September 13, 2016

Thinking and More Thinking

It is Tuesday, and I am home. I am glad to be home because today is a stress-filled, stress-fueled, stress-full day. I am sinking low, and it feels as if there is nothing I can do to stop the downward pull. I don’t want to feel this way, but frankly, nothing I seem to do has any effect to change my circumstances. I woke up this morning with this oppressive feeling. I mean, I felt oppressed. I had a good night, I slept well, and I think I rested. I woke up “feeling” physically well, but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, I felt as if I was hard pressed and tormented. Sigh!

Oppression can mean many different things, but for me, when I feel oppressed, I simply mean that I feel tormented or afflicted. In biblical terms, when we feel oppressed typically it is the result of an enemy (e.g., the devil) attacking us on some ground. Not every bad thing stems from demonic oppression, but often if we feel attacked and there is no “sin” unconfessed in our life that is involved, we can mostly assume that oppression is a possibility.

Today, I pray over my home and my family. I pray for God’s protection to cover us, and to keep us safe. I ask the Lord to show me, direct me, to any area of my life or the life of my family that needs cleansing and healing. I ask for the Lord to give me the guidance I need to destroy all works of the devil, and I consecrate my home for His name, His praise and His honor alone. He is worthy to be praised, He is worthy to be praised!

Sensing His Comfort

As I mentioned above, I woke up feeling hard pressed. I spent the better part of the morning struggling, and I felt so poorly a bit ago, that I really thought, “This is it, my life is over, there is no hope!” Yes, my life, for a moment was all black, all dark, and all hopeless. Then I prayed, asked my Father to help me, and in a brief moment of time, the light returned to me. The oppression lifted, and I immediately “felt” better. I cannot really explain it, but because of the immediate turn around, I can confidently say that my oppressor was given flight. Praise be to God, my oppressor was made to “heave ho!”

I share this experience only to say that while my circumstances have not changed nor have I experienced some recent influx of good news (as in money, opportunity or even a cessation of worry/doubt, etc.), I do “feel” better. My life is still as it was when I woke up this morning. I am still in the midst of a very difficult semester, and yes, I still feel less than worthy in my performance and approach to handling all the details around me. I am not as productive as I wish, and frankly, I am feeling overwhelmed by all my tasks — my growing to-do list. Furthermore, I am disappointed that I have not stayed focused on my work, and as a result, I am struggling to keep my head above water. Granted, this is not all my fault, but I do take part of the blame, and I do accept my responsibilities. Yet, I know that I am where I am for a reason, and God has a way out for me. The Word says it this way in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT),

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

Today, the Lord provided a way out for me. I wasn’t tempted per se, but I was hard pressed, and I was sinking below the weight of that affliction. The Lord provided a way out, and as of now, I am feeling much better, much lighter, and more able to continue on my faith walk journey. God has opened the door for me, and I have been given a path to escape. Praise Him for He is good, so very good to us!

Thus, today, as I think about my life, where I am going and where I am headed, one thing is for sure. The Lord is with me. He is here with me, and He comforts me. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, for the goodness that He provides to me. I am thankful for His presence, and the way in which, He protects me. I could not manage without Him — I am so desperately in need of His guidance, His care, and His comfort this good, good day. I ask now in the Name of Jesus to receive all the blessing that comes as part of His gifts this good day. I need to complete the work that the Lord has called me to do, and yet, I am unable to do it. I need His supernatural power to stand against my enemy, to walk on and to do this mighty and merciful work. I ask now to be empowered, emboldened, and encouraged in my call so that I can renounce all the works that are sinful, and embrace all the good things that are part and parcel to His way, His work, and His will in my life. I publicly confess that my strength is not in my own hands, but my strength relies in His alone (Phil. 4:13). More so, I confess that my life is purposed toward His end, and as I follow my Lord, I know that I will be pulled off course more times than not. I must stay firmly fixed, focused, and never stray or look left or right (Prov. 4:27). I must do His work, fulfill the upward calling of my Lord and my Savior, Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).

In Closing

This has been a trying day for me. It is only 11:00 a.m., and already I am spent. I am ready to do His work, to go where He sends me, but frankly, I am beat up and worn down. I believe that my only defense is a strong offense (similar to what Sun Zu wrote in his “Art of War”). With that in mind, I realize that in order for me to overcome in this next stage of my studies, my career, and my ministry, I must change the way I engage the enemy for battle. I must place God and His word as the core of everything I do. This means that I can either slug it out with my enemy on a daily basis or I can be armed and ready, prepared and prayed up, so that I am a valiant warrior standing at the ready rather than a straggling solider running away from the battle lines. Yes, I must stand for battle. My enemy is seeking to hard press me, and while this time, I was able to escape, the next time, I may be left in the battle a bit longer to test my faith and my abilities to stand strong.

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