Thursday, September 11, 2014

Too Legit to Quit

My friend Leslie made a statement, while we were on the phone today, that rung inside me like the Liberty Bell.  We were talking about the obstacles I've been dealing with for the past couple of weeks, namely, two of my kids being sick at any given time.  This following a month long battle with lice during the summer that began right after Natalie broke her arm.

My prayer circle and I have been calling sickness off my house for awhile.  Well, I should say, first it was pestilence (with the lice) and now it's illness.  (I hope the other 2 horsemen of the Apocalypse are busy elsewhere at the moment.)  Still, it's lingering and crops up at fairly inconvenient times, although getting sick is never convenient.  On slower weeks, it is easier to handle, but we haven't had a "slow week," since well before school started.

The crux of the conversation was to restate the reason I've known all this to be happening.  The enemy has been nipping at my heels since I took on more prayer and a role to lead others in prayer at my church.  My spiritual Achilles heels are pretty sore.  We were discussing how the enemy certainly does not like it when we pray, especially when we are praying for big changes, big movements of God.

I told her that's what I've been doing. And that's when she said it.

We think sometimes Satan is trying to sneak up on us, but in reality, he often distracts us with what is already there, that we just haven't noticed.  Sometimes he provides legitimate distractions.

My kids being sick definitely falls in that category.

I didn't stumble, I didn't fall.  I didn't leave myself open for his attack by entertaining the idea of some besetting sin.  No, Satan is using something generally acceptable in life as a reason for me to check out.  All this care for my kids is a concerted effort to keep me out of the game, off the spiritual battlefield.  He has given me a legitimate excuse for hanging back from the responsibilities I've taken on and the growth in the Lord I'm pursuing.

He has given me legitimate reasons to quit.  I could check out and "everyone would understand."

I put that last part in quotes because they would.  They know my bandwidth and family situation.  They would give me a pass to take a breather and be really gracious about it.  Except that is a critical time: for me, our family, our community of faith - even for the world at large.

I'm not saying humanity depends on me.  But Jesus is depending on me.  He's given me a task and if I'm to witness Him in the work of it, I need to keep going.  If I don't, He will raise up someone else and they will get what was to be my crown, my blessings; now and in eternity.

The best reasons to quit always present themselves at the most critical time.  If making you fail is not an option, making you quit becomes the devil's greatest weapon.  If he can discourage you, make you tired and give you lots of good reasons to stay at home, rather than be out with God's people, praying, serving, learning and loving; He will do it.  Make no mistake, He will do it!  He is doing it right me. 

The beauty of all the reasons, distractions, excuses is....the Lord is giving me the chance to learn to see them as opportunities for the acceleration His work.

The ringed rainbow moon at 3:30 am
As I was driving back from the 24 hour Walgreen's at 3:30 am this morning (because we didn't have any infant Advil for Ella), the Lord put something on my heart.  He's been working, steadily and for a long time, to teach me to depend on Him moment-by-moment.  That's the essence of a victorious life in Christ - not the number of souls you save but the number of minutes a day you choose to trust Jesus over everything else.

In one second, He turned my head to see things His way.  He said,

You could keep doing laps around this mountain you want to climb, frustrated by all the interruptions.  Or, you could see this as my throwing you a rope, out of the muck and mire of irritation.  You can depend on me to pull you up, to do this My way and in My time; secure in the fact I know best and eventually this mountain will move, or I will move you around it.

So, there it is, once again: my choice, my challenge.  Believe God or be frustrated His plan (and my day) isn't going the way I envisioned.  Give into these legitimate opportunities to quit, or just take a break from working for the Lord.


(As the modern poet MC Hammer puts it)

I can be too legit to quit.

I am legitimately in Christ.  I am a blood bought purchase and I am every day called His Beloved.  I choose to live in that place, that identity.  I reject the thought I have to feel inconvenienced or this work for God is not worth all the shrapnel I'm being hit with.  I refuse to give Satan any more glory, to let him try and take back any more ground in my life.

It's a process and this preparation will not go to waste.  How and when He will use the character He is forming in me is up to Him,  My part is to let Him do the work.  My part is to let Him teach me how to handle the interruptions and distractions without malice, anger, frustration, irritation - but rather in joy, peace, patience, faithfulness kindness, goodness, and yes....even self-control.

That's what's really legit.

P.S. Don't forget you are just as legit.  Keep going, it will be worth it.

P. P.S. I asked the Lord to show me He can use me, even if I am legitimately distracted with concerns at home.  My best friend Lynn just experienced this phenomena, after being laid up with some health issues.  The Lord literally brought people into her house she could serve and witness to, so I asked for the same opportunity.

It happened!  I got confirmation late this afternoon someone I'm recently acquainted with reads this blog and shares my love for Jesus Calling.  She is encouraged by our story, especially Sophia's victory of cancer.  This confirmation is a reminder to keep doing what I'm doing, whether it feels like I'm making a big impact or not.

It doesn't matter where or who you are, God will make the best of it, when you let Him.

#Straight up #legit


Janice and James said...

So true!!! Thanks Amy for sharing!!! Love you.

Janice and James said...

.....well actually James is in Heaven; however, he probably would say, "Amen, too, if he were here." He was certainly faithful to the Lord to the very end. Many in the medical profession listened to his constant talking about his precious Savior, Jesus Christ!!

Soul ja said...

today morning, God gave me two pieces of advice that I did not understand... the first was "don't go for advice to people who aren't in tune with him." the second was," don't plan evil in your selfish heart and continue being useless to the poor."... I didn't understand because when I went to bed last night, i wanted to become useful to the poor,by studying ...i wanted to make the sacrifice of stepping out of the comfort zone of my home,where the kids are safely nestled under my mother-hen-wingy-hands...(literally they are ,as I type this,they're watching a little window of their nursery rhymes,on the corner of the screen.)... So I certainly didn't understand this advice. As the cleaning lady (of another faith) came by and we chit-chatted..her advice(unsolicited of course) was that i shouldn't leave the kids to anyone else's care, leave the studying thing for 2 more years.let the baby turn three at least... and she strengthened her point by telling me of a toddler who died (in our building!)the previous day when his parents were away and in the care of his baby sitter!... Advice from a well-meaning person..who doesn't know Christ yet. My reaction to her advice was akin to what a mother bear might feel when her cubs are threatened. I MUST stay at home and PROTECT my children. She kept repeating,how children are really priceless.Indeed they are,but what she doesn't know is that it is not my plan to go forth and study to get the degree that will help the poor... it is God's plan. It's the way of my soul's sanctification.The good work prepared for me In CHrist. Other things that discouraged me from studying is how my daughter has been suffering a bot of fever the past two days... so studying was not practical. your post has really encouraged me. Satan is trying to give me legitimate reasons to quit,because God has ordained victory after the sacrifices, this decision to study entails!