A phone call from my dear friend Sarah L. tonight has prompted some thoughts...we were talking about struggles that we have and how when we FINALLY get ready to wheel and deal with the Lord with specific things, how it is just SO difficult to let go. We talked about how we are in a war and when we are close to breakthrough how it seems the enemy of our souls 'steps it up'. When he realizes that his plans to steal from us, to kill whatever is good in our lives, to destroy us are not going to work, he has a hissy-fit. Sometimes it feels like every thing is breaking loose and our struggle is for nothing. Sometimes it feels like we are alone in our battle.
How wonderful to be part of the Body of Christ...how important it is to NOT live by that feeling, to choose to see the Truth that we are not alone. To see the Truth that we are well-cared-for (especially when we humble ourselves and admit to our bros and sisters that we are needy!) How cool is it to admit to those we trust that we are struggling and receive grace from Jesus in our skirmishes.
When Sarah and I were finishing our freshman year in high school (we met in 8th grade...1975!), we went to Youth Camp at Tahquitz Pines in Idyllwild, CA. Tony Salerno was the speaker. That was the summer I got serious about knowing Jesus. Anyway, one night Tony taught on 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV):
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
He pointed out that usually lions hunt by stealth. Only the old, toothless, lame lion hunts by roaring, hoping to cause such a fright by his roaring that his prey freezes and allows itself to be literally scared to death. When we have Jesus, the Mighty Warrior, within we have nothing to fear from the enemy. I remember Pastor Tony saying that when Jesus is Lord, the devil is just a mouse with a megaphone!
I am convinced that Jesus' desire for us is that we allow Him to be Lord in every area as He directs...that as we give over more and more of ourselves to Him, that He breaks down the strongholds of sin that we have built around ourselves. My goal is to let Him continue breaking strongholds in my life until HE IS MY ONLY STRONGHOLD. Psalm 27:1b
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
We are in a WAR, people! This is not a rehearsal!