Do you fear chariots in your life? If you do then you have company.
Judges 1:19 And the Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron. ESV
Why couldn’t Judah drive out the inhabitants? Because he was afraid of the chariots of iron. He had his eyes fixed down in the valley and not on God, who had given him the land and told him to drive out “all” of the inhabitants.
Don’t we often have the same problem? God has asked us to take on a challenge, a battle, and the first thing we do is take our eyes off Him and focus on whatever is sitting in front of us. We forget that no matter how formidable our challenge might be, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can come out the victor. But, if like Judah, we are in bondage to past failures and we keep looking back at them we are destined to fail. There is nothing our enemy desires more than to keep us focused on all our past mistakes, sins, and the times we failed ourselves and God.
Judah was successful in the mountains but he was defeated in the valley. He was living in his past and because he had problems with chariots in the past and he believed he would do so again. As soon as they appeared on the horizon he began to withdraw from the battle. But that should not have been the case.
We need to be the ones who put our past behind us and leave it there. Our past defeats, discouragements, sins, and failures are just that… past! We need to be like Paul:
Phil 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ESV
If Judah had just lifted his eyes and pressed on toward the goal, he would not only have gotten a better perspective, he might well have completely changed his attitude.
Ps 68:17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them… ESV
In times of challenge, I am certain that is what Paul saw and it is the view we need to have. We need to leave the past in the past and lift our eyes up and see the One who has already won the battle for us. We need to lift ourselves up and take up the “high calling.” And note the last part of that verse… the Lord is among them. Remember that every battle the Lord enters us into, He not only supplies all the chariots we need, He is riding in the lead chariot.
The next time you find yourself looking down at the chariots in the valley. Look up! If you do, then you too will see twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands.