Let It Burn: Our Warfare Is Ended

Posted on March 29, 2022 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

My growth depends on my walls coming down.~Evelyn Underhill

Do you want to be filled with a Spirit who, though He is like Jesus in His gentleness and love, will nevertheless demand to be Lord of your life? Are you willing to let your personality be taken over by another, even if that other be the Spirit of God Himself? If the Spirit takes charge of your life He will expect unquestioning obedience in everything. He will not tolerate in you the self-sins even though they are permitted and excused by most Christians…. You will find the Spirit to be in sharp opposition to the easy ways of the world and of the mixed multitude within the precincts of religion. He will be jealous over you for good. He will not allow you to boast or swagger or show off. He will take the direction of your life away from you. He will reserve the right to test you, to discipline you, to chasten you for your soul’s sake. He may strip you of many of those borderline pleasures which other Christians enjoy but which are to you a source of refined evil. Through it all He will enfold you in a love so vast, so mighty, so all-embracing, so wondrous that your very losses will seem like gains and your small pains like pleasure.
~A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
~Isaiah, an Oracle in the 8th century B.C., in Chapter forty of his prophecies

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. …. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable (rational) service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
~paul, The Least of The Apostles, referencing Isaiah and concluding the definitive essay on Salvation in Christ, in Romans chapters 1-11

Oh beloved, it is true.

So much of life really is hard. And it doesn’t really matter whether difficulties are of the first world flavor, or developing world type. The lives we lead can be so full of loss, and difficulty, and pain. So, as this fool of a writer tries to write about the end of our warfare, it is his deep hope that no one feel belittled.

I have suffered loss beyond words. There are moments in my life that i would give even my life to have them back. There are people who i can no longer touch. There are places i will never see again, and things i wish i had never seen. I have smelled death, and had to walk through it on some tasks i never, ever, ever wanted to have to do.

Each of you dear readers has some of this burden of our existence. You may have tried to love and have watched it fall apart. You may have gone on the adventure, and had it go terribly wrong. You hoped for a breakthrough that never came. You have been cut by the glass of your own shattered dreams.

And for each of us, when this real pain, real loss, real brokenness happens, something rises up within us to try and power through the situation, or to somehow take control and make it better. … This is what this entry is about.

Is there any possible, way through this terrible mess?

Maybe this part of the entry should end with a confession: I really disliked it when people came up to me in some of my situations, and just let glibly slip with some sort of “Hey, cheer up! Remember, G_d is in control!” Actually, maybe my confession needs to be a little clearer. I didn’t just dislike it, i felt a deep urge to lash out at the person grinning in my direction while i lay there, actually dying of some of the really hard situations i walked through. It made G_d seem so wooden, and fake. But, soon i began to move past the anger and into pity for the poor soul who actually thought that Our Maker was just pulling levers and working things out.

Why? Because G_d is no more some mechanistic Fixer, any more than i am merely a bio-mechanical meat-popsicle.

Can we see it?

Thomas Aquinas may have said it best in his magnum opus, ‘Summa Theologiae” around 1265 A.D.. Aquinas summarized our Creator as: “Ipsum Esse Subsistens.” That is: G_d is the sheer act of To Be. G_d is the very basis for all of existence – including mine, with all of its pain.

Slow down a moment and think about this. Aquinas was not just waxing eloquent for 6,000 pages. Thomas himself wanted to know the way through the mess, and his answer really was (and is, and will be) astounding. … G_d is more intimately connected to all of this mess and pain than i am. I am NOT alone in my pain and loss. My Maker is in this with me – or rather all of this is in Him, and my living and being is hyper-woven into Him and His Presence.

OK So what?

That is an important question that only gets answered with more of Him. For, as we allow ourselves to see The Triune for Who He Is, we can begin to let go of our illusions of control and the delusions we had, thinking we could impose our ways upon some wooden deity of our own making. And as we let go, we can begin to see that most of our flaying about in life is not real. They are self-imposed injuries rather than the mortal blows of reality.

Most of our struggle is with ourselves; our wants, our desire to control. But when we look into His eyes we quickly see what we were unwilling to see before. Though G_d is utterly Sovereign, He is not “in control” as we think of control. He is Who He Is, in every and all situations. He is experiencing the pain within us, and He is our Light, and Life, and Love, and Comfort, and Guide THROUGH the valleys of the shadow of death we tread.

So, are you holding onto some thing(s) too tightly? We all do it. But, what if we began to respond to the Reality of Who our Lord is, instead of our illusive desire for control? Some years ago, i did just that. Has the pain and loss of life gone away? No, of course not. But, something has happened that changes everything: I know that The One Who is able; Who is in me, and i in Him.

Tonight is your night. Share your pain with Him. Weep on His chest. Ache for the loss. But beat the weapons of your self-confidence into the plowshares that plant and grow the power of relationship with our Creator.

Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints. Never mind about to-morrow; one day at a time is enough. Try it to-day, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when to-morrow comes, to ask Him to take it also,…
~Francis Ridley Havergal


Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

Think About This: “We are called to have Scripture so deeply engrained in our lives that we are wise and thankful, and thus always ready to teach and admonish (confront) one another.” ― Paul David Tripp

The Daily Bible Reading: Joshua 23-24; Luke 6:27-49| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:12-13

Want to get away & have dedicated time to read & learn God’s Word?

Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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