|Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.|
|Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, "I am a warrior."|
|Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD.|
|Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.|
|Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great. Joel 3:9-13|
So, this has been an interesting year already, huh?? I mean, I know I am not the only one going through hardships, trials, storms and struggles that end in loss! Even if no one speaks up, His Word assures me that across the world, brothers are going through the same trials as me! Isn't that a relief to know? Doesn't that make it that much easier?? No?? No, I didn't think so either.
But let me share what I have learned over these past 6 months of this year. I have learned how to stand. I have learned how to fasten my armor (although I don't always do it). I have learned what my battle cry is and how to use it. I have learned my limits and that God is limitless. I have learned to take the mask off and be wen more transparent, not just blunt. Most importantly, I have learned to seek I know how much my ABBA truly does love me.
I have cried, contemplated suicide, tried to give up, fumbled and dropped the ball, blamed myself, blamed others, befriended deceit and offense, and held grudges throughout this journey. Yet, as the dust settles and my eyes clear, I notice that I am still standing. No, not in the same place as when I started this year with my "one power word for the year" and determination. No, unlike Natalie Grant, I have been moved, but I m STILL on the Rock!! He is STILL my foundation!
I have been at my lowest this year, losing my house after 12 long years and having to stay with my mom again. But I am still breathing, I am still moving and I am still loved by my King! Now let me tell you HOW this was achieved.
We are in an intense battle right now. We are fighting for our rights, for our freedom, for our voice to be heard, our dignity, respect and even Constitution to be honored as it was written not as we want it to read. That battle, as good as it is, has taken us away from what we are to be in battle mode for. Notice I said battle mode. Our battle mode, stance if you will, is to be standing on His Word, interceding on our behalf and others. And we get there through intense training.
Take basic training, for instance. As I was listening to Pastor Paul Sheppard, he spoke about being in the military and how basic training is not a vacation! He even suggested to ask someone in the military about it. Well, as a child of TWO military people, I can tell you they say it is hard! My mom talked once about an infection she got while they were in combat training because she had to keep moving.
And it doesn't end with harsh basic training. Any training is not a day at the spa! Training for a marathon with a friend right now, I am having to cut out certain foods I love to not only lose weight but keep from gaining it as well. On the job training (OJT) can be hard to keep up with depending on what is needed to know and how much time you have to learn it.
The point is, everything that you go through is training. When we start viewing our circumstances, trials, storms, hardships and strife as training instead of wasting time asking why Lord and assuming He, who cannot lie and has said He would NEVER leave nor forsake us, is not near us and doesn't love us or is punishing us, THEN we can be proactive in our training and take it for what it is worth, a strengthening of our faith and dependence on God so that He can get ALL the glory!!
The next few weeks, I want to go over the armor of God, piece by piece so that we will be well equipped when going out the door, or for some waking up with the enemy close at hand. It's time to wake up Christian soldiers!! We have a battle line we should be standing at and nations to be praying for! Will you join me in this training??