Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Spiritual Spanking

Whenever I have a period of spiritual highs, inevitably, every time there is a spiritual low immediately afterwards. You would think by now I would know to protect myself from these beat downs with prayer. This last time was no different.

I knew I was hitting a wall of attack. I knew that the armies of darkness would be hitting me hard, after all, I had not only spent a weekend enveloped in a God-bubble, but I also had a heard God's voice calling to me and had some growth. I knew ahead of time that this would be a hard hitting attack. Did I pray and cover myself with the strength of Christ, like I know I need to do in order to counteract the attacks of Satan's army? Nope. I called on my girlfriend....not God.

Makes total sense, right? I mean she is the one who would give me strength to overcome Satan's attack, she is the one who knows the inner-workings of my soul, right!?? Oh, yeah, nope again. So the whole time I am having this gabfest with her going over how wonderful my weekend had been, how much growth I had seen, and how I had heard God calling me, Satan's demons were whispering into the conversation. They joined in the gabfest too. I guess they enjoy some girl talk also.

The whole time I talked about the wonderful events that had passed and all the things that were going on and how much I had grown, Satan helped me grow too!!! It was awfully generous of him, he grew my pride!! And grew, and grew and grew...... Until my little pride (OK, it has never really been THAT little!) grew to the size of, oh about the Grand Canyon. I decided that I was amazing, awesome, I probably put myself right up next to God. And then, when I came home and realized how my family fell so far beneath my righteousness (cause at this point I was almost the holiest person on earth) I decided I would take a seat right there in the throne of God. Forget coming boldly before the throne, I came boldly and sat right down into it. I took a seat and played the role of God, in my own mind I was just helping God out, since I was so righteous.

Who should be the one to be blessed by my righteous rant? My wonderful disillusioned husband. I thought I would help him grow, since I myself had just had a tremendous growth, I thought I would bring him to where I was. I decided that I knew his heart. I knew what he thought, what he felt, how his relationship with God really was and what he lacked in. I then proceeded to tell him all of this. Needless to say, that didn't go over so well. As I berated his lack of spiritual maturity, my pride swelled in relation to the amount my exhaustion swelled (at this point it was well past midnight and we had both been up with the baby at 5 am) I pretty much had beaten him down to a mess and stood victorious over top of him. You would think that I would feel amazing having won this tremendous argument. He conceded that he needed to read the bible more and pray more and pray more specifically...so why did I feel like I had been hit by a Mack truck?

I think it is funny when we are at a low depth of sin and confusion, God has a way of working with our mess and creating a beautiful new creation. That is definitely true of the one I had just made. I had made a big mud pie mess of my life, my marriage, my heart. I was depressed and feeling low and beaten. The morning after the argument I had bible study at church, and wouldn't you know it, the message was on sin and spiritual attacks and forgiveness. So one thing about our bible study is that it is a two hour study in two parts. The first part is like a big service all together the second is smaller groups of discipleship.

The first hour was discussing Matthew 4 when Jesus is approached by Satan after the 40 days of fasting. The facilitator mentioned how it was strategic of Satan because this was directly after the fast which would be a spiritual high and that is typically when Satan attacks- exactly what I was going through. Then she said how Jesus stood firm and resisted the attacks and Satan fled, how we need to resist. She also mentioned how in Jude the archangel Michael tells Satan that the Lord rebukes him. She discussed how we are small in comparison to the attacks of Satan and his army and we need to acknowledge our weakness and look to Jesus the creator of Satan to tell him to just shut up and go away. That is something I had not done. I thought I would just face Satan head to head, again my pride! I realized at that point that I needed the guidance from my own creator if I was going to get through this.

The second hour was about forgiveness and the "little foxes" that come in and disrupt our marriage. I realized that I had an issue with pride and that would be my little fox that I allow to get in the way. I set myself up for failure by lifting myself up. She went on to say how when we don't forgive or we judge we are sitting at the throne of God. She reminded us that we do not have that right. I was oh so convicted. That is precisely how I had acted. I had sat right down in the thrown of God and declared myself all knowing! I had decided that I had the right to judge my husband and to tell him how he needed to act.

What a loving Father. I have to say, I am so thankful for God's discipline. The whole time my pride was swelling, I could feel I was not right. I knew that something was off, but I refused to address it appropriately. Had I gone directly to God and asked for his strength, guidance, and protection from the attack I would have been able to fend off this nasty bump in my marriage. I wouldn't have hurt my husbands feelings with reckless abandon in the name of righteousness. I wouldn't have had to feel like road kill, and I would have maintained a rightness with God(the most important part). But I can come boldly before the throne of grace. So I slinked out of the throne- it had been a bit big for me anyway- and gave it back to it's rightful owner and lowered myself humbly. I apologized to those who I had offended, God and my husband, and have learned, hopefully, to be more guarded. I thank God for his loving discipline, for correcting me. I am thankful that I am so dear to him that he would lay on my heart so heavy to correct my actions and continue to work in perfecting my character. It is an act of love, one that only my Heavenly Father could dole out.

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