This post is part of the Resolved series: a collection of 21 personal resolutions that I’m writing/preaching to myself.
If you’d like a little more information, please visit this introduction to the Resolved series.
Resolved, to be mindful of all things spiritual, emotional, or relational that would cause me to doubt the love of God and to battle those things from a position of victory.
What and Why?
Here’s where I explain what I mean and why it matters.
All Things Spiritual
We tend not to talk about it, because the concept of spiritual warfare is a bit too “strange.” It may not mesh well with our modern sensibilities, but the enemy is out there prowling like a roaring lion. [1 Peter 5:8] He’ll do or say anything to get us to doubt God’s love.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV
All Things Emotional
Although I do believe we experience real spiritual opposition, I don’t believe that there’s a demon under every bush. Oftentimes, we suffer emotionally because life is hard and we’re not perfect. Those emotions are real, can challenge our faith, and can steal our joy.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 NIV
All Things Relational
This world is fallen and people are broken. Sinners or saints, Christians or not – some people will betray you, hurt you, and let you down. That’s why we put our ultimate faith in God, not people. He is faithful, even when people are not. We can trust Him.
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19 NIV
Battling From A Position of Victory
I wrote a whole post about this a few months ago: What If We’ve Already Won?
If you’d like a
little lot more on that, check out this great collection from Matt Chandler.
How and When?
Here’s where I look at ways to practically apply this resolution to my life.
- When it comes to faith, I need to doubt my doubts. Voices and feelings will creep in and challenge what I know to be true; that God is real, Jesus is alive, and that I am His. Truth is truth. In Jesus’ name, I’ve got to immediately command those voices to depart.
- Take occasions of emotional struggle or suffering and seek comfort in God and His promises. I need to see these situations as an opportunity to lean in and learn to rely completely on Him.
- When people wrong me, the best response is grace. When forgiveness is lacking, bitterness creeps in and takes root. Not only will that harm my relationship with that person, but my relationship with others.
- When I battle these things, I need to search for the root cause in the situation. I should never go to battle with the material aspects of the thing (people, for example,) but the tendency of the thing to contend with my faith in God.
That’s it for resolution #3. If you’d like to keep up with this series, feel free to click one of the links below and subscribe to my RSS feed.