I was playing a game on my phone the other day when a thought came to me. The game is Bricks and Balls. You win the game by clearing the screen by bouncing the balls off the bricks as often as is required to clear it. Some puzzles, like most, are more challenging than others. One advantage, depending on the puzzle is to attack it from the top. If you can get the balls to the top of the puzzle, the balls rebound in shorter spaces, hitting the bricks more frequently, helping you to win the game.
As in war, whoever can reach the highest peak of the geographic area usually has an advantage. One movie my husband and I went to the theatre to watch together was Hacksaw Ridge. My husband is a vetern and a war history buff so he really liked it. I thought it was a great movie as well. the story behind it is inspiring.
The premise of the movie is the US need to try to take possession of Hacksaw Ridge (in Okinawa) in order to get some advantage over the Japanese. The problem is the Japanese had possession of the ridge and the US struggled to gain any ground. They are down on the lower ground trying to take the peak of Okinawa. The Japaneses have the high ground and can see everything the Americans are doing.
The battles we fight as humans are often invisible. Yes, we may fight with our spouses, or our kids, or our parents or our other family members. We may have fights with our friends or co-workers. The other battles we face face are the invisible ones. In many ways, these are the battles that are most hardest to fight and win. Sometimes, these invisible battles are the ones we have with our own brains. We try to correct out bad, unhealthy habits, thoughts or behaviours to no avail.
Part of the problem is we can’t always see what we are fighting. No one else can see it either. We know something is wrong but can’t always put our finger on it. Something just seems off. We do what we can to fight with whatever weapons we may have in our arsenal. Often it feels like an uphill battle and the enemy has the advantage of the higher ground. And sometimes the weapons we have are just not enough against the enemy. The only way to win the battle is to get above the enemy. So how do we do that?
We have an ally who is already above the enemy and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help us win the war. We just need to call on Him. God, Himself, will fight our battles for us if we let Him. When it comes to fighting the battles with God, there are a few things we need to remember.
- We still have to do our part. There is a joke about somebody praying to God over and over about winning the lottery. Weeks passed, he keeps praying and never wins. Finally, frustrated, he calls out to God. “God, please help me win the lottery!” God says, “Buy a ticket!”
- We need to follow God’s direction. In the Old Testament, Joshua was fighting his enemies. God was with him through all of it and they won every battle they fought. Except one. Joshua took it upon himself to fight one enemy. Israel lost the battle and they lost men as a result of not following God’s directions, doing it on his own.
- We may not always like God’s timing, even when He is right. In John 11, we read the story of Lazarus. He is the brother of Martha and Mary. Jesus is out of town when Lazarus falls ill. The sisters send word to Jesus that His friend is sick, hoping He will come back to heal him. Jesus takes His time getting back to Martha and Mary. By the time He arrives, Lazarus is already dead and buried. Martha and Mary both blame Jesus for the death of their brother. But Jesus uses the opportunity to perform a miracle. He did this so that people would believe and have faith.
Paul tells us, in Ephesians 6, to put on the armour of God when we are fighting the Spiritual battles: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.
When you are fighting your invisible battles, or even your physical battles, who are you fighting against? The devil? Your mind? Your body? Your family or friends? God is always there fighting with us. Even is we are fighting against God, He is fighting for us. Whatever battle or war you are fighting, turn to God.
What physical or invisible battles are you fighting right now. Are you fighting them with or without God on your side? If you are willing, share with me in the comment section.