Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lessons Learned

God is so good!  He just continues to amaze me with how much He loves.  His love is truly indescribable.  He is so patient.  He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8).  And I am incredibly thankful for these character traits of God, especially after my hair pity party.  He has encouraged me, convicted me, provided me with glimpses of how He could use my haircut for good (Romans 8:28), and helped me find hope.  I've got enough to blog about for the remainder of the week, so stay tuned...

About midway through my pity party, I started to get mad at Satan.  Really mad.  Why?  Because Satan knows that beauty is my battlefield and he was taking full advantage of a haircut that didn't look the way I hoped.  I was also mad at myself for falling prey to his lies.  And I learned a few things from this.  First, I discovered that I'm not done with this Beauty War.  It was my battleground for years, and it can easily become my battleground again. 

Second, I learned that I actually recognize Satan's lies, which means that I can fight back right away instead of just believing that what I saw in the mirror was reality.  It feels good to know that I don't have to let Satan win.  I feel empowered and I'm determined to fight back.  I even wrote in my journal:  I AM NOT GOING TO LET SATAN WIN.  I AM NOT GOING TO LET SATAN STEAL MY JOY.  Do you think he's intimidated?  I sure hope he is!

When I got in the car, the first song that played was the EXACT song I needed to hear.  It perfectly summarized my past 24 hours.  I love how God speaks to us in so many different ways.  He is pursuing us... chasing us... whispering His truth if we just take the time to listen.  I think I played this song at least 15 times and it makes me smile to know that I'm covered by God's grace in the midst of my biggest messes.  The song that touched me so much is called Good to Know by Francesca Basttistelli.  I wonder if you need to hear this message too?

These lyrics particularly hit home:

 Hello, old friend
I know it's been a while
I'm here again
And it won't be the last time
I fall apart
But You won't let me get too far
You're speaking to my heart

It's good to know
It's good to feel the arms of grace
To know that my mistakes are covered by Your love
It's good to know
It's good to see that You won't change
When it's said and done
You'll always be enough
To know that I can always come back home
It's good to know

Why are these lyrics so meaningful?  Because Beauty War is my old friend and it's been a while since I was engulfed in the lies this much.  And the lyrics reflect that even when I find my way back to the battlefield again, God won't let me get too far.  I appreciate how He opened my eyes to the lies quickly.  I wonder if you have an "old friend" that's paying you a visit.  Know that God wants to help you fight back.  He wants you to feel His arms of grace and cover you with His love.  He's waiting for you to cry out for His help. 

Speaking of crying out to God for help, that's exactly what I had to do because I'm too weak to win the Beauty War on my own.  Trust me, I learned this from years and years on the battlefield.  And how did I cry out for help?  By praying 2 Corinthians 12:9:

2 Corinthians 12:9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [a]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [b]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

How encouraging are these verses?  God's strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in our weaknesses.  Will you also invite God to fight for you?  He wants to help.  And His power works best when you are weak.  Take a moment and invite Him into your own battlefield right now. 

Maybe your mess raises its ugly head daily.  Maybe you feel like God is tired of helping you or maybe you think He's ready to give up on you.  Well, that's another lie from Satan.  Let these verses take root and grow in your heart.  They beautifully describe God, who loves you and wants you to experience victory in your own war.

Isaiah 30:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!
God longs to extend His amazing grace to you.  And when you humbly come before Him, He lifts Himself up to have mercy on you and to show loving-kindness to you.  He wants you to experience victory. Believe Isaiah 30:18!  And fight from a place of victory.  We can win our wars, with God's help, one battle at time!

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