This morning I woke up. The sun was bright in my face through the window… calling me to welcome the day. I smiled and I stretched, knowing that I had a few minutes to embrace this beautiful spring day, no usual week-day hurry. I thanked God for the morning, for the alone, quiet moment. For the love that was filling me. For getting me through an especially difficult week that was painful and raw. For healing me of hurts that were still there from my marriage… showing me that they were there and then holding my hand as I worked through them. For the peace that replaced the pain. For the hope that replaced the defeat. For the beauty that replaced the despondency. For His truth that replaced the lies of my own self image. For the smiles that replace the hurting heart.
As I started my day, I got dressed properly.
I decided, as usual to put on the whole armour of God.
I put on the belt of truth.. I have come to know that circumstances, situations and appearances often are not the truth of God’s way for us.. that what looks impossible to us really may only be improbable and even so, if it is His will, it will be done. That these situations, circumstances and appearances exist for only one reason.. and that is to take our eyes off of God. I want only His truth..
I put on the breastplate of righteousness. I know not what righteousness is for it is foreign to my nature and to my thinking. But as I press into God, as I hunger to know Him more, as I strive to become more Christ-like, HIS righteousness becomes evident in me. Still very lacking, still with much to learn and attain, but it is there. Not by my own strength, but by His grace.
I carry with me the gospel of peace. I want nothing more than to be a light for the Kingdom of Heaven. To draw God’s hurting children into His love… To carry this peace so that there will be with me a taste of He who has created me that others may see and know that their Creator in Heaven is calling them and is real.
I carry the shield of faith with me. Just a mustard seed of faith for I know that this is enough to move the mountains of hurt, the mountains of impossibilities, the mountains of obstacles in our lives. It is enough to be planted and bare fruit. It is enough to bare so much that it can be spread… allowing many seeds of faith to be shared with others as He grows this fruit, nourishing it, tending it, nurturing it.
I wear on my feet readiness. I pray that I am ready for and given doors of opportunity to be a comfort the broken-hearted for His name’s sake. To be given ministry opportunities to share His love, His healing, His anointing. I pray for God-ordained encounters, that I will be there for His will, whatever that is.
I put on myself the helmet of salvation. This helmet reminds me of what He has given me. Salvation that I did not, do not and won’t ever deserve. Reminds me that He loved me first… I did not love Him and yet He gave His son as an atoning sacrifice for MY sin. I am humbled as I remember this. I wear this helmet to protect my mind from the lies of the life’s hard moments that leave me feeling defeated. To know and walk in the fact that I have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of Love, of Power and of a Sound, Clear mind.
I carry with me the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. I know the power of this… Think of it.. “the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword that pierces everything it touches” and … “if you abide in Me and My word abides in you, you will ask whatever you desire and it will be given”. I understand that there is a reality that we are a part of.. that exists around us and with us that we do not typically feel, hear or see. There is evil fighting against you and the Word of God is the weapon that slashes down the enemy’s plans. Read it. Learn it. Understand it. Live it. Use it. It is God’s gift to us.
I remembered after putting all of this on that “No weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that rises against us shall be condemned. For this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is from Me says the Lord”.
I was not fully dressed yet and continued on…
I put on the garments of praise. Whatever heaviness in spirit that I had disappeared as I worshiped and praised the Holy name of God. I prayed a sweet-smelling incense go up to His throne as I called out His name.. I prayed that all would see His glory, that all would taste of His beautiful and indescribable love.. that all would taste and see how good He is.. that every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (it will be so, but I pray that all will choose this sooner than later), I prayed for His delight, I worshipped Him for the beauty of His love, for giving me what I do not deserve and am humbled to receive. I praised Him for all of His ways.
I covered myself in the oil of joy. I learned a while ago that the joy of the Lord is my strength… that delighting Him was all that I need to make it through the hardest moments. But I learned that in return, He gives me joy and peace that are far beyond my understanding.. that this is not a peace that the world knows, but a peace in my spirit, in the very depth of who I am that cannot be effected by life, by circumstances, by situations. I walk in joy at the thought of His love for me. In the thought that He delights in me and sings over me. In knowing that He has a plan and a purpose for me, and that He wants to prosper me and not harm me, He has given me hope for my future, that He wants me to call upon Him and He will listen, that I will seek Him and find Him when I seek with all of my heart.
I then took the crown of beauty that He has given me. Beauty of spirit, beauty of countenance, beauty of being. I wanted to put it on, yet, I will not wear any crown before my King. I give it back to Him in joy and pray that it is an acceptable sacrifice before Him.
Lord.. I feel like I am existing in a deep fog; my thoughts seem to be dulled and weak
Today I’m going to…
Know that in the fog, my Heavenly Father holds my hand
I only need to lift my voice in praise and understand
There are times, when I have been so depressed that thoughts seem to have a mind of their own; each thought becoming more difficult to string together. A fog seems to grow over any attempts you make to think and get through the day to the point that you can feel totally incapable.
On these days, when clarity is needed, lift up your thoughts and voice to give praise to God. We are taught to “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of Heaviness. Lift up your heart to God”. Like the sun peeking through the rain clouds as the sky clears, your thoughts, the fog will lift with each word of love, worship, adoration that we speak. Furthermore, following that passage is a promise that those who do so will be called “Oaks of Righteousness”. Wow! He gets you through the fog and then gives you such a gracious reward.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.