Sunday, August 30, 2009
Don't Give Up
Lord let your kingdom reign...
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there was loud voices shouting in heaven:
the world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.
The twenty four elders sitting on their thrones before God fell with their faces to the ground and worshiped him. And they said, "We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power and have begun to reign. The nations are filled with wrath, but now the time of your wrath has come. It is time to judge the dead and reward your servants the prophets, as well as your holy people, and all who fear your name, from the least to the greatest. It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth."
Then in heaven, the Temple of God was opened and the Ark of his covenant could be seen inside the Temple. Lightning flashed, thunder crashed and roared, and there was an earthquake and a terrible hailstorm.
Today, as I pondered yet another friend who has at the moment given up the battle...who is now being deceived by the greatest liar...I asked the Lord, why? Why are so many of our friends falling away, giving up the fight. Saying...This is too hard...or...I can't do it...or...I just don't know what to do anymore!!!
I think...how many more will fall away, allow themselves to believe the lies that are being spoken to them...whispering into their ears, their mind, their hearts, that their desires and feelings are that which is their measuring stick of who they are. This summer, has been a hard summer regarding the falling away, the slow creeping of friends not able to withstand the race set before them. The marathon race of their lives.
I have read all the Harry Potter books. I am now starting the last book, Harry Potter and the deathly hallows. What stirred me today was the fight. The fight against the dark evil that is prowling around, and casting spells on the innocent. Not respecting anyone...but killing and deceiving and in a sense blinding people so they follow the dark arts, and come along side Voldermort.
In the jacket of the book, it reads:
"Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to complete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of The Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him."
So often we feel alone, faced with a future of doubt, shame and desires that go contrary to the word of God and his design for our lives. We struggle with addiction, gender identity, eating, entertainment, low self worth, and we battle, and battle these feelings, these desires. So often alone. Yet, what happens when we are submersed in community and we still feel alone, we still feel that we cannot escape the aloneness, the struggles? Harry has two companions Ron and Hermoine who continue to walk with him, yet Harry still feels alone, the weight of what he has to do on his shoulders, rather than see he has two friends who are willing to give up their lives to follow and help him.
How often do we just give up? Rather than go against all odds, go against culture, go against the "this feels so good", "I deserve this", "I need this" !! What I find as I have been reading is that through out the books, Harry presses on...despite obstacles, hardships, loss, fear, pain...he presses in. He knows what he needs to to, he knows the task...and he has to carry on, despite the fact he may even lose his life.
How often do we just give up? This year, I have witnessed a mass giving up! First hand, watching friends give up! It breaks my heart to see it. It breaks me each time, to watch the falling away of those I love to something that is just a false sense of intimacy, a false sense of love, a false sense of desire.
The past year, I have had more dreams of the coming of Jesus...and often when I think of those who have turned their backs...given up, I am drawn to Revelations.
Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
"It has come at last-salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth-the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Therefore, rejoice, O Heavens! And you who live in the heavens rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time."
It goes on to say the dragon (who was thrown down to earth) pursues the woman and the child to kill them. I wonder...is this the picture of what the enemy is doing to us? There is an enemy who has little time, and the one focus he has is to kill us. To take us out...so that our testimony is null and void. That we cannot defeat him, because our testimony is now void...and we love our life too much, and are afraid to die.
This summer, 5 friends were taken out...but not for long!!! I believe that the work God began in them will be completed. I pray for them, fast for them and intercede on their behalf. I worship the Lord...fall down on my face, as I face His glory and Holiness! Lord let your kingdom fall on our friends, let your love and mercy and grace be upon them...rending their hearts to you, causing them to turn to you, the truth, the light, and the real love they are looking for. Come Lord Jesus...come. May your wrath be turned away from them, lead them to your in your extreme love and mercy...pour it out on them...pour it out...in their minds, their hearts, the spirit! Cast them not away, take not the holy spirit within them. Restore unto them, the joy of your salvation...and renew a right spirit within them...
For those who continue to walk, persevere, press onward...do it with all your strength, with all your might. Forsake all else to follow after your Savior Jesus, who set you free. Who has given you the authority, the power to stand firm. To never waiver, to focus on the prize set before you! Don't give up! Do whatever you need to not give up. Forsake it all...lay down your life...and know...your Father is so proud of you. He is spinning wildly in the heavens when he thinks of you!!!