Avoiding Armageddon

Jon Burgess


Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo. 2 Chronicles 35:22


King Josiah had seen victory at every stage of his reign for he was truly walking in his God-given purpose and assignment. God had called him to purify the land and call Israel back to true worship and spiritual reform. He tore down all the idols and pagan places of worship. Josiah even restored the Passover feast in a way that no other king in Judah or Israel had ever done. The battle for Israeal's heart of worship was where he saw victory. The battle with Pharoah Necho at Megiddo (also known as Armageddon) was where he saw defeat and is what caused his premature death. He was not called to this battle. That wasn't King Josiah's assignment. Scripture doesn't reveal why Josiah went up to fight at Armageddon. Religious zeal? Spiritual pride? Did he need a new challenge after his spiritual reform in Israel? I'm not told why he went. I am told he shouldn't have gone. I can learn from both King Josiah's victories as well as his defeat.


My heart grieves at the idea that King Josiah never had the opportunity to truly enjoy the spiritual revival that had come to Israel through his obedience. He died in a battle God had not called him to fight. He had fought so hard to tear down the idols in his land and had missed the idol in his own heart. The cry to continue to fight, take ground, and be God's righteous instrument eventually became louder then God's actual voice in his life. The same can happen to me if I don't choose my battles or, more accurately, let God choose my battles. Avoiding a battle God is calling me to fight through passive indifference or fear of man is disobedience and sin. So, too, is rushing into Armageddon when God has not called me to. I can get so caught up in the thrill of being used by God that I begin to tell God instead of letting Him tell me where He will use me next! If I'm not careful I'll use my past victories as validation for my next battle and find myself with an arrow through my heart. Revelation 16:16 reveals that the final overthrow of the enemy by the power of Almighty God will take place at Armageddon. How arrogant would it be for me to rush ahead of God's timing and act like I am God? How foolhardy to tell God, "I got this". He is the One who tells me when and where I am to fight. Make no mistake, the Christian life is a spiritual battle of eternal proportions. I am not the commander of the Lord's Armies. I am not the One with the battle plan. I will not let the expectations of man or my own pride cause me to move ahead of God's timing. Look at how Jesus responded to his brothers when they were trying to choose his battles for him:

2But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. John 7:2-9


This morning I repent for my pride and ego that often get in the way of what You are doing and saying. I often ask for your leading, but then don't want to wait on your timing. I see evil around me, problems that need solving and then I rush in to deal with it ahead of Your timing. This is disobedience on the same level as when I ignore Your voice calling me take a stand. You determine my battle because You are my Commander And Chief. I follow Your lead and take the ground You call me to when You call me to it. I don't want my story cut short because I try to rush the Armageddon. Help me to enjoy what You are doing around me and fight where You are calling me. No more. No less.

Devotions for August 05

2 Kings 23
2 Chronicles 35
John 7

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