A friend’s daughter was frustrated yesterday because of the red tape of our federal government, in just trying to renew her passport. How hard can this be? She’s never committed a crime; she’s never impersonated a policeman; she’s never stolen even a pack of gum. But the hours it took to fill out the form correctly, and the proper photo needed—with no white shirt. Guess what? She wore a white shirt to Walgreen’s. Uh oh, can’t take your picture.
Then it’s on to the Post Office, where she is told they only process passports on Tuesday (it was Monday) and you need an appointment, but the kiosk said you don’t need an appointment! Must I continue?
Jesus makes an interesting statement, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Have you ever wondered why Jesus married these two statements together? I mean, he said it in the same breath. Almost like one is related to the other.
It seems that Jesus is portraying a picture of life to us in which we must pass through the first sentence to get to the second. The abundant life doesn’t just happen. It takes a battle of conflicted forces. There is a thief. He is going to fight you every step of the way.
What if I told you that you’ve been born into a war? That life is one inconvenient battle after another. And that the sooner you understand this truth, the quicker you will discover the joy of the Lord.
What kind of a difference would it make if you had a focus that life is always difficult because there is a real manipulator, thief, destroyer, and killer on the loose in the universe. He hates your success, happiness, and even existence. But what if you decided to quit complaining and awoke each day anticipating a fight?
I’m calling this mindset a warrior focus. It is awakening to each new day with a fierce focus on fighting any bad moods or news that wants to take you down. Instead of expecting everything to just go your way, you muster up your spirit with a “bring it on” mentality.
This is not Mayberry or Seinfeld
Jesus is offering us a life of “…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). But Satan and demons will oppose us. We are in a war. We are not living in Mayberry or with Seinfeld. You have been drafted into a Combat Zone; a violent clash of kingdoms.
War is a central theme of the Bible – in the Garden, Satan shows up. The Exodus involves a battle between Moses and Pharaoh to set the Hebrews free. It’s a war to get into the Promised Land—one battle after another. Deborah goes to war; David fights battle after battle to become king. Even the birth of Jesus is a war in the heavenlies. Look at Revelation 12.
Jesus takes on the Enemy
Jesus comes and it’s one battle after another with demons and the religious authorities.
Jesus even said, “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The Bible says Jesus came “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus dies on a cross, descends into hell and takes the keys away of Satan and leads a train of captives into freedom (Ephesians 4:8-9; Rev. 1:18). Why?
What is Jesus fighting for? Your freedom! Your restoration! Jesus wants you to experience the abundant life! But do you want that life? It’s not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. You must fight for it.
You must have a warrior focus! If you don’t get this, you will misinterpret about 90% of what is happening around you.
Fight for your Freedom
We must fight for the purpose God created us for. Most of us are stuck in addictions, bitterness, and unforgiveness because we haven’t learned how to fight for our freedom. We just accept that this is just the way we are. I can’t change is the mantra of stuck-in-the-mud believer who is living a defeated life.
We must change our focus from easy to hard, from coasting to battling, from passivity to proactivity. Let’s have a bring it on mentality and fight for our family, our marriage, our job, our church, and our community!
Wake up tomorrow and shout out Bring It On! and keep that warrior focus throughout the day. Watch what God will do!