If you chase two rabbits – you’ll catch none!

Albanian Proverb 

Article By David Gilpin

I made up the Albanian reference, but the two rabbits bit is true of your life. Once, a whole lot of whales got trapped and died in a Canadian inlet while chasing a school of sardines. The papers the next day said that they ‘prostituted vast sums of power for insignificant gains!’ We need to be on the on guard so that that doesn’t become the caption of our lives.

When Jesus declared, ‘blessed are the peace makers, for they will be called sons of God’ (Matthew 5: 9), he must have had that in mind. In our fight to be right and our fight for our rights, it’s easy to be embroiled in a war of distraction that takes us down inlets of insignificance, while these important things remain uncompleted. Around your life right now are hidden WMD – Weapons of Mass Distraction! It’s vital that we keep the main thing THE MAIN THING. You can win thousands of battles yet lose the war you’ve been called to win. In our lives it is essential to know which battles to fight and which battles to not fight.

Here are my suggestions:

1. SOME BATTLES ARE SIMPLY WORTH IGNORING

A lot of battles we face have a spiritual origin. They’re like arrows shot out from the darkness. Relax! It’s not you that’s the target – it’s Christ in you. Stop getting hot under the collar. Matthew 5:11 – 12 doesn’t say to fight it, IT says to rejoice in it.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in Heaven!”

There’s a spiritual battle for this Nation. Relax – there always has been, and always will be. It’s par for the course. Let His Angels and His Providence draw a line around you where your enemy can go no further, and let your Shield of Faith quench every ‘fiery dart!’

2. SOME BATTLES ARE WORTH LOSING

It may be your right and you may be right but if it causes you grief – drop it. Blessed are The Peacemakers. Receiving an apology isn’t important when you’ve really forgiven someone. When you put away your every hurt and offences it keeps the main thing THE MAIN THING.

“For when you have envy and selfish ambition, there you’ll had discord and every evil presence. But the wisdom (the strategy) that came from Heaven is first of all pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peace makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:16

The main thing is that your world sees God. Kicking a ‘blind’ person (whether its momentary blindness or long term blindness) is not only unkind, but can really make them mad. And that will stop them seeing God.

The promise that comes with being peacemakers is that the world would call you a ‘son of God’. You became a walking neon sign to display God to the world. ‘You become a chip off the old block.’ God’s block.

3. SOME BATTLES ARE PERSONAL

It’s time to take things personally and stop blaming others!

Often, we lash out because we care too much – we care too much about relationships, our family, our job, our future, our reputation and our achievements. We’re too attached and we are not aware of God’s commitment to our world.

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

James 4:1

Every personal victory starts with a personal surrender to Christ – a cleansing of worldliness, pride and self-seeking. When you present your world to God and see yourself as a steward and not an owner, He steps in with His might and power.

You’re not responsible for others. You’re only responsible to others. And that changes everything.

4. SOME BATTLES ARE TOO BIG

There are some battles that are too hot right now. If you want to be branded a bigot, you know what to say about gay marriage. If you want to take on the human rights of unborn children, you’re heading down a vortex of volatility. Some are called to directly take on the big issues like slavery and war, but most people are not.

“If it is possible, as for as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Romans 12: 18

Having a quiet life isn’t a cop out or a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength – that you’re absolutely, uncompromisingly committed to keeping the main thing THE MAIN THING. God doesn’t ignore battles for justice – He just wants to take them out of your hands.

5. SOME BATTLES ARE OUR OWN MAKING

If we stop picking on people, they’ll stop reacting badly. If we stop trying to disciple people who are believers but not disciples, we’ll stop annoying them! If we stop overly caring for people then they won’t feel so let down and so hurt when we stop caring so intensely.

And when we stop punching people with criticism that’s not wrapped in love, they will stop punching us in return. Period.

6. SOME BATTLES ARE WON IN PRAYER

In fact, ‘some’ is an understatement. Ushering God into the situation and asking God into your heart, mind and soul will allow you to start seeing powerful outcomes.

On the outside, we’re peacemakers. On the inside of our prayer life, we’re passionate warriors for Christ.

James 5:16 declares “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective!”

My translation of this is –

“The communication of our hearts passion with God by a person in right relationship with God releases megawatts of power and energy!”

2 Corinthians 10:4 says that our ‘weapons’ are ‘mighty in God for the pulling down of strong holds!”

That’ll do. The inclusion of His power changes everything. And it helps us retain the mission of being a peacemaker.

Lastly,

7. SOME BATTLES ARE FOR LATER

There’s a time for every season. There’s no point going into battle if you know you’re going to lose. There are times to confront the issues, and times to ignore them. There are times to reveal and a time to turn a blind eye!

If you become a peacemaker, you’ll show the world what you’re made of. The DNA of Heaven itself. There’s always one rabbit to chase, but the usual way you begin is through prayer.

The rabbit gets a lot closer then.