I'm sure many of us have been there at one time or another. Maybe you were in a grocery store with your mother as a child and a new cereal catches your eye. As you lose yourself in your imagination of the delicious sugar high that could be obtained from this box, you look up and notice your mom is nowhere to be found. A quick wave of anxiety crashes into you as you realize you have been left. Stranger danger flashes through your mind as the adults around you are no longer other moms’ and dads' but instead cold hard kidnappers. You take off sprinting past them and make a hard turn down the next aisle only to see your mom browsing none the wiser of your absence. Relief sets in as you are now safely with your protector and guardian.
It could have also happened when you were a little older. You are sitting at a lunch table with some of your friends and each of you were trying to fight for a window of the conversation to share all that happened since you last saw each other, you know an hour and a half ago. Without intention a lull in the conversation comes and simultaneously tasks start to invade your shared time together. One friend had to use the restroom, another had to return a book to the library, another friend spotted someone who owed them some money and wanted to use the time to see when it would be returned.
With no hint of realization, you look up to see your friends have left you abandoned and you are left socially exposed.
To feel alone or abandoned is not something we usually want to experience. You can be left feeling unsafe, vulnerable, and even betrayed. If it were a fight you would be on the losing side. Surrounded by your enemy, defenseless. Waiting on the outcome. But this isn't a fight with an unfair advantage.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
God said He will never leave us or forsake us. Forsake means to abandon. You are not going into a battle that can't be won. You have an unstoppable force on your side. With just a word He spoke this world into existence. With just a touch of His hand He raised the dead. And with just His power He parted the Red Sea. You have the ultimate MVP fighting for you, not just in time of need but every time. There is no need for fear because you are safe. Feeling vulnerable to what the world thinks of you is no longer important because you have someone who loves you no matter what anyone else thinks. There is no betrayal, or limited time offer. He said He would never do it, and if the creator of the universe is sure about it we can be too.
Stand strong, you are surrounded by a God who is not going anywhere
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.
This war between the flesh and the spirit is the greatest battle that we face. It is the most important thing that we will ever engage ourselves in. We can pretend it doesn't exist, but we are only fooling ourselves and setting ourselves up for a fall. In the text from Galatians 5, Paul says the flesh and the spirit are contrary to one another. In Webster's dictionary the word "contrary" is described as "to lie opposite, i.e. be adverse, to oppose." So we get the imagery of two opponents in the ring slugging it out to see who is left standing for control of our souls. This match is in reference to the Holy Spirit and our flesh, so while the flesh pulls us in one direction the Spirit would have us go in another!
So what can we do to win this battle of the flesh vs. the Spirit? Is there a way that we can come out as the victor in all of this, or is the outcome already decided? Paul gave us the answer in the first scripture we referenced. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Walking in the Spirit is the way to defeat the lust of the flesh, but how do we walk in the Spirit? By setting our minds on the things of the Spirit we can walk in the Spirit. We will get out of ourselves whatever we feed into ourselves. It is imperative that we fill our lives, our minds, and our understanding with Godly things. David said “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee”.
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
The Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, is an offensive weapon. With the sword in our hands we must intend to fight and we must intend to kill. In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus was lead into the wilderness and consequently tempted by the devil. Upon each temptation Jesus fought with the Word by saying "It is written". In having the sword of the Spirit in His hand, He was able to kill off every attack of the enemy. We must "hide" the Word of God in our hearts, so we have the right weapon to fight off the attack of the enemy of our souls. Read the Word, sing the Word, listen to the Word, and continually contemplate the Word. You never know when or where an attack will come. You must be ready to fight at any and all times because the devil will come at you, but he can't defeat the Word of God.
Let's be ready to win,