This time of year brings a lot of rain to the Pacific Northwest and along with it comes mud! My long-haired dachshund loves to help in the yard and if my hands come into contact with dirt he believes I have given him automatic free reign to dive in too. His 2-inch legs quickly dig a hole that engulfs him head to tail. His passion and love for digging at this time of year brings about a soggy muddy, yet ecstatic wiggly mess.
So what does that have to do with the spiritual?
We are rather the same. Our passions and desires can quickly find us covered in mud, even those that are good, profitable and enjoyable. If we allow those passions to run ahead of God’s plan for our lives we can quickly feel overwhelmed, frustrated and well, rather muddy. We have become distracted from what He desires for our life.
If your passions and desires run you into that place where peace has disappeared – stop – step back – refocus at the feet of Jesus. Don’t keep digging in the mud.
Just as a warm soapy bath awaits my little muddy buddy sometimes we too need a quick cleansing. That is easily found when we look back to the cross of Christ and wait in His presence. Suddenly all the mud is washed away and peace reigns. We enjoy the bubbles and abide in a promised place of rest as we trust His leading not our own.
John 15:5 (ESV) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
This week was full of military training maneuvers that made themselves known in my home. Hour after hour the floor shook, my dishes rattled and my anxious dachshunds barked – and more then once did my own gasp escape and heart rate jump. But, today I was pondering the natural and spiritual of the training process; the training is necessary in both arenas.
Training for battle is required for a positive outcome!
In the natural, our military must be prepared at all times, willing and ready to obey a call in an instant as well as prepared for the job at hand. Each has a place to strategically move to and work from. Without training maneuvers the ability to instantly produce a needed outcome would not occur.
In the spiritual it is similar. We are encouraged to be ready in season and out, to put on the armor of God, to keep alert and be watchful for the enemy’s tactics. The difference? We are not to fight under another mans armor, to fight on our own behalf, to even use our own words in the warfare. BUT – to know that the battle’s outcome belongs to the Lord. We are to stand, stand firm in faith! We are to pray in the spirit at all times – not using our own words to accomplish the battle but knowing HIS words will deliver. Our aim in all areas of the conflict is to bring restoration and peace – and this aim must come from a place of love.
The battle is not our own but HIS!
HOWEVER – we must fight!
We fight against the spiritual forces that surround, infiltrate and overcome our minds, our environment, our physical bodies and our daily lives. So how do we do that? It is all about being trained and ready for battle – knowing the place to move to and work from at the right time, and that training is found as we wait in HIS presence. When we are trained for battle the outcome is one of victory!