Monday, December 22, 2014

How We War Reflects How We Walk

"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh." - 2 Corinthians 10:3 ESV

It's funny how these two things are linked. In the previous verses Paul addresses the fact that there are people who think he, and those with him, walk according to their natural tendencies but one of the things that Paul cites as evidence to the contrary is the way he deals with conflict.

When we 'practice the presence of God' our potential reactions can instead be manifested as responses because we are aware of a different provision.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. Look at what is before your eyes." - 2 Corinthians 10:4-7a ESV

Reaction can undermine our confidence because then our source comes into question. There is a potential opening to self condemnation and accusation from those around us.

Here is a verse that has been a well of refreshment for me.

"Then he said to them, 'Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.' " - Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

God's joy becomes our first line of defense. We go happily on the mission as a person who is sent out with portions to deliver. Conflicts and knowledge of personal shortcomings must catch up to a person with the divine momentum of joy and that in itself is not an easy thing to do.

Away we go plucking accusations against God (and us) out of the air and casting them down as we make our divine deliveries. The care has to catch us first. Correction can be absorbed and applied while condemnation just rolls off of us.

The conflict has to stop us in order to engage us and the joy that has become our strength is God's joy. Someone may not be happy with us but God is. We may feel off balance but God Is thinking great thoughts about us. God has joy because of the finished work. Sin is paid for. He loves the fellowship and communion of His children. His Shalom becomes our peace. His joy becomes our momentum.

Even if we fail and react God stays the same so we can rebound quickly and go on. Condemnation can be cast down and we can be up and moving again by God's power.

People will see the way we 'fight' and become aware of our altered spiritual state. They may just think we have 'happy dispositions' but the Spirit will witness something else to them if they are available to hear it.


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