…I wonder

How to Battle Effectively – Part 1 (TFM #10)

Chess Battle

Just recently, I had the opportunity to engage in three battles. The strategies I used were very different between the first one and the last two. The results were diametrically opposite.

The Premise

There is a person in my life who wears contention like a favored sweater, to be worn on an almost daily basis. When he is in battle mode, unless things are said or done the exact way that he expects it inevitably ends up in a battle, often one-sided and sometimes mutual. Unfortunately, I must deal with this person on a regular basis. Maintaining composure, not taking offense, and walking in forgiveness are three things that I strive for when contending with him.

We did pretty good for a couple of years because I hate confrontation. I found myself giving in a little too much in order to keep the peace. Which is good, by the way. God urges us to be peacemakers.

Jesus instructs in Matthew 5:9 (NIV) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

And:

James 3:18 (NLT) And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

But keeping the peace must not come at the expense of our morals or our principles.

Lately, some truths were revealed that were difficult for this man to handle. In addition, a couple of circumstances strained the relationship even further. A chasm was built between our relationship. Since that point, things have been quite touchy.

The Battle Using my Strategy

A while ago, I made a phone call to him to make a request. I went in my own wisdom and in my own flesh. Without prayer I made the phone call with trepidation and expecting a battle.

Sure enough, I didn’t say the right things and a fight ensued. I used the wrong word and the volcano blew.

“Allowed? ALLOWED???” he thundered. “Why do you make digs like that? Why do you want to add guilt to it?? You are so cynical! Why do you do that?”

The situation had gotten out of hand; I quickly apologized because I knew it was going nowhere. It wasn’t worth the request I had made. He thanked me for the apology and hung up on me.

I must tell you that I was boiling over by then. I was shaking inside with fury. As I thought about all the things that he had said, I found myself getting angrier and angrier. I also found myself with hate in my heart. It took some time, but I forgave him (read And now I must Forgive). I severed the hurt and released him from the offense.

The Holy Spirit got a hold of me and reminded me of something very important:

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) 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.

I reminded myself that this person is The Fighting Man because he has unresolved issues from early on in life that have caused much damage. I wasn’t battling him, I was battling the demons that are attached to him. There was no way that I was going to win that in my own flesh. This battle belonged to the Lord.

2 Chronicles 2:17 (NLT) “But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

The Battle in the Spirit

I turned on some Christian music and more scriptures came to mind.

Isaiah 54:17 (Amplified Bible) But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.

I love the way the Amplified states it. Every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment, I shall show to be in the wrong. That’s a powerful promise. And the peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition is my heritage.

BUT.. not in my power. I cannot do it because it is the Holy Spirit residing in me who is all Power.

1 John 4:4 (Amplified Bible) Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.

Again, I’m not talking about the man featured in this article. I’m talking about those evil rulers of the unseen world that have attached themselves to this poor guy and who cause great torment in him. He fights because he knows nothing else.

I asked God for forgiveness for walking in my own wisdom, put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6), prayed for His Spirit to lead me and guide me, and made the second call of the day.

Battle #1 with God as the Strategist

It went much better. We spoke civilly with each other and came to an agreement. I kept reminding myself of the scriptures as we talked. And I walked in forgiveness with the help of the Lord.

Ahhh… God’s way is so much better than mine. The call ended politely. I lost signal as I drove through the mountains, enjoying the view, my heart at peace. I love doing it God’s way!

Battle #2 with God as the Strategist

When I got signal back, I checked my messages and saw one from him that held the  threat of another battle. Unbeknownst to me, the real battle had just begun. Before ringing off, I had made an innocent comment that created another problem. Sighing, I prayed again… and called him. Sure enough, things were not right. This time the man was up to a fight and I could tell right from the beginning that the battle was on.

Battle #3 with God as the Strategist

I kept a prayer in my heart and listened. And listened. And listened. I was told that I could not be trusted. This is an offensive weapon that the devil often uses with me. Mentally, I rebuked it in the name of Jesus because I’m not after man’s trust. I only want to please God, so I told this man that I didn’t need or want his trust. The issue was not one of trust.

Galatians 1:10 (NLT) Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

The devil brought out his next often used weapon: the “You are just like you used to be” weapon. Mentally, I rebuked that and reminded the demon that I was a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Peace reigned in my heart as I kept my mind on God and on His Word, rebuking the devil’s offense with Scripture.

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

The battle escalated and the man demanded that I do something I didn’t believe was correct. He wanted me to call someone and tell them I was wrong. I politely said no and told him that I didn’t see it the way he did.

He began to lose control at this point. I kept reminding myself that greater is He who is in me; no weapon formed against me shall prosper; the battle belongs to the Lord. Peace continued to reign in my heart, even as the personal attacks intensified.

This angry person then told me that he would not grant my request. I accepted his decision with peace. The battle is the Lord’s.

I kept telling this guy that I didn’t want to fight with him. His voice continued to rise. Towards the end, he stated that the reason I was being obstinate was because I was still angry with him. This is when I told him I wasn’t angry at him anymore, and that I had forgiven him a long time ago. I told him that I loved him.

Luke 6:27-28 (NIV) “But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

The man grew angrier and started the “If you loved me you would do…” And he started loudly talking over me. At this point I just said, “I love you. May God bless you with peace and with joy that is His..” and he hung up screaming.

The amazing part was that when it was over, I was calm. Totally at peace in my soul. True love reigned because I knew that this poor man was being used as a weapon, and that the fight was not against him but against the forces of darkness. He carries anger and hate inside of his heart, and this saddens me because he fights the world without finding peace.

I had forgiven him (over and over again) because I didn’t want a root of bitterness to take hold.

Hebrews 12:15 (NLT) Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

Please understand that I am not boasting about what I’ve done or how I fought and won – because it wasn’t me at all. It was God’s Holy Spirit that reminded me of the scriptures to use in the battle. It is His Word that has taught me that forgiveness is a very powerful tool. But the best tool of all is love. His love that flows through his vessel. It is not me at all. And when it’s not me, then it’s peace and victory because the victory is His! So I will boast in the Lord.

The Scripture says:

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NLT) 23 This is what the Lord says:

“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the Lord, have spoken.

The battle was the Lord’s and it was not against flesh and blood, but against the evil one. In the end, my request was granted anyway. Why? Because God won the battle in its entirety and the spoils were His.

I leave you with these words from Paul:

Ephesians 6:10-18 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

May the Lord bless you with His Spirit of Wisdom and Counsel in all things and may peace and love reign in our hearts at all times. Amen!

 

1 Comment
  1. Hi Kat,
    It sounds like when I had to deal with my Ex-wife. My gosh, I would be shaking and so angry afterwards. I finally realized that she was actually doing it deliberately to upset me. So from that point on instead of saying what I wanted to say, I would say isn’t that nice! I’m guessing the person you are dealing with isn’t saved and for that I feel sorry for him. Hang in there and remember… Isn’t that nice!
    God Bless,
    Art

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