This is how I Fight my Battles
A few weeks ago our girl found me dancing alone, worshipping in the middle of our living room.
She walked out of the bathroom after getting ready for bed and saw me, this crazy lady, hands raised, dancing around the living room. But honestly, I didn’t care who was there or what they saw. I needed to worship right then and there.
What she didn’t know was that days of tension between Bry and me had finally built up into an argument.
What we didn’t know was that the Father was about to teach all of us a huge lesson that night.
Earlier, while she was in the shower and we were in the middle of our *ahem* intense fellowship (read: argument), the Spirit told me we needed to worship and pray.
Being the stubborn Texan girl I am, my flesh fought against the wisdom of the Spirit because I wanted to sit in my anger and disappointment. I wasn’t obedient to His voice, but thank goodness my hubby was!
In the middle of the argument, he asked, “Will you come pray with me?”
My first thought was, pray???
But, I knew the Spirit was prompting both of us at the same time to pray; I was just upset I hadn’t been obedient quicker.
Bry humbly prayed for our marriage, for our home, for our time, for the power of our words. He prayed compassion, grace, and patience over me. I thanked the Father for His goodness and for all of the hard things He’s brought us through. I asked Him to do it again tonight, what only He could do.
After we prayed, my heart had been softened, but not completely. I knew I needed to be obedient and worship.
I turned on the Sonos (probably at a volume louder than our neighbors wanted to hear that late at night) and began to worship.
I’ve learned that it’s almost impossible to maintain a stubborn, selfish heart when we’re thanking the Father for his goodness and worshipping in His presence.
As I worshipped and danced, I sensed that Bry and our girl had come back into the room. Chey sat down on the floor and Bry joined in my worship party with the guitar.
All of the tension in our house was broken, one song at a time.
After about half an hour, I asked Bry if I could let Chey know what was going on. He nodded and needed no further explanation. He knew my heart and that we needed to make it explicitly clear for her what was happening in this moment.
I turned down the music and asked her if she knew what was going on. She looked at me with a puzzled look only an almost-12-year-old could make and said, “Uh noooo.”
I told her we were in the middle of a fight.
Her jaw dropped and she was just as confused as I was hoping she would be.
Because I wanted her to remember this moment. I wanted her to remember how we fight our battles.
Without letting anything go to chance or assuming she’d connect the dots, we proceeded to tell her that I grew up in a home where the loudest person won the fight. Bry, on the other hand, grew up in a home where fights were resolved privately. So neither of us really knew the “right” way to get through arguments - the small ones and the really hard ones.
We wanted her to know that in the middle of an argument, we can shift the focus from ourselves to the Father. When we focus on Him, we see His beauty, abundance, and grace. When the focus is on ourselves, we sit in pity and selfishness.
We fight our battles in worship and prayer. Because it isn’t our battle to fight.
The Lord fights our battles for us.
The Holy Spirit convicts us and changes our hearts. He does the changing, the healing, the restoring.
He did it that night, and He’ll do it again.
“Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves.
But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.”
Romans 8:5 (TPT)
When I am motivated by the flesh, I am only thinking of myself and my selfish desires. But when I listen and respond to the Spirit, I desire the things that please the Father. Like giving grace, mercy, love, compassion, and kindness. These things not only bless the Father, but the Word says that they give me life and peace!
Jesus, help me to remember these things when I am struggling with my flesh. The mind controlled by the flesh is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit, your Messenger, is peace. (Romans 8:6)
One of the agreements Bry and I made to each other is that when we are in the midst of an argument, we will ask each other gently, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be holy?”
The Spirit leads us towards perfecting our mind, our spirit, and our heart, but when we hold tight on to the desires of the flesh, we risk becoming hard-hearted.
The Spirit works on our heart like a potter molding a piece of clay. A submissive heart is moldable, responsive to correction, eager to please, full of life. But a hard heart is like a dry, crusty, aged piece of clay - what is it good for? Nothing! That is why the Word says the mind controlled by the flesh is death - it’s pointless, good for nothing!
I love the way The Message translates this passage in Romans 8: “Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.”
The good news is that if you are breathing right now, you have been given another chance to lay down the desires of the flesh and ask the Father for help! He is our Helper, our Redeemer, our Savior!
All He asks is for a submissive heart.
He will do the rest.