Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

October 15, 2010

Battlefield

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

The very word battlefield resounds with the thought of conflict.  A battlefield is a place where opposing forces do battle.  In most battlefields that we name, we acknowledge death and injury occurred.  There is nothing pleasant about a battlefield.

Perhaps you have walked through various battlefields as Judy and I have with a sense of seeking to understand history . . . but overwhelmed by the demise of so many on those grounds.

With a great interest in family history, we have toured many of the battlegrounds of the Civil War.  We have walked across fields where we know our great-grandfathers and uncles fought . . . and several of them were captured . . . and others killed.

There are names so well known to us.   Chickamauga Battlefield in the northwest corner of Georgia; Missionary Ridge Battlefield,  Chattanooga, Tennessee; Bakers Creek Battlefield, Mississippi, a pivotal battle in the Vicksburg Campaign; Vicksburg Battlefield in Mississippi which was one of the turning points in the war, combined with the defeat of Lee at Gettysburg; Manassas or Bull Run in Virginia, the site of two major battles; and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where in 1863 the largest number of casualties in the Civil War occurred.

All these sites are preserved because of the history, and the reminder of such devastating battles that occurred during the Civil War.  There were battlefields before the Civil War . . . there have been battlefields around the world before and since the Civil War.  All of them speak to us of conflict.

As I reflect on our visits to these battlefields, I realize that I live amid a battlefield everyday.  I believe the most common and lasting battlefield is in the heart and mind.  Yes, within my being there is a battlefield upon which conflict is constant.  Perhaps you, too, will admit the same.

There is a battle that rages within.  There is a struggle — two forces vying for my life.  A struggle between right and wrong.  It is a battle between the forces of evil and righteousness.  There is a war within.  It is not unique to me —  it is within every life.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this conflict.  He said our human nature fights against the spiritual nature.  As he wrote about this, he gave some aids in determining who is winning on this inward battlefield (Galatians 5:16-23).

The winner in the conflict will depend upon me.  I can join with my human nature or I can cast my lot with the spiritual nature.  I cannot blame anyone else for a defeat I might suffer.  I decide which force to support.

For those of us who desire for the spiritual nature to be victorious, we seek to relate to the Spirit of God.  We yield to Him that He might have the privilege and power to defeat the enemy within.  We can know victory in battle within.  God has given us the equipment.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.   Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”  (Ephesians 6:11-13) 

Lawson

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