Thursday, July 2, 2015

In the Battle : Ephesians 6:12




 


The title of this blog is “In the Battle”. I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after I started writing and spent the following 4 years fighting it. Naturally, the majority of space on the blog has been related to that battle, but cancer is not the battle that the title refers to.

The battle is referenced in Ephesians 6:

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. Ephesians 6:12

This is the battle I fight day in and day out and, whether or not you recognize it, so do you.

Right now, I am battling pride. I want “more”. More readers. More followers. More guest spots on devotional sites.  I adjusted my writing to meet what I believe will earn me these things. Don’t ramble. Leave out extra adjectives. Keep the word limit between 400 and 700. Use proper punctuation and grammar. Close with questions and a prayer. Wrap it all up in a pretty bow and send it out to…where ever.

But all that effort to make my writing “right” gave me writer’s block, because that’s just not me.

I ramble. I repeat things to make my point. I use run-on sentences and sentence fragments because….well,  my thoughts are usually either all running together or are disjointed and fragmented. I use words to paint a picture so that you will feel what I feel and that often requires multiple adjectives, bold type, and exclamation points because I don’t just want you to read something and think “well, that’s nice”. I want you to know my heart. I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles and I want you to know that the true source of those struggles is Satan. I want you to know that you don’t have to be beaten down by him and his lies. I want you to know that there is freedom in Christ. I want you to know that it’s okay to fall…so long as you dust yourself off and try again tomorrow. I want you to know that Satan slips in on me and I struggle really really hard to fight him back. I want you to know that sometimes I am overcome with anxiety and grief and I wonder how I am going to take the next breath. I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggles, your hurt, your anxiety, your doubt, fear, pain, or uncertainty.

And none of that is neat, or tidy, or tied up with a pretty bow.

My life is messy. Covered in mud. Wrinkled and wadded up. Bruised and scarred. I have a history full of regrets and failures that Satan loves to remind me of.  I try really hard to follow after Christ and I fail every… single… day. I lose my temper. I am prideful. I am selfish and lazy. I let Satan distract me. I don’t always see the best in people or give them the benefit of the doubt. I can judge…harshly. I miss countless opportunities to share the love of Christ with people He places in my path.

And God loves me still.

God sees past all the mess to the heart of me. And my heart loves Him. So much.

So, that’s the battle. Satan on one side trying every moment of every day to remind me of all the reasons God can't, won't, or shouldn't use me. Satan trying to steal my joy, tarnish my witness, quiet my testimony. God on the other side reminding me that He loves me, He has a plan and purpose for my life, He is worthy of my complete and total devotion, that He can use my broken messed up life to lead others to Him because others need to know Him.

Like I said, lately, I’ve been battling a little pride. Thankfully God prompted 2 wonderful ladies to remind me to just write. Just let the words flow. That’s where God has gifted me. I’m supposed to share the battle…with you. So, thank you for stopping by.

Just in case you don’t come back, I want to leave you with this….

Satan will use any little thing to get a foothold. A little vanity. A little pride. A little lust. A little distraction. A little bit of a judgy attitude. A little grudge. A little unforgiveness. A little greed. A little selfishness. Once Satan gets in with a "little" something, he brings in other somethings until we have a big problem. THANKFULLY, the longer we follow Christ, the more obvious Satan's little attacks are to us.

My prayer for you is that you will recognize the battle in your own life and that you will resist Satan’s little attacks before he gets a foothold in your life today.