Fighting From The Ground

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.

(Galatians 5:7-10)

Becoming healthy can be a challenge at times. We all start out desiring to do the right thing by adding good nourishment and exercise to our bodies. We begin by removing the bad things from our lives such as junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, and even people who bring negativity and temptations into our lives. In time, we see the good effects from our hard work and discipline. We feel stronger and look better. Things we weren’t able to do before, we are now able to do with ease. Where we may have huffed and puffed crawling up that hill in the beginning, we now run up and down it several times with ease. Our attitude changes as well. Where we once gave up easily, we now tend to feel like we can tackle anything and accomplish it as we have more stamina and energy. The healthier we become, the more confident we feel in ourselves.

Now fast forward 6 months to a year down the road. While having all that confidence, life seems to happen and we become more busy. In our busyness, our discipline wanes some. We may allow ourselves to eat unhealthy here and there because of a lack of time and feel a little won’t hurt us. Because of our tight schedule or even an illness, we may miss some days of exercising, vowing to get right back to it. Little by little we drop some of our good habits and replace them with old habits, sometimes not even realize it. We may even meet up with some of those people we dropped from our lives earlier, thinking we can hang out a little with them without being affected by them or their habits or being tempted back into our old ones. Sometimes, especially when we are in low moments, we might begin to think about and eventually believe the critical words of those people who kept telling us we couldn’t change or that we won’t succeed. Soon we are back to fighting our flesh and the negative thoughts of failing. We begin to believe the lies of the enemy to just give up and before we know it, our movement slows down or stops altogether.

Pretty extreme, I know, but it does happen to some people. To many of us if truth be told. It not only happens physically but it happens spiritually as well. We start out with such enthusiasm for Christ, wanting to spend time with Him daily, read His Word and do what He’s called us to do. We become spiritually stronger and yes, even feel better physically at times. We move full speed ahead heeding His call. We may hit some obstacles but we barrel through them. Then life happens. Busyness rolls in and starts taking up our time. Multiple temptations come around the corner at our low moments. The critical words of other people begin to take root. Sometimes we are even told we are doing wrong when in fact we are doing right, yet we believe the words of others. Confusion moves in and clarity moves out. We allow ourselves to eat the wrong nourishment that can cause us death, instead of eating the right nourishment that can give us life and strength…the Bible. Yet isn’t that the goal of the enemy when we are moving strongly for the Lord or healing and becoming stronger? To send us into a state of confusion and doubt so we stop what we’re doing.  When someone works hard at trying to stop you from progressing forward, it can mean several things:

   1. You are a threat to them and they fear what good you can do.

   2. They are unable to obtain what you are achieving and they do not want to see you achieve it.

   3. They may be doing wrong, and therefore they do not want you to do right and hinder their plans.

   4. Plain old jealousy

Success for you may mean defeat for them. Your success in recovery may make them feel worse about themselves. We not only see this in recovery but in families, jobs and in different positions we may hold. There is one who is behind those obstacles…our adversary…Satan. He does not want to see us free and working strongly for the Lord. He utilizes any weak areas in our flesh to hinder us and this is why we must overcome our flesh through the power of Jesus Christ. We must crucify our flesh to the cross daily, exercising our spiritual body by putting the Word of God into action every day.

Paul was questioning the Galatians and basically asking them who led them astray. They were doing well on running the race and believing the truth that was told to them regarding Christ. Christ had freed them from bondage through His truth…the Word… and they began running the race. But somewhere along the way, others cut in on them in the race and began filling their minds with lies about depending on something other than the grace of God through obedient faith in Christ. This caused the Galatians to stumble in their Christian walk. They stopped believing the truth and stopped running well. When we run well, we trust and obey God. But when we allow other thoughts and people to deter our walk and we believe their words more than what we read in the Word of God, this is where we will stumble and even fall out of the race.

So what can we do to get back in the race? What can we do if we see this happening and feel held back or held down? You fight from the ground! You continue praying and worshiping God. You move what little body part you have and keep moving it! This means, just like with exercising, you do a little each day to strengthen yourself again. If you stopped praying…start praying again. If you stopped reading the Word…start reading again. If you allowed yourself to become isolated…get out and be with others again. If you stopped helping people…start helping them again. If you believed the lies and criticism of others who wanted to see you stop your work for the Lord or your recovery…stop believing their words and start believing what the Word of God tells you! The Word of God tells us many things and below are a few to get you started again:

   – 1 Peter 2:9 – You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…

      – Matthew 22:37-40 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

   – James 4:7 – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

   – Mark 11:25-27 – Forgive others as God forgives you.

   – The Great Commission – Mark 16:15-18 – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

   – Isaiah 61:1-3 – Preach good tidings to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, open the prison to those who are bound, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, comfort and console those who mourn…

   – Isaiah 58:6-7 – loose the bonds of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke.  Share your bread with the hungry, and bring to your house the poor who are cast out; clothe the naked and do not hide yourself from your own family.

   – James 1:27 – Visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and keep yourself from being polluted by the world.

 If you want to shed the weight of negativity, sadness, depression, anxiety, criticism, etc and want to get back in the race, you must get moving again. You did it once, you can do it again through the power of Jesus Christ. There is no other way. It only takes getting up and moving. You can do it. You can succeed in your recovery. You can complete your work for the Lord. You can overcome the flesh and rise up once again. You can because Christ tells you that you can:

Luke 10:19 – Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

You have the authority…now utilize it!

Lord, thank you for never giving up on me. Forgive me for believing other words that were not from You. Today I ask that you help me to rise back up, defeat my enemy, and continue on in the race. Strengthen me once again Lord so I may overcome and help others along the way. You are a powerful God who can do all things. There isn’t any problem too big or too small for you to take care of. I put all of my problems in the palm of your hands and trust that I will succeed in the plans you have for my life because of You. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.