I have missed our time together! I would like to start today's post with a Scripture; "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything". Ecclesiastes 11:5 NKJV As this Scripture states, there are things that are allowed to happen that just cannot be explained. Only God has all the answers...sometimes He reveals those answers, sometimes He doesn't.
So much has taken place since our last visit. Just a matter of hours after I posted my last entry on Songbird, the tragedy in West, Texas took place. I was up half the night watching the coverage in disbelief. It seems as if, almost daily, there has been one tragedy after another.
From bombings, to West, Texas, to tornadoes...it can be overwhelming just trying to process it all. The constant barrage of tragedies that have taken place recently remind me of someone in the Bible. His name was Job. I am also reminded of his response and his commitment and love toward his God no matter the circumstance, no matter the tragedy, or I should say the multiple tragedies that he faced.
Tragedies are nothing new, in fact, in Mark 13 NKJV Jesus warned His disciples (thus all believers) of what is to come in the end times. We should not be caught off guard when tragedies abound...they are inevitable.
In other parts of the world outside of the United States, many people have suffered many things that we, as U.S. citizens may never have to face in our lifetimes. We are the freest nation on earth, yet we seem isolated at the same time. As devastating as events have taken place in the U.S. lately, many countries around the world live with devastating events as well, sometimes on a daily basis. If nothing else, recent tragedies here at home should give us more urgency to care for others worldwide, whether spiritually or otherwise.
I say all that, not to negate the effects of recent events, but to attempt to put into perspective that there is still so very much to be grateful for. There is a bigger picture than the one right in front of us. God has a plan and it includes "the" world not just "our" world.
There should be comfort in knowing that NOTHING catches our great God off guard. As our Pastor has said in the past, "He's got this"! Remember, the enemy had to get God's permission and was limited by God on his actions toward Job Job 1:12 NKJV...I believe that applies to every child of God.
I am speaking to fellow believers when I say that I believe there is a danger that if we are not careful in such times that we can lose our perspective and start identifying ourselves as victims. I reject the idea that any child of God could ever be categorized as a victim. God's Word says 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
To clarify, we have all at one point or another been a victim in the sense that an event has taken place in our lives that has caused great distress or pain, maybe even on a recurring basis. Yet, in my opinion, the word victim defines a temporary event, not a permanent identity. In other words, it describes what happens to us vs. who we are. I know from my own experience that once a person is able to distinguish between the two and accept them as truth that it can be both liberating and life changing. I John 5:1-5 NKJV
I know many of you are aware of the crisis my husband and I went through in our marriage. It was during that great trial that God revealed this truth to me. It may be hard to believe (understandably so) that there are so many reasons I am grateful to God that our marriage went through the trial that it did, and this is only one example of why. The fact that I know that I know that I know that my identity is not based on the events of my life, but the event that took place on the cross through Christ Jesus is a "game changer" for me.
How about you? Are you able to distinguish between the events of your life and the identity you have as a Christ follower? Or, maybe you have never experienced the "game changing" transformation that takes place once you surrender your life to Christ...it's not too late! Maybe you've been searching for a "way out" of the bondage that may seem to be engulfing your life right now. You may feel that victim is the exact term you would use to define your identity and existence.
Freedom from your bondage is just one heartbeat away...just one decision away! It comes in the form of a Savior who chose to take the shame, the guilt, the torment and everything they represent on your behalf so that you no longer need to view your identity as being a victim. Instead your identity becomes that of a victor! I John 5:1-5 NKJV
Victor and victim are terms that indicate a struggle or battle. They remind me of an analogy regarding battle God brought to my mind in 2004 while writing my devotional titled "Standing Still". It is this: Can you imagine a war where the rank and file decides not to listen to or even seek the commands and leadership of their superior officer? Do you see the chaos and defeat that would take place if that happened? Is it really any different in the battles of our lives when we choose to act on anything less than that of our Superior Officer? This is a paradox of Christianity, that we must submit in order to conquer. It is as easy and as hard as that.
We tend to think submission equals weakness, when in truth, it unleashes God's great power and allows Him to fight our battles for us! II Chronicles 20:17 NKJV AMAZING! I believe that Job understood this and it is why the enemy was defeated in Job's life.VICTOR.
The enemy will NEVER be able to have the intimate love relationship with the Father that He has granted to His children. I am only thinking out loud right now, but I wonder since the enemy does not have that relationship with the Father, if he truly could (can) grasp the bond and the power that it holds, therefore underestimated (underestimates) that power.
Or maybe he does grasp it and is so very envious and jealous that he feels the need to destroy it at all cost, because he knows he will NEVER be able to experience it himself. Worse still, the enemy may realize that we may also underestimate that power, therefore he can score an easy victory (temporary though it may be) over us. That would indeed be a tragedy.
Regardless, he lives a defeated life and would love nothing better than for God's children to live the same way. Sadly, the defeated life that he has is of his own choosing. I would think that regret plays a role in Hell's experience...just my opinion.
The choice is up to us, Songbirds. Always has been. My prayer and my song is that if we are Christ followers that we act in obedience and love toward God, just as Job did, no matter the tragedy and no matter the circumstance. And if by some chance you are reading this and have not ever made the decision to follow Christ, I pray that you make that decision today....He loves you (us) with an everlasting love and that love has the power to set you (us) free...Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV.