Reposted from June 2009
I’m thinking that I’m not the only one who goes through periods of time when circumstances allow so much adversity that it feels as if you’re being battered from all sides and dying from a thousand cuts.
When you are in ministry and walking with Jesus, adversity is to be expected (and according to James 1:2-3 — reason to be joyous). “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
This isn’t taught to new Christians… in fact it is not covered until you are in the Christian 301 class during your Junior Year. Lucky for you, this blog isn’t about Spiritual Warfare (SW)… it could be, but it’s not. It’s really about our response to SW. We all go through it… what happens when we feel empty from the battle?
I’m a bit ashamed that there have been a few days, weeks, months as of recent where I have not been the Overcomer (1 John 4:4) that the Lord has destined me to be. There are days when I rise and greet my Maker, spend quiet time with Him, cover all in prayer and feel full and overflowing with His love and Spirit. But then the circumstances of my day begin depleting my cupboards. Some days, I feel so tattered and worn that I end the day completely empty.
Not so long ago, I read a devotion from Frances J. Roberts that has been just hanging around in my head and heart. He was talking about never being caught empty.
“Be to Me as a reservoir where I can store up My reserve of strength and power and blessing, and so make it readily available to the thirsty. Be never caught as a man in the biblical account who, having unexpected guests at midnight, had nothing to set before them (Luke 11:6). Take from Me largely, that ye be never holding an empty cup when the thirsty ask of thee a drink, and be never lacking when the sick ask for bread (Mark 7:27-28). For it ye have but a little, I will multiply it; but if ye have not any, ye shall be ashamed. Receive of My love freely. Drink of My Spirit yea, drink deeply, so that it shall be truly “waters to swim in” (Ezekiel 47:5). And move out by faith into the realms of the manifestations of My power, yea, mount up on the wings of My power. For there are powers of the air to be subdued and conquered. Thou needest faith and the liberty and power of the Holy Spirit to overcome these and to rise above.”
These words from Frances J Roberts really set me on my heels as I had found some comfort in my occasional defeatist attitude. Roberts was reminding me that I can’t let my ‘tank’ go empty. I can’t let my cup dry up or run out of bread. I have to always have some extra (mercy, grace, joy, love, understanding) in the cupboards for others in need. I can’t let the fatigue from the battle of good versus evil – light versus darkness – send me into a severe case of Battle Fatigue.
This lesson was really brought home last month. I was put to shame by a very Godly friend who lost her 19 year old son to suicide earlier in the spring. Her family’s loss has been very real and painful and inconceivable. But I have to say that this woman’s ministry of still ‘showing up’ and allowing God to work through her for others, as a Bible Study Leader, gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. She showed me how the Mark 7 scripture was supposed to look. She never allowed herself to be completely emptied. God promised that as long as we have a bit of (faith) in him, he can multiply it and use if for His glory.
None of us have a good reason to allow the enemy to rendor us ineffective and empty. We must put on the Armor of God everyday (Ephesians 6:10-18). We must rejoice that God is using us so powerfully that we are actually a target of the enemy. We must claim the promises of God that say:
Psalm 18:2 – The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Philippians 4:19 – And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Faith and patience is the canal for miracles, remedy for empty cupboards, dried up cups, and Battle Fatigue. Faith is a choice… choose wisely and don’t be found lacking.