In my last post, I spoke of being ‘thumped’ and asked the questions: What has God called you to do that requires more of you? What are you facing that requires the very best that you have?
As followers of Christ we are called put on the Armor of God and stand against the powers of darkness. I have written about this to some extent in previous posts, and will come back to it again another time. But not every challenge encountered is a demonic attack.
Sometimes, we are tried (tested) simply by encountering other peoples stuff or other natural circumstances of a fallen world. I believe this is the enemy’s A#1 go-to plan to come against those who bear the Name of Christ. To put circumstances around us that test our character and test our beliefs – hoping we will take offense at the test and walk away from the very One who has given us the victory (through Him) in all things.
And sometimes, what we are experiencing is the consequence (delayed or immediate) of our own choices, words, and actions. It is easy to point to outside circumstances for our pain and suffering, but it requires humility before God and a teachable spirit to allow Him to poke at and point at the areas in our life that need to be addressed for our greater good. In the same way that a loving parent will teach independence to an infant by allowing them to stand and fall over and over again until they develop – through testing – the balance, coordination and strength required to walk and eventually run on their own, our loving God allows us to undergo periods of testing in order to help us identify and confront the beliefs, circumstances, and behaviors that are holding us back from His best for us and poorly represent His character and His name.
Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16 MSG)
Lord, give us wisdom to recognize an attack from a trial, and show us through your Word the proper response for the challenges we may encounter in our lives. When under attack, may we be quick to respond with boldness under the authority You bestowed upon us as Your ambassadors on this earth.
And when I’m ‘thumped’ by trials, may I recognize them as opportunities to be developed, strengthened, and even pruned/corrected. As opportunities to be ‘proven’ as authentic and of quality, reliable and durable.
Who will I be when I’m winning?
Who will I be when I’m loosing?
Who will I be when stuck between a rock and another rock?
Will I choose to act in a way that is unbecoming to someone who bears the name of ‘Christ follower’?
WilI I choose to stand boldly and confidently on the Word of God, fully relying on Him to bring this to a conclusion that is both for my good and His glory?
So what about all those challenges I have been journaling about for months and in some cases even years? Well, I would like to end this post by declaring who I am and what I have!
I have the Wisdom of Christ residing in me (Proverbs 2:1-6, 1 Corinthians 1:30-31), and am quick to implement the corrections that God asks of me, because I am a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (Proverbs 15:33, Colossians 1:9-14). That I take as my very own every benefit promised me as a joint-heir with Christ, knowing that nothing is impossible with God and no Word from God is without power or impossible of fulfillment (Isaiah 55:11, Luke 1:37, Romans 4:16). That I am now experiencing victory in managing all my attitudes and behaviors, and that I am more than a conqueror over every evil scheme of the enemy. (2Timothy 1:12, Philippians 1:6-11, 1 John 4:17)
Yup, that’s me – speaking of things that ‘be not’ … as though they are, until they are!