The Fight Worth Fighting
Yesterday morning I woke up with a very heavy heart. A lot of the cares of this world were weighing me down and I felt defeated. I had a choice to stay in bed or get up and hash it out with the Lord. So I went downstairs in my dark house at 5am and sat with my Bible and Jesus and just began to journal my feelings.
I was struggling with my flesh. I was struggling with issues in my life that I have struggled with for a long time and I was tired. Tired of the losing the same battles over and over again. I was tired of feeling like I was finally making progress in certain areas only to be knocked 10 steps backward in the next moment. I was tired of being enslaved to my flesh and having no control.
Then I realized the Devil is a Liar. I do have control. I do have a choice.
So I made a list. I made a list of all the things I need freedom from. I made a list of the sins that plague me and keep me feeling defeated. I made a list of my unruly emotions that I allow to get the best of me and also some bad habits that I have allowed to take ahold of me. I made my list and I decided that I was no longer going to be a slave to these areas but that I was going to fight. Fight for my freedom and fight for my peace.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Gal 5:16-17
Sometimes I wonder if we realize that there is an actual war going on for our souls. Do we truly understand that we are in a full on battle with an enemy who wants us destroyed and is daily using the desires of our flesh to do it. He is waging war by doing anything and everything he can to distract us from the truth of the state of our souls and the severity of the situation. You see, He knows that we are living defeated lives, wrapped up in bondage that Christ has already set us free from on the cross. He knows that. The problem is that most of us haven’t realized that we are walking around enslaved to things that are only enslaving us because we are allowing them to. We can be free!
So, what if we made up in our minds to fight? What if we decided to Finally walk in the freedom that was already purchased for us. You see, the battle is happening regardless. The only question is are we winning or losing it. We can’t just move passively through this life expecting to spiritually mature by osmosis. Friends, it’s doesn’t happen this way. The truth is that either we are fighting, or we are losing. Period.
So, how do we fight? How do we begin to take back the ground the enemy has gained?
“Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh”.
To walk by the Spirit means to daily yield your flesh to the Him. This means getting specific. Making our list and intentionally giving that thing up to Him every day, trusting He is working on our behalf in a supernatural and powerful way. It’s believing He has set us free from that bondage through the cross of Christ and that “Who the Son sets free is free indeed”.
When I think of yielding I automatically think about the drivers on the road. When you yield on the road you are in essence telling the other drivers that they can have their way instead of you having yours. It’s a permission you give intentionally for someone else to exercise control and allow them to act in a way that they see fit. Yielding to the Holy Spirit is the same way. It’s choosing to let Him have His way whenever you are confronted with an opportunity to do things your way. It’s literally asking, “What would the Spirit do right now?” And then actually doing it even if it is contrary to everything your flesh may want in that moment. This is where the fight comes in. It’s in these moments that we are continually learning what it means to surrender to His leading and empowering presence. The power of sin has been broken and we no longer have to yield to it, yet it’s in these times that the power of sin seems conquering and overwhelming. This is where we have to trust that the same Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead will meet us in our yielding. This where we have to believe that we serve a God who had rendered sin powerless over us, and through the cross we have authority over that stronghold instead of it having authority over us. This is about us exercising those spiritual muscles of self-control, believing that they will get stronger and stronger every time we use them.
This word “walk” can also be translated as “follow”. To go step by step in the same direction as The Spirit. Listen, we can’t follow someone we aren’t looking at. So where is your focus? Who or what has your attention?
If we truly want to stop fulfilling the desires of our flesh then it begins with us freeing our selves from distractions so we can more closely follow and focus on the Spirit. We need to identify those things in our lives that are keeping us from fighting the fight and remove them. For me it was television and now social media. Both things that have at one point kept me out of my Word and in my flesh and I decided that my peace and spiritual growth were worth the sacrifice. For me, giving up social media is more than about a simple Facebook hiatus. It’s about me giving up my bad habit of staring continuously into the virtual lives of those around me, fueling my already existent stronghold of comparison. It was Fueling my stronghold of discontentment, and shame etc. I realized that in order for me to deal with those things I needed to cut off a source of their fuel. We have to begin to identify those distractions in our lives that are contributing to our demise and willingly remove them for the sake of the fight. We remove them so we can immerse ourselves in Him and His every step. So we can see where He is leading and actually have nothing holding us back from freely moving forward with Him. Where we focus is where we will follow.
So, let’s choose to walk by the Spirit. Yes there is grace for those moments when we fail, but remember this was never about us failing. This is about us fighting. We have to show up to the fight. Our peace, joy and freedom depend on it. Friends, we were not made to walk defeated in a victory that was already won for us. So, let’s stand up and fight for what is ours. The winner has already been decided.
Questions to Journal through:
What is something you need freedom from? A stronghold that has plagued you for long enough? Identify it (them), Write it down and commit to bringing it before the Lord daily in prayer.
What are some distractions in your life that are keeping you from being able to immerse yourself in Christ?
Put together a fight plan. What specific things are you going to do in order to begin fighting for your freedom and peace in that area? Be very specific and then tell someone so they can hold you accountable.