The battle is real. But it is not with ourselves. Yes, we are in a fire and being purified. Yes, we are continually given situations to yield or resist. And all the while, we are learning, training, and being disciplined. The Lord disciplines those he loves. We have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. How much more shall we be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Our human fathers disciplined us as seemed best to them, but God disciplines us for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Now no discipline seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; but afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
The key, the treasure in the fire, is to believe. It is your faith that is being tried.
Satan is strutting around as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. What does he want? His mission is to get at your faith. Is God good to you? Is God listening to you? Does God care what you’re going through? Is God present? Is God even real?
We are wrestling spiritual wickedness in high places; powers and authorities in the unseen realm. Are we to cower away in despair? Are we to hide? Yes! Find the Secret Place of the Almighty and hide beneath his wings and let him nurture you, heal your wounds, and speak comfortably to you. At other times, His Spirit may rise up in you causing you to shout with authority and pray with power and faith and command the powers that surround you to get behind you! (If this has never happened to you, you may want to put on some music and let it rip.) You are shouting to the unseen realm, and breaking out of your puny self-consciousness, similar to the way you have shouted at a sporting event, or a concert. We do not run like someone running aimlessly. We do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
God is busy doing a work in us. Getting us ready for an even greater work. Like David in the field with his sheep, protecting them with his slingshot; killing a bear, a lion, with no idea he was preparing for the job he would be given later. We too are enduring a furnace. And our Lord is allowing the darkness to grow as a thick cloud. But it is for HIS purpose.
For the sake of My name I will delay My wrath; for the sake of My praise I will restrain it, so that you will not be cut off.
See, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, My very own sake, I will act;
for how can I let Myself be defamed?
I will not yield My glory to another.…
Fear not, little flock. Only rest in Him with expectation and hope. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief. For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober. Behold, He comes quickly. And his reward is with him!