Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Musings From A Swordmaiden

 I've always been taught that girls have no place in wars.  Girls were not made to be in combat.  While that is true, this post is all about how girls can, and should be warriors... in another way. (but it is in no way limited to girls)

 Fear, pride and in essence, self; all must be battled.  This is an inner struggle.  It's a battle we fight over, and over again.   There is no reprieve. There is no "calling a truce". It's a constant, hard struggle.

 When you think about it... these aren't each different fronts... they all connect somehow.
 Fear stems from pride, pride from selfishness, and sometimes selfishness from fear...

 So now. How do we fight it?  The answer is simple - but hard to do.
 Just like in a real physical battle, the plan may be fairly simple, but the battle itself is hard.

 Prayer is simple, right?  Just get down on your knees and ask God to take away your problems and make you like Him, right?  Now if only it was easy to do...
 But you know something? That's not all there is to it.
 Prayer is a constant hard fight.  We're not simply handing our sword to God and saying "I'm tired, You're better at this anyway, please win this war for me".  We're asking Him to lead us into battle, but we still have to fight it.
 We still have to learn not to fear, and not be prideful.

 The only way to win this war is by dying. 

 There has to be balance in this battle.
 We cannot simply "come to terms" with where we're at, and not let things bother us anymore. We must ever strive for excellence in all things!  But at the same time learn to be content with where we're at right now.

 Contentment is not pining away for circumstances to be different so we can do things better.  Contentment is learning to work with what we've been given, and make the best of it for God's glory! 

 We can't just ask God one time to "fix us" and let it go.  This is daily praying for His guidance and strength for the day.  Daily dying to self. Daily taking up our cross, and following Him.

 What does it mean to follow Him?  Was His path smooth always?   Did He wait until circumstances were perfect before using them to glorify the Father?
 It's pretty obvious He didn't have everything perfect for what He had to do. But He did the Father's will regardless of circumstances.
 What are we doing? More specifically, what am I doing with what I have been given?
 Sure, some times it seems we don't have all we need to do the work God has given. It seems we don't have the strength to continue fighting... but Deuteronomy 33:25 says: Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. 

  Day By Day ~ Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best -
Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure, 
Mingling toil with peace and rest. 

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

 Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, 
Till I reach the promised land. 

 It's easy to feel despondent.  It's easy to feel sorry for yourself and make excuses. But did Christ ever do that? When He felt down, He went straight to God in prayer.  
"Is the servant greater than the Master, that I should say 'Exempt me from this trial'? No!"  Christ is our example, we should bring dishonor to His spotless Name were we to shrink from following His standard!

 A Flag To Follow
I sought a flag to follow,
A cause for which to stand,
I sought a valiant leader
Who could my love command;
I sought a stirring challenge,
Some noble work to try,
To give my life fulfillment,
My dreams to satisfy.

I found them all in Jesus,
The Life, the Truth, the Way;
Beneath His flag I'll take my stand
And follow Him today.
I'll follow Him today!

I sought a ringing answer
For all my doubts inside,
A torch of truth uplifted,
Me searching steps to guide;
I sought a word of wisdom, 
A true authority,
I sought to know life's purpose,
To solve its mystery.

I sought for satisfaction
For yearnings deep within,
I sought for full deliv'rance
From chains of guilt and sin;
I sought for peace and pardon,
For freedom from my fears,
I sought a hope to cling to
Beyond these passing years.

 The whole point in being a warrior fighting battles, is to win ground for the king!  If the soldiers are undisciplined we can't be certain of victory.
 Yes, God wins. He always wins.  But we are His army. We must be well disciplined soldiers marching out to battle!

 Mighty Lord, Extend Your Kingdom
Mighty Lord, extend Your kingdom, 
Be the truth with triumph crowned;
Let the lands that sit in darkness 
Hear the glorious Gospel sound,
From out borders, From our borders,
To the world's remotest bound. 

By Your arm, eternal Father, 
Scatter far the shades of night;
Let the great Immanuel's kingdom
Open like the morning light;
Let all barriers, Let all barriers, 
Yield before Your heavenly might.

Come in all Your Spirit's power;
Come, Your reign on earth restore;
In Your strength ride forth and conquer,
Still advancing more and more,
Till all people, Till all people,
Shall Your holy Name adore.

 Inner struggles are so hard! But we can't give up. God is still on the throne! We're still enrolled in His army. We still have a war to win.  
 The only way we'll be of any use in the Kingdom is to die to self, live for Christ, serve others, and care for others above ourselves.
 We still have many deaths to die for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.

 Let's take up our cross and follow Him.  Follow where He leads.  He leads into battle; not only against the outward foe, but against the inner foe - ourselves: our sinful human nature.

 The first step to advancing the Kingdom is to be well trained, well disciplined soldiers.  Willing soldiers who will spend our days in fervent prayer for the Great Cause, and for others in our circles of influence.
 Regardless of circumstances, each one of us has something of influence on those around us. Are we using that influence wisely? Are we content? Are we striving for excellence? Are we disciplined?

 There's so much to being a warrior. Prayer is a battle that is rarely seen, but is so important, and is a constant, desperate fight.
 Being a prayer warrior isn't for weaklings.  

  Onward Christian soldiers!