Did He Really Say Stand Still and Take Cover?!!
Have you ever been so afraid that you were paralyzed and couldn’t move? I have…
When I was growing up, I had a repeated dream, in which I was being pursued by a sleek black panther. The thing about this panther is, it was so beautiful, that I had a hard time taking my eyes away from it and running, like I should have. Instead, I would always find myself sticking around too long – and suddenly finding myself face to face with this massive animal whose greatest desire was to do me harm…preferably long term and total. Most often the panther would get into my face and suck my breath away. Invariably, every time I was simply too terrified to even be able to move and I would wake up gasping for air, “paralyzed” in bed.
For the longest time, I put this dream down to hearing our neighbors talking in fear of their cat getting into their new baby’s crib and sucking its breath away and the new black kitten we had just found. As I have gotten older, I see a great deal more in that dream….
Recently I have been struck at what a picture it is of the way the enemy operates in our lives! He wraps deception and sin up in such a pretty package, that we’re suckered into standing still and looking at it, instead of dealing with it. And as we stand there, we end up having our very breath sucked out of us.
The path that we have taken – our faith story – has become a part of who we are and who we are becoming and the work that the Lord has for us to do. It’s a powerful story and some day I will share it with you, but for now suffice it to say that it has been…hard. 🙂 Not too long ago someone said to me, “I would be scared to BITS if I were in your shoes.” At the time, the thought went through my head, “Why? Are you scared to BITS at the place YOU are at? If we both know the Lord and we both are walking in His ways, then we are both safely entrenched in the palm of His hand – and there is nothing to fear.” Unfortunately, I was too busy looking at the black panther sneaking into the room to be able to hold that position of Truth and therefore, I submitted to having the life sucked out of me, instead.
This morning when we watched the stock market open (Yeah, the way some people watch horse racing, we watch the market open. “And they’re off!” A truer statement has not been made!) 😛 and it was falling again, it occurred to me that, as recently as early last week, this would have caused fear to rise up inside my heart. (Do you see the nefarious black panther entering the picture here?)
In light of the financial mess that is swirling about us all, it’s very tempting to stand still – in fear – and take cover. But, that isn’t who your God is, nor what He desires from you.
Rather than standing by while the enemy of your soul tries to fill your dance card, keeping you spinning round and round about with fear, I want to encourage you that the call of Daniel is not to stand still and take cover, but rather to stand firm and take action! (Daniel 11:32)
While the actions of standing firm and taking action are incredibly powerful, the thing I want to focus on MOST today is what enables us to do that – knowing our God. In these days that seem uncertain, we needn’t fear anything. By knowing our God – by knowing His character – by knowing His love for us, we are able to stand in the midst of ANY storm and know that He is in control.
Do the words of the pundits and financial threats cause your stomach to feel weak and your knees to buckle? Just remember that you’re not called to walk by sight – so it doesn’t matter what the world can see. You can see God. You can know Him and His Kingdom.
Rather than watching the panther (the fear mongering) slithering into the room, turn and keep your eyes on the Lord God Most High. He will enable you to stand firm and take whatever actions are necessary.
Next time, I’d like to share some of the things that the Lord has taught me about standing firm and taking action – or being strong and doing exploits, as the King James reads. (I just love that! Doing exploits! Exploits – an act or deed, especially a brilliant or heroic one. MAN! What a stance to have when one is feeling broken and paralyzed by fear!) Until then, just work at knowing your God. There is nothing sweeter in this life.