Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Daily Battle

The past few weeks we've had an irregular schedule, company in and out, hubby working overtime, a new job for me... so we've struggled to make it to Sunday school. Sometimes when we're running late for the Sunday school hour at our church, Ben and I send the kids to their classes and take that time to pray alone together in the sanctuary until the services begin. Before you go thinking that's so spiritual sounding, I admit that most weeks it's the only alone-together prayer time we get. We need SO much more. Thankful for grace.

So last week, Ben had to work, I was able to slip into a class that I'd not been able to attend for a while, our doctrines class. It just so happened this week they were discussing the devil, and his influence in this world and our lives particularly. I have often heard it said that when things are going wrong, the devil is attacking us. The class leader pointed out that the devil being a being that is not omnipresent, unlike God, he is likely not personally attacking us, but the realms of demons he commands, are doing battle in our lives daily.

This week as I struggle with emotions and changes, lack of sleep, and turmoil of many kinds, I realize my defenses against such attacks are down. My walls are crumbled and the divine power I should be claiming had been forgotten. Last night I lay awake for hours worrying over an issue that was of little consequence. I felt the warfare. I wanted to rebuke the devil, but I knew this battle was already won as  far as God was concerned. I needed to take every thought captive.
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
There is no power given to my adversaries, but what I have surrendered. I feel battle worn, but encouraged. Praying until sleep overtook me, I awoke still struggling through the day. I'd like to finish this post saying I've got it all worked out in my head, but I don't. I seek to have the authority to "demolish" arguments and pretensions.

One of the things I have struggled with most is insecurity. Feeling like I don't measure up to what God, or anyone else expects of me. I fret over my errors, and worry over the details of each interaction, each moment. I think deep down it comes from the idea that I must earn this grace. This extravagant love God has for me must be misplaced. Doesn't He know? Can He not see how imperfect I am? My unworthiness overwhelms me.

I can nearly hear Beth Moore speaking in my head. "You are over here!" [under the law]. I was immensely blessed by my sister, who attended the Living Proof Live Simulcast 2013 event in September, sharing the video of the simulcast with me. (It was available for a limited time afterward). I was impressed with the idea that when we try so hard to deserve God's love, we are living under the law, instead of grace. I know this is my constant struggle. I am dragging up the old flesh nature, and carrying it around with me. Instead I need to let it die, let Christ live through me.
Phil. 3:7-14
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
The commissioning she spoke at the end of the simulcast is shared on Beth's blog. Here is a small part:

In Christ you are highly favored
And wildly empowered
Forever loved
Completely made clean
Sin no longer has dominion over you
Trade all your anxieties
For the peace of Jesus Christ
You have been justified freely
By His death and resurrection

Listen hard, Girlfriend:
Yes, I can have peace, I can rest in His grace. I am redeemed. (click the title to hear the song, by Big Daddy Weave) This has been stuck in my head all night:

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me "son
Stop fighting a fight it's already been won"

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I'm redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head"
I remember, oh God, You're not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be

Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me
'Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I've got a new name, a new life, I'm not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, 'cause I'm not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I'm not who I used to be
Oh, God, I'm not who I used to be
Jesus, I'm not who I used to be
'Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

I apologize, this post is not so well put together, just a heart dump of sorts. Sometimes I just need to work it all out in words. ~L

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  1. Dear Laura, I have just spent about the last 30 minutes pouring over your blog! God gave me exactly what I needed when I clicked on. I felt like I was reading the cries from my own heart and mind and was deeply encouraged and refreshed by the things you shared. I too have been struggling with deep feelings of insecurity, doubt, and just plain old not feeling "good enough". Thank you for your transparency and for your encouragement in hoping in the Lord. Ronnie Ballinger

    1. Oh Ronnie! Thank you for saying so! Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads or if any of this makes sense. You have been a huge encouragement! Thank you!


I always wonder if my words are encouraging to you, so please leave a comment!


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