The past two months have been pretty challenging for me. I easily crumble under the pressures life brings, and I recently found myself crumbling under recent circumstances that entered into my life. I may have handled these circumstances differently in different seasons of my life, but my reserves are quite low. No one tells you that refilling your reserves can take a very long time. Years. I actually thought I was doing pretty good overall, that my reserves were coming back up, but the adversity of life challenged them once again, showing me that I am still quite weak.
I take prophetic words with a horse lick size of salt. I’m skeptical of most ‘prophets’, as people will usually say what others want to hear and not the hard truth of the matter. Keeping half an ear to the murmuring of the prophetic world, warfare is coming up a lot. Talk around ‘the battle’ is common. Having spent a lot of my growing years in the Vineyard church, warfare is something that I interpreted through the lens of a lot of yelling, praying, shaking and prophesy. Though I resonate with the words around there being a lot of warfare right now, how it was playing out in my life did not feel all that relevant.
I was putting on my boots today, preparing to go out to pick up a few groceries. The thoughts of ‘warfare’ and the prophetic words I had recently been reading were floating around in my mind. Do I feel like I am in a battle? Yes. Do I feel like the spiritual warfare has been heavy in our house for some time? Yes. I asked myself if I was ‘warring’ enough for the battle that I feel rages on in the unseen. Putting on my second boot I told myself that this is warfare. Putting my boots on and engaging in life. Warfare can exist in the mundane, in the ‘not giving up’. I could wallow and sulk, hide my head under the covers and commit myself to the void, or I could put my boots on one at a time and go pick up some groceries.
Humans are a funny being. We think we’ve got it all figured out, that we fight these unseen battles with our mighty words and lengthy prayers. But warfare can be as simple as not giving up, as getting out of bed every day and committing to life in its most basic form. The enemy’s plans are not vast or complicated, they are simple and effective. Plans that keep us distracted, self focused, depressed and discouraged. The simple act of engaging in your life, in the most mundane of ways, keeps you in the fight. It communicates to the enemy that you are not giving up. That you are here, participating and trusting the process of the unseen battle.
God battles for us on our behalf.
Exodus 14:13-14 says, “But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never ben seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Just stay calm.
2 Chronicles 20:17 says, “But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”
Stand still and watch.
Deuteronomy 20:1-4 (paraphrased) “When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you! For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’
Do not be afraid.
Deuteronomy 1:30, “The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.”
God is going ahead of you.
I have been reading through the Old Testament quite a bit. I was struck this last week when I read about how God was going to go before the Israelites to prepare the way for them in The Promised Land. They were successful in battle because God prepared the way. Too often we rush into things, charging forward in our own knowledge and arrogance. We forget that ultimate success in the battle is when God goes before us. I am trying to change my prayers from, “Please God, help me get through this day.” to, “God, go before me this day.” Then I work on surrendering and following.
Warfare doesn’t necessarily look like all the outward actions we may officiate it with. Warfare is much more internal. When you choose to get out of bed everyday, put your boots on and face whatever is before you, this is warfare. You chose to not give up today. When you place your trust in God for the unforeseen outcomes, surrendering your fear and anxiety to Him, this is warfare. When you acknowledge God in the small things, placing gratitude in the forefront of your mind, this is warfare.
Our job is to be calm, to not be afraid, to be still and watch. God is at work. Focus on what is before you, not what you cannot see. Commit yourselves to the life God has given you, and allow Him to go before you in all you do. He will clear the path, He will win the battle, He will not let you down.
So put your boots on one at a time and walk out that door, knowing that you are not giving up today. You are not giving into the plans of depression, the plans of distraction, the plans of fear and anxiety. For these are the plans of the enemy, and refusing to partake in them is warfare.