Somewhat continuing the theme of my last post, I found a quote that I thought was really poignant. It comes from John MacArthur’s study of 1 and 2 Peter:
“A guard who sees the enemy approaching does not run out and start fighting. He reports the attack to his commanding officer, who then organizes the defense. When Satan attacks it is foolish to try to do battle with him alone. Like the soldier on guard duty, we should simply report to the Commander and leave the defense in His hands.”
When something difficult happens in our lives, if we are hurt or confused, scared or alone, it’s easy to try and fix the problem ourselves. Being a control freak myself, I usually try to handle things my own way, not only in the unhealthy ways that I described in my last post, but through seemingly healthy ways as well–talking to godly people, memorizing Scripture, etc. However, these behaviors can sometimes mask the fact that we’re still trying to take the reins ourselves, instead of handing them over to God.
That’s why the above quote is so helpful to me–it reveals how ludicrous that behavior is. If I were a soldier and I saw the enemy coming, I would not run out and try to fight the whole army myself. Not only would I be physically unable to do so, but I would be inexperienced and short-sighted since I wouldn’t have all the information. It would make much more sense to report back to a General who has more experience, knows the whole picture, and can provide me with immeasurably more strength and might than I have on my own.
So that is what we must do. When you face a challenge or a difficulty, remind yourself that you’re in the midst of a battle, so you’ve got to think like a soldier, and fight like a soldier, which therefore means deferring to your higher ranking officer. Don’t try to take care of things yourself, which can even mean backing off from talking to Christian friends or engaging in other “Christian” disciplines that tempt you to command the reins yourself. Instead, cast yourself upon God’s mercy, and pray for His direction. He may guide you back to some of those Christian practices you would have initially pursued yourself, but let Him be the one to make the call. There’s no need to carry the great burden of a General who is leading a war when you are little more than a lowly foot soldier. I certainly don’t want that pressure. And from that respect, taking control sounds like a responsibility I would gladly surrender to One who is more capable than I.