by JS Reeverts
Faith is not soft!
Anyone who has cracked a bible can read clearly that there is a war going on.
Anyone who’s been in the battle has the scars that tell a story. God’s faithfulness doesn’t exempt us from the frontlines - it forges pathways that bond us to the deepest parts of Him.
That’s why it’s an intimate relationship! We’ve been to war together.
When I was diagnosed with colon cancer 10 years ago, I had the uncomfortable conversation with an oncologist who told me, “Well, statistically, you have about 16 months to live.”
I grieved heavily and then armored up to walk through the grief process. In my case my default went to “Setting my Mind” [Colossians 3:2] All the training that we had walked through since 1999 added to our own personal walks from childhood had me verbally speaking with God from my hospital bed. “I thought I was giving you all of me – but now you have my complete attention!”
A week later friend asked, “Now what?”
I said, “Nothing has changed; God had a plan before this and His plan has not changed.”
A verse with power in my life has been, “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” [Joshua 1:9] He commands us to take on His power and His strength to go into battle.
I have had over ten major surgeries for cancer, to the point of having a lung removed and part of my liver taken, only to experience His miracles, delivered through so many surgeons and medical staff, prayer warrior friends and supportive family and community. Each time the battle is real and intimate and the war stories mount in my mind. His faithfulness has anchored my soul!
Some scoff and want to minimize Jesus’s role and would twist God’s love into a vendetta He is exacting in my life. What a warped view of a God who loves us and has given everything for us!
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [Romans 8:32]
First Corinthians chapter 1 puts “Christ the Power and Wisdom of God” this way:
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts.
20 Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. 22 For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
God has always provided, and at the core of our being we knew that God would be glorified.
My son, Canaan, shared a video with me that registered. I don’t know where former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink stands in his faith, but essentially his view lines up with Romans 8:28. You don’t need to be a Christian for God to use you for His purpose.
His video "GOOD" rages in my mind as I think about the attitude we need to embrace as we step into the battle each day!
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”
You may think I’m weird but, I talk to myself and my awesome, powerful God every morning. I feel compelled to, energized by and assured by this conversation. I literally tell Him that I know He knows me on a sub-nuclear level, my DNA, and how I was designed by Him. I know that He knows me on a cellular level and can do anything He wants to battle those things with in me that come against me, if He so chooses. He knows me on a tissue level, an organ level, my ligaments, musculature and frame, and can do all things to restructure, renew and recreate anything and all things within me, after all, He created the universe. While I lean into the battle, that which I’m struggling against is an easy request for Him.
I clothe myself in His strength and His armor [Ephesians 6:10-18]
I don’t pretend that any week couldn’t bring me bad earthly health news. I do my workout to stay alive. I push my oxygen levels to stay alive. I challenge my mind and feed it with His truth and positive powerful thoughts to stay alive. I listen to powerful music (usually with screaming guitar solos- because that’s what I like) to keep me focused on the battle, when I’m in that zone.
While I don’t expect, want or demand that people work like I do, I feel an urgency to reach out to others with the truth of Jesus Christ, that they too might experience His life and power.
As you lean into this week’s fight. Remember that the battle is for our mind. Don’t cave into fear; don’t focus on the mountain or problem, but on His power, authority and solution!
He is with us wherever we go!