We’re continuing our series on fighting battles. I'm calling these 'spiritual battles', as most of the battles we face in life, as Christians, could be said to be spiritual even if they seem physical.
For me, the challenge of my husband’s unbelief used to be a massive spiritual battle. It was a battle to hold onto my own faith and to keep our marriage unified, a battle for his salvation, and a battle for our children's faith. Phew, that’s one enormous fight! Of course, it was mammoth, and for a long time I felt completely overwhelmed. Over time, though, I fought that ‘giant’ – The ‘giant’ of spiritually mismatched marriage – and it became smaller. In my eyes it began to look more like a locust than a giant.
That’s what overcoming looks like. Has the circumstance changed? Yes. But the bigger change has been in my resilience. Hallelujah!
Now, with that battle under my belt, I have a new one: A health challenge. And, I’m considering anew "How do I fight this?" This time, I know that I must assess the giant, like David eyeballed Goliath in 1 Samuel 16.
We could say that a ‘giant’ is any mammoth situation that feels overwhelming. Many of us have scary things that feel bigger than us. A hard situation can feel so intimidating, in fact, that we can barely fight. That's why we need easy tools. More on that in a later post.
For now, when we have a giant to fight it could be a good idea to pull out paper and pen and sit with the Lord to ask him questions. “Tell me about this giant, Lord?” We could ask. Even if we're bawling our eyes out and mopping our tears with tissues, we could still eek out the question: "Tell me about the giant, Lord?" And I've got four questions that spring to mind here. I'll mention two today, and two next time.
1. Lord, what lies am I believing about this giant?
In my own present battle, the physical circumstance of sickness is definitely the giant. I'm fighting that, and my aim is healing -- yes. But, my anxiety and fear of it is possibly the bigger issue - - It's the noise in my head that the giant is causing. I’m battling lies such as, “I’m never going to get better!” And then, “I’m scared of that.” Those thoughts are not of God. So, then, the giant is not just the physical circumstance. It’s also the voice of the enemy.
In the story of Goliath (1 Samuel 16), Goliath is a boisterous thing. He’s got a lot to say, coming out for 40 days in a row, shouting his head off about how nobody can defeat him and he’s going to make everyone his servants. The result? The Israelites are fearful and dismayed!
Well, that’s pretty much what the giant of sickness looks like -- Or any giant that is a physical circumstance of some sort. It's in your face, shouting its head off and distressing you. But to recognize that is the start of the great fight. One of my most important things, then, is to recognize the noise of the giant so that I can shut my ears to it.
What I conclude here is that I'm fighting two things: The physical circumstance, and the noise/lies in my head that it brings.
2. What is the enemy trying to achieve using this giant?
Ultimately, the enemy wants us to be a less effective Christian all-round so, for a start, I can look at the giant with those goggles and roll up my sleeves.
I'm considering, right now, what satan might possibly be trying to achieve through this particular giant, and I will doggedly move in the opposite spirit. "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" (1 Samuel 17:43) roared Goliath at David. To that I say "Yes, you are a dog, and I will doggedly move against your purposes!"
It might be that the enemy is trying to destroy a particular relationship in our lives. Or, he might be trying to discourage us from serving in a particular area. In my case an obvious one is "He's probably having a go here at stopping the SUM writing, so NO!" He's also having a go at my peace and joy to distract me. Again, NO.
How about you? What might the giant in your life be trying to stop you from doing?
My friends, we'll carry on chatting on Monday. In the meantime, I wish you a good weekend, and all the best with analyzing those giants!