strong men take the kingdom by force

living out my faith has been the hardest and most rewarding thing i have ever experienced.

to live out my faith is to experience a love that is deeper than anything i’ve ever known.

 i NEED to experience the Divine Love. God loves me in a way that no one can.

with a love that penetrates places in my heart that need healing. places that sometimes i don’t even know exist.

to follow God means to experience deep love.

but it also means to engage in a spiritual battle.

because we have been called to do three things:

to love God, to love people, and to disciple the nations.

to engage in the above is to engage in a battle.

because living for something you cannot see isn’t always easy.

bringing light into darkness has never been easy.

i kind of picture myself on a horse. clothed in armor. galloping down a hill with all of a heaven on my side. riding along side God who is also on a horse. galloping into the throws of battle right next to me.

every time i share that picture people think i’m joking.

to walk with God is to engage in some kind of war.

our battles change and they look different for everyone. the battle might look like investing in a marriage that appears to have no hope. the battle might look like rearranging your weekly schedule to have a date night once a week with your spouse. it might look like learning to care for a child with a disability. it might mean giving up your time and resources to further your education so that you can contribute and help in community. it might mean giving money to the poor. it might mean reorienting your week to disciple someone. it might mean adoption. it might mean having strangers into your home. it might mean uprooting and taking your family into the inner city in hopes of sharing Jesus and bringing in bits of the kingdom of God.  it might mean giving up sleep to tend to a child who needs you. it might mean getting married, or practicing what healthy dating looks like.  it might mean a million different things.

we all have battles. some of us choose not to acknowledge them. we sooth ourselves with temporary things that will never satisfy. things that will only leave us feeling empty and wanting more.

some of us aren’t even engaged in the battle.

when you feel overwhelmed by the battle you are in remember,

at least you are engaged in the battle. it could be worse. you could run. you could give up. you could be sitting on the sidelines.

i think its also important to live out the reality that we weren’t made to fight our battles alone. i think thats why the picture riding down on a horse with a whole army is so meaningful to me.

we aren’t alone.

i believe that God supernaturally provides us with strength. and that we have to recognize how frail we are sometimes to really begin to feel his strength taking over.

 God beautifully wields his power through people.

and sometimes we have to be brave enough to share our battles with community and allow them to help us fight.

we weren’t meant to fight by ourselves and die quiet deaths in the dark.

i’m going to continue to name my battles and keep fighting.

name your battle. share your battle. gather the support you need. there are always resources. even when it appears bleak. God would never leave us without provision. take the next step.

this is what it means to engage in battle. this is what it means to fight for the kind of lives God wants us to live. the Kingdom is near. to fight for the kingdom means to fight for a world that reflects the Glory of God.

healthy marriages and families. children who are taken care of. communities that are restored. lives made whole. people coming together. people knowing who they are and being brave and vulnerable enough to share their stories. people coming to know who Jesus really is.

matthew 11:12

strong men take the kingdom by force.

acts 14:22

 they strengthened the believers. they encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

zepheniah 3:17

Yewhey your God is there with you, the warrior, savior.

he will rejoice over you with a happy song,

he will renew you with his love, he will

dance over you with shouts of joy.

no, we are certainly not alone.

 these are definitely battles worth fighting.

***

2 thoughts on “strong men take the kingdom by force

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