–Don’t be misled by this title, just read on, please.–
In my eyes, battles are the small (or large) fights within the overall war that produce the end result that the war is deemed as (victory or loss). In life there are many, many battles that we fight. Both spiritual and physical battles require our strength to accurately navigate the warfare that is going on and both types of battles tend to have the same characteristics. Although there are many crossovers between physical and spiritual battles, I am speaking on spiritual warfare throughout this post.
The reason “the war” often gets mixed up with “the battle”, I believe, is because we forget to stop and take a deeper look into the fight than what the outer surface shows. For example, if your “war” is sexual purity, then the temptation for lust is the “battle” you get to fight during the day. If your fight is to control your anger, then the battle arises each time you face something that upsets or frustrates you. The same goes for those of us who struggle with self-confidence; when temptation comes to visit in the form of poor self-esteem or mistrust of others, the battle is on!
In many ways the war can be viewed as a goal, and the battle the steps you take to reach that said goal, but no matter how you frame it those steps that we take each and every day produce the end result or the conclusion of the war.
The reason that the battles are more important than the war is actually found within itself. Quite simply, if the battle is never fought then the war is never won. It is the small victories that lead to the large triumph. When the war is won it is because the battle is won. And when the battle is won, it is because at each appropriate opportunity victory was seized. When the enemy was down, human strength was used to its’ full potential and God provided more. When the ambush came, the plan that was already set in place for that moment came forth and chaos was averted. Even when all hope was lost, a miracle arose.
It is because the battle is viewed with the utmost seriousness and respect that the war can be won. When we recognize the cost at stake–victory has to be ours.
In many cases, the cost of war is life or death. Defeat could mean another broken relationship and, thus, heart or it could be a step backwards in the fight to break free of addiction. Victory could mean strength to fight again and again or the ability to trust others, finally, if that is your battle. Whatever your struggle is, understanding the realness behind the need for victory in each battle is so very important, but it is often not taken seriously. Take each battle seriously, PLEASE.
When we evaluate the fight that we must face everyday, it is important for us to slow down and pinpoint the areas that we are being attacked. This gives us a full fledged idea of what we are fighting, and leaves no room for doubt about the action that must be taken in order to win. When we finally understand the attack that is coming at us–who or where it is coming from, why the attack is coming, and the deception it has hidden behind–we can dig in and fight hard against it. I don’t know about you, but it gives me great confidence when I know all of my enemies tricks and the timing that they usually come in at because that means I already have him beat–I know how to win. Having said that, many battles show up in unexpected areas or times of our life and when we are caught off guard we tend to act more drastically and harshly than we should. Setting forth a plan of victory for when these sneak attacks come is another essential piece to the puzzle called war.
Regardless of all of this advice or writing or whatever you want to call it, the only way to win the war is to come face to face with this idea that the battle HAS to be fought each day. Accepting the terms of the war (whether that be an addiction you are fighting, relationship issues, or the willingness to let go and let God take care of your life) prepares us for the battle that will come that day. The terms of the war include the reasons you are fighting the battle, what the outcome will look like if you succeed or fail, and how hard you are going to have to fight in order to succeed. Accepting these terms also points out the holes in our armor that we have as humans in which we will surely need God’s help with. Waking up each day and recognizing the cost it will take to fight the battle humbles us to realize that we cannot win the war (or even the battle) on our own. Putting aside the human armor that we think is enough and wielding the protection and weapons God has given us is the only way to find victory.
That’s the thing about this battle that is so great: we don’t fight it on our own! It’s not like ANY other battle ever imagined or fought. We not only rely on Someone greater for our strength, but He’s the only thing that is important in this war. It’s as if we give all of our problems to God but we also gain all of our strength from Him. Everything filters through Him. When we feel unqualified, His strength is our refuge. And when we are confident it is because we know and trust His mighty power. Proverbs 21:31 says “A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory comes from the LORD.” What an awesome reminder! We can–and must–prepare each day to fight the battle, but only when we submit it all to the LORD will true victory be found.
Prepare, prepare, prepare BUT trust in God to find the victory!
Remember the One who has conquered life itself; He is with you and you can trust in Him.
John 16:33 AMP
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
with courage, press on.