Monday, October 21, 2013

Fighting For It (or against it...)

Sometimes I muse.  Sometimes I anger.  Sometimes I confuse.  Sometimes I sometime.
This sometime I ramble.

When you think about the front lines of battle, you can never really know what it is like to fight...what it feels like, what it smells like, what you see, who you fight with, who you fight against.  The things you'd rather not remember.  And you can never really know what any of that stuff is like unless...
you're there.  And most of us have never seen the front lines (much less the back lines) of an actual battle.  We rely every night for the reporters on the other side of the world, standing in a sand storm, under an umbrella which has been turned violently inside out because of the whirring winds.  And some of them even jump into a Hummer with a helmet on and protective gear, bullet proof vests.  And they cover war from as close to the front lines that any of us will ever get a peek into without having been in an actual war.

So I'm peeking into my front lines.  I'm the camera dude(ette) that is giving you the peek inside my front lines of battle.  I can smell the war, I can feel it, I can see the ones fighting with me.  And the "fighting for it....or against it" I'm referring to in the title is not a prize on the other side of a wall of enemies bearing down against me, it's not a crown or a chest of gold, it's not a kidnapped journalist or wrongly-accused tourist.  It's not even an enemy I wish to gun down, pick off with a sniper rifle.  It's not what you'd's not what I'd think.  What I fight for (or more accurately, against) is surrender.
It's one of my most hated "S" words.

It's not in our nature to surrender.  It's just not!  It screams weakness.  It bleeds cowardice behavior.  It wreaks of the stinking smell of failure.  So then if surrender is failure...

----> a page ripped from my journal.
'I don't know how to surrender.  I'm not sure if I can.  What does giving up ACTUALLY mean?  In real life if you surrendered to something, that means you don't get to do what you want.  You don't get to do what you're used to doing.  When you surrender, you are left to survive on someone else's terms.  When you surrender, you have to give up all your things; your ammo, protective gear and sometimes you're forced to give up your battle plans.  Everything you once used to survive will not work anymore.  If you want to survive, you must do what you're told.  That means you have ZERO control.  Your survival depends on someone else's actions and decisions.  And they might not even care if you get gunned down.  They might use you as a bargaining tool to get what they want.  They might use you as cover in a shower of gunfire.  Completely giving up means; you're outnumbered, your shelter didn't work, your ammo ran out.  Your best decision isn't to fight till the death, it's the actual thought that is tempting; it's that you might actually stand a chance at living if you just...give up.'

The dictionary defines 'surrender' like this:
To relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion.
To give up in favor of another.
To give up or give back (something that has been granted)
To give up or abandon

 Then it lists some synonyms of the word surrender:

Not sounding like anything I'd willingly jump into.  Even if it's to Him?  Even doesn't sound so enticing.  But that's exactly what Jesus did ... He surrendered to God and what He wanted.  Even
though He knew His surrender wouldn't immediately yield anything good...He still did it.  And there was even a time in this trying journey of surrender where Jesus Himself asked God if maybe this didn't have to happen (Him dying on the cross).  Jesus basically said, "man, if there is ANY other way for this
to happen, I'd like to do that..."  But He made a choice.  He said, "Nevertheless, Your will be done, not mine."  And Jesus...had EVERY RIGHT to say, "I'm done, this isn't fair, I'm outa here.  Dad, You're CRAZY!"  But He didn't.

And so I'm left with 2 thoughts ... 2 torturing, almost tantalizing questions before me as I take a step back and actually take into  account of what is at stake;

1.) have you ever considered that the reason you're not winning is because you haven't surrendered?
2.) have you ever considered that the reason you keep losing is because you keep fighting?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Bloody Surrender Isn't Always What He's Looking For

Some battles are yours to fight.  They're worth every drop of sweat, every ounce of blood and countless tears.  Others have already been won.  They've already been fought.  Some battles, we try to spill enough of our own blood to claim the victory.  We continually run to the front lines, arrogantly trampling over sacred ground, where blood has already been spilled for us.

Just as well as His blood covers a multitude of sins, so it also covers multiple battles.  What would a faith that waves a clean, unblemished flag of surrender look like?  Certainly not the ones I wave.

We wave a blood-soaked 'surrender' flag in His face as if to say, "look, Jesus, look what this cost me!"
Instead of, "Ok, Jesus, Your blood was more than enough."

The bloody white flag of surrender we wave is only bloody because of our self-inflicted wounds.
Pride.  Stubbornness.  Selfishness.  Greed.  Glory-hogging and stinking agendas.

Oh that we would know, no weapon formed against us will prosper.  And oh that we would know...that His blood works, better than ours ever will.