Blog

Dec
02
The Struggle

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I see a lot of people struggling today. Struggling with sin. Struggling with relationships. Struggling to juggle the priorities of life.

The reality is that life is a struggle. We struggle in our marriages with our spouses. We hurt and get hurt. We lash out at those around us. We say things in anger to those close to us that we wouldn’t say to a stranger. We sometimes feel as if we are the only ones trying to make our families work.

We struggle with sin. We find ourselves living in ways which we ourselves don’t approve. We face choices that we know aren’t right, that will have unwanted consequences, and that we will regret afterward, yet we still make the sinful choices. Then, after the regret and consequences come, after we confess it and ask forgiveness, we go right back to the same choices.

We struggle to juggle our priorities. We have bills to pay. We have a spouse, and we have a family to raise. We are trying to have a successful career. We have children that want to be involved in every sport and activity under the sun. And for many people (too many people), there are the Jones’ we have to try to keep up with.

Is any of this sounding familiar? It sure sounds familiar to me.

Again, the reality is that life is a struggle. But often times it seems we struggle in the wrong way. Or with the wrong things. Or with the wrong people.

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The apostle Paul spoke of two very real struggles that are often overlooked in our day to day life. Put simply, they are the struggle with Satan and the struggle with self.

Ephesians 6:11-12

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Most of the time that we are struggling, we are struggling with the wrong people! We are fighting an earthly battle with our spouse, our children, or our boss when we should be fighting a spiritual battle! Satan wants to destroy your marriage, your family, and your livelihood. He wants to destroy you! In Ephesians 6:11, Paul writes that we are to put on the whole armor of God. Not to battle other people. To fight a spiritual battle against Satan who would influence those around you.

We don’t raise our voices against our loved ones; we raise our eyes to Heaven! You don’t try to keep score with your spouse; you go to the Lord and ask Him to work in your marriage.

The other struggle we all face is, of course, the struggle with self.

Galatians 5:16-17

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Our flesh, our self, is in a constant struggle with the spiritual nature that is given to us when we first accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is the part of us that is selfish. When our self is in control, we want what we want, when we want it. We resent anything that tries to stand in the way of us getting what we want.

This is the part of us that desires sin, even as our spiritual nature knows that the sin is wrong. This is the part that wants to be recognized for our own individual work rather than the recognition of the team. Our flesh leads us to find faults with others rather than confess, repent, and seek forgiveness for our own.

If we fight the right battles, the others will begin to fall into place without much of a fight. If you want your marriage to be better, don’t fight your spouse, wrestle with the one that wants to destroy it. If your relationships are struggling, go to the Lord on behalf of your loved ones. If you’re struggling to juggle your priorities, allow God's Spirit to overwhelm your self. If it is sin you are struggling with, walk after the Spirit, not your flesh.

So, how do we win these struggles?

Put on the whole armor of God as you wrestle the one who would destroy you and your family.

Ephesians 6:13-18

And allow the Holy Spirit of God to let Christ shine through you as you crucify your flesh and live for Him

Galatians 2:20

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Life is full of struggles. Let’s allow God to give us victory over ours.

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