Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘fighting battles’

Fighting Sin Hurts

SOURCE:  Ed Welch/CCEF

Doesn’t it seem good and right to fight against sin in such a way that it physically hurts? To say “no” when everything inside us wants to say “yes”?

And the last time that happened was . . .

Sin takes different forms such as pride, unbelief and lust. It is lust in particular— reckless desire, covetousness, I WANT!—that hurts when taken to task.

Desires that exceed God’s boundaries exist in every human heart. There is always an I WANT! that stalks us. Sex, gluttony, addictions are common ones. Look for anger and you’ll find it. Search your imagination—I WANT is there.

Now imagine saying “no” to these desires in such a way that you would feel something close to actual pain. It hurts but it’s also good. But let’s not stop there.

Imagine something even better. You say “no” and it hurts—then temptation fights back—and you say “no” again. This puts you among the spiritual elite though it is what we expect in the normal Christian life. Jesus went into the desert and said “no” to the tempter in order to demonstrate his messianic credentials and to succeed where we failed. His success grants us new power to fight as, by faith, we are joined to him.

There is a beauty in saying “no” and using those dormant muscles of self-control. And, because it is the Spirit’s power in you, you don’t become a dour ascetic, but discover hints of contentment and satisfaction. These are marks of the Spirit. And with the Spirit’s power, you have undeniable evidence that you belong to your Father. No mere mortal can persevere in a painful battle with renegade desires.

As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” (Acts 24:25)

Righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. We don’t know what pushed Felix over the edge; it might have been the judgment. We do know that Paul placed self-control among the central features of our human dilemma, and he proclaimed a gospel that offered compelling answers. He argued that self-control was a great gift and was now available to us in Jesus. No doubt he would have emphasized self-control if most of us were sitting next to him too.

Anybody hurting?

If so, no wonder Scripture calls you a holy one, beloved and mighty—you are a delight to your Father.

If so, you have made the power of God known to rulers and authorities in heavenly realms—you are a menace to the Devil.

If so, you are blessed. The battle is worth it.

If so, pray that the rest of us would have that same power.

And tell your story.

Advertisements

Fighting Sin is Tiring

SOURCE:  Ed Welch/CCEF

God highly prizes those quiet warriors who battle with sin even when it hurts.[1]

Though they might not get much media coverage, they are heroes of the faith.

But even heroes can get tired.

And sometimes heroes even say things that seem less than heroic.

This is what the wicked are like—

always carefree, they increase in wealth.
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;
in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been plagued;
I have been punished every morning. (Psalm 73:12-14)
 

 Why does everyone else seem to have it easier? While everyone else goes about normal life, I fight a war every minute. When do I get a break?

 
 “You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’” (Malachi 3:13-15)

 

So, a few words to fighters…

First, if you think a little fatigue takes you off God’s ‘highly honored’ list, you are wrong. Fatigue means you have been in battle, and it makes you kin to people like Elijah (1 Kings 19:4). Be encouraged; you are not alone. There is an army of fatigued strugglers who walk among us. Ask around, tell your story and you will meet some of them.

Second, all those folks who act as if life is fine? No troubles? Prosperity galore? Those folks don’t exist. Behind every happy person is a sad person. Behind every human being’s persona is a combination of good, bad and really hard. You would definitely not want to be the “prosperous” people who are referenced in these passages.

Third, the battle is worth it. Your Father knows every second of your battle. The challenge is that you need eyes that see past today and see something bigger than your immediate struggle. That is a message that your Father gives you. The beauty of your struggle, in which you fight by faith, is that it has eternal implications (1 Pet.1:6). Its beauty will some day be apparent for all of us to savor.

Fourth, you, perhaps more than anyone else, can have confidence that you are a child of God (Heb.12:4-6).

Get alone with God; Do battle before Him; Settle the matter once and for all.

SOURCE:  Oswald Chambers

Where the Battle is Won or Lost

If you will return, O Israel,’ says the Lord . . . —Jeremiah 4:1

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world.

The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.

I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work.

I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere.

Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world.

Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.

In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.

Tag Cloud