One day, after asking the Lord to please speak to my heart about the things that were bothering me, I “accidentally” opened my Bible to Galatians 4 instead of Romans 4 (which would have been my regular reading) and didn’t realize it until after I’d read about Sarah and Hagar. The contrast between the son born of the flesh and the son born of the promise, the slave vs. the free, the flesh and the Spirit, seem to be both in me. I am slave and free; I am of flesh and of promise; I am flesh and spirit. And I am sometimes torn – in my value, purpose, and direction.
As far as my value goes, in the flesh and as a slave, I am dependent upon others’ opinions and my own performance. But in the promise and in the spirit, I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted and complete in Christ, as Robert S. McGee taught me in The Search for Significance (2003)!
As far as my purpose goes, in the flesh and as a slave, I am easily discouraged, confused, and worried about many things. I wonder if it’s all for nothing and if I shouldn’t be quitting ministry and getting a full time job. But in the promise and in the spirit, I know I am doing the work God gave me to do when I continue volunteering for New Heart Network. This is my heart and my passion, and it lines up with God’s heart and passion.
As far as direction goes, in the flesh and as a slave, I can become disoriented and stumble wearily off the path God placed before me. But in the promise and in the spirit I know I’m on the right track.
But my flesh persecutes my spirit, just as Hagar persecuted Sarah when Sarah was thought to be barren. My flesh persecutes my spirit with the “logical and necessary.”
And then the enemy attacks me with words like: “What’s your motive?” “No one appreciates or cares whether you continue with New Heart—you’re just an old lady,” “Everything would be exactly the same if you quit. No one would miss you,” and “You’ve done nothing that has any eternal value!”
LIES!!!! LIES OF THE ENEMY!!!
They are the fiery darts of the enemy! (Aren’t they?) My shield of faith weakens at times, but the Lord will be my shield and my brothers and sisters will pray and lift their shield of faith on my behalf until my shield can be repaired and strengthened! And I will stand! In the name of Jesus Christ and by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit! (So help me God!)
And yet the doubt continues to nag around the edges of my resolve, like tattered tapestry: Is it of any use and why do I care? It continues to be a battle, nine years later. But it’s a battle I never give up on! And with age, comes more fear to add to the mix, and the enemy continues to lie to me and try to convince me how worthless I am and always have been!
And then I ponder a wonderful worship song, which reminds me I am surrounded by the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and no matter what the Lies are that come at me almost daily, Truth is in me, on me, around me and for me, and I will stand on Truth! Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and I am HIS!
ALL THAT TO SAY: If you’re in a battle, you’re not alone! The Father surrounds you and the battle is His! Your brothers and sisters in Christ are there for you, so don’t isolate! Trust the Lord and in His mighty power!