Friday, July 17, 2009

A Fork In The Road

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.


NINA said...

I feel your frustration.The only thing worse than someone looking you in the eye and lieing to you or on you is for someone to look you in the eye, befriend you and steal from you. However I believe that it is these types of situations and how you handle them that can set you up for a blessing. "Behold I lay before you today a blessing and a curse" Deuter. 11:26 I have found myself lately in a lot of situations that would have in the past ruffled my feathers but instead I found peace. Sometimes I even find myself laughing, when I think of how far I've come. A few years ago my dad died. I was devastated.I could not even function and thought a whole lot about dieing. I couldn't even think about him without feeling like I would vomit and bursting into tears. The funny part about it is that nothing has changed, but me. My dad is still dead, and I still love him.The difference is that I changed me and when I think of him I just feel gratitude and love and I smile. It was my willingness to finally change my mindset that gave me peace regarding the situation. The same goes for everything in life and you learned that first hand today. I tell my son all of the time "if you can control yourself, you have power over everything that is around you." And it's true.God gave us power and authority over all things in our pre-Adamic stage. Before man fell from grace.We regain that control through Christ when we re-act in order, according to the will of our Father. The reason why you were able to deal with it so well is because you you were lacking that feeling of losing control and being violated that most people have in those situations. Because though they took something from you, you were still in control. God was in control. And you maintained your authority. I pray that everything that was taken will be restored plus some. And I trust it to be so, because that's just how God is. :)

Joel Spencer said...

Nina: All I can say is it is the mind of Christ that enables us to respond correctly. In myself, it would have been ugly, but in Him, peace and calm reigned. Thanks for your encouraging words!

Melissa Ann said...

What an awesome testimony! I have quoted the scripture you refer to in this blog so many times lately, but some how in the midst of the battle I tend to exhaust myself through my attempt to fight in the flesh. I so want to get there :)

But I shudder to think how many times i'll have to take that test in order to learn this lesson. I'm going to meditate on this teaching and believe that God is going to use it to help me in getting to the next step.

Harriet said...

I oh so hear you and agree.
My first response to the enemies attack is usually disbelief(rarely anger, as I have learned over the years that anger backfires on ME)..then I have to stop and praise God..and trust Him.There is no other way. GREAT blog Joel..and timely..thank you.

Joel Spencer said...

Melissa Ann: There is such power in resting in the Father. I don't claim to always reside there, but when I do, it changes everything. I pray that you "pass this test" and move on. Obedience brings greater faith and trust. He honors our doing so and He is our great Reward. Thanks for stopping by!

Harriet: If only we'd praise every time the enemy pursued us! It is time that we turn their weapons back on them and allow God to bring us victory.

You're right, there is no other way... for those who are truly seeking His face.

ruthrap said...

excellent blog...very well worded.

Joel Spencer said...

Ruthrap: Thanks! It is a great lesson to learn... and re-learn and learn again... and again.

NINA said...

Harriet- right on! I used to be faced with the same delima over and over again with a family member. After years of torment and confusion and tears I would begin to praise God after an "attack". Before long the attacks stopped. I started applying that tactic to many things and guess what, the enemy would stop and try something new! The last thing that the adversary wants to see is us giving God praise.When he hits us with those little irritating things he expects a certain response and mostly for us to stray outside of the will of God. If it causes a praise, I guess he figures why bother. LOL That's the last thing he wants from us!But not only is it a weapon, it also empowers us and strengthens us. It lessens the affect of the attack and gets us back to the frame of mind that WE should be in.I guess you can say that praise is a 'double edged sword'. LOL (<--ok, I know,I had to try, I was bored)

Anonymous said...

Ah - a responder as opposed to a nuclear reactor! It's opportunities like these (unfortunately) that allow us to see how dead we truly are to the flesh and how much we are like Him. They bring a deeper revelation of "forgive them (the people) because they know not what they do" (the eternal consequences of their actions) - and to "take on" the true enemy (who btw has already been defeated which does indeed allow us to rest). What can separate me? Nada.


Joel Spencer said...

Nina: Nice to see your sense of humor back!

Lillium: I think it was the first time I immediately saw the true source of the issue instead of the people involved that carried it out. It was something that will forever change my response to future events.

Good to "see" you here!

Yvonne said...

hehe ~ I would of loved to have eyes to see in the spirit realm as you began to praise the Lord...instead of seeth! Yeah, that lil demon that personally attacked you through those gentlemen, was trembling in his boots because he had to go to his higher ranking demon and tell him that the plan didn't work. He in turn did like wise all the way to Satan literally had all hell in an uproar! lololol a regular roast!! Great job, my brother! Thinking about it in that light... didn't it just make you want to praise the Lord all over again! : ) hehehe Now you knew why i love praising the Lord so...just the thought blesses me!