Saturday, March 7, 2009

Café Chat March 7th

Today's topic:

So, how can we be set free in Christ from our strongholds and struggles? (If you can please make sure to use scripture to support your answers). Feel free to share your testimony of how you were set free from your struggles in the past as well.

Being of an analytical, research-minded nature, I began today's exercise by thinking about what are strongholds? I should made this effort last week. Today is Part II of the exercise. Last week we wrote about our strongholds. This week we're to write about freedom from strongholds. Hmmm. So when I wrote about wrestling with impatience last week, I was correct in my thinking "This is something that separates me from God." But maybe it's not really a stronghold.

A stronghold is " n. A fastness; a fort or fortress; fortfield place; a place of security. "

The Bible says that God is our stronghold: Psalm 9:9; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 43:2; Psalm 144:2. Conversely, in Psalm 52 Davis speaks of a man who did not make God his stronghold, "but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!"

In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul warns that the "weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Our strongholds are the places where we seek comfort. These places should be places of God. Anything that is not, is a stronghold that is of our own construction and inevitable destruction.

I know that for many women it is weight or their physical definition of themselves. For myself, I've struggled with my weight, but it's not currently a distraction. (Please see my 3/8 post for more on this.) There have been times that as the breadwinner for the family maybe I felt too much ownership of our financial security. I am happy to say that those days are long behind me. If anything, maybe I am too anxious to know what God has planned for me, and I'm too eager to act on any indication of what I should be doing (Rebekah) to please God.

Impatience is the behavior that separates me from God. It is not a stronghold because it's not something that gives me comfort. It is a sin. I have been very aware of any signs of impatience during the last week and I'm happy to report that for the most part I'm just in too much of a hurry. There's not much more too it than that.

But...that in and of itself is enough to rob me of precious time and energy. Time and energy that should be devoted to Godly pursuits. It is in the journey, the time spent holding hands and sharing lovingly with our Almighty, that we become familiar and comfortable with our Lord. What a tragedy if I miss out on that.

By way of comparison, this morning I drove four teens, including my youngest, to an overnight "Counselor training" for summer camp. We were running late and I was hurrying a bit (hopefully less than usual) but that did not stop me from being a nosey Nelly and listening, looking, paying attention to all of the dynamics in the vehicle. It was a rare opportunity for me to watch my youngest with his peers. To see them interacting. To learn more about them as individuals and as a team. Occasionally they even engaged me in their conversation! What a blessing.

It is my goal and my desire to pay attention to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as I journey through this life. It is not about the destination, but the journey. The scripture that resonates for me is Psalm 42:10a "Be still and know that I am God."

Father, be with me on this journey. Help me to feel you with me and let my focus be on you. The things of this life that make me feel impatient are nothing. You are everything.



Andrea said...

What a detailed response! I appreciated your analytical approach.

Like you, I struggle with impatience and slowly I'm learning how to be more patient. God is constantly giving me opportunities to practice!

Thank you for being so transparent. I very much enjoyed your post.

you gotta wonder said...

@ Andrea, Thank you for your comment. I know as parents we are afforded many opportunities to practice patience!