Wednesday, August 10, 2011

this spiritual battle

does weather ever have an effect on your outlook on life?

there was a day last week in which this rang too true with me. dark, dreary, overcast - the bleak nature of the weather seemed to parallel my attitude and it progressed as the day wore on. though God was faithful and blessed me continually throughout the course of the day, it was hard to dwell on that. where joy should have been, a battle raged for depression, hopelessness, and complacency to reign.

it was all too obvious to me that this was a spiritual assault on my mind and i could only imagine where i would have been if that awareness had not been at the forefront of my thoughts. but just that knowledge of the battle would not have been enough to combat the spiritual forces at work to bring me down.

some of the thoughts running through my head had to do with what seems like an increasing number of people that i have gotten close to moving out of state. dwelling on that seemed to fuel the fire for all kinds of selfish and ludicrous questions that i knew were against everything i stood for:

-whats the point of investing in people if they're just going to leave?
-wouldnt life would be a lot easier if i just went to church and kept my christianity to myself?
-how about i just avoid getting too close to people? people tend to bring drama and i have enough issues to deal with on my own without having to deal with other people's problems.

and of course ive been realizing how demanding the investment into people is as ive begun stepping out into ministry. praise God i dont allow myself to solely process things internally as much i used to. ive gradually learned that the most effective way for me to process is verbally or through writing, so my wife and my friend joe had the unpleasant task of listening to me unload all this junk on them. as i spoke i realized how absurd it all was and how im not meant to bear the weight of everything on my shoulders but rather allow God to carry it for me.

sharing with them reminded me why i am willing to do what i do. why i invest in others. we cant do this alone. i cannot solely base my life around my relationship with Christ and exclude the rest of His body. we need to pour into each other. if Christ physically moves someone away, we trust that He knows whats best for His body and will continue the work that He has started in all people involved. its His body, not mine. i am called to love it, help it grow into a healthy maturity, as the body in turn helps me do the same. its a symbiotic relationship with the Holy Spirit as the lifeblood and Christ as the Head. 

ultimately, i believe the essence of the enemy's strategy against us is to divide and conquer. separate us from the rest of the body, and we cease to be a united front against those forces of darkness. in light of that its no wonder why Jesus prays for unity within His body so often throughout john 17. 

its just as crucial to be aware of the battlefield that exists within the confines of your mind. thoughts can become poisoned and infectious in no time. allow the Holy spirit to purify your thoughts by taking dominion of your physical mind. this christian life we are called to live goes far beyond simply a mental belief system, let it penetrate your heart. i believe the gift of the Holy Spirit as well as the community that we are called to have within Christ's body are the key to this. we can only accomplish this together, of one mind and heart with God. we cant afford to be rogue vigilantes.

  • what are you doing to unite the body?
  • do you tend to have an awareness of the spiritual realm around you?
  • have you submitted completely to the Holy Spirit and allowed Him to move past your head, to impact your heart?