It has been an interesting few weeks, to say the least. It isn’t finished, but I believe we’re on the other side of it, and there’s a story to tell. A kind of battle waged that is both environmental and completely personal. Do you know what I mean?
It was like a nasty storm blew in. An electrical storm. Though the skies would alternate Fall clouds, heavy rain, and beautiful sunshine, the atmosphere felt dark and charged. One where you knew it was in the heavenlies, but at the same time intensely personal.
No one I knew could legitimately claim to be unaffected by it. Almost every person I talked to was having a hard time. An increase in temptation. An increase in frustrations. An increase in relational difficulties. An increase in sickness. An increase in weariness.
Certainly we ask the heart questions, because we need to look in our own eyes first. “Lord, have I opened a door somewhere? Have I given the enemy a foothold? Would you reveal what is in my heart?” But when we’re all asking those questions… When you are struggling, and your phone blows up with texts and e-mails from friends and family confiding similar struggles…
I asked the Lord how to pray, what to pray, what to do, and I received a gentle nudge, a gentle reminder. Fight with holiness and persistence. Fight clean and fight well.
This is nothing new. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to put on the new self. To walk in holiness and purity. And when things hit the fan, you keep doing just that. Locking your eyes on the Lord, marching forward, and declaring ground for Him.
Certainly there’s a call to pray. To gather with those you love and pray together. Pray boldly. We pray in postures of humility and ownership. Humility wrings identificational repentance, where we stand in the gap and confess and repent for ourselves and our community. Ownership wrings authority, understanding it is all given by God who really owns it all and delegates it to you. This is my family. This is my house. This is my church. This is my city.
But then we fight with holiness. Sincere holiness. With kindness. With confession and repentance. With generosity. With gratitude. With encouragement. With washing of feet. With praise and worship of the King of kings. And we will be persistent in these efforts, because it is who we are because of who He is, and we mean it.
There is no expectation of perfection, and no works-based list of demands. But a reminder that holiness and purity – descriptions of the Lord God Himself – are a way to fight on a whole other level. When the enemy fights dirty in these little battles, we will fight clean, and we will fight well. Because that’s how our Savior not only teaches, but demonstrated, and He won the war!
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you.” James 4:7