One of the most freeing things that has ever taken place in my life has been when I learned the art of letting go and allowing Christ to take the battle for me. It is a frustrating concept to fully embrace when you are facing something unpleasant, painful, or traumatizing. Many people never figure out what it means to give it to Christ. They believe it means to give in or give up on life and to let life happen to them. This simply is not the case. It is not so much that you are giving up, or letting life happen to you, but rather what you are picking up and doing. Jesus did not come to earth to leave us with a defeatist mindset. Nor did he come to control us and create us to be his puppets. In order to give the struggle or issue to Christ it is not what you are giving up, but rather what you are gaining. It is not to only lay your cares at his feet, but rather to fully embrace the mind of Christ. So rather than looking at your issue and handing it to Jesus, you have received Christ’s vision, voice, and heart for what lies before you with him.
In Philippians 4:6-9 it states, “Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Put into practice the example of all that you have heard from me or seen in my life and the God of peace will be with you in all things.”
Paul teaches us what to do with our mind. If we focus on the things mentioned above, our mind is transformed to think, see, and understand even the darkest or most painful if situations or events like Christ. The thing that looked like a pile of rubbish weighing us down is now a weight room that helped build stronger legs, stronger arms, a sharper discernment for what is good and what is bad, and a heart more open and alive then ever before. To take on the eyes of Christ is to have a hopeful vision of things so that the peace of Christ will rest upon our shoulders leaving us with supernatural abilities to transcend the normal human experience when difficulties strike.
In Ephesians 6:10-20 we are instructed on what to do when we face spiritual warfare in our lives. It says, "Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as your fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Your hand to hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious. Put the truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers. And pray also that God’s revelation would be released through me every time I preach the wonderful mystery of the hope-filled gospel. Yes, pray that I may preach the wonderful news of God’s kingdom with bold freedom at every opportunity. Even though I am chained as a prisoner, I am an ambassador."
Paul instructs us once again. This time to be covered in the armor of God. In fact, he instructs us to do so while he is in prison. This is a powerful testimony of how powerful the armory of God is to cover us in the midst of battles. We do not take our armor off and quit in the midst of the pain. We do the opposite. We cover ourselves in the armor of God and let Jesus transform us into powerful participants in overcoming the evil that followed us because of the fall of man. We do not go through life without strife, but we are given a uniform that powerfully transforms us from the inside out. To say that every battle we face belongs to Christ is really to say that we choose to be enmeshed with him, filled with him, and drenched in his presence. No matter what the battle, no matter how grim and impossible it may seem, his light and love radiates out of us; transforming even the dingiest of dungeon’s as the campgrounds for his victory in our lives.
The next time you feel like giving up on yourself, a person, a situation, or falling back into a pattern of bondage, remember to keep your eyes on the things that Christ focuses on; all things that are authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. This will transform your perspective and alleviate the burden of every and any situation. The next time you feel like you are being attacked by the enemy, do not forget your helmet to protect your thoughts in the midst of the battle and to grab your sword (the sacred scripture and worship) to ward off evil. Remember to get on your hands and knees and pray to Jesus, to fill the room with his light. When you do these things continually and faithfully, the burdens and battles you once had will supernaturally dissipate. I encourage each and every one of you to stay focused on what matters. Do not let the enemy distract you. Christ is always willing and ready to send the Holy Spirit to heal and prepare our hearts for His habitation in us. He wins our battles not only for us, but with us. We win together. Amen!