I started the following as a short note to Pete on the Grudge, in regard to his skunk and spilled coffee. It got long. It also got feeling important enough for a blog posting, rather than burial in comments that a lot of our visitors don’t read.
We’re doing spiritual warfare here and we’re doing damage to Satan’s strongholds. Obviously, there will be push back. Skunk in the road. Spilled coffee in the lap (ouch). These are expectable events in anyone’s ordinary life, much more so when you go poking the hornet’s nest the way we’re doing now.
I’ve been doing spiritual warfare for years (long story) and I’ve learned two things.
- We can choose how we respond to bad things.
- If we choose grace over grouch, it totally kicks demon butt.
It’s challenging to learn how to thank God for bad stuff and, for a long time, I thought it was sick to even try. Then, I learned that it is only sick if you thank Him for the bad thing itself, not for the good He can bring out of it.
Romans 8:28 says,
“In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It doesn’t say, “In the good things.” It says, “In ALL things.”
So He’s doing good, always and everywhere. The trick for us is to learn to work WITH Him in this. I’m reminded of my eldest, who was a slippery escape artist as a toddler. Hold her hand, she’d do her best to pull away. Put a leash on her, she’d sit on the sidewalk and scream. Let her choose her own direction, she’d wait to see which way I wanted to go, so she could run the other way.
Does anyone question that I always wanted what was best for her and that, if she’d cooperated by going WITH me, we could have had more fun and fewer arguments and tears? God’s the same way. When something bad happens, the way of the flesh is to cuss and be all cranky about it; the way of grace is to choose the opposite.
It’s the message of the cross, that in and with Jesus, we can flip any and all bad things on their heads and use them to glorify God and build His kingdom.
Basic steps: ACTS
Adoration: Rejoice in having authority in Jesus to rebuke Satan and his plan to harm you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Contrition: Repent of the human desire to bitch and moan and, through repentance, allow God’s grace to change those human feelings.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for having a wonderful plan to bring good out of whatever it is.
Supplication: Offer up the suffering the bad things causes for the salvation of sinners.
I learned the power in this in a really wonderful way once.
I was in the kitchen and dropped something full of something, forget what, but it broke and made an almighty mess all over the floor and up the cupboard doors. My weak heart and arthritis make this a bigger problem for me than for most.
So I’m standing there, looking at this mess, knowing the clean-up will be long and painful. But I remembered I had the choice how to respond. So I said, out loud,
“Thank you, Lord, for giving me this chance to kick demon butt.”
I am not nuts and I am NOT making this up. But as soon as I finished saying that, I HEARD a voice say disgustedly,
“I HATE when she does that!”
It still gives me the grins to remember that!
This is not an easy skill to learn. But it is SO worth it. It also seems to me, looking back, that it was the first step on my road to beating depression.