In writing, sometimes it is scary to fully expose yourself.
Sometimes you think, well if I totally open the door and become vulnerable, what will people think?
But I am slowly realizing that the trials I go through and the struggles I face are important to share. Not because I was so quick to overcome them or because I have the answers, but because not sharing how God provided and comforted me during these times would be me being afraid to show His faithfulness.
Since we all are vessels to spread His message, I’m thinking that the adversity I pass through is more to bring glory to His name rather than thinking it is to bring down my own.
Anywho, with that being said, I was thinking a lot about my weaknesses and struggles in the past and still to this day and there definitely a pattern among them.
My struggle has always been insecurity- feeling like I’m just not good enough, like I am unworthy of living this life God called us to; simply feeling ashamed of who I am and worrying about people liking me.
(When you write down your insecurity/struggle, there is a good chance you will realize how silly and unimportant it is, like I am doing at the moment…)
However, as I have waded through this struggle and really learned what it means to be secure in Jesus on a day to day basis, I have learned one very important lesson in fighting this war: Never put down your sword.
When we are feeling completely desperate and helpless, it is easier to completely focus on the living truth and feed yourself for the day with His word. However, as time passes and you’ve gained a little ground, things change.
It’s easy, ya know as you fight a few battles, earn a few medals and you’re feeling like a confident warrior, to believe that you can face the battle without your armor and your sword.
You’ve got this in the bag, man! Right?
So wrong. SO, so, so wrong.
As I thought about this last night and this morning, one thing kept running through my mind:
A weary gate-keeper makes for an easy attack and a poor defense.
When we believe the lie that we can conquer any battle without Jesus, we stamp self-reliant on our foreheads and enter the war zone.
But you get banged up…little by little…
Lies attack you and the belt of truth is no where to be found.
People’s opinions crush your confidence and your sandals of peace are missing from your feet, allowing the rocks to pierce your flesh deeply.
Satan starts reminding you of your mistakes and your previous battles lost and it feels like a thrust to the core of your heart, as you look down to see your breastplate of righteousness is not there to protect you.
Your mind races and your thoughts Are consumed with insecurity, allowing people pleasing to become your profession and fear swallows you whole. Wondering what happened, you look to your hand and realize you traded in your shield of faith for a reverse dagger of fear.
But most importantly, you hear lies. You face rejection. You enter a cold-hearted, shallow world and its’ decrees and expectations become your standards. You have become a slave to a place that never has your best interest at heart, just your best invest.
It takes all you have and sucks the life out of you. Then you realize you were letting enemies continually take hits at you and you weren’t combatting then with the sword of the spirit.
The absolute promise and only truth there is: His Word.
And what does His Word say about you? That you are dearly beloved and his masterpiece.
You entered your war without your armor and you tried to fight without your sword.
The King does not give its’ warriors equipment and armor to weigh them down.
He provides it so that they may fight and protect His kingdom, as well as their own hearts, despite what the world throws at them.
I’m not pretending like this is easy, because fighting a battle of ANY kind is never easy, no matter how many practice matches we have won.
I don’t know what your struggle or struggles are right now. And yes, plural- struggles- it’s normal.
Maybe it’s insecurity.
Maybe it’s financial stress and over-spending.
Maybe it’s living a double life, preaching one way and living another.
Maybe it’s alcohol.
Maybe it’s drugs.
Maybe it’s materialism.
Maybe it’s self- righteousness.
Maybe it’s worry.
I don’t know what your daily battle consists of, but I know that everyone is fighting one.
So, suit up. Sharpen your sword and remind yourself of your capabilities through Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith.
A weary gate-keeper makes for a draining and long battle with sure promise of failure. He lets lies, selfishness, self-righteousness, uncertainty, fear, jealousy and temporary pleasures distract him and enter his sanctuary.
But a gate-keeper, whom although tired and sore, that sharpens himself with the living God and suits up knowing He is as strong as the King says he is? That, my friend, is a whole other ballgame.
All I’m sayin’ is, when you have the Word of God at your right hip, prepare a victory feast because He has already prevailed.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powersof this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:10-17