Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Sword in the Stone: resistance" from L.L. Barkat

The fear factor looms larger than life sometimes, even for us in Jesus. I mean a being afraid out of our wits, or just an uneasy sense of fear- hard to pin down for sure as to its true meaning. I've been there more times than I can count as a Christian, for years constantly in and out of it. And now when it grips me, I can still be unnerved at the time. Though I've learned better how to resist the enemy behind it.

As L.L. continues to share from her journey in Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places, we find her, along with her mother and sister, being tracked down by her stepfather. This time he was hunting them, not the deer he had so commonly shot. And L.L. was sure that if they were found, he would shoot. She was gripped and shaken in fear. Some committed Christians from her little church came to their apartment and prayed for them, and over time those dark and threatening clouds dissipated, and L.L.'s fears were gone. She never heard from her stepfather again.

As those in Jesus, we're called to be strong in the Lord, put on the full armor of God and pray. As we resist the enemy, he is the one who flees because of God's ongoing salvation in Jesus. With a simple decision of faith (like Martin Luther when aware of the enemy's presence) or in prayer over time (like Daniel had to), we can see God take the sword from the stone, so that all the power of the enemy is as nothing. Jesus himself is praying for us (also here), so that even if the enemy's darts do get through to us, we can in faith recover, and stand against the devil's schemes.

L.L. in a memorable way, weaves her story in with the truth of God's word in Jesus, for us. You won't be sorry to get the book and read it for yourself. It is simply a wonderful telling of someone who is as real as you and I in her struggles and life, along with the God who in Jesus is present for us, to put all fear to flight.

What would you like to add to this from your own story, or any thoughts on this you'd like to share with us here?

1. Stepping Stones - conversion
2. Christmas Coal - shame
3. Tossed Treasures - messiness
4. Heron Road - suffering

Next week: chapter 6: "Howe's Cave - baptism"


Ted M. Gossard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Mc said...

I too have been scared sensless, and for me my greatest fears come from worrying about the future. I know it is centered on my feelings of not being in control, and I do try (very hard) to surrender all control to God. When I am scared, nervous or anxious, I have learned to be alone a lot, and just write to God, pray and just listen. I have to work on having patience for hearing God, but I am getting better at it.
Ted, I love that you wrote Jesus is praying for us..I never thought about that before..Jesus is praying for me....Wow, I never thought of that before.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Rachel.

Most of my fear has been more of the lowgrade variety as in something gnawing at you which you can't quite pinpoint. Kind of like a dread. Though have experienced a little of the other, especially as a newer Christian, I think. Fear is certainly a weapon the enemy tries to wield in our lives.

But when you're hit as you have been, that can help you do what you describe here. Very good. And through it I'm sure you'll more and more be able to help others.

Yes, Jesus praying for us, as L.L. mentions in the chapter. So very comforting. God in his grace in Jesus is at work to keep us so that we'll persevere in faith through it all.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I want to add that there are times when our faith will seem dormant or weak. But such experiences can end up making our faith stronger, as we get more rooted in God and in his word to us in Jesus.

L.L. Barkat said...

Sometimes it is fear we need to resist. But sometimes it is quite the opposite... no fear at all where we might need a healthy dose of it. I guess we go through different seasons; still, the armor remains the same. Faith, salvation, truth, righteousness. I picture Jesus, through His prayers, putting these things on me even when I am too sleepy or dimwitted to do so myself. :)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks! Great thought and oh so true.

And I'm not sure I've ever thought of Jesus praying on the armor for us, but I like that. In the way you describe it, surely that's true. Jesus is our salvation and he keeps us so that we can keep ourselves (Jude).

I'm really enjoying blogging through your book, especially in the rereading of it.

NaNcY said...

the armor
i am thinking that it is a really interesting and wonderful piece of our relationship with our God.
for God does give us the armor and we also relate with God to do our part. for the Holy Spirit shows us the truth through the Word of God, belief in Jesus and through Jesus we have salvation, righteousness is God's gift throuth grace through belief in the atonement and in our relationship with God, He guides us to do what is right in His eyes. then there is the gift of the Living Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in this.
the gospel of peace that is ours and is a wonderful gift to us in Jesus. and prayer in the Spirit...which is called for us to do on all occasions.

God wants me to activly
put on these things...i think that is asking for relationship with God. it is my part of the active relationship.

i have to admit that i have not done my part very much. and i wonder what life would be like if i did. a one way relationship...i know better than that. i know that God wants a two way relationship with His people.

read the word of God the word
peace in looking to the light, which is Jesus
prayer in the Spirit

be alert

stand firm

praying for the saints

i feel so much Love when i think of Jesus praying for His people.


i am getting more from this book on the second read at a slower pace here with your posts.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this. And seeing it in terms of relationship is good. Also in terms of battle, because spiritually that won't end "this side of heaven".

Me, too. I'm getting more out of it, reading the chapter at least twice this time around, before posting on it. Of course that stands to reason over reading an entire book in one day.

lorenzothellama said...

Hello Ted. Thanks for popping over. Yes, Peru was wonderful, but also very upsetting seeing the poverty.

Sorry, I'm afraid (!) I'm out of my depth with this posting of yours, profound though it is.

Love Lorenzo.

NaNcY said...

yes, i went through the book very quickly the first time...when a book is interesting i have a habit of not pacing myself but more like eating the whole pie at once.

although i loved it the first time i read it, i am savoring the different flavors this time around.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Hi Lorenzo,
Good to hear from you. I can well imagine what you're saying on both accounts. Yes.

And really we're all in over our heads in this. The answer for us is in Jesus. Through him we can walk in the ways God has for us as given to us in Scripture. I "get" nothing at all apart from Jesus, and that's what Scripture tells us, anyhow. A big reason I emphasize Jesus on this blog.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good way of putting it, Nancy.