Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. Thanks Tami of Lessons by Heart for this great post that helps us get a new perspective on our armor of God! :)
photo credit: Robert Johnson aka lasoda on stock.xchng
The battle was fierce, and I was losing ground.
Correction, I had no “ground” anymore, and was getting my butt royally kicked by the enemy!
The fight, to the outsider, seems to be a silly one. I hesitate to reveal it for that reason. However, it’s not over and I’ve discovered that the best way to fight is in the light of confession, not the darkness of my mind, so here goes!
Since infancy, I have loved music. It’s what inspires, encourages, and comforts me. I am never more alive than when singing with our worship team as we exalt our Lord on Sundays.
As a young child, play often involved music. My bed became a jeep, the records being played on my phonograph the score for the “musical” in which I was the star. Elvis and The Monkeys were often co-stars in my mini-productions!
My mom had an apparatus for hanging freshly-ironed clothes. It became my microphone stand. I would push one handle of my jump rope onto its top, and use the other handle as my microphone. We had one of the big console TVs that also had a radio in the top on one side, and a phonograph on the other. The record player became my “band” and I would sing along with Chubby Checkers, the Beatles, and a host of others.
In fifth grade, I joined the school choir. The songs I recall from that year were “Both Sides Now” and “Obla Dee Obla Dah.” We learned parts, and I loved it!
In sixth grade, my mom bought me a clarinet so I could join the school band. I quickly removed it from the case, assembled it, and in no time was playing songs on it (before my first lesson!).
By eighth grade I was “first chair first clarinet.” I had conquered the instrument and eager to learn something new.
My brother received a guitar for Christmas, but really had no interest in learning to play. My teacher played guitar for a weekly sing-along, so I asked if he would teach me. He kindly gave me one of the lyric packets we sang from, along with chord diagrams. Within six months I could play them all.
On and on it went. By the end of High School, I was playing clarinet, guitar, piano, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, baritone, drums, glockenspiel, and flute. I took private singing lessons as well, and sang with the school choir and the small choral group called “Der Menga Singers.” I’d also written several songs.
Did I mention that I love music? I “knew” it was what God created me to do.
However, very few saw this in me.
My parents were tolerant of my musical pursuits. They had purchased my clarinet, and we later acquired a piano (free). Any of the other instruments I learned to play I got myself, and paid for my voice lessons too.
Mostly they would tell me to quit playing around and do something useful with my life. To follow my dreams was a colossal waste of time and effort, and I was sure to end up living in a cardboard box, they assured me. I had to produce something that people actually needed if I was going to have value to society.
My dad was especially critical of my musical talent. (This is a long story, and one I’ll save for another day.) Suffice it to say that at every opportunity, he tore me down, and ripped my musical heart to shreds in the process.
By the time I was twenty, I began to see the “truth” of their counsel. Add to that one preacher’s well-meant, but theologically inaccurate message about killing the thing we loved the most to prove our love to God. (You can read the story here: I Offered the Wrong Sacrifice) I quit playing instruments, quit singing, and quit writing songs.
Thirty plus years later, I was recording a CD for my nurse friends in Nicaragua. Between takes, I would break down and cry, sure that something “bad” was going to happen if I continued. This went on for three weeks.
During the recording of my last song, I began crying out to the Lord, asking Him for help. What came next took me by surprise.
In a stern voice I heard Him say, “Get up!”
“What?” I asked, stunned.
“I said, ‘Get up!’ I have given you Armor to wear. Do you have it on?”
“Yes, Sir.” I rattled off the various pieces so He’d know that I had them.
“Okay, you have all the components. Then what are you doing hunkered down on the ground?”
“Lord, despite your armor, I’m getting my butt kicked by the enemy. I don’t understand.”
At that moment, a mental picture showed on the screen of my mind. There I was in all my armor, on my knees with my face to the ground…
…my skirt flapping in the breeze…
…with the enemy behind me, kicking for all he was worth!
“I didn’t give you armor for that part of your anatomy. Stand up!”
A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. When I saw this one, the problem became instantly clear.
Standing to my feet, my shield before me, I raised the Sword of the Spirit…the Word of God…and fought this enemy in the power of God’s might.
He fled. What else could he do?
Like me, are you engaged in a battle? Have you put on the armor God provided for our protection? Having done so, are you standing firm…
…or is your skirt flapping in the breeze?
Want more on the importance of our armor? Don’t miss Lions Eat Christians? What?
Tami, wife, mother, and grandmother, first fell in love with Jesus as a child. For 40 years she tried desperately – and failed miserably – to be a “religious” person. In His time, God showed her that what He really wanted was an intimate relationship with her; that grace was His gift to her, and could not be earned. She longs to invite others into this same relationship through her stories of lessons learned at the feet of Jesus – and shared with you. http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/
See the original post at http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/is-your-skirt-flapping-in-the-breeze/
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