From “Where the Battle is Won or Lost” by Oswald Chambers
“Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.”
The inner conversations I have with God are very private, between Him and me. Sometimes they are friendly, open discussions. Sometimes I cry out and ask why things are the way they are. It might take time, tears and anguish, but He will get me to the point where I recognize His will and submit my will to His ways. It often requires me to repent, ask forgiveness, and ask to be changed, but more often than not, I must forgive someone.
I am often comforted by the verse that says “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalms 56:8 NLT) Many times my discussions with God are me crying in sorrow or pain because I’ve been hurt, or I’ve been disappointed or let down, or because my dreams seem so unlikely to ever come true. Yet He collects my tears and brings me comfort. In those private, intimate times, He speaks to me of His plans and purposes.
Even in the midst of public worship, I can be alone with my God, listening to his voice speaking to me through His Word, the sermon, the words of the songs, or an image in my mind. While all around me may be focused on the service, I am having an intimate, private conversation with God, usually in some battle of will where He is molding me, convicting me, changing me,
I confess that often, if I have avoided daily Bible study and prayer, it is likely because I know there is something I’m supposed to talk about with Him and I’m avoiding it. I’m not yet ready to bend my knee to His will. For those times, I need to use those arrow prayers, “Lord soften my heart!” and wait for Him to work in me that strong desire to be close, to repair our relationship, to spend time with Him, that overrides my avoidance of whatever issue I’m dealing with at the time.
Right now I’m arguing with Him about family dynamics, holidays, my expectations and the reality I’m dealing with right now. Is it a season of my life or the way life is from now on? The battle is still going on, meaning, I have not yet bent my will to His. I know I will, because I treasure my relationship with him. But my will is strong, and my emotions high. My God is faithful and He loves me. He will find a way to get to my heart.