December 2, 2008

Faith is the evidence

....of things not seen (and the substance of things hoped for). - Hebrews 11:1

This image is riveting. The vulture appears to just be patiently waiting for the minute that this child lets go so of life in eager anticipation of swooping in on an easy meal. It's eerily similar to how I've been feeling over the last few days. A sense of darkness has permeated my world. I told my wife a couple of days ago that I felt as though the enemy was making every move he could to steal, kill and destroy my faith. God's enabled me with incredible faith to believe Him for the impossible as I step out into a deeper calling, but lately I've found it more of a challenge to cling to His promises.

Last night my 3 year old woke up in the middle of the night complaining of knee and stomach pain. We prayed the Lord would heal him and about 30 minutes later put him back in bed. He slept through the night and woke up feeling fine. Thank you, Jesus. I found it hard to fall back asleep once we had put him back down and spent nearly an hour just praying. On several occasions I felt a clear presence trying to make it's way in. Like a black veil being gently tossed down on me from behind. I prayed fervently against whatever was trying to come against me. Now that I think about it, I had even asked that some friends at our church pray over us as I felt we were going to experience a spiritual attack this week. There is so much I can't explain but one thing I can is that wherever the Lord is leading me, the devil seems eager to interfere. One of my favorite passages is 1 John 4:18 - Perfect love casts out fear. It's amazing how praying the name of Jesus will instantly cast fear out of my spirit and cause His enemy to cower. Such power is in the Name that I doubt we'll ever fully realize until we're home. All that to say that I awoke this morning feeling really sleepy but entirely refreshed and renewed.

My encouragement to any of you that may be going through something similar in terms of stepping in faith even when you're not seeing the end result is to cling to the promises of His word and to pray Jesus over any attempts of the darkness trying to steal your faith and your joy. Be reminded that "without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 4:6)

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. - Hebrews 11: 30-40

Live by Faith!


Chase said...

Great encouragement, and well received in the dark of the night.


Daniel Young said...

Agreed. Thanks man. I seem to be coming up with excuses as to why I'm not seeking Him. I am encouraged. Thanks.

Tim Mallon said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have felt this way as well... a darkness that would have me even when I am seeking the Lord as I have never sought before. Coming before Him always refreshes me though.

Jacob Christopher said...

This too has been been finding me throughout the week. The devil in small ways his peeking around every corner. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I have just been praying as much as I can for strength.

Matthew Richardson said...

Thank you so much for your transparency. I foolishly thought I was the only one going through these supressions lately. On the eve of the biggest decision our ministry has ever faced, I am finding myself filled with depression and uncertainty. I know this is absolutely where God is calling us, yet, the enemy is over my shoulder. Around every corner, lurking in the shadows. Just waiting for a waivering in my faith or my judgement. Please continue to pray for us as things get more attention from the enemy. We will do the same.