I have been having a super enjoyable life these last few months. It has its plot complications, but it has been filled with an irrepressible and uncontainable hope and joy. I am into these things. I have been learning to fight a victorious battle. Luke, Mark and now Acts have been doing wonders for my worldview. Spending a significant amount of time indulging and immersing in absolute truth brings joy, rest and hope like nothing else. Prayer has become a much bigger part of my life. Unceasing prayer seems somewhat unattainable but not entirely so. The peace of a life lived in submission to the King has been life transforming.
As you are well aware if you read my blog regularly, I have been working on incorporating prayer into all that is mundane. While the battle has been waged victoriously for the last few months, a few weeks ago as I prepared for my day, I asked God, “Will it always be this much work? Will I always have to pray this much? Will I ever get to rest?”
It seems like if one followed God correctly, the answers to those questions would be “No, No, Yes.” But I don’t think that is actually so. I think it is “Yes, Yes, No.” The devil is waiting for me to take a break from the battle, so that he can come in for the kill. He would love it for me to decide not to win the battle for even a few minutes.
I do think that if approaching God is work, then I must be doing it wrong. As far as I can tell, waging the battle really is just becoming more intimate with God. A break from that means destruction. As I talked with God about it, I received the phrase “warrior princess”. I don’t even know how it came. I certainly didn’t stand there dreaming it up. But I realized something while thinking about that phrase. Our concept of what it means to be a child of God is messed up.
It’s more than being a princess. And frankly, being a princess with modern culture’s connotations is just dumb. God didn’t call us to be pampered, admired, spoiled, incompetent couch potatoes. He adopted us to be warriors. His princesses don’t stay protected in an elaborate palace. They are sent to fight on the front lines – powerfully protected by the armor of God. His princesses don’t watch knights go off to war while they sit at home and have tea. His princesses fight in the same battle. His princesses are the enemy’s nightmare.
Naturally, I don’t have to choose to fight on the front lines. I don’t have to choose to fight at all. I can stop. I had some friends on a diet who took a break from their diet over the holiday season. They lost some ground in the battle. Just because they quit fighting doesn’t mean the battle wasn’t being fought. The other side just started to win. I thought about this when I considered whether I could take a break from the war.
Now certainly I will become victorious over sin in my life. The struggle with each sin will not remain just as difficult nor will the pain from others’ past sins hurt as much as it does now. I will heal, but the fact that I am in a war will not change. I can decide whether to fight defensively or offensively. The last few months I have not been fighting defensively. I have not been fighting to survive or even fighting for myself. My prayer has been for others. My study of Scripture is purely submission to the King. The war extends far beyond my personal victory and comfort. The war is spiritual, and the war is real. If I choose not to fight, the loss is all mine. The King will win whether I fight or not. I will just not be rewarded for participation.
As for rest, God designed it. Surely there must be rest in order to fight well, but resting is actually a fantastic way to fight Satan. He doesn’t like us resting in God at all. Rest is one of the best ways to fight. I love what God has been teaching me about it. I would tell you tonight, but that would make the article way too long and I am way past tired. I have been trying to get too much done today, so I can do “nothing” tomorrow except rest.
Do you rest in the battle? What ground does the enemy gain when you take a break from your relationship with God?