It’s Not Your Battle

Series: Emotions. James Dewhurst July 26, 2020


It’s Not Your Battle

*Dysfunctional people are relentless about defending their dysfunctions!*

The tendency to carry things that aren’t yours to carry is known as false responsibility. False responsibility is a belief that leads to feelings of responsibility for things that, objectively, you shouldn’t feel responsible for. People can become plagued by emotions that make them feel false burdens for the needs, emotions, and responses of others.

Letting go of false responsibility doesn’t mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force other people too!

Galatians 6:2-5

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. (ESV)

+ At first glance, Paul sounds like he is completely contradicting himself. In V.2, he tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens”, but in V.5, “Each one should carry their load”

+ Which is it? Well, both of these words have different meanings in the Gr. In V.2, Paul was referring to the burden of “Hard times, that we help each other get through. But in V.5 the Greek word for “Burden” refers to the cargo that is on someone else’s ship.

+ What Paul is doing is teaching compassion with boundaries! Christians are to help carry each other through trials, but we’re not to load other people’s cargo on our ship!

We’ve got a world full of busybodies whose ships are sinking because we’re carrying cargo that was never supposed to be on our ship! We have enough cargo of our own!

The truth of the matter is, most of the pressure we feel in life is artificially created!

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)

1 Peter 5:7

7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)

Isaiah 41:10

10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)

What if most of the battles we’ve been fighting, were never our battles to fight?

There are 2 indicators you are fighting a battle that is not yours to fight:

1. When you are trying to control other people!

What other people do is between them and their God!

Matthew 7:1-3

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (ESV)

2. When you are trying to control the outcome!

People control responses, but God handles outcomes!

Just because something is your reality, doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility!

> But what about the future? That’s not your battle!

> But what about my finances? That’s not your battle!

> But what about our freedoms? That’s not your battle!

> But what about our children? That’s not your battle!

> But what about our safety? That’s not your battle!

False Responsibility comes from Pressure!

You may look like an orange, but you could just be a lemon painted orange. No one will know until you get squeezed! The pressure is revealing the true colors of people!

We are living in a time of unprecedented pressure! Pressure often makes people “feel responsible” for things they are not. Emotions that come from Pressure are: strain, stress, tension, concern, worry, trouble, anxiety, exasperation, and duress!

What you may not realize is that when you became God’s possession, you also became his responsibility!

1 Peter 2:9

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (ESV)

Every time we take our focus off the Father, we take on False Responsibility!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (ESV)

1 Samuel 17:45-47

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (ESV)

Exodus 14:13-14

13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (ESV)

Ephesians 6:12-18

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (ESV)

– Proclaiming God’s written Word is not taking the battle into your own hands, it’s taking it out of your hands, and placing back into the hands of God.

Some of you have been placing cargo on your ship that your Savior was meant to carry!

Jehoshaphat, one of David’s sons, was a good king who began addressing corruption in Jerusalem and standing for righteousness. Then the pressure came in:

2 Chronicles 20:1-22

1 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6 and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” 18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19 And the Levites, of the Kohathites and the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. (ESV)

– As the pressure mounted, Jehoshaphat instructed Israel to do 2 things: Fast & Praise!

-What was the outcome? As they lifted God up in praise, he defeated their enemies!

– They never had to fight, they had to focus! Whose battle is it? The Battle is the Lord’s.

Challenge: For the next 30 days to fast whatever is taking your focus off of God!