Friday, September 28, 2012

Lingering in the Light: We have Victory!

This post is inspired by a dear friend, who is currently going through a difficult emotional time. This post shouldn't be anything new to us, but if you don't know what I'm about to talk about, I hope your eyes are quickly opened. But sometimes we have to be reminded over and over of the things we already know, because, despite how well we know them, the devil has such powerful tricks to make us doubt even the foundational things.

This post, like yesterday's, starts with a video. Hey, I wake up, I get on facebook, I see videos. What's a girl to do? :P But here is the one for today:

If the video acts up, watch it here.

How many times do we forget this? That God can fight the battle for us. That he already did. That he already won. Exodus 14 describes the account of the crossing of the Red Sea. Thousands and thousands of Israelites stood helpless between an army and a shoreline. But God said, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be silent [or in some versions, still]." (verse 14)

Life isn't easy. (Sorry if I took you by surprise there. If so, you may need to lie down for the remainder of the post.) And it doesn't get easier when we get saved. (Oops. Another tough blow. Just not your day, man.) :P

In fact, as long as we are living a lukewarm life and doing nothing to further the kingdom of God,  life has the potential to be peachy. Because then, the devil couldn't care less what you're doing.  But if God is working in your heart and calling you to his service, that gets Satan really riled up. If you are trying to live for God, your life is NOT going to be easy. Jesus warned Peter of this truth.

Directly before Jesus foretold of Peter's heart breaking denial, he gave him this caution: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32) Peter had such a heart for God, such a blind and trusting faith, that he would continue on to do great things for the Lord. Despite his denial, from which Christ knows he will recover, with faith and trust in the Lord, Peter would again be a pillar in the early church, encouragement to those around him. 

How can we encourage others, unless we ourselves have failed? I don't often go looking for advice from perfect people. I want to learn from people who have been in my struggle and come out on the other side. A perfect person knows nothing of trial and victory. (Obviously I don;t mean literally perfect, but the front that is put on by some that they don't struggle with real problems. You know someone like this. They seem to have had an easy life, with no big problems. Well it is in fact a front, but until they are willing to admit that they lose a battle here and there, they are of no help to you.)

But despite the struggle, Paul tells us to NEVER give up! "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9) What do we reap? The verse right before says that we reap eternal life! Never forget that you are fighting for a reason. Not to earn your eternal life, but to get there and be told "Well done my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)

Does knowing all of this make the fight easier? NOPE. But it reminds us why we keep fighting and why it is worth fighting. Why is it worth fighting? Because it isn't on us to win. The victory doesn't hang in the balance, based on our performance. Phew! Talk about pressure. Like the song says, THE BATTLE IS ALREADY WON! You want to know how I know that? Because Jesus SAID it. 

On the cross, the matchless cross that is the symbol of all the love god has for us, Jesus said these words. It. is. FINISHED. (John 19:30) He didn't say it was close. He didn't say we were almost there. He didn't save us 80% and the other 20% is on us. He saved us 100% PAID IN FULL. That's why we can keep fight. Because we have hope. 

So don't grow weary in doing the things which you have heard from God. Don't think it will be easy. Because both your head and your heart will try to lead you astray. You will say "But I think this..." or "I feel like..." But none of that matters. What matters is only and always the word. of. God. 

So remember when it's hard that it's going to be hard. But I always heard it this way: You can only walk halfway into a forest. At some point you have to be walking out. Follow the path God has for you, and it bring you out on the other side.


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