These Four Things
If you ever find yourself in the center of a storm, as we did last week, here are four things that God illuminated to my heart; practical things that will make a difference when you’re navigating through trials.
First: The community you work to build today will help you walk out your tomorrow. We saw this in such a tangible way through the tragedy of my mother in law’s sickness. The moment we got to Charleston we had friends ringing us left and right to make sure we had what we needed. And when our cars broke down friends offered us their cars. In fact, I am STILL driving a friends car as we wait on repairs. And here’s the thing, we didn’t have friends helping us because we’re these incredible people or because someone owed us a favor, we had friends to help us because we’ve spent years building a life-giving community. We’ve chosen to be vulnerable among people and share real conversations. We’ve lived life closely with other believers serving one another and being present in a way that friends become family. If you’re in need of community like that, here is my advice: find a life giving church and immerse yourself in the community. Get in a bible study or small group and go first! Go first in being open and vulnerable and go first in lending a helping hand. This is something within your grasp! Don’t listen to the enemy’s lies that true community is only available to some, or that, because you’re not married or don’t have kids you can’t have those things. It’s a straight up lie! Here’s a picture of this very thing from Acts chapter 2:
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Number Two: You had better know some truths of scripture when Satan comes a calling. For real! Among all the mess of last week I found myself in major need of God’s truth to combat the lies of the enemy! Thankfully I had some in my arsenal, but to be completely honest I wish I would’ve had more, so much so that I could have laughed at each arrow being thrown at me and my family. Because I KNOW that I am a conqueror through Christ and nothing can change that. When we speak the word of God to the lies of the enemy it is a sword that destroys each untrue statement.
“ For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Third: You Can Praise Through the Mess Okay, this is SUCH an awesome weapon of warfare that we often overlook, perhaps because we’re too ticked off when we’re in the thick of it. If we are wise enough to choose PRAISE instead of choosing to be a victim of our circumstance it actually fights against the enemy. When we praise we put the power of God before us which is better than our power any day. In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat sends out the worship team before the armies in battle. Those who are praising lead the way and it brings confusion to the enemy.
“After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”
We can defeat the enemy with our praise, and don’t forget it!
Last and most of all: God wins every time. This may seem like a simple answer and not something that can tangibly help you carry on but it is the absolute truth! Maybe you need a bit of perspective in your situation. Regardless of where you are or how bad it seems, God wins. Eternity is our home, not here. This world, unfortunately will always be broken until Jesus comes back so let’s stop being shocked that it is. Let’s be the hope dealers for others and truth tellers to ourselves. As His kids we are called higher, to remember who we are and to bring the encouragement of God’s story to the ones around us. This will forever remain one of my favorite verses, it’s like a mic drop.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Don’t let the enemy help you reason your way out of praise. And don’t let him keep you from God centered thinking. The enemy is the author of confusion. He wants to keep us from recognizing the position we have as children of the King.
So, friends, remember the power you have.
The Power to build community
The Power to memorize scripture
The Power to praise God
The Power of the King
April and the Well Crafted Team