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Sunday, April 29, 2012

DELIVER ME FROM ME

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)

I know the Lord's prayer.  It says deliver us from the evil one.  I know that is just a passing phrase to some, just part of a famous prayer, or part of the pomp and circumstance for others.

For me...it has been my life.

Since I took a stand and gave my heart and life away as my gift to a loving God.  I also made an enemy that day.  The more I searched out God's words to me, the more I heard his voice, and the more that I trusted and cared for no other as I cared for him, then the more I have been stalked in a vain attempt to discourage my joyful heart.  Time after time I heard him snarl, "Ah ha!  This will throw her." or with a nasty grin he'd brag, "This will bring her down.  She will give up now."

I wish that I could say that he failed completely.  I cannot.  Many times I allowed sadness, sorrow, and doubt to settle in my room.  They are draining companions that hover close waiting for the opportunity to haunt me or to flick the switch that begins reruns of the past followed by the what ifs and if onlys wandering aimlessly throughout my mind.  Too many times fears and false estimations of myself reigned.  Too much time wasted away before I caught on and banished the lies.

No, the title says it all.  I know the truth and Jesus could have set me free each time had I asked him to.  Today, I am addicted to this freedom bought with his precious sacrifice on the cross.  So, why did I tolerate so many episodes with lies wrapped around my heart?  Why did I wait to walk out of the fog and into his glorious light to embrace who he made me to be?

I forgot what God said about me.  He created all and he said it was good.  I was made by God, so I am good.  I am his child, his beloved, so he cares for me and is always there to defend me.

Lord, deliver me from me.  My thoughts are so small.  My vision so narrow.  How vast is your love toward me!

As I cleaned and packed more of my classroom today, I was also cleaning and packing all those fears.  Fear that wants me to shiver and wonder what will be next.  What is my purpose?

Instead, the courage the Spirit gives to me dispels those old thought patterns and shouts clearly...the best is yet to come.  Walk with me and see what I will show you.  You will never be disappointed whenever you step out with me in faith.

So, I trade in the old model for a new one.  The dingy, dented fenders of my youth, the dings on the doors from disappointments, the chips in the windshield where I still struggle to forgive, the faded paint of my convictions...I trade it all in and in return...I ride a white horse with a flowing, braided mane full of red and blue streaming ribbons.  Etched on the saddle are the stories of my life.  Funny, as I look closer, the ones I considered my failures are what brought me closer to God and made me stronger, too.  These stories are my medals and my mementos, for they forged me into who I am.

God wants to deliver me from me. I get in the way of renewal.  I get in the way of miracles.  I get in the way of peace.  I get in the way of the fullness of life.  Most of all, I get in the way of the adventure that he designed each day of our lives to be.

Adjust my vision to the King's prescription.  Never let me lose sight of him and who he is.  Deliver me from me!
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