sometimes there seems like there are huge obstacles in the way of moving forward in my walk with God. A couple weeks ago, pretty much starting on new years, it was insanely hard for me emotionally- seemed like everything around me was just coming to a head and i didn't feel like i could sort through all of the issues at once.
I felt like i didn't fit/wasn't wanted both in the group of friends i value most, and within my own family. It turned out these sort of things had been a problem for me for a long time but i always bottled them up- just tried to move on past them without dealing with the root problems.
Anyway, we had a week of prayer and fasting at our church which i tried to go to as much as possible- it was really intense for me-- during the week i got a definite analogy kept coming to my mind. It was as if all the fear and anxiety about acceptance was right in front of me like huge gates, much like the enormous Assyrian gates in the the British museum i love so much- and the way forward with God was on the other side. I struggled like crazy to just shrug off all this crap and just move on, like i usually do. It wasn't working.
Two things gave me hope in that place- both simple things but really powerful to me at that time, and continuing.
1st- What does the bible say about big gates? about gates of brass, everlasting doors? it says, in Psalm 24-
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— he is the King of glory.
so i grabbed onto that with both hands and declared, you know what- open up you gates of brass- Gods bigger than you, get out of the way. i genuinely believe that words have power- way more than we are inclined to believe, as western middle of the road Christians. We were made in the image of a creator God who spoke the universe- our words have power too, and even more so when we are speaking the words of God, through the scriptures.
OK so 2nd-- I praised. I have always said, you know, worship and praise means more when you don't feel like it, and declaring God's faithfulness is true so you should do it no matter what you feel like... well i have said that flippantly in the past with no idea how hard it is.
well, let me tell u- in that black place, where you feel like you can't do anything but worry and go around in circles in your head, going over and over the problems which fill up your entire vision--
in THAT place-- THAT is where praise is so immensely powerful. It totally takes the focus off of me, and back onto God where my focus ALWAYS belongs. yeah its hard, but it is the best thing you can do. Put on music that lifts up and declares that God is good, all the time, and MAKE yourself sing along.
its almost impossible at first, but the longer you praise, the more you get a completely new and right perspective.
anyway, that is what I've learned and am still learning this year.
i know i still have a long way to go, but the road is forward from this point.