The Battle Rages

Ann Voskamp calls it “spiritual Alzheimer’s.”

Paul says, “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” (Philippians 3:16)

And daily I struggle to not forget and to live up to what I have attained.

A friend once asked, as we sat at my sticky kitchen table, “Is it always going to be this hard?”

The question sank deep in my soul. Truth and life experience played tug of war.

“Greater is the one who is in you than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

But daily I feel the battle. Battle of flesh and spirit and of darker forces and spirit. Often I feel as if I lose the battles.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

Most days full feels heavy instead of abundant and some days full feels too much.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

That sounds so refreshing, but I guilt myself into thinking I should be doing something.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1)

Really God?! For me who should know better?

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)

Why do I forget? Gratitude ushers me into God’s presence. His presence brings hope and peace in the midst of the battle.

Is it that I just don’t ask God for the eyes to see the victory? So I forget to remember to thank Him and place my hope in Him?

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)

Or is it that I forget who God is? The One who is able and who is active now. Do I make God impotent and place my hope in what I do instead of in Him who is able? Is that why Solomon said, “everything is meaningless?”

Apart from gratitude for what God gives, when our minds focus on what we do instead of who He is, when our perspective stays firmly fixed on what we can see instead of what we cannot. It is there the battle is won–clinging in a grateful embrace to Him who is able.

What do you do when the battle rages around you?