I don't know about you, but I love a good fight scene. Not the "bullies taking lunch money" scene or the "troubled kids beating each other up" scene or the ridiculous parking lot fights people film and put on Youtube, I'm talking about... a battle scene.
One of my favorite sagas is The Lord of The Rings, and I LOVE the fight scenes in each movie. They are the definition of epic, my favorite being the Battle of Helmsdeep in The Two Towers (accepting my nerd crown, thank you). Not only are there light-hearted, funny moments,
but there also always comes a moment where the characters decide they are ALL IN. Win or lose, they're going to give it all they've got. And because it's a movie, usually the heroes win, and I love to see that moment of rejoicing, when everyone gets together, nearly dead, painted with their own blood and that of those they've defeated (they were just orcs, don't worry), celebrating their victory.
Chronicles of Narnia is another saga with great scenes of war. (I'm sensing a pattern of genre here). Even if I've seen these movies numerous times, every time the fight scenes come on, I'm on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, pulling for the good guys, and when that moment of decision comes, to give it one last shot, usually followed by a W, I'm cheering and celebrating along with these fictional characters.
I have the same commitment when it comes to sports scenes: it's the big game, they need to win to make playoffs, or it's the championship game and it's Bobby's last year to play and he needs a scholarship so he can make it big and buy his mom a house, etc. (Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights being a few of my favorites--another pattern) I just love to root for the home team! To see battles won, victories achieved, and odds beaten!
Part of the reason I love these scenes is because of the resolution: the victory at the end of the battle, the win at the end of the game. But imagine if these scenes lasted forever...I would fall asleep and wake up hours later wondering how Legolas hasn't run out of arrows. Most of what we remember about movies is how they end. But if they never ended, we would lose interest and forget the battle altogether.
I would love to say the battles we face in our own lives are the same as the ones we watch on screen: the music comes in at just the right moment, we find our father's ancient sword at our feet just as the enemy is approaching, or the winning pass gets tossed right into our waiting hands as we near the end zone, but our victories look a little different, and most often have nothing to do with our own ability but with God's grace and love. But sometimes our battles are much like those eternal snooze-fests I spoke of earlier.
2 Chronicles 16:9 in the Message translation says, "God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to Him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God's help. Now you're in trouble--one round of war after another."
Doesn't that sound awful? A never-ending war. Yet that's the situation many of us find ourselves in when we don't rely on God.
Without His help and our total surrender to Him, we can't win the battles in our life, and without victory, the war will never cease.
I've seen quite a few battles; ones in which I was wearing the armor and ones my friends and family have fought through. Every battle that gets a win, every fight that ends in victory for the good guys has been won when the outcome is relinquished to God. Now I do believe He equips us with [His] strength, and gives us boldness and courage to fight alongside Him, but as long as we are leading the army while He is an extra in our scene, war will continue with no conclusion. We CAN'T win without Him.
Of course, we don't mean to take control, we don't intend to fight without God's help, but then we find ourselves barely-standing, on a battlefield of good intentions and hopelessness, wondering when this war will end. "God why won't you help me?!" "God, I'm tired, I can't fight anymore!" And all He wants is to fight for you, if you will only let Him.
What battles are you trying to fight today? I certainly hope you're aren't trying to fight tomorrow's battles as well, because "...tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." (Matthew 6:34)
If you feel like you're in a war that won't end, if you feel defeated and yet somehow remain in battle, evaluate the areas you're keeping from Him, the fights you're keeping Him out of, and let Him take care of today.
Elisabeth Elliott said, "Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business."
Now, don't think you're going to give God the battle and you get to run off to lounge by the pool and wait it out. You will still have to fight through whatever comes against you, but the BEST news is, you will not fight alone, and you can have peace, and be certain that He has already won.
2 Chronicles 20:15 "Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's."
Proverbs 21:31 "...victory belongs to the Lord."