If you are a believer, you have undoubtedly witnessed the power of God at some time or another during your Christian walk. He is a Strong Tower. He is our Counselor. He is All-Knowing. He knows what we are going to think before we think it. He knows what we are doing to say before we say it. And He knows how we are going to act before we even act it. It's what He does. He gets all up in our business. He's reading our "mail." And when things are good, we love that don't we? It's fun to share the Good things that happen in our lives with others. Spread that Good News. It's what we are supposed to do - share with others and help bring them to the Lord.
What about those times when the picture is no longer rosy? Or the light at the end of the tunnel seems oh so far away? What about those times? It's for that reason I share this story with you. I feel a little bit vulnerable. But, my hope is that God will use this in the same way He uses everything else. For Good.
One of God's biggest desires is that we draw closer to him. Especially in the midst of our troubles. We all have troubles. They vary in their degree of intensity and they come and go in waves. At all times we are to hold fast to our Lord while letting Him guide and carry us through it all. For God doesn't promise us a life without trials. But, He does promise to stand strong with us during them.
Do we always do it? Hold on tightly to Him? I don't think so. For me, the times when I let go are becoming more rare than the times when I am holding tightly TO Him. But, they are still there. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but were I a betting person I'd be willing to say that I would not be standing in that line all by myself. It's human nature. And, I'm certain that sometimes our distance with the Lord is there before we even realize we've let it creep in.
What does it take to draw you back in? What circumstances have happened to make you realize there is a little slack in your line between yourself and the One we are supposed to keep our faith in? For me? It was a roughly torn, bright orange slip of children's construction paper. Huh? You ask....
Well, Relay for Life was last Friday. We (our family and church family) walk in Relay for Life every year in honor of those we know and love that are fighting cancer, those that have fought cancer and won, and those that have fought cancer and lost. There are always goodies to buy and support the cause, but I do like to take a small ice chest of water and G2 just to have. That afternoon I pulled out our small ice chest only to remember that its cloth exterior had begun to leak the last few times I'd used it. The last thing I wanted was a puddle under our ice chest at Relay. So, I found myself in Wal-Mart, seeking out a small, compact sized ice chest that I could carry. God was surely with me on this day. In a very special way. First aisle I looked, first chest there was perfect. I grabbed it and a bag of ice and was out the door. Yes, I did stop to pay for it first......
When I got to my car I opened the ice chest. I wanted to get the beverages inside it so they could begin cooling off. Inside, laying on the bottom was that bright orange, small scrap of paper. With a wrinkled brow I picked it up and read the chicken scratch handwriting:
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober be vigilant, because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom He may devour.
1 Peter 5:8
I read it once. Then twice. Then a third time. Then I looked up and around the parking lot as though maybe someone was watching me, or I might capture a glimpse of the one who put that paper in there. All right God, I thought. You are reading my mail again....Sigh....
It that moment I realized the line between God and myself was definitely slacking. Hmpf, I said to myself. I sure didn't like some stranger pointing that out to me. And then in the next breath I sighed a deep sigh and smiled. I'm sure I shook my head a little bit, too. That stranger didn't point anything out to me. He/she had obeyed God and God used them and their scrap of orange paper to give me a shake.
I've had a couple of battles going on inside me lately. You know, some of the usual ones dealing with self image and stuff like that. One battle in particular is not something I can personally fix. Its not directly my problem, but it is a burden I am carrying because I am a Christian. I wish I could fix it. I wish I knew the answer to that particular battle. We don't always have the answers though. It's when we don't have the answers that we cannot let ourselves become discouraged. In that discouragement, the devil takes a foothold, and he only needs a small space to start working.
Some time during the last couple of months I'd let go of the notion that God could fix this particular battle. In letting go of that notion, I was also, for the first time in a very long time, letting go of God. Whoa....did I just say that? Really? I just said that out loud? I would never have thought that would be me. But it was.
I was letting myself listen to the devil. Peck, peck, peck....He was pecking away at me and I was crumbling beneath his methods of destruction. I'd dropped my Armor of God. I'd dropped my life-line to the One who can fix it and win the battle. It's up to me to keep the faith, STAY IN THE WORD, and hold tightly to Him.
Let me say that I will never be perfect. I will never hold up to the expectations of others. I will never understand why some people say what they say and do what they do, hurting others and leaving a path of disbelief and shaking heads behind them.
Most importantly, I will never defeat the devil and his pecking by myself. The bible tells us Who will fight that fight for us.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
Be still and read the Word. Be still and listen for His reply. Be still and trust in Him. So today, I cried out to the Lord (literally) and handed over all my "things" to Him. My head is back in the game. I've picked up my Armor of God. And you know what? It feels really good. I can't understand how I ever put it down in the first place and let the devil in.
The battles are still there all wrapped up nice and tidy in a pretty box with a matching bow. I don't see a sign of them going away any time soon. But, I'm not fighting them anymore. I'm holding fast to the One who can fix them......my trust is back with Him.
Walking with the King,