Children always offer a fresh perspective, and it can be especially interesting when hearing their perspective of YOU. I’ve heard many descriptions of myself from my children. A couple of my favorites are that I’ve been aged at 100 years old on a kindergarten Mother’s Day questionnaire and I’m supposedly famous, since my picture is on both Facebook and my website.
Some descriptions I never want to forget. Some I’d prefer to forget, but should own up to and learn from. Others just make me laugh. Take this description of me, for example:
“You are a woman of war, Mom!”
Me: (?????) Umm . . .huh?
“You are just so strong.”
Had I been in workout gear pumping some serious iron, moving something large like the refrigerator, or coming in from a long run then maybe I could see the correlation. I was doing nothing of the sort. It just so happened that I was able to . . . drink cranberry juice. Yes, that is quite the feat and I’m proud to accept my strong warrior title for it!
I had a good laugh. At the same time, it revealed a longing within me for that description to be true. I want to fight for something meaningful. As a Christian, I want to fight for God’s kingdom. When Paul calls us “more than conquerors” in Romans 8:37, I yearn for this to be lived out in me.
I admit, my personality is a bit on the aggressive side and this probably lends to me being drawn to the dramatic warfare elements within Scripture. I love the psalms of David which speak of the destruction of his enemies, of course knowing that it applies now to our spiritual enemies (see Ephesians 6:12). When I read that Christ has given us authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19 ) and that we shall “trample the great lion and the serpent” (Psalm 91:13), I have to contain myself from stomping around the floor in symbolic declaration. Maybe I’ve read too many Frank Peretti novels?
In all seriousness, the spiritual enemy is very real and 1 Peter 5:8 warns that our “adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” On the other hand, the righteous are equipped not so that we should simply flee to safety, for God has also declared us to be “as bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). The church is meant to have a roar as well.
As exciting as this sounds, in actuality, the majority of our practical warfare is far less dramatic. While our warfare should be within prayer, if many of us are completely honest, it can be a battle simply to pray at all – especially unceasingly, as Paul encourages in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Though we may war against powers and principalities, our captives must often be our own thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5). The most important war we’ll wage will be against our own temptations (Galatians 5:17, 1 Peter 2:11, and Romans 7:23) and, ultimately, our fight will be the “good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). I may have imaginings of leading a cavalry charge against the enemy, but I must remind myself of this: the little things DO matter. As Jesus claimed, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10) and “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21).
Therefore, I will set my battle to do ALL things – both great and small – as unto the Lord and for His glory (Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:7, and 1 Corinthians 10:31). May my “strong woman of war” title carry far beyond a cranberry juice feat! As dear as my daughter’s description of me is, I long so much more to hear these words:
“Well done, good and faithful servant!”
(The Christian Battle, written by Lesley Rieland)