Getting real / being real praying in this time

Wow. I never thought that I would be praying at the grocery store. And sometimes coming home with conviction of Holy Spirit, that I hadn’t gotten His nudge that I really didn’t need <fill in the blank>. Amazon is worse. Old buying habits are leveraged by the fear and panic. I ended up with 4 boxes of vegan egg replacer (for baking). I am not vegan, but one time I was on the Esselstyn Diet, and was low-fat vegan, and found that the egg replacer was pretty good. I couldn’t tell the difference. But, I bought 4 boxes on Amazon, because it was only slightly more than 2 boxes. Now I am praying to cross paths with a vegan or two who need box(es).

I honestly didn’t want to go to the big supermarket chain in town last Friday, because, I knew I would encounter major spirits of fear there (2 Tim 1:7). I tried to run away (Jonah). But was convicted that I had to go. I went, and I was tempted many times. And, I came home with a few things that I didn’t need.

I met with a friend that God uses in intercession, and we talked about my experience. I got the sense that I was getting sucked into the trap of praying against things, without praying for things. I was praying that the spirit of fear would be cast down. But I realized that I hadn’t prayed that God’s kingdom would advance. That people would turn from fear to God for assurance.

When I was talking to my friend, I remembered Pro 16:7, incorrectly. I thought that it said that God caused even His enemies to serve Him. It doesn’t say that, it says “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (NASB)

But you can see satan having some latitude, but within limits and the plans of God, in the first part of the book of Job.

You will notice that when I refer to satan, I don’t capitalize the name. The reason is that I am emphasizing that satan and God are not in the same class. God created Lucifer, who fell and became satan. The creator and the created can not be compared, in my mind.

And far too often, people think that it is a seesaw battle between evenly matched forces. It is not. In fact the battle already belongs to Jesus. I heard a teaching that the words “public display”, when used in the context of triumph, as they are in Col 2:15 refer to a common military practice of the day. That the victorious general, would have the officers of those that he conquered stripped, and chained to the back of his chariot for a “public display” both to signal that there was no need to be afraid any longer, as well as, communicate that the opposing forces had been overcome, from the greatest on down.

“When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (NASB)

Jesus has won. And He calls us to stand (Eph 6:11,14). And He calls us to struggle (Eph 6:12) And He calls us to war (2 Cor 10:3-5). Victory is assured. Following Jesus and doing what He says is what we need to do.

Back from the aside. With God in control. With God being a good and loving Abba (Daddy). What should we do? First and foremost, we should listen. And, that is why praying that people will be reached in the middle of this distress is so important.

Two quick stories, and then I will leave you to take what I have said and take it to God.

One is the story of a father who took his young son to the zoo. The boy was so excited about the unusual animals. At the lion’s cage, the boy was especially trying to get close. And the father was more than a little anxious. As the dad thought about what to say to his son so that he could internalize respect for the power and instincts of the lion, the lion let out a roar. The boy was in his dad’s arms in a heartbeat.

The other is the story of my own conversion. I had a guy who I secretly admired for his reliance on God, because He spoke openly about Jesus in the college dining hall to anyone who would listen. He was rejected a lot. But from somewhere he was accepted even more. I just didn’t know where. He would asked me questions like “If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?” and “Have you ever just talked to Jesus?”

One night, I was all alone and I was afraid that I might die. Those two questions came back to me. I was afraid, of death, but more afraid that I didn’t know where I would spend eternity. And I was sure that I had nothing to point to that was good in my life. I had lived for myself. I had nothing to offer Jesus but a mess to clean up. And He gave me grace to off that mess of sin that was me to Him. I did, and He immediately came to me with more powerful love than I ever experienced.

So God, though He does drive fear out with His love (1 Jhn 4:18), will meet us in fear, even the fear of death, and use that to make us aware of our need for Him.