Friday, September 16, 2011

Gap Filler: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I'm sitting at work right now. There is no work on the queue, which seems to be a regular thing these days. Since it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything, I thought I'd write out a short blurb and tell you where I'm at these days. It's also a good time to pray for my wife and ask others to pray for her too: She is at work today expecting some clients who are expected to place a huge order with her (she sells furniture), which would help us to recover from a pretty miserable summer (financially). Other than that, I really have nothing new to write about. I've been unable to do anything because of a sciatic nerve issue, so there's been nothing much to report in the area of physical development.

This is not to say that nothing is going on. In the area of spiritual development, I'm constantly (more like perpetually) learning that while trials can be distressing at times (believe me, I've been distressed), the peace that I get from knowing a wonderful God and Savior truly saves me during those moments when I reach out to Him (which I have to admit are few, as I tend to enjoy feeling sorry for myself). I'm constantly having to remind myself of the verse found in 1 Peter 5:8:

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

I love lions; they're beautiful animals, until they attack. Then...not so pretty. You're going to need a powerful weapon, like a gun. Or in my case, a sword.

Over the past few months, since I purchased an iPhone with a Bible app, I've been in the process of developing the daily habit of "serious" Bible reading - not just reading a couple of chapters a day, but reading Psalms, Proverbs, and the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) every month. It also includes reading Acts/New Testament in 90 days, and the Old Testament in a year. It does stand to reason why things are happening as I pursue Him more each day.

Ephesians 6:17 says that the Bible is the sword of the spirit, and in Hebrews 4:12 it says that it's sharper than any double-edged sword. A pretty powerful weapon, indeed.

The other day, however, I was feeling pretty low about my condition, and I really didn't want to get out of bed - mostly because it felt like I was being stabbed in the back with a knife and also because...well, I just didn't want to get up. My flesh was telling me to feel sorry for myself; my spirit was telling me to be alert and sober. So I rolled over, grabbed my phone that was next to my bed, and I brought up my Bible app and began reading the Psalms. I was on Day 12 for this month of my reading plan and it started with Psalm 57 which begins with the first five verses:

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me—God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.

Wow - He has mercy on me and I can take refuge in Him in the shadow of his wings until the disaster passes, and He vindicates me. Vindication in that He has given me authority to live in His favor, and he delivers me from that which pursues me. Obviously, I don't live near any lions, but I encounter spiritual persecution, which can come in the form of infirmity, financial struggle, family issues, job issues, et cetera. And while I may not see the deliverance today, I can take comfort in knowing (if I choose to stay sober and alert, and choose to take comfort - there's a hint there) that He'll be delivering me from this sitution before long.

While I may not see it in the physical realm, God proves time and time again in my spirit that He truly can be exalted above the heavens. My only hope is that His glory can seen on the earth through me.

I'll be fine. Keep me in prayer. I'll be walking through those GB3 doors very soon now. Gotta go now; time to sharpen my sword for tomorrow.

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