Outwitted and Victorious

Outwitted and Victorious

This is not a plea to be thoughtless. It’s not an argument for ignoring strategy. God uses strategy (Joshua 8:4).

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31). Yes. Make the horse ready. But it is also true: Sometimes the enemy strikes when there is no time to get the horse ready. And victory still belongs to the Lord.

For example, Jeroboam tricked Abijah, king of Judah, by laying an ambush behind him: “His troops were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them” (2 Chronicles 13:13). Abijah was outwitted.

What happened? “They cried to the Lord . . . and God defeated Jeroboam.” (2 Chronicles 13:14–15).

Abijah was outwitted and victorious. He did not have a superior strategy. But he defeated his enemy. How? By prayer. By desperate direction of faith to God, not strategy.

So, yes, prepare the horse for the day of battle. But even more important, pray without ceasing. God uses strategy and preparation. But he is not dependent on it.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.