Thursday, June 12, 2008

Victory!

Sometimes knowing why we feel a particular way goes a long way towards feeling better.

For example - have you ever dreaded a certain event, and couldn't figure out why? And then later realized it wasn't the event you were dreading at all, but something between here & there... the preparation or something that had to be done first. (Does that make any sense at all?)

When you figure out what it is you are really feeling so negatively about, it makes a huge difference in how you view the event you previously had been dreading.

While I haven't been dreading anything in particular, I spent the first half of this week feeling very down. And that seems like an understatement. I was sure I slipping into downright depression. I could elaborate, but #1, that would be...well... depressing, and #2, you've probably been there before and know pretty much how I was feeling without me having to expound. Right? I think it is enough to say that I am blessed to have the type personality that even with stressful things going on, I still rock along pretty good.... and feel joyful and happy amongst it all. But not this week.

So... that said, I sat down at the computer yesterday morning and happened upon
this post, at a blog I have never visited before. This blogger suggested reading the book of Mark for those times that you just don't know where to start reading. And she went on to suggest leaving the computer right then and reading your Bible instead.

Sounded good to me!

So I left the computer to join my buffaloes at the breakfast table and read aloud the first chapter of Mark. Which led to discussion.

Verses 21-28 tell of a time Jesus cast out a dem*n. In verse 24 the dem*n says to Jesus "I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God."

I believe the reason this dem*n knew who Jesus was, was not from some mystical knowledge or lucky guess, but because he had seem Him before. Face to face, in heaven, as an angel, before he was cast out and joined Sat@n. (funny punctuation is to avoid my blog popping up in search engines when these are the words searched for)

The point is, that world is real. We don't see it, so we tend not to think much about it. Which means we underestimate it.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

I thought I was feeling down because Alan had spent two weeks in the hospital. Because we have to decide whether he needs surgery or not. Because we are about to be moving. Because, because, because.

But those things are all earthly. Flesh & blood. There was more going on. We are at a time in our lives that we are learning so much about God's love and strength. About how to live with faith in Him. And it is strengthening our marriage. And our resolve as parents. And hopefully is a testimony to others.

And Sat@n doesn't like it.

If you look up "principalities" in Websters 1828 dictionary (written from a Biblical perspective) you find that a principality is royalty, a supreme power. We aren't dealing with the underlings my friends. The bad guys are coming at us with the big guns.

Whispering lies about God, about those around us, and about ourselves. This is real. There is a battle going on. The rest of that passage in Ephesians 6 talks about putting on God's armor. And armor is used in battle, right?

The good news to me yesterday was that even though I was praying for God's help through the situational stuff going on, I wasn't thinking big enough. I was wanting to see those things resolved, or to feel happier about them (or in spite of them). But God is so much bigger than that. We have a bigger victory than over just the circumstances in our lives. We have "Victory in Jesus"... over sin, over death, over all the "darkness of this world".

If we have trusted Jesus as our Savior then "the Spirit of him that raised us Jesus from the dead" dwells in us! (Romans 8:11) God's complete & powerful Spirit.

I've never seen the movie, so I apologize already if this reference in inappropriate, but thinking of this yesterday made me think of the Incredible Hulk. How all of a sudden this ordinary guy gets these huge fists and muscles. A power bigger than himself. That is what we have. We are wimps, but we have something more.

One of the Psalmists said, "the joy of the Lord is my strength". I think the inverse is also true - the strength of the Lord is the source of our joy!

Afterthoughts: First of all, a lot of the credit for these references and thoughts goes to Greg. He is the one that pointed me in the direction of Ephesians 6 and other thoughts in this post. Secondly, it has been amazing how different I have felt since Greg and I had this conversation yesterday!

Victory in Jesus
I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory,
How he gave his life on Calvary to save a wretch like me:
I heard about his groaning, of his precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins and won the victory.

O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever,
He sought me and bought me with his redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew him, and all my love is due him,
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.

I head about his healing of his cleansing power revealing,
How he made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
And then I cried "dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and brought to me the Victory.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

I have been there, and I understand. Next time, I will read Mark!

Maresa said...

Thanks for the wonderful reminder of the real source of our strength. I needed that!!!!

Donna @ Thirsty? said...

You are spot on about the battle that rages, especially if we are making ground in areas that will bring glory to God. I am humbled to have been even just a tiny part of that journey for you! I will pray for you guys today!

Natkingcole said...

This takes me back during some situational stuff we went through. None of it compares to what you guys have dealt with. But besides Gods word I read a book called Calm My Anxious Heart. It seems in these moments a simple reminder that all the ifs and whens are not the point. That those moments are all situational. Real peace and contentment is found through Gods grace really. And then its not even about us its all through us for his glory. Jesus says BLESSED are those who are persucuted. Does that include by dem@ons? Not sure,but we are so blessed. God used you today to put me in my place once again. It is not about me! Thanks for your thoughts. God showed you his power.
Natalie