Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Rough Ride

Things have been a bit choppy lately, I have definitely felt a great deal of internal oppression for one reason or another.

Firstly - as you may recall, I was feeling very downcast about the future at my church. Despite knowing the future blessing that God intends to pour out on the church, I had become despondent about the interference of man... some people seem to be looking to diocese and deanery to secure the future... and not trusting in God. However, God had gently convicted me that at the end of the day he's in control... and he can use man's disobedience and stubbornness to his advantage. He also reminded me that the physical situation is not relevant to the spiritual plan. Israel was not a sovereign nation when Jesus the Messiah, came to save us.

Having jumped that hurdle, it wasn't long before my peace was disturbed again. After I was made to doubt the generic blessing for our church... I was attacked with doubt about personal blessings that I am waiting on God for (December is a bad time for me, with regard to a certain area of my life). I was seeing certain things and people were inadvertantly saying things that triggered various painful memories. Not only this, but in a similar vein I felt oppressed about my home situation. My lack of ability to support myself at present. You might think that all these things, that i see as an attack... are coincidental, but the frequency of them happening suggested something else to me. Besides, something was going on... because at the same time God was speaking things that were countering all the negativity. I ran into a few familiar scriptures at somebody else's church:

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, [a]
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.
"For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed."
I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

and:

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.


I also found the following on Cien's space, which helped pick me up out of the dirt a bit:

http://spaces.msn.com/members/CienSubRosa/blog/cns!1pk_vJePRMlchtI6n_7uc4LQ!432.trak

Now you might say I was being rebuked for feeling worn down... but I don't think that's it. It seems really important to God that I don't get downcast at this time. I'm not the only one feeling the pinch either, friends of mine have recently struggled in their own way. With this much negative activity going on, it's only natural for me to consider that something good may be close at hand. After all, the best way of stopping an army attacking is to lay siege to it while it is being strengthened.

It's important to recognise evil agendas deeds and activities for what they are. I would appreciate any prayers of encouragement at this time. Not for myself, but for my church and for the people of God in my area... the town of Alcester, the village of Great Alne and all the surrounding area.

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