His Kingdom, His terms
Last night I had a dream that a group of people were cutting down a big ugly and rotten tree. Actually the tree didn't stand out as being that rotten or ugly, I suppose just more unbecomingly. When it fell and its carcass was there on the ground, it wasn't its appearance so much that made it rotten or ugly. It was its whole nature. It was dead and needed to go. It was in the way of better things. In my dream as the tree started to fall I was running in its path, like out from under it and I thought that it should probably fall on me. I figured that I would just keep running and it did fall over me but it like went right through me. Next thing I was looking at it and I hadn't been affected by its fall.
Right now there are a number of things that have happened this week that have been really difficult. But my family is fine and so I am thankful and well in that regard. Work has been impossible and people are suffering and confused and hurting. And I just feel pulled upon as people ask me this and that and I feel like my guts are being pulled out of me because that is all I have left to draw from.
But I thought about today that part of what I do is a job and I need at some level to be a bit mechanical about it and just do the work of a disciple. Of a soldier. There are things that I still want to get done and I am trusting God to enable me to get those done. I don't want to be so much on autopilot that I am not using sound judgment in the overall scheme of things. But in times of crisis there are times of crisis and you just got to do. I know things are not that bad. And I don't want people to worry about me because I know that the Lord is in this all and He will provide and He is able to and He will handle this.
Maybe it is good to share because "this is life." This is life here on this planet for this time. All the weeping and crying and tears and someday we will be transformed and so maybe it is okay to pronounce what is. This is the land of tears and sorrow, the world that is soon passing away.
Dear Father, my God, I know that You know all things and that it is good when You cut down dead trees. It is reasonable to expect that when we proclaim the goodness and kingdom of God with our lives, and it affects things, that the hidden world will react and push back. Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution from a world that is not obvious. I will take heart for Thou hast overcome the world. Further, this is the truth that overcomes the world - even our faith. Lord, this morning I had a fleeting thought that when I thought about how to respond to the things happening around me that "you need to do it this way to get through this," like it wasn't a time to abandon myself into Who You are. But it is and that part of me that is apart from Who You are, I disallow and lay on the altar. God, thank you for the great things that You are doing. It is very difficult for so many people right now and my heart goes out to them. I can barely concentrate myself. Dead trees are falling. Your kingdom is not of this world. Father, I pray that You would complete the work that You have started. Please sustain me and help me to be whatever You want me to be. Help me to abide and trust in You. Help me and equip me to say and do the right things. Help everyone to heal and move forward. Use this fire to burn away deadness. Let me not be afraid or weak. Please help the people who read this to feel strong and not weak, encouraged and hopeful and not afraid.
The Lord will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Stand firm, therefore, under the mighty hand of God.
"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents - which is a sign of destruction for them but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experienceing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me." Phil 1:27 - 1:30