Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gold in the Garbage

I've always known about spiritual warfare, but I've never been completely aware of it. I've never associated it with my life. These past few weeks have been rough and I've been under so much attack. I can't sleep, I question my purpose, I cower down in the face of adversity and I'm stricken with fear at night. This is not me. I don't want this.

Today Madi and I decided to go to church at Hillsong NYC. It was cold, rainy and I did not want to go. We ride the train into Grand Central Station and stop to get some breakfast before we headed to church. Out of nowhere a young man lean against the table next to us.

"You have good auras," he said.

We don't know how to respond, but we do so with a friendly smile. Immediately I feel uneasy. As the conversation continues he starts asking personal information about us (What's your name? How old are you? Where are you from?).

"Do you remember you past life?" he said.

"I don't believe in past lives," I responded.

He jumps to his defense and starts saying it's scientifically proven. I just say, "Sorry, I believe in God."

"I believe in God too," he said. He proceeds to tell us his name which I will not repeat because I still cringe when I think about it. He tells me to count the letters in his name: first, second and last. I don't want to, so he does so for me. His first, middle and last name all had six letters in it. I didn't want to jump the gun, but he beats me to the chase. "Not all demons are bad," he says to me as his eyes roll in the back of his head. We leave completely defeated.

We walk the many blocks to church in silence, trying to process what just happened. I've always heard of "spirits" taking the form of humans to tell them something. We honestly don't know if he was real or if he was truly evil coming to combat us. I haven't been able to escape this warfare. As we reach church there's a line wrapped around the building. Defeat, again. I want to turn and run.

We get in line only to be greeted by a beautiful woman who welcomes us and takes interest in why we are there. We tell her about Invisible Children, she gives us comfort and says she will be praying for us. Encouragement.

As we make our way in the church we realize that there is standing room only. Why did we stay? I'm not sure, but it was for a purpose. We worship, we pray and we are still tormented with this feeling of defeat. The pastor preaches on Gold in the Garbage. No matter the circumstance, there is gold in the garbage. It was perfect for what we are going through at the moment. Half way through the service he mentions a video about a man who abducts children and forces them to fight in his rebel army. I freeze as he mentions KONY 2012 and immediately want to run in defeat. Can I not escape the criticism? He proceeds to tell us that he sat down with his family to watch the film and through this film his two daughters came to know the Lord. Then his daughters shared it with the children's ministry and even more children came to know the Lord.

I break into tears. The negativity, the critics and the people who tell me I can't do this have haunted me for weeks. Then one pastor in a church in New York City, who doesn't even know I'm in the audience, reassures what I already know. Prays for exact things that I need like sleep, confidence and courage. God is so good.

We have to persevere. God is on our side. Our God is so much bigger than the problem. We need to take joy in that. We are a factor in the equation. We as the church who are furthering the kingdom are a factor and evil wants to do everything it can to combat us. Put on the armor of the Lord and stand with strength. God's power will show up when you need it most.

Three things that the pastor shared with us are three things that I will repeat to myself daily.
1) We need to have vision. Vision for what you can't see because what you can see is not always what you're going to get
2) Have peace. Peace in the pressure. Life is built on Jesus and he is immovable. We have the Prince of Peace with us. Have peace, brothers and sisters.
3) In the end, have grace. Grace when you get there. God brought you out, so testify in humility and give the glory to the Lord.

"Garbage seasons will come and go, but your faith filled spirit can be built to last."

Take heart. We will overcome.


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