The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. (Proverbs 21:31)
Many people do not realize that in ancient times the use of horses was seen as a great advancement in warfighting. Horses could pull war chariots and be mounts for individual soldiers. Horses changed the battlefield.
Suddenly, the ability to reactively move troops from one field location to another could be done rapidly thanks to horse power. Troops who rode to a battle field were less exhausted than those who had to march. And riding a horse into a battle site was intimidating to the enemy, and gave the rider a distinct advantage in that they could strike the enemy from a height.
However, horses do not naturally lend themselves to being ridden, to pulling chariots, or charging headlong into a chaotic battle scene. They require a great amount of training. A good deal of time, money, and energy will be spent to prepare each horse to perform its duty. Then the riders must be trained to care for their horses as well as handle them in battle for maximum results.
Therefore, when the horses charge and the enemy retreats, it would be tempting and easy to give credit to the horses, riders, and trainers for that victory. But Proverbs tells us that would be the wrong focus.
When we are able to overcome adversity or difficulty in our lives, it would be tempting to give ourselves credit because of our preparations. We can say, “I did it. I prepared myself, I got advice, I got trained in these areas, I stood up for myself, and so I knocked this out of the park. I earned this victory!”
It is true that it is important to leverage whatever preparations are necessary and available to face the challenges that are before us. As every Service Member knows, it is essential to prepare for the day of battle.
But once the victory has been secured, we need to first and foremost give credit to the Lord who made that victory possible. It is all about priorities. The Lord first, and all else second.
Those who get these priorities straight will enjoy their victories all the more, and will have a strong arm to lean on in times of defeat. Be prepared for the battle, but remember that the victory belongs to the Lord.
My Lord, forgive me when my ego causes me to accept the laurels of victory. You and you alone are Lord, and the glory of any victory in my life belongs to you. Thank you for seeing me through my battles. Thank you for the victories. Amen.