In the battle between flesh and spirit, a secret weapon lingers. One that has the power to completely disarm us, render us paralyzed, and hand us over captive to the relentless dictator named Resignation.
And that secret weapon the enemy wields so effortlessly is the belief that we are fighting alone.
This weapon brandishes the lie that we must master whatever sin has us ensnared.
That the struggle is real, and real hard, and in real time, and we are really alone in it.
This lie whispers that until we master what is trying so hard to tame us, God is removed from the frontlines. That He's rendered to the side, waving a flag and cheering us on, and anxiously waiting for us to just beat this thing already so He can be reunited with us in fellowship.
That it's all on us.
How perfect a deception this is! Can't you see the enemy patting himself on the back for this clever manipulation? It sounds so good and Christian-y on the surface. "I'm going to change for you, God. I'm going to get all this right so I can be close to you again. I'm going to fight and win this thing." Sounds holy and pure.
But it's dripping in evil.
Because it's voiding the cross.
If we have the power within ourselves, by ourselves, to wrangle the flesh and disarm our temptations, then why do we need Jesus? And why did the Holy Spirit ever come?
One of my catch phrases at work is "I've got this." Meaning - I've got this under control, I'm handling it, I'm on it, so don't worry about it, Boss.
Well, tell me, regarding this battlefield for the soul - if we've got this...then who has us?
Because we don't have it, we can't do it on our own. We think so at first. But after those few minutes when it seemed like we could do it, when we rallied and tried so hard and made effort - after that comes failure. Defeat.
And then resignation, one of the favorite weapons of the enemy. How do I know it's a favorite? Because it's the one he uses over and over again. And it's the most dangerous of all deceptions for the heart to believe.
Resignation = an act of retiring or giving up a position or the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.
If the enemy can get us to believe we can beat our temptations, sins, and struggles on our own, he knows that the undeniable "next" is going to be failure - and after failure comes the lack of will to continue.
It's the perfect trap, the perfect cycle to render us permanently on the sidelines. Permanently stuck in our rut, permanently bound and then just accepting it as how it is so we don't try again. We live with the addiction, we live with the pain, we live with the depression, we live with the hurt, we live with the chains because we have resigned ourselves to thinking that's all there is. This is as good as it gets.
From hell's perspective, it's truly genius.
But NO. This is false. This is a lie.
My pastor said something recently that really lingered - that God changes me, changes you, from a position of peace with Himself.
We are not at war against God until we master what we struggle with! No. He is on our side before, during and after the transformation, the change, the victory.
He isn't on the side. He's on the frontlines. He's wielding the Sword of the Spirit (His Word) and fighting not only with you but for you. He wants you to be free even more than you want it.
Isaiah 61:1 - The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me (Jesus) because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."
You aren't alone in the struggle. His blood that dripped down Calvary's cross is the same blood that's seeped into the ground on your battlefield.
And if you're His, He won't let up until you are free.
You aren't captive to your sin. You're captive to His freedom.
It's time for your victory march.
2 Corinthians 2:14 - But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.