A Living Stream beats the Death Sentence
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”- Psalm 107:13-14
One of our family’s favorites programs to watch is the reality contest show, America’s Got Talent. We enjoy seeing the unique, the stupendous, the fearless feats, and the things that make you go “wow”. A couple of weeks ago was the season finale, where one act would take home $1,000,000 and become a headline act in Las Vegas. There were ten performers looking to secure the prize. While the show rolled on, I began to do my own personal judging (move out of the way Simon Cowell), by eliminating those acts I felt had zero possibility of winning. With those people/groups I had crossed off my list, I even began to question if they were so naïve to think they had a shot at the million dollars. So, not only had I cast my verdict, I wanted to them to take some truth serum and exit stage left.
As I reflected more on my pessimistic (glass half-empty) mindset, I came to the realization that my own life experience had developed a guarded/wounded heart and a defeatist mentality that needed to be shaken and rooted out of me. From childhood, I have had relationships, events, and moments that produced pain, heartache, and a feeling of utter abandonment. All those things act as a judge over our lives, seeking to cross us off the list of being noticed, being loved, being productive, being happy, and being victorious. There was one deep, dark season that took place in 2016 that needed the light of God’s grace, glory and great power to invade and override all condemnation and confusion.
Without going into detail with what took place, the underlying and overarching theme was my listening to and believing in a lie from the enemy which was intended to trap me in fear. During that season I felt filled by fear/doubt and I felt destined for doom. Over a two-month period I pressed into the Lord more than I can ever remember and I sought out friends and mentors to walk alongside me in faith and strength. The outcome from that short (but intense) assignment of the devil, was that the Lord broke off the chains and I began to stand in the truth of His love and the promise of His hope. 1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” As I look back on that season, one of the things the Lord pointed out was with EACH PASSING DAY the lie and threat the enemy was breathing showed itself for what it truly was, lacking all credence and substance. No matter how I felt, the fact was that I was still here, I was still serving the Lord, and I was still seeing His hand on my life. With each new morning there was a mercy gift and truth announced that overrode the accusation. Thank you, Jesus, for the blessings that came daily from heaven as declared in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Perhaps you are reading this article and realizing that you have been lumping yourself into the category of being a failure, a loser, and a second-place finisher. Maybe there is a lie that has you trapped and defeated with the thought that you have NO SHOT of getting a promotion at work, of finding that someone special to spend your life with, of ever owning your own home, of seeing a turnaround in your health, in your marriage, or in your kids. I am here to tell you by the Spirit of the Living God that you don’t have to concede defeat any longer because you have been destined to be a person who receives and advances in the glory of God!
Begin today by no longer dwelling on or living under the shadow of past experiences, heartbreaks, or voices that have sought to define your life and determine your future. Be honest and humble with God as you give Him these things. And most importantly BELIEVE that you have what it takes to GO THE DISTANCE and GAIN THE CROWN! The Good News I am here to announce is that the devil is not our judge, but our Father in Heaven presides on the throne and longs to give us His reward. Let Paul’s declaration in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 become your new target and talent, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.” Talk about an amazing Faith Finale celebration!