Tag Archives: God’s Will

Free To Struggle

Christian do you struggle, on the battle ground, ‘gainst the powers of darkness closing in around? Christian rise, take armor, soldier of the cross; for the sake of Jesus count your gain but loss.

I struggle. I am sure that comes a shock to a lot of you. I know, I know, I come off pretty perfect but . . . oh who am I kidding, if you have read even one of my posts on this blog or my  Ripple In Culture blog you know I am a jumbled mess of chaos and crazy. It is the fact that other people struggle, especially those that have influence and seem to have an extra dash of spiritual, that has my mind in a tizzy.

From the pulpit of church I have heard them confess “I am not perfect.” From the stages of Sonshine and Lifelight I have heard them sing “I too am searching for the light in this darkness.” From the pages of their books my eyes have read their words “I am not always fully walking with God.” But I am not sure that I really grasped their meaning. I never truly believed them. The people that I see as super spiritual, they must have it all together. They have reached the place of walking hand in hand with God. They have reached the destination that is openly hearing God and following him all the time.

Nope. I think it finally hit home when I started to become close friends with people that I have dreamed my spiritual leaders. We have become close enough friends that I have started to feel towards them special feelings that we primarily reserve for our friends. That is right, disappointment. One day I was obviously hurting, but they did notice or reach out too me. One day a tricky situation presented itself and I did not think they handled it with the measure of grace I believed they were capable of. One day I heard them complain, I saw them be human, I watched them struggle.

My spiritual leaders are indeed struggling humans. They have been under a hard battle of spiritual warfare lately and it disappoints me. It disappoints me not in the way that makes me disappointed in them. I am not worried that they are weak or failing. In fact, just the opposite. Their strength is what is drawing these attacks. They must be walking close to God if Satan is trying to stall them and hurt them like this. I am disappointed, because if they are still being attacked by lies and past hurts, then there is very little hope for me to reach this perfection I figured most spiritual leaders possessed. I am disappointed that I had myself believing that one day I would wake up and I could just be happy. That I would somehow work myself to a place where I could hear God’s will perfectly and never stumble. That I could be perfect.

It is okay though. Oddly enough I am finding peace in this realization. There is no longer any pressure for me to reach a certain level of perfection. When I have a weak day, when I am feeling attacked, it is not because I am sinful and terrible, no. I am sinful of course, but sometimes being attacked means that you are on the right path and your personal demons are just trying to derail you.

Christian do you battle Satan’s power within, all his striving luring, tempting you to sin? Christian, do not tremble, do not be downcast; arm yourself for battle, watch and pray and fast.

Christian, do you wrestle those who taunt and claim, “Why keep fast and vigil? Prayer is said in vain!” Christian, answer boldly: “While I breathe I pray!” Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.

Peace shall follow battle. Night shall end in day.

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It’s Okay, I Googled It.

Intentionality. That word sits there with those red squiggles that warn. So I did what I usually do when I am certain that all the letters are there and in the proper order; I googled it, just to make sure I did not make it up.

in·ten·tion·al·i·ty  (n-tnsh-nl-t)

n.pl.in·ten·tion·al·i·ties

1. The state of having or being formed by an intention.

2. Philosophy The property of being about or directed toward a subject, as inherent in conscious states, beliefs, or creations of the mind, such as sentences or books.

It may not be a word used much, hence the red squiggles, but there it is. It is a word and I used it with intent.
One of the saving graces of Sonshine was the air-conditioned lounge that youth pastors and leaders could take advantage of. Our pastor said that since James and I were helping with the youth this weekend, we totally counted as youth leaders. Not only was this a spot of cold air, sugary snacks, and comfy sofa’s, but they would bring in bands from time to time for a meet and greet. On Friday I sat in with Hawk Nelson, Building 429, and Petra.
I was excited to see them all in concert later during the day, and it was great to meet them face to face and see how human they were before hand. Hawk talked about how they are trying to transform from just being a silly band with fun songs into a band with a purpose and intent. They thanked us for leading the youth and how they strive to lead the youth as well through their songs. They explained that their new album Made is trying to convey the message that God has created us just as we are. We are not a mistake. We were made with intent.
Building 429 said a lot of the same. They were constantly and intently searching for God’s will for their band. Since they are family men, having wives and raising children they talked about how as soon as one of their wives say they are done, they are done. This walk, this band, is one that is constantly searching for God’s will and will only continue to put out songs and do concerts if they believe that is God’s plan for them. They told us they are not living the dream, as many people think bands are. Their dream is to one day go home and be just husbands and fathers and to be able to have more time there.
The lead singer of Petra, John, was in the room later that evening. He talked of the early days, as they were the first Christian rock band to come out. He talked of how they were picketed, they were told they were going to hell, and how they overcame it. They loved what they do. They felt a calling from God and overcame great adversity to be able to get where they are, to get Christian music where it is. He realized that the group they are so longing to reach, the youth, are not their main audience anymore, but they still feel that they have a message to share and are excited to go out and still share it.
All of these bands, all of these people were so human. They discussed their faults and their humor. They laid bare some of their difficulties and struggles. They were there, sitting on those couches, and I was there, sitting on those couches. There was very little that separated me from these men. I have just as much faith; I am searching just as hard as God’s will. Why then do I feel like I am not worthy of being used to spread his word? Why do I feel like I am too much of sinner to be a shinning light?
I am beginning to realize that I am a useful vessel to God. I am one of His children, His princess, and I have all the heart needed to go out into the world and do huge and amazing things to His glory. I must search for His will for me. I must search and work with intentionality.