Tonight, I was stolen from. It's happened to me several times in my life and each time it gives me a feeling of being violated – an uneasy emotion of disbelief. No, it wasn't my car. Nor did someone break into our home. In fact, it was rather minor when I step back and look at it. Although I won't go into many details, as I was fishing on a small, private pond at a friend's house in the country, two young men on the bank engaged me in some conversation as another apparently helped himself to some of my work equipment and fishing gear that was in the cab of my truck. I thought nothing of them as they even called me "sir" and left (how polite of them - *smile*). That is, I thought nothing of it until I got off of the water and returned to my truck to find several items missing.
I had two choices – be angry, raise my fists to the sky and cry out, "Whyyyyyy? Whyyyyy?" as I grumble about how unfair it is and how or why would God allow such a thing to happen to me. Or, I could do what I did. I talked to my Father about it. As I asked questions, He answered. As I thought on how to address the situation, spiritually speaking, Ephesians 6:12 came to mind. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
I did not desire to heap curses upon these young men, but I did desire to call forth justice. So, I addressed the principalities and the powers that influenced these young men to steal my belongings. You see, I could do this because I understand a simple truth that many throw around as cliché. What is mine is the LORD's. No really, it is. If they stole from me, they stole from my Father because I am His son. All that I have I have because He has given it to me. It is all His to begin with. He provided it and He will restore it. Why fret over what is already gone? It is His responsibility.
You see, I truly trust my Father. He is my Provider. He is my Defender. He is my LORD and King. All is His and no one does anything without His permission. No angel had to go and fill Him in about what happened tonight in the backwoods of Northeast Georgia. He is in absolute control – period. What we sometimes tend to forget is that fallen man is vile and wicked. He is ruled and reigned over by darkness. He sees what he desires and he has to have it. It is the law of the flesh and in fact rules the majority of all mankind. It is not so for those in the Son. I choose to respond as a Kingdom heir, a priest, a king, a son of the Most High. While I felt violated, I did not respond in my flesh. I did not tear up and down the country roads grumbling obscenities as I hunted them down for vengeance.
If I had responded in anger, vengeance or wavering faith, I would not have seen the deeper meaning of it all. You see, I praised the LORD for what was not taken (a $300 high speed buffer, my locked generator, my wallet which I usually leave in the truck when fishing there, etc.). I chose to praise Him when the enemy was crouched at my door, thinking he had just stolen from me. He, I'm quite sure was all excited that I would respond as I had in days past to such an attack. Surely I would be angry, devastated and announce that I had been unfairly treated by God. But, I greatly disappointed the foe tonight. In fact, all that he succeeded in doing was he created a circumstance that drove me closer to my LORD! I denounced the attack upon me and my things. I declared that there is one LORD and Ruler of all that I have and all that I am. I commanded the principalities and powers to receive their due reward for stealing from a son of the living God. You see, it is not really about me or the gentlemen that stole from me – it is so much deeper. Darkness hates the light and wages war 24/7 attempting to sway us all and take us captive. I say, no! There can be no victory without a battle my friend and tonight, I have victory for the battle is the LORD's and He knows not defeat!
I truly believe that often the only difference between God's will versus an attack of the enemy is our response. Let me say that again in case you didn't get it. Often the only difference between God's will versus an attack of the enemy is our response. My response tonight to what the darkness meant for evil brought about God's will in my life as I chose to praise Him in the midst of it all. I cried out for justice to prevail and conviction to fall upon those young men. I did not heap upon them curses nor pain. Rather, I asked the Holy Spirit to unveil their eyes to see the deception and lies. I asked the LORD to reveal the spirit of lust that they allowed to rule their decisions. Have we not all been swayed by our fleshly desires and cravings? Can we really expect anything less from those whose ways are rooted in this world? Although I am now in flesh and bone upon this earth, my true dwelling is in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. So when the enemy encroaches upon this territory, he is making a grave mistake. The LORD is my Vindicator and His mighty right hand upholds me.
I praise God for tonight. I praise Him for teaching me. I praise Him for taking me deeper in my reliance upon Him. I praise Him for maturity (that I am barely responsible for really because He is my Enabler and Teacher). I don't find it at all odd that the LORD has been calling me to a deeper level of abandonment of money and possessions. Now I know without question that He does not desire me to be poor or in need of any good thing. However, I am well aware that I have embarked on a much more openly giving lifestyle over the last twelve months or so now. So, I continue. I will give. And I will give even more! The enemy does not control my life. He does not dictate what I do and how I do it. I will live and breathe as unto the LORD. I will bow my knee to Him alone. He is the LORD of LORDS and He is the King of Kings. I don't say this because it sounds cool – I choose to live it out as fact. Compared to my faith and hope being established in Him, all else pales. Things come. Things go. He remains forever. In Him I trust. In Him I hope. He is my Father. He is my King and no one who opposes Him sees victory, for He is the Victor, always and forever. I choose Light. I choose Hope. I choose Peace. I choose Rest. I choose Power. I choose Authority. I choose Joy. I choose Abundant Life. I choose Jesus, The Christ.