Where are my fellow Narnia geeks at?
One movie scene that has a special place in my heart is the battle scene from “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
It’s such a beautiful picture of Jesus rising from the grave and defeating death once and for all. The story is about Him and His victory.
But when I watch this movie, I can’t help but notice that even though [spoiler alert…but on the real, this movie has been out forever] Aslan is the one who ultimately kills the White Witch, Peter and Edmund still fight.
Sometimes I don’t fight. I don’t fight things like pride and anxiety and depression and weakness. I often, in fact, find myself doing the opposite and submitting to them, with the mentality that God is going to get me out eventually.
With the mentality that I am powerless.
I’ve figured something out about the devil, though. He wants us to feel that way, like there’s nothing we can do about the darkness that he sneaks into our lives. Like it’s going to be there forever, whether we like it or not.
When we say we “struggle” with one thing or another, what are we really saying?
Here’s something I didn’t realize about myself for awhile: Whenever I said I “struggled” with something, what I actually meant was that I did the thing pretty consistently and almost unconsciously and then felt bad about it.
That’s not quite what it means to struggle. Here’s how it’s actually defined:
Make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.
Forceful. Violent. The complacency with which I often approach prayer and the darkness in my life doesn’t exactly fit that description. Struggling doesn’t mean letting the other guy kick your butt. Struggling means fighting like the warriors we are. It means plundering the pits of hell and taking back what is ours; it means we stop acting like we are powerless when God says in His word that He has given us a spirit of power. Let’s struggle, my friends. Let’s struggle for real. It changes things–I’ve seen it work in my own life in multiple areas.
Ways to Fight
And don’t be afraid to be creative with it.
A few weeks ago I finally started to take prayer seriously.
I have a walk-in closet that I’m now also using as a prayer room.
First I made it an inviting space. I threw some comfy pillows in, along with some candles (Note: Did not actually throw the candles). Pretty soon I’ll get around to figuring out how to fix the broken light fixture so I don’t have to literally sit in darkness. Oh, the joys of college.
I hung up sheets of paper labeled “Personal,” “Family,” “Friends,” and “Nations,” and every time I pray for something new for any of those things I write it down.
I bought pretty sticky notes and whenever I stumble across a Bible verse that relates to something I’m praying for I stick it up on the wall. It’s fun to be able to see the things I’ve prayed for, because some of them have already happened and I probably would have otherwise forgotten that I even prayed for them.
Whatever your style of prayer looks like, be consistent. I’m still practicing this one. Set aside a prayer time every day independent from your quiet time. It doesn’t have to take forever. It can just be ten minutes of commitment to pray for whatever God is putting on your heart. Prayer works, my friends. If you’re serious about it, it works.
2. Make a decision.
We all have to decide 1) who we’ll submit to and 2) who we’ll resist. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
When we don’t actually struggle, we do the opposite. We submit to the devil and resist God.
Actions speak much louder than words on this one. Before we can submit to God, we have to first be consumed with love for Him. To be able to resist the devil, first we need to know that everything he promises us when he tempts us is a lie. Reading God’s word helps a ton with both of these things. It teaches us more about who we’re following, which will inevitably lead to a greater love for Him, and it also puts truth into our hearts so we’ll be able to recognize deceit from a mile away.
This one takes time and growth. Messing up doesn’t mean you don’t love God or you’re going to hell. Romans 5:20-21 says, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
3. Enlist help.
I talked about community a lot in my last post. One of the many great things about community is having accountability partners. If you feel convicted about an area that you absolutely cannot get under control, ask for help. There’s no shame, and if someone shames you for admitting weakness then that’s a big problem with them, not you.
Pray for each other.
Commiserate with each other.
Find mentors. I’ve heard of accountability groups getting together where if one person messes up, everyone fasts for a day or two. I don’t know about you, but that would make me think twice.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.”
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.”
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Let’s Be Warriors.
Let’s be the ones who persevere; the ones who get to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” on that last day. Let’s live in the mentality that we are warriors. We are soldiers under the King of kings and Lord of lords.
That’s a cause worth fighting for.