Have you ever sat and wondered what you’d been doing “all of this time”? That’s exactly where I am right now.
I’m going to go out on a limb and risk sounding incredibly “churchy”… That’s my husband’s word for super spiritual folks who legalize their life and fail to walk in the freedom and grace the death (and resurrection) of Christ allows. But, instead of “churchy” think “Jesus freak”…. I live under grace instead of the law and have the freedom to LIVE OUT LOUD for Christ. And, that includes drowning out and ignoring everything else but anything that will further His kingdom, loving on His people, and serving others.
Until it gets difficult, problems crop up at every turn, and even open door has a cement wall on the other side. Then, I quit trying to live so loud and choose to tread a bit more quietly.
Where have I been and what have I been doing this entire life I’ve been living? I am literally in tears because I realize I have not been battling for my life. I have not been fighting to do everything I believe I ought to be. How could I know I serve such an amazing God but not act on the PUSH inside of me to do great things?
Everyday I read amazing blogs by some of the most amazing Christian women who are doing some serious sowing and living out loud for Christ. These women blow. my. mind. (clap on the periods….. it makes my point much stronger… lol) One blog I read talked about how adoption was spiritual warfare. I immediately mentally noted to email her about that comment because I wanted to know more. More. More. More. More about why adopting little ones who would otherwise have a difficult life fall under spiritual warfare.
LIGHTBULB. DUH. (days later….. lol)
We’ve experienced one failed adoption already. One of the hardest, most difficult experiences ever. Worse than failed fertility treatments. Earlier in the process, I knew that I needed to be praying for the family and situation… I asked you guys to do the same… Because I wanted her and I needed to pray for that. But, I never thought about it as a battle for her soul. Ashamed, I did not pray for her as if I was battling for her soul. Batting for her to grow up in an environment where she undoubtedly knew she was wanted and loved like no other. My heart still aches for her and wonders where she is, how she is, and just prays that she’s loved and feeling it to the core of her being.
I am Murphy’s Law. Literally. If anything can happen counter to what has been planned, it will happen to me. Every single time. For a while, I just accepted this as apart of “who I was” and would try to avoid making mistakes. Read in there I became a control freak who needed to know everything so that I could think through every possible something that could happen and avoid that. I also became a crazy over-thinker (I can think up some situations like no other) and I could not just be. Add all of that to the fact that I’m a fixer and pseudo perfectionist so I was a mess. And, I lived in darkness. Perpetual darkness and defeat. Wondering why I was constantly still on the sidelines when everyone else had been chosen for the kickball game at recess.
And, all of this was as of a day ago.
I believe so many of us live our lives as if the devil is not real. As if he’s just a concept. The idea that there is a REAL DEMON who hates your love for Christ just cannot be true. 1 Peter 5:8 says that that devil, (evil in it’s purest form – I said this, not the Bible! lol), freely walks the Earth searching for what he can devour. Jesus says in John 10:10 that Satan’s goals are to steal, kill, and destroy…. but that He comes to give life and life abundantly.
I was not taking Jesus’s words seriously. It was more like a “Yes, Jesus! You come to give me abundant life so why do I keep running into walls? Why are there constant problems. OH! Yes. Romans 5…. trials and tribulations breed perseverance, endurance, faith, and hope. Gotcha. But, um…. everyday? All day? Can I get some relief? Sooooo…. No? Ok….. I’ll just keep struggling and learn to endure the worst of the worst for nothing because I’m most certainly not going to use these fruits to further your kingdom. Too much work.” Riiiiight.
So, I read one of my favorite blogs and the mama talks about how she made a playlists of songs to listen to during the difficult times of her adoption. Cool idea, I thought. I already have a Jeeeeeezus playlist so no need to make another. I’ll just listen to that.
UNTIL THIS WEEK. UNTIL I HEARD THIS SONG. New playlist made. Done. Done. Done.
It’s called “Declarations”. I needed to declare some promises, my place in this body, my gifts and talents given to me from God to glorify him and further his kingdom. I can sing all day of the goodness of God and how he holds my world. How he is a healer, redeemer, mender, and my hiding place all day long. I can passively pray during the good and the great and allow my heart in all of its brokenness to cry out to Him passively believing that he “will if its his will”.
YES IT’S HIS WILL. I can’t fully serve him broken. In any way. I can’t declare that he is a healer if he does not. Because I ask not. Because I passively walked through this life allowing the devil to devour my hopes and dreams. To kill my spirit and desire to just GO and DO. No matter where I am, what is going on – I will not just passively endure it.
I am so tired of getting beat up in this life because I’m not battling for His people, to further his kingdom, for myself, and the guts serve Him big because I’m afraid. Because I’m allowing it.
There’s reason why 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 encourages us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks….”. Fighting sometimes requires you to see past what can be seen and trusting what’s to come, praying relentlessly for everything that burdens you, and thanking God for all of it knowing that everything works out for good for those who love the Lord and who are called for His purpose. And, guess who that is? You and me. Your friends, your family. Your anybody who has been born again and love God with their everything.
Philipians 4:6 tells us not be anxious about anything but in every situation with prayer and petition submit your requests to God”. All that darkness that surrounds us, that lurks around the corner, and the one who stealthily sneaks up on us all ….. we can fight Him. Battle him. Through prayer and the will to fight. We don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen or why this happened or over think what would have happened if we’d done this.
Engaging in this battle and desiring life abundantly does not mean bad things won’t happen. It doesn’t mean we won’t struggle at times. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be times we we will lose. We are battling for sound minds, gifts, talents, and the desire to use everything God given to save souls and fortify His kingdom.
Now what does this mean?
Certainly doesn’t mean perfection or walking around untouchable. But, simply that I will engage and choose to fight rather than willingly accepting defeat. I am a child of the light and will choose to live in such a way. I don’t have to allow life’s disappointments to wear me down, allow my days to be stolen, and my will destroyed. I’ve lived as a passive bystander and just watched as opportunities to do great things for Christ and serve God big have passed me by and left me feeling inept. Knowing that I could have and I could be but I didn’t or wasn’t simply because I chose not to even tip toe out on that limb and engage.
Spiritual warfare. The decision to take part in fighting the principalities in heavenly places that house rulers, authorities, and evil of the dark realms.
It’s not the lady at your job who intentionally stirs up trouble that you need to war against, it’s not her, it’s the evil in this world who is at work. That devil walks the earth looking to devour. Battle that. Battle the dark realm and engage the power of God inside of you that will allow you to treat others with the love of God, forgive as you’ve been forgiven, and show the same grace to her that Christ shows you. THAT is doing good so that others will see it and glorify God. People will see your response. That response will either cause them to wonder why you are responding like that (read, it puts you in the position to name the name of Christ) or they’ll high five you and say “she deserved it…”). Who will be the victor in these battles? The victor won’t be you or this other person…. the fight isn’t yours, it’s not a fight against flesh and blood. The victor will either be God or Satan.
Fighting for that child, the discarded and lonely, the one who will be born and sent to a broken system of abuse and neglect, or ones living in war torn countries, starving, and malnourished is warfare indeed. Don’t grow weary and settle in defeat because extensive waits, money, constant delays, and lost paperwork. Giving up and allowing those children to stay broken and live hopelessly is allowing them to stay in the position to be devoured rather than raising them to be strong and courageous so that they can do great things for Christ.
Battle with me. Fight for your life. Your soul. Your family. A mindset that thrives on victorious living and crazy chances that will speak volumes to the Earth of the goodness of God. Refuse to live passively, doing and accepting what comes but fighting for the desires of your heart. Have the courage to listen to that whisper that continues to tell you that you can do more, that you can and trust God to act. Trust that God did not give you the spirit of fear but of a sound mind, power, and love. He has equipped you to do everything you need to in order to spread the win. Just go.
…. here’s to arming yourself with the truths of God, learning who God is and believing Him to be all of those things to and for you. Most of all, to having the courage to use all of the gifts, talents, and the power God has put inside of us to complete great works to further His kingdom. Why not tap into it and allow Him to do it?
Those who are sowing and serving big for God have the same things inside of them that God has put inside of you. Gifts and talents to further His kingdom. He’s inside of them, and He dwells just as much inside of you. They’re just tapping into it.