On any given day, obviously most commonly after disasters or mass attacks, our news feed is full of posts, interviews, and stories of fear and uncertainty in our nation. This feeling is widespread and yet, people don't share. We don't share their own trials and fears and situations. We don't reach out to others for help or solutions. We don't feel like we can talk to anyone about struggles of parenting, anxiety, finances, or grief. Our minds and bodies pay the consequences of all of those stuffed feelings. Our spiritual walk is filtered by being under constant attack. Our relationship with God suffers because as the battle around us intensifies, less of Him can get in...or so we believe because we have allowed interference. We have allowed these things more authority than God because we were led to believe that was our lot in life. Why is that? Why are we not reaching out? What lie tells you that you are not relevant?
I asked that question of someone who struggled for years. She said that she was afraid. When she said the word, "afraid," my spirit showed me a beautiful woman in a pale green hijab who will come to one of my conferences. She was covered in fear, but faith brought her there. She faced a double-edged sword- the other attendees spoke in hushed whispers and looked at her in fear, not approaching her because of fear planted by perverted souls. They looked at her as if her presence was a hazard to their safety. As if she alone was responsible for years of pain in this country. And yet, ironically, her presence was a hazard to her safety. Her being there could cost her life. She knew that although her physical life was in danger, she needed life for her soul. The spirit of fear had to be overcome to find what life truly had to offer.
We have been led to believe that we can dodge death if we do all of the right things... if we make the right choices, eat a certain way, drive carefully and buckle up...we can dodge death. That's simply not true. The spirit of death has been on this earth since that apple was bitten. It was given welcome, a legal foothold. None of us are immune to it. So what if we stopped being so busy looking around to make sure that it's not looking at us, and thought about this: What is your life worth?
Jesus's life was given for us to be for-given. The same life that He took part in on earth is the same life that we take part in. The same spirits are here. The same sins are here. The same struggles exist- they just look different because society looks different. It's also the same life that we still have to offer. The same life moves our souls, God in us, to reach out to a hurting person. It's the same life that allows us to take a hand so that someone else doesn't have to walk through grief and sorrow and bitterness and shame alone. People have been lied to that no one else wants to walk with them. They've been lied to and told that they are the only person under attack and battling those evil spirits.
Don't let the spirit of fear take away your testimony. We are handing over success to it when we stay in our home, away from the fellowship that we were created for. It will make you forget that where two or more are gathered, there Jesus is. We are not condemned, even in death, Jesus did that. So why are we condemning ourselves? We are not condemned, even when our bodies die- Jesus made that possible for us. Jesus welcomed the spirit of death into His body to level the playing field. If you don't believe that He welcomed it, remember that God parted the Red Sea, turned a staff into a serpent, and brought Lazarus back to life. He exists on a quantum level- a spear is not even a concern, so it was allowed- welcomed!
"He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed." 1 Peter 2:24
He did not give us this absolution and life to idolize it, to hug it to ourselves, and give it so much value for what it offers us. Our lives are an offering to other people in sacrifice to Him. Our lives are an offering of selves- experiences, feelings, emotions, time, and presence to feed a hurting souls. Our lives are offering to lift others up. The spirit of fear wants to convince you that you won't do it right. The spirit of fear says that what you have to offer, you won't have the knowledge or skill to finish the job. The spirit of fear stops you from helping because it convinces you that you don't have the right thing to say. You don't comment because no one's words were good enough for you. They're not an answer. "What do I have to offer them that God does not?" At the very least, you can offer appreciation for the situation they are in. You can offer new light, new perspective...His perspective.
We have so much more to offer than "Praying! So sorry for your loss!" We have so much more to offer than heart and praying hands emojis. Do not fear your own response. The words that we have to offer are being stifled by feeling that we won't plant the right seed. God in you does not plant the wrong seed. Say it. We take our own seeds of faith planted in our hearts for granted; that same seed is contraband somewhere else. It would cost someone their life. If we are not speaking life over them, then why should they make a choice to overcome? If we are not pouring into them the way we wish that we had been poured into, we are part of the problem. If we don't ask God, "What words would you like me to say to this person," we are part of the problem. We are enabling the spirit of death, the spirit of fear, the spirit of deception to choke the life out of this earth. Life is not found in evil. It's not found in darkness. It's not found in silence. It's not found wandering alone. And if we are not showing people which hand is the right hand to hold, how are they supposed to know which one not to partner with? Life is found in voices raised in thanks and worship. It's found in sharing love and journeys and struggles and shame that we've been led to believe are still ours to carry.
Take it out into the light and look at it. You are not alone in bitterness, hate, anger, and frustration being a part of your story. "Why is it not my time yet? Why have I had to continue to go through all of these things? Why can I never end this walk??" Do those sound familiar? You are not alone. We need to be raising our voices louder than the lies. We need to be reaching out and sharing our light and growing it so that others can see the value of what you have to offer. If you can't see the value that God places on you, you can't believe in His purpose and intentions for you. If we are not sharing, then whatever negative spirit has found purchase in us is growing in us. It is succeeding when telling us that our words are not necessary.
All of these are things being battled here and now. And honestly- it's just a drop in the bucket. We have so much more to contribute to the church that is Christ in all of us that we are not giving. We are allowing Him to be stifled by religious spirits, rebellious spirits, spirits of fear and anger and pride. They are all rooted in the spirit of death and we are just letting them flow. Even if you cannot get your own story past your lips, share this with someone. Get something past that wall holding you back. They need to know that they are not alone and that we are all fighting.