Fight Club 103d - Know Yourself
We're still talking about knowing yourself - but shifting gears. We talked about responses earlier, let's come back to it. It's important to understand that when you're under attack... no... not even to that extreme... when you're put under pressure, you will respond in one of three ways.
I know you've heard it before. And yes, fight or flight is a real thing. But there's a third reaction - freeze. When under attack, you either fight back, run away, or completely freeze in your tracks. And those responses can take place in a variety of forms.
The big question is of course, when life's tests and trials and attacks of the enemy come at you, what do you do? When you're put under pressure, how do you respond? See that? We've come back to what the Devil wants from you - a reaction. And as I said before (Fight Club 102b - Know Your Enemy), how you respond - how you react keeps you on top or forces you into a wrestling match.
Let's start with freeze. That one's easy to cover. You don't do anything at all. Nothing. Nathan. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Like a deer in the headlights, you simply freeze.
To a lot of people, freezing could look like saying, "Oh well. C'est la vie. Must be what God wants. Must be His will. You gotta roll with the punches." Want to know the truth about it? Although that may look like freezing to some people, it's really running away. It's pushing your responsibilities off altogether - or on someone else.
Now I'm going to catch some flack for this one, but I promise it'll all come together and it'll make more sense as we go through this series...
Let's talk about flight - about running away. In my opinion, kinda like I just said about what some people may see as freezing, simply going to God in prayer and doing nothing else is flight. That's running away from the fight. That's dumping your issue in His lap and leaving Him to deal with it. (Don't stop now! Don't shut down on me yet!)
Should we go to Him in prayer constantly and about everything? Yes. Absolutely. Of course. Should we cast our cares on Him? Yes. Absolutely. Of course. As my friend Luke Thompson says, "prayer isn't passive, it's powerful." But when we pray and then completely neglect our own role and responsibilities, we're running away. Prayer does not absolve you of your own individual, personal responsibility to act.
The problem is too many Christians wait until there's a problem, try to solve it themselves, fail, then go to God in prayer for help as a last resort. And then - while they say they're trusting Him to take care of it - they continue to worry or even just keep doing what they've been doing.
You can't pray then run away. Not unless God tells you to. In EVERYTHING you have to START with prayer. (Did I emphasize that enough?) And then you have to listen to what God tells you to do and then do it. That's part of how His kingdom comes and His will is done on earth. (We'll get to prayer later.)
Here we go. Fight Club. The point of our series, right? Fight. What is our fight? There's only one fight we're called to. There's only one fight that we have to engage in. And it's the good fight of faith.
What is a good fight? One that's already won. How is it already won? Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Like the verse says, we have to look to Him. After all, if God is for you, who can be against you (Romans 8:31)?
Rather than fighting against faith like so many do by doubting or simply not believing God, we should lean into and rely on our faith more in times of trouble. We have to look to the Word for God's promises, look to the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, look to Jesus to complete the faith that comes, and look expectantly to the Lord for a positive conclusion based on our faith in His Word.
Paul says "above all taking the shield of faith" (Ephesians 6:16) because without faith you don't have anything. Rooted in love - God's love and ours - faith is the building block for everything else. EVERYTHING hinges on your faith in the Word.
But faith isn't enough. Faith by itself will not get you over. Why? Because faith without works is dead. Faith acts on what it believes. To quote another friend of mine, Ray Lines says, "Faith is belief in action! When you live by faith, you relinquish control!"
I'm not going to do it for you. We don't have the time for it here and it's not the purpose of this series. If you've never done it before, now is the time to do a study on faith. Stop believing what everyone else says about what it is and what it isn't. Go find out for yourself. And pay close attention to the words in red - the times when Jesus talks about faith. What are you waiting for?
Practice the love of God.
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