Spiritual Battle[s] – emphasis on the [s]

We may wonder why certain struggles, sins, and battles repeatedly pop up in our path. We may get extremely frustrated and disheartened, thinking that we’ve failed somehow by not defeating it permanently or fully. But as of today, I have a new perspective.

I was thinking over a conversation me and a friend just had about that seemingly ever-present mother’s guilt, and of course then also all the other battles I face, sometimes on a daily basis, that I just can’t seem to have victory over permanently, as I would like to. The same feelings of guilt, shame, self-condemnation, and doubt all came flooding in because of my “weakness.”

Then the thought occurred to me that maybe some battles just fall into the category of “on-going,” and that a repeated battle is not indicative of weakness or failure.

I do believe that some things, once healed, are done. For good. A temptation here or there may crop up, but are quickly doused because of that gift of healing God gave you.

But I believe some are not so quickly felled. Some, we must keep fighting. But needing to fight that battle again does not mean we have already lost or that we are hopeless.

Thinking of it in this way is quite freeing for me. There have been so many days where the fact that I had to fight that temptation again or capture those horrible thoughts again or even confess my struggle and repent again was grounds for defeat and all of those terrible feelings that come with it. Like the battle was already lost just because I had to enter the ring in the first place, even if it ended in victory.

1 Peter 5 came to mind:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

I realized that having the mindset of “I beat that already” puts me off my guard. It causes me to drop my sword.

But if the enemy is like a prowling lion seeking out his prey, I cannot stand around sword-less just because I won some fights in the past.

As someone once told me, “We’ve got to pick up our swords and keep ’em bloody.” The battles will keep coming. Whether it’s a familiar foe or a new challenger, we have to have our swords at the ready. We have to arm ourselves with the Truth. The Truth about who we are, but more importantly whose we are.

We are the children of the Almighty God. The God that cannot be defeated. As 1 Peter 5 continues,

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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