Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October Heavenly Mindedness PG-13

Every year October catches me a little off guard. From as far back as I remember, I recall October always being a month full of weirdness. Family troubles, "accidents", injuries, divisions, unusually bizarre high crime, and pardon my french here, but really a general "you-know-what hitting the fan" scenario reminding us that indeed, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

My personal opinion (inherited from my discerning mother) is that it becomes more noticeable in the month of October due to the increase in satanic activity. My mom pointed this out pretty matter of factly to us as kids and it has definitely been something we've noticed. Creepy? Well...not really. We serve a sovereign God who is, and always will be LORD over all the dark rulers, and wicked spiritual hosts. Now as a good Reformed gal, I should point out that as I've grown into adultdom, I have learned that the problem of the pooh/fan scenario is not in fact the problem of the addition of the fan, but...well, the pooh. Namely, ours. Our sin. Our depravity, and our hell bent refusal to see it.

There can be danger in a doctrine that seeks to find a demon behind every gnarly tree, while ignoring the gnarliness of well, the tree if you get my meaning. (The tree analogy is a lot less offensive than the pooh hitting the fan analogy and I would like to make it work here in my good family friendly blog... but, I'm feeling convicted to go back to the pooh and the fan.)

See here's what I love about my God: He is GOD. Lord of the Universe and in His great sovereignty He uses what we need to bring us to him. We earthly minded beings are so quick to forget where the real struggle is. Our little speckly lives are such a big ole deal to us when we forget about that thing called eternity. Our situations, reputations, feelings and our little illusion of "some sense of control" seem so real and important when we forget about the Almighty GOD. The real problem is our sin and not Satan and all the legions of demons he might unleash. Scripture says that "Satan will not outwit us for we are not unaware of his schemes". And we're not unaware...right? Is not his very scheming to place our focus on everything but our sin and rebellious spirits???

The other night while discussing this topic my husband was told he was "so heavenly minded he is no earthly good". I had never heard this saying before and wasn't sure where it came from. It was obvious to me that it comes from a dualistic worldview that separates and assumes that the heavenly is separate from the earthly. It really got me to thinking. Scripture says to "not be conformed to this world [yes, even Jonny Cash song theology] but to be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds" (i.e. the Bible).

My point is firstly that the problem is what's hitting the fan. Whether the you-know-what is flying this October for you or not, it's still there. We can ignore it, plug our noses and pretend it's not there and hope no one else is catching wind of it. We could avoid those lost souls who are covered in it so you don't have to deal with their stench. Or, you could be made clean and hold the offer out to them to do the same.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ I John 1:8-9. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded... Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. ~James 4:8&10

My second point (to further the disgusting analogy just a leeeeetle bit farther) is the fan. I realize the analogy only goes so far but, we as Christians need to be aware that we DO have an enemy who is spinning and scheming to our destruction. He is seeking to steal God's glory by destroying His people! So many of us forget and play right into the ridiculous scheming. Scripture says that the way we will not be outwitted is by being aware. In fact, we become so "earthly minded that we're no heavenly good". This is a spiritual battle. The weapons, armor and tactics required in a spiritual battle are of the heavenly kind. The guy who doesn't know he's in a battle is the guy playing right into the scheme. The victory is the Lord's. He incites our Adversary and uses him to play right into His redemptive plan. The great deceiver...is himself deceived. If you've read the end of the story, you know this is true. If you believe that you are a sinner and that the sinless Son of God has cleansed you, and paid your debts by dying in your place, then you know you will be victorious with Him.

For me, October is a reminder. It's a month full of very sober "praying and petitioning in the Spirit" and seeking to be "on the alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" more than usual, as well as begging God's mercy and protection over loved ones who are slaves to sin and suffering in bondage because they have yet to surrender to the Greatest Power--Jesus Christ.

"Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Stand firm, having girded your loins with the TRUTH, and having put on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the GOSPEL OF PEACE; above all taking the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of SALVATION, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and petition in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. ~Ephesians 6:11-12

To my hot, heavenly minded husband: You won my heart by being such. Your earthly good and faithfulness is the evidence we benefit from day in and day out. Thank you for teaching me, for loving me, for being such a faithful husband, father, brother, son, friend and fellow soldier in the fight. You're my hero.

(OK, FUNNY STORY DIVERSION:) Last October while my heavenly minded husband was on an earthly business trip for three days, God moved my heart to pray for the safety of our children. I had this general uneasiness, there had been that tragic Amish school shooting and my heart just felt burdened. One morning I awoke early and immediately began to pray for the specific safety of the kids. A few hours later, Elijah ran in saying Hannah had fallen from a high tree and was "calling out to God". Big pregnant me went barreling out through the woods clearing a trail that would shame a backhoe. Long story short, about every firetruck and aid car in Everett paid us a visit. While riding in the ambulance, the medic was saying something about October always being such a crazy month, the full moon that day and how many calls they had taken for hurt children. (And this guy didn't have a clue about my own theories.) He then thought to cheer Hannah a bit and cracked a joke saying "but you don't believe in ghosts and goblins and stuff, do you Hannah?" Hannah, mud streaked face, leaves in hair, neck in brace, with the most serious face and tone of voice replies "No. But I do believe in witches! And in the Ode Testament, God tode the Israelites to KILL all da witches!"

Yikes! Not my shining moment, and that guy was sorry he brought it up. But, a funny story. Hannah was fine after the initial shock wore off. God used the whole thing to minister greatly to my soul of His sovereignty and authorship of every good and tragic thing that may come in and out of our lives.


Anonymous said...

I thank GOD every day for BRIAN KIRKMAN. papawheely

rene mcpherson said...

My dear, my dear.....the countless things i could say regarding this post. Abi and i read it together and i laughed and i cried and i pondered. What a great God we truly have and what great kindness He has shared with us by allowing your family's heavenly goodnesses to touch our earthly lives!
By the way, Abi determined very quickly, within a blink really, who she believed fallen child to have been. She sure is a quick witted one.
Thank you for the post!!!!