The Good Fight – 1

(edited)

Bravery, courage, valor…

How do you see yourself as a man? Are words like strong and passionate words that you would choose to describe yourself?

Do you have what it takes to be an overcomer?
God’s heart is for each of us to live free.

Do you have the heart to conquer?
Or have you already been defeated and beaten?

The battle we fight is for our freedom. Much of the Bible describes God’s warring activity. God’s jealousy is for the heart of his people and for their freedom.

God’s purpose if for the redemption and restoration of all things to wholeness. The enemy wants to stop the Kingdom by defeating us and keeping us captive.

If a man succeeds in securing his life against all risk, he will wind up in a cocoon of self-protection and wonder why he is suffocating.

The enemy appeals to the traitor’s desire for self-preservation. As long as we are trying to save ourselves, his tactics will work. We will shrink back.

But the opposite is also true. When a man resolves to overcome, when his life is given over to knowing truth and freedom, then he cannot be intimidated.

Above all else, an overcomer has a vision, not only for his own freedom, but for participating in the restoration of others. This is a cause greater than self-preservation.

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12 thoughts on “The Good Fight – 1

  1. Ah….Grace…

    When God speaks the same message to me, through different people, in different ways–in concert with his word–whether I want to or not, I listen. Sometimes I even hear. Sometimes I believe, I’m enabled to believe. And sometimes, my heart and mind are transformed as a result.

    Your series is timely, I’m s t r u g g l i n g through grasping the concept of warfare right now. God’s desire for my heart (to share in his glory) versus satan’s desire (to destroy it and defeat me in the process).

    Perhaps I’ve always only given a cursory wink and a nod at the “…powers of this dark world…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…”. Like a child who closes her eyes and sticks her fingers in her ears, I’ve chosen not to see the battle. But I sure have felt its effects…I bear the scars. Denial might well be one of the enemy’s most useful tools, or maybe it’s one of his greatest victories.

    I’m buying into Eldredge’s contention that “the story of my life is the story of the long and brutal assault on my heart by the one who knows what I could be and fears it.” Fears it! Understanding and believing I’m in battle is a step in the right direction for living out God’s calling in my life…

    I wish it was easier than this.

    Looking forward to your series :)…

  2. Grace,
    I read your Intro and now this segment #1. I think you have as much integrity and authority to speak to men about masculinity as men have to talk to women about femininity. Go for it, and I’ll be stopping by to read and learn.

  3. Sue,
    Thanks for the link, and I certainly agreed with his ideas about heroes versus saints. It’s easy to throw around words like warrior, hero, and soldier because they elicit an emotional response. I am considering whether the title reflects my intent with this series.

    Robin,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and “hearing” what I’m trying to say. I think it’s easy to look at the war as a cosmic, other-worldly battle. The reality is that we live it out in the moments of our lives. However, I believe the battle to be free is a battle worth fighting, for ourselves, our children, and others.

    John,
    Thank you. You are such an encouragement.

    Dan,
    My thoughts are highly influenced by Eldredge, Wild at Heart and some of his other books. His books came into my life at a time when God was teaching me about the joy and peace of living free from the hurts of the past and the lies of the enemy.

    His themes of overcoming the enemy’s work in my life and living free of the masks we use to hide our hurts and fears resonated with me. At that time, that message became a passion of mine and I sought it out and saw threads of it in many of the things that I read.

    While I have made the message my own in the sense that it is part of the lens in which I view life, I am aware that I am simply echoing John and other wonderful teachers who were already heralding the message of living free in Christ. I am grateful for their revelation and insight.

    Not that you expected this long reply to your brief comment. :)

  4. Ugh, Grace.

    I sure hope you can pull this one out of the fire. Man as warrior is some of the worst teaching I’ve heard. Too much emphasis on ME. To much push to go out and do something FOR God.

    It preys on our human desire for significance–to make a *difference*.

    IMHO? Junk.

  5. i liked a lot of the wild at heart material and i liked the affirmation about men enjoying how God had created them but even more so how this is done relationally – learning about sacrifice, about laying down my rights, about living to enable others to experience more freedom, of opening myself up and being honest about the struggles/battles and that i am not a lone hero but part of a band of brothers and sisters has been so liberating for me.

    I don’t often feel particularly heroic but then again i think that’s often in hindsight, lol. Maybe for many of us that we keep hanging on is pretty heoric rather than giving up, giving in or giving out on our commitments, dreams, call, character, flaws, relationships etc..?

  6. The whole concept of the man as a warrior has struck chords within my heart in the past yet I have come to times of skepticism about it’s correctness. It’s like I go back & forth, back & forth.

  7. Grace~
    I just started reading your blog about a week ago and have to say, hi.
    I really like where you’re going with this series.
    “do you have a heart to conquer”?
    Love that.
    It’s been good for me to mull that over.
    Thanks.

  8. I still have not read Wild at Heart but if it states similar views to your post then I am sure I will like it. Thanks.

  9. Bob,
    I agree that the words warrior and hero can put too much of the focus on ourselves. My main point is about living free. I don’t want to detract from that by using cliches that suggest a kind of macho self-sufficiency because that is exactly opposite of where I am headed with this. Thanks for your input.

    Paul,
    Those are the themes that I found helpful also. I think rather than heroism perhaps the focus should be faithfulness, which at times can be a battle and require heroic perseverence. Living honestly and vulnerably is not necessarily for the faint of heart.

    carl,
    I think it strikes a chord because there is something within us that wants to be a participant in the activity of God. I think we see all through the NT scriptures that encourage us to press boldly into the things of God.
    As far as the warrior metaphor, I think that there is validity in recognizing the need to fight valiantly against the enemy and his lies. However, relationally with other people our lives are spent in loving and preferring others. This subverts mentalities of power and conquering.

    Hi Rhonda. I hope you do enjoy the series.

    inheritor,
    Thanks for your encouragement!People seem to either love or hate Wild at Heart. I’ve heard it called heresy. Like most things, if you read it, take what you need and leave the rest.

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