Today, I realize how out of shape my soul is when it comes to spiritual work. (Ironically, this closely mirrors the physical reality of my current condition. Three kids has been fun, but exercise has been soooo far from my mind.)
And I know — give myself a break, right? I’m a mom of young kids. My days fly by in a blur of cuddling babies and pulling out my hair. It’s life right now. But here’s the thing: I hear, “Just do the best you can, ” and I translate that as, “You’re off the hook. Worry about it later.”
But I know better: it doesn’t work that way.
The “I’ll worry about it later” philosophy (in reference to spiritual things) assumes that the only thing against me is my own flesh. I’ll just put dealing with selfishness on the back burner for now; how much worse can it get, right?
Wrong. Because there’s something else against me. Someone. He doesn’t get a lot of attention in mommy blogs or popular parenting books, but that’s okay with him. He’d rather skulk around in the shadows, doing what he’s best at: making us forget he’s there.
Yes, I’m talking about the devil.
Because yes, he’s real. He’s out to destroy, and my kids, my husband, me — we’re all on his hit list. He seems to be unflagging in his energy and drive, too, which means while I’m giving myself a 9 month postpartum vacation, he’s taking advantage of every opportunity to whisper lies to my soul, doubt to my kids, seeds of destruction in my family.
I’m reminded the other night, as two older moms (mine included!) talk about standing strong for your family, that this warfare I’m called to do isn’t complicated. I do have three young kids. Fly-by days are my reality. His yoke is easy, His burden light — but it is still a yoke, and there’s still a field to plow. Jesus didn’t invite me to pluck daisies in the meadow with Him. And I’m challenged afresh: when an older mom says, “Do the best you can,” I need to do the best I can.
I need to pray in tongues…
I need to lift up my family to the Lord…
I need to read, memorize, and meditate on the Word — the sword, the truth that will protect and deliver me when the battle gets fierce…
I need to sing…
Those aren’t hard things. They’re not easy, either (and there’s an enemy who wants to keep it that way.) But this isn’t a 3 hour quiet time regimen.
It’s doing the best I can: Scribbling a verse on a 3×5, making all the kids sit with a Bible story for 10 minutes so I can read, playing a worship song over the morning craziness of breakfast prep, praying every time I wash dishes.
Do I feel better when I’m working to include the disciplines of Christianity in my life? Yes. Do I feel better because it makes me a “better” Christian, or because I think God will be mad at me if I don’t journal for 3 months straight? Goodness, no! Discipline in relationships bears the fruit of intimacy — and I want to have a heart that is ready to hear and know the Holy Spirit.
Anyway, it’s time to get back in shape. I want to be ready to wield that sword with the best of ’em.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.