Fighting the Good Fight

I’ve been fighting a war for years…and losing. Though there has been no bloodshed and death, the war is real and damaging, mostly to myself but also to those I care about most. Some days the battles are fierce and endless, and I bow my head in defeat. Other days I withstand the enemy and claim victory, knowing that tomorrow will be another day and another battle.

I’ve won the first battle of the flesh the today. I woke up at 6:30 am and though I battled whether or not to roll over and stay in bed, my flesh lost and here I am. Quiet house, yummy coffee. Solitude and my computer.

Over the years I’ve seen my flesh grow weaker and undisciplined…
“Just 30 more minutes in bed. The kids can make their own breakfast. It’s quiet downstairs. I sleep best in the morning hours because I don’t get to bed until after midnight and when I do get to bed before midnight I toss and turn for two hours so why go to bed early?”

“What’s one piece of cake matter? It’s a birthday party. But when you have two birthday cakes per birthday and several parties over the course of Spring, and choose yummy fattening foods instead of salads, and eat an extra couple of pizzas at the buffet, and that extra five pounds you managed NOT to gain over Christmas suddenly appears on your posterior and your clothes feel tighter, then IT really does matter.”

“I just don’t have to time to exercise or I’m too tired. Yes, it’s true, To fit exercise in something has to give, but it seems that now at 39 yrs. old I can’t get away with NOT exercising and NOT gaining weight, and on my 5 ft 3 1/2 inch frame which in my opinion still boasts and EXTRA 20 lbs. of baby fat, any more added weight is unacceptable. So why did I have that piece of chocolate the other day?”

And I won’t even mention how many times a day I loose my patient with my family and my “angry eyebrows” rear their ugly, bushy little heads!

But I know “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

I know it, and yet I don’t put on my armor daily. Most times I don’t even recognize there is a battle going on until I’ve lost. Why is crucifying the flesh so hard? Jesus knew the answer! “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

For fun, I wanted to see what THE MESSAGE Bible had to say about it:
“Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

Yep, knew I was lazy, eager for God, but wait…what’s that…go back and read it again (I’m talking to myself here.) STAY ALERT and…something I’ve been convicted about lately and one of the keys to winning the battle. PRAYER.

Over the years I’ve gotten too busy for real prayer. Sure, I talk to the Lord constantly especially in times of trouble and I “think” things over and call that prayer. As a “do-er” prayer is hard for me. It just doesn’t seem like I’m accomplishing anything. But that too is a tactic of the enemy. He knows my weaknesses and will use them to his advantage.

Okay, bringing it all back home…I am in a war! I’m a soldier trying to fight the good fight, but I’ve been fighting without my Commanding Officer. I’ve finally re-remembered I can’t fight on my own and win. I know, I’ve been trying and failing for so long. But I will lose if I don’t consult my CO and use the weapons He has given me. The armor, the Word and prayer.

And I also need to remember that to win a war you fight one battle at a time.
One battle at a time.

5 Responses to Fighting the Good Fight
  1. Carol
    August 13, 2008 | 12:23 pm

    Great message, Gina. Prayer is so important for us to fight the good fight!

  2. Joanne
    August 13, 2008 | 2:32 pm

    What a great reminder to stay in prayer. This hit home for me. Self-discipline is so lacking right now. I guess I don’t need to explain, instead of cleaning up the house, I’m posting a comment.

    enough said?

  3. Donna
    August 14, 2008 | 4:02 am

    Thanks so much for sharing that Gina, I really need to hear it right now! The way The Message put it was really unique, but you brought my attention to the bit I missed – Be alert and Stay in prayer. How often we skim over important statements like that!

  4. Gina
    August 17, 2008 | 1:08 am

    Thanks ladies, glad you can relate to my struggle. Sometimes it’s easy to get lazy and lax, especially when things are easy and going our way. But that’s when it’s even more important for us to stay alert. Preaching to myself here!

  5. Staci
    August 26, 2008 | 5:53 pm

    Gina, I’m trying to catch up on all the posts I missed while on vacation. This one was so touching. I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! In so many ways, it seems. Thanks for the honesty and for sharing these words!