There is a battle.
It is raging, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it.
It is ongoing, whether or not you choose to engage.
You are a part of it, even if you say you aren't.
It is a battle for life... a battle for souls... a battle for eternity.
You have an enemy.
A very real enemy.
An enemy that wants you to think you're not worth it.
An enemy that wants you to think you can't.
An enemy that wants you to think you have no part.
An enemy that wants you to think you shouldn't even bother.
An enemy that wants you to feel defeated, so you won't even try to raise your voice.
An enemy that wants you to feel awkward, so you won't even try to take a stand.
An enemy that wants you to feel ugly, so you won't even want to be noticed.
An enemy that wants you to feel stupid, so you won't even want to be heard.
There is an enemy who is speaking lies to you.
He will come and plant a seed of doubt, a seed of insecurity, a seed of fear.
And if we're unaware of his planting these seeds, we will take them... thinking they're our own... and nurture them.
We will cultivate them into timidity, into anger and jealousy, into paralyzation.
...into the absence of action...
And even in the absence of action, you have chosen sides.
Because the weapons you are able to wield and fight valiantly with will lay unused at your side.
Your sword will sit unopened on your bookshelf, gathering dust.
You can take the wounds of your enemy and you can curl up in defeat on your couch, vowing to never again engage because the pain is too great.
Or you can take the wounds of your enemy and rise up stronger because of them, better able to defend those around you amidst the battle because you know the enemy's tactics.
You can open your mouth and let the sword cut through the lies that attempt to surround you, attempt to surround your family.
You can use the weapons you have been given with fearless confidence.
You can stand firm amidst seeming defeat because you know there IS NO DEFEAT IN THE KINGDOM YOU LIVE FOR... unless you accept it.
And when you hear, "You're not smart enough to speak against something like that..."
YOU WILL SPEAK ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "You're not pretty enough to be in that position..."
YOU WILL STEP ONTO THAT PLATFORM ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "You're too awkward and fumbling to organize something like that..."
YOU WILL DO IT ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "Nobody's even listening..."
YOU WILL SPEAK EVEN LOUDER.
Because you will know that those are lies...
and you wield the Truth.
We have NOT been given a spirit of fear, but of POWER, of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND.
(Why do we tend to forget that?)
Advance the Kingdom.