My son was invited to go to the movies. He asked me if it was OK and I approved since it was with his Bible Study class. He found out they were going to see “Into the Woods” and was wavering a little. I asked him if he would rather go see The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies with me instead at the time the others were going. He was very excited. We have seen the other movies together and I was excited to take him. My wife has no interest whatsoever and would rather take a jab in the eye with a sharp stick as to go and see this so I knew I was safe.
As we watched this movie it dawned on me that there are 6 things you need to win a war, whether in Middle Earth, Middle School, or a mid-life crisis. Here are the 6 things you must have to win:
Purpose – what are you fighting for anyway? The dwarves were fighting for independence. The elves were fighting to save the future from the Orcs. The humans were fighting just to stay alive. Do you know for what you are fighting? Is it your marriage? Is it your kids? Is it your job? What is it? In the spiritual world we fight a different sort of battle. In that war, our purpose is to win the lost to Jesus.
Passion – what drives you? The lust for blood drove the Orcs. The right to land drove the elves and humans. A lost heritage drove the dwarves. What drives you? Each were willing to die for theirs. Are you willing to die for yours? If not, then maybe you are fighting for the wrong reason or wrong item. The spiritual war requires passion to win. If we don’t care about the future of others we will just hole ourselves up in our castle and watch the rest die. Is that you? What drives you?
Precision – what skills do you possess? I noted that the Orcs were just battle hungry and led by sheer brutality and force. The others seemed to be precise in their movements both with their feet and with a sword, arrow, or dagger. Precision is critical in war because without it were are digging a tunnel with a spoon. Too often we fight battles with brute force. We shout louder. We talk harsher. We bring up old sins. Like a surgeon, let’s know exactly what to cut and when to cut rather than just exploring. Be precise in your relationships, words, and behaviors. It matters.
Plan – Do you have a plan? What are you goals this year? What action steps have you identified to achieve those goals? Are you going to counseling for you marriage troubles? Are you getting to AA for your addictions? Are you talking with your kids? What 3 people are praying for to place faith in Jesus? What conversations are you having that can lead to deeper talks?
Prize – What is the prize? For those in the movie it was land, or gold, or future, or even love. What do you get with a win? Knowing what the prize is will help keep you focused in the middle of the fight. What drives you nuts about your kids attitude today will serve them well later. Is the prize strict obedience now or shaping and channeling their abilities in a positive direction? We must break the attitude without breaking their spirit as well. In our spiritual war, the prize is Heaven. Let’s give that away as much as possible!
Pride – the bottom line is just get some! Having a proper sense of value in self and the situation is vital to winning. Fight because of what you value. Divorces happen because the value of the marriage vow is gone – no pride. Suicide happens because self-value is too low – no pride. Knowing you have done all you could with all you have gives a sense of satisfaction. Fighting in that way brings, and breeds, success.
We are all in a fight. Whether you win or lose usually depends on these 6 things coming together in concert. Fight on!