For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Let us firmly resolve not to lost the battle we fight. For if the devil sees that we are willing to lose our life and our peace, and that nothing can entice us back to the first room (first stage of prayer), he will soon cease from troubling us. But we must be resolute, for we fight with devils, and thus, there is no better weapon than the cross. Theresa of Avila
I tend to blame a lot of the way I feel on external things, people, life…….circumstances around me. But at the heart of it all, is my own response to all those things. My own internal struggle, the one that wages on in my soul, that old spiritual battle we have fought since the beginning. That is what keeps me in prayer. If Satan can convince us that the battle is lost, like we are failures at our faith. He has won.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like we are getting any closer to our goal…..but the truth may be that we are closer than we think. It may be that we have moved up a level, into the next room of our prayer life. Lately I have felt much like a hollowed out gourd. Writing about anything has been hard. I have a person living in my home who has exposed me to myself…….made me see the reality of just how weak my faith is. Can it be that is what God has wanted me to see all along?
How can I ever fully understand His strength unless I am met face to face with the stark reality of my weakness? My inability to do anything on my own?
It is no wonder I am exhausted. I have been wielding my own sword and not His.
It is this act of laying down my very ineffective sword again and again………that is where the real battle comes in. Like Peter, I want to take matters into my own hands and slice off the ear of the guard. I so identify with Peter. He sees chaos coming and wants to defend, to fight, to fix, to right the wrong on his own.
But Jesus says no.
Jesus walks right through the middle of it, knowing that in order to win the war you have to pick your battles.
And for the joy set before Him endured the cross…………..”Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2