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How Do You Fight?

Dear Friends,

How do you fight?  i do not mean militarily nor in the utmost of self-defense.  These are matters that may have or never will directly confront us.  (Yes, i know there are serious exceptions much beyond my purview here).  No, what i'm thinking of are those (daily?) battles with anxiety, frets, fears, imaginations, or occasional relational strife.  How then do you fight?  How then are we to fight?  In a word -- like so much Biblical wisdom -- it is counter-intuitive.  That is, it is usually the complete opposite of what our gut tells us.

i've been meditating on Philippians 4:1-9.  Please read it.

Is Paul crazy?  Sisters Euodia & Syntyche are at odds and it is spilling over in the church.  And others are dealing with the general anxieties of daily life.  Yet, his 'war' counsel is surprising especially for a city with a disproportionate number of retired soldiers.

Paul exhorts the beloved to "stand fast". That makes me think of heart and muscle and backbone.  It makes me think of bold separation from the enemy.  It makes me think of verbal rebuke, and in other contexts perhaps even weaponry.

But Paul rather commends this odd assortment of rejoicing, gentleness, thanksgiving, prayer, supplication, and meditating on whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, or worthy of praise.

The result: peace, yea a supernatural, circumstance-defying peace!!!  You want to drive off an enemy?  Give him peace and an undisturbed composure.

You can stop here, but i also tried to work this devotion into a lil sonnet:


O Father, Paul exhorts me to stand fast;

A posture taken to require heart,

Or oddly kick of dust and to depart,

Perhaps even a gun or sharp bombast.

And yet he importunes as gentle wren

With overflowing overtones of joy,

And as a cause for thanks and to rejoice,

And charges the be-loved not fighting men.

Is it true anxious i'd not really be

By making supplication to the Lord --

Yea, passing understanding & mere sword

To fight by thoughts of the pure & lovely?

"Transformed to peace before your enemy -

Son, is there more sublime a victory!"


in CHRISt,