Poured Out and Reloaded

 

Psalm 62:8,

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 23:3,

He restores my soul.

It was Friday. I was burnt out, like a fuse that had been shorted. I was running late going home from a half day at the office. I grabbed a last second haircut and stopped at Target to pick up some goodies for the drive. I raced home and we gathered up our things and our kiddos. We took the short drive to my parents house where our two oldest loves would be spending the weekend. We were taking our three month old breastfed daughter on our spur of the moment trip. We were celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary 2 months early. With adoption just around the corner, our chances of getting away in the next 4-5 months are nil, so we decided to go now. Our youngest was usually a trooper on the road. The drive should only have been about 2 1/2 hours. My wife and I were ready to escape for a couple days, reset together as a couple in Christ, so that we could get ready for the arrival of our adopted daughter.

Satan had been attacking us for weeks. We both expected a final onslaught from the enemy. He brought it. We weren’t to the end of the road before our D button on the panel started blinking. A couple phone calls before we hit the highway told us that we had to have our transmission looked at, fast. Our car would be going nowhere for the weekend. We trailed back to my parents. Reloaded our stuff into my mom’s car (which is a little more luxurious, so I was happy about that part) and headed off after a 30 minute delay. We first hit heavy traffic on a highway leading out of town to the interstate. It moved slow. We hit each light. Finally getting onto the interstate. But it got worse. About 30 minutes in we ran into some of the worst traffic congestion I have ever been in. We went about 1-2 miles over a period of 45 minutes. Our daughter woke up in the middle of it, screaming, hating the car seat. We felt the waves of loss and hopelessness climbing over our mouths and nostrils. I was ready to call it off.

We forged ahead.

We knew what was going on. We knew Satan was trying to attack us one final time, to dissuade us from getting alone with God, to pouring into each other and Jesus. He knew we would be strong if we did came together with Christ. Satan wanted us to go back in defeat. We recognized the attack for what it was. We stopped the maddening silence in the car and prayed together. It sent the enemy packing.

God did some amazing work in us this past weekend. There were moments during that drive, as the sun was setting and we climbed higher into the foothills and the shadows went deeper across the interstate, where I was crying. I was letting out the fear that I had kept inside. I have so many bonds to fear. SO many. But this past weekend I started making choices to break those chains.

Break

Every

Chain

A drive that usually took 2 1/2 hours turned into 4+ hours. After pouring our hearts out to each other and God, we stopped for dinner an hour outside of our hotel. It was dark out. I felt drained, but a good drained. You know after a long cry and release of all that you have kept bottled up comes out and you feel exhausted but finally, finally you feel the relief. The relaxation. The rest and relaxation of not having to carry the burden any longer. It was a memorable dinner.

We had such a lovely weekend. There were times when the fear came back. I fought back with worship. I want to be a man of God who when I am placed in situations that are scary to me, I respond in peace and calm because I am in the presence of Jesus’ Spirit. I am always in his presence, because my body is his temple. I worship him inside his temple. I can always worship him and I choose to do so.

We ate fantastic food. We even went to a really cool shabu shabu place. It was our first time to try it out and it was super fun, one of the best dinners I’ve ever had. If you don’t know what shabu shabu is, it means “swish swish” in Japanese. Basically you get a boiling pot of water with spices in it and a plate of raw veggies and your choice of protein. You then “swish swish” the meat and veggies in the boiling water and dip them in your sauce and eat them with your rice. It was uh-may-zing. And then at the end they use the leftovers of your boiling water, meat and veggies to make a soup. I can’t even tell you how amazing the soup was. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

20161105_215005.jpg

We also went to a cute french restaurant for Sunday brunch. The fire was going in the fireplace as I munched on my strawberries romanoff and crepes. The scene was a blurry vision of a living room that I long for in our Father’s hosue. It was lovely. It was restorative. I could feel God working in these different places to restore my soul.

Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul

20161106_101141.jpg

Satan can’t win without us making choices to go along with him. He has to have collusion with our choices to claim victory. He does know how to knock us off our feet and he knows just where to hit us to take our breath away. BUT, God allows this so that we can see that we really are totally weak without him. We need Jesus, at every moment, in every place, at every time. We need him. We cannot defeat our enemy without Jesus. We are weak without Jesus. We are marked for slaughter without Jesus.  We are the sheep and the wolves, Satan and his demons, walk around the perimeter waiting to pick off one of us to eat. We need our Shepherd! We need our Shepherd’s rod to strike the predators waiting to kill us. We need our Shepherd’s presence, oh God, we need you so badly!!

I am not perfected, not yet. But the spiritual tinnitus that has been blocking me from hearing my Love Jesus has been lowered down. The chains of fear haven’t been all cut loose. But I have a pair of razor sharp chain breakers and I am choosing to cut every one of them. I am still scared, deep down, I’m still afraid as a little boy of the dark. As my son is afraid sometimes to walk down our dark hallway, so I’m afraid too sometimes. But I can see my Jesus, my Shepherd, and his rod and his staff comfort me when the lights go off.

I can do this.

We can do this.

We can finish the race. We can continue on. We can fight this spiritual war, it is bloody, it is violent, it is messy, but we can, and we will, claim victory. We will take the high ground. We will slaughter our enemy, Satan and his fallen angels, by our Savior’s breath. We will win. We will save others too from the burning fire and they will come with us. We will win. We will be with him, now and forever. He will never leave us nor forsake us. We are saved, hallelujah and praise Jesus now and forever, we are saved in his grace through the cross!

Let’s do this.

God bless you my friends, my sisters and brothers, as we go through Monday, through the week, through the miry bogs, through the dark and scary forests of the world, through the joy and the sunrise and the pain and the fear. Our Savior is with us, our Beloved Jesus. He is wonderful and lovely and perfect. He is perfect. He is God.

Joel

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Poured Out and Reloaded

  1. I liked this post a lot. It’s so true “Satan can’t win without us making choices to go along with him”… amen my friend!
    So glad you got refueled ❤ Nothing really compares to Yahweh!
    Aw – you had Shabu Shabu!! It's my favorite too, but it's a birthday dinner as it's far too expensive over here at restaurants (meat is crazy expensive in Japan). I love the sesame sauce you dip the food in afterwards. Most places will give you a sesame and a soy sauce cup for the dipping. Here the waiter will come and boil some "udon" (thick noodles) in the pot and use the water for soup. It's so delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So when I read your comment on my app, it just showed the first two lines, I completely missed the bottom paragraph where you answered my question in detail lol. I bet my question was really confusing there haha!

    It was cheap here! 20 bucks for me and my wife. Oh gosh, the sesame peanut sauce is fantastic. We had a soy sauce plus a teriyaki, I had chili added to all of them. Yes, that’s exactly what they did too, added the udon and then we had the soup. Udon is great! We have those at home.

    Really, so meat is super expensive there? Is it just because there’s not a lot of domestic meat production? Or is it cultural?

    Like

    1. No worries… just thought maybe you were getting old – ha ha ha – just kidding 😉
      20 bucks for 2 people? That is so WAY cheap! Don’t know the sesame peanut sauce… Food in Japan is simply put: Separated. Not much mixing takes place here. Meat is expensive because most of it is imported and especially since Fukushima as a lot of piggeries were located there. Hokkaido has cows and so does west Japan, but we mainly get Australian beef and pork. It’s not cultural – trust me, Japanese loves a good steak 😉 A regular 200 grams steak at a restaurant here is about 25 – 35 USD…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! Thats what my kiddos call me, old man! Hey im not that old!!

        Ah that makes sense with fukushima. 25-35 usd isn’t bad at all. That’s typical here for a good mid-range quality steak. Better ones usually at 40-60 usd. We love our beef here too! We have LOTS of cows here, lots of farmland. So what’s your favorite Japanese dish?

        Like

      2. No, you’re not that old. Possibly I’m older than you 😉
        Favorite japanese dish is Shabu Shabu… the good quality stuff which is 100 usd pr. person and served at specific restaurants where staff wears kimono etc – and the meat is all-you-can-eat. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lol. Sorry for my late response here. It’s been one of those weeks.

        That sounds good. Gotta have the kimono. I’ve been to a couple fancy dinners myself. One of my faves was a business dinner when our room had it’s own private kitchen. Wow.

        Like

  3. So glad you and your wife got some rest and refueling. God is good. We have won. The victory is ours through Jesus. In regards to our heavenly home where we eagerly await, We can’t get too comfortable here lest we mistake this for our home. That longing keeps us pressing on to our real home. Also another point- this life has to be a humbling one. Jesus came by humility and we have to go the same way. We can’t be lifted up until we are humbled first. We cant know the joy in all its fullness until we have first been brought low.
    Im learning to trust this. It’s not easy.

    Blessings to you and yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen to all of this! Well said! Especially that we can’t get too comfortable here, this is not our home, we are travellers here going home. Ecclesiasties 3:11, God set eternity in the hearts of humans. We can smell the scent of our Father’s house on the wind. I’m learning to trust the humbling into lifting up right alongside you! We also to have to long, we have to be stretched by longing. As Augustine said, ‘Let us long because we are to be filled…that is our life, to be exercised by longing.’

      quick side note Johanna: I have plenty of time to look up augustine quotes…the line to vote in my precinct is out the church in the parking lot, and partly wrapped around the church building lol!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Prayers going up to. It’s not the elections that worry me any longer, it’s the constant stream of hate and lack of any faith or trust in God that really disturbs me. It’s bad. Our nation needs Jesus, bad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed! Its as bad as I have ever seen. I kind of feel like social media plays a role. We are bombarded with information on social media and people have a whole lot more courage to say whatever is on their mind when its not face to face. People consequently stay in an emotional frenzy and get angry from everything they read. I personally got off of FB because I felt I was getting sucked into a swamp of filth. The only social networking I do is my blog and I have an instagram. Of course it is a spiritual battle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amen to this!! I am on Instagram too, I’m on FB, but I don’t really post much any longer. It is a spiritual battle, a bad one. And it’s just broken out into a street fight since the election. It’s bad. It makes sense to me about the non-believers…yeah, they’re going to fight. But rooted Christians sinking to a dirty level, really? It really destroys our credibility and makes them look spiritually immature. It’s sad. I’m really sad over it for them. And also for the people who are now turned off to Christ. We can stand for the truth without demeaning others or turning them off to ever wanting friendship with us or pushing them further from Christ. It’s counterproductive.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you! All of that, every day, is a lot! I’m about to do my worship time and just sit before Jesus in quiet and I’m excited for it. That’s one thing I’ve been needing to instill in me, is just sitting before Jesus and lovingly waiting for him, listening to him. I need to stop doing a billion things and just let him pour into me and he be my only focus. I need that quiet too!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s