Good morning to you all!
I’d like to share some thoughts with you, and I hope they offer a little inspiration if you read them this morning.
I watched the news on Monday evening, and contemplated within myself the tragic loss of life and loved ones so many are facing right now. I’m stating the obvious I know, but the numbers are escalating and respect no one, the young and the fit, through to those most vulnerable have all been taken by the effects of this virus so far.
It makes my heart very heavy, you’ve probably felt the same way.
I initially, in recent days, found the onset of these heavy feelings to be quite momentary, and by bedtime I’d gotten on with other tasks and the evening news as it so often has been in the past, was behind me.
But something is changing, because through the course of my daily comings and going’s I now find my thoughts turning more and more often to the reality that we are living through, and more and more I feel as if God is disturbing my normal, as if He is pressing down on me… which I know without doubt is His looking for something to come out of the pressing.
I don’t have to try too hard to figure out what He is looking for, for these things are being broadcast with clarity throughout the christian world at the moment.
Repent… seriously repent, with an intensity that is pure and towards God, and has no self seeking about it, it’s the complete and utter abandoning of the sin that God hates in our lives.
It’s not simply the emotionally driven remorse that has been felt in the past (my hands up on that one !)… and do it with sincere humility… so return to your God… forsake the gods of this worldly system with which we may have become all too comfortable and familiar with… and so on. Yes, serious about turn’s necessary.
I wholeheartedly know and agree that these weighty appeals are life or death serious, and if these are to be our next steps, as a people and as the church, then we better get to taking them sooner rather than later.
But Monday nights news report was different for me. I didn’t experience any heaviness and I was not downcast afterwards even though 99% of the newscast was as per normal.
For a few mere minutes an interviewer was permitted access to speak to who I believe to be a Middle Eastern gentlemen in an ICU, and he was not doing well at all.
But in a brief moment he began to talk of his life and family, he said they were extremely precious to him, and said that he had hope to recover and leave and be with them again, and then he said in a most extraordinary way, “I will fight this!” I could not describe to you though the manner in which he said this, but it was a special moment where you could tell by the way in which he expressed himself that this was a man with a “fighting spirit”.
These few seconds just lit something in me, and I’ve been thinking over and over all day today (Tuesday) about what it is to have a fighting spirit, the thought just won’t leave me alone so I know the Holy Spirit is doing something with the thought.
Bear with me, I haven’t blogged or written anything like this before, and perhaps that needs to change, but “warning – warning” – apart from poor grammar you will also have to put up with some meandering trails of thought, I am sorry in advance 🙂 the only consolation I can offer is that I am hoping for more of Gods “ignition” within these thoughts, and I hope that they may transport us further towards Gods will and towards His plans and purposes for us, and you are all a part of this journey too, so please contribute back and forth with what is being lit up in your hearts.
So whenever an impression like this concept of the “fighting spirit” has been left in me, why is it that the first things that come to my mind are the oldest cliches in the book, such as “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the dog!”
I write this with a wry smile on my face because really, some of these cliches do get a bad rap, but there’s usually more depth to them if only we would be willing to really give them and their meaning deeper thought. Sadly, I think they just lose impact and meaning through insincere casual use and overuse amongst other things over time.
Sometimes we need to get past the first thing that comes into our heads, at least I feel that way, so that we can avoid conditioned responses that leave no room for the sovereignty and divine inspiration of God in rapidly changing times such as these. God will do a new thing if we allow Him to !
Please don’t misunderstand me, the importance of being conditioned and prepared as soldiers of the faith can’t be understated. Be ready, in and out of season. Know God and know His word, know well and intimately the weapons of our warfare.
Sometimes our thoughts, and what we “think on”, are contaminated * by the world in which we live, we know that… we have had plenty of teaching on this, but we are in times where our application to, and understanding and interpretation of Gods word is vital. Our world needs the touch of God, a touch that’ll get their attention, it’ll happen on many different levels, but it has to be a touch inspired by the Spirit of God Himself.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”2 Timothy 2:15, ESV
God has been dealing with me along these lines, I believe He wants us all to make an effort, an eager effort, to lay hold of His word as never before.
His word, His guidance, His steering in our lives, His instruction, His revelation…
Why? Well, for me personally if Gods holy scriptures are not clear to me, then they’ll be as clear as mud to those that I try and communicate them to. The verse before the one above points that out to me – “don’t strive for words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearer”.
It’s our inner spiritual condition that’ll determine how we handle Gods word.
To try and illustrate this I was thinking of certain boxers whose careers I’ve casually followed over the years. They have the inherent “fighting spirit” in their make up, and they train and are raised up and mentored through the ranks by their trainers. In boxing as far as I can tell the trainer is vital to the success of the fighter (and don’t you just love those old Rocky movies).
When the relationship between fighter and trainer is strong and the fighter is open to and submitted to his trainers methods and coaching, usually the fighter performs well.
But I’ve seen many times fighters who for want of better words, become bigger than their trainers, and their trainers are either disposed of or become irrelevant to the fighter, and these seasons produce instability and poor performance until the fighter comes back under a trainer that they give way to in their careers. Sometimes they never recover.
The fighting spirit may be there, but the wisdom to channel and apply that spirit is dependant on the guidance that is received.
We, just like that gentleman in ICU, need to revive our fighting spirit in these days.
God can use a fighting spirit if it’s surrendered and submitted to Him.
I’d like to conclude this blog with this quote –
“Sometimes the fight isn’t ours to wage. We might be ready to head into battle—to defend what we believe, to express the truth—but God tells us to wait. In those moments we must remember that our battle is only effective if our spirit is submitted to the Lord.
The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.Exodus 14:14
There are times to speak up and stand out, and there are times to be silent. Being quiet doesn’t make us weak, just as being a fighter doesn’t make us mean.
By following God’s leading, we will have the words for each situation. We will know when to put on the armour of God and when to rest in His presence, knowing that this fight was His from the beginning.”
I hope this message has been an encouragement to you.
As we approach Good Friday, remember this, you have the Greater One, Jesus Christ, indwelling you, and He never gave up, He fought to the very end, submitted to the will of His Father until His death on a cross…
Let’s imitate that same spirit, and never stop fighting the good fight.