Something I’ve found to be true in this country is the abundance of opportunity to become “comfortable”, or at the very least to drop my guard just enough by forgetting that I’m in a battle… it doesn’t take much of a drop for the enemy to swoop in. I see victory on the horizon, I’ve even experienced it; and yet, I suddenly discover that, like the Paul Simon song, I’m “slip sliding away“. This has been coming for a few weeks now, but, of course, I remained far too distracted by life. My armor was being chipped away at with “peacetime” complacency. The blatant attacks had eased, the normal triggers weren’t firing, the fiery darts appeared snuffed… and I became comfortable for a change. For someone who has felt engaged in a bitter battle for much of her life, comfort is a very alluring prospect. I displayed my “Sword” rather than brandishing it. “Ah ha,” the enemy chides, “I’ve caught you unaware.” Without a moment’s notice, I find myself staring at the pointy end of a dagger wondering how on earth I lost that ground. Of course, I know how. That lost ground resulted when my focus shifted ever so slightly to my own, insignificant, little navel.
This reminded me of King David’s brief stint when he chose comfort (navel gazing) over the battle, and the trouble he fell into during that time. If you’re familiar with his story, you’ll know that while his men were off to war, he was busy submitting to the temptation of adultery. This led to his conspiring to arrange the other man’s ultimate demise in an attempt to cover up his sin. Oh the “slip sliding” we do when we hang up our Swords in the midst of a war. For me, old habits rushed forth these last few weeks. Not just eating habits, but thought patterns as well.
I’m still slowly moving through Beth Moore’s study of Daniel. Today, she read the story of a lion attack that I found utterly mesmerizing. This man was knocked from his horse, attacked by a lion, and dragged off by his shoulder to be eaten alive. I pictured myself having been knocked from my own “perch” and being dragged off back to the pit from which Christ has already set me free. The searing pain within my spirit, caused me to cry out, “No, Oh Lord, I cannot go back there!” The man in the story had a dagger that he managed to plunge into his captor. I, in a similar fashion, have the Sword of the Spirit, with which to fight back.
The other issue at play here has been the “distraction dance” of life.. and pride. We’ve been far too busy for our own good, and while I’ve had precious little time to post out here, those moments when I’ve considered it, I’ve wondered what my stumble will mean. Tonight, I realized that this isn’t about how I appear to others, or if humans will accept me despite my faults. This journey is about how I appear to God. Last I checked, I’m His daughter and He sees me as holy, no matter how the enemy has tried to use me for unholy purposes.
Beth Moore says that during anxious times, we can either “panic, paralyze, or pray.” I’ve done a whole lot of the first two lately. It’s time to get back on my knees and “practice a holy habit long enough that it becomes the old habit.” Can you even imagine what it would be like to replace a negative habit with a holy one… permanently?! This truly is the desire of my heart. I’ve stopped this “slip sliding away”, and I’m choosing to allow God to renew a right spirit within me.
Raising the Sword of the Living God I shout, “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies!“