“Put ‘em up, put ‘em up! Go ahead! I’ll fight ‘cha with my eyes closed! I’ll fight ‘cha with one hand tied behind my back….” Words from The Cowardly Lion, Wizard of Oz
My flash temper strikes again! Normally I’m non-combative, but really…don’t mess with my loved ones! Don’t bad mouth them or run them down! Because I’ll fight ‘cha! Put up yer dukes!
When there is a physical enemy…
Many years ago, I had multiple run-ins with a person in my life who would verbally trod all over my loved ones. Not only that, she would tell lies about them! Absolute lies! I would confront her and try to set the record straight, to no avail. She believed that her words were truth. I felt like I was fighting against the father of lies himself!
John 8:44 “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
It was a frustrating situation, one that I could never win. What’s a girl to do? I can’t let this person verbally beat up on my family!
God’s word says: Don’t be afraid, you won’t need to fight. The battle is not yours, but God’s. Stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, the Lord is with you. (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)
The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. (Ex 14:14)
What? Keep silent, stand still and watch? Don’t DO anything? Don’t defend my peeps? Don’t knock the poop out of the aggravator?? I’m in fighting mode….put ‘em up, right now! I’ll fight ‘cha!
Instead, I shut up. I listen to God and His word. And (horrors, gasp) I pray for this person! This is what I am seeing:
The Lord continues to fight this battle for me. Slowly (in God’s timing), I see the tide turning. I see that the lies are being exposed to TRUTH. I didn’t have to say a word, because the Lord fights those who fight me (Isaiah 49:25).
[tweetthis]Will you fight a loosing battle? Or will you allow God to fight for you, and win the war?[/tweetthis]
When the battles are within…
“I know what he’s thinking. I can tell by the look on his face. He’s mad a me! For no reason! I haven’t done anything wrong! I’m mad that he’s mad at me.”
“She looked at me funny. She’s probably thinking I don’t do anything around here. The nerve of her! How dare she think that! She has no idea what is going on in my life!”
I was boxing air, fighting mental battles based upon perceptions I had. They may or may not have been true. I was ready, in my mind, to fight! Put ‘em up, put ‘em up! I was expending precious energy shadow boxing…no one. NO ONE. There was no one arguing with me. There was no point to be made to thin air. I was ready to skirmish based on my thoughts. Only my thoughts. Only one side of the story. Ever been there? It is not a sweet place to be.
That’s when it’s time to do some mental maintenance.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Take those thoughts captive and ask: Is this truth? Or is it just MY perception of truth? If I’m totally honest, I don’t like the answer to these questions. But they must be asked. When I take those thoughts captive to the OBEDIENCE of Christ, when I look at truth and not perceptions, then the battle in my mind can stop.
It isn’t cowardly when you don’t fight. Sometimes it’s the only way to live free. Sometimes it’s the only way to win.
Until next week,
Linking up today with these lovely writers:
Suzie Eller’s Live Free Thursday
Susan at Dance with Jesus
Barbie at The Weekend Brew
Kelly at Purposeful Faith
Holly at Testimony Tuesday
Holly at Coffee for Your Heart
Jennifer at Tell His Story
Carolyn Dale Newell says
It’s comforting to know that God fights for us. Thank you for your words.
Thank you Carolyn for stopping by! Yes, we can #livefree while God fights for us!
Ellen this is a great perspective and I love your image. Thanks for your light heartedness in the midst of struggle.
Thank you for your encouraging words, Jenny! I appreciate you stopping in for a visit!
Christy Mobley says
Ellen, It is such a temptation to fight the battles that belong to the Lord. He is our refuge and strength. Well written and oh so true.
Coming to you from # LiveFreeThursday
Hi Christy! Yes, our human nature kicks in to fight battles that are not ours! Thankful that Jesus has us covered!PS-Great post on bullying – very insightful. And you had me when you said your cat was a bully. I don’t know if it was operator error, but I could find where to post a comment…
Hi Ellen! I totally get that ‘shadow-boxing’ thing. I can often build things up in my head to epic proportions, and it never really matches the situation. I’ve made many a mistake in overreacting.
In my morning prayer today, I read this from Jesus: Love your enemies. Pray for them.
It fits in very nicely with your theme today. We are not instructed to blast our enemies, but instead to pray. That is action!
Oh, the shadows that I have boxed, Ceil! And you’re right – they grow! Thanks for stopping by!
Kim Stewart says
Ellen, great post encouraging us to #livefree today while we put up our dukes!
Have a great day! Kim
Thanks for stopping by Kim!
Mary Geisen says
Loved this! We tend to be “fixers” and think we can do it all on our own. Our lives would be so much easier if we would only let God intervene and fight for us. Ultimately living free is what we desire so I pray we set free our pretenses and let God fight the battles in our lives for us. Blessings!
Oh, how true Mary! I am a “fixer”, and giving God my battles is definitely the best fix for all my troubles! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Mary Geisen says
Thank you for sharing this at The Weekend Brew.
Thank YOU, Mary!
Wow, girl, I hear ya! Grrr, that’s the lion in me coming out:) It is sooo hard to let God fight for us, but He’s so much better at it than we are, isn’t he??
Yes He is, Kristine! He can handle the situations that I stress and fret over! So thankful He is fighting for me!
Oh, yes, I do a lot of shadow boxing around here. I totally get this. It’s so much harder to keep cool when someone’s attacking a loved one. If they’re just talking about me, it’s easier, but the battle IS the Lord’s!
Yes it is Betsy! If we would just close our mouths and let Him do the fighting in His time and His way…so much easier!
Ginger Harrington says
Oh I have done this. Especially those mental battles of our perceptions. I love the phrase you used, “mental maintenance.”
Hey, Ginger, thanks for stopping by my ordinary corner of the www! Ooh, don’t those mental battles almost do us in? So thankful we have the truth of God’s word to offset our perceptions!
~ linda says
This speaks to my heart and soul. I have allowed God to fight one battle that brought results I could have never gotten. Not perfect but far better than it was. Yet, I want to stand up or protect or defend or… God says He will fight those battles. Thank you, Ellen.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Linda, He is so faithful to provide for us, whether is be fighting our battles or providing strength when we need it. So glad you stopped by.
Some of my favorite promises in the bible, 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 and Ex 14:14, The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. I admit, it is hard but I loved what you said about God winning the war. Yes, He wins our wars!! The waiting is the hardest part but God will be our vindicator in all situations. Very encouraging post. Thanks for the reminders.
Thank you for stopping by Tammy! Yes, the waiting is the hardest part, but in the waiting, we grow! Thank you for your encouragement!
Susan Mead says
I was boxing air,
OH! Been there. More than once…
Thank you Ellen. Such a marvelous way to convey truth, HIS truth, to us.
Thank you for joining the dance–please do each week!
Thank you for the opportunity to link up, Susan! I appreciate you!
Sabra Penley says
Most of my battles are definitely within. And 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a memory verse of mine, for that very reason. Thanks so much for this compelling message, Ellen. xoxo
Thank you, sweet Sabra! Yes, 2 Corinthians 10:5 is to memorize. I cling to this scripture many times!
Asheritah @ OneThingAlone.com says
It’s so hard to stand by “helplessly” and wait. But I find that that’s when I’m most able to fight on my knees, battling in prayer. We’re not helpless at all when we wait for the Lord; we’re calling on the Helper who can move mountains.
Thank you for this reminder!
Oh, Asheritah! Fighting on our knees is SO powerful! Yes, there is much strength to be gained in waiting on Him! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Joe Pote says
Yes, the battle is the Lord’s! And yes, reacting to violence with violence tends to escalate rather than diffuse.
At the same time, though, there is a need to stand firm in truth. A need to clearly speak the truth. And a need for clearly defined boundaries when dealing with an abuser or an abusive situation.
Thank you, Ellen, for the thought-provoking post!
Thanks so much for visiting Joe! Thank you for your encouraging comments. Blessings to you!
Valerie Sisco says
I love this! So many times toxic thoughts spring from our own imagined perceptions and many times they aren’t true. Searching out the truth through prayer is the only answer!
Hi Valerie! Thanks for stopping in! I have learned to ask myself “Is this truth? Or is this my perception of truth?” It’s very interesting to see my perceptions….Yikes!
I visualized the lion in Wizard of Oz as I read…What great verses and what a great example you are…yes, to pray and to stay silent in the face of someone’s lies is so hard…For me, I’ve stayed silent for a long time and in my case, I’ve had to ask God for wisdom on when to speak up and into a situation and when to leave it in His hands …in either case to pray for the person and my own heart….Thanks for sharing your wisdom 🙂
Well, hello Dolly! So sorry, I just had to say that! Louis Armstrong is now singing in my head! Yes, I’m with you – asking God for the wisdom to speak, and what to say! Too often I run ahead of Him. Things get so messy then! When in doubt, I keep my mouth shut!! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Sometimes I forget that we are not called to fight all of our own battles. God has so much more in him then we ever could. Thanks for sharing!
So glad you stopped by, Becky! Thank you for your encouragement!
Sheila Kimball says
THESE WORDS……The Lord continues to fight this battle for me. Slowly (in God’s timing), I see the tide turning. I see that the lies are being exposed to TRUTH. I didn’t have to say a word, because the Lord fights those who fight me (Isaiah 49:25)……ALWAYS TRUE!!
Thanks, Ellen. #RaRaLinkup
Thank you for your encouraging comment Sheila! Appreciate your cheers today! #RaRa!
Joy Lenton says
How tempted we can be to want to fight our own battles! And how hard it can be to stand still and rest in God’s provision for us. Most of my battles are from within and I can see I will need to do some essential “mental maintenance” on my perceptions. Thank you, Ellen. Popping over from #coffeeforyourheart It’s good to read your words today. Blessings. 🙂
Thank you Joy for stopping by! Yes, that mental maintenance is necessary! Blessings to you!
Sarah Donegan says
I try to pray for people who irritate me but it is hard! It does get easier over time as I start to see them differently! 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Oh Sarah, so true! Prayer changes me and my attitude! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment!
Katy McCown says
Amen Ellen! I find it helpful to talk back to those battles within and speak Truth out loud to remind myself & shut up my enemy! #RaRaLinkup
Hi Katy, thanks so much for stopping by my ordinary little corner of the internet! Yes, ma’am, those internal battles are tough! Thank you for your comments, I appreciate you!