Are you a lover or a fighter?
Jesus followers should be both. In following Him we discover beauty in being called beloved, we encounter the stunning flow of His immersive grace, we know the attentiveness of His faithful presence but we are also centre stage in a war. His yoke may be light but there is also a punchier side to following Him.
In the New Testament we find words such as:
Fight – For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Forceful – And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it. (Matthew 11:12)
Weapons – We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. (2 Corinthians 10:4)
We are both lovers and fighters!
Are We Prepared For The Fight?
Have some Jesus followers missed the memo about the battle? Are their expectations those of a pleasure-seeking tourist rather than an alert soldier? If anyone turns up in a war zone wearing flipflops they may not last long. Are more Christians wearing sunscreen than armour? Have our hands been prepared for playing around with sandcastles or for renewing our communities with the light of Christ?
In these days of great shaking, Gods people need to put on the FULL armour of God. If we don’t then we will melt like chocolate teapots at the first sign of hot water. God calls us to be strong, be bold and stand firm in the battle.
Here are 2 ways we can become stronger in battle
1. Live Surrendered to God
I love the story of the Israelites winning the battle of the fortified city of Jericho. The formidable city walls were designed to stop advancing armies – but God had promised it to the Israelites.
Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. 2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
When I look back over the claimed promises I’ve stepped into I notice that an enemy has always tried to keep me out. Every promise, every prophetic word and every victory seems to have had an enemy assignment designed to keep me away. Thank God I’ve been able to overcome through surrendered obedience and so can you.
The walls of Jericho collapsed not as the result of normal strength, weaponry or strategies – they collapsed as a result of careful obedience to the Lord. When we follow His leading, when we walk in His ways, we see His victory!
2. Know your identity
If we don’t know who we are then we won’t know what we can do.
When a criminal resists arrest by a police officer they are not resisting the person but the office. The police are empowered by the law of the land and they act with the weight and authority of the law behind them. It doesn’t matter how big the officer is or how long they have been wearing the uniform. What matters is that they are a police officer. That gives them their authority.
We have been given much authority as a result of our identity in Christ. This is not an exhaustive list but here are some of the truths the bible calls us as followers of Jesus:
Child of God
Friend of God
No longer a slave to sin
Free from condemnation
Joint heir with Christ
A temple of Gods Spirit
A new creation
The righteousness of God
Holy & blameless
Seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus
Member of His body
Citizen of heaven
More than a conqueror
This is who we are. We represent Gods kingdom. We have been given a new identity in Him and we have much authority when we walk in His ways.
I’m both a lover AND a fighter.
How about you?
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