The last couple weeks have been a whirl wind for my husband and I. I think I've probably run into more opposition and resistance these past few weeks than I have probably in all the time I have had a relationship with Jesus. Misunderstandings, wounds too deep too share, murmuring, mockery, slander, accusations, and even dare I say..."thus saith the Lords" that have been completely off in a land I don't where it came from. But you see I'm not here to sob or soak in any means of woe or self-pity. And though I can't pretend I haven't asked God SEVERAL "why" questions, I can honestly say that I'm not offended or mad at anyone. Well....I guess thats not entirely true. I'm pretty pissed off at the enemy right now, but its a pretty righteous anger. One that in directed in prayer and being reminded of the Truth of the Word of God can only make me a Conqueror. That all these things are beneath me. And no devil, nor man, can destroy what God is sovereignly doing.
This past weekend I was at a leadership summit and a leader said something where I totally got a jolt from the Holy Spirit in a powerful way. Are you ready for it? "We do not fight FOR victory, we fight FROM victory!" And why is this so powerful? Because if I'm fighting from victory, then I have already won...i have already conquered....I have already over-come. But why in the mist of circumstance, when we suffer, we feel so defeated? It's like we forget that 2 Timothy 3:12 says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." So why is it that when we suffer persecution, and from our own brothers and sisters I might add, do we feel confused and hurt? Well I think there's two reasons:
1. We have an identity crisis in the Body of Christ. I'm convinced that a majority of Christians live defeated because they don't really know who they are. And to not know who you are really means you don't know who Jesus is in you. I'm not being judgmental...its just the truth and sometimes we have to reconcile ourselves to the truth and begin to be honest with ourselves. And I'll be the first to admit that I am still learning this myself.
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us," 2 Tim. 2:12. Some translations say "if we endure suffering..." Truth is, suffering has the potential to make us more like Jesus, but its conditioned on our response. this verse says that in suffering we actually have the opportunity to deny Jesus. How? I don't think its a literally denial with our mouth, but maybe its the spirit we choose to walk in in the mist of suffering. Our position, the leaking that comes out of our heart during suffering, and it usually brings a true face to what we believe about God and about ourselves.
Isn't the Word of God tested the most in our lives when we suffer? Isn't our belief and our trust in God tested the most when its hard to trust?
2. This one is interesting and it was just recently that the Lord showed me this. Sometime I am sad at the reponse or the resistence I am experiencing. But after checking my heart and clearing any offenses and/or hurt (healing) that I may have taken from a person I can still feel sad or like there's a piece unsettled inside me. So, why am I still sad? It is then that the Lord showed me sometimes the Spirit grieves through us over the circumstance. It's not like God enjoys watching us suffer. He knows it hurts. And more than that, I believe the Holy Spirit grieves when His people do not know who they are and they respond out of their own understanding (which is why slander happens so often between ppl). Give yourself permission to grieve with Jesus over the situation...that doesn't mean you're defeated, it means you allowing Jesus to give you His heart.
But let us remember together. That if you too have suffered or if a circumstance in your future wants to pull you down with the cares of this world, to remember this: "that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" Romans 8:18. And there it is again. If the glory lives inside of us than we do not fight for victory, we fight from victory. That God is for us...not against us. And He is for you!