So there I am upstairs praying and singing and doing the nightly devotional stuff when the Lord showed me a stronghold in my mind that was battling my prayers. And what might this stronghold be, you may ask? The fear of living a sadly ironical life.
Specifically: Wouldn't it be totally ironic if I got a million dollars for my book in April and someone I loved got so sick he had to get money for a hospital in March and I just couldn't do it cause of lack of funds? Wouldn't it be ironic if I got money to buy a new mold-free house in June which would help my son's allergies immensely but if he got so sick from allergies in March that when the money comes it's no help? Wouldn't it be ironic if I got tons of money in December when a friend's impatient son needed to get the money now and turned to drug-dealing before I could get the December money to help him?
Get the picture??? Whence this negative fear, this irony?
Too much literature alas. Too many ironic movies alack.
The Lord tells us to take every thought captive to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. He tells us that the weapons of our spiritual warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Jesus tells us that the battle is in the mind and that we must not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind. And in this case, my mind needs to be freed from this "little fox" that is nibbling away at the vine that holds me to Christ's love...and that is causing a subtle kind of hidden doublemindedness in my prayers to God.
So many times people think of unbelief as a simple thing. But it's not... it's subtle. And Doublemindedness is subtle indeed. James wrote that "the doubleminded person will not get anything." So many times we don't get a prayer answered even though we believe, even though we have asked, even though we don't want the prayer answered so we can consume it on our lusts. But what's really going on is the faith-blocking power of a thought -- usually a thought that stems from fear, doubt, despair...not really from unbelief. So it's not some major unbelief in the sense that it's not as if I don't believe God will help me. But it's a stronghold in that it is such a powerful underlying fear that it does work against faith and what I know about God's love and timing of his care for his people.
So, now that God has revealed this to me...what am I to do? I am to use one of the spiritual weapons. In this case, I will use "the sword of the spirit which is the word of God." The particular sword I will use is this: "My times are in God's hand."
I like that verse. I wish there was a verse out there that said, "God is not snide or slick" but the nearest I can get is, "God is love." He would not do such a thing to me. And I could also add another little sword-dagger word of God, "Be careful how you hear." In this case, I am going to trust the light of the Holy Spirit to shed light on the dark places in my soul that have been created by reading ironic great literature of the world. God's word is truth, not ironic story.
Father, you are love. You are kind. I trust you...my times are in your hands. Thank you so much for showing me this dark thought in my mind that has been battling my prayers. Root it out, dear Lord. So my prayers to you will not be double-minded. Amen, dear Amen.
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