The Battle Within

Jon Burgess


“The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit." 2 Kings‬ ‭10:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Jehu was on assignment but out of alignment. Jehu was a man strong as a conqueror but shaky in his character. He killed the outward enemy but ignored the inward threat. He did what God had asked him to do in one area while ignoring what he knew he was supposed to do in other areas. His short term victory gave way to a long term legacy of compromise over character.


I love the feeling of victory after the struggle. I love the knowledge that I have done what God asked me to do. I enjoy being a man on assignment. Walking with divine purpose fills my days with joy even when the days are challenging. I relate with Jehu on these levels. In order to avoid his pitfall I must acknowledge the same propensity towards ignoring the inward battle in favor of the outward one. To be man on assignment with a heart out of alignment is a set up for a short term victory and a long term defeat. What we are really talking about here is character. Godly character isn't forged over night or in the throes of success. Godly character is formed in the crucible of defeat and the humble acknowledgment that inward battle against pride will never subside. In his book, "The Road to Character" author David Brooks describes it this way: "They have not led lives of conflict-free tranquillity, but have struggled toward maturity. They have gone some way toward solving life’s essential problem, which is that, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it, “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart.” Pastor Wayne puts it this way: "There always 1/3 of you that cannot be saved. Your soul and your spirit are saved through Jesus but you must crucify your flesh daily because it remains unredeemed." No matter how great the battle is going on the outside I must not ignore the battle within.


If I am simply doing a job for You rather then living this life with You I will fall in to the same task-driven trap Jehu did. I will end up ignoring the still small voice of Your Spirit as I soak in the loud applause for all I have done for You. Let my heart be in alignment with Yours so I don't ignore the threat and craving within my flesh. I cannot ignore the inner battles of character that You will help me win daily!

Devotions for June 23

2 Kings 10
2 Chronicles 22,23
1 Timothy 5

Start Doing Devotions

Devotions are an important part of everyday life. Click here to learn how to do devotions.