see the same here in Revelation 20.7-10,

7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

After a thousand years of a near-perfect environment, fallen mankind still rebels against God and His ways, and this is really a final demonstration of man’s rebellion and depravity. Satan is released and gathers a huge number of people (their number is like the sand of the sea), who go to surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city.

Then, it’s over before it starts, they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The fight never even gets going and the enemies of God are defeated (again), and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Again, no annihilation, in the original language forever and ever is literal…the torment and punishment is forever and ever.

So, if we listen to the deception of the devil, the slander of Satan, we will find ourselves on a team that may well believe it is heading for victory but that in reality has no chance of victory.

This won’t be like a game of rugby; over after 80 minutes and everybody is friends and shares a meal together to chat…the consequences of being on the wrong team here are egregious and eternal.

Which team do we want to be on?