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Friday, May 29, 2015

Thick lead walls

We can all share experiences when we were feeling the walls closing in and then we began to finally feel things lighten up a bit and we had this sense of renewed "breathing room".  We didn't perhaps doing anything all that different, but there was just this release which came - even in our consistent plodding.  Sometimes we think it takes some tremendous change on our part for those "walls" to stop closing in, but I want to assure you it is just possible God is not really concerned with us doing anything different, but that we just continue to trust him in the midst of the pressures.
Lord, you are faithful to those who are faithful. You are good to those who are good. You never do wrong to those who have done no wrong. But you outsmart the wicked, no matter how clever they are. You help those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud. Lord, you provide the flame for my lamp. You, God, turn the darkness around me into light. With your help I can defeat an army. If my God is with me, I can climb over enemy walls. (Psalm 18:25-29 ERV)
Faithfulness involves all our faculties - mind, will, and emotions all forging forward despite the obstacles.  We might think we need great faith to endure, but the truth is we only need consistent faith of ANY amount to endure!  We don't have to be overcome or defeated by walls, we just have to know walls are temporary barriers and are never permanent with God's vantage point.  He sees just beyond their boundaries and we can rest assured they don't stand a chance in keeping him from remaining consistent in his oversight of our lives.
Some might take this passage to mean we need to be doing stuff which proves our faithfulness, but God isn't concerned with the degree of performance we can manifest in the midst of the pressure.  He is concerned with the degree of trust and reliance we exhibit, though.  He isn't as concerned with our planned "next steps" as much as he is concerned with the condition of our heart.  In other words, God is concerned that we understand where it is we get the "flame for our lamps".  If we think we can only endure the pressure of the walls through some effort of our own, we might just find the walls which are paper thin to God are like solid lead to us!
Lead is heavy, but it is malleable - perhaps one of the most malleable of metals.  It might be one of the heaviest of metals, but it weighs nothing in comparison to the mountains God tells us we can move with the speck of faith we have!  Did you know that lead taken into the body actually causes brain damage and affects the nervous system in a negative way?  Maybe this is why our enemy wants us to think of the walls as lead - so he can mess with our minds and get us all caught up in the anxiety of the pressures around us.  The method to affecting our faithfulness is through affecting our perception of the issue at hand - getting our eyes off the one we trust and onto the heaviness of the walls around us.
One thing we can do when we feel like the walls are thick lead around us is to look up.  The issue we are facing pales in comparison to the light we receive when we change our focus from the immovable pressure of those walls to the light which comes from above.  The reason we put lights on the ceiling isn't because it is convenient to change those light bulbs!  It is because light positioned above us tends to spread out over us, illuminating the space around us better.  The reason we need to appreciate God's light in our lives is quite similar - his light brings evidence to the way of escape from those walls, but it also shows us just how "penetrable" those walls are to his presence!  Just sayin!