Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fighting Words

Words are so powerful. I’ve recently gotten on a bandwagon about how carelessly we describe our difficult situations in life. For instance, I’ve told you about my struggle with anxiety in a previous post, “The Ugly.” Once I decided to openly admit this, I wrestled with the question--how do you admit you struggle with something without admitting defeat or sounding like you’ve already given up? The answer--you adapt “fight” language.

For example, I don’t say, “I have anxiety.” I now say, “I battle anxiety.” This enemy of anxiety proves to be a formidable foe, but God is on my side and overwhelming victory will be mine one day. Earlier this year God gave me a scripture for 2011, Jeremiah 20:11.

It says, “The Lord is with me as a violent warrior.” I love that scripture and the picture it puts in my mind! It shows me that in the Spirit, God is fighting my enemy of anxiety like a half-crazed, sword wielding, God-version of William Wallace in the movie Braveheart. Other translations describe God here as a “mighty warrior, great warrior, dread warrior, dread champion, mighty terrible one,” etc. In other words, be afraid devil! Be very, very afraid!!

Do you believe that God will fight for you? David did. David knew how to use “fight” language because he knew he had a violent warrior God who would back up his trash talking* to Goliath! I keep a rock on my desk that I picked up from the stream where David found his 5 smooth stones before fighting Goliath. On the rock I wrote, “The battle is the Lord’s.” When I feel overwhelmed by things out of my control, I stop and look at the rock. The words remind me that God is on my side, He will fight my battles, and my speech needs to sound like I believe that!

From now on, before you say something like “I’m an alcoholic,” or “I’m lazy,” or “I’m fat,” or “I have cancer,” take a moment to choose your words carefully. Instead, try using fight language to show the enemy and yourself that you haven’t given up and you won’t give up. Why not say something like, “I’m fighting the urge to drink” or “I’m struggling with overeating, but I’m determined to win this battle!” Add some powerful scriptures on healing, freedom, and victory and you can say like Charlie Sheen, “Winning!” Only, you will actually be winning!

When Holly Wagner, co-pastor of Oasis Church, found out she had breast cancer, she was careful not to say, “I have cancer.” She realized (and I’m paraphrasing), “I’m not partnering with breast cancer, I’m not arm-in-arm going forward with breast cancer—instead I say that I have been diagnosed with cancer, but I won’t let it win.” That’s fight language! And, the good news is, she’s now cancer free!

I’m not saying you need to live in this imaginary place where you don’t face reality. Some people take this to a weird extreme. But the Word of God is clear on this subject, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”* I invite you to join me--choose to speak life, to fight on, and to ultimately win the battle with the help of our violent warrior God!

* Check out David’s bold fight language! David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” I Sam 17:45-47

*Proverbs 18:21

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