I felt his presence again just the other night. It had been awhile. Time was prime for his appearance. I was tired. There was a crowd about us. In a hurry. The person before me was … in a mood. And then, it happened.
A verbal attack thrust upon me. Or so it seemed in my weak state. Calm, yet pointed. And he almost got out. My old self. My prideful self. The one quick to anger and adept with pointed words. On the tip of my tongue he sat, ready to pounce.
The battle on the outside is really a battle within.
The Holy Spirit is always more ready than I. I remembered Psalm 119:165 (no need to be offended). I recalled Prov 13:10 (contention is caused by pride) and Prov 26:20 (no wood, no fire). And 2 Cor 4:17 put things in proper perspective (this problem is lightweight compared). In my mind’s eye and ear, I watched Stephen stoned and heard his last words of forgiveness (Acts 7:60).
My old self was kept at bay. A sincere and courteous parting I offered to my opponent. I departed in victory. Yet, I struggled for a few moments as pride from the victory began to rise up within me. The wrestling match continues (Eph 6:12).
I know that only by the mighty power of God was I able to withstand these so small battle. Only because of the gift of God was I able to bear a good witness. Only because I have access to God through Christ, was I able to confess these innermost thoughts and rest assured that I am cleansed. Victory over the battle within.
Jesus knows. While hanging from the cross, innocent yet punished in the worst of ways. All the while, knowing why and for whom (for you, for me). Blameless. So that He could say, “It is finished,” and be for each who receives His gift, the way and the truth for eternal life with Him (John 14:6). Thank you, Jesus.