Willie Pollock - Battles - 1988

Life is a battle whether in God's way or in the world, but people in the world battle without hope and without the help of God. The victories of others inspire us, but it is only our own victories that will save us. God's Kingdom will stand in spite of defeats, but it only goes forward with victories. Retreat is not necessarily defeat; often we retreat in order to strengthen ourselves so we can go forth again and win the victory.

 

Hebrews 10:32, "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after you were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions." Illumination is that flash of revelation that God's people receive in the beginning of their walk with God. Don't forsake people who have had the revelation of truth, even though they are worldly and unworthy. After revelation comes the battle of conviction. Is this really God's way?

 

Later, the battle of decision comes. Indecision brings uncertainty; decision brings peace. The worst kind of people will feel a tug in the right direction, while the best kind of people will feel a tug on their hearts in the wrong direction.

 

After decision comes the battle of separation. We could win the battle of decision but not the battle of separation. We need to separate ourselves from the past. Often God is drawing us with one hand, but with the other hand we are holding onto the past. Sin is forgiven but the memory is still there in our mind, not God's mind. That memory will plague us all our days.

 

Often the Accuser of the brethren works more in the quietness of the night. But, on the Judgment Day what we will face is not what is in our memory but what is in God's memory. "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17) Iniquity is the deceit that goes along with sin to cover up our tracks. God forgives us for our dishonesty, too. Separation leads to the battle of affliction. "A man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:36) If we are serving God, we are "marching to the tune of a different drummer" than those around us. If we are in step with heaven, we will be out of step with the world. We need to be willing to suffer for doing what is right. We cannot give in just because others are against us.

 

Then we come to the battle of keep going. We count the cost over and over again, not just in the beginning. For fifteen years, I was the only servant of God able to go in and visit our friends in Cuba. I asked them once why it is they keep on going when they have so much against them and so few privileges. Migdalia said, "We go on because we don't want to miss what is ahead. We don't want to lose the past and miss the future." Luis said, "When others go on, it encourages me and if I go on, it may encourage others." Another person said, "I go on so that when God's servants return, they will find me where they left me."

 

There are other battles we face in our walk with God: the battle to keep our faith; the battle of youth; the battle of old age; the battle to keep a right spirit and the battle of the flesh against the spirit. One young worker was very discouraged and thought he shouldn't go on in the work because of the wrong thoughts he found himself thinking. He told his older companion that there must be something wrong with him because the other young workers didn't have such thoughts. His companion told him, "Wonderful! It is not that they don't have the same struggle as you do, but they have covered their struggle with victory.Go thou and do likewise!"

 

All of us face certain personal battles that no one else can share with us. We have to face them alone. We have to walk on our own "vereda" (Spanish for "narrow path") and no one can walk by our side. Jesus was on His "vereda" in Gethsemane. No one on earth could help Him. Jesus never prayed for others with such intensity and agony as He prayed for Himself. Help didn't come from others, it came from heaven. If we are faithful in battling alone, God will reward us in public.