By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10)
There is a reality in today’s church culture that needs discussion. It is the desire of many of those in the Church to avoid battle. Not the battle with the Adversary we call the devil or a physical fight but with spiritual growth we need. And living the theological truths we say we believe in.
Too many of we church folk have decided that spiritual conflict is to be avoided at all costs. We seem not to understand that the history of the Life of Christ is replete with spiritual warfare. Christ was forever in a battle for His soul and the souls of His believers. We should expect the same spiritual challenges, the same intense battles and the same battle scars.
Some of us believe that grouping ourselves in religions that do not require confrontation with evil spiritual forces is better and far less taxing than Christianity. We want religion and not relationship with our God. Because relationships demand time, energy, investment and struggle. Many in the Church want ease and convenience. We want to come to church, hear an entertaining sermon that is comfortable on our ears. One that it makes no demands on our mind for growth or asks for reformed behavior.
We certainly do not want to be told that there are two battlefields we have to fight on every day of our lives. One is the battlefield that lies outside the door of our church and the other is the battlefield that is within our minds. The fields of battle we are on drain us. As a result most of us have lost the will to fight. We either chose to give in or chose to give out.
Raising spirit filled children who are determined to be successful at whatever they do, including living a moral life, is a struggle; living a Biblical marriage is a struggle, refusing to view the world through any lens but the Cross is a struggle. And anyone who says these are not struggles is attempting to deceive you. Still the LORD has said victory over these things is ours if we resist them and no weapon formed against us will prosper. It reads the weapons won’t prosper, it does not say they won’t be formed.
Again Christ is our example. The time in the Garden of Gethsemane was about a fight between the Spirit of Christ and the flesh of Christ. His Spirit won. Paul wrote that the things he would not do, he did. Do we then think we are to be exempt from struggle, from pain, from disappointment or spiritual fatigue the Savior and the chief theologian of the Church were not excused? What do we understand what faith is? Faith is belief in the Grace of God. A grace that will be there in every battle. not to observe but be active in the fight.
There are no easy walks in being with Christ. But there are incredible victories. We have to understand that none of these victories we desire can be had without spilling spiritual blood. God wants to see us struggle to gauge the depth of our love for Him. Those of us in today’s church must remember the churches that birthed us were always in a fight. And they never surrendered. Even more understand this fight we are now in will only become more demanding as this world becomes more immoral. Think about it.