Friday, June 25, 2010
Where will it take you?
It was ugly what he said.
As she was telling me about it I wondered if she would follow it?
I was so proud I could hardly stand it. She didn't fall for it!... though she was tempted to. She didn't "insult" back (1 Pet 3:9-11), as he had. She didn't repay his evil with evil of her own! She remembered what God had said. And when the fiery trial of testing came (1 Pet 1:6-7)... she passed it! It's Jesus' face that was revealed! Her faith proved "genuine." She "blessed" Mean's evil and insult... just as she had been called to (1 Pet 3:9-11)!
Horray for her!
If only we could see the scheme behind the enemy's plans! If only we recognized it in the midst of it, in the moments while it's happening. Our battle is not against flesh and blood... but against: rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
I do wonder... do we forget that?
Let me just take the word "authorities" and expand on the meaning of that word a minute. Again, it says, that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities..... against the power of choice... against physical power.... against mental power.... against the power to rule over us!
And then, "the powers of this dark world".... powers here means: against "the lord of this world," against "the prince of this age," against "the devil and his demons"!
Against "spiritual forces of evil"...... evil = iniquity, wickedness, evil purposes and desires..... annoyances, and hardships, perils to a Christian's faith and steadfastness. Against those forces of evil causing us pain and trouble............ basically, in hopes that we will turn and bow to Satan's will of evil, instead of standing up for what's right and doing as God's told us.
Are we too blind to what we can see (the flesh of the person that hurt us), that we can't see the plan and the purpose behind it... that Satan wants a hold on us! That his desire is to have us. That his hope is to devour us! And he'll use any means whatsoever in hopes to do so.
She was hurt... and hurt's defense usually gets mad. She did at first. And Cain did too in Genesis 4. God asked Cain in his moment, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you" [master you, control you], "but you must master" [rule, exercise dominion over] "it" (Gen 4:6-7).
Cain didn't master it. He let his anger master him. He killed his brother. My friend mastered hers, and the evil that longed and desired her... didn't win!
I used the friend of mine above in my example here. I'm so thrilled that she didn't follow the power that would walk her into darkness! She chose, instead, the higher road... but too many times we get lost in the lower one!
I've got a "downcast face" that I'm battling. Not one of anger, but one of hurt feelings. But with that I've got so much JOY in my life right now that it doesn't seem fair that it also includes a constant nagging bother. A tug that keeps pulling... trying to capture my look.... an evil that wants to have me! I needed the reminder that it's not flesh and blood that my battle's against. My battle is against the rulers and the powers that desire to overtake me.... that wants to rule over me... that wants more than anything for me to bow down to it and serve it.... to get lost in it.... to follow it to bitterness.... and anywhere else that I'll let it to as far as it'll take me.
I refuse to!
I'm taking the higher road like my friend did!
"The joy of the LORD is my strength!" He is my Refuge! My "very present help in times of trouble"!!! And as GOoD as He is, and as much as He's done, and the Thrill that He's given............. I refuse to let go of theJOY that my God has so gracious given me, especially in this season I'm in! I'd be an idiot to trade the feeling I've got for another that'll keep me in misery.
"If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction" (Ps 119:92). "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy" (Ps 126:5-6). "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.... "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are FILLED with joy" (Ps 126:2-3)!