I don’t know about you–but I am very well aware of how the battle rages. So many of my friends, family and even ministries are going through some difficult seasons right now. My heart hurts for those who have unexpectedly lost loved ones, those who are battling severe sicknesses or struggles with their children, marriages or finances.
I am going to be honest here. I know there are spiritual battles trying to get us to quit believing in a God that is powerful and answers prayer. These battles want us to think it doesn’t matter if I live holy and righteously. But sometimes, I just want to ignore it. To put my head in the sand and think if I just leave it there long enough, it will go away. Not true. Every time I try to choose that option, I realize nothing changes (or else it deteriorates!). I am vulnerable during my choice to fight. Will my weariness or my own personal struggles cause me to choose option ostrich? Or to stand tall in the whole armor of the Lord, girding my loins with His truth? I can choose to be courageous and go forward.
Another time of vulnerability is when we feel we are alone. Maybe we don’t sens anyone else has entered the battle. We stand at the choice point and look for someone else to join, but maybe the Lord is asking us to take the first stand. Others may be standing along the sidelines, waiting for a leader to step up, and you are that leader. Capturing fears of inadequacy, weariness, apathy, discouragement is crucial to move forward in the battle.
Sometimes when we fight, there is a loss. In my optimistic worldview, I want to believe every battle is a win. But in truth, though the war is won, we can suffer set backs in battles. The promise that every thing will work together for good, is so encouraging during these seasons. Stubborn illnesses that seem resistant to the Name of Jesus, prodigal children walking away for years, spouses who abandon marriages can all feel a defeat. Fighting the “why bother” thoughts is often a very real struggle–another point of vulnerability. But take heart, this very week I heard of two long term adult prodigals who have returned to the flock! Their parents endured years of struggle as they watched their offspring being derailed by addictions and poor choices. They fought feelings of shame, discouragement and hopelessness and persevered. Keep on believing my friend. Stand in the gap. Please know your Heavenly Father has wayward children also. He understands.
Points of vulnerability occur when we feel we have too many battlefronts. We get overwhelmed and want to quit. God says, stand and see the salvation of your God. We may need to retreat and re-group. Reading through the Apostle Paul’s battles and struggles encourages me to stand. Taking time to make our God big again through worship, the word and fellowship can make the difference in quitting and moving ahead. Listen to the Holy Spirit. He may lead you aside to rest. Take time to nourish your body. Take a walk. Enjoy His creation. Replenish your soul. These are important battle tools as well. Remember Elijah? (Take time to read his story in 1 Kings 19).
The other day my computer (through Microsoft) shouted at me “Stop! You are vulnerable” And other things–I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do. I called my son and said “listen to this” what do I do?” He said. Shut it off Mom. I pushed the button and it is sitting and waiting till he has time to come and undo whatever I did. I am writing this on my Kindle Fire. I took a bit of a break and my saved draft disappeared. I have retyped it in by finding my saved draft on my I phone. I am pushing forward because I really feel I need to publish this today. Somebody needs this.
Stand strong my friends. We are victorious in Him.