A DIVINE MIX-UP

A couple of emails were exchanged.  He said to read Psalm 126 and I heard Psalm 26.  Then I emailed back and said I would pray Psalm 26 in agreement that very day and evening.  What spoke to me about these two Psalms?

Psalm 126 speaks praise at answered prayer in that Jehovah-God returned the captives to Jerusalem after the long Babylonian captivity.  The temple in Jerusalem had been the seat of holiness and therefore rest and safety in God.  Here, the former captives, would reconstruct the walls (Nehemiah) and re-build the Temple (Ezra and Nehemiah) as they reclaimed the freedom stolen from them. 

The symbolism is replete with so many applications, but for now I write of the following.  Captives... those in bondage to addiction... returning to abide in Christ.  Building walls of protection; boundaries that put a gulf between them and former habits, places, and people; no longer in bondage to the grief of rebellion and sin.  The need is for that precious autonomy (free will) to be restored.  And of family members and friends that hold onto the promise that God will return our loved ones to Him; calling them to repentance and freedom from the ravages of addiction. 

When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream.  Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, "the Lord has done great things for them."  The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad (Psalm 126: 1-3).  

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You (Psalm 51: 12, 13).  

Psalm 26 talks of obedience and projects the confidence of knowing our prayers are answered.  In faithfulness and dedication we walk out Christian precepts, and by this evidence of integrity we have divine authority to forcefully wrest, by spiritual prayer-warfare, the captive free from the grip of satan. Abiding in Christ we have this authority. It is NOT God's will that those we love are captives of satanic enslavement by any means.  David reminds the Lord of His covenant; the promises and authority from which prayers and petitions will be answered for David stands in a "level place," in that secure place of abiding in Christ.

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering (Psalm 26: 1). 

O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where your glory dwells (Psalm 26: 8).

By grace God's glory dwells in the temple of our bodies;  in all persons who have Jesus Christ as Savior.  How do we unleash this Holy Spirit power; the promise that whatever happens we can have that assurance that Jesus Christ is in control?  

"Abide in Me:" is living in Christ. This is the invitation Jesus extends.  Abide in Me...  (John 15: 1-12)... for He is already in us and now, by choice, we step into that intimacy of living in Him; no longer in bondage to what we can't control, no longer assaulted by fear and worry. We move closer to God and He moves closer to us.  

Whatever the challenges of life, whatever task we must reluctantly embark upon, we'll take the step of accepting/committing to His invitation to "abide" in Him.  Having Christ and Abiding in Him are two separate states.  Having Christ is trusting him to save us when we couldn't save ourselves.  We confess our sins asking Him to be our Savior.  If our faith is real we'll begin the journey of abiding in Him.  Living by His precepts, maintaining an intimate prayer life.  By His death and resurrection this gift of abiding in Him is possible. 

He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark (Psalm 91: 4).  

Notice that the Word, Jesus Christ who is the Word, says "may."  ...under His wings you may seek refuge.  Shield and bulwark are tools of warfare.  Here we are invited to flee to this place of abiding in Him.  If we do this, our precious Savior will do what we can not. He will empower us to be Salt and Light; the Caustic Agent for Change, used by the Holy Spirit to fight whatever battle is before us; on our knees, coming and going, standing or resting, dressed in the full Armour of God (Ephesians 6: 10-23).  What is more Jesus will use others to be there for our loved ones as we cannot. 

For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.  They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down (Psalm 91: 11-13).  Read all of Psalm 91. 

There is only one way to tread upon the lion and the serpent.  Here we understand the lion and the serpent are satan and the many demons (fallen angels) that were cast from heaven.  It is satan, our perpetual enemy, that has stolen by means of enslavement; holding captive as a prize of war.  Prayer is the fundamental means of empowerment when deliverance is sought.  Add fasting to prayer and the constraints of the world fall away as angels are even more empowered to do God's bidding on our behalf for we are precious to God.

Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart (Psalm 26: 2).  

Now we can truly "abide" in Him.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51: 17). 

I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins (Psalm 23: 25). 

It's a wonderful blessing to share with each other as we go through similar trials.  We are metal on metal, sharpening spiritual discernment via this process.  So I replied back to this email in which I read Psalm 26 and he referred to Psalm 126...

They say in Al-anon, you didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it; but you can contribute to it. Write this out and put it on the refrigerator.   I’ll be praying a miraculous deliverance from addiction for your loved one, but until she accepts responsibility for her addiction you are helpless. Addicts don’t do well in any place where there is “previous” and history or around people to whom they have the expectation of being enabled and taken care of.

I don’t know why God allows this process to play out, but I do know, and you especially know, that healing is more often a process God builds into our lives. Your loved one is still living after all she’s been through because God desires to build something wondrous into her life. The fact is that parents of adult/children or wives and husbands, are almost never effective tools to facilitate this kind of change.

God has allowed me to continue loving my soon to be ex-husband. Why?  So that I can pray.  I talked with him recently and he asked me to keep our dog, Declan. I had picked Declan up so that I could start training him for the film shoot. He offered that he was going to finally get some help and call this mutual friend of ours who runs a program. Well… he didn’t and hasn’t.  It’s the hardest thing in the world not to rail at him, not to plead with him, not to insist he get help today.  A simple “you can’t stay here and do drugs, you can’t have me and drugs,” was the best thing I ever said to him… but only when I finally meant it and was prepared to act.    

Even though I’m living out these horrendous consequences still, related to his decisions, which will probably include losing my home as even now I struggle to take care of my obligations with no job and only a book that needs to sell.  Pastor Larry Brown challenged me with these words, "satan has your rib."  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man (Genesis 2:22.)  In literal application it means that Brett and I, as married, are literally part of each other. In the broader context we are "our brothers keeper."  We are connected by faith and human status. Taking a little license it also means that we are tied to the people God brings into our lives.  This connection in Love as we take on one anothers burdens in a healthy way; is our authority to pray.  This love-connection gives us special authority in the realm of deliverance to pray in a power and significance for those we love who are captives to addiction or enslaved to any sin.  And... even to pray for all that similarly struggle. 

satan holds tight to any person, place or thing it imagines is its own.  satan doesn't willingly open the door of the cage and say, "go".  No, it takes intervention.  It's warfare and as Christians we know the weapons of warfare upon which we stand in expectation of victory.

Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?  Surely, thus says the Lord, "Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons (Isaiah 49: 24, 25).  

Part of "abiding in Christ" may be that we disengage from the captive addict so that we can pray warfare.  I replied back: So don’t let that attachment game between you and her... your love for her – be any part of any element that allows her to play out the parallel game of keeping her “safe/dysfunctional” attachments in place. These attachments, whatever they are, people that love; things that make possible; circumstances that deflect as we are blamed for an addicts choices. These are the evil excuses that end in relapse and then allow the addict to remain enslaved.  Their choice / their consequence. It’s so complicated. It’s so tragic; so life and death; so toxic.

"satan has your rib."  So stand up and pray deliverance.  The ravages of this horrific enslavement is NOT God's will.  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn (Isiah 61: 1, 2).  

Even as we pray deliverance we must recognize that often it will not be us who is the catalyst for intervention and recovery.  For a season God will allow the process of consequences to play out; proof that he loves and is calling the rebellious back to Him. 

Paul wrote: I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1st Corinthians 5: 5).  

As we step back and let go "let go and let God"  it is often that prayer is our only constant, our one resource, the single choice left to us... to abide in Jesus Christ.  Abide in Him - the greatest blessing. 

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