The Greater Battle

IMG_7385A friend reminded me of something this week. They sent me a little message to share where they were at in their journey with the Lord, and the Lord caused me to remember. I was walking back to my car at the end of nightshift when I read the message. As I placed the keys in the car, I suddenly felt a deeper sense of purpose in the work I was doing. When I am at work, when I am earning money, I am also working to help my brothers and sisters achieve all that God has purposed for them.

Usually, when I go to work, I pray for God to be present – that His love would saturate my workplace, that His peace would be felt, that His face would be seen, and that His voice would be heard. I pray for myself – that I would be attentive to the leading of His Spirit, that I would be His hands to heal, to speak, and to bless. My husband and I also pray for one another as we go to work. I have had incredible opportunities and testimonies at work, and I have just enjoyed living and working with God.

One thing I haven’t thought of much, is the money I earn while at work. Every two weeks I get paid, and that is also part of my job. My husband and I have automatic payments set up which are great because we know the people we are supporting will always get their funds on time. However, it also means we can potentially forget about them. We want to be intentional about what we are giving and where we are giving to. Our church, of course, will always get a percentage. Then, we have a few missionaries and organisations we are supporting and praying for. My friend’s message reminded me that when I am at work, I am also working to help others achieve what God has purposed for them – I am helping to provide the means for God’s people to build His kingdom wherever they are. That really struck me, and I felt a renewed sense of purpose and joy in going to work (even as I was already loving my job in paediatrics!).

Through prayer, through the money I earn and give away, I can impact God’s kingdom even where I am not directly involved. This year, for my birthday, we made shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Those shoeboxes are going to a country I have never visited, but that one I have prayed for. What we do everyday is so much bigger than just what we see. The battle is greater, the victories more numerous, and the fruit more abundant than what I see with my eyes. Even in my workplace, I have started to sense the intensity of the war we face on earth.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the full armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – [Ephesians 6:12-13]

Broken families are nurturing broken children. Broken children are growing to become disenchanted adults, and these disenchanted adults are finding no solace. The incidence of children and young adults who are depressed, self-harming, or even committing suicide, is shocking. To hear children younger than ten years old speak in a way reminiscent of the forty year old chronic substance abuser really saddens me. To hear the forty year speak of life’s hopelessness also saddens me. At the same time, it moves me to action.

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So, what can I do?

1) Recognise that God is in Command

I recognise that the battle is greater than what I see. I might water and I may plant where God has placed me, but there are many more workers in the field, and it is God who oversees the battle. I steward what He has given me, and watch as He makes the world grow. I surrender all I have to Him.

“So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” – [1 Corinthians 3:6-9]

 

2) Put on the Armour of God

A soldier is no good without a defense. We need to know how to block the enemy’s attack, deflect his blows, and stand firm in faith. To do so, we need to be growing continuously in God – in His truth, in His righteousness, in knowing His word, in knowing our salvation in Christ, and in keeping our faith in Him. Our defense is in our resting in God. My armour and my shield are held ready when I cultivate intimacy in my relationship with God.

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation…” – [Ephesians 6:14-15]

 

3) Fight with the Sword of the Spirit

Ephesians goes on to say that we should “take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is who Jesus was as He walked the earth, it is the power and the salvation of God that remains alive and active today. It is what Revelation describes will subdue the earth under God’s authority in the last days. What better weapon to bring into the battle, than the power of Christ crucified, the power of His love, and the power of His sacrifice. I can wield the sword of the spirit when I hide God’s word in my heart. His Spirit gives me greater depth perception, shows me the wisdom of God and gives me authority to speak.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – [Hebrews 4:12]

 

4) Join the Army

This battle wasn’t meant to be fought alone. There is teamwork involved, and we can join the army of God’s saints, backed by the heavenly hosts. We worship together, support one another, charge onwards to proclaim the gospel, and look to God, our Lord and King. We are builders together, workers together, God’s royal priesthood. The banner of this army is love for God, and love for each other. I join this army as I serve God, fellowship and pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ Let us also pray for the Lord to send more workers into the field!

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – [John 13:34-35]

 

Here are some practical ways to put this into practice:

  • Devote a longer time out this week to spend in God’s word and in prayer
  • Encourage a brother or sister in Christ with a message or gift
  • Support a local mission – do a fundraiser, or join an outreach event
  • Dare to speak about how God sees things as topics arise in conversations
  • Get more involved in your church

 


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