Tuesday, May 25, 2010
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 10:5
I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but I never could find an appropriate clip online. I trust, however, that you'll receive this post in the right timing.
Anyway, a while back, my son (who loves action-packed science-fiction) convinced me to go see the movie “Push.” It’s a movie about people who have special super-powers. There are, of course, good guys and bad guys who use their powers for good and evil respectively. No big revelation there.
Let me say, for the record, that I DON'T necessarily recommend the movie. However, it demonstrated something extremely profound to me.
The characters in the movie have some really cool special powers (healing, telekenesis, future-telling, sonic boom screaming), but the one power that seemed to be the most important was the power to “Push” – thus the title. The characters who had the power to push could literally push thoughts into other people’s heads. Pushers didn’t actually do anything, they got other people do to things by taking control of their thoughts – mostly through the power of false suggestions.
For example, there's one female Pusher who is being held captive by two bad guys - let's call them Bill and Tom. When she gets Bill all by himself, she tells Bill that Tom is actually the one who murdered Bill's brother. She even played the whole scene in Bill's head of Tom strangling Bill's brother. Next thing you know, Bill runs out of the room and shoots Tom for killing the brother.
Here’s the thing: Bill didn’t even have a brother, but this girl pushed the idea into Bill’s head that Tom had murdered this non-existent brother.
Sound familiar? It should. This is exactly how the enemy operates. He’s a pusher. He comes to us and falsely accuses people (“She never really liked you” or “Why is she looking at you like you’re crazy – she’s the one who’s crazy”). He lies to us (“You’re so far gone, why bother praying?” or “That’s a stupid idea – no one is going to get behind it”). Perhaps most discouraging is the way the enemy lords guilt and condemnation for sins we don’t even have any more because God has forgiven them and forever forgotten them. Some of us are beating ourselves up over sins that don't even exist anymore anywhere except in our heads!
Truth be told, the enemy doesn’t actually do anything. He just plots, suggests, lies, and thus manipulates people to go against the will of God.
Without giving away the whole movie, let me just say that in the end, the only thing that could free a person’s mind from the overpowering lies was love. Love helped people recall the truth; broke them from the pusher’s spell.
So the next time the enemy whispers some hot mess into your ears, suggests you’re not good enough or you’re too busy to fulfill the call of God on your life, don’t accept His lies or suggestions. Fight back with the Word – get some scriptures to stand on, throw some of that good old holy love at him!
I know I went to that movie to satisfy my son’s sci-fi itch, but I walked out of there with a new perspective on the pusher I deal with every day. The enemy comes to us with contrary news, but the love Jesus had for us has forever broken the enemy’s control in our lives. In the words of my grandmother, “Satan ain’t runnin’ nothing but his mouth!” And I know that’s the truth, Ruth!
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things re possible.”
Tonight, I sat with four friends eating ice cream at a McDonalds (sundae’s are on the dollar menu, by the way). After we properly congratulated one on her recent accomplishment, another of my friends opened up and shared a painful crisis she was facing within her family. Instantly, the rest of us went into action – asking questions, getting clarification, trying to get an understanding of the problem.
After we’d gotten over our initial shock, we began to make plans for intercession. One of my friends who had gone through a similar bout suggested anointing the house, and one by one, we began to hand my sister in Christ weapons of spiritual warfare – weapons she desperately needs in order to defeat the enemy in her own home.
We had begun to spurt out scriptures in accordance with God’s promises in the Word regarding this situation.Then we grabbed hands, prayed, bound the enemy, and declared the victory in Jesus name (yes, at McDonalds).
So after we’d decided this was a done deal, my newly-strengthened friend began to talk about the aftermath; what things might be like once God’s Word was fulfilled. Actually, according to the world’s calculations, the after-effects might have lifelong consequences. At which point, the quiet one in our group said, “God can fix that.”
Those four words, spoken in such a soft, yet confident tone, touched my heart. “God can fix that.” I thought – wow! She’s right! God can fix that!
Sometimes what we think of as the best-case scenario following a crisis isn’t really God’s best-case scenario. We think that after a bad decision or period of rebellion, the best we can hope for is a meagar outcome. After all, it was our sin that got us into the mess in the first place, right? But I implore you, my sister, to make up your mind that at the end whatever mess you may be going through, God will have fixed everything! Restored everything! He will give beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3)! God doesn’t have to put patches on things and try to make ‘em hold up ‘til Jesus comes back – He has the power to completely renew ANYTHING to His will. Why? Because He’s God. He can fix that!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
“For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter…”Ecclesiastes 8:6
Today, my son and I went to the driver’s license office to make an appointment for him to take the driving test and get his permit converted to a real live license. All the way to the office, I kept thinking about his most recent blunders: driving on the curb, impeding traffic, keeping his eyes straight ahead without looking around. I even remembered the time (10 years ago, mind you), when he hit a parked car with his bicycle and knocked out his front tooth. Really - can anyone who hits a parked car ever be trusted to drive any type of vehicle?
We arrived at the licensing office, grabbed a number, and took a seat. After several minutes of waiting, we were called to the counter where we learned that, due to a technical error, my son was not yet eligible to take the licensing test. He would need to drive another three months on a permit, under the direction of an adult sitting right beside him.
I wondered how on earth his driver’s ed instructors had missed the error. Yet, I didn’t argue because this “error” brought a much-needed peace and would give him an opportunity to practice his driving skills a bit longer before he drives unaccompanied. Thank you, Lord!
As we walked out of the office, the Spirit began to minister to me, letting me know that there are times when God allows a delay for our own good. Bottom line: we’re just not ready for some of the things we’re praying for. Unlike the enemy, God doesn't set us up for failure or to become a danger to others. We’re not ready for leadership until we’ve proven ourselves good followers, we’re not ready for financial increase until we’ve proven ourselves good stewards over what we already have in our possession, and we’re not ready for our own “big break” until we can first be genuinely happy for someone else’s “big break.”
The world may promote people based on beauty, intelligence, or even hard work, but God is a much better judge of when people are ready to get certain licenses and operate in certain realms. Like my son, some of us need more practice before He releases us on the next mission.
Don’t be upset. Don’t be disheartened. Just get more practice in following the Holy Spirit’s lead!