I am a soldier in the army of God. I toil, I exercise, and I discipline my body to fight. One aspect of being a soldier that I often forget is the duty to protect.
But unlike the United States Army regiment that defends and protects our country, I defend and protect something entirely different. I do not battle against flesh and blood (but let’s be frank, we have all wondered why our bodies and minds are so easily swayed). I battle to protect my mind and my heart.
Tiredness clouds my vision and emotions swarm around in my heart. This battle is tough. It is so tough that there are moments when I become numb to the feeling. I realize that numbness is a place of danger, it is my enemy. Speaking truth to myself is one of the biggest weapons I have to protect my mind and my heart and I constantly fail to use it.
Jimmy Needham recorded a song called “Hurricane” and when asked about why he wrote the song he stated this:
“We want God to come to us, and He shows up in a lot of different ways,” he continued on saying, “He comes as a loving Father; he comes as a friend, as an encourager, as a healer. But sometimes He shows up as a hurricane, and the God we thought came to comfort us actually came to wreck us. It looks tragic, but nothing could be further from the truth. When God destroys us, it is only so He can build us back up again.”
My captain, my leader, my King, allows me to go through hard times of training. Often, it is to break me of my pride. Sometimes it is to clean up the lies I continue to grasp onto and hold. It has taken me some time to believe that this training is good.
2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV) “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
He loves me unconditionally, you know. He loves this world unconditionally. My commander has never failed. In fact, I am the disobedient one. I go against orders. I break my trust with my leader. The problem is not Him. It is me. And that crushes my heart. The same mouth that has declared loyalty to God’s regiment is the same one that cowardly runs in times of intense trial. I am afraid I am too weak. So I ask. Would you fight for me? God fights for me always. Even when I do not ask. He is patient. He is kind. And He fights. Therefore, my aim is to please the one who enlisted me.
My thankfulness overflows for the grace bestowed upon me. His undeserved kindness to me causes my once strong legs to buckle in humility. C.J. Mahaney quotes in his book, Humility: True Greatness:
“Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.”
I need him. In a world where we deny need, I proudly proclaim I need God. Not for my own purposes. He is to be glorified and He will be, with or without me.
My joy is not seated in people, circumstances, money, success, or material gain. No, my joy increases when I remain fixated on the wonder and awe of God’s love. I ask for Him to fight for me because I cannot fight my sin on my own.
I am done fighting…alone. I now fight with renewed vigor. He has picked me up and I fight alongside Him. Be encouraged this week, you do not have to fight alone.
Time has come–Time has passed
A lot has been happening over the course of the last month. Unfortunately, time has slipped by and posts have been left unwritten. Nonetheless, I still have great stories to share.
Thanksgiving 2015 came and passed in a flurry. After 6 hours of driving, I was finally reunited with my family. I was also greeted with the gift of a new niece that week. (: Thankfulness abounded with the Swingle family.
When I went back to Ohio, myriads of activities happened. One night I was privileged to babysit 5 rambunctious kiddos with my right hand woman, Ally. And I was able to spend precious time with some of my dearest friends.
Needless to say, Ohio is still treating me well. I love my joy and I love serving people. The next adventure is flying home for Christmas. Until next time, Merry Christmas!
Joining Jesus in His Joy,