Are you a fighter? I don’t (necessarily) mean a physical fighter.
Do you have a fighting spirit? A never give up/don’t back down kind of attitude. Are you a “where there is a will, there is a way” kind of person? How about strong-willed?
And sometimes it serves me well, other times these personality traits are my greatest weakness and downfall.
At camp this summer our theme is: “All Things New.” Each day we look at a different area that God makes new. Our focus on Wednesday is, “A New Understanding.” As I was preparing for chapel tonight, I thought that perhaps I would focus on a “new understanding” of what it meant to be a Gladiator (since one of our camper groups are “Gladiators”)… perhaps on the Armor of God, or about perseverance or strength of character… but none of these seemed to be what God was putting on my heart.
And then I realized: it was about the heart.
God has been speaking to me lately about matters of the heart. It has come up in morning watch with the campers, devotions with the staff, conversations with friends and in my talks with God. See… I know that I know, that I know SOOOO many things, but often it takes something extra to convince my heart.
And tonight I was thinking of the heart of a fighter, the heart of a survivor.
Sometimes in life we need a “fighting” spirit. There are times to protect ourselves/friends/families. There are times to stand up for what is right. There are times when a strong will keeps you from going down the wrong path.
And there are times when the only way to truly live is to surrender.
Matthew 16:24-26 says, “24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
The only way to truly live is to lay down your life to follow God. And, boy do we ever, need God to give us a “New Understanding” to be able to grasp this one!
I know I try to hold onto so much… be it hopes/dreams or desires for my life or the need to be in charge of how my life will turn out. But God’s ways are not my ways… and to truly live… the only way to really fight… is to choose to give up… because nothing is worth more than our soul.
Don’t get me wrong! This “give up” I am speaking of is not a “give up” that is hopeless. Instead it is a surrender full of the hope (the promise) that our creator, who loves us so much, will take the life we give to Him and give us the life HE intended us to live.
Are there things in YOUR life which you are holding onto so tightly that God is in fact asking you to lay down and give to Him? I am praying for you, as I KNOW this is no easy thing!