Sunday, 13 September 2015

for the win

Hello and good day to you. You alright? 

Am I the only person who is confused by the Bible? I doubt it. There's a verse that says something like 'our fight isn't against people but against the spiritual powers of this world' and if I was a proper Christian I would go and look up the actual reference but Sim wakes up at five-ish everyday so I'm writing this as fast as my fingers can carry me so I can go to bed and I'm not about to go on a tangent because that would take too long and by the time I've finished this explanation I could have just gone and looked it up. Numpty. 

But yes. Fighting. Spiritual things and all that jazz.

Today I had one of those 'oh yeah!' moments where something makes sense, suddenly, something that everyone else has probably known for ages but it's still big news for my brain.
Can I tell you about it? If you already know then feel free to wander off. I won't mind. I won't actually know. Maybe don't tell me. That would be rude.

Do any of you have a struggle? A thing, a situation, a thorny wound that will not heal, will not resolve, that feels like every God moment or high or revelation or solution or resolution just promises a healing that doesn't actually deliver?
Do you have a friend for whom you have literally prayed the same prayers for years and never seen any change? 
'Please heal her. Please heal her. Please heal her. Are you ever going to heal her?'

I know so many people who have struggled for what feels like aeons with depression, anxiety, fear, sickness, financial burdens, isolation. And I know the brutal, relentless torture  of those struggles and I know still what it's like to stand weeping in the shower, shouting at a God who seems incapable of truly delivering on his promises. In any way that sticks. In any way that demonstrates this crucifixion resurrection victory that we pedal.
'Please heal me. Please heal me. Please heal me. Are you ever going to heal me?'

I have a thorn. It can't really be summed up in a blog post. It's nothing terrible, don't worry. It's just a suitcase I'm carrying through life and it's heavy and full of rubbish thoughts.

I don't think I'm the only one.
I don't think I'm the only person in the world who is often frustrated by my own lack of wholeness. I'm probably not alone in having had amazing breakthroughs with God only to find myself taken down again a week later by a stupid comment, an insecure friend, an online ad, a stranger's very much not there yet.

Breakthroughs have happened. I know progress, and I know seasons of amazing healing but it's not done yet and will it ever be done and this is just really pissing me off now.
I want to be done. I want the victory now. Aren't we promised the victory now? 

And here's my 'oh'.
It's a battle.
We're told to battle spiritual evil on a spiritual level and we're told that this is called 'praying'. Praying. Thumping the ground as we fall to our knees, weeping with God, railing with God, siding with God. Arguing with God. Climbing back up into His lap for a cuddle. Siding with God again. It's the sweat and the grit of intercession, it's the curling your fingers around the hilt He's offered you and it's standing on two feet, in the gap, for those lying wounded on the ground.
I love prayer.
But I hate repeating myself. I bore easily. I expect results.

Here's the bigger 'oh'. 
It's not one battle. One battle doesn't win a war. 
It's many many many battles, skirmishes, sorties, victories, advances and barrages. It's a war. An all out, world at stake, holding nothing back war.
And our enemy is horrific. He invented rape. And abuse. And poverty. And self harm. And despair. And addiction. And every suffering that ravages the lives of those God created just to love and be loved. We are assaulted on every side, we are hard pressed and beaten down and hurt hurt hurt because Satan is not ever kind. Dressed like sex and smelling like money but he wants to kill us all and he's made of lies.
Our enemy hates us. He hates love. He hates God.
He wants us wrecked and we must fight him, and his, battle after battle.
Prayer after prayer.
Breath after breath.
Prayer after prayer.
Step after step.
Prayer after prayer.
Breakthroughs will always be contested - if you break through the enemy line it attracts attention and then you get some missiles lobbed at you but the thing is that we are going to win.

We win.
It's already finished.
I believe this is referred to as the now and the not yet.

We don't fight a war to avoid losing.
We fight because we are destined for victory, because there is no hit we can take that could destroy us. There is literally nothing our enemy could do to win.
It's game over and we are taking back territory that was declared ours on Easter Sunday/ Pentecost/ Good Friday/ all of it. We're making the land safe again.

He did it. The cross has done it.
And this life is hard, it's battle after battle, it's step up and walk on and fall down and get bandaged up and pick up your sword again. It's battles. It's army.
It's a bit healed, and a bit wounded again, and a bit healed in a different area, and having to re break bones to set them better, and it's helping others get back up, and every little bit of healing is a win, a step towards the promised land. 

But it's also a sky full of stars that declare the strength and passion of God. It's an entire humanity redeemed, paid for, ransomed. It's a stand alone act of self sacrifice that carries across space and time and it carries us home. The banner over us is LOVE.

While I live this thorn may give me a limp from time to time. While I live I will have times of respite, I will see healing, and I will continue the struggle because I think I will always have to get back into the fray.

Until it's time to go abide in the victory.

To abide in the victory. Where those battles, these thorns, will be healed as if they never were. Healing forever. Wholeness forever.

Love wins.