Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I got this!" - God

Sometimes I wonder why we waste time arguing over things that don't really matter at all... I mean really, who cares if we look at something the same way if the result is the same?  Are we really that self-righteous that we must have other people look at everything in the exact same way we do?  I get it, I like being correct just as much as the guy next door but I could not care less how he comes to know I'm correct. 

I've been accused, and rightfully so, of being an analytical mind... Possibly a little neurotic, which I am not accepting of quite yet ha!  I've also been accused of being a pessimist, which I am not.  I am definitely a realist and I do contemplate what the worst outcome of any given situation is so I'm not taken off guard... And I know what you're thinking "Ahhh, hello!!  That is being a pessimist!"  but that's not exactly true.  First of all when you take law they teach you to be analytical (not that I, personally, needed much help in that arena) and also to think of the worst possible outcome of a circumstance so 1) You can stop it before it happens 2) You will not be taken by surprise 3) You can prepare yourself to handle the situation correctly. * Interjection: It may be benefit to everyone if each person had a bit of thinking before the "handle the situation"... Just something to think about. * I learned well before college to protect myself via analysis and prediction of an outcome, I've strangely tempered it into being prepared instead of expectation... Therein lies the difference between pessimism and realism, the expectation of the outcome... You may know all the possibilities without expecting the worst.

Two of my mothers sisters have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 24 months and a few weeks ago my mother had a call back to the hospital for further testing...  I immediately began to think of what I would need to do to fully support both mother and myself during treatments.  I made calls, looked on-line and made a list of needless bills I could cancel... I was also told I was expecting the worst and being pessimistic instead of trusting God.... 

Let's get this straight:  I was PREPARING for the worst not EXPECTING it so that takes care of pessimism. As for trust in God, I think we should look at the definition of another word "denial."  I have an aunt (who was not the person to tell me I wasn't trusting God by the way) who pretty much lives in denial of any upsetting issue and I always think it must be pretty much a blissful existence... I have quite a spectacular imagination (if I do say so myself ha!) but to just pretend things that upset me are not so and actually convince myself of it would be wonderful!  But I don't think that's really what is the norm for most people and certainly not in my case. God never once said "pretend your enemies don't exist" or "just forget about that diagnosis and it will go away" or "get yourself an imaginary friend when you feel alone and they will come to life just like Pinocchio!" But he did say in Matthew 6:12 "Forgive us for the wrong things we have done, the way we forgive those who have done wrong things to us." and in Deuteronomy 20:4 "For the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you!" Exodus 15:26 "...I am God your healer." and Isiah 53:5 "But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." Matthew 28:20 "...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." and in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 

In my own paraphrase "Don't pretend enemies, troubles, fears, problems, sickness aren't there; realize God is and He said "I got this!"  So, yes, I see the severity and reality in life but I also see the Power and Love in Jesus Christ and I choose to let the battle be His not mine, I don't really look good in camouflage anyway ;o)   -2 Chronicles 20:15

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Has the Enemy really been defeated?

I read a friends Facebook Statuses today "Throwing in the towel...... I give up!"  and the second "I'm, beginning to wonder if the Enemy really has been defeated."  Seeing those comments caused an immediate reaction in me... Not anger, or frustration but I dropped everything to "Rise up a Standard" (Isaiah 59:19) and here it is:

I get it, I'm not naive of bad days, hard times, family issues, relationship problems, death, illness, fear, rejection, hurt, attacks, undesired and unexplained tragedies, church splits and fights (bet you thought the church would be perfect... Well no, it's filled with imperfect people who are striving to be more like the perfect God.) I know about and have experienced every one of the above experiences and more... I know where they come from and how hard it is to understand why God allows bad things to happen, it's hard not to get angry and question... But questions aren't wrong (just stay away from accusing.)

Revelation 12:10-11 "Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God,and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony..."  I know you've probably jumped to the end of that passage "And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony..." but don't miss "For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth the one who accuses them before our God day and night." It seems I'm being a pessimist by focusing on that part of the scripture but I'm not, I'm just trying to explain we need to be realistic, while "the accuser" is on Earth he is going to wreak as much havoc as he can... But he has to go to God and accuse before he can touch us! Job 1:7-12 "One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, "What have you been up to?" Satan answered God, "Going here and there, checking things out on earth." God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil."  Satan retorted, "So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can't lose!  "But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He'd curse you right to your face, that's what."  God replied, "We'll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don't hurt him." Then Satan left the presence of God. " We are protected by the Divine, we CANNOT be defeated if he hold onto him! Paul said in Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." and David in Psalm 118:6 "The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?"  and God himself in Isiah 41:13 "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee!"

The fact that Satan is around bothering and attacking people actually just proves his defeat!  He was defeated when Jesus on the cross and rose again on the third day!  If Satan wasn't defeated already he wouldn't be wasting time on the children (us) he would still be trying to fight and kill the Father (Jesus)!  Satan is just in capture at the moment, Earth is a holding cell and there is no hope for bail!  When Jesus defeated Satan he was cast down to Earth for a time until Jesus comes back and has him thrown into Hell!  Jesus knows and approves every person he comes into contact with like a visitor registry in a penitentiary. The little Devil talks a big game but if you look down you will see he is to an eternity of torture. Silly Satan, once again proving his own defeat and the power of God!  Really, it must suck to continually prove the one thing you have dedicated your entire existence to refuting!

I'm not saying it's an easy road, even Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23 that to follow Him you have to take up your cross... And Cross carrying is no easy business!  What I am saying is HOLD ON! You won't be taken out by whatever has come your way as long as you stay with Jesus!  It may look bleak but remember, the situation sent by Satan in itself proves the defeat and it's just going to be a little while until Jesus transfers Satan onto the eternal solitary confinement of death row!