Lord, let the lifelong preoccupation of my mind and heart be to seek the answer to this question:
“What do the elders see and what do the angels see that make them fall down and cry ‘holy’?”
This stood out to me so strongly recently as I listened to the song, “There is Only One” by Brandon Hampton and Sean Feucht. See the full lyrics here.
I had found myself being like a puppy licking its wounds and whimpering as a result of getting burned once more because of something that turned out to be a mirage, when all of a sudden as I was listening to that song, it hit me, “Get up! What are you doing in that ditch!? You are a mighty warrior of God in the middle of a war!”
The enemy comes in to try to strip us of our identity through creating fear of the future, wrestling with rejection, and all sorts of ways. We can begin to reason away entertaining it with, “Oh I just want to wallow here for a moment. It’s my humanity. I must acknowledge my emotions.” And you know what, we do need to grieve at different levels for different things, in order to heal but there is a time to grieve… and a time to get the heck back up and fight! (See Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 ) In this season I have been pushing past some major hits through prayers of others and ultimately the grace of God, I haven’t allowed myself to get swept away into self pity. He keeps reminding me to fix my eyes on Him.
Worship || is || Warfare
This phrase has become tattooed on my heart. I will always use worship as a weapon to fight through warfare. I will worship my way through the good times and the bad times. Worship is a lifestyle, yes, but worship music is essential as well. Who can deny that music is powerful? Just look at how and why Lucifer fell and how he’s been using music (same old story) to seduce generations into everything from lust and drugs to suicide. God Himself created humans to be completely (physically speaking) dependent on the continual beat of a heart. A person can be brain dead but without a heart that is beating, that body will give out within minutes. God created music. Over and over it is written in His word, “Sing to the Lord a new song!” The life of King David, the psalmist, points to how this man in the direct genealogy of Jesus, used worship music to persevere through extreme circumstances. (See 1&2 Samuel and the Book of Psalms).
Determine in your heart.
Determine in your heart that the most important thing, the lifelong quest and purpose of your existence is to discover the beauty of the man Jesus. What do the elders and angels see? We need to know! What is it that captivates them anew for eternity? What is the entirety of His multifaceted nature? Can we ever get to the full depths of it? Eternally they cry, “Holy”. They simply cannot get past it. (See a related post here)
Oh to be captivated like this!
In this day and age we can get distracted so easily. I know that if I try to watch TV (which is hardly ever) I spend most of the time channel surfing because nothing seems to keep my attention for long. I scroll through social media feeds and get bored quickly. Our phones are huge distractions with continual notifications. There are advertisements vying for our attention everywhere. I’m sure you can relate to constantly being bombarded by the seemingly infinite distractions of our culture. How to captivate the heart and mind of the ever unsatisfied longing within the human? Jesus has the answer.
Jesus IS the answer.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells about the seed that fell among the thorns and the cares of this world choked the word and it wasn’t able to bear fruit. (See Matthew 13) We are not to carry all these burdens that will inevitably come but we are to cast our cares (See I Peter 5:7 and Psalm 55:2) . We are not meant to strive and toil and spin but to be at rest. (See Matthew 6 and Luke 12 ) How do we find rest? Ironically, we have to war for rest! We have to make a decision to go to Him. It’s when we learn to go to Him and let ourselves be captivated by His countenance which transforms us more and more into His image. He is the very Prince of Peace (See Isaiah 9:6). As we gaze on Him, we become more like him and everything else fades away.
So, back to my mini story, I had simply forgot:
I’m not a helpless puppy. I am an eagle.
As a born again believer, you’re not meant to stay on the ground. You’re not a puppy and you’re definitely not meant to be like a pigeon waiting for bread crumbs to be thrown your way. Get back up and start flying by praising your way through your circumstances. Soar above the storms by remembering your history in Him and you will find that is where the other eagles are- in the high places. It’s where you belong, seeing things from His perspective.
He is faithful.
I must take the lessons I have learned in this season, such as Him working all things for our good and learning to give thanks in all circumstances (See I Thessalonians 5:18), even when things don’t turn out how I think I would want. Though I may not be able to see right now what the entire picture is because I have this limited view, Jesus is working it out for my ultimate good and for His ultimate purposes (See Romans 8:28). This is faith. To believe even when we cannot see; to trust His character. (See Hebrews 11:1)
No soldier fights a war alone.
Oftentimes, we need those faithful prayer warriors around us that can help us get out of the ditches we find ourselves in. When one is weak, the other can be strong. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). We are a body and we are meant to help each other. If you are not connected with other believers, it is essential that you find a local bible believing church and get into fellowship. I am grateful for the brothers and sisters I have in Christ that I can call on to war in prayer for me as I recently did when I felt myself getting weak. We must help each other or get taken out like a single gazelle among a pack of lions. It’s life and death.
Let go and let God.
We must fight against leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). That is fatal. This is the trick of the enemy, to get us to try to figure out exactly what God is doing. But He is beyond our human logic. He has a vantage point far superior to our own. Either you trust Him or you don’t. Either He is God or He is not. Either you fight to try retain your belief that you have control or you fight to get to the place where you’re gazing on Him and His majesty and truly believe He is in complete control…of absolutely everything.