Choose Your Battles

Did you know that Jesus had 39 accusations flung at Him while He was on earth? Talk about learning how to pick your battles! Why so many accusations? To teach us how to deal with conflict. What did He want us to learn? First, realize that as long as there are people there will be conflict. There will always be someone who will disagree with our choices and because our choices don’t align with their belief, those people often bring conflict into our lives. Second, how we react is more important than the conflict. Third, we have to pick our battles and decide which hill is worth dying on. Among the 39 accusations were charges that He healed someone on the Sabbath, was eating with sinners and that he was breaking, not the Law, but the sacred Jewish traditions. Jesus’s reaction? He continued to heal, continued to eat and He continued to do what was right. He understood that none of the accusations would stick and that His life and time would reveal the truth. Jesus knew which hill He was going to die on and none of those issues were worth the fight. He knew His hill was Calvary, that He was going to going to be accused of being God and that He was going to die for the sins of all the world. That was His hill; the battle He chose.

battleWe too must decide what battles are important. As a Spirit filled Christian I have simplified my battles down to four dynamics. First, I believe the Word of God is infallible and that it needs to be read regularly and with a desire to know Jesus, not theology, not religious tradition or facts. Paul said it well in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him…” Second, I believe that Jesus is God, that He spoke the world into existence, robed Himself in flesh and through Calvary, offers us the opportunity to have His Spirit live in us. I believe He wants us to humble ourselves and repent, identify and acknowledge His work on Calvary through baptism in His name and He wants us to know we have overcoming power by having His Spirit inside of us by initially speaking in a language we do not know. Third, I believe that prayer is the most powerful tool a person has. We never completely defeat sin. Prayer is the tool that must be used every day, it is the power that keeps our flesh under control and gives the Spirit influence and the power it should have in our lives. Finally, I believe that we must live Godly and Holy. While our righteousness is as a filthy rag, God calls us to live distinctively and modest. This is reflected in our desire to please Him, reflect Him in every part of our lives including our attitude, appearance, actions, spirit and motives. There will always be hypocritical religious accusers just as there were in Jesus’ day. There will always be those making accusations about the latest issue, trying to bring chaos and conflict into your life. Settle who you are, choose your battle wisely and decide what accusations are worth your time and energy and let God be God in your life.

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