It’s ALL Spiritual

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This is such a difficult day. Remembering the events of 13 years ago like they were both an eternity ago and yet some of it feels like yesterday.

I’m finding this to be a frustrating day as well. Frustrated at where we are at. Starving for leadership and a way past all this darkness that has in no uncertain terms, declared war on us simply for being the light.

The feeling that I want someone to stand up for us is overwhelming me today. I want someone to call it for what it is and do something about it. Recognize the enemy. Go after them.

But the opposite happens. It seems like it will continue to happen. It’s confusing and maddening.

God is patient when we’re all stirred up, He listened to me all morning rant about injustice and stupidity and evil. Then I went to the mailbox and found something I had almost forgotten about. A necklace I ordered weeks ago. It was kind of an impulse buy – proceeds went to a charity, it was cute, there was a coupon… you know how it goes. So I pulled it out and read the inscription: Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. And I felt it in a different way than ever before.

“When you see only injustice…” Act justly.

“When none show mercy…” Love mercy.

“When pride is all around…” Walk humbly.

This is hard for me today. It does’t exactly flow happily through my spirit the way it did when I bought it online. Actually doing this is difficult.

Then He took me to Ephesians for another reminder that is sometimes hard to swallow.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 6:12)

When all my anger is focused on what I can see (politicians, world events, snarky comments by others to name a few) I am missing the truth and struggling in vain. The real enemy behind all this is much bigger than any one person or group.

Without getting into all the political details… believe me this is difficult… let me just say this: we have failed to see or speak the truth about our enemy. It’s either through ignorance or on purpose, and I don’t know which is worse. God reminded me today that it’s more important than ever to speak the truth about our unseen enemy. He has declared war on us in every way and wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy. Pretending he isn’t there doesn’t make us any safer, it actually puts us in more danger. Ignorance leads to defeat. We are not to be ignorant of our enemy. I’m ready to roll. Bring it. Put on the full armor of God and lets do this.

Oh but there’s that Micah 6:8 verse… love, mercy and humility and all that.

I don’t feel loving today. I feel injustice piling up faster than we can shovel it away. I don’t feel very humble either. We’re right, they’re wrong. The mercy rule isn’t at the top of my list right now either. I watched the Karate Kid last night on TV and can’t help running that awful dojo teachers words through my head, “We do not train to be merciful here, mercy is for the weak!!”  Ugh. Lame.

God reminds me that while I long for earthly justice, He is eternally just. He steps in for us and defends us when others won’t. My longing for leadership brings me to the feet of Jesus, the leader and author of my life. I can’t live by the ‘no mercy’ rule because He had mercy on me. He will bring it to pass. It may be a rough ride, but He is faithful to us.

So on this day and in this age when injustice seems to rule over us… I am reminded that I am connected to the source of justice itself. A God that will stand up for me and lead in ways no earthly person ever could. He will defend us when others won’t. He knows our enemy and is able to defeat him. And though it’s hard to remember, it’s ALL spiritual.

Profoundly Simple

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“Keep it simple, keep it pure. Keep it sincere.” The more I dive into the Word this year, expecting some complex revelation to wash over me, the more I hear this. Back to the basics in the New Year. My 9 year old woke up yesterday morning and told me about a dream he had. Just before he woke up, there before him was a  bright sign declaring “God Helps At Hard Times.” He remembered it and was struck by it. I asked him to write it down for me. He did, in bubble letters, because he said thats how it was written. God used bubble letters. Awesome.

Childlike. Bordering on cliche. Of course God helps in hard times. Sunday school 101. Check. Got it.

As we talked about it though, I started to wonder…

Do we turn to Him in our “hard times” for real? Or do we retreat into ourselves and our own futile efforts?

Have I been an example to my children that God really is the strength in our weakness? Or have I taught them to try and ‘perform’ their way out failures or difficulties?

I came across this beautiful bit of truth this morning and the question hit me again:

“PILLAGE AND LOOT THE WORLD FOR ALL IT’S WORTH, BUT ONLY IN JESUS IS THERE 100% ACCEPTANCE BEFORE EVEN 1% PERFORMANCE.” Ann Voskamp

Whoa.  I stop for a moment, knowing how much I need this and how much I barely grasp it. We can’t perform our way out of trouble or failure or disappointment. Hard times come in all degrees. Some are annoying. Some are downright tragic. What is our first instinct when we are challenged? When the enemy pushes every button, tempts us in every way to give up and give in… where do we turn?

“God Helps At Hard Times.”  If we let Him.

The simple things are often the most profound. Oh how we long for the new, the fashionable, the ever-changing. The world we live in demands it. We can check e-mail, twitter, facebook, instagram and Pinterest all while sitting at a stoplight. Sadly, modern day Christianity also demands it. People aren’t comfortable with the pure, straightforward truth of the Word anymore. There must be something new to discover or believe. The old truths need a new spin. New books must be bought. New catch phrases are created. And we lose Jesus in the mix.

God’s truths to each one of us are new every day. They aren’t stale leftovers of what someone else received. They’re personal. They aren’t complicated, but they are very profound.

This new year, I don’t need to go buy a new Bible study based on how promising it’s cover looks. I need to open my own Bible. I need to listen to my kids. I need to look for God in the simple things and let Him reveal Himself through them.

Two weeks into the new year, I am asking God what HE wants for me this year.

Keep it simple. Keep it sincere. Keep it real.

God IS with us.