Sunday, October 14, 2007

A change of focus.

I'm raising a 3 year old.
If there is one thing she's taught me it's that if I watch her to see if she's doing something wrong, she's probably going to do something wrong. If for no better reason than to make sure I keep watching. Life's more fun with people watching you know.

And that's why I erased my last post. I've given the devil enough attention. Too much attention. There was a key statement I made a recent post. I said: "I'm going to pretend the bad stuff isn't here and I'll tell you about the good stuff." And I've now decided that I'm going to simply stick with that. And since I began doing that I've come to believe that I have made it. I really have made it even with the bad stuff still here. And it's good. Just standing here, feels like victory. My actions as of late are anything but victorious - but sometimes you just have to focus on the fact that you've survived.

I told you, but erased the post telling you, that I fell. My back is almost entirely black. It's interesting to look at as far as injuries go. But I've always been a little different in my fascination with things like that. But after it happened I complained about it in my post, asking what was next. What's the devil going to try next? But now, now, I'm smiling and asking what is next. You see, God is working all things for good. And yes, it hurts, but it's also been one of the best things to happen to me in quite awhile. Something outstandingly wonderful has happened as a direct result of the fall. And looking now at the result of something that seems so entirely not good I have to say that I wish the devil had hurt me sooner.

My good outcome/bad event is what brought Romans 8:28 to mind. All things are worked to my good. I don't remember once considering that promise during the last couple of months. All things. Every struggle, every battle, every scare, every fear, every single moment of torment, while it's not from God, it is used by God. And He's working it, all of it, somehow, someway, when I don't understand, when I don't believe, when I can't hope, when I can't trust, when I've hit the absolute rock bottom of what faith I've got, He's working it to good.


And sometimes great.


Mark H said...


I've been on my hols for a week or so. Back today!

You know. We don't weaken the devil by ignoring what he's doing. Living victoriously over him is not a mind game. It's a world-system that says "think positively" and a personal pride issue that says "no need to share my dark moments".

The devil has been given a certain measure of authority. He has authority over the world. But, unlike you and me, his days are numbered.

But Jesus has ultimate authority. The world is his foot-stool and the devil is beneath his feet (I'll let you find the scriptures).

We come under the influence/effect of the authority of the system that we submit to. We can abide in the world's system or we can abide in Jesus. Our flesh defaults to the world's system. Our born-again spirit yearns for submission to, and intimacy with, Jesus. I don't know about you, but these two guys in my life are constantly warring against each other, and I must choose to live in the Spirit every day - some days easier than others.

That is why worship is so powerful. That is why the Lord's Supper taken in faith is so powerful. More than that. A worship-less life is dead, defeated. But a worshipful life is full of life, power and victory.

When you see darkness in your house, why not break bread and take wine in your house? Maybe with others? Why not abide afresh in Jesus and expect the spiritual atmosphere to change rapidly and significantly as you worship at His feet? Your house is Jesus' house. How dare the enemy try to take up residence!

Shouting and screaming at the devil is ineffective (though the need to blow off steam can be emotionally beneficial in itself - least ways I've found it so). If we're abiding in Jesus then we simply tell the devil to sling his hook and then after that briefest of distractions we get back to focussing on Jesus - ESPECIALLY if the circumstances don't seem to have changed. This is not the same as ignoring the devil. It is abiding in Jesus even when the devil's work is clearly visible and trying to distract us. We know where our help comes from so we welcome Him instead of dwelling on the enemy.

In one sense you have no power. But you can abide in the One who has ultimate authority. He'll never turn you away. He'll never make it difficult to abide in Him. He's always welcoming you with open arms. And the devil flees from HIM in abject terror.

Praying with you as always. Mark.

p.s. wholeheartedly recommend reading Ephesians out loud and meditating on bits the Spirit quickens to you.

flyawaynet said...

Hey Mark,

I had to go to google to discover what 'hols' was. Welcome back and, assuming the definition I found is correct, I hope you enjoyed yourself and got over your 'man-flu'.

As to your comment, the key phrase you mentioned was: "If we're abiding in Jesus then we simply tell the devil to sling his hook and then after that briefest of distractions we get back to focusing on Jesus - ESPECIALLY if the circumstances don't seem to have changed."

I have been absolutely drained the last weeks as nearly every single effort becomes a challenge. Things fall off walls, move, disappear, sickness, physical pain, and the constant presence in my house has been more than enough for me.
I feel a strong need to just talk about something else. Anything but the devil.

Ironically enough though, yesterday was the first time in awhile that our church has had communion and I've spent so much time the last month frustrated and complaining with God that I, for the first time in my life, abstained from communion.

It's been incredibly hard to find an even keel. And that's what I'm getting closer to. I need God. I'd rather He not seem so vague, when the powers of hell don't. But He's at least still here. He's proven it. And I'm going to grab onto it and cling like crazy.

Anonymous said...

from romans 8

More Than Conquerors

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Anonymous said...

with all the distraction of late, it makes me wonder what you are being distracted from...i am glad that you are regaining focus on God.


Mark H said...

The Spirit is saying to me "the power of the blood".

It's not mere words. It's not mere symbolism at communion. It's a covenant. A blood covenant. The most binding of "contracts" in the ancient world. Take of the covenant afresh right now and trade all that you have for all that He has. He knows what an absurdly uneven trade that is, and He wants to lavish upon you a fresh revelation of that outrageous grace.

I believe Father is also saying. I am your protection. I am your defence. No other. Not even yourself. Stop fighting against an enemy that I have already defeated and simply come beneath my wings. Open up your heart to me and I will show you just how huge and awesome those wings are. Let me show them to you. Let me wrap you up in them.

I pray the protection of the blood of Jesus over your household, and I ask our awesome Father to cover you with His feathers.