In the scriptures are many stories where God delivered his people without the people even having to fight. I wrote an post, God Will Fight Your Battles, that refers to many of these accounts. I have been thinking about the principles in my last post, Unexpected Success, and how these principles are seen in these accounts. One of these is the account of Alma and Amulon in Mosiah 23-24 in the Book of Mormon.
Alma had left the wicked society of King Noah. He and the people that went with him established a peaceful community. However, his peaceful city was discovered by Amulon, one of King Noah’s wicked priests who was now in league with the Lamanites. As they approached Alma’s city, the people were afraid. The natural man response might have been to fight, resist, or do something to stop the bad guys. However, Alma told his people to not fear, and that God would deliver them. They all prayed that God would deliver them, and then Alma went and delivered he and his people into the hands of Amulon. He didn’t even try to stop or resist this invasion. Sounds kind of wimpy to me… at least from the natural man perspective.
Life at this point was not easy for them, their lives were threatened, they were forced to labor as slaves. The account says that “so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.” Then they were told anyone caught praying would be executed. I think it would have been easy to have a lot of fear, to feel hopeless. Perhaps some wanted to fight t he occupying army. But “the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions saying: Lift up your head and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.” (Mosiah 24:13). Then it describes how the Lord did comfort and strengthen them, and “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” (Mosiah 24:15). Then a miracle occurred, the Lord told them that he would deliver them the following day and that they should prepare to leave that night. As they arose the next morning their task-masters were in a profound sleep, and Alma and his people were free to simply walk away.
Notice how Alma and his people line up with the principles I outlined in Unexpected Success.
- I wasn’t worried about failure, I felt no stress or pressure.
- I was looking forward to it, even though I wasn’t good enough.
- I knew I would be OK even though I would likely fail.
- I knew that I was not good enough to succeed! And I was still at peace with myself.
- God can do it, whatever “it” is. There is nothing too hard for the Lord.
As I have studied the account and these 5 factors, I think the people met all of these… except I’m not sure about #2.
The account tells us that they “hushed” their fears. They submitted to the Lamanites and to the will of God, knowing they could not deliver themselves. They submitted cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord. I don’t think it would have been possible to be cheerful and patient in this situation if they did not have great faith and hope that God would deliver them, that it was OK to be where they were and that it was all working towards a greater good. Being cheerful indicates they were connected to the Spirit of the Lord, and they knew that the will of the Lord would be done. I think hushing their fears and yielding their natural man strength to the Lord, allowed a much greater power to work for them.
They did not have to “fight” to change things. They did not try to force anything, and they trusted in God’s purposes and timetable. I would say that they were at peace while in bondage. Thus the Lord was able to perform the unexpected miracle of causing the task-masters to sleep in. A very simple solution from God’s vantage point. God was able to deliver them even though they did nothing to deliver themselves, except yield to God. They did not “earn” deliverance by trying every possible strategy to escape. Sometimes we think God will only help once we have exhausted all of our resources and tried everything. As if he will only help after we have failed in every possible way. But these people didn’t even make one attempt to escape. There is great power in letting go of all fear, yielding everything to God, acknowledging that we can’t do it, being at peace (cheerful) in the present, and being patient because the Lord’s timing is for the greatest good, All of this allowed the Lord to provide the miracle they could have never orchestrated on their own.
What miracles will appear in our lives as we follow this pattern? In Brent Satterfield’s book, “Faith to Produce Miracles” these principles are explained in greater depth, I highly recommend it.
If you have any insights or thoughts to share, please do!