Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Victory Against the Adversary

An adversary is one that contends with, opposes or resists. An adversary is an enemy. An adversary can come in many forms and any time, usually when we least expect it. It studies our vulnerabilities so that it can attack us as effectively as possible: in the mind, body, spirit, family, home, relationships, finances, emotions and any other way it can. An adversary strikes out of the blue without warning. Its primary mission is to seek out and destroy the peace and tranquility we so diligently seek, and in doing so, cause turmoil, doubt and confusion.

Our church began a consecrated fast a few days ago with the main objective being “Preparing to Win”. I learned of this particular fast about two weeks ago, and my first reaction was to think of all the things I won’t be able to enjoy until after the fast is over, especially coffee, chocolate and other sweets, the vices that help me get through the day. Granted, they are really UN-NECESSARY vices, but vices nonetheless. Then, after my “pity party” I realized (as is often the case prior to fasting), it’s not at all about what I’m giving up, but rather, about what I’m gaining! In “Preparing to Win”, we are positioning ourselves to go before Christ, to humble ourselves with fasting and prayer as the Bible teaches throughout, and to seek God’s will for our lives, individually and corporately. One definition of the word corporately or incorporated is "legally united to form a body that can act as a unit." (Encarta Dictionary online) We, the church body are legally united in Christ to act as a unit.

In the weeks leading up to this “chosen fast”, I’ve found myself bombarded by the adversary on multiple fronts. My family and loved ones have been severely attacked in their bodies (simultaneously). In my own body, I’ve been affected by extreme fatigue, some sleeplessness, difficulty focusing, falling asleep at the most inopportune times, and other physical attacks in my body I'd rather not go into. My days seem to be so full as I cram as much into each day as possible, that by the time I wind down and get to bed, I end up only having about four and a half hours to sleep. It seems an endless cycle. The adversary knows my love for my family, my desire to leave nothing unfinished for another day and my desire to be healthy and strong.
As the start of the fast neared, I began to actually look forward to it. Yes, it’s true, though even as I write, I’m literally craving chocolate and other sweets. But by denying my flesh those things I desire (real food isn’t the issue…again, my problem is sweets!), I’m positioning myself to draw closer to the heart of God to find out what it is that He wills for my life. By saying "no" to the foods that are not part of the fast, I'm telling God that He is more important than those things. Don't get me wrong. I have my moments of weakness, but I try my best to abstain, and continue to ask the Lord to strengthen me.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 40:31 that “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The Amplified passage explains this more clearly:

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

The reason I’m so excited is two-fold: 1) I know that, based on the past few weeks, my victory and blessings are just on the other side of the fast; and 2) I am greatly expectant of what God is doing in my life, and what He's going to do once I've made it through the storm. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (NIV) I shall not give up. I shall not be moved. I'm preparing my basket for the harvest and the overflow, in Jesus' name!