What an incredible time. The word “incredible” means impossible to believe; extraordinary. That’s about right. Oh, there are many other words we all are using to describe these uncertain times ... confusion, uncertainty, and concern. Though I believe these words are "in bounds” for my heart, they are moving me on the battle field with a momentum and current that is dangerous to my soul.
Right now, I feel like I want to be responsible so I don't have to be responsible. I want to be careful to avoid the place where, if I try to stand still, a tornado of voices is swirling around me, and if I'm moving, it moves right along with me. While I am uncertain whether or not the kingdom of darkness is responsible for the coronavirus, I am certain it is opportunistic. Darkness takes every circumstance, no matter what it is, and attempts to spin it to their advantage. They are on the field and in the stands, taunting me and all my teammates - the sons and daughters of God, as well as every Image Bearer in this story, at this time, looking for an agreement.
I call them the “taunters” because their power is in their lies and their lies are their voice. A taunt is a remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone … to challenge someone with insults. Do you know what I mean? The enemy will relentlessly taunt and insult my character, constantly attempt to question my identity and twist the truth every so slightly so that it sounds honest and real, all the while bringing into question God’s goodness and my own. Ultimately, that is their goal - isolate me and separate me from God’s love, cause me to doubt His provision and protection, and invade with barbs of doubt and fear, looking for agreements in which to construct my false self. Not good.
My godly perspective seems to always live on a border. Like Simba in The Lion King, I live where the Pride Lands end and where a graveyard begins. Right here I see the color of Life in the Kingdom; right there are the shadows of gray where worry, fear and panic lurk. They are waiting for the line to be crossed, either them into my world, or me into theirs. And they won’t stop with me. They want access to my marriage, family and friends, my kingdom.
There is more than one virus milling about looking for its next host, bringing with it symptoms of calamity. Fear is no joke - it travels with a pack of foul spirits: discouragement, self-reliance, guilt, and accusation (just to name a few). They are a gang of malicious raiders who come to steal, kill, and destroy, and are very, very good at what they do.
This is where the battle is today, this is where the battle was 5 months ago, 5 years ago, 500 years ago ... this is where it needs to be seen and fought today. Circumstances do change - whether these are the end times or just "a time," God is on the throne. I am His and He is mine and ... I already have the antidote and the equipment to live free and be victorious. I just need to be careful, discerning, engage and claim what is mine in Christ and remind my enemies they can not have me. They cannot have my thoughts or my future, and though they may taunt (or worse, try to devour me), I will sign no agreement with their propositions or suggestions, give them no quarter, believe no lie nor entertain fear. I know who I am. My Father has told me. I know what I’m worth. My King has shown me. And I know what I have - the Spirit lives in me.
So, what can I do? What can we do? Hope.
Even writing it just now, "hope," I hear the enemy from the stands,
Hope? Doesn’t that sound trite? You think this is going to help? Aren't you writing this for yourself, not others?
There it is, like two truths and a lie. The truths are ...
Yes I think this is going to help. And yes, this is for my heart (and hopefully others).
The lie …
NO, THIS ISN'T TRITE ... IT'S TRUE. Now, little imp, spirit of diminishment, in the power and the authority of Jesus Christ, I command you to be gagged and gone, carried to the feet of Jesus for your judgement and cast down.
Agreements like, "what good will it do?" or, "what’s the point?" or, "I don't have time for this,” are subtle. Be careful not to agree with any of their lies. Remember, not every thought is your own, and the subtle lie is just the beginning. Little compromises are just as good to them as wounding. It's the compromises they will use another day to take me out.
Friends, make your list of what you aspire to do today, and pace yourself, step in with faith, hope and love. See fear and hear the voice of diminishment and the fog of malaise for what they are: spirits with voices that want far more than my to-do list. They want my will, my heart, my mind … they want to infect my beliefs and create symptoms that compromise Life, my life with God and my life with others.
What we're all praying for: courage, endurance, patience, and wisdom we actually have. They are part of the benefit package of Kingdom Men and Women, part of the "In Christ” package of privilege. We are more than conquerers (Romans 8:37) … so go and conquer. We are overcomers (John 16:33, 1 John 5:4, Revelation 3:12) … so go and overcome. In these days, like every day, we are going to get the opportunity to practice. I want Life … and I’ve come to learn that most of the time, I am going to have to fight for it. But I’m not alone, we're not alone. Me and Jesus, we got this.
You and Jesus … you got this.
Thank you, BraveHearts, for standing with us and for us and against the enemy of Life and Love. Together we are better. Courage and blessing, friends … courage and blessing! He has overcome the world so that you and I can too!!