Every Man's Battle by Bryan Craig

June 14, 2022


“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”  Psalm 51:3-6


There was a popular book for men several years ago, entitled “Every Man’s Battle”.  This book dove into the pervasive struggle men have with lust, and it was widely read and impactful.  However, I have been thinking about the battle that all people deal with every day.  Every day, we wake up carrying the weight of our sin nature.  As soon as we wake up, our brain clicks in and the thoughts start reeling.  There is a feeling of weariness, as we try to wake up, and soon, the To Do List for the day begins to populate our thinking.  If we fall for the temptation to look at our phones to see what texts, emails, phone calls we might have missed while we slept, we are quickly sucked into “response mode”.  Most likely, this trip into our phone will also lead us into the latest News, and all the Social Media posts that are waiting for us to consume.  Often, all of this creates restlessness, envy, jealousy, anxiety, anger, fear…before our feet even hit the floor.  We immediately feel the weight of our sin nature and our weakness, as we also feel the weight of others’ sin nature.

This whole epidemic goes back to the Garden.  In Genesis 2, it describes God creating man and placing him in the Garden, and He tells him, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  And you know the story... Adam and Eve ate from the tree.  And then, their eyes were opened to have a knowledge of good and evil.  And God said they would “surely die.”  Well, they didn’t die physically, but innocence and purity and holiness in mankind died that day.  From that day until now, we awake every day with a keen awareness of good and evil.  We carry the weight of sin, and we daily realize our need for a Savior. 

One thing that has always been fascinating to me is that there was a 2nd tree mentioned in the Garden with a name.  Genesis 2:9 says The Tree of Life was in the midst of the Garden.  This tree is not talked about much in light of the tree from which sin was set in motion.  When I think of Jesus saying about Himself, “I am the way, the truth, the life, (John 14:6)” and how Jesus says He is the Vine and we are the Branches (John 15:5), I believe Jesus was there in the Garden with them.  One tree brought death, but the other tree brought Life.  God, in His loving forbearance, sent the solution before the problem even came to the surface. 

So, knowing all of this, we better understand the importance of Christ’s sacrifice and the freedom found only in Abiding in Christ.  Psalm 51 is David’s heartfelt prayer after having sinned with Bathsheba.  He talks about his sin being ever before him.  But he comes before the Lord in all honesty and humility, seeking God’s forgiveness and the restoration of joy.  This is a model of abiding.  It is a quest for truth and life in this sea of sin and confusion.

I believe this is every man’s battle.  We wake up with this knowledge of good and evil, within ourselves and in the world.  We feel the insidious weight upon our soul.  If we do not know Christ and have not given our lives to him, we are left hopeless, forced to reconcile all of this weight with our mere intellect or sense of justice.  For those who have placed our trust in Jesus, we bring this weight to Him.  For me, it helps me to journal, to help me expose my “secret heart” as David describes in Psalm 51:6.  As I journal, I give Him my burdens.  Then, as I meditate upon God’s Word, He always has a way of depositing something back into my unburdened heart. 

He cannot take away my knowledge of Good and Evil; it’s too late for that.  But He asks me to carry the weight of this knowledge with faith and honor and self-denial.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24

He also assures us that He will help us carry the weight:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

As I spend time with our Lord through His Word and His Spirit, using my journal to take notes and praying to offer Him my heart, I find a peace that surpasses understanding.  I find resolve and courage to face the day.  I discover Hope and Grace which are oh so powerful.  Ultimately, I know that Jesus has already won the battle.