Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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!!!

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