Friday, September 17, 2010

And if our God is for us...

The more I follow Jesus, the easier it becomes for me to see past the natural fabric of the world in front of my eyes and see into what's really going on.

I think we could all agree that there is a struggle between good and evil going on around us. We sense it in our government, in our cities, in our relationships, pretty much everywhere. Most of the time, people dismiss it and continue on in their own comfort levels in their own little bubbles of existence. It's so much easier not to care.

I just finished reading Waking the Dead by John Eldredge - whew! Amazing revelation for me! I totally recommend it! Hang through the first chunk of the book and then it gets reeeeally good. Anyway, in Waking the Dead, he uses many movie/book references that take us to a deep place in our hearts regarding the battle between good and evil, life and death. Is it any wonder why the movies and books that resonate with us so deeply are the epics that portray the triumph of good over evil? He uses movies like The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to express what is already written in the base code of our hearts.

One of my favorite quotes he uses is from The Two Towers when Aragorn was trying to persuade the king of the region to arm up for battle. Here's a quick excerpt of the book Waking the Dead, chapter 10 Setting Hearts Free:

"In the second film of The Lord of the Rings trilogy - The Two Towers - there is a king who is reluctant to go to war. Theoden, lord of the horse warriors of Rohan, is fearful and timid. An army is marching through his lands, an army bred for a single purpose: to destroy the world of men. Villages fall; women and children are slain. Still Theoden balks: 'I will not risk open war.' 'Open war is upon you, ' says Aragorn, 'whether you would risk it or not.' As I watched this scene I could not help thinking of the church. It made me so sad. I love the Bride of Christ. I hate to see her captive an any way. The primary reason most people do not know the freedom and life Christ promised is that they won't fight for it, or they have been told not to fight for it. Friends, we are now in the midst of an epic battle, a brutal and vicious war against an Enemy who knows his time is short. Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not."

Now, I loved all the Lord of the Rings books and movies, but I have never dissected them so intricately as that! And what a true parallel from that story into our reality. We can hide out and pretend like everything is good and easy all the time, but that doesn't mean the armies of hell aren't on our doorstep.

It is HIGH TIME for us to be sober and vigilant, just like we have been instructed in Scripture!

Can people get carried away by weirdness? Yes. Can Christians be too preoccupied with demons? Yes. Are those reasons enough to exempt yourself from the battle? No. In my growing up years, I fell into a camp of believers who didn't have much revelation into the working of the Holy Spirit. We were fearful of things in "the charismatic" portion of the Church. We only saw the crazies and the spiritual abusers who displayed strange weirdness and called it the Holy Spirit. We knew we didn't want any of that. But, as I continued on with Jesus, He introduced me to the Holy Spirit so that I could know Him for myself. I came to see the Scripture with spiritual eyes and not the eyes of my religious background. Jesus illuminated the truth about the Holy Spirit to me, and I knew that I needed to remove some wrong thinking and get His thinking.

As I surrendered my whole self to the Holy Spirit, He was faithful to fill me up and ignite His power in me. I'm growing in it, for sure, but I cannot imagine trying to navigate life without it now. (Because I have been made aware of the raging battle that is going on all around us!) We can't expect to make a dent in the darkness without the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

To some of you, the thought of demons or evil spirits sends shivers up your spine. You don't think you can handle even the topic for very long. But, in reality, God has already triumphed over evil. Jesus crushed Satan's head when he died on the cross and made a way for humanity to be reconnected to God. The only reason Satan and his minions can seem scary is because we are fooled into taking our eyes off the Victorious One. When you sense or look at evil, it's ugly! You were not created to be a part of evil. You were created to shine the light of God from within you and have dominion on this earth. Satan has craftily confused us into thinking that we're victims and that we are weak and helpless and worthless. My friend, IF YOU ONLY KNEW who you truly are.

Ask God right now, "Who am I, truly?" And wait until you hear Him. He will tell you.

If you aren't getting anything, then wrestle it through with God. Don't just walk away and let it go. It is imperative that you know who God says you are. He's speaking - you just have to figure out how to hear His voice. (Helpful hint if you're not hearing Him: go back to your salvation experience - when you first gave your heart to Him. What was that like? Did you have a feeling in your heart? Did you hear a whisper? Remember what that was like and see if you can hear/experience His voice right now in that same way.)

Dear, precious daughter of the Most High God, you are regal and anointed. You are strong and mighty and the power of the Holy Spirit can flow through you to push back the gates of hell in any area of your life where you sense it is pushing in on you. It's time to arm up and get in the battle. War for your husband and children! War for your friends! War for your freedom! War for the Kingdom of God to be established everywhere you walk! You can't lose.

One of my favorite songs right now that helps me keep my eyes on the Victorious One:


Monday, September 6, 2010

How To Lose a Husband In 10 Days

I'm sure to some of you this might sound appealing...but, it's not what you think...

Several years ago, there was a chick-flick out called "How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days" that had Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in it. Cute, funny and ridiculous, but good for a girly laugh. Well, when you're young and single, playing around with love can be kind of a game, if you're not careful. Then, you find the man who sweeps you off your feet (or not) and you get married. Here you are, in wedded bliss, when all of a sudden, he does something that irks you to high heaven. You discover, slowly, that this man annoys you with his every waking breath! What happened to the fun, attractive guy you fell for?

Honey, life sets in. You each start thinking more about yourselves than you do the other...and that never adds up to a good relationship. The movie "How to Lose a Guy..." showed all the crazy ways Kate Hudson would irk Matthew McConaughey...but in reality, it only takes one repeated thing to push your husband away from you: dishonor. Women don't really get the honor/respect thing and why husbands need it. But it doesn't even matter if you understand it - your husband needs it to survive! God wired men with a primary, driving need for honor/respect, just like He wired you with a primary, driving need for love/security. What wife in her right mind would want to deprive her husband of the solution to his most basic need? Would you stop feeding him or cut off his water supply? (Some of you might have just answered "yes" and we'll talk about that topic another day...)

So many times we wives express DIShonor to our husbands in the way we say something. You can even be saying something true and necessary, but if you say it in the wrong tone, your husband hears, "I think you are worthless. You disgust me." You can convey dishonor by your body language, your tone, your facial's something we just don't normally have on our radars! But, it's time to start paying attention, girls.

I assume that you do NOT want to lose your husband in 10 days... And if that's the case, then I challenge you - I double-dog dare you - to start evaluating how your words, tone and body language come across to your husband. Do you say things that let him know how much you value and appreciate him? Do you praise him to his face? Do you brag about him in front of others? If not, then start. Even if you feel like your husband is not deserving of respect or honor, find something to honor him for. He's still with you...he takes out the trash...he loves his children...SOMETHING! Conveying honor and respect for your husband breathes LIFE into him as a man. And when a man feels honored by his wife, he responds in love - the very thing you dream of.

It's so wonderful that we can rely on the Holy Spirit's power in us to make it through life! Some days, it's all I can do to muster up any kind words at all. But, with the power of the Holy Spirit inside me, I can take my sour attitude and trade it in for a sweet, fun demeanor in a mili-second. If you're struggling with showing honor for your husband - or even if you're struggling just to like him very much anymore - pray this with me:

Lord, I thank You for the man You brought into my life to be my husband. I know that he is not a perfect man and I am not a perfect woman. I confess my extreme need for You, Lord, in my marriage. I offer my marriage back to You and ask You to call the shots. Put love in my heart for my husband. Put honor and respect in my heart for my husband. Help me to speak honor to him so that he can feel fulfilled in our home. Show me the moments and give me the words, Lord. Speak through me and help me be the wife my husband needs. And, as I surrender to Your ways, Lord, I pray that You would heal the wounds in my heart and heal the wounds in our marriage. Thank You that nothing is too hard for You, God. I trust You! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Here are some resources that have tremendously helped me in my own marriage:

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggrichs

Marriage on the Rock by Jimmy Evans

I pray blessings over your marriage right now - let the Holy Spirit teach you how to be the wife your husband needs and that God has always intended for you to be!