Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Anecdote

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: I Samuel 29, 30, 31

I Samuel 30:8 (NIV)
8 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” He answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”

I Samuel 31:4 (NIV)
4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

Good morning!

Have you ever experienced a spiritual attack? Sometimes we encounter these fiery darts in the most unsuspecting ways. Mere coincidences begin to take on a tangible shape that we can see with our spirit eyes. We begin to recognize how the selfish ambition and hateful ways of another may be grieving and cutting us to the quick. We shrink back in fear and despair. A spiritual attack may only last for a moment. Or, it could last for days, weeks, months and even years. Sit down with a piece of paper this morning and map out your past. Focus on the time when life seemed to be the most difficult for you. Identify the reason why it was so hard to get through, and list how your circumstance was resolved. Are you still fighting this or has it been laid to rest forever? Did you give your pain to the Lord in prayer? How did He answer you? Were you unwilling to completely relinquish control to the Lord? What kept you from finding His favor in your time of turmoil? How long did it take before grace and peace set in?

When Jeff and I moved to Terrell, Texas to serve College Mound United Methodist Church in the fall of 1978, we were fortunate to have a pharmacist in our active fellowship. B. F. White was a tall, lanky man, with a heart of pure gold. He had helped many people fight disease through the power of prayer and in the filling of prescription medications. This is a pharmacist you would want to know. He had a personal relationship with the Great Physician. If you came to the pharmacy for a refill on your script, he not only filled that prescription - B. F. White provided an even greater anecdote, and that little gift was free of charge. The power of intercessory prayer is alive and well in Terrell, Texas.

We had never encountered the sting of a scorpion until we moved to College Mound. They blended so well with their environment that they were not always easy to see. I can remember getting up in the middle of the night to nurse our daughter Rachel, only to find a sneaky scorpion climbing up the side of crib where she lay sleeping. B. F. White told us to keep an anecdote handy in the parsonage medicine cabinet, in case our children were ever stung. In an adult, a scorpion sting can make you deathly ill. In infants, it can be fatal if not treated within the first five minutes of the sting. We discovered that many scorpions came through the electrical outlets in our home. We had the parsonage exterminated twice a year, and we plugged every outlet that was not in use. That helped, but we still had to shake our sheets every night before we went to bed, and we never left our shoes on the floor. In fact, we always checked our shoes before putting them on to make sure we did not have an unwanted visitor lurking near our toes.

There are scorpions lurking in the shadow of our lives today. Sometimes, they blend in so well that we cannot see them clearly with our physical eyes. We must open our spirit to the power of the presence of Christ, so that we can protect ourselves from the sting of evil that threatens our daily walk. A scorpion’s tail, when it is outstretched, can be several inches to a foot long, depending upon its overall size. The scorpion’s sting is a painful reminder of what happens when we place ourselves in a position of vulnerability, where we leave our lives unprotected. We must put on the Word of God and glean the power and authority of Christ each and every day, if we intend to counteract the poisonous sting of the enemy. If you commit to stand in enemy territory, seeking nothing more than to offer the gift of salvation of lost souls, then you need an armor-bearer who is willing to fight to protect you. The name of Jesus is a powerful weapon. He is the only anecdote we need to thwart the schemes of evil surrounding us every day.

B. F. White went to be with the Lord many years ago. I will never forget his compassion and love for our family. I never knew what B. F. stood for, until we brought our son Benjamin home from the hospital. On the way home, we stopped to visit B. F. With tears rolling down his face, he held our baby boy in his arms and said, “I cannot believe you named this boy Benjamin.” “Why not,” we asked, a little surprised by his comment. “Do you know what my name is?” B. F. looked at us through a teary hue. I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head no. “My mother named me Benjamin Franklin White. Benjamin means, ‘Son of my right hand.’” He kissed our baby’s face and whispered in his ear, “Little Benjamin, you will be the son of your Father’s right hand.” B. F. handed my son back to me, leaned over and said, “Take care of this child. Protect him from the scorpion's sting.”

We are called to help protect each other by offering prayers of intercession against the sting of evil that exists all around us. The name of Jesus is the only anecdote we need. Will you cry out to Him today, interceding in love for the ones who are being attacked?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: an anecdote to sin! Ask Jesus to help you clearly see the evil before it stings you. Call out His name every morning, as you pray for those who daily live in harm’s way, and rejoice in your spiritual protection! Jesus is the name above every name, and He will be your Great Physician, when you completely let go and trust Him. Do you trust Him to be the Lord of your life?
© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding
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