1 Kings 12:1-14:31
“You teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon Your land, which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.” 1 Kings 8:36
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been struggling with some demons lately; big fat hairy ones that just don’t seem to want to leave me alone. I went to lunch with my daughter at school this afternoon. As I stood there in line with the Kindergarteners waiting to go to recess they began to ask me to stay and go to recess with them. I’ve only been to recess once with Anna, so why they chose today to beg me to stay, I’m not quite sure, but I think it might be related to something big and hairy… Because what happened next, well, I hope I never forget it! You see I have this thing called Mommy guilt that I deal with constantly where I doubt my every choice as a mother. Did I do the right thing? Was I too harsh on them? Was I not stern enough? Did I send enough food for their lunches? The questions plague me, perhaps like the Queen of Sheba with Solomon…
As I walked out of the school, not having stayed for recess, I felt incredibly guilty for not staying. All I had to do at home was study and write, how important is that anyway compared to extra time with my little girl? Oh, I can not get started down that path or I may never find my way back out!!!
Last night I was reading a blog I recently subscribed to where he shared a Facebook conversation between two individuals about a third individual that just happens to be a pastor and runs a local gas station. You can click here to view the blog, it’s quite good. But part of Darrell’s comment on this conversation struck me. “I commend men of God who shepherd small flocks and pay for the privilege of doing so with their own labor outside of the ministry.” There is so much truth in this one sentence! There is a COST of ministry. There is a cost for spreading the message of the gospel. There is a cost, a cross to bear, a thorn in the side if you will, whatever you call it there’s a price to pay to be in Christ. Why, because the Enemy hates Him. It’s as simple as that. The Enemy hates Jesus, and because we are united with Him the Enemy hates us.
If you want to get someone really smokin’ mad, say something negative about their spouse or their kids. Want to go a step further, injure or harm them instead. And what is it that the Enemy does again, well one of his most popular names is “the Accuser” (saying negative things about the children of God). Jesus also tells us that the Enemy comes to steal kill and destroy (injuring them).
So here I am, getting into my car headed home to work on this very post, feeling like crud because I didn’t stay and play with my daughter and her friends. Had I just been there for 45 minutes eating lunch with them? Yes. Was I thinking about that at the moment? No. God has blessed me with the ability to even GO to lunch with my kids that in itself is immeasurably more than most moms these days get to do! Was I focusing on that at the moment? No. Instead I was focusing on the cost, the price I was paying to do the very thing God has called me to do. Write to you, my friends.
I came home and as I walked in the front door and hung up my keys I could feel the turmoil boiling up in me again. You know that turmoil that makes God sound fuzzy like a radio that’s out of tune. I had been dealing with the fuzzy turmoil for a long time and during the fast I realized that it had gone away, then just this morning it started again. By the time I got home it had gotten so loud that I could stand it no more. And as I went to throw my shoes in the basket next to the door I looked into the mirror on the wall and said, “Lord, I need a name. I know that this demon will leave when I tell him to, but I want a name. It’s not Doubt, it’s different than that….” and through the din in my spirit I heard it, “Uncertainty”. “That’s it! Uncertainty! I’m not doubting right now, I’m uncertain! Well, in Jesus’ name, Uncertainty you must leave me immediately and Certainty, COME!”
Just that in itself helped, but I wasn’t done yet! God was about to pour out some Certainty for me. J Hallelujah!
I had been watching a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I really wanted to get this one. I really yearned to more fully understand the concept of becoming a “new creation”. It’s a hard concept! When I accept Christ, I become “new” yet I don’t look any different. I’ve been “born again” but how is that possible? (Right Nicodemus? John 3:4) And what exactly does it mean to be “in Christ” and how do I do that? So many questions Queen of Sheba! But the one who made Solomon wise, lives in me through Christ’s death and His Holy Spirit and I can talk to Him and ask Him anything at any time!
So like a three year old with so many “Why’s”, I went to my Daddy in prayer and asked Him all these things. Oh my friends, His answer was so simple! “Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17, memorize it, make it part of who you are. New.”
So I opened up my ESV Bible and looked it up and wrote it down. And usually my method of memorizing a verse is to just write it down over and over again until I’ve got it sunk in real good. But this time was different. I hadn’t checked out other translations yet to see if any of them resounded with me better than the ESV. And this is where the real transformation started to take place. So, because it was so special for me, I’m going to share with you my page I was writing on.
If you’ll notice in the picture of the paper, I have a couple of side notes between the translations. These are things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to write down. The first note is a song lyric from Britt Nicole’s song “All This Time”. The Holy Spirit has sung this lyric to me many many times over the last few years. “Well I’m not the same me, and that’s all the proof I need.” And it has rung true every single time. My entire self has changed since receiving Christ. I was quite young when I accepted Him into my heart so I’ve truly grown up in Christ. But now as an adult who has accepted a call into ministry through writing about my journey through life with Christ, I have begun to question many of the things that I simply accepted as truth when I was younger. I blindly believed everything that anyone would tell me about God. Not any more! My eyes have been opened to the false prophets of this world, the wolves in sheep’s clothing and holy robes. The day I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill me, well He changed me so completely that I am not the same me I used to be and that really is all the proof I need. At least it should be anyway. But I’m learning that Uncertainty can come and really mess with your head on things that used to be certain in your mind. It’s one thing to doubt new information; it’s another to go through bit by bit and question the old information. That’s hard. But I’ve done it! And I am so much better for it in the end! Because like I said, I’ve been changed by the testing of my faith. I now know WHY I believe what I believe and not just that I believe them because someone told me I should. I have intellectual roots in my faith, the very things that will keep me grounded in that faith when the storms of life come along. Remember those little plants in the parable of the Sower and the Seed? Those roots will hold you together when life feels like it’s falling apart. Remember the story of Joseph? He stored up grain, or seed – the Word of God, during the good times in order to use it during the famine – or tests of life.
The second note that God had me write down was, “You are a new person, whether you choose to live like one is up to you.” I started this little adventure today with a demon on my back; a demon that I have been given dominion over. I am in Christ, He is THE commander, principalities MUST obey Him and therefore us, because we are in Him. Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child walk all over them? That parent is not claiming their rightful place as an authority over their child. In the same way, those who do not claim their rightful place as an authority over the principalities of this world will be walked all over by them. The conversation on Darrell’s blog drew my attention to 2 Timothy 2:4 where the word “soldier” stuck in my head. Like a tiny seed that has grown through this day and has begun to take root throughout this lesson. While I was praying for understanding on being “in Christ” and a “new creation” God said to me, “Soldier of the Living God, that’s you.”
We are soldiers of the living God! In our reading today I was overwhelmed by the symbolism in it! Picture Solomon as God the Father.
The Israelites are us, look at 1 Kings 9:22 “But of the people of Israel, Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.”
Turn your attention to the story of Jesus and the faith of the Centurion, or soldier. Matthew 8:5-13
Look at verse 9 where the Centurion explains the way things work in the kingdom of God and here on earth. “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.” God is in charge of us, but we are in charge of pretty much everything else. We have been given dominion over this world and everything in it that has never changed since the Garden of Eden. Only now, we have moved up the ladder of authority from son of Adam, to Son of God. There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is not under our authority. When we notice some Enemy activity going on in the world around us, it is our job to call it out, to speak (out loud) against it. (The angels and demons can’t read your minds.) Hebrews 1:14 tells us, “Are they not all ministering spirits (angels) sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”
Right now, somewhere in your near vicinity, there is at least one angel just waiting to carry out your commands to defend and protect God’s children and the things that matter to them. I don’t want you to read this and think that we are surrounded constantly by demons alone. Oh no!!!! We each have been assigned our own personal angels to guard and protect us, AND to carry out our instructions. “Lord, please protect my children today at school” I picture it as though my angel hears my prayer, and passes it along to my children’s angels, at least that’s the picture the Centurion gives us anyway. You see he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, commander of the angel army. He knew that Jesus didn’t have to walk all the way across town to his house in order to heal his servant, he could simply speak the word and the angels would do the rest.
If you have spoken your allegiance to Jesus and asked for Him to come and live in your heart, then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you”. Because He is in you, you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. And tell me dear friend, as the temple of a Holy God is an unholy demon allowed anywhere near you? Absolutely not! You have been given the seal of the Holy Spirit, you are married to Jesus the King of kings, you have been given the honor and position of being able to sign His name on formal official documents and you have not only the right but the job of telling those demons to BACK OFF! Get out! Go Away! Report to Jesus (the commander and judge)! And anything else you can think of to tell them! They are under your command and they are, even more importantly, under your feet, tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. Return to hell from where you came, in Jesus’ name! Hold up that shield of faith that your Father gave you and use it against the one firing missiles of destruction and lies at you. God’s faithfulness is our shield and rampart, and like the wall that Solomon built around Jerusalem, He protects us. But seeing as how we are in an ongoing centuries long spiritual war, there have been casualties, there are pains that cost us dearly in this battle, but we don’t have to take them lying down. We need to use them to fuel us up! Allow the pains of this world to cause us to rise up in battle and fight the Enemy with a ferocity that he’s never seen before. Be that person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan says, “Aw crap, she’s up!”
Rise up Soldier of the Living God, your time has come, fight. The battle is yours, saith the Lord. Because He “will fight for you, you need only to be still”. (Exodus 14:14)
This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.