“The war is over, turn around. Lay your weapons on the ground. The smoke is fading before the light. The dead are coming back to life.

He has made a way for us, born for glory out of dust, children held within the arms of peace. He has made a way for all, mercy waits where sinners fall. He is our victory.

The war is over, His love has come to call us daughters and sons. No longer orphans without a home. No, we have found where we belong.

It is finished, it is done. The blood of Jesus, it overcomes. It is finished, He has won. Yeah, He has won.”

– The War is Over – Bethel Music

This. Song.

I am reminded of a season where I battled fear and oppression almost ten years ago.  It was my lowest point.  I had to battle for every step.  My joy was completely gone and replaced with unexplainable fear.  A month into my battle, I went to a prayer meeting at our church.  In glorious rescue, God came down and delivered me from the chaos.  It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.  He spoke to me. To me!? And He freed me from that oppression.

But a few weeks later I fell back into my old patterns.  That same fear and oppression came creeping back.  One night, in desperation, my husband and I called my Dad (who is also our pastor) to come over. I was so confused.  I thought I had been freed?

He prayed with us and then said something that at the time felt so confusing.  He told me that I had been delivered.  I had been freed.  But I had slipped into my old patterns of behavior and thought processes, and now it was time for me to change.  To act differently.  To completely let go of the past and move forward in freedom.

Oh, man.  That was NOT what I wanted to hear.  I didn’t want it to be my fault.  Ha!

But now I get it.  The war was over, yet I was still firmly planted in the battlefield.  I was cowering and ducking from imagined attacks.  I was swinging at a defeated enemy.  I can’t help but think of Eleazar who fought the Philistines until the blood congealed and glued his hand to his sword. (2 Samuel 23:10) Super gross.   But that was me.  I had fought until I couldn’t let go of my sword.  I didn’t even notice the sword was still in my hand, it had become such a part of me.

I lived in defense instead of offense.  I used the same coping mechanisms in victory as I had resorted to in war. 

But the war was over.  He had won. 

It can be scary to go forward in victory.  When you go through a season of battle, you have to find ways to cope and survive.  But the way you survive in war doesn’t translate well to life in victory.  You have to lower your defenses, throw your weapons down, and make that first victorious step in faith.

The battle is the Lord’s to win, but victorious life is ours to live.

Some seasons require battle.  They require picking up the sword and the shield and standing our ground.  But some seasons require throwing our weapons down.  Stepping out in victory.  Shedding off our armor.  Running free and unencumbered in His glorious light.

The war is over.  Lay your weapons down.