Holy Courage

Well…now I know.

In my life, what I give permission to can be the very thing that holds me captive.

Recently, a person I trusted and cared for said and did some things that deeply wounded my heart. I was stunned. I just didn’t see it coming. And I couldn’t wash it off my crawling, betrayed skin.

Yet, there it was. For way too long, there it stayed. And with it came a bitterness, a strangling anger and resentment. My sin adding to the sin thrust upon me from another. That’s what sin does, doesn’t it?

Multiply. Exponentially.

Present. Real. Powerful. Imprisoning.

Or is it really?

Perhaps the threat is found more in the power I allow that hurt to have within my life. Perhaps the wound refuses to heal because I refuse to clean it out – to do what I know I need to do to cleanse and heal. Perhaps the threat is more from my lack of perspective than from my lack of defenses?

The enemy is a chained dog. He can threaten and he can snarl, but he can only go so far.

Truth is, no one can steal from me what I don’t give them permission to keep. Who I am and what God has promised and purposed for my life is not something He holds loosely. His Word says that He knit me together and that my days are written down before one of them even comes into being (Psalm 139).

His Word stands.

His Word never fails.

His Promises for me are as unshakeable as they are trustworthy.

I am realizing that I am the one who gives the enemy (in whatever form he comes against me) permission to threaten who I am. The only way I do that is to move my feet from the solid ground He has given me and to place my trust in someone or something else. The only ground my feet need possess is the ground of grace, of healing, of light, of Truth, of hope. That ground is mine.

Now, don’t get me wrong, how my friend behaved hurt. It hurt a lot and those feelings were real and they were raw. And I am working toward forgiveness and restoration in that relationship. But here’s the difference… I am forgiving instead of forgetting. I am forgiving the offenses against me, but at the same time not forgetting who I am. Who I am cannot be threatened or shaken by any flesh and bone or scheme of the enemy. Yes, I can forget the offense. I can let that go. Looking at it squarely, it is nothing I want to hold on to. There is nothing good to be found there.

I want to remember the things that actually matter.

I want to remember grace.

I want to remember peace.

I want to remember joy.

I want to remember that He has good plans for me.

I want to remember that I am His hands and feet.

I want to remember to extend my hands to the poor, the orphan, and the widow.

I want to remember that I am a daughter of the King with an inheritance that cannot be taken from me.

I want to remember that I am a work in progress, but already pleasing in His sight.

Yes. Those are the things I want to remember.

No one can steal this sacred ground from under my feet. Not unless I let them. And I don’t wanna do that. Not today. Not again.

Yes, people are going to disappoint and people are going to wound. It has happened to you and it has happened to me. I am pretty confident that it will happen again. That’s just the nature of the broken world we live in. But let’s endeavor to walk in the freedom and confidence of who we are and refuse to live in fear of it.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes…”

Jeremiah 17:7-8a

We are children of the light. We are heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are “planted” by a water that will never run dry (verse 7). We are sons and daughters of righteousness – saved, redeemed, restored, healed, holy. Nothing on this earth can break or shake that reality. Let’s not live like we are afraid of losing something that can’t actually be stolen.

The song I want to share with you today is from a band I just recently discovered, called Iron Bell Music. The song is entitled, “Belong to You (Enemy Can’t),” and the lyrics are as poignant as they are full of truth. Perhaps you need the reminder today as much as I do. My prayer is that you (and I) would put whatever threatens and bullies you into His holy perspective and as you do, that you would discover a holy courage deep within your soul to claim and stand upon all the Truths that already belong to you.

With joy for the journey,