There are three different stories in the Word that I have been drawn to recently. One dealt with strength and strife. Another dealt with weakness and strife. The third dealt with unusual strife. Hmmm...I am sensing a pattern. ; )
Strife. Contention. Struggle. I am one who distances myself when these things arise in life. I am not a fan of confrontation and disagreement, but rather the one who resorts to a "Kumbaya" attitude and makes everyone hold hands until there is peace. But that isn't always the way things work.
Samson, Gideon and Jacob experienced struggles and had to fight. One fought as the Lord came upon him in power. Another fought after the Lord confirmed that he was called to do so. The third fought with the Lord Himself and prevailed. A spiritual and godly life is not one without strife. Quite the opposite actually.
Am I saying that we need to go around looking for a fight around every corner? No! But I am saying that based on Scripture there is a time to fight, so we need to learn to do it the right way.
It is written that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Our battles aren't always visible, and our weapons aren't physical. The enemy would love for us to spend our energy in putting out little fires and opening our mouths in emotion and anger to deal with the strife we face. But that's not the way to put him down for the count.
The weapons we wage war with are not carnal, but mighty through God. This is how we fight: we pray, we fast, we worship, and we stand on the Word of God.
If you can sense that you are being drawn to handle a struggle with your flesh, I challenge you to recognize the one who is really in the ring with you. He isn't bothered by your anger, and he will not be defeated by your own methods. Tag the One who has already won, and pin your own flesh to the mat in the process. The way to win is for your flesh to lose. The way to rise up is to lay yourself down.
Strife and struggle will happen - let's allow the Lord to fight for us.
Father, thank You that You contend with the one who contends with me. Thank You that You bring the kind of peace that goes beyond the physical. I trust You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Genesis 32:22-32, Judges 6-8, Judges 13-16,
Ephesians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 10:4, Isaiah 49:25