I am contemplating so many things right now. And since it's a Saturday and my back is telling me not to go zooming into the day, I am authorizing for myself a time to write, think, pray, ponder. Bill and I already had our early morning chat together. It felt like a summit meeting. We are endeavoring to not return to any strongholds of the past, any faulty thinking or incorrect conclusions.
One of the things I shared with the women on Thursday night was that while there are many myths and lies about having to maintain an image, Paul tells us in Corinthians that "we are not unaware of the devil's schemes." That's right, we are not supposed to be in the dark about what he tries to do to prompt us to return to darkness and defeat.
Once you articulate some of the myths that we often believe, then its time to assess where these lies might be carried out in your own life. You don't have to do this with a wagging, scolding finger pointed at yourself, but rather with a sense of relief over having detected where you are going wrong.
Recently I have been pondering an interesting phrase-"turned the captivity". God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends, Scripture tells us. "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dreamed" it tells us in Psalm 126. I'm convinced that when we've been in a desert season for a long time, for whatever reasons, that we might not detect that its our time to come out of captivity and come into a season of refreshing, a season of harvest after years of no reaping but yet, continual sowing.
When God turns our captivity, He restores what the locusts have eaten. When God "turned" Job's captivity, He restored Job's fortune and family life. It says God restored it when Job prayed for his friends (who were,in my mind, lousy friends, starting out right by staying with him and then adding to his pain with their projections of why he incurred wave upon wave of tragedy).
When God turned it around for Job, it implies that it happened the moment he prayed, yet the manifestation of the turnaround took some time. So here's the predicament: when we've been purposing to walk in faith, watching over our heart and our mindset, there can come a time where we've left the bondage of the past but we haven't yet seen the manifestation of what we've contended for, what we've believed for in the face of opposing, supposed evidence.
When Job obeyed God because he believed God, and he interceded for his friends, Job might have enthusiastically declared, "Now watch what God is going to do in my life. He's going to turn it all around!". And if he did say something like that, and his friends stayed around to watch, how long did it take to see this turn around? How long did it take for Job's captivity to turn into fertile fields, thousands of animals grazing on hills, children running around in laughter, his health restored, his gold and silver replenished? Did God do it in a night? In a year? In a decade? I don't know. I just know God did it.
That tells me that you can't always tell when your turn around is taking place. It might be so slow of a thing that you're tempted to think you're still captive of your past. The enemy of your soul might show up and taunt you with "You really think God is going to get you out of your prison of pain? You really think He'll do all that He says?!?"
This is one of those times where we don't need to play nice. We just need to tell the enemy where he can go. And then we need to fix our eyes on what God says is ahead- our release, our right to run on the path of His Word. Because we are NOT unaware of the enemy's schemes, and we are not going back to bondage of any kind when there's something bountifully better that He says we can have.
Take a moment and even if you can't see the fertile fields ahead, can you at least detect the smell of new grass sprouting? Can you feel the mist of beginning rain? The rest of the bounty is not that far away.