Photo from: Pixabay
Oh, that her heart would change. That his heart would turn from bitterness to joy. Even that my own heart would be more patient. I try. We try. But we come to the battle with no weapons save our own will.
Paul knows a thing or two about how effective a weapon our wills are:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15.)
When it comes to matters of our hearts, the battlefield is the Lord’s alone.
There is nothing in our flesh able to defeat the power of sin. Nothing in us can be nurtured to overcome our sinful natures. Indeed, our inclination towards sin makes our efforts to eradicate our sinfulness futile.
Even when we win, we lose. Even when our wills triumph over that one sin, another must take root. To beat out impatience, we use pride. To defeat our sense of discontentment, we turn to worldly comforts like gluttony. Fighting the battles of the heart on our own leaves us lost in thick of it, swapping out old battles for new battles.
To win battles of the heart, the Lord has to be in command. His power must slay our sin. And His Spirit must stand in its place and restrain us from fleeing after the enemy again.
Beyond the battles of our own hearts, this is true for those we love. I can’t speak for you, but I can say myself that I’ve tried to free others’ hearts from tyrannical sins…unsuccessfully.
I’ve tried to reason with loved ones’ crushed by doubt and disappointment. Upon seeing other stumble into sins of indifference or apathy towards the Lord, I’ve charged in, Bible waving. It’s hard to see others at war in their hearts –especially when they are losing.
But, just as I can’t win against my own flesh, I also can’t win against theirs. I can’t change her heart or heal his anymore than I can manufacture true patience from my own filth.
Isn’t Christ’s coming clear? “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” Though we are to fight the good fight of faith, it’s fought in the Spirit, on our knees, as followers of the one who the victory belongs to. That victory is His because the war is His. He’s the only one who could win it. It remains true.
When our hearts can find no peace from the wars waged inside, we must step back from the front lines and let the Lord fight for us. When our loved ones are locked in a stalemate with themselves, we must first call on the Lord to end the war.
We’ll all lose. And that’s how we’ll win.
He shares the victory. He knows what’s best. He made the heart, and He’s made it anew. When we race to put our wills’ to work and our rationale into force against theirs’, we rush into wars that we can’t win.
Clear the battlefield, my friends, our victory is ready. (tweet this!)
There is no heart He cannot reach, and we do better in the trenches of triage, where lies the true fight of faith.
This post is being shared on: #Thought-Provoking Thursday #Faith-Filled Friday, #DanceWithJesus, and #LifeGivingLinkup.