Last week I talked about a series of unfortunate events that left a deep feeling of discouragement within me. I need to clarify something: there was nothing so bad to warrant the heaviness I felt in my heart. This week I am breaking free from that oppression by naming it, calling it out for what it is.
I have been battling a spirit of intimidation.
And it is starting to mess with my family and that IS NOT OKAY WITH ME!
We got out of town last Sunday afternoon. While we were exploring my son slipped and got his brand new camera wet. We weren't sure if it was going to work again or not. The disappointment of that accidental slip that may have permanently damaged this object caused a way too familiar, HEAVY spirit of discouragement to settle on me. But this time is wasn't just on me, it was on my husband and my son.
It sought to rob us of our peace together as a family. Just like it had been robbing me of belief in God's goodness, peace in unfortunate circumstances and trust that He really was in control of all things.
These disappointments had me questioning God: Lord, why didn't you fight for me? How could you allow this to happen? Really Lord, I try to do the right thing and this is what I get?
Minor disappointments were causing me to turn on God, to doubt Him and I realized SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT.
There was a bully in my midst and it was pushing me around using unfortunate circumstances to weigh me down with discouragement.
It was trying knock me down from my appointment by God to carry out His work and strip me of courage by making me discouraged and causing me to blame God.
But intimidators only intimidate when they feel intimidated.
As Christians we bear the name of Christ and He has APPOINTED us for a purpose:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3
I have been intimidated by disappointments that from an eternal perspective are minor but they have led to deep discouragement. My discouragement has made God an enemy and that is a message furthest from the Truth.
I would like to know: What is the real enemy, this spirit of intimidation, intimidating you with to prevent you from fulfilling your appointment by God? He will sneak in when you least expect it and attack in areas where you are weak. Do you see it now? Where are you lacking courage? Because bullies will do that, strip you of your courage to stand for Truth.
King Asa had a father who did not stand for truth. But when Asa came to power he sought to restore Judah back into relationship with their God. When he went into battle "Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, 'Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude, O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!'" 2 Chronicles 14: 11 That is a prayer we all can pray as Christians fighting for Truth to prevail in this dark world.
When the prophets spoke the word of the Lord to King Asa telling him to "be strong and do not let you hand be weak, for your work shall be rewarded," the Bible goes on to say in the next verse, 2 Chronicles 15:8, that King Asa "took courage."
I have had to find my courage that was buried underneath a sea of discouragement and stand up to this enemy, recognizing that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 Recognizing the enemy will give you one up in the battle, and with God and the tools of Truth that His Word offers victory triumphs.
I am tasting that victory as I see the Lord's work being done as the brokenhearted are healed and ashes are turned to beauty.
Don't let disappointment strip you of the appointment God has for you.
Don't let discouragement rob you of your courage to live a life that glorifies the Lord.
Victory in your battle is near . . .
May the peace of Christ rest upon you!