What Are Battles For? To Gain Ground!

8/29/2001

i’ve become aware of some areas in my life that were among the extreme habitations of my flesh in my former life. i really wasn’t much aware of them in this way before recently. Now, i have begun to see that i so consistently and fully “dwelt” in this place as a flesh being that under certain conditions [like when i am tired or don’t feel well or nothing seems to be going right or there is no source of pleasure in my current circumstance] it is almost instinctive and habitual to drift into a mode where my flesh rules me in this area. i think it’s taken a lot of consistent pricking from the Spirit who exalts Jesus to make me aware of just how unconscious i was of this tendency, this habit, this stronghold of my flesh because it occurs in my mind. It may be that there are others i’m not aware of yet, or others that are just more obvious because they involve external behaviors.

At any rate, i had the help of a new perspective this morning to propel me back into a place of Hope! The reason i needed a fresh dose of hope was because after being made aware of the tendency of my flesh to feed itself in this Godless way, i had spent several days battling against it rather than just letting it inhabit the land it has possessed in me for most of my conscious life. Then yesterday came a day when from the very start i didn’t feel up to the fight. In fact, i was so weak in my posture towards the thing that i practically invited it to take over “its” familiar ground and barely shook it off throughout the day. Consequently, it was a weary and tiresome and discouraging day. The largest thought in my mind was “if i have to fight like this for the rest of my life, i think my life expectancy just officially became six months.” i could deal with six months of this kind of fighting for the rest of my days in order to die in peace and be able to say i had “fought a good fight,” but any more than that in front of me and i wasn’t sure i would ever even bother to pick my sword back up again at all because i was convinced i couldn’t maintain the pace and the ferocity it would require for me to even be fighting a Good fight, not to mention killing the thing and winning. Finally, after repeated, half-hearted attempts to put the thing in its place [out of my life], i finally saw a different tactic available to me and took it, and went to sleep having sent the thing away and having ceased to dwell on how many days i could survive such a war.

Then, when i woke up this morning, that question and answer at the top of this page went through my mind: what are battles for? to gain ground!

And i realized that in the heat of it all i had lost sight of any purpose to the fight and so had quickly lost heart in the battle. Because i know it’s just my place to fight the Good fight [and that that in itself constitutes victory, regardless of tangible accomplishment] and God grants victories as He sees fit according to His Purposes in transforming us, because something about that was in my mind, i started to wonder what the point of all my fighting was if it was just going to rage at such intensity without an end in sight. But since what i was really dealing with was taking away from my flesh what had formerly been a very established dwelling place, it stands to reason that a very intense war should be involved. Isn’t that often the cause of a war? Two powers fight over the right to have dominion over a certain territory? Well, anyway, this is definitely the case, in my case : ).

Before Jesus birthed His Spirit into me, my flesh had total, unrivaled and even undetected dominion over this territory in my mind. i have, at times, thought of this thing as a need for me to lose 100 pounds because it is going to require a total transformation of how i have lived my entire life, in a radical and consistent and ongoing way. Well, after all my fighting i was probably only down to now needing to lose 98 or 99 pounds, and in thinking of it in those terms, i was very easily overwhelmed when i had no vision about what was happening and why i should or how i could continue to fight. Then i had that thought that said “the battles are for the purpose of gaining ground…………..”.

Some days are more intense than others—that just seems to be part of the process as we heard about it recently in the page about strengthening muscles involving cycles of things including a breakdown so that they can be rebuilt stronger. i needed to See WHY again and was greatly relieved at the sight of the reminder so thought maybe you would be, too : ). AND, i think if i can learn to see what i am fighting and why more clearly, then i can better learn how to obtain Help when i need it because i always will. The weakness won’t remain the same in type or measure, but i will ALWAYS have need of you by the Father’s ordained Plan, and i need to learn how to tap into that gift! i know the rate of victory only becomes threatening to our enemies when we fight Together.

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