Fight or flight.
All throughout the Bible, there are examples of how God’s people reacted when a conflict arose. Sometimes they entered into the battle and fought and sometimes they didn’t.
All around us are reasons to take up a cause. Injustice, neglect, abuse, discrimination and the like. We see it all over our news and social media.
For me, it is the issues surrounding child welfare that I am most passionate about. What are you passionate about?
And when a conflict arises I pick my battles.
Sometimes I fight. Like Joshua and his army conquering the enemy for the Promised Land, clinging to and armed with God’s instructions, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7
Sometimes I don’t. Like King Jehoshaphat, I heed a similar direction, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ’Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2 Chronicles 20:15 “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” 2 Chronicles 20:17
My engagement in the battle is not based on my passion; for that never seems to change for me.
Knowing which action to take is directed by God’s instructions to me in that specific situation.
Clearly discerning God’s direction is guided by Scripture, like those below and not acted on until I experience His Peace about the direction:
- “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12 17 & 18
- “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20
- “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 12:8
Victories can be lost when we choose to fight battles we are not supposed to and be silent when we should be shouting our battle cry.