Yesterday I had a fender bender.
Thankfully, no one was hurt! It was minor as collisions go, but even the smallest accident leaves you feeling shaky and rattled. To top it all off, the lady in the other car was snotty and accusing, certain I was dolt or imbecile or both. In the back of my mind, I kept wondering, God, why didn't you prevent this? How is this good? We do NOT need this!! I apologized to my Father later for my accusing tone, and thanked Him that it wasn't more serious and for His protection. He hugged my heart and whispered, No worries love, you're only dust.
We would really, really love it if God WOULD do all that He COULD do to prevent difficulties and to ensure safety, health, prosperity and happiness. When He doesn't, we are tempted to question His love or wonder if He is really powerful. This is a dilemma as old as Eden, and we probably aren't significantly closer to understanding it than Adam and Eve were.
One thing I have learned though--it is very important NOT to get the wrong idea about God when He allows tough things to touch us. Last time, I shared the story of my battle with worry. The real spiritual battle I faced began out of some well-intentioned teaching (I'm sure you've heard this too) that God allows suffering to touch our lives because He has things to teach us through those experiences.
Satan began to use that idea as a way to drive a wedge into my relationship with God. Although I never heard an audible voice, the sneering, caustic, screeching tone I heard in my thoughts was a dead giveaway--he would hiss, "Weeeellllll! I wonder what horrible thing God is going to allow, jussssst to TEACH you something?" That treacherous thought made me shrink from God, drove me away from prayer, and made me wary and distrustful of Him.
That worked on me for a long time . . . too long. It stoked the fire of my worried what if's, but the thing that scared me even more was what had become an actual fear of God. This was not the "fear of the Lord" that rightly, humbly stands in awe of Almighty God. It was a terribly destructive "I'm-scared-to-death-of-You-because-maybe-You're-as-cruel-as-the-devil-says-You-are" fear that crippled my ability to grow in my relationship with God. My wise and wonderful Pastor pointed me to this powerful passage of Scripture:
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
A "pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God." That was exactly what was happening and I was falling for it, but I didn't have to!!
Little by little, one thought at a time, I replaced the snide questioning the enemy shot my way, with the truth about who God is and how He loves me. As with the worry, the power of fear also bit the dust in the face of God's great love for me in Christ. The moment I rejected the lie and submitted to Him whose character is only true, all the time, choosing to trust Him, the fear was obligated to flee! The strongholds came down!
So, whether it's a fender bender, or something more serious, whether I understand or not, I can take solace in the knowledge that when it comes to what God allows,
"God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart"
How do you fight the battle?
What are your go-to Scriptures to demolish strongholds?