So you can come along

A girl with stories

A Strategy Meeting November 14, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda Lynn @ 2:34 pm

2015-11-13 01.19.04

It was one of those sun-filled, crisp days when we sat in her living room together. Beams coming through the front windows were shining on the pictures all around us; pictures of her children, her grandchildren and in the center of the room, a picture of she and all her “favorites”. That’s right, each one of us is her favorite, just ask her.

She had asked to catch up. I was nervous because there was this lie I started believing in which my choice to take a risk in obeying the Lord’s leading was a totally off base; that I’d gotten it all wrong and she was about to tell me so.

She quickly acknowledged my wanting to follow the Lord in obedience in that one area. Then, she started in on something completely other. She and the ladies of her Thursday morning prayer group had been concerned about my not writing much anymore. She looked at me with a face as serious as a heart attack, “Why are you neglecting that gift? You do realize that’s a gift from God, don’t you?” She told me fearing myself and evaluating my motive is no excuse for not stewarding that gift well. She said the enemy is rallying before his ultimate defeat and it’s our time to rally back. She used sports analogies (though she’ll tell you that’s not her thing) like, “You’re up to bat” and “Just do it”. There toward the end, she posed a question that was not a challenge so much as it was her needing to hear the answer out loud. She asked, “Do you think you all can do it?” What do you do when you’re about to answer for your generation?

I pointed to the picture of us in the center of the room in which she is laughing and surrounded by all her favorites. I said, “With God’s grace and more of that, more of this….I believe we can, but only because we’re standing on the shoulders of others.” She said, “Let’s pray” and automatically her knees went to the ground like an invitation into a holy space. All you can do is kneel there with her in those moments. She prayed with words that made it clear she was picking up where she left off, always in the middle of a conversation with the Father. And if it wasn’t a type of commissioning, I don’t know what is.

Things like that turn an ordinary Friday in November into a real moment. Things that stuck were things about being thankful for Jesus, for the Spirit, having a deeply humble and fervent plea for protection and strength to stand against our adversary.

Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot,

without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

:: C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters ::

I left holding more courage and less fear than I came with. I call that a good visit. It made me examine, confess and want to walk in repentance, to remember why it’s important to walk in surrender of the gifts He’s given us. It made me think about obedience and how truly walking in obedience provides us with a humble confidence. And it really made me want to look for areas in which I need more strength and protection against that enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy glory-givers.

So, I want to take a bit to break down his cunning strategy and build up the reality of the victory already mine {Romans 8:37}.

*************************

The enemy sounds a lot like, “It’s only natural to…” and “You deserve this!” and “Did God really say…?”. He sometimes sounds like, “You don’t need them.” or “You need alone time” and other introvert excuses. He can sometimes be heard in the applause or the lack thereof. Almost always, he’s behind the “us verses them” divisive conversations and the “What can I do about it anyway?” questions. He sounds like blame, accusations and character assassinations, especially the ones within the Church. He sounds so much like half-truths, assumptions and partial light. He sounds like a comfortable, good-as-is type of “just fine”. He sounds like the fear of the unknown and loves those culturally acceptable distractions. He sounds like our pasts and those things that belong “as far as the east is from the west”. A lot of the time, he sounds like realists and the tells-it-like-it-is guy. He sounds like defeat. He sounds like, “Try more” , “Not enough”, “Too much”, “Fake” and mostly “Unworthy”. The real truth of it is that all too often he sounds like me.

I hear him when the 14-year-old says that life is about getting what you can while you can and then dying. I see him when the light in a 12 year old’s eyes dim with shame and anger when I ask about her father. I can know he is behind it when a 16-year-old girl decides they’re right, she “was never really wanted by anyone and should just end it all”. But sadness and anger aren’t always where I see him. No, not as much as I do in the numbing that comes from feeling the longing in our hearts and trying to deny it’s there at all.

The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act,

and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.

:: C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters ::

I can hear, see, and know that I’m not battling flesh and blood. It’s eternally so much more than that!
The good news is I’ve been fought for. I’ve been won and bought back. There is strength in surrendering that battle.

You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.

:: Deuteronomy 3:22 ::

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress
Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolation on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

:: Psalm 46 ::

Meetings like the one in that living room filled with light are a great way to see what I really need. The gifts I’ve been given are from God and for God and will serve an eternal purpose. If I forget, the ladies from that Thursday morning prayer group are there to remind me. And from here, on their shoulders, the view is pretty great!

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