Will You Fight?

In one of the beginning lectures from our study this semester, Heart of a Woman, Laurie used an analogy that the Lord has continued to use throughout these eight weeks of study thus far. She related the battle that each believer in Christ experiences this side of heaven, the battle between our sinful flesh that still remains and the Spirit that is God in us, to our military fighting in Afghanistan. She created a scene of soldiers running through an attack—bullets flying, bombs going off around them, the whole terrifying scene that we can all imagine to some extent. She then went on to describe a soldier who was so terrified in the midst of the battle that instead of continuing the fight, the soldier hunkers down in a corner, covers their head with a blanket and just says they need an easy night with their favorite drink and TV show. Clearly, this would never happen, it’s hysterical to think about really. No soldier would be so lazy to just give in to the battle that is raging around them. I’ve realized, however, as I’ve gone through this study, that I have been that soldier. In the midst of the spiritual battle that goes on in my mind mostly, I give in. I am lazy and give in to the feelings. I want to be comfortable and don’t want to put in the effort to fight. I think it’s ridiculous to picture of soldier in Afghanistan doing this so the more I think about it now, why is it not ridiculous that I do the exact same thing, just in a different sense of battle?

And truly, this battle that I’m referring to, that goes on in my mind, the lies that fill my head, the emotions that make way to point my eyes to the things of this world instead of my Savior, this battle is even more real than the battle in Afghanistan. “…as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

This week in our study we were instructed to read through Psalm 119. As we read we were instructed to confess to the Lord anything that we were reading that may not be true of us. The Psalmist says many times that he delights in the word of God, loves His testimonies, etc. I did this same study about a year ago and had written in the margins of my Bible my confessions and I’m sad to say that the things I confessed a year ago, I was still confessing this week. I was so discouraged. I was still confessing the sinful roots of pride, idolatry of comfort, laziness, self-focus and unbelief. I’m so thankful though. As I prayed through my discouragement I saw more clearly my laziness and how it manifests itself. I thought of the soldier that hunkered down in a corner in the heat of battle and saw so many examples of how I’ve been doing that. Just this week, a small example for you is that I have put reminders in my phone to stop and pray specific scriptures. It’s only three times a day, nothing crazy, but when those reminders pop up, something else is much more pressing of course and the prayer can wait—lazy. I’m hunkering in the corner and finding comfort in my planner and organization and tasks for the day instead of my Savior and the truth of His Word.

I was thinking this morning about the Psalmist and how he was able to speak with such confidence of his trust and commitment to the Lord and I was wondering how it was possible for him to do that. The Lord sweetly answered my question. I am able to do that as well because Jesus is in fact in me and has already accomplished all this for me! God looks at me and sees perfection, because He sees Jesus. He sees perfect trust and obedience, perfect love, perfect righteousness, ALL because of Jesus and what He did for me! I’ve heard another analogy about a soldier. A podcaster posed the question, if you were a soldier in battle and you knew at the beginning of the battle that you were going to be victorious, wouldn’t the way you fight look differently? Maybe you would have more confidence? Maybe you wouldn’t fear? The soldier already knows the outcome. Friends, you and I already know the outcome of the real battle that is taking place between the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We are victorious because Jesus has already been victorious! He has risen again! And He now lives in me and He lives in you if you are His. We win. So why would I hunker in the corner in fear over my sin? Why would I seek the most comfortable? Why would I let the sinful thoughts and lies take over? They do not win, I have the one who is the victor in me and I have the confidence to actually fight in me because of Him. Such an amazing truth and grace. There’s no need or room for discouragement. What grace to even see my laziness and myself in the fearful soldier!

The battle, it’s fought moment by moment every single day as a believer in Christ and so of course, this is much easier said than done. Our flesh is so weak and indwelling sin remains in each of us until we are in heaven, but the Victor of this life, Jesus, is in us and He is worth it. Other things around us every day seem so much more real than the reality of Jesus sometimes, for me at least. I have been finding so much comfort and pray you do today as well as you contemplate your own battle with the sin within you that remains, “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’” (John 11:40)

Lord give us grace to believe. Do you ever see yourself as the soldier that runs away in fear during the height of battle?

Planted for His Glory

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