Tag Archives: prayer

Into All Truth, Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s story

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nneirda

The next part happened quickly. A black shadow seemed to burst from the pot and flow over the half wall separating the kitchen from the great room. The motion light outside the kitchen window flashed on as the darkness fled. After an initial moment of shock, I darted into the kitchen. The vent on my greenhouse window was ajar. On impulse bordering on absurdity, I cranked it shut and grabbed a garbage bag from under the sink. I shoved the horrid pot deep inside, tied a knot, and continued out to my back porch where I smashed it against the concrete without hesitation. Had neighbors witnessed my fervent display, they would likely have kept their distance. Like a woman scorned, I marched it out to the roadside. I watched the bagged and shattered pot from my son’s bedroom window until the garbage men picked it up the following morning.

After that evening, my son enjoyed restful nights of uninterrupted sleep, and so did I. Yet it wasn’t a story I would have shared with anyone at that point in my life. Just. Too. Weird. Did others have similar experiences, keeping it to themselves? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

I can only speculate on the intricacies of what transpired that night — or the other odd events that took place during the years I displayed that hideous pot on the shelf outside my son’s bedroom door. I am far from an expert in such matters, but I can assure you that I now believe evil spirits move among us, plaguing unsuspecting believers and vulnerable innocents with dark intent. Prior to that event, I’d been numb to it. Blasé even. It was the stuff of movies. Not my concern.

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” (Galatians 1:3-4)

So there it is. Not something that will come up often in casual Christian conversation, but perhaps something one of you needed to hear today. I’ve only told this story a handful of times before now and only to those close to me, but for some reason, it seemed important to share. I’ve learned to surrender to such nudges. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue us from the evil of this world. Faith in that truth will shield us from whatever form of evil Satan sends our way.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Do I believe there are strategies and tricks of Satan at work in this world? Absolutely. Do we need to examine every object with suspicion? Probably not. But the prince of darkness rules this world and the Bible tells us there are huge numbers of wicked spirits in it. We need to be alert. We need to be ready: armed with faith and knowledge of the word of God. Nothing is worse than being deceived by the evil one. We must knock down his strongholds whenever they are revealed to us.

“It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Do experiences like mine happen often? I hope not! It’s embarrassing to confess. Most people aren’t going to bring this kind of thing home, but those of us with non-Christian pasts may have some things around the house we need to get rid of. When things don’t seem right, view your surroundings with a discerning eye. We need to be alert, but we don’t need to fear. As believers, the Spirit is with us.

“The Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.”
(1 John 4:4)

Are you ready to stand your ground in the face of evil?

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Learning to Wait

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Being still isn’t easy. The world bombards us with over-stimulating messages, caffeinated energy drinks and opportunities for speed and convenience. We are losing our ability to wait for anything.

Becoming helpless—that doesn’t sound appealing, does it? How about letting go? We don’t like to do that either. Perhaps that is why so many people resist God. That is exactly what he wants us to do. In this upside down world, surrender sounds like defeat, but if we chose to follow Christ, we discover strength in our weakness–God’s strength.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Focusing on God takes discipline, but if we learn to make that daily effort, we will be heard and we will find the answer we seek. Listen to the patience we can learn from the Psalms:

LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, “they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.” (Psalm 106:12-13) Does that sound familiar? Sometimes it is so difficult to wait for God’s timing.

Waiting forces us to draw closer to God, to listen for his guidance. I can be so impatient. I want to solve everything as soon as possible and push forward. In doing this on my own, I am not only getting ahead of myself, I am trying to get ahead of God. Now there is a scary thought. The right answer will come if I learn to wait on the Lord.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The peace of God transcends all understanding. We can’t find that kind of peace on our own. We can only seek it through him. Sit quietly with him. Rest in his presence. Connect with him through prayer. Trust–and wait for guidance.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

How have you learned to wait on God?

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