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Monday, January 06, 2014

The War Within

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For any bow hunter, (I am one) it is a real
treat to be in the woods during early November
and be lucky enough to watch two bucks going head to head. Male deer battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally smashing antlers together as they collide. Often the antlers, their only weapon, are broken. That ensures defeat. It’s not always the heftiest buck with the largest antlers that triumphs. Usually, it’s the buck with the greater fight in him that wins.

NFL running back and the only two-time college Heisman trophy winner, Archie Griffin, once said of life, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Whether we realize it or not, life is a fight. We live in the midst of a war zone. Spiritual warfare is something we all do. Some do it well while others do not. Spiritual warfare is not for the fainthearted. It can be a painful process. Even while we desire the light of Christ in our heart, that same light shines into all the dirty corners causing us to see parts of ourselves that we would prefer to run from.

The problem for many who claim to be followers of Jesus is that we just haven’t been taught how to “Wrestle with Ourselves!” That’s why people in the church are just as addicted, just as lonely, just as angry, and just as empty as those outside the church. What are you wrestling with right now?
God put you together to wrestle. To fight! To battle!
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Corinthians 10:3, 4 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…

The Apostle Paul understood this well. Most of his life in Jesus was one battle after another after another. And still, as he could see death approaching, he said with strength:
II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.”

There is no question that life is a fight. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll all admit to wrestling with something right now. The question is who or what is going to win?

In the words of an old sea captain motivating his crew: “The world is not interested in the storms you’ve encountered, but did you bring the ship into port.”

Starting in January, Lincoln Christian Church will take a deeper look at what it means to wrestle spiritually. What does it means to wrestle with ourselves? Welcome to the War Within!

Upcoming Sermon Series
January 5 Wrestling with Faith
January 12 Wrestling with Choices
January 19 Wrestling with Relationships
January 26 Wrestling with Love for this World
February 2 Wrestling with Death
[Ron Otto, Preaching Minister]


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