If You Are Not Fighting…
I like to fight. Well, let me be clear, I do not seek to fight. I seek first to be reconciliatory and a peacemaker. But my nature is to not back down from a fight; be it verbal or physical.
Of course being 6’6” means that throughout my life that has not happen too often. I have been told I am intimidating. I do not seek to be, but I am a big man and my natural continuance is one that begs the question, “is everything ok?”
However, this is not about any of that. This is about a question I was asked this morning at my local coffee house by someone I run in to from time to time. He asked, “How’s the Spiritual life?” And I was surprised by my off the cuff, no thought response, “It’s a fight.”
As he walked away I thought about why I had answered this way so quickly. Life has been going good of late. I had been out of work but I am back working now. My wife and I are about to take a short trip to see our son and his wife before he leaves for his first Navy deployment. Our daughter and her husband are finding success in the mission field. All in all life is good.
But I realized that the fight continues. As I told my ministry partner recently I am fighting old demons. Each day I have to work at keeping my head and heart in the spiritual game and not allowing myself to slip back into old habits and old ways. Keep myself from allowing the world to encroach upon my spiritual life….
…and I am not good at it. It is a fight. I have to work at it every day, every moment.
The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour us. This scripture could not be more true.
He does not sit around letting us live a life of comfort, or maybe he does. Lulling us into complacency. The arrows in his quiver are many and diverse; busyness, lust, lethargy, distraction, greed, hunger….
The spiritual life is a fight and as Brother Laurence said, “we must ever practice the presence of Christ.”
Paul said “Pray continually.”
We must be in constant contact with God. We must be putting everything we do, experience and think through the filter of Christ. When we slip from this the enemy swoops in and starts to hammer wedges in any gap we leave open.
And the reality is this, and you are not going to like it; it should be a fight.
We were not given a spirit of timidity. We were meant to fight and we were given the armor of God to put on for that fight. And like a warrior we must stride into battle each day with each piece firmly in place. Any loose part of that armor is a chink. It is a weakness that the enemy will exploit.
If your life is easy and nothing is causing you spiritual distress, if there is no fight, you need to ask yourself one very important question; Have I already lost?
Have I become so ineffective to be rendered harmless?
We want to think that the spiritual like is all about getting to nirvana. It’s not. Not here on earth. Not at all.
Make no mistake, if you are doing what God wants you are going to be in a fight. You are going to suffer the flaming arrows of the enemy. He is going to work to thwart every move you make, every inch of ground you take will be hard fought over and some days you may feel you are losing ground not gaining.
Our’s is to fight. God’s is to win.
We must stand strong and know the light that we shine is there to drive back the darkness. But we must accept that it is darkest at the foot of a lighthouse. And like that lighthouse while we shine the darkness will claw at our base, working to undermine our fight to shine.