the day after easter | part 2: the battle is not ours


It’s been 10 days since Easter Sunday.    
Do we still feel the ache and the joy that we did last week?
How often do we remember:
    He was despised and rejected by men;
        a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
    and as one from whom men hide their faces
        he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
     Surely he has borne our griefs
        and carried our sorrows;
    yet we esteemed him stricken,
        smitten by God, and afflicted.
    But he was pierced for our transgressions;
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
        and with his wounds we are healed.
    All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the LORD has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53)
   
We were rescued. He took our grief. He carried our burdens, and removed our sins. Like that.
I fail Him. And He rescues me still. Every single day.
His mercy is new every morning- I pray for it, He delivers, and before I can walk from the sofa to the kitchen I am impatient and fail Him again.
Desperate, like Peter hearing the cock crow, I hear my sin mocking me.
My sofa is my morning retreat- my safe house, and little do I realize that from the second I stand, I’m entering a battle.
This battle is bigger than me. How often do I understand that?
I think it should be simple- I love Jesus, I want to do what is right, so I should be able to. Simple.
But it’s not.
I have an enemy- a surprisingly powerful one who is waging war against me.
He wants me to turn away. He wants me to bite back. He whispers in my ear, “you shouldn’t be treated that way,” and so I react.
He knows how to push my flesh button.
I’m the sinner. I can’t blame him for what I do. But this enemy doesn’t play fair.
Why don’t I see it?
I think it’s just me. I have a bad attitude, or I need to control my tongue. And it’s so true.
But I don’t think of it as a spiritual battle with an enemy that wants me to fail my Master.
If I did, I know I would be in prayer constantly.
Think about it: if you were drafted for the war- a real one- and you had to go into battle, would you not be praying constantly for God’s protection over your life?
But that’s exactly what we are in, my friends. We are in a life and death battle. And our enemy is all over us.
He’s fighting us and we don’t even think about him. That’s some kind of strategy.
In Ephesians 6, we get a little briefing on the battle we face:
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.
The good news? Jesus already won this battle!
He did it on the cross. He has the victory, and His Holy Spirit dwells within us!
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
He is greater!! He is greater than the one who knows how to play on our weakness. Greater than the one who uses lies to defeat us. He IS!!!
He won!!! HE is our Father who protects us from the evil one.
He will protect us in this battle. It’s fierce, but nothing is too hard for Him.
Let’s ask for His protection on our battle- realize the enemy we face, and turn to Him for safety. He will hold us in His arms. Praise His name!!!


15 comments

Stephanie said...

Wonderful words from the Lord! Thanks for the refresher! The enemy wants us to forget! Praise Jesus for all He had done and is going to do!

Juno25 said...

His timing is perfect!! I follow your blog daily and I absolutely LOVE it!!! This week I have felt such a heaviness, it is constant and I haven't been able to figure it out. How quickly I forget our enemy at work! When I am wondering where in the world all these ridiculous thoughts are coming from, I need to be reminded they are from the enemy, the heaviness is only here if I allow it to be, and falling at the feet of Jesus is the only relief to this battle. Satan's whispers so often drown out the voice of God, but you Mandy are right, He has already won this battle and we are more than conquerers! Thank you so much for being faithful to post this today, it has been divine timing!! Have a blessed day, and know that a sister in christ from MA reads this blog everyday!!!
Angel M

Gina said...

Love this!! This is the verse I wrote in my journal this morning after reading my Bible........1 Chronicles 5:19 & 22 They were helped in fighting them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him and many others fell slain, because the battle was God’s...........When we are fighting a battle or going through a hard time we need to trust God and cry out to Him in prayer. The battle is His. He is in control. :) Confirmation from your post. Love that!! :)

zeelandchick said...

Wow, Angel, you took the words right out of my mouth! My feelings exactly. I'd only change one letter...instead of MA it would be MI. Oh, wait...3 letters in the name, too. (Nancy M)

Thank you, Mandy, for a great blog....you always encourage my spirit and/or put a smile on my face!

Amanda said...

This is great, Mandy. I get frustrated around Easter because everyone becomes hyperspiritual or hyper-religious and then Monday comes and the switch is turned off. I admit that I've failed to reflect on my own actions after Easter to make sure I don't fall into that mode as well.

Be blessed!

Sonjia said...

These are my exact feelings. I get so frustrated with myself. I just keep walking circles in this desert that I'm in. Thanks for the enouragement and reminder that this is a battle and that Christ has already won it. I love what you said about going to a physical war and how much we would pray then. I have never thought about it that way, but it makes so much sense. Thanks for this post!

amber said...

I needed to hear this today, I have been struggling with the same thing. Thank You! and Thank the Lord!. Even Paul struggled with this. "I don't understand myself at all for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15. We are at war. The enemy never sleeps but God is always there with us. I am learning to lean on him and trust him and lay everything at his feet. "The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin a fresh each day." Lamentations 3:22-23

Mary_Krause said...

amen!
we are in a constant spiritual battle and i can FEEL it{like literally} some days, but it's nothing that my Savior can't handle!
i pray that i can instill this in my children as well.
praise HIM!
thank you for the encouragement this a.m., friend!!!
xoxo

mandyBH said...

I know that feeling!! So glad to have a sister like you on the journey with me! :D

mandyBH said...

Amen, sister!

mandyBH said...

I'm right there with Sonjia! Thank you Jesus, for being the conqueror!

mandyBH said...

You too sweet friend!! lots of love to you!

mandyBH said...

Ahhh!! I love that!!! So true! thank you for sharing!

mandyBH said...

oh, thank you for your sweet encouragement! I'm so glad God used it for your heart! :D

mandyBH said...

Oh thank you Nancy! I'm so glad we are in this together! lots of love!