Life is often compared to a race and seldom compared to a war – an existence of constant battles. It’s been said that every man is either fighting a battle, just got out of one or is on the verge of entering into one. Fighting is not optional in a battle. It is compulsory if you must survive. To refuse to fight is to sign up for a life of captivity.
We fight off limitations, obstacles, set standards, mindsets and the like. Sometimes we fight internal forces and sometimes the forces are external. At other times, the opposition is tangible and occasionally intangible. It could be from individuals and on occasion, institutional.
Ever wonder why you sometimes feel discouraged about life and mentally worn out but can’t figure out why? It is the fatigue of warring either consciously or subconsciously. The truth remains that there is opposition to our cause and a fighting spirit is required to triumph. That’s why not every goal is accomplished. Some failed because of the lack of a fighting spirit. It requires a certain level of drive and resolve to achieve.
9 Fight as never before, Philistines! If you don’t, we will become the Hebrews’ slaves just as they have been ours! Stand up like men and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. – 1 Samuel 4:9-10 (NLT)
The Philistines established the fact that they had to fight and a failure to fight successfully would lead to their enslavement. At this critical point of insight, the battle is half won due to the consciousness and awareness of the fact that a battle rages. The stakes were high and it was articulated to the Philistines in spades. Your approach to a situation changes when the stakes are revealed. Freedom is one of the basic human rights which we hold so dearly especially in the Western world. An assault on a person or group of people’s liberties is considered a grave threat to all of humanity. Likewise, failure to fight takes away our liberties, and keeps us imprisoned.
The dynamics of warfare in our day pose peculiar challenges because they are subtle. In the days Israel and the Philistines, the enemy was a physical army led by a king who made his intentions to destroy you crystal clear. Today, we wrestle societal limitations and mindsets; intangible yet powerful forces that hinder. Paul in 2 Corinthians 10 calls them strongholds of human reasoning, false arguments, proud obstacles that keeps people from knowing God and rebellious thoughts.
The use of the word stronghold and its application to thoughts and human reasoning is curious. A stronghold is a place that has been adequately fortified to secure against attack. It is a fortress specifically designed to prevent breaking in by an adversary or breaking out by captives. The only way to be liberated from a stronghold is through force. It will require us to fight to break free of the limitations that plague us therefore an aversion to getting your hands dirty in battle guarantees perpetual enslavement. There are no two ways about this.
Bringing it home, you set goals at the beginning of the year. For some, it’s already becoming obvious that extraordinary effort is required to achieve the goals set. There is some resistance, whatever the form, and failure to resist the resistance will keep you trapped in your present state, which you are trying to move away from – the very definition of imprisonment; being trapped and unable to break free.
Hate to be the bearer of undesirable news but we must fight to fulfill destiny. If you fail to fight, you have opted to be a captive. It is much easier to make progress when you are conscious about the reality that you are in a war. For most, life is on autopilot, oblivious to the oppositions that they face. To our disappointment, life requires someone at the helm and doesn’t cooperate well when placed on autopilot. The pursuit of destiny is not cast in a downward sloping terrain where all you have to do is stay and gravity does the work. It is quite the opposite and presents unique forms of opposition that must be dealt with.
First, the path itself is difficult to travel being uphill and against gravity. It requires considerable effort just to make some progress. Next are the internal limitations such as lack of will power and motivation, harmful mindsets, and indolence. It takes a level of determination to stand at the bottom of a mountain, look up at the steep slope that confronts you and still decide to climb it. Many buckle under pressure and quit when it starts to hurt. Third is external deliberate opposition – those standing at the top of the mountain and pelting you with rocks as you ascend. This can come in form of discouraging words, physical opposition, institutional opposition, policies and systems and the like.
Little wonder Moses had to wage war against Pharaoh to liberate the children of Israel. It was a prolonged battle that led to their liberation from captivity however he faced another battle against mindsets and strongholds of thoughts as they continued the journey.
The way out is to fight desperately just like the Philistines did. Desperation is a friend that saves from captivity. It requires effort and resilience; a determination that you shall not be deterred. Anything, in any form that hinders your set purpose or objectives must be resisted desperately. I am resolute in my mind that whatever is required will be put in for the fulfillment of destiny. I refuse to be held captive by anything. I shall not give up; neither shall I give in until I have attained the mark of the high calling. I charge you not to settle for a life of captivity and limitation. Fight or be enslaved. Shalom.