18 April, 2017

Fight On

Life is a fight. We fight against our sinful tendencies; we have to “resist the devil” (James 4:7). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against prinicipalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) There are only two sides, and every choice we make is for one or the other. Even if we’re not choosing to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12), we’re still fighting. We’re fighting to get ahead. We’re fighting to be the best, to hold our heads, to live. We’re fighting the lies of our culture, or we’re fighting to conform to them. As I see it, no matter what walk of life you’re in, if you don’t fight you die.

I get sick of fighting. Doesn’t every warrior deserve a break? Must every single decision be for one side or the other? Does it have to be a lifelong battle? I know the victory is already won through Jesus’ death and resurrection, I know He gives us the power to overcome, I know if I surrender to Him He’ll fight for me. But I’m human, and I get overwhelmed.

Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. I talk spiritual stuff on this blog – about God, and the joys of having Him teach me things. But my life isn’t all like that. I have times of feeling distant from God, and I can’t get anything out of the Bible, and my prayers don’t seem to go anywhere. I get tired of fighting. I want to slip into neutral and let life make its own decisions for once. I wish there wasn’t this internal struggle between my fleshly desires and God’s ideal.

I was having one such phase recently. A couple of nights ago, I reached for my Bible to read, but nothing seemed to sink in. I went to put it back, but something made me flip over to Psalms instead. I started with Psalm 42, and came to verse eight: “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindess in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, my prayer unto the God of my life.” I read Psalm 57, noticing verse two: “I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” I jumped to Psalm 138, especially verses seven and eight: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thy hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” But I ended up in Micah chapter seven verse seven: “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”

Maybe that seems like a jumble, but my tired heart found comfort in the psalms, and latched onto that last phrase from Micah: my God will hear me. I lay in bed contemplating, going over each of the words until I was overwhelmed. My: it shows ownership. God is mine, and this means I am His. He claims me. God: this is the same God who created the cliffs and rich blue water I’ve lately been looking at, who made the moon and clouds I could see out the window. He made the universe, and He claims me. Will: it’s definite, it’s absolute; it leaves no room for doubts. Hear: He’ll listen, and He’ll understand. He’s got the whole world to worry about, and He understands me. He gets what’s behind all my frustrations and fears. He understands what I can’t even put into words. Me: little tiny me, one of billions, on this speck of a planet. God, the most majestic Creator, claims and understands me.

I don’t know how to explain it, but God was close. I realised my struggles, my fears, my frustration at not seeming to be able to get to Him, He understood. He knew everything I’d thought and done, and He still claimed me. He still wanted have a relationship with me. He created tons of stellar planets, landscapes, and people – most of whom have more to offer than I do. But He’s there for me. 

And He says the exact same thing to you. He understands what you’re going through, even when you’re distant from Him. He claims you even though He knows the times you’ve slipped. He chose you to have a personal relationship with Him. 

It’s still a battle. Our minds are always going to be a war zone. But He’s right there. His name is still Immanuel, God with us. Fight on, friends.

22 comments:

  1. This was so true. I do feel this way sometimes but God always shows me he is near!!

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    1. I'm glad you could relate, Kelsea. Keep hanging onto God! Indeed, He is always near, and that assurance is precious. Thanks for reading and commenting, girl!

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  2. Amen. True story, I can really relate to some of those thoughts Jess.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Ash! It seems this is something a few of us feel at times. I hope you've been able to find rest in our Saviour. xx

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  3. I know how you feel - sometimes I don't want to fight anymore and I just want to surrender to the world but Jesus is always there and I love that He loves me even though I doubt! Lovely post!

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    1. You too?! Yes, that is the most incredible thing about Him - He understands and loves us the same. Thanks for commenting - we're in this together. xx

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  4. Thank you Jess, I really need this. ☺️
    Blessings sister!

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    1. Praise God! He knows. Blessings to you too, and thanks for reading and commenting! :)

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  5. I really needed this today! <3 Thank you, Jessica! <3<3<3

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    1. Wow - God must've been orchestrating things. I'm glad it could be a blessing to you, Clara! Thanks for your comment. xx

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  6. Jessica, you are utterly brilliant. Gosh you are such a good writer. This post is so true. I just want to keep reading it over and over and over. <3 <3
    xx

    Sophy
    lavender & blue

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    1. Sophy! Thanks heaps for your encouragement. Honestly, anything good here is all from Him! I'm glad you found it to be true - keep holding on to Him! xx

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  7. This is so good! A while back I read a short story on a blog, and this post reminded me of it! You should check it out! It's a Christian short story/metaphor and your post kinda has the same point:

    https://1cor1113.blogspot.com/2017/04/author-knows-best.html

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Gray! I did like that story - it has a good point. :) Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

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  8. This is so, so good, Jessica <3 I just can't even begin. The way you started this post! It gripped me from the first sentence. LIFE IS A FIGHT. I've always known that, but not till reading this post did I really think about that we're always fighting. You're right...it does get tiring. I DEFINITELY KNOW. That just made me think of a line from a song I've been listening to lately by Tenth Avenue North called Fighting for You. Basically it's like...how Jesus is fighting for us. And for me that gives me so much hope. Jesus is fighting for me...fighting the good fight...pressing on. That's life. WOW. ALL THE THOUGHTS ARE RUNNING THROUGH MY HEAD RIGHT NOW xD

    And yes to the Psalms! They are so wonderful and I literally read them every day just because they are so inspiring :) I love the picture you used in this post too!

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    1. Well, all praise to God! I'm glad you could relate - hopefully not only to the fighting part, but also rest found in Him. The message of that song sounds like it fits in perfectly, because really, although we try to fight the good fight, our job is to surrender to Him and let Him fight for us.. I'll have to check it out - thanks for the recommendation! :)

      Psalms are so good, aren't they?! Thanks for your comment, Autumn; you're are a blessing. And keep fighting, friend!

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  9. ACK I loved this, girl!! Yes, the fight is hard, but it's only temporary. The end is literally spelled out--Jesus wins. Period. (nah, exclamation mark seems to fit better, what say you?? *wink*) We're going to fall, it's a guarantee. We're human. BUT there is alwaysalwaysalways a nail-pierced hand reaching down to pull us back up. The fight might be hard, but where it gets hardest, our Hero is always ready and wanting to carry us through. Isn't it wonderful, though, those times where God feels oh-so-close? Last week, I was outside, and it was about eight o' clock in the evening. I felt like I should just sit and be quiet for a minute. It was so calm outside, and I felt like if I got quiet too, I could hear God's voice. I stopped by our backyard gate and just stood there for a second--and it was like I could hear His love whispered on the breeze. <333
    Keep fighting the good fight, friend! We can do all things through HIM who strengthens us!!
    -Ariel

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    1. Wow, yes! Your comment should be a postscript to what I wrote. It's so true that the fight never gets harder than He knows we can bear, and He's always there to pick us up. I really like the thoughts you shared, Ariel. :)

      Oh, those times are so precious! I know what you mean - when you can just feel God's love through His creation. Thanks for your encouragement, friend! Keep trusting in Him! xx

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  10. I like the photo. :) your hair is looking really nice.
    This post made me think of the sermon on Sabbath, titled 'Cling to the Rock'. I'll send you a photo of the notes I took, there are a few good verses on there.
    I hope you're doing well, and I'll reply to your text very soon! :)

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    1. Thank you. :) It's slightly out of date, so my hair's longer now.

      Sounds like a good sermon! I look forward to reading the notes sometime. :) Thanks for your text! Hope you're going well too! :)

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  11. Same. Just same.
    "His name is still Immanuel, God with us. Fight on, friends." Thanks so much for this.

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    1. You're so welcome, Gloria. Keep up the fight! We're in this together. xx

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