Irene Wintermyer: Winning Wars
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.~Ephesians 6:12 NKJV
If you have never played a war game, there are many truths to gain from a winning strategy.
The leader in my alliance of twenty plus people uses the individual strengths of each member for the best possible outcome. We rally for battle and to cheer each other on with words of encouragement, even if loss is inevitable. On a daily basis we work as a team to destroy titans.
I’ve played this game for a little over a year and found it parallels to my Christian walk. I may not have titans to deal with, but there’s an unseen battle going on in the spiritual realm, one that places humanity in the center of its battlefield every day.
Not only are we instructed to put on the whole armor of God to gain victory against the enemy, but we must also build each other up—our true alliance in Christ.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity on anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
In the military there is a guiding principle, no man gets left behind. Soldiers who are physically able carry their lame or weakened comrades to safety. God’s concept is no different, and this is why surrounding yourself with a community of believers is important. I love the way The Message version reads in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” Alone we are vulnerable, but there is safety in numbers against despair, loneliness, and wandering off God’s path.
The key to success is communication and participation. Friends and family can’t help if we don’t share what’s going on in our life. It’s a lonely journey when we mistakenly assume people are mind-readers and wait for them to respond. For any relationship to work, it takes the cooperation of all parties.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.~Galatians 6:2 NLT
If you’re like me, introverted, the vulnerability of opening myself to people was, and still is at times, one of the hardest battles to overcome. Much of my timidity came from feelings of abandonment. The deepness of my pain caused me to place a protective barrier around my heart for many years. But God brought me through this pain to a place where I realized how much I needed others in my life. Since I lacked the ability to make friends, or so I thought, I got involved, which also took mental effort. The more I focused on helping others, the less I focused on myself, which enabled me to develop healthy loving relationships. Without taking the risk, I would have never discovered how awesome the rewards are.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.~Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Growth didn’t come from me sitting on the sidelines; it came from putting myself out there and trusting God to do the rest. I took those baby steps and accepted there may be an occasional flop on my bottom. But when those moments occur, I have my alliance in Christ to help me back on my feet. If we give everything over to God, He will direct our path.
Are you vulnerable, or armored up with your alliance in Christ to face the battlefield every day?
Father in Heaven, I’ve been hurt many times and struggle to let people in, anticipating the worst. But You Lord, promised to never leave or forsake me, to lead the way and protect my back, and to love me no matter what. Help me to lean on You during times of fear, hopelessness, and loneliness, and take the focus off myself. Help me to build relationships and begin to trust, knowing that You will always be by my side.
In Jesus name. Amen.
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