As often happens, I found myself in the middle of a sermon this past Sunday, my mind miles from the strict content being conveyed. It was about spiritual warfare, a term maybe not all of us are familiar with. However, I know that is not so with the word “sin”. To oversimplify, spiritual warfare is the pursuit to remove sin from one’s life and keep it at bay. I think we all associate sin as bad and could come up with a reason or two that spiritual warfare might be a noble pursuit. However, in our reasoning, I’m going out on a limb and saying that we’re all vastly missing the mark here. Simply put, the cost of sin, of disobeying or rebelling against God, is too great.
The wages of sin is death.
Yes, I’ve just hit you over the head with the theological hammer. However, it has to be said. If God is the Giver of Life, Life Himself, the Creator and our Father, anything falling short of Him is...well, death. Because, half-live people running around is just ridiculous. I mean, where do we make the cutoff (you can laugh now)? But seriously, any rebellion against Life or its Originator must be that which is other than life, i.e., death. And I’m not referring only to “off with his head!” death, I’m also referring to a slow death of the heart. You know, that feeling of being calloused down deep? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about, friend.
God is our Father.
I don’t know your background, but if it was anything like mine (and I had a great childhood), you’re missing this linchpin in the matter. What does a perfect Father look like? What kind of love does this Father bestow upon His beloved children? Did you even know you were His beloved? Did you know He bled for you? Did you know He cries out for your heart even now? Maybe you find God to be an evil puppet master pulling your strings, causing you one heartbreak after another. He’s not the cause of your heartbreak. In fact, it’s His absence that is breaking your heart. It’s your unknowing your Father that is ripping your heart to shreds. It’s how you’ve cut off the One by whom you are named. He loves you. He wants you and your beautiful, albeit wayward and tainted, heart back. Don’t believe me? I am there right now. And I know these words to be true as I type them.
Battle without a cost.
There cannot be a battle without a cost. And that cost is ever-increasing with our growing acceptance of this perfect Love. We are loved far beyond imagination, far beyond compare. As our eyes are opened, we become more fully aware of what we choose to give up when we sin; we become more aware of what it is we’re really fighting for, friends. And fight we must. However, a warrior without a cause is a terrible waste. We have a cause, the most valuable and costly the world will ever see. It’s imperative we constantly seek to understand that cause every day. Will you join me in fighting for this love?