What are you suppose to do when you cry out, over and over again to God, yet your soul feels so dead inside? I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have wrestled with that. You begin to wonder if God is real, what His intentions are for you, or if He has forsaken you. Sure there were spurts where I was very alive and growing, but that has not been the majority. If you have read most of my blog, you know that I have talked a great deal about surrender and laying aside any weights and baggage. That is the action we must take, but there is more involved in that action than what may meet the eye.
If you have been a follower of old blogs that I have since shut down, you can attest to the dormancy I have gone through in my Christian life. The negativity and desperation was almost stagnant in my writing. You could sense anger, frustration, a troubled heart, and lost soul. As I continue to grow and know Christ better, it becomes confirmed even more that it is my fault when my soul feels asleep. It is only my fault when I can not see evidence of God in my life, or hear His still small voice speaking to me. What it boils down to is I am not willing to put my full concentration into my relationship with God. That means letting go of anything and anyone that distracts from that process.
In Christ we are called a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), and when we take on this new life in Him our old habits, patterns, and anything else that is not of Him passes away; we start out fresh and new. When the old decides that it wants to try to leech back on to regain life it becomes like a cancer to your “new self.” Does this change who you are? No, you are still a new creation in Christ, you merely need to have an operation done to rid yourself of the cancer. Sometimes that can take a while, while other times it can be overnight.
The attack on my life has been tremendous in the last, almost, seven weeks. I have been tempted, tried, challenged, and harassed in every area you can imagine that has been a prior struggle in my life from the past. I have been bombarded with temptation, trials, and possible failure. Someone taking a brief glance at my life would most likely say that it was probably a mistake for me to have moved to Colorado. They could not be more wrong. To look at the flip side of those struggles and the miracles that have taken place is proof that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
In response to the harassment from the enemy, God shows up, mighty and dangerous. I was talking to my good friend Kevin the other day. He is a great man, anointed by God, and a sincere blessing to my life! I was sharing with him a few things that I am wrestling with, and he said something profound. I cannot directly quote it, but he basically stated that we have no room to be ashamed of falling and having to get back up, or of wrestling with old areas. It is a tactical approach used by the enemy to blind us from the healing of Christ. Our failures and fears do not define us!
Now what Kevin told me next struck a cord to the theme song I have been hearing for several months: “The enemy screeches in terror when we go to God and worship.” That statement grabbed me, and it lifted the blinders off my eyes to see what has changed recently in my life. I have not worshiped in a couple of weeks. I have been so involved in working 40+ hours a week, rushing to get to young adult groups after work, get hang time in with friends, and grapple with all my other responsibilities that I have completely neglected to worship. Last Sunday I told you we enjoyed worshiping with Lincoln Brewster, and it was great, but my heart was not in it, nor could I focus on the great sermon afterwords. My mind was tired, my soul was sleeping, and I was unable to focus. This was followed by a week from hell, and I was blasted with more temptation than I can even begin to admit here.
Awake my soul, awake my soul, and sing (Hillsong United). It all makes sense. Music is a universal language. I do not care what genre we are talking about, it is a way we express ourselves and our passions in life. We listen to country to reminisce about a girl/guy we lost; rock ‘n roll to loose some pent up feeling or frustration; or jazz to chill out and relax. It is all based on emotion. It is a way we soothe whatever emotion is overwhelming us, good or bad. That being said, when we need to feel the Spirit move within us, sometimes talking/praying is not enough! We need to lift out hands in abandonment, fall to our knees in honor, and lift our voices in praise. This is exactly what the enemy hates.
For years I have said that music is the heaviest drug I have ever been addicted to. Back in highschool, I was a death/heavy metal freak. I was also one of the most troubled and angry individuals you would ever meet. I could listen to music and feel more invincible than pills, heroine, or powder ever made me. Now as I look back at the times I have sincerely gone before God and worshiped, it is those instances that I could not feel any more alive. It is addictive, and you crave and want more! It is a high that you never want to wear off. Do you understand how powerful this is?
Lets take a look at a problem though. You do not feel like worshiping. That is you under attack. That is Satan poisoning your mind. What is going on in your life that is acting as an open channel for Satan to pump you full of poison? It is a relationship, a job, depression, drugs, alcohol, or (you name it)? What is Satan offering you that is more important that your health in Christ? This is not a concept for the super spiritual! This is real life, your life, my life. This is the battle we fight every day against higher powers and forces that do their best to influence us (Ephesians 6:12). Every person you see or meet today is fighting this raging war, if they realize it or not.
Now is the time to stand against the enemy. He is alive and well. If you do not feel strong enough to take that stand alone, be bold enough to ask for help. Get someone to intercede for you. Most people think we have to go to church or other Christian groups because that is what good Christians do. That is a load of bull straight from Satan himself. We are the church. The body of Christ is the church, and we are called to help each other in the life we live. If the body is not communicating with each other and helping each other then it will whither and fade away. Get connected. Get plugged into an alive group of people who love God and each other! We, I, cannot do this alone. Worship with others, pray with others, and learn together. Only then will you have strength to go out alone and still be able to desire the presence of Christ even when you are under heavy attack. It saddens me to see Christians who are walking around lost, without a clue, not feeling the love and influence of Christ.
I keep hearing and seeing the amazing things God is doing, particularly out here in Colorado. The bonfire is being built up. When the right match is struck, that bonfire will burst into flame, effecting the world. This has not been built up overnight, but through great toil and wrestling as both a body of believers and individually. Worship is the key. Music is the inspiration. Love is the reason.