Thursday, August 13, 2009

For the King and His Kingdom

The more titles after your name, the more places Satan tries to lie to you. Like wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, southerner/northerner, teacher, manager, or whatever may follow your name—it all gives more room for lies to be heard.

“You are so bad at being his wife.”

“Someone else would be so much better at mothering these kids.”

“Look at the way you just behaved, and you think you should teach someone?”

It is also gives more places to get hurt. “They didn’t…” “They said...” “I felt…” “I can’t…” I can get so sidetracked and feeling worthless in the mix—seems like out of nowhere! Bingo! Right where the Liar wants me to be---useless--- on the sidelines licking my wounds. Stung and swollen, distorted by the bites from the one who has the sting of death. I am so glad to start realizing these are lies. To learn to hear God’s truth is life changing. It puts things back into shape and removes the stinger. And all its effects are declared null and void.

Buddy and some of the guys that live with us downstairs are talking in the living room—it’s been hours now, and it is presently 1:30 a.m. I am enjoying hearing them talk. I hear the truth of God fill the air; it is beautiful. To hear their eagerness, their zeal, their experiences abounding in service and sharing with others the life changing truth of the Word. Watching it spring up new life in them as well, it’s truly breathtaking. As they spoke, Drew, the college pastor, said in agreement to something Buddy had just said, “Yeah, when Jesus heard the Father say, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” that is when His ministry broke open.” He went on to say that until we hear that from the Father and begin believing we are beloved, accepted, and the Father finds us valuable and pleasing, our ministry to others cannot really take off. (Or perhaps it takes off and lands and repeats until people bail from the insecurity of the flight.) I really loved the thought and will meditate on it more.

But sometimes, in the moments as life is happening, it is hard to figure out how to neutralize the pain right then and there. To believe you are loved and treasured by a King… Situations erupt, things are said unknowingly; the person talking is often unaware that what it being said is being heard all twisted. I think if we could actually see words, we could see them being misshapen and warped as they go through the air into our ears, while the prince of the power of the air laughs in delight that he has once again scored; he has once again disfigured and mutilated relationships—sometimes beyond recognition.

There are no magic words or incantational prayers that I am recommending, but I have found a phrase that seems to work like an after bite stick. You know the kind I mean? After a bee sting, you can carry a stick like a pen in your purse that you open and rub on the sting and it neutralizes the poison and keeps the aftermath to a minimum if not unaffected at all. Well, what if we carried a “truth stick” that was standard gear in our medical bag? Kind of like the old scenes of the family doctor coming to make house calls with his big black bag that fixed everything? This is so much more compact and unencumbering; it’s never in the other purse or out in the car when you needed it—or out of batteries. What if, as soon as we heard a lie, we learned to apply truth right then and there before its toxins began to seep in and take their toll?

This “truth stick” I am referring to is a phrase that Buddy had us repeat back to him as he taught a few weeks back; he would pause and we would say “For the King and the Kingdom”. It has stuck in my head. It seems when the gnats, mosquitoes, or bees of the day take their toll on my overly sensitive heart, I am learning to say, “For the King and His Kingdom” to my bitten heart, and it dissipates the poison of the lies that hurt me, and swells ‘til I cant think straight. It is for the King and His Kingdom! That truth washes over me like a balm that totally soothes the sting and I, “Ahhhhhhhh” in relief. All else seems to fade in light of that truth. Was I not asked to come? Not asked to be a part? My opinion not valued or sought? Not invited? Disregarded? Unnoticed or unwanted? If I understand that the Father is my King, and He has said, “This is my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased” what does all of that other matter? If it is for the King and His Kingdom—then I can be good with it. It takes pre-judging and competition, recognition and pride away. They are like four fangs that tear apart people and relationships. The King is in control; He has kingdom plans I do not fathom or understand. Isaiah knew it, he declared: “His ways are higher than my ways; His thoughts higher than my thoughts. Even as the heavens are above the earth, so are His thoughts from my thoughts and His ways from my ways…” (Isaiah 55:9 paraphrased) Abraham believed it, ‘Will not the God (King of the kingdom) of all creation do right?’ (Genesis 18:25b) And Moses realized God saw the children of Israel in their captivity He heard their cries He cared and He came to rescue them (Exodus 3:7-8)—He is that seeing, hearing, caring, and coming kind of King that knows his daughter and loves me dearly. He always does right and always has it all under control.

How much more attractive is that? Are wounds and bumps, sores and scabs attractive to the world around us that bears the marks of the same nibbler gnawing wherever he can, baring his fangs in the night ripping our hearts, dividing us from the very ones that love us? They would not want to hurt us in the slightest. Our families or friends don’t mean to hurt or even know they did! Sometimes it is mere words that are used to puncture and tear into the deepest tender places of a heart. You may have seen a picture of a straw driven through a telephone pole during a tornado? It is with that sort of force a word can pierce even a tough heart. Holding hurts can have corrosive effects like acid if we hold on to it; how much better to release it as soon as you feel the bite occur?

My husband and kids can walk outside and get bitten within seconds, I, on the other hand can go all summer and perhaps only get a single bite. Spring gets whatever the latest idea advertised to rid them of their stings or prevent them from attacking. Sprays ointments, gels and this summer—a wearable fan that dispenses protection around you but doesn’t stink you up! It’s been great. I can’t really relate. I do see the whelps afterward, though, if they do not wear some sort of protection. It looks awful and seems so irritating and painful as they scratch and itch. Some people are more prone to being bitten for whatever reason—the theories abound in speculation as to why or why not a person is bitten; they can get pretty hilarious.

I think it may be true spiritually too. Or perhaps it has something to do with personalities. No doubt there’s a psychology test that helps decipher it all, but my observation is that some people are more prone to being bitten than others by the poison of the Liar. Or some seem more prone to hear or believe the venomous lies that insidiously destroy them slowly from within. You may not relate to these lie bites, but you may see them hurt and swell in others, whelping, itching and aching them from deep within. But I believe that it is treatable and we can even overcome the gnatty, pesty, buzzing that distracts the snot out of us. We can breathe this in if the bite has already come or breathe it out so the bites won’t even come your way. Say it with me; see if it does for you what it has done for me…FOR THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM! Ahhhhhhhhhh.