The War On Hope
I close my eyes. I am standing at the edge of the seashore. The air is hot. The tide is coming in and the water is rushing between my toes and over my feet creating a wide girth of sand around them. I feel unstable as I dig my toes in deeper to maintain balance. The water of the Northeast is icy cold.
It is 8:00 in the morning and I am there for swimming lessons. I am about 7 years old. I never completely surrendered to the water. To this day I still fight it, while claiming aloud "One day I will".
I've been hearing a lot about war these past few weeks. I saw "The War Room". I've been reading about spiritual warfare and I taught a first grade Sunday School class about the weapons of temptation. The news is always about war somewhere. It is a subject of no escape. It's on every plane of life.
Ever since I was a small child I have tried to avoid conflict. As much as I try it always finds me. I love peace. I intentionally make waves with no one. I try to see the best in all people. I see their battles and want to help fight them, while so many of my own I still choose to avoid.
What I am learning -- again...
War started in heaven long before creation in the heart of an angel.
"How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." Is 14:12-14.
Salvation is the end of the war for the soul.
"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Rom 10:9
Every war starts within a single heart...
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?" James 4:1
The war that needs to be won first is the one within myself.
" So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh". Gal 5:16
Many heroes of war are walking around believing they are casualties, still walking in the fear of it, living in the death of it and experiencing the lie of defeat. Thousands of victims are in counseling centers and on medications to help deter the effects of the unspeakable experiences of war. The common civilian has no idea of the torment of memories and pain inflicted on earth's battlefield.
But I ask the question, why does hearing truth about my freedom continue to send me back to bondage instead of releasing me into the reality of the victory?
Every time I retreat hopelessness grows. (Job 6:11)
No one wants war on any level. The only legitimate reason for it is to establish truth. As long as people disagree about the definition of truth, there will be war. So within me where I face my conflicting issues, I must decide what is the truth. What do I believe? Then I make a decision.
Waters are deep and I can drown. At the brink of the shore I feel both the push and pull of the water. I must weigh out the risk. Do I retreat or submerge? Each has its consequences.
Fear is real - a necessary innate response to a precarious situation. Skill and obedience in the midst of fear is courage.
Christians have spiritual battles daily. The Spirit and the flesh share space and though the soul is sealed for eternity the object is to stop any furtherance of the Gospel being revealed. Satan never releases his hold on you willingly. His aim is to keep you in a state of fatality while he knows you are a conquerer.
I need to settle the truth in me first in every conflict. End the war in me so I can have peace with God even in the midst of trouble around me. Fight the enemy with truth.
Every time I seek Christ's perspective hope enlarges my borders and frees me of my pain. (1 Chron 4:9)
Letting the Word of God have dominion is my goal. I will not perfect it in this earthly body, but I can make progress and keep facing the waters.