Monday, November 28, 2011

Showdown in the Desert

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

I struggle with this post today. How to get into words what I feel this year? This particular advent? Each year I ask myself the same questions. What did it mean then, and what does it mean today? How can anyone truly understand the wonder of the Living God coming down to earth as a baby? This is why we are celebrating, after all.

Yesterday I saw a sign at a Scottsdale shopping mall describing Santa as "The man of the Season." Really? I guess for some he is the man of the season, but not for me.

Sometimes.....many times, in our walk of faith we come to a place of decision. That is where I was yesterday. It was difficult to pray. I sat in silence, my heart feeling like a stone. I was struggling. It was a battle I was facing and I had to ask myself a serious question. It was a showdown in the desert. I

Jesus had one too. And He won.

After prayer I came back inside, pacing. Lately I have noticed anger.....resentment bubbling underneath my surface, ready to flare at little meaningless things. I know where it comes from. And I also know that it was a Spiritual battle not a physical one I had to fight.

I know Satan's tactics. It was between him and me now. I was determined that he would not win. Can I just say to anyone who thinks that Satan isn't real, that he isn't absolutely bent on our destruction, just look at our world today. That my friends, is not the work of God.

What He created was and is perfect. Take the human element out of this world and you would be left with the same perfection as in the day of creation. Still and always, good. But thankfully, there is a good human element in play as well. All around us there are those who hold back the tide. And let's just call it what it is.....evil.

I realized yesterday morning, that if I can't handle one old, stinky bad tempered woman, yes I did say stinky. We are going on week six of no shower. She gets absolutely hostile and angry when Elaine suggests she take one. So we just keep spraying air freshener and lighting candles throughout the house.

If I can't handle this situation, then my faith means nothing. I am a fraud as a Christian. I may as not sing one Christmas carol. You see, that was and is the battle. Yours might be different, but we are all in one once we claim the name of Christ. It is not about flesh and blood at all. 

"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." Ephesians 6:12 

It is an old battle and nothing new. Yesterday I determined that God and I together would win it. Peace will reign in this home, in my heart. I will lay my struggle down at the feet of Jesus. I will let the Spirit take over instead of trying to fight it on my own.

"Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:12

Once I made up my mind......peace flooded into my heart. That is what advent means to me this year. It means peace, it means victory, it means we may have battles, but Jesus has won the war for us!

I continue my count today with renewed gratitude........Decorating with joy for the season.......A best friend who understands and shares my burdens in prayer and conversation.....Christmas lights that work.....Snowman heater in prayer room.......talks by the firelight......Morning chill......a call from my Aunt last night.....laughter when all else fails......Sleigh with stuffed Christmas babies that always make me smile.....#743-#753

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