After a tumultuous day, my mom spoke words of wisdom to me.
She said, “When you argue with flesh and blood, you’ll lose every time.”
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
She said, “Jesus wants us to take time from all the business to sit at His feet.”
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, MSG)
That particular day, I had gotten an ‘F’ in both.
And, as I expressed the weariness I felt from trying to do right, and the guilt I felt from messing up, she reminded me that mercy and grace follow me (Psalm 23:6).
Then, she reminisced on the WWJD craze. And, with a chuckle, she said, “If you had asked yourself What Would Jesus Do, you would have responded differently.”
She was right.
How Are We Instructed to “Fight”?
Even when you get what you want out of an argument, the guilt of disobedience lingers. And, look at all the fires you started with your tongue in the process – and who did you hurt along the way?
Sometimes real strength is walking away, sitting at God’s feet and fighting in your prayer closet.
You know how sometimes you just want to be reckless? Just do something stupid? Well, I’ve learned that it feels good for about 5 seconds.
But, if you’re really His, the Holy Spirit gives you a gut punch and you quickly realize there was no reward in the disobedience.
You also realize that restraint, though it may look weak and though it may be difficult, comes with joy and peace. Why? Because you did what you knew was right. And, pleasing God is the BEST victory.
Sometimes, we just need a reminder that living for Christ is the only life worth living.
I learned my lesson that day.
So, what’s the play call?
When you find yourself tempted to act or fight according to your OWN will…
1. Find a friend who knows the Word. When I called my mom, I called the right person. She was going to comfort (and correct) me with the Word. Not with her opinions.
2. Give people a second chance when they respond poorly the first time. Her first response was a little bit whack, but she called back and I’m glad I laid my offense down and answered.
3. Just do it. If you have a hard time living by God’s Word, you just have to do it. I can admit that sometimes God’s instruction sounds a little like, “Yeah, right.” But, remember your flesh can’t understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14).
4. Grace and mercy follows you. You won’t always get it right, but that’s why there’s grace and mercy. Don’t linger in your mess-up. Go back and repent right away and never do that ever again.