Thursday, December 27, 2012

Get Out of the Fray!

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The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Are you in a battle? The days after Christmas and beginning the New Year can be quite difficult. Before Christmas, activity is at an all time high with travelling and shopping and cooking. And then it’s over.

The enemy of our hearts swoops in at this time, commanding Discouragement and Depression to attack. As they hit us with whispers and lies, we find ourselves in a battle. Believe the lies or live the truth.

Some battles that may result:

I can do All things through Christ versus My life is nothing special and never will be.

I can rise above my circumstances and live in God’s presence versus I am sick and therefore I cannot live in victory.

I can change my life versus I am fat and no resolutions will ever change that.

The last one is my battle. One I’ve fought for almost 30 years.

This year, I am looking at this battle a little differently thanks to the Word of God and encouragement from some friends. In the past, fighting this battle has meant rising up and gathering all my will power and engaging the enemy. I’ve prayed hard, used the Word of God through reciting memory verses and I’ve reached deep within to find the strength to persevere.

All of these tactics are good things. But they say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So this year, I am looking at the battle differently.

A counterintuitive paradigm shift.

Now it is all on God. He is the Warrior. He fights. I remain still. My losing weight is His problem. Doesn’t mean I sit on the couch and eat ice cream. It means I don’t try to will myself to exercise or eat right. Instead I lean into Christ.

In Ephesians 6, where Paul teaches us about the armor of God, He instructs us to put on the armor but not to fight actively, but to STAND FIRM. Stand. That’s it. Be still and know that He is the Warrior, the God who fights for us.

So what does this look like? My friend Hilary Beebe, in encouraging me, wrote the following:

For me, as long as I focused on my diet and exercise and weight and measurements, I failed. Every single time, every single day. What God began to show me was that I had to focus on Him and let go of the weight loss goals. Really let go. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but there are many instances in Scripture where God wins a battle for His people in a counterintuitive way. So I finally "gave up" trying to lose weight and I just sought God. Hard. Whenever I felt bound by food, I prayed. Whenever I felt bad about myself, I prayed. I consciously moved my obsession from food/weight to Jesus. It didn't happen overnight, and I stumbled a lot, but again, there was no condemnation, just a Holy hand to help me up every time. The closer I got to Jesus, the more He worked in my heart - first and foremost - and the more the food issue began to dissolve and the weight began to come off. But it HAD to start with my heart, not my head. Not "I'm obese, I need to lose weight" but "I need Jesus to be everything to me. I need Jesus to heal my heart." 

Thank you, Hilary. After reading her note, I did a study on God fighting for us. Over and over again, the Bible teaches that God wants to do the fighting. He wants us to just rely on Him and be still.

Be still.

Whatever your battle, I encourage you and me to get out of the skirmish. As bullets fly and bombs explode in our minds and hearts, let’s get out and find a spot away from the war and ask Jesus to be everything.

And be still. 

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