We Rise

There are so many times when I am studying for something I’m teaching that I refrain from sharing what God is showing me in Scripture because I don’t want it to be a repeat for those who will hear it later. Well, I hate it for you today. One of the passages I’m digging on has me ON FIRE so consider this a spoiler alert if you want to wait for the expanded version at the ‘Stronger’ retreat.

How do you handle Disappointment? Disillusionment? Catastrophe? Flat-out Pain? What do you do when that roaring lion Satan pounces on you and has you lying flat of your back? I know what I’ve done. I’ve laid there believing if I just stayed still that maybe I could avoid the deadly blow that must surely be the only thing left after the beating I’d taken. So in effect, Satan’s accomplished exactly what he intended by incapacitating me to the point of uselessness.

The good thing I’ve found about lying flat of my back is that, if I’ll open my eyes, the heavens are there waiting to pour out wisdom and strength. A huge dose of both is found in 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:

“Giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left.”

Paul had just finished telling the Corinthians in 4:11 that he was “constantly delivered over to death for for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in the mortal flesh”. Girls, I’ve been delivered over to some death but the question we have to ask ourselves is what are we going to do once it’s been handed to us? What are we going to do when we are down for the count?

The answer?

We rise. We always rise.

I want you to read the passage I just quoted and notice the Paul’s purposeful shift in perspective. He begins by telling the Corinthians all the horrors he has endured in what should have been his death but then goes on to explain what rising looks like. He died in affliction, in hardship, in great pain but he rose in purity, in the Holy Spirit and in genuine love. Why? So the ministry would not be discredited. So the death of Christ would be manifested in his willful decision to live even though no one would have blamed him if he stayed on the ground.

Rising is hard and rising in the Spirit is even harder. When a person in your life is the one who knocked you flat, our first reaction is to come up swinging. When calamity comes, our nature says we should shrink back in bitterness. When too much time has passed on our prayers, we wallow in impatience and doubt. And to what end? A blight on the reputation of Jesus Himself who promises rest for the weary, strength for the journey, and light for the way. Do not be the one whose fall causes offense, dear sister. There is more than you at stake.

Instead, look in your hands. In them are your ‘weapons’ of righteousness. A mean left hook of Prayer and the powerful right jab of Truth. Fight back! There’s no more time for wimpy Christianity. No one ever accused me of being the queen of mercy and compassion but today, maybe you need someone to tell you to sternly to get off your backside and get back to this thing called LIVING. Don’t you dare keep lying there in self-pity and defeat when your God has called you to bear His Name! {And I say that with all tenderness. Truly!}

If you’re still breathing, then “Behold, Now is the Acceptable Time” (2 Cor. 6:2) to ask the one who raised Christ Jesus from the dead to work that same energy in you, dear one.

And when He does (and I know He will because He promised – 2 Cor 4:14),

You Rise.