What does warfare look like? A plain pulsing with enemies armed for battle.
4 All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde. And with all their horses and chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore. 5 The kings joined forces and established their camp around the water near Merom to fight against Israel. (Joshua 11:4-5, NLT)
Deep waters pummeling and pulling down to steal one’s very breath.
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
rescue me from deep waters,
from the power of my enemies.
8 Their mouths are full of lies;
they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead. (Psalm 144:7-8, NLT)
And maybe warfare doesn’t look like a field of foes or an undertow force sucking and dragging–maybe it looks like apathy, satiety, lust. Maybe it’s not an army without, but an enemy within.
For their rebellion is great,
and their sins are many.
7 “How can I pardon you?
For even your children have turned from me.
They have sworn by gods that are not gods at all!
I fed my people until they were full.
But they thanked me by committing adultery
and lining up at the brothels.
8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself against such a nation? (Jeremiah 5:6b-9, NLT)
When face to face with Jesus, he will shed light upon the things one truly values.
20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:20-22, NLT)
My strength is in Christ; the victory is the Lord’s.
6 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must cripple their horses and burn their chariots.”
7 So Joshua and all his fighting men traveled to the water near Merom and attacked suddenly. 8 And the Lord gave them victory over their enemies. (Joshua 11:6-8, NLT)
1 Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
He trains my hands for war
and gives my fingers skill for battle.
2 He is my loving ally and my fortress,
my tower of safety, my rescuer.
He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.
He makes the nations submit to me. (Psalm 144:1-2, NLT)
Listen, you foolish and senseless people,
with eyes that do not see
and ears that do not hear.
22 Have you no respect for me?
Why don’t you tremble in my presence?
I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline
as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross.
The waves may toss and roar,
but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
23 But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned away and abandoned me.
24 They do not say from the heart,
‘Let us live in awe of the Lord our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
25 Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings.
Your sin has robbed you of all these good things. (Jeremiah 5:21-25, NLT)
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:23-26, NLT)
Obedience to God and following Christ, letting go of strongholds and seeking with a whole heart … The walk with Christ is not easy–it is war, a war for my heart and soul. Do I recognize the battlefield?
Lord, you came to set me free, to give me a new heart, to give me victory in you. You value my whole heart, and I want my life to honor and celebrate you, with full expression and joy of my heart. Thank you for caring enough (so much!) about me to promise me you’ll never forsake me.