The First Fight That Matters

Love

I guess it’s becoming almost a bit of a recurring topic…the fact that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Today I was busy with something at work when a song came on, I couldn’t even tell you what the song was called or who it was by, but the person sang a very simple line. “What if we fought for love?”

Sometimes the answers that we need can be found in the simples things.

I thought about that for a moment, what if we fought for love? I work with people every single day as many of you do, outside of work I’m blessed to be in a position where I’m constantly with people, different people, all the time. I get it, there are times when people can be cruel for no reason, there are times where people have spoken so hatefully towards me, times where the last thing I wanted to do was fight for love, but then I looked to the past.

I would love to say that I am the most calm person on this planet but the truth is sometimes I get angry, sometimes I don’t direct my anger towards the problem, instead I direct it at the person. I wonder what would happen if instead of fighting people in our thought lives with bitterness or in our words or with our voices, we fought for love. It sounds like a new complicated concept, but it turns out that is exactly how God intended it to be.

John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What about Matthew 5:39-41

“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

How angry would you be if someone came up to you and slapped you in the face? I remember a friend of mine was sitting on his couch with some people. They were having a casual conversation until out of nowhere as a joke his brother came up to him and slapped him right square in the face. Trust me, people don’t like being slapped in the face. The easy thing to do would be to slap that person back or just hold it in and secretly hate the person. But God says, turn the other cheek. Let me ask you, which one is harder to fight? The person or the urge to react and show love? It would be so easy to just repay people evil for evil, but are we evil people? Is that who we want to be? Who is the father of evil, do we want to partner with him?

The longer I live my life as a Christian, the more and more I see that the easy way is rarely the right way. Let me encourage you, be slow to anger, slow to speak if necessary, slow to react or respond and fast to love. Fight for Love.

 

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The First Fight That Matters

It Will Always Be Personal

Cruxifixion

Ephesians 6:12, probably one of the most common spiritual warfare scriptures in the bible, if you are not aware of it:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

I love how the bible is so clear. I’ve been working in ministry for 5 years come June, throughout those 5 years I have seen people, good people, people with good intentions, take God’s word and try and find the “deeper meaning”. Almost as if they think that God would try to make simple truths into these complex deep theological mysteries.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That is not complicated, that is very straightforward. Ephesians 6:12 starts off by telling us who our enemies are not, and who they are. Now, with the majority of things in the bible, there are deeper levels of understanding that can come when you partner with the Holy Spirit. For example, did you know that there are specific demonic forces, specific demons over regions and areas? There’s so much to learn and grow in but today I don’t want to give a crash course in spiritual warfare even if that were possible.

I think for the majority of Christians we believe that the devil is real. I’m sure that the majority of Christians have heard and read and even have basic understanding of Ephesians 6:12. With that being said, I want to know why the majority of Christians are still in bondage? Why do we struggle with depression, anger, lust, religiosity and an endless list of other things. When I say struggle, I’m not referring to being tempted and then taking authority over the devil, I’m talking about enslaved with these things.

Today I was sitting down listening to some music, and this song came on, it painted the picture of Jesus, the son of God, hanging on the cross, nails driven into his hands and feet for you and for me. To give us the power and ability to destroy the works of the devil. As Christians we have that power through God. But then in only the way the Holy Spirit could, I started having flashes of people I know and love, who struggle with things. There’s someone I love very much who struggles with depression, someone who is bound to pornography, someone who is in a wrong relationship, I love these people, and I began to cry.  The world would have you think that the evil that is going on is not personal, but it is very personal. When the enemy comes against, not just me, but against every person on this planet it is a very personal thing. Especially when it comes to the body of Christ. Jesus didn’t die for you to struggle with  lust or anger or hatred or gossip, amongst other things. He died to give you life and somewhere along the way we have lost that.

Sometimes people don’t understand the things that I say, they don’t understand why I cry at the things that I cry at, or the things that I fight for, they don’t understand why I can’t just let things go. There are times where I’ll keep reminding someone of the truth and how they don’t have to suffer with the things that they do. And they get angry, but they have to see my heart, I’m not bringing up their struggles to beat them up. The pastor at church on Sunday and God are not bringing up those feelings and struggles to just remind people of how much of a failure they are, they want to see you free.

There was this girl once that I knew very well, she started strong but fell away from God, sex, drugs, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, wrong relationships, these things took her away. Months turned into years and I went to her and asked her, “Why don’t you give this life up, it is tearing you apart?”. She told me that she didn’t think God or anyone could forgive her. Even though she had brought my personal life so much pain, I looked at her and said, “I don’t care about anything you have done, it’s all forgiven and forgotten. I just want to see you free.” The bible is very clear that God will push our sins as far as the east is from the west and forgive us instantly if we just repent and turn to him. I don’t think I understood this verse until today. God is desperate to love you, He doesn’t care, where you have been, what you have done, He loves you just as you are and is just waiting for you to turn around.

Ephesians 6:12, for our battle is not against flesh and blood it says, but against the enemy. God has been doing a work on my heart, the fight is not someone else’s, it is mine, it is yours and it is very personal.

 

It Will Always Be Personal

One More Round

OneMoreRound

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog due to different unforeseeable events. Today I wanted to write to you not from where I am but from somewhere that I have been. It wasn’t too long ago where I was very close to the end of my rope when it came to a few different situations. You’ve been there before, we all have. You know when you are tired, overwhelmed, when tense situations around you are suddenly at an all time high, people aren’t listening or worse it feels like they are driving you insane. It doesn’t happen often, but I remember being at this point one day while just sitting at a table. It was about 6 o’clock which meant that I had a radio show to host in an hour. I remember thinking about the show, then the show for the next day, then the events I had to do, then the things I had to catch up on at home, then I started thinking about things months down the road and goals that I needed to accomplish and on and on and on when suddenly, I heard the only voice that I needed to hear saying:

“Do you have one more show?”

“Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t worry about the events that are coming up or the things that are out of your control, do you have one more show in you, right now?”

Honestly, it was such a simple thing to say but it was exactly what I needed. If I had to be even more brutally honest, I got a bit emotional in those moments and simply told God that of course I have one more show in me for Him. You see it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. I think people who aren’t Christians can relate to this, but there is just a deeper level within Christianity. There are not just jobs and money at stake if I don’t move forward, there are lives. Sometimes in our human nature we can do what I did and look ahead and almost try and take everything in at once and get overwhelmed. We can take small manageable situations and partner them with things months down the road and suddenly just go into give up mode because we can’t see ourselves being able to accomplish what we need to. From someone who has been there in the past, let me encourage you, you are here on earth in this exact point in time for a reason, a specific, custom tailored to you reason. There are things up ahead that will be difficult for you, there will be trials and tough times, and you will face them and overcome them. But right now, today what are you called to? We say “I can’t” all the time because we get overwhelmed, but don’t look to tomorrow or sometimes even to the end of the day, do you have one more hour for God? Do you have one more Sunday morning? Do you have one more bit of forgiveness to give out? One more trip to the gym? One more early morning? I think we all do.

In closing don’t look too far ahead, God has a plan for you, when you are having a tough time, when all hell seems to be breaking loose around you, dig deep and ask yourself:

Do I have One More Round?

One More Round