I recently started a study that focuses on the war within; our internal struggle of spirit versus flesh. I’ve heard this sermon so many times before, I’ve read about it, and I’ve prayed about it all then pushed it away in my mind, pretending as though I’ve dealt with it. I get away with pretending my struggles are gone for a while, only to be disappointed when they resurface again and I realize, they never left; they were only stuffed down by my mask.
A lot of the time we don’t really know what our issues are. We give names to the symptoms of the root issue and try to wipe those away. This is the equivalent to putting a bucket beneath a leaky crack in the ceiling. We have a much bigger mess on our hands if we don’t fix the root problem. We can’t win a war we don’t acknowledge we’re in.
For me, it’s fatigue, lack of motivation, or a bout of the “I can’t because…” mostly because of Alice, poor girl. In all honesty, the fatigue comes from the complex depression due to trauma that I spend all of my energy masking; the lack of motivation comes from the fear that I can’t effect real change with whatever I do, so I let myself believe that I shouldn’t even bother. And when it comes to Alice, she doesn’t get in the way of much except when I can’t find a sitter, but she gets blamed for all the things I think I’m not strong enough to do.
When we unmask ourselves in this way and give a name to our struggles and the root of them, we can begin to declare war on these things. Declaring war and actively fighting against these things everyday ensures that we put forth our whole heart in this effort. Once we have committed fully to the battle, Providence does too.
God is always with us and He fights the battles that we can’t even see. When we declare war within ourselves, God rushes in. He floods us with strength and power and a warrior’s heart that puts to death all of our internal struggles and fears. Often our struggles attempt to rise up again, new fears will try and overtake us, new internal struggles will emerge. But as long as we keep fighting, keep declaring war and taking action against these things: We will never lose.
Commit yourself to battle today. Declare war on all of the things that threaten you, the internal struggles that keep you from growing spiritually.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies us. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life— is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.