When you’re around where God is working, He is not only doing something in that situation, He is doing something in you. No matter if you’re watching it all unfold via satellite, or if you’re a spectator at the game or if you’re knees are skinned and your pants are dusty from playing IN the game, He uses the situation to continue to complete the work that He has started in you.
While we served overseas, God drew me closer to Him than ever and I came to know Him intimately as Jehovah-Jireh – My Provider, Jehovah Uzzi – My Strength, He was my Comfort, my Friend. In the past two months, once again God has drawn me closer to Him than ever and I am coming to know Him intimately as Wonderful Counselor, Jehovah Gibbor Milchamah – The LORD Mighty In Battle and simply that He is LOVE. I have had the immense privilege to be so close to a work He is doing, that the fires of hell that have tried to come against this work have singed my nose hairs.
I’m not going to say it’s been all blessing. The blessings have been Mt. Everest. The trials have been Death Valley. The victories have been as sweet as Cheesecake Factory Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake and the defeats sour vomit.
I truly am not an easy crier, which ones close to this situation continue to question 🙂, but God has broken through the deep caverns of my heart and amidst what He is doing over there, He is doing something in me. Lord, let this not be in vain.
I have been stretched, tied, shackled, set-free, humbled, humiliated, overjoyed, confused, fried, crumbled, defensive, offensive, broken, battered, angry, loved, loving and so much more. (In Veggie Tales terms – “We laughed, we cried… He moved me Bob.”) I have had to question my motives, look deep into some ugliness of my heart, repent of sin and deal with the reality of pride. And to think, He’s not finished with me yet… oh, the exhaustion!
- Like I mentioned above, I am coming to know Him so much more as the Wonderful Counselor He is. Every step of the way, I’ve had to ask, “WHAT DO I DO NOW? Do I do something? Do I do nothing? What now?” I have entered into new situations, had my horizons broadened (understatement of the year) and had to navigate through uncharted territory. I was clueless, I was weak – I was right where He wanted me to be. I never needed to be so in-tuned to His voice than throughout this experience. I was lost without Him, didn’t know what move to make next, if any, and He was faithful to shed just enough light for the next step.
- I have seen the Lord battle for His child. I was abruptly reminded that this was not MY battle, but His (2 Chron. 20:15). I have been on the front lines of spiritual warfare – more intense than anything I have ever experienced – I could smell the stench of the demons working against us and sense the heaviness of their darkness. This has not been a pretty ride – I’m not being dramatic… This has been a call to prayer, a call to fighting the battle where in counts – on our knees, a call to surrender. (Um, I did pray that back in January… didn’t I? Called me on it, didn’t He?)
- It’s All Yours. Have you heard the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, “It’s all Yours”? Continuing on with the thought that this is His battle, not mine, sometimes it’s best to step out of the way and let HIM work, because our work may just get in the way. Well, what if…? Ahhhhhhh, relinquishing that control is an ongoing battle. On top of that, swallowing the pride of if it doesn’t work out, what does that say about me? Argh! Stinkin’ pride! Cleanse me, LORD! She is His child. We can do what God’s called us to do. Then, we lay it at His feet and pray she makes the choice to follow Him. It has to be her choice, no matter how much we want it for her. He knows that. She is His. It’s All Yours, Lord – EVERYTHING is Yours.
- LOVE – He LOVES her more than we can imagine. We are commanded to love. What about during the “mess-ups”? Yup, He still loves her… and so did (do) I. In one situation, I had a pre-conceived opinion about someone I was going to meet and went in with the wrong attitude – but at the moment I met her, God reminded me, “She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know how much I love her. She doesn’t know any better. Love her. Show her My love.” And I did. A wall of uncertainty and awkwardness came crashing down. Oh, “Take not your Holy Spirit from me”! We all just want to be loved, and until we know God – that’s not totally possible. He has challenged me to love – no matter what! “Love covers all wrongs.” Seriously supernatural. Love on someone today!
Lessons learned(ing) aren’t easy, but please don’t take me backwards. I’ll take the skinned knees and dusty pants if it will draw me closer to my Jesus and know my Father just a little bit more. Praise You Lord!
1 Lord, hear my prayer.
In your faithfulness listen to my plea,
And in Your righteousness answer me.
4 My spirit is weak within me;
My heart is overcome with dismay.
5 I meditate on all You have done;
I reflect on the work of Your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to You;
I am like parched land before You.
8 Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning,
For I trust in You.
Reveal to me the way I should go,
because I long for You.
10 Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God.
May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.
12 I am Your servant.
I know I’ve been a bit vague about “this situation” but truly it’s not my story to tell – only how God has used this story in my life. You will hear her story someday. I believe she’s going to write a book. Many who have met her have been touched in some way. And, He’s only just begun! Praise You Lord! Psalm 145 – AMEN