Night Terrors–and Jesus



I don’t care what the child psychologists or the sleep experts tell you, a night terror is true evil.

And if you ever wondered, say the name Jesus, and watch your child scream the most evil blood-curling scream.  And do it 10 times if you need to. Then you’ll know.

It is no surprise to me  that these night terrors have accompanied my daughter’s sleep the week of my walking away from some lie-bondage  involving my motherhood–ideas/philosophies which I would pass on to her.

When you’re dealing with the evil one….there’s just one perfect little problem with his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), he is lying.

I won’t waste time describing the awful-ness of a ‘night terror’…but I will tell you how it ended.

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Just Say “LET ME GO!”

Pharoah, Pharoah, Oh whoa, let my people go!— remember the song from your childhood visit to the local Vacation Bible School (referring to Moses who went to Pharoah and simply  told him to release the Israelites who were slaves of the Egyptians.)

What kind of leader goes to another leader and just says, “Let us go.” What kind of tactic is that? ‘Let’s not fight. Let’s not put my skill against your skill. Let’s not reason. Just let me go, ok?’ That puts great generals and their scheming to shame!

On what basis? Uh, like, ….why? Why would your requesting to be let go just simply cause a ruler who has a grip on you …. to let you go.

That’s what God told Moses to do.

And like many things in the old covenant, it is a shadow of Christ to come, a picture of the gospel.

What kind of minister spends all night in a mental ward with his hands on a person’s head saying, “Let him go,” until the man is completely delivered from his insanity.

What kind of wife looks her husband in the face in his drunken rage and declares, “Satan, let him go,” only to see her husband drop on the floor, weeping, completely free, delivered from the grip of the darkness of addiction which was destroying him and his family.

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Encouraged in a crisis of double vision: when what we see and what we hope for are black and white opposites.

I woke up earlier than normal that day, heavy-hearted about horizons that didn’t line up with what I thought was coming. Life. Details. Promises. 20140714-125018.jpg

I sat in my living room floor and wondered what my options were. Give up or thank God that his promises are still SURE no matter what I see? Read more

Failing kids…by being their source.

I was circling my house trying to get a grip on what my problem was.  It’s one thing to know I’m not meeting my own expectations, another thing to know that Zach has to put up with a season of me being overwhelmed in his lifetime commitment to me, but it really hits home when you think, “I am the source of my children’s comfort and instruction, and if I am not able to give them that, I’m really messing them up!”  I’ve seen the look on older women’s faces when they recall this season of life. They admit they were deeply afraid that they were messing up their kids.  (They don’t say it out loud, but you get the hint and grimace.)

In the spin of all my questions of why I couldn’t get a grip, I landed in the pit of, “How can I just let everything else go [laundry, cooking, cleaning, social sanity time, shopping] so that I can just try to be what my kids need? I’m FAILING!” Read more

When will I stop…

When will I stop thinking,

“Maybe when I’m….. God will…..”
or
“Maybe if I ….. God will…..”
or
“Maybe if I could just …. God would….”
or
“I bet when we…. God will…..”

When I realize that Christ sat down and that His redemptive work is finished, I am brought to 2 wonderful new pathways that lead me to be un-stuck!  (How long we stay stuck declaring, ‘I guess this is the way God wants it to be. I guess when I’m …… He’ll ………’)  What, when you’re more holy, he’ll come through more? When you’re more deserving, he’ll bless you more? When you’re more needy, he’ll answer more? When you’re more sacrificing, you’ll see his power more? When you’re more humble, he’ll exalt you more? He came through, blessed you, answered you, gave you all power, and exalted you in his free gift of offering you to be in Christ, to accept Christ as your free gift provision.

I was reminded of a great truth by a friend today via a summary from Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life.  When a couple–who had trouble with self control when it came to how they treated their kids–asked him to pray for them to have more self-control, he refused. You’ve already got all the self-control you’ll ever need, he told them.  “He has given you all things pertaining to life and godliness,” the scripture says!   HUH? I don’t know how well he explains this in his book, but I know that I sure needed a good teacher of the Word to explain it to me.  Wommack did that for me in his teachings, Spirit, Soul, and Body and You’ve Already Got It.
When I realize His part is done, I can joyfully move through my BEGGING phase and into these two paths!

1)  I can rejoice that He IS coming through RIGHT NOW! He IS fulfilling His promises to me RIGHT NOW!!!  Since His name is Provider, I can stop begging him to provide and start gathering buckets to catch it. I  can ignore my circumstances and use my understanding (and imagination if needed)  to grasp what is really going on and then act and prepare accordingly praying through every hindrance.

One man who finally grabbed hold of this truth was in a desperate situation. He had taken a new job and put his house on the market confident that with the Lord’s help, he would sell the house.  They moved, started the new job, moved into the new house expecting the old house to sell. They felt they had done the right thing for sure. Two years later, they were desperate. The house had not sold. They had begged and pleaded with God, figured God was teaching them patience and trust, gone through every religious interpretation that was given to them… but it took a good teacher of the Word to explain to him what was actually happening according to God’s Word.  Jehovah Jireh (“My Provider”) had not withheld, was not withholding. This man could rightfully praise God for his good grace, for having given to him already past tense (in reality, not theory) everything he needed, which meant (in this situation) a buyer for this house.  WHAT? HUH? That is ridiculous.  That’s like taking something out of the air and having to pretend!?

That would take faith to believe that.

Exactly. Now, this man’s faith did not make it so; his faith just relied on what was already true.

He came home, took two days off, and just renewed his mind thanking the Lord for having sold his house. Not knowing how to pray or intercede, he prayed in the spirit.  Even though he could not see it, and even though his situation looked DIRECTLY AT ODDS with that idea, he decided to interpret his situation according to God’s Word no matter what it looked like in the natural.  After two days, he got a phone call, and the man on the phone said, “My wife and I decided to buy your house the DAY you put your house on the market TWO YEARS AGO, but we’ve had all these hangups. The guy who wanted to buy our house…(blah blah) … the guy who wanted to buy his house … (blah blah)…. But IN THE LAST TWO DAYS, all kinds of things have happened, and we can buy your house now.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

What kind of theology is this? It is believing what God’s Word says is ACTUALLY true, not sometimes true, not I-wish-that-was-in-my-situation-true

So why would God allow the hangups that two days of intercession would overcome? That seems cruel, like a hide and seek game.  God’s Word tells us that “There is one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” Our adversary cannot stop us from trusting God and cannot stop God from giving to us, but if the provision is passing through the hands of others, he can hinder them through speaking deception and doubt and fear to them. But now, because of Jesus’ triumph over death and evil, the bible says Satan has been placed “beneath our feet.”  We have authority over his works in prayer.  The scripture says Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and the fact that Jesus told his disciples to cast out devils means that though the authority for this work is finished/established through Christ’s death, it is part of the work at hand today. I am not saying that this man “cast out a devil’…I am saying that the Devourer was at work in his situation and he overcame it in prayer by standing on the truth (which took some imagination, faith, and boldness) and interceding out of his mouth.



2) In his name, I can calm the storm.  Just as Jesus rose up and spoke to the storm … [“You can say to this mountain…”]… and just as “all authority has been given to [Jesus]” and He said, “In my name, you shall… heal the sick, cast out demons…ask anything … “(various scriptures).   Yesterday I was talking to an old friend about all hell breaking loose in her family.  I called just as she was preparing to take her friend to the hospital who had been couch-ridden all day with an intense fever. We prayed for her and within minutes she was up and around and feeling better. People are begging Jesus to show up and DO SOMETHING!… “If only you had come, Jesus,” the friends of Lazarus said.  But Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the father. He now gave you authority to do what He did… in His name, as His ambassador.

A great deception is at work to get Christians to interpret their situation as if God were holding out on them!  THEN THEY’LL NEVER STEP UP, SPEAK UP, INTERCEDE AND MOVE FORWARD!  It is very troubling and sad. The more I see this in more areas of life, I am driven to talk about it out loud.  (“What I tell you in your ear, shout on the rooftops!”)

I have many more examples of how this has played out in our lives in the last two years. If I just went into that much detail about a story I just heard but didn’t live…. you can imagine why I’m not diving into a single example of mine!  Nutshells elude me, and the details matter to me too much…..so.. another time.  The father away from a story I get, the more I can sum up…..  my close friends know this a little too well.

Until next time….

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*(In the Old Testament, when Daniel prayed, the angel sent to answer the prayer explained that he was sent the moment Daniel prayed.  In one instance, the answer came immediately; in the other, it was still 2 weeks… with Daniel praying the entire time.  The angel explained in this case that he had been struggling against an evil spirit in the heavenly realm.  Now, in Christ Jesus, in the New Testament, HE HAS DELIVERED US from the power of darkness, and these hinderers cannot stand against God’s answers of provision as we pray with the authority of Christ (in us.)

 

 

Whatever Gift You Have

I’m big on sharing our gifts with other people. I don’t think it’s an idea born of arrogance– it’s the way personalities and strengths were spread out by design.  If and since we need each other, we can’t get stuck thinking we’re all alone.  If “no one is helping me,” I can at least get out of my rut in knowing that someone else needs me.

But I find most people off on tangents all around this simple circle.  If everyone shares with others the gift they have, everyone is enriched and encouraged and spurred on. People get off the point when:

(1) They assume they have no talent–or they assume that since other people have overlooked them, they have no talent.  That’s the point, however! They won’t know until you begin to give! Each person must individually decide in himself to GIVE of himself to others. (“Here, let me help. Has anyone ever showed you? Hey, let me see if this will help. Hey, have you tried it this way.”) By waiting for others to affirm you or invite you, you will never learn. The day you are asked, you will not be ready.  In fact, you won’t be asked until you have proven through your volunteering that you are reliable.  It is life’s natural apprenticeship.  It is the practice before the game.

I remember playing songs for my friends for YEARS…and I would tell them not to look at me. I could barely get myself to do it. But I couldn’t deny the fact that I had just written a song. And what was I going to do with it…(except play it for my best friends?)

(2) They assume their talent is the only one. In using their gift, they are simply imposing their strengths on others, lording it over them, blindly trying to get others to become like them. Naturally, they are fulfilling the design of creation in wanting to “strengthen others” in that area of life, but they encircle them with manipulations which feed their ego, to create their own circle in which they are king.  Desperate for an identity that is secure and unchanging, they find their identity in their gift/strength.  They are really feeding their own identity by getting others to believe that this gift is the measure of worth in life. If others don’t “buy in,” their self-worth is at risk because they are banking on the wrong thing. Their manipulations become desperate then to maintain the circle.  They are trying to get everyone to become like them.  And people fall for that stuff!

(3) They know they have a talent, but they think it’s too much effort to offer it to others.  They have never caught a vision of just how fascinating it is that they have a talent that others need. Other people are WOWed by them, but they’re so tired from their 40 hour work week or their 40 years of work before retirement, that they just want a BREAK.  They are missing out on the huge blessing of seeing someone else’s lights come on in admiration and thankfulness.  It’s truly a blessing to bless someone. It affirms to the core that who you are is good (god-created), that your talents are God-given.

Giving to someone else is an act of grace–something they can’t earn.  And when you let your gift simply be what it is, a gift, then everyone wins.

The first time this verse* ever hit me, strangely, was in the context of a children’s book…. Veggie Tales of all things! (I don’t particularly love the series.)

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

It’s a free gift to others JUST TO BE AROUND YOU.

Because no one is like you.

I see that. I’ve lived that. I believe that.  And how much more if you freely offer the thoughts in your mind, the trick of your hands, the strength of your muscles, the math in your brain, the couch in your living room.

Use whatever gift you have to build your friends and family up. Then your neighbors. From there your confidence will grow. And who you are will fully bloom.

THEN, (and only then) you might actually find the resounding, “Yeah, they are really good at that.”

There’s nothing you can do to “get right with God.”

It’s not what you do; it’s what you believe.

Jesus has already made you right with God; you must simply believe that, and then you will experience it.

“Getting right with God” is thrown around like a blanket statement when someone’s life seems out of whack.  “They need to get right with God. They need to GET IT RIGHT. DO IT RIGHT. STRAIGHTEN UP.” It doesn’t work this way.

Now when someone is really really really FAR GONE–deep in the pit of addiction or depression, a person might change their tune and say, “How sad! Well, if they knew how valuable they were to God, they wouldn’t do that.’

So people say 2 different things.

In 2 Peter 1:1-10, there is a list of qualities that a person ‘should have’…  but then instead of saying, ‘whoever doesn’t do these things needs to start pleasing god by doing them.’ No, it says the opposite: “But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins!”

Know Your Bible so others won’t bring you into a slavery that Jesus brought you out of.

Everyone agrees that righteousness is REQUIRED by God. Yet “no man is righteous, no one one”(!) That’s why it is a gift! It is received as a gift by faith.  You are DECLARED righteous, apart from your works (the things you do or don’t do.)  It is utterly humbling and competely life-changing.

HUH?????????????????

This is the book of Romans.

Not only does it burn inside of me to talk about it, it makes sense because of:

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS [not your own], and all these [other] things shall be added unto you.”

So if there’s anything about the bible I want to talk about first, it’s going to be righteousness in its post-Jesus, biblically-defined, beautiful, good-news, form!