The stakes must be high in a cause in order to engage us. The danger must be real or the reward must be great to make it worth our while. Most stories or biographies we remember hearing had high stakes. Loss of life or love... saving the world or risking a fortune.
This weighing of events is something we do in the visible and the invisible portions of our thought life. Fear may assault us when the personal stakes are high even though we may not understand the reasons and the reaction seems illogical. Our soul senses a potential loss. The higher the perceived loss the greater the fear.
On the other hand lust perceives a great reward. Cycles of sin can plague a person because even though they grow to hate the thing they do... deep in the recesses of who they are part of them sees a great, if only momentary, pay off.
Here is a great quote:
"The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. The Spirit of God apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with God and fight the battle out before Him. Until this is done, I lose every time. The battle may take one minute or a year, that will depend on me, not on God; but it must be wrestled out alone before God, and I must resolutely go through the hell of a renunciation before Him. Nothing has any power over the man who has fought out the battle before God and won there." -Oswald Chambers
In the light Grace and Truth trump any Earthly reward. Love and absolute acceptance make us brave. Our flesh will still cleave to the dust but the Spirit of God elevates us to the heights.
A steady diet of truth and sparring matches with God ready us for the battle that lies ahead.
It is said that every battle is a "battle of the mind" that the more we sweat in training the less we will bleed in battle. There is truth in that.
Christ has won the war. The victory has been declared in a land far away. It has been declared in the Book He has given us. I must hear it is my soul. It must be settled in my being. Sometimes we must go toe to toe with God and struggle with Him in order for it to be real to us. In this arena of discipleship God waves us on and says, "You want a piece of Me. Come and get it. Let's settle this once and for all." When the sun rises in us we find that miraculously God has not lost yet we have been declared the victor. The teacher has changed the student and the lesson has changed the stakes of our decisions forever.
If you think you will survive this life based solely on strength you are wrong. You will be enticed by a fable and not even know why. The battle needs to be won before you go... and it has been won. Our victory is the cross.