Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He ran out to meet him

An hour ago, I planned to sit down and write about something else. Something really, really fun and cool that I did with the kids yesterday. I actually can't WAIT to share it.

But a lot can change in an hour, and at this moment, it's hard to describe why different words must now be born. Like a woman in labor, I ache with a story. I tried to shove the burden off, and write the fun thing. But something presses in on me, like God squeezing out the truth so that I can read it back to myself. Right now, my spirit groans to transcribe drips of living water into black and white. I don't know if anyone else needs to see the words standing here, frozen and all powerful and full of life, but I know I do. The words are God's latest bit of the story for me, His words that stop me cold.

It's short, really.

I must start with the fact that there is a battle going on for everything worthwhile in your life and mine. Family, relationships, ministry...all of it. Anything worth fighting for must be fought for. But much of the time, I can't really see it. And other times, I don't realize that my struggles are just part of the grander battle. I can get comfortable and thankful and forget to be watchful.

"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
I Peter 5:8

And I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but all of a sudden, today, I felt myself standing in the middle of a war. I hardly had any warning. Suddenly, I was dodging bullets and furrowing my brow and scrambling to remember what to do. What do I do, Lord? Tell me or arm me or shield me!  

I had a visual of myself standing in an open field in the midst of a movie-like battle scene. Our vicious foe had broken through to our side. I got isolated, separated. Bullets were whizzing past me on all sides. I felt vulnerable and defenseless. In my spinning head, I cried out to God, "What is going on here! I'm standing in the middle of this war and I feel like I have nothing but...nothing but...(I was searching for the weakest weapon possible).....a tiny rock!"

And then my throat clutched up. Because as soon as I landed on it, I saw that tiny rock in my mind. It was in my hand, next to a sling. I was a child on a battlefield, armed with only a rock and a sling.

And a Mighty God by my side.

David asked the soldiers standing nearby, "Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”

David exclaimed to Goliath, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle."

"As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him."

You know how it ends. A fearless child conquers a giant with a tiny rock, and a big God. (You can read the full story in I Samuel chapter 17.) Nothing about it makes sense. Nothing. It's really important to discern exactly when what makes sense needs to take a backseat to believing what God can do.

But go back, because he ran out to meet him. I can't believe it, and my eyes read the words again. When the enemy charged, David didn't stop and hold up a big shield. He rushed towards him and took down the enemy with crazy-courageous faith. Make no mistake; his weapon was faith.

"How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight."
Hebrews 11:32-34

It takes faith in God. Faith in His plans. Faith in His goodness, His character. Faith in what He has promised to His children.

Beth Moore said today in my Bible Study, "Pick the right battles. Don't waste your strength fighting the wrong enemy." She must have said this because fighting the real enemy, the Deceiver himself, takes all the best I have to bring. And in the midst of battle, I cannot afford to forget this, even for one day:

"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm."
Ephesians 6:11-13

Like I said. Living water in black and white, frozen and absolute truth that sometimes I just need to read again and again and again. Thanks for listening.

{and for those of you new to top of the page, this is how I roll over here: one day, it's fish tacos and pretty things, the next it's me laying it all out on the table. you can unfollow if you want, i won't be offended. there are plenty of blogs - really good ones, too, don't get me wrong - that stick to fish tacos and pretty things. as much as I'd sometimes like to, I just don't live there all the time. but I do write with love for God and love for you. so I hope you stay.}

12 comments:

  1. I had a conversation with some women tonight about how easy it is to lose sight of God...and how quickly satan swoops in to try and sway us towards the wrong side. I needed to hear this today, Leslie. Thanks for writing it.

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  2. psh, go to another blog? no thanks. totp just happens to be my new favorite. : )

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  3. Isnt God awesome?! You are right, we are in a battle. And I believe its one like we've never seen/faced before. But I LOVE it when He makes these things/truths REAL to us! Its proof that our faith isnt a myth. Its REAL. Its hard.Many times its scary. And its worth every. breath. we. have!
    XO,
    Sarah

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  4. I love way you roll leslie....dont even trip!! That how life is...sometimes its happy and great and other times we are in crisis and need to vent...
    I hope things get better for you soon....

    xoxo
    april

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  5. I'm a newer follower and finally am getting around to commenting :)

    Thank you for these words and for not talking about fish tacos and pretty things today. I needed to see these words today. To think on them. So thank you.

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  6. Leslie - wow, i needed YOUR words today. this battle is thick. thicker on some days than others, mine has been more like a cloud of battles around me, I guess thats why i describe it as thick right now, like a fog. our enemy is smart. but thankfully God is smarter. and he LOVES YOU!!!
    Our weapons for warfare are love and grace and truth.

    Some more truth to hopefully encourage you today...

    "You were dead because of your sins, but then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, HE DISARMED the spiritual rulers and authorities, and shamed them publicly by His VICTORY over them on the cross." Col 2:13

    wow. i mean dang, seriously? HE will, He HAS disarmed our enemy and all of his evil spirits. and even shamed them for shaming us!

    Ill be claiming VICTORY in the Spirit for you (and me) today....

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  7. Great word today! We so often forget we are even in a battle, and that's satan's greatest trick-to make us think there is no battle. But there is, and thankfully we are already assured victory, we've been given everything we need to fight the battle. And I appreciate that you don't just write about fish tacos, those are good and all but I love that you're not afraid to go deeper because we all need it!

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  8. AMEN! i just finished day 4 of week 9 this morning [is that about where you are??] and i told my husband that i wish everyone i knew was doing Breaking Free right now. its so hard to articulate the Truth of its message in just a quick paragraph or two. it really does take ten weeks, 50 days of study.

    that "little rock", aimed at just the perfect spot, is the power of God's word to defeat enemies and demolish strongholds. oh, praise Him!

    thank you for writing this. it is precisely what we need. and thank you for listening to His spirit as He directs you here on this blog. we like the fish tacos, but we love His truth even more. or maybe i'm just speaking for myself :)

    PS i can't even take this sentence: "my spirit groans to transcribe drips of living water into black and white". are you kidding me? i just started shaking my head when i read it. how do you come up with that stuff? sentences like that are why i started reading you in the first place, my friend. i'm patiently awaiting your first book ;)

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  9. loved this post.
    and love the back and forth.
    between the outward and the inward.
    that's the REAL stuff.
    love it.

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  10. Although I am a huge fan of fish tacos, it is the truth seeking that really speaks to my heart. Being real when there is so much deception and fake things that can take your time - truth although at times hard - so refreshing!

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