You have every right to disagree with people and to speak up about our beliefs, but when our beliefs become a way of separating, shaming, or devaluing people and our relationships, something needs to change and honestly I have had a lot of frustrated conversations with God about it because I have found myself doing it a few times and I kick myself in the butt for it because some of those who have a different opinion about this, I have a lot of great love for.
God’s response to my sniffling grumbles about this has been a gentle loving hug and redirecting of where the issue really is. Our battle isn’t against the people or even their beliefs. My battle is something much bigger, it’s a spiritual power that wants to tear down and destroy us. It’s the spiritual unseen aspect of Covid and the spiritual atmosphere of confusion and fear carries that seeks to control us and destroy us. This is our enemy, not the people. We are all facing this enemy and instead of fighting it, we are fighting one another. I truly believe that is the enemies plan.
When I say fear, I am not talking about masks or social distancing or any choice you make. I am talking about the emotions we have all at one time or another carried in the midst of this. Some of us fear wearing masks, and some have fear of not wearing masks, some have fear of being controlled by people and governments, and some have fear of offending others. What if our choice is to not choose anything from fear but from peace? From knowing it’s my choice to make out of love and confidence in what is the right thing to do directed by our personal discernment from the Holy Spirit that dwells inside us all. You can wear a mask or not wear a mask and know that fear doesn’t control me but rather perfect love!
I was talking to a friend today and she reminded me of this blog post I wrote a few years ago about an encounter I had. I feel like part of this is so relevant to what we are experiencing in this time.
Here is a part of my original post:
HE PREPARES A TABLE IN THE MIDST OF OUR ENEMIES!
Aug 2017: Sitting down next to Him, a meal has been prepared. Before us is brought wine and bread and many other things.
Holding me tightly, I lean into His arms. Tired, yet, enjoying this moment. He blesses the food before us, and I look up from where I sit. I am shocked at what I see and many parts of me want to run and have a fit.
For sitting in front of me is the Spirit of Fear. He is ugly and cruel as he sits there watching me. His mocking smile is like a bad memory from when I was at school. Next, comes Anger and right next to him is Rejection. Then came Sorrow and Despair. I look at them and cannot begin to know why they are there. I am completely in shock as I see them sitting watching me. They do not move, they do not say a word, and yet in their presence, I do not want to be. In total shock, I don’t know what to do. With it comes the ever increasing heavy emotions that cause these Spirits to snicker. I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to leave. “Jesus, please tell me why?” I say in anger.
I feel Jesus arms around me, gently squeezing me tight, and His soothing whisper reminds me. “This is all a part of the plan.”
I don’t know what to do, yet I know that Jesus has something good. Gently, His word comes to me like a sweet song in the night, “I prepare a table in the presence of your enemies and Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. For my Love is strong enough to hold you fast and it goes beyond fear’s wrath. For I have given you the courage and strength, you need. It is our love and in this place of intimacy.”
As he said this, a deep understanding of this moment came to me. I realized this was a moment where I was to face my enemies. I looked at them and wanted to cry. For with their scowl, parts of me felt incredible pain inside. “How can I sit here, Jesus.” I said. This is so painful with all this dread. He responded, “Speak my words and you will find rest in the middle of their mess. ” So I did.
“I am more than a conqueror. Greater is He that is in me than He that is in this world. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. You prepare a table in the midst of my enemies and your banner over me is Love. Perfect love cast out all fear!
Fear…you have no power here!
Anger, you have no power over love!
Sorrow, my Joy is here, and it is to stay!
Dispare…My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus and his righteousness!”
As I began to declare these words, it was like every bit of emotion that was coming from them fell off me. Suddenly, I was able to move again. I was able to rest again because I realized I had the advantage. Every emotion they were projecting at me just went right back to them. With this Jesus took the bread and broke it and said, this is my body, take and eat. Then the same with the cup. This is my blood of the new covenant. Take and drink. As I did, I felt like new life was coming back to me again. No more fear and no more shame.
Praise God, in place of sadness and fear, is abundant joy beyond anything I’ve ever felt! He unites us to fear His name and excites us and thrills us beyond all scope of the human imagination!