A little word of encouragement to keep in mind as you go about your day.
Often times, as we face constant struggles to stand strong in the face of trials and temptations and strive to become the man or woman we want to be- the person that God wants us to be- it can feel like we are fighting for our lives everyday. And the reason for this is simple- we are. Every day, every choice we make, is shaping us. It is vital that we stand strong in this battle to overcome our trials, because it will influence our whole lives.
A lot of the time, it feels like an uphill battle. We are taunted by past failures. We carry the weight of our own shame as we fight tooth and claw to turn to God. And a lot of the time, as we find ourselves sinking deeper into our failures and can’t seem to hear God anymore, we wonder how we will ever win. We think, “If this doesn’t get easier, how can I ever possibly win this battle?” And the honest answer to this question is- we won’t.
We can’t win this battle. We don’t have the strength. But I’ll tell you what we do have- we have on our side the one who DOES have the strength. We’re not capable of victory in and of ourselves. We are weak when we lean on our own strength and understanding. But when we lean on Christ, we can do all things.
You see, it’s not our job to win the battle. God has us covered. We’re not the one fighting- we’re just the battlefield. Satan is waging a war against God- and our hearts make up the battlefield. It’s our new spirit as Christians vs. our flesh- and our lives hang in the balance.
But although we aren’t the soldiers in the war for our souls, we have the greatest impact of anything on the outcome. You see, the biggest factor in any battle is the battleground. If we give Satan the high ground- if our hearts are tipped in his favor- then he will always win. He will conquer. But as long as we keep our hearts tipped in God’s direction, He will have victory. We are more than conquerors in Christ our Lord. But we so often fail in the war for our own allegiance because we lean on our own strength. We think it’s our job to fight and win. But it’s not! If we try to do the fighting, we’ll be creamed. We need to let God fight for us! And there’s only one way to do that- keep your focus on Him. Don’t be swayed by the ways of the world- those whose focus is on the world will be tossed back and forth like waves of the sea. If your eyes drift away from God and begin to desire the things of the world, you’ll be tipping the battlefield in Satan’s favor. Don’t waste your energy chasing after the things of the world. Rather, as Jesus says in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” In other words, don’t become so engrossed in the world and its ways that you give Satan the opportunity to take advantage of your proximity to worldly ways. Instead, focus on living your life from the perspective of a child of God who needn’t fear how the world sees them.
Life is a battle. It always will be. But we will not waver- we are soldiers! We are warriors in the army of God, charged with the privilege of bringing His love and the message of peace that is the Gospel to the world. And so I urge you to focus on God and lean on His strength. Don’t be drawn away by worldly desires, but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. Live for God, and God alone.