Last night the Pastor spoke about a vision he had a few years ago. It concerned three angels; one was holding a stopwatch, one was holding a trumpet, and the third was holding a sword in one hand, and three large books in the other. This angel was preparing believers for battle (the sword) by providing instruction concerning “Battle Prayers” such as Psalm 25, 26, 27, 37, and 51 to pray and declare over our lives; the second book was a book of “Songs of Thanksgiving” (which is a form of spiritual warfare) and the third book was a book of specific instructions, like a cookbook. The instructions are like recipes; to be followed exactly, not only for increasing blessing and prosperity in a time of battle, but so that we can be prepared for the times to come. For the people who will come. For those of us who have been Christians for a very long time, much of this should be habit by now. Because we are so unprepared and undisciplined, we live sloppy, unfruitful lives. Many in the Church are finding themselves going back to what they were taught in the beginning, and trying to make up for lost time, myself included. We are not yet ready.
Today I am making banana bread for the baby’s first birthday party. I suddenly realized the cookbook was lying on the counter unopened; I have made this so many times, and am so familiar with the recipe, that it’s now habit. This is how familiar we should be with the Word of God; the best strategy is to prepare before the battle: in times of peace, and prosperity.
I lost focus for a while; grief caught me off guard, and while God sustained me emotionally and physically, my faith has been eroded with all of the ups and downs of life. I feel that I was much stronger spiritually than I am now. Not sure if it is due to depression, medication, or distraction, but the fact is I am not where I was. A lot of it is due to the experience I went through in the church (hence the medication) but I do know that a lot of that was part of the enemy’s strategy to take me out of a place I was called to. It’s difficult to stay the course when things are said, or done that are not fair. When people cause such pain that it leaves scars and memories that hurt and distract when you’re trying to keep focused. It’s hard not to want to defend yourself, or run away.
The pastor also spoke about words, and the danger of idle words, or returning evil for evil. Blessing someone who has done you great harm takes more strength than I have. It also seems stupid. Aren’t we supposed to assert ourselves, and confront those who irritate us? Isn’t being compassionate kind of wishy-washy?
I realized a long time ago that I can be polite and still set boundaries. I’m not good at it, but am aware of it. It’s possible to be courteous to those who have been rude, or who have spread gossip, in an effort to impress those who have chosen them as leaders. Those are the things we take to God, in our private and personal prayer time (or on the spot when necessary) and leave on the altar before Him, while getting our instruction for what to do next. Right now, the instruction is to prepare: to study the Word and get our lives in order. But first I have to finish making the banana bread.
“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” II Timothy 2:15 (Amp)