I'll sort of explain the title. Just hang in there with me. I'm not even going to slam Halloween.
I was driving home this afternoon and enjoying all the pretty fall colors. I also saw a lot of scary decorations and I have to shake my head with wonder as to why people like to celebrate death so much. I don't get it.
The whole subject of dead things has been coming up a lot lately. So much so, that I'm seeing a theme. Around this time last year, I was reminded of the story of Lazarus and how Jesus called him out of the grave. I felt very strongly that was applicable to myself and several other people that I know. So I've been wondering what exactly did that mean.
Then I fell head first into the driest, deadest season you could imagine. Work, money, relationships, even my time with God was dried up, d-r-y. Discouragement and depression rolled right in with it. Not to mention the whole aunt flo issue that hadn't been an issue for years was back.
It could not have felt more like a tomb.
Ever notice the dead can't really call out to people because people can't hear them? I felt that way. No matter what I was saying, it wasn't coming across the way I wanted it to. Misunderstandings were popping up with everything and everyone. It was getting to the point that I didn't even want to be around people because the tension in the air was more than what I could handle. I had that screw it gene going on in full force. I was wiped out on many levels so I just pulled further into that tomb with those words mocking me, "I've called you by name and I've called you out of the grave."
I did not feel called and you don't get much deader than what was going on. Flat lined. Freaked out Hubby to see me just give up. Hubs said that God did pull Lazarus out of the grave, I came back with 'after He let him marinate for a while'. So then we had a nice long discussion of marinades and the proper doneness of something.
Leave it to us to beat a dead horse.
I crack myself up.
Interesting timing on a couple of things. First being, Skillet's new album Awake came out and there are a couple songs that just nailed it.
Their song Awake And Alive was just so fitting. I'm not going to put all the words down as I don't know if that would be kosher but if you can check out the song.
"I'm at war with the world and they try to pull me into the dark.
I struggle to find my faith.
As I'm slipping from your arms
It's getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last
I'm awake I'm alive
...When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again"
I had this and a couple other songs just cranked up. Got to love a guy who can belt super loud what you are feeling. Holla to the panheads!
Then Kerri and I started this bible study. I can not tell you enough good things about this bible study. Why haven't you gotten it yet? Waiting on Christmas???? Make sure you get the bible study. My MIL has had all kinds of drama to get this book. You can get it through Lifeway's website. It looks like this.
There were a couple things that have been hopping out at me right from the start. Before we started this I was telling Hubs I was so tired of getting my butt kicked and not having more victory in my life. That's when I had the curtain pulled back and saw how much unbelief I had lurking around.
One of the things Jennifer Rothschild said was any thought that doesn't line up with God's Word is a grave digging thought. Even I could see that light bulb go off. What are you saying to yourself? Is it God's truth or a lie straight from the grave? If it isn't God's truth than it's a sin.
Yeah, I'm still stinging over that one myself - thought I would share.
The more we've dug into this study, the more I can see how I've have dug some graves and pulled the stone over the opening just by agreeing with negative things that have been spoken over me. Let me tell you - that is one long list!
So I set my mind to break off these agreements and finally start saying and thinking what God says and thinks about me. Just like all of us are suppose to! What a concept, huh?
Even Hubs' message was on making agreements with God instead of lies. He had his message long before I even started this bible study.
Oh irony, how you love to follow me.
He said he believed the lies the enemy had told him when he was young because all his natural senses told him that he hadn't become a Christian and that he hadn't changed. He said by his agreeing with that lie rather than agreeing with what God's Word said about him being a new creation in Christ, that it opened a door, if you will, and for a time in his life he was involved in Indian mysticism and the occult. While it's been many years since then he said he carried the guilt of that around for years.
Oh do I know all about guilt!
With all the dog drama we've had going on, I was reminded of a time when the dog we have found a dead raccoon. We don't know if she killed it or what. But she carried this thing around like a teddy bear. She snuggled up with it and would give it doggie kisses. No matter how hard we tried to get her away from that dead, stinky thing, she would not let it go. We were able to get it one time and bury it and that darn dog went and dug it back up.
As that memory was playing through my head, Jesus very quietly asked me if I was ready to give Him the dead raccoon. Moi?? I'm not carrying around some dead... Doh!
If we repent, or own up to it, Jesus is faithful to forgive us our sins. Do I believe He paid the price for it? Yes. Then why am I dragging that dead thing around like a teddy bear? A part of me knows that it's dead and needs to be buried. So why in the world did I crawl in the grave with that thing???
The old saying a lie is easier to believe than the truth is painfully accurate some times.
Have you heard the term stinking thinking? I had some stinking thinking lies that I had agreed with as a young child and here I've been hauling them around as that is all I have known. I've also been carrying some guilt around like dead weight. I haven't known anything different. As far back as I can remember - and I can remember all the way back to preschool - it's all been a graveyard experience. I remember the good times and have grieved over them with no hope of more good things to come.
Talk about your downer.
I've reminded myself many a time of Ps 23 that God say go through the valley of the shadow of death NOT camp out here. This is my plot, here I rot isn't the correct attitude.
Rothschild's study wasn't about to let me off the hook either. It was exposing a lot of wrong thinking I've had about myself and truth be told, in just about every area of my life. She pressed even further on faulty assumptions. "Faulty assumptions always reveal themselves in wrong thinking and result in erroneous action."
Ever assume something but have it to be totally wrong?
Yeah, don't look at me all innocent like.
Kerri and I were talking about where one week we were asked if we need to hear truth, admit truth or embrace truth. I know all the Christianese phrases. I'm doing like 3 bible studies and I'm still flat dry, bone empty. I've heard truth, I know truth but still coming up empty. The words 'embrace truth' leaped off the page. She's been saying how we need to tell ourselves to wake up to the scheme's of the devil who is like a roaring lion. She even asked how is it possible to not be aware of a lion's roar?
Well lets see, when you're in a grave and have made all kinds of agreements that are opposite of what God's Word says, then you decided to crawl out of that grave only to have a lion standing right there - I'm thinking a couple of throws, a comfy couch and this tomb isn't so bad.
Why yes, Ethel, it has been a knock down drag out fight. However could you tell?
I've emailed a lot of you on a regular basis. I know we have all been struggling with different issues as far as the eye can see. But I so want to encourage you to come out of the grave digging lies that have been holding us back in so many areas. You're worth it. Don't you dare tell me you're not! Jesus didn't pay the price for you for nothing and you're not junk. All of us are rare treasures. The thing about treasure is you have to dig it up to know it's value. All of us have a treasure that has been deposited in us and it's time to come out of that grave fully using what God's Word says about us.
It's time to take off the grave clothes and to come awake, to come alive.
The world may want to celebrate death but we all know where the world is heading. Last few months have been interesting. Hubs and I have been breaking off past agreements and holy smokes as that stirred up interesting things. Even though it has been a battle, I'm not going back in the grave. I have been fighting too hard, too long to say screw it and just lay down and die - now. Oh the temptation has been there! My body is just run down, the emotions have been rubbed raw, the will has been run dry, and it has been a fight just to get out of bed every day. The reason I keep at it is, if nothing else, to piss off a few people and say that I'm still freakin here!
In the bible Jesus told the people to cut the grave clothes away. The thing about being in a grave like this - inside my own head and my own emotions - is that no one can come and cut away the grave clothes. It is a choice you have to make to keep going to Jesus. Day in and day out.
It's funny because this has been rolling around in my head for weeks but I haven't shared it. I went to bible study today and a lot of what was said was lining right up with a few things even though it's a different bible study. Hilarious God.
Then I was prayed for and more of breaking off curses. My folks are a huge depression trigger. Hubs has pointed out to me many times that I didn't have the relationship I thought I did with them. Yet here I am, holding what I thought was a teddy bear, grieving over the good times when it's really a dead animal.
Much like a toothless lion.
It's defeated but I've allowed it to take up residency in my thoughts. He roars away and doesn't have to take a bite because I've already laid down and gave up. I can see how this plays out into everything God says about us - health, finances, relationships - you name it. If I'm agreeing with a lie than how can I believe God what He says in His word about my situation?
What fries my bacon is that I was attacked at a very young age and not knowing any better, agreed with every negative thing that people said about me - even thinking it was myself saying it about me. More from Jennifer - she said "Snarly, ugly lies come from the roaring lion, our Enemy. They're his primary plan for stealing your peace and killing your joy. He knows how to drop the thought off at your thought-closet door dressed up just like something you would feel or think."
Dirty rotten bastage.
I know I'm not the only one that has bought into that lie!
If you can identify with this than I can't stress it enough - get this bible study! Well worth it! It's been brutally painful but for once I feel like I got a grip on it instead of just getting tossed around. I feel like I actually have some tools in my hand to do what needs to be done instead of a band-aid on an open wound.
I've spent a lot of time praying for my InterPeeps. I know I'm not the only person out there just straggled in grave clothes. Jesus called His friend by name out of the grave. How about it friend, ya with me?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'll sort of explain the title. Just hang in there with me. I'm not even going to slam Halloween.