There are some days I really enjoy my work. I am a care-giver for a man in my area four days a week for three hours a day. He has neuropathy, and the circulation in his feet and legs is really bad. So every day I sit at the end of his chair and massage his feet and legs. Usually he reads his newspaper as I work on his feet.
But this was Monday, and the local paper doesn’t run on Monday. As I was massaging his feet, somehow the conversation moved to WWII. He served as a Marine in the Pacific. I was so honored to sit at his feet and bring him some comfort. He fought for my freedom.
I asked him; “Were you fearful?” His response was so interesting to me.”When I first joined, I was seventeen, and I was fearful. I had never been away from the small town where I grew up, and I didn’t know what lay ahead of me. But when you have been in the battle a while, your fear changes. You become more comfortable. This can be dangerous, because you can let your guard down.” I so enjoyed that afternoon, because I came away with this thought. I began to take this man’s battle experience and make an analogy to our spiritual battles as Christians; especially in my own life. As young new Christians, we can struggle and be fearful, because we do not know what lies before us. In our walk with Christ, we grow and become familiar with the Word of God, and our life experiences are seasoned with God’s grace.
I have, in my lifetime, gone through the battles, been in the trenches, and the waves have covered me. By God’s grace, I am learning to trust Him in the battles. But I totally understand the statement this man made; “You can become too comfortable in the battle.” It is possible to become too comfortable with sin, with our spiritual enemies, to forget we are in the battle. In my spiritual battles, I can be too comfortable and allow my trust in The Lord to cause me much grief and regret. So I am reminded that I must stay focused and be on guard, for the enemy wants to distract us from the real purpose of who we are in Christ.
“And He said, Hear all Judah, and King Jehoshaphat; Thus say the LORD unto you: be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
2 Chronicles 2:15
The battle is not mine, but God’s. What a comforting thought! “For you have girded me with strength unto the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” (Psalm 18:39). So my encouragement to you and to me is don’t get comfortable in the everyday battle of life. Stay guarded, and your fear will never change but be focused on a powerful God Who gives us the strength. Follow the encouragement of John Piper to keep a “warfare mentality”. As the old hymn says:
Onward, Christian soldiers; Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before!
Christ the royal Master, Leads against the foe;
Forward into battle, See His banner go!
At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers, On to victory!
Hell’s foundations quiver At the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise!
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus Going on before!