My Life with God

To Relinquish or Resist

The gospel is offensive enough. It doesn’t need your help.

I recently heard a speaker say we Christians are soft, afraid of battles. Is that truly the issue? I think we make it pretty obvious we’re willing to battle against or for the things that are important to us. I don’t know very many Christians would argue against introducing others to Jesus and discipling others in their faith. I don’t think the aversion is to battling as much as it is battling well and right. We will fight wrong ways to win the wrong things.

The battle or war is is not our fight. It’s God’s. He uses us. He works through us. That means we have to not only be willing to be bold and courageous when he guides us to do so but to simultaneously be kind and compassionate. For a while, Christians struggled with a niceness issue. Too many thought they couldn’t confront, even speaking the truth in love, because making waves wasn’t nice. I think we’re beyond that issue. We are smart enough to know niceness and kindness are not the same. We are to be kind—not as a behavior but as fruit of the spirit, not in our own strength but as God develops it within us. And that kindness is surrounded with a variety of other fruit. It doesn’t stand alone. It is in the context of God’s character and his will. We speak the truth in love, and we don’t get to decide which parts of that directive we like and apply.

We have battled poorly for God at times. We have been harsh. We have battled to win an argument instead of win influence of faith. We have shut down the conversation instead of winning an ounce of respect that will help us continue the conversation. When the battle is more about an issue than a soul, we have a problem.

What is our motivation? Do we create our own space in the battle, or do we enter a sacred space in God’s presence, where we welcome people to experience the heart and love of Jesus? We’re going to be imperfect, but let’s heart check ourselves.

When we battle in God’s presence and will, we pursue and follow him. We step into sacred space. We trust God to provide and reveal. We invite him to constantly teach, challenge, and correct. We acknowledge each person is on a journey with God. We get to walk with others, and it’s an honor. But we can make that journey more or less burdened for them because of the approach we take with God, the capacity in which we relinquish to him or resist him.

How will you battle?

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