Stop and Wrestle
"Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they
are." Proverbs 26:4. NLT
When we argue with fools (those who are blind to the truth) we end up looking like fools; truly we make ourselves the greater fool. For, who is more foolish, the one who thinks he sees or the one who truly sees, yet lets himself get stuck in an enemy ambush?
The argument of fools is a trap. It is far too easy to fall into when someone reaches your personal point of contention or they've tipped your sacred cow. You may be reasonable about most everything, but what is the issue that makes your blood boil? What turns you into a fool?
How easy it is to forget the battle we face is not of this world. Indeed, we are in a battle everyday with unseen forces who will take advantage of any person or situation.
Our battle is not a battle of this world, but for the world. It doesn't matter what's coming against you, the answer is the same - it is truly a supernatural battle.
I feel it growing everyday in the church...an anger that matches the world's.
Are we letting the world set the agenda for us? Are we to mirror the world's hostility, or display the love of Christ? For, "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" John 13:35.
A One-sided Battle
So how should we respond when we are trampled by the perverse society around us? I can tell you one truth, the argument of a fool will never be the right answer.
The Word says a soft
answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1), yet, do we stop with that? Do we placate the atrocities and injustice in our world?
Not if we want to win.
If we want to win the lost and let our lives be a reflection
of His glory and power, we must...
and we win!
We say what Holy Spirit tells us to say, we do what He tells us to do and pray what He tells us to pray. We take authority
over the powers of darkness and we will win. Our battle in the spirit realm, with Holy Spirit's help, is an extremely one-sided battle.
Truly, the toughest battle we face is resisting the urge to fight in our
flesh. Our true battle is fighting to express love, not the indignation we feel over the injustices we see in the world. Screaming at the lost does no good and actually does great harm!
As a mother of four children
ranging in ages 13 to 24, I've learned one thing for certain: you have to choose your battles. There are battles we face that will shape the outcome of the lives of those we love; those are the most important ones.
Years ago, several people tried to get me to enter the debate on women in the ministry. Well, I am passionate about women being released to fulfill their purpose in God and equipped to triumph in Christ. Yet, Holy
Spirit told me not to go that direction. He said, "Don't argue with them, just prove them wrong." By simply being what they said I couldn't be, what they said I shouldn't be, would produce victory.
Living it myself was all the argument God wanted from me.
Holy Spirit talks with me frequently and yet, there are those times He is silent. I have learned that it is at those times I have to
have the greatest caution. He's taught me that I too often want to run on the assumption that I am wise, when I know I am only as wise as the wisdom I listen to. If Wisdom isn't talking, I should stop as well.
One of my life scriptures has been Proverbs 3:5-7, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Don't be impressed with your own wisdom."
As a young girl, God taught me to trust His wisdom, not the wisdom that seems right in my own eyes. Seeking Him is a place of safety for He does not fail us. When you have questions, He will answer. When you don't know where to turn, He will lead you and He will keep you from running head-long into your own folly.
Acknowledging your weakness is true wisdom and running ahead of God is foolishness. If someone you know is doing that, if they are so blinded by their own genius they've become a danger to themselves and others, there is only one answer. Stop and wrestle...not with them, but the darkness that's blinding them.
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" Ephesians 6:12 NLT. We wrestle not with people, but with our unseen enemy who's controlling the hearts and minds of men.
Truly, we only have one enemy and that is the enemy in the unseen realm. Humanity is not our enemy, nor is it our Father's enemy. Our Father gave His Son to die for humanity. He does not hate humanity - He loves the world. What He hates is what hurts the humanity He created. Anything that stands between His children and Himself is what He hates. He hates stupidity and foolishness, but He doesn't hate the stupid or foolish.
Jesus came as an enemy to the self-righteous who claim to be wise, and was a friend to sinners (Matthew 11:19), because His mercy triumphs over judgment. It triumphs over injustice, over foolishness and blindness. Mercy doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to. God doesn't require His mercy to pass a test of what we think is intelligent grace. He loves humanity and if we love Him, we will love what He loves.
Have you ever fought for an injustice only to find out you've been fighting on the wrong side? You've become an enemy to right and a gullible ploy to wrong. You were moved more by misguided passion rather than truth and suddenly you see how wrong you were. Doesn't that feels awful? That's how Paul the apostle felt.
All that he did to the church, the horrid persecution he heaped upon the early Christians, was done out of a motivation to fight for truth. He was fighting for what he determined to be right, and yet he lived the rest of his life with the burden of having tormented the brethren of the early church (Acts 8:3). He bore the pain of the lives he took in the name of the God he wanted to live for. Paul gave his all to harass and condemn the early church, but soon found out how horribly wrong he was.
One of the greatest acts of mercy in the Word is Paul's conversion. I probably would have given up on Paul, yet God chose him. We, as Christians, give up on the people God has chosen. His grace is remarkable; His mercy is indescribable. There are not words to describe His wisdom - it goes beyond our comprehension.
Don't let the enemy set the agenda for your life. Don't let him lead you into working for him against the Messiah that you love. Lean not on your own understanding. Stop and wrestle...
Wrestle with your real enemy, not with God's creation. Wrestle with the enemy who's trying to trick you into wounding those he has caught in his snare. Wrestle with him and win the lost. Set free those imprisoned by sin.
"We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors" 2 Corinthians 6:8 NLT.
You have been hurt; you have been lied about. You've poured out your heart to love someone and they betrayed your trust and lied about you behind your back. They've successfully turned others against you as well. What are you going to do?
You could strike them back, but you stand with your Redeemer - the Merciful One. You would have to move away from Him to strike at them and you love Him too much to do it. So, you stop and you inquire of the Lord. And to your relief He says, "It's ONLY a demon."
And so we stop and wrestle...because there is no battle on this earth that can be truly won any other way. The victory for whatever you are facing in the natural realm will be found in the supernatural realm as you wrestle with the principalities that have exalted themselves against the truth of what your Father desires for you.
The person who's hurt you and left you scarred is not your enemy. That painful situation you've endured is just a trap...or is it your victory?
Truly, the enemy hopes you will hold on to the pain inflicted on you until it has injured your heart, until your love is cold with hate. He has lain out a lovely display of weapons at your disposal in the hopes you will respond to his tactics and fight his way - fighting flesh with just more flesh.
Hell loves it when they're able to motivate Christians to fight one another and cause pain. Their main pleasure is to use us to cause ourselves pain, or to react out of our pain causing others to stumble (Mark 9:42).
Will you strike back at the person the enemy is using? Will you play satan's foolish game? Is it really worth it if it makes you look like a fool or causes little ones to stumble?
Don't let the enemy set your agenda, don't play his game - stop and wrestle.
Your battle can be an opportunity to display the ways of His kingdom! The world is watching - show them His love. Show the world the King's love burns bright in YOU!