Saturday, January 04, 2014

Keeping My Eye On the Ball: Spiritual Warfare

Last night I returned to bible study (after about a five year absence) and it felt like "home". I have not been going, not because I have not wanted to go. (Is that too many negatives in one sentence?) Rather, for a few different reasons. The most recent (spanning about two years), is I am waiting on something. I have been standing still, afraid (in a sense) to move (or "rock the boat")...maintaining a holding pattern. All the while desiring what I once had --- participating in church activities more days than not. I love to fellowship! It is one of my most favorite things to do. But, when I was the most involved in my church a portion of my life suffered greatly (because of spiritual warfare). Not because God is not good. He is good, ALL the time. (And I think I qualify in being able to say that! I have experienced some pretty intense heartache.)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

I feel a nudging. God is stirring my heart and that is my cue, I believe, that my stalling is over. It is time to go back to bible study (in this case). And, to be completely honest (with you and with myself), I wept. The tears came out of joy (for re-engaging with "the church" (the body of Christ)) and out of a hesitancy, a fear (if you will), of what is going to happen once I start moving, again, in the direction in which God calls me. I cannot help but wonder, "What is the warfare going to be like this time?"

Yet, that right there is where the sin kicks into motion. For me, it is in the "what if's". It is in the conflict within myself. Not in going back to bible study, instead in what I will do when faced with the inevitable outcome. A person cannot attend church or bible study and not respond, grow, change. God's word NEVER, ever returns void. The best way I explain it (or reconcile it to myself) is #1. Darkness hates the light. #2. I have been "laying low" for the last couple of years, keeping my light "under a bushel" or dimmer than usual. (It seemed like the right thing to do at the time...like David in hiding from Saul.) #3. It's time, once again, to "let it shine"! #4. Darkness hates the light.

I have an all powerful God in my corner. I know that! It's just, I was enjoying "peace time". However, I guess it is time to suit up, again.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:12, 13 ESV)
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