Sunday, November 2, 2014

Down the freeway and turn right on Ruthrauff Road

My LORD God, I have no idea where I am going
I do not see the road ahead of me
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself.
And the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me.
And You will never leave me to face my perils alone. -Thomas Merton

Giant Despair. Then said the Giant, "You have this night trespassed on me, by trampling in and lying on my grounds; and therefore you must go along with me." So they were forced to go, because he was stronger than they. They also had but little to say; for they knew themselves in a fault. The giant, therefore, drove them before him, and put them into his castle, into a very dark dungeon, nasty and stinking to the spirit.

And thus I was bound on every side. And Hope, although he grew weary and thin, spoke up, “Let us be patient, and endure awhile,” and so I endured, although the nights were long and dim.

And the Giant Despair was ruthless, with his grievous crab tree cudgel, and he fell upon me, and beats me fearfully, in such sort, that I was not able to help myself, so I wandered the streets this morning looking for a little coffee and a little internet before I was to start passing out water bottles to thirsty cyclists, but as unlikely as it seems, they were not to be found. Outside of the Presbyterian Church a cadre of suited men with ties welcomed me in, although of course, they looked down politely at the ground because of my tears. One brought me a paper towel to blow my nose and a Styrofoam cup of coffee and yet another offered me a little windmill cookie. 

And then, the LORD God, my shepherd to whom I prayed throughout the dark, reminded me of the key tucked in my bosom, Promise, the promise that He saw my pain and that He was at work even now, and to stand back and I would be amazed.

So I headed up the freeway to Victory, and in the anointing prayer room my Lord Shepherd poured oil over my head, and the chains fell off with ease. And He spoke to me, and said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. I am going to show you, and then I am going to empower you to live it. I hear it, I receive it, I begin to walk it out.

And it was a good and true Word preached. Which is how our Jesus answered The Accuser, It is written. Fear is a very real thing, but whom the LORD sets free is free indeed. A breakthrough does not need to be momentary relief, but I can rest in that peace. He leads me beside still waters, present continuing action.

 Condemnation is a stronghold, to have been declared unfit or unworthy. This can shackle us and keep us from joy. Satan is the master of condemnation, the accuser of the brethren day and night. 

What is true is that I am free from my past. Thus I must not spend my life lugging around the old self. The devil wants me to rehearse in my mind who I was, not who I am. Condemnation is a liar.

Nor may I pass judgment. Do not. Stop it. I do not know my own heart, much less that of my brother. The LORD God is the One who knows the heart. We need to pray for people, not judge them. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and do not notice the log in your own eye. Love covers a multitude of sins. The sons of Noah walked backwards in order to not reveal his nakedness.

What is true: It is written: there is now no condemnation for him who is in Christ Jesus. I want you living free now, in the Land of the Living. For the power of the Spirit of Life in Christ and sets me free from the power of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

I am now in newness of life. It is not a heart problem; it is a head problem, our thinking. I beseech you therefore brethren, do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  I keep picking up the old thinking, like that pretty big kid that got tossed across the preacher’s shoulders and gave him a twisted crick. What is true is that I am loved, I am redeemed, I am beloved. I need to crush the serpent under my feet because I am in Christ Jesus. He will never leave me or forsake me.

And at the end of it all, after the last prayer was said, the pulsing song that led us out into the daylight chorused There is power in the name of Jesus; break every chain, break every chain.