I have recognized that I need to spend these next few months focusing on aspects of Jesus' character. I don't need motivational fluff...I need to be equipped with the knowledge of my powerful Savior. I'm going to use Max Lucado's study, "Experiencing the Heart of Jesus" to guide me.
Satan was having a field day with me this past week, doing his best to scare me with stories of spiritual warfare. I spoke with missionaries to the Philippines last weekend and learned of a demon who was possessing a girl (she did NOT know English). This demon addressed the missionary by name--and in English (yikes). I also spoke with a missionary who had a witch doctor in Africa put a curse on him and his family that they would die in several days. For a few days, I was shaken up by the power that demons have...but then I realized, "Wait a minute. Sure, they have SOME power, but that's not the end of the story. My God has already won this battle--as it clearly states in the Bible. My God is so much MORE powerful than sneaky demons. I'm on His team, and I know that demons shudder at His name...I have nothing to fear." Nevertheless, since demonic activity is so prevalent and so in-your-face in Uganda, it's definitely something I need to take seriously. I need to prayerfully equip myself every day I'm over there.
Knowing that I needed to fill my mind with Truth and reminders of His power displayed in the Bible, I have been so encouraged the last few days. He raised children from the dead. He healed the social outcasts with grotesque sicknesses. He fed thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish. He defied the laws of nature and walked on water.
Let this encourage you....our God is STILL alive and working. These stories are not so we realize what Jesus did. It's to remind us of what He does. We can, with a hopeful heart, realize that even if we feel broken, He is able to heal.
"A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." -Matt. 12:20 NIV
Do you get that?? He loves you despite your struggles and despite your weaknesses.
You might feel like a bruised reed--once standing upright by the waters, nourished by what it offers. But now you're bent over, feeling weak.
Or perhaps you're feeling like a smoldering wick--once on fire for Him, you had strong faith. But now the flame is close to being snuffed out. You're trying to hold on to what little light you have left.
The world has no place for you. The world says you're not worth it. You're not good enough.
But the arms of Jesus welcome you. He whispers, "You feel bruised and broken. But I love you. You're valuable in My eyes. Stay close to me, and I will use you in mighty ways. Your life still has significant purpose."
I'm weak. But He is powerful. And that is beautiful.