Sunday, July 29, 2007

Prayerful War

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Jeremiah 13, 14, 15

Jeremiah 15:19-20 (NIV)

19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you.”

Good morning!

One of my all-time favorite Christian mentor and musician is Richard Wayne Mullins. He went to be with the Lord on September 19, 1997. For those of us who listened to his words and sang the songs the Lord gave him to sing, it was a melancholy moment. I did not want to see Mullins leave the world so suddenly, and yet, we all knew he was finally at home with the Lord. Some of his greatest inspiration came through the writing and life of St. Francis of Assisi. Mullins’ musical gifts led him to live on an Indian reservation in New Mexico, where he spent his time teaching music to the children. He chose to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience. All profits from the sales of his records and musical tours were given to his church. The church gave Mullins a small salary with which to live (at Mullins’ request) and the rest of the money was given to charity. He gave to Compassion International and Compassion USA, It is through Compassion International that Jeff and I sponsor a precious little boy named Melvin, from El Salvador.

One of his works, “The World As I Remember It: Through the Eyes of a Ragamuffin,” Mullins speaks about his dream of “washing up” on the shores of heaven, unrecognizable to the world, but recognized to God. He talked about how Jesus’ body was literally ripped to shreds as a living sacrifice for the world. Mullins bore life’s battle scars as a mark of humility and devotion to God. He hoped that one day, when no one else would recognize him, that the Lord of life would still know his name. Mullins experienced exactly that on the day he died.

Last night, I sat in worship and listened as the pastor spoke about the battle scars he wears across his face, and the conditions for prayerful war. He along, with the prophets and apostles who have stood before him, realize that the wars we fight are not of flesh and blood, but of the spiritual forces of wickedness and evil that surround us each day. Satan does his best to distract, disrupt and destroy our faith. He will stop at nothing to redirect our attention away from God. After Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead, he told His disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him alone. If Christ has all authority, how much authority does that leave for Satan? It would seem that we spent far too much time worrying and not enough time raising the banner of praise! Pastor said that when we expose the devil for what he truly is, he flees. In the words of the Apostle James, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 (NIV).

There is an attack going on, and many walk in oblivion through it each day. We do not realize that as long as we remain distracted, Satan can slip in and try to steal away our joy. What are some of the battle scars you bear in life? Is it the pain of a broken relationship, the loss of a loved one, an illness or injury keeping you from living life to its fullest? Are you lost and alone? Has your family abandoned you? What battle scars do you bear from journeying through life?

Rich Mullins was not ordained clergy. He was a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He spoke the Word and emulated the Son of God in a humble way. For those of us who listened, we heard the voice of God through this pastor, teacher, musician and friend. Mullins can teach us a lot about bearing battle scars. When he washed up on the shores of heaven, Mullins had flipped his jeep, fallen out onto the pavement and was hit by an oncoming tractor trailer truck. I imagine he was not recognizable to anyone on earth. But Jesus Christ was there to pick up his soul and carry him into the arms of a loving Father. Mullins’ scars gave way to a new life, an everlasting life in Him. One day, I will wash up on heaven’s shores, and I’m looking forward to hearing the praise worship of my mentor, Rich Mullins. The most beautiful love song ever sung will be the melody I hear Rich Mullins sing to the Lord in praise on high.

We can fight evil through prayerful war. Do not be distracted, disrupted or destroyed by the circumstances surrounding your life. This is not the time to give up, give in, or turn back. Won’t you join me in singing the song of the redeemed?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: determination to march forward in faith. We are all ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us bear our battle scars for Him, and shout out the battle cry of the redeemed! All praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has all authority in heaven and on earth. He deserves our focus, best effort, our adoration, and our unending praise!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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