Today we’ve been thinking about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who serve this country in the armed forces. There’s a lot to be thankful to them for, and there is a lot we can learn from them, but the chances are that most of us are unlikely to find ourselves in an armed conflict.
To be honest I suggest to you now that if I am ever responsible for protecting this country from invasion you run as far and as fast as you can because the resistance isn’t going to last very long, at least not unless the enemy has an irrational fear of Doctor Who related trivia.
Having said that, as Christians we are in a war, and like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it is a war against oppression, injustice and evil
The Bible says this
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 v 12)
There is a war going on between God and the Devil and we are God’s foot soldiers and just like a earthly war this war is made up of many battles. I don’t know exactly what battles each individual here is going through today, but I would like to spend a few minutes thinking about one battle that many people face.
The Battle of Monday Morning!
So to set the scene a little bit it is Monday morning. You were at church the previous morning and the talk was about the fruits of the spirit. You left church yesterday fully committed to having a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
But that was yesterday. Today it was raining and the train was 20 minutes late, which has severely dented your patience. You arrived in work to see your inbox overflowing with work that your boss has dumped on you (they would call ‘delegated’), your joy has now left the building. A colleague informs you that they need a file off you by 10 o’clock, you can’t complete the file until another one of your colleges contributes their half, adios love and gentleness. Then the stationary order arrives with a complimentary industrial sized pack of biscuits – your self control never really stood a chance.
Now the question comes. ’how was your weekend? What did you get up to?’. Your heart says ‘Tell them about Church, tell them about worshipping God and the wonderful peace that comes from a relationship with him’, but something inside you says ‘they don’t want to hear about that, moan about the rugby’.
What do you say?
It’s a battle to say the right thing when your resolve has been dented and you’re scared of what the reaction might be.
Battles like this go on all day every day in the lives of every single Christian. These kinds of decisions face you constantly. Do I join in with the office gossip session or challenge them? Do I admit I haven’t done my homework or try and blag it? Shall I keep the secret that has been entrusted to me or use it to my advantage?
The way that we respond to these battles have a major bearing on what we can contribute to this war, so how can we make sure that we win our battles?
There is no easy answer; I would say to read your bible and pray, but to be honest, choosing to do those things over watching TV can be a pretty big battle in and of itself.
I will say this though, however hard it may be, no matter how many times we may feel like we have failed, we can still know completely and utterly that we will win the war, because Jesus will give us the ultimate victory.
The God we serve is the all-powerful creator of the universe . Nothing can happen within this world without his agreement. He can bend the laws of time and space with a flick of his wrist.
And he is on our side.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8 v 38 & 39)
So tomorrow morning when the question comes, let us remember how awesome our God is, and let us remember that he will win this war on the final day.