I’ve got a little riddle for you this morning. What do Saving Private RyanThe Avengers: Infinity War and my homeschool classroom all have in common? 

Give up?

There’s something important behind enemy lines — and somebody has to be brave enough to get up and go get it.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing a few thoughts on the concept of inheritance. This one word seems to hold a wealth of greater understanding because it is a theme we find on repeat through both the Old and New Testaments.

As I shared, with the story of the literal inheritance I received after losing my Dad, sometimes something rightfully belongs to us, but we still have to take some steps, and go through a process to receive what is already ours.

As Christians, we’re due a whole lot — we have an incredible inheritance, paid for by the death of Christ on the cross. He is the only rightful heir to all of Creation as the perfect Son of God, but He chose to pave the way for us to be adopted into the family, children of God and co-heirs to the inheritance.

If I also mention that the Holy Spirit is the deposit — the guarantee of our inheritance — then I think I’ve about caught you up to speed on where we are in the conversation.

So. The Holy Spirit, alive in you and me, is the “proof in the pudding.” And if we want to walk with that Holy Spirit, we’re going to have to slow our pace and listen carefully. And, if we listen carefully and begin to yield to the lead of the Holy Spirit, there is going to be fruit. Paul wrote to the Galatians about this:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. {Gal. 5:19-23}

Did you spot that magic word in there again? Who wants to inherit the kingdom?!? If we are living according the flesh (something we read about in Galatians 5 last week) we are not walking in the Spirit — and the fruit of that choice will be obvious in the way that we live.

But when the Spirit is behind the steering wheel, the car looks a little further down the road (remember that?) and you begin to steer straight between the lines. Suddenly there’s love, joy, peace! Patience and kindness are in abundance. Goodness and faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are a part of the picture. 

Now — here’s where the problem comes in. Those beautiful fruits of the Holy Spirit are a part of our inheritance. We are in the business of inheriting the kingdom of God — not just someday, friends! Now! If those fruits should be mine right now and they are not — who do you think is failing to drive between the lines again?

Let’s look at a practical example in my own life to illustrate what it means for a slice of your inheritance to be captured and held behind enemy lines.

I’m a homeschool Mama. And as a homeschool Mama, I have a deep-set belief that children are amazing creatures created in the image of God, and they are all unique in their gifting and strengths. This means I also believe that they will not all learn at the same pace. Not all subjects will be equally easy or equally challenging to all children. Their education cannot be a conveyer belt. I believe if we faithfully show up and do our part, God will bless our efforts and we will progress at the right pace for each of the children God has given me.

I have one precious darling daughter who has struggled with learning to read more than her brothers did. The process was a slower one. I began to get anxious about this one sweet girl and what I was doing wrong and what we needed to do differently.

My belief slowly migrated from “I trust she will learn to read when her mind is ready to put together all the things she’s learned so far” to “This isn’t working and if it doesn’t start working soon I’m going to start freaking out.” 

Did you see what happened there? When I stopped holding onto that core belief about my daughter, I let go of trust — and before I even realized it, my peace was gone. Instead of a sense of peace abounding as we showed up to do the next thing and continue the process, anxiety was on my doorstep whispering big discouragement.

Maybe you can relate in some area of your own life? Paul was writing to the Corinthians about forgiveness once, and he commented “so that satan does not outwit us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.” {2 Cor. 2:11}

It started in the Garden of Eden and it’s still the same old trick. The enemy whispers Did God really say? and we start to question what we think we know — and suddenly our joy is behind enemy lines because we don’t believe God is really in our corner. Or our gentleness is behind enemy lines because we think the Father is a harsh task master, instead of a loving God who disciplines those He loves. What really causes us to lose kindness or goodness or self-control? Our actions don’t come from what we say we believe. Our actions spring forth from what we really, truly do believe.

How do we take back what was stolen? How do we drop from the proverbial helicopter behind enemy lines to save Private Ryan? 

I hope you already know the answers: we read the Word, and we pray. Prayer storms the gates and takes back what is rightfully part of our inheritance. Getting our truth from the Word can remind us what we so easily forget: God is on the throne, and He is good.

He is good, and if my daughter takes longer that the average kid to read, it is okay. We will do our part and be faithful, and He will lead us. If she needs testing for a learning disability, He will lead us. If we need to just keep faithfully plugging away, He will lead us.

I’m grateful to say that thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t freak out. I didn’t drop hundreds of dollars on new curriculum or sign my daughter up for unnecessary testing. Eight months or so down the road, she is reading beautifully and making great strides. Maybe there are other seven-year-olds with better skills, but I love to think of how incredibly talented she is as a little artist and remember — God had something unique in mind when He created her. Perhaps I should choose to trust… and be faithful.

Is something that’s rightfully yours behind the gates of enemy lines today? Have you ever considered the possibility that you’re forfeiting it by choice? You have a good inheritance, friend. But what you believe will determine how you walk. 

Be bold! Go after what’s rightfully yours! Storm the gates in prayer! Hold fast to God’s Word and His promises! Don’t be ignorant of the enemy’s devices. If something that belongs to you is in enemy-occupied territory, by all means — take it back!


I hope you’re encouraged today, friend.
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