I recently updated my Facebook status so it read, "Mike is thankful for God's grace because, like Jon Foreman, there's war in my blood."
I wrote this because of what I think Jon Foreman is singing about in "There's War in My Blood" from the new Fiction Family album. Foreman seems to be remembering a relationship gone bad because of something terribly wrong with his heart--something that love could not control. Here's an excerpt:
I had a girl, don't know precisely what made her run
Skin was like the sky, made my heart beat inside like a drum
Alone from my girl, when we meet in my dreams,
I tell her she'll always be my only one
There's war in my blood,
There aint a thing love could have done.
As I look at my own heart I can relate. There is war in my blood--what I call sin that needs to be eradicated. I know this not only from experience, but because of the Bible's witness to mankind's condition after the fall.
We come into this world hot-wired for war. We war against each other and, ultimately, against God. And as we look at the collateral damage all around us we are tempted to say, "There aint a thing love could have done."
But there is.
There is a power in the love of God to subdue our rage. The love of God can overwhelm the darkest heart and bring calm where there was once only wrath. This is what happens when we become Christians: God replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh (cf. Ezek. 36:26). Indeed, God puts a new spirit within us that longs to pursue peace.
And this is all of grace. We don't earn it or deserve it, but receive it by faith.
But Foreman's song still rings true, for until I get to glory I will feel the war within. That's why the Apostle Paul exhorts us to "by the Spirit ... put to death the deeds of the body" (Rom. 8:13).
Yes, "there's war in my blood." But thanks be to God for by His grace every area of my heart is being claimed for my conquering King.
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About Mike Pohlman
Mike serves as the senior pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Bellingham, Washington. Mike is a former church planter in the Pacific Northwest, and served for three years as the executive producer of The Albert Mohler Program, a nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to Christianity and culture. Mike has a PhD in American church history from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mike is husband to Julia and father to four wonderful children: Samuel (12), Anna (10), John (9) and Michael (4). When not pastoring, Mike loves sports, music, and hanging out with his family.
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