Jackie Hill Perry, in explaining how it felt to face temptation as a newly redeemed woman, remembered some of the questions she asked herself:
“Is this what it feels like to be a Christian?…Is it to have a quiet war inside of yourself at all times? (Gay Girl, Good God)”
The first time I read her words, I had to set the book down and think for a while. Someone had finally, finally, put a label on what it felt like: a quiet war.
It’s not a label that was pulled out of thin air. The Bible echoes this wartime language in countless places:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)”
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)”
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11-12)”
Is that it then? Do we submit to the thought of lifelong war and despair? Do we grit our teeth, bow our heads, and simply get through it? No, for that is not what Scripture proclaims as a way of life.
We may fight a quiet war all our lives, battling against the flesh and sin that pulls us from King Jesus, but we do so as joyful warriors. We know that even as we fight it, sin has already been conquered. After all, “[W]e are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)”
So we fight. We wage war. We battle sin, and we stand back up after it knocks us down. To be in this world as a Christian means to continuously be waging a quiet war within, but when the smoke clears and the strife is over, we will be with Jesus forever.
And that, my friends, will make every second worth it.