Picking a Fight

I’m in a dangerous season of life right now.  Coming alive isn’t easy and fun.  It’s serious.  It requires work, sacrifice, intentionality and steadfastness.  It also requires prayer.

Yesterday I was hanging out with someone who knows Jesus.  We were talking about our spiritual journeys.  Where we are, what we’re reading.  Where we need to be going.  As we were finishing up, I asked how I could be praying for him.  He shared with me his stuff.  I shared with him mine.  Know what it is?  Fear.

How I Know

Do you know how I know I’m coming alive to Jesus?  Because I’m feeling under attack in my weak places.  It’s like my dad’s knee.  Anytime there’s a rain storm coming, his knee starts to act up.  Anytime I begin to come alive to Jesus, I begin to suffer consequences of my living in the form of temptation and attack in my weak places.  One in particular is my thought life.  Which is pretty interesting that Sherrie taught about “taking every thought captive” two weeks ago and yesterday I found Francis Chan’s Web site with sermons and the one I “just happened” to pick was about….yep….you guessed it, “taking every thought captive”.

I don’t know exactly what Scott said, but I heard the Lord.  This is what He said:  Jason, I haven’t given you a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  I’ve given you My Spirit.  It’s time to do battle.  And we win.  You have the power within you.  It’s Me.  Believe in Me.  And my power.  I’ll carry you through.  Jason, it’s time to stop being scared.

As we “take out” thoughts or sin in our life, we need to “put in” things.  Things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  Put in the Word.  Put in prayer.  Not just the idea that we have the shield of faith to block what Satan throws at us, but we need to grab the sword and start kicking ass and taking names.

Not Getting To Far Ahead

Now this isn’t something I’m taking flippantly.  The last time I started down this road, it led me to a nearly decade-long valley and tragedy.  I don’t blame God.  But that’s where the fear is.  Fear that if I really come alive like I’m capable of, there will be consequences.  But God hasn’t wired me to be asleep.  Nor Micki.  Nor Grace.  We are created to desire and conform to the image of Christ.  We’re created to live, not just exist.

All this seems to be converging together and it’s pretty obvious.  Even reading “The Rabbi’s Heartbeat” there are thoughts and direction jumping off the page.  The idea that we will never be able to expeience grace until we give our dirt to God.  Until we admit our sin and put it out there.  To say “I’m the chief of sinners.”  When we get to the place where we’re open about our failure and inadequacy, that’s exactly when God can work.  His power made perfect in weakness.

So as I’m processing this through, I’m seeing this come together.  The confession of sin and release of fear of sin being covered by grace.  The next step of moving past my past and my failure and toward knowing and understanding who the real God is and how much He loves me.  I don’t have any shortcuts to understand what the prophetic voice is.  No quick and dirty fix to move past where I am.  Just a clear focus and direction toward Abba and the assurance that it is a good direction.

The last thing I heard from our conversation was this:  And it’s big:  You can’t move forward in your journey until you get victory where you left off.  Let’s say you took a sabbatical from God for a few years.  As you come back to Him, you have to start where you left off.  You can’t skip from 1st to 10th grade.  The battles I lost a few years ago need to be fought today.  And won.  Before I can move to the next season of life God has for me.  Sure God could just gloss over those.  But I would miss out on the blessing of learning through it.  Growing through it.  And winning.

I won’t have to be afraid if I know whom I have believed.  The next few steps aren’t toward anything else but Jesus.  Who He is.  How much He loves.  In doing that, I’m taking steps toward Him.  Which are steps away from the world.  But today, I’m not afraid.  It’s been far too long.  There is much to be done.  Places to go with Jesus.  Things to learn.  A world to go to.  It won’t come without a fight.  Hey Satan, I’ve got my shield and sword.  And I’ve got the Holy Spirit.

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