“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” ~ Hebrews 12:4
You’re on the cliff edge, and you’ve got no wings. You’re facing the giant, and so far it hasn’t budged, even after all this time. You’re swinging your sword like a madman, but the blade is never striking home. You’re failing. Repeatedly. You’re exhausted. Hope is slipping away like the fading light of dusk.
You had no idea it would be this hard. You need a win ~ even a tiny one ~ just to keep going. But there are no wins in sight.
Where is God’s strength now? Why doesn’t He come charging in and save the day? It doesn’t make any sense. Was I an idiot to believe this vision? Was I wrong to believe it could really come true? Am I a hero, or just a fool?
It all sounded noble and exciting in the beginning, didn’t it? And it was! You were Joshua taking the Land that God had said is yours. You were David going after the crown that God had promised. You were Abraham leaving all you’ve known to possess a place you’ve never been and have no map to find.
You knew it would be hard. You expected it would be hard.
But not this hard.
So what do you do when your quest to become all that God has called you to be starts to look less like a noble battle and more like a fool’s errand?
1. Reconnect to the truth you know. What truth about God can you grab hold of to steady your soul? What do you know ~ deep down in your bones ~ is true about who God says you are? Grab onto these things and don’t let go. Think of nothing else for a while, until you feel your feet beneath you again.
2. Remember what God said to you. Back when you could hear him clearly. Back when the veracity of the message was undeniable. What did He say? What was His last command? You may be leading the charge against the obstacles in your way, but remember, you’re still just a follower of the Spirit’s voice. “Be strong and courageous,” God said to Joshua. “Have I not commanded you?” (Joshua 1:9). Take heart in what God has told you to do.
3. Reconcile yourself to the reality of the battle. It’s harder than you thought it would be. Harder even than you could have imagined it would be. Fine. Noted. Now get over it. It’s going to take more than just “a lot” of effort to get through this to the other side. It’s going to take everything you have ~ every last ounce of strength, every last drop of blood ~ to even have a hope at breaking through. But just because it’s harder than than anything you’ve ever had to face before doesn’t mean it isn’t still the right, true path.
4. Re-engage the fight. But this time, use your head and not just your passion. Become a student of the Resistance you face. Study it. Learn to fight smarter. Learn to be patient. Stop trying to win the war in a day. This is going to take time, and a lot more shrewdness than you’ve employed up to now. So bring it. Step up. “Run in such a way that you may win the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
Every soul has a “Promised Land.” A destiny. A Person You are Called to Be. A Life You Are Called to Live. Your quest is yours alone ~ yours to fight for and win, or yours to deny or run from when the fighting gets too hard. No one can face this challenge for you. But so long as you refuse to lay down your sword, there is hope.
Don’t give up. Stubbornly believe. Put your hope in God. Fight the good fight of faith.
“To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.” ~ Carlos Castaneda