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That Tickles

August 18th, 2014

“Full Armor” is no Exaggeration

If I said the last week had been weird, I would not be capturing the half of it.

Seems like we hear about two versions of Christianity, without much in between. In the first version, you bleed a lot, and everyone takes advantage of you, and you have to kiss their toes all day anyway, and God does absolutely nothing for you until you die. Which can’t come soon enough. In the other version, there is something wrong with you if you don’t have a different Bentley for every day of the week. You are never supposed to be sick. Everyone is supposed to offer you jobs you don’t deserve and sell you things at ridiculous prices that guarantee their own starvation. Nothing bad ever happens, unless you fail to send enough money to some guy on TBN who uses car wax on his hair. Plugs.

I repent.

In reality, here is how it works: you should live in victory. Unfortunately, “victory” implies the existence of a battle. It wouldn’t make much sense to have victory if you never have to fight. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken.” We are the bones.

The enemy will attack from time to time, but it won’t amount to much. That’s the deal. Again, I must use the word “unfortunately,” because unfortunately, sometimes when an attack doesn’t amount to much, it seems really bad. The crucifixion was a horror, but from the standpoint of damage, it amounted to nothing, because it gave God the ability to forgive humanity and change human beings so they resembled him in virtue and power. It was a huge victory for our side. It was the end of the other side. It was like Adam’s fall, only for Satan.

Every so often, the enemy will get what seems like a victory. It may be because we screwed up, or it may be because God is playing rope-a-dope with a fallen angel. In the end, we will still prevail. And the vast majority of the time, the enemy won’t even appear to win. He’ll just lose.

A while back, I learned to speak defeat to my enemies and problems. It works. It really works. But I still get attacks. An attack is not a loss.

People who are toxic and unsaved still do very, very annoying, selfish, nasty things to me. But I do what God has taught me, and I hang on. Then they lose. Problems pop up, and I fight and hold my ground. Then they go away. The thing I am learning is how to stay calm and confident while this crap is going on. That’s the real treasure.

When the storm rose on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus got in the boat with the disciples, he calmed the sea, but he did that after he got in the boat. While he was walking on the water, the waves were going nuts. That’s what our lives are supposed to be like. There are enemies raging around us all the time, but they’ve already lost, so why get upset? This is normal.

God gave us the picture of the ark to help us understand this. When the rain came and amazed Noah’s neighbors (who had never seen rain), they surely ran to the ark and started beating on the hull. I guarantee you, they raised a terrible commotion. Wouldn’t you? When the water got chest-deep and the children were starting to drown, surely the self-worshiping, perverted people outside saw that things were serious. They wanted in! And I’m sure they wanted to toss Noah out.

I don’t know what God permitted them to do, but I’m sure they pulled out all the stops and did whatever they could. They probably shot arrows and hurled spears. They tried to climb up the hull. They probably tried to sink the ark out of jealousy.

So Noah and his family were inside, hearing the horrible sounds of the doomed, and listening to the rain and wind. They were safe. There was no danger at all. But it had to be a terrible experience.

God gave us the ark to show us that he takes care of his own, and that we should think about his promises, not our circumstances, and definitely not about the bad things that happen to the children of the enemy. Those things are not for us.

Jesus was killed, it’s true. But he knew it was coming, and he consented. He was not overcome. He allowed it. I don’t want to be crucified, but if God told me persecutors were going to kill me, and it happened, I could not call that a defeat. It would serve to advance some purpose God had in mind, and in the end, whoever was behind the violence would be defeated. They would see it as the worst mistake they had ever made. And I’d be in heaven, where you never run your toe into furniture, you never get a cold, you never have to think about money, you never meet a single jerk…

To get back to my life, storms keep popping up, but God shoots them down, and I’m getting used to not being bothered by them.

In June or July, I lifted something. This goes against my personal moral code, so I should have known it would have consequences. I carried a cast iron rotary table across the garage. Days later, I developed pain in my lower back. It was extremely aggravating. Sitting was slow. Standing was slow. There were things I couldn’t do.

I spoke defeat to it. I didn’t worry. I didn’t go to a doctor and get unnecessary surgery. One day I woke up well. God came through.

I have had kidney stones in the past. They were really painful, and the first one cost me over six grand, because I was stupid enough to go to the ER. Last month, I started feeling some irritation which, I knew, might be related to kidney stones. Or not. I spoke defeat to the problem, and I resorted to my favorite cure, which consists of drinking two beers in quick succession. That was hell. Let me tell you. I had to endure that several times.

I didn’t get upset. I didn’t suffer. I didn’t worry. Sometimes I forgot about the problem.

Without getting into gross details, let me say that a week or so back, I was startled to see a large kidney stone emerge. In fact, it had a little buddy with it. They just flew out. No pain. Just surprise. End of problem.

A couple of weeks back, I found that feral bees had moved into my soffit, and I decided to annihilate them. I took a ladder outside and mixed up some mortar. I put on my bee-killing rig and climbed on the roof, and I packed mortar around every bee entrance I could find. In doing this, I had to make very awkward movements that twisted my back and were generally unpleasant. I felt a pain in my side.

After this, I found that I had pain in the area where you would expect to feel the misery of a gallstone attack. I didn’t know whether I had torn muscles in my ribcage or what. My gallbladder has been jim-dandy lately, but I couldn’t say it wasn’t the source of the pain. Maybe the timing was coincidence, though.

I can’t believe I typed that last sentence.

I did not want to go to the doctor, because in America, they regard the gallbladder as a hilarious mistake created by a God who never went to medical school. They think it’s totally unnecessary, and if you have even a hint of symptoms, they will insist that you have yours removed. Of course, that’s dumb. The gallbladder is important for proper digestion, and besides, the stones actually come from the liver. People get their gallbladders removed, they still have stones, and they have the added bonus of sudden diarrhea every time they eat fat. Plus malabsorption of certain important nutrients.

I had absolutely no digestive symptoms. There are certain things that happen when your gallbladder is upset, and they didn’t happen. I didn’t know what to think.

I took various medications I knew about, and I spoke defeat to the problem, and when I asked God if my gallbladder was coming out surgically, he said “no.” Meanwhile, it hurt when I burped. It hurt when I coughed. It hurt when I bent over. Wait until you’ve gone three days without coughing. You will miss it badly. Apparently, it’s essential to good health.

Then one day I had a pain-free interval, and that told me I was not in trouble, as if God’s word hadn’t done that already. If a problem can get better temporarily, it can get better permanently.

I did some things which could be considered obnoxious and rude by the enemy. One day I was out of decent food, so I grabbed two crusty frozen tamales from the freezer, and I heated them up along with some ancient cheddar and a can of chipotle sauce from a Mexican grocery. This should kill a gallbladder patient in about 15 minutes. It would be fairly hard on a healthy goat. I ate it anyway, and nothing happened. Day before yesterday, I ate a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream, which should have caused me to explode. Nothing happened. At all. Later I went to McDonald’s, which was almost contemptuous.

Last night while I was falling asleep I felt faith rushing through me, and I felt the weirdest sensation in my abdomen. I felt like something hard was being shoved through my innards. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t exactly painful, and I felt that it was a positive thing. I wanted to sleep, but I just laid there and waited. I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t consider going to the ER. The wind was blowing, but I was at peace.

Got up today feeling great. I’ve felt great the whole time, except for the pain, but now I feel great minus the pain.

The other day I went on Facebook, and I said, “Thank you, God, for sealing my enemies outside the ark.” That’s how I feel.

I wish I had never had any problems, but if you can’t have perpetual peace, victory will do.

You need to pray in tongues every day so your faith will be there when you need it. You need to dedicate yourself, in your heart, to advancing God’s kingdom. It should be your central goal in life, and you should use your faith to do it, in prayer and decreeing. This will cause him to direct more resources to you. After all that, you need to gather wisdom and knowledge and use it, and you need to find friends who will stand with you.

After this, you should be able to live in victory. You might have to face a leftist firing squad some day, as many Christians have, but things like that happen to defeated people, too, and before they happen, those people live in cringing submission.

This is worth it. Believe me.

Am I provoking Satan by saying this stuff? Surely I must be. But he was provoked already. He was provoked before I was born. Appeasing him is not possible. The Bible says we will bruise his head, not that we will keep giving him land until he agrees to stop shooting rockets. He is not our friend, and he never will be.

I would rather provoke him than his invincible enemy.

Hope this stuff is of value to you. Keep moving forward. There is no other way to go.

I haven’t gotten around to discussing the last week, but I will. Probably.

2 Responses to “That Tickles”

  1. Steve B Says:

    I once wrote something about obedience being a weapon, that our obedience to God’s will was a weapon he would use against the enemy. I’ll have to dig it up. The idea of us, as believers, being used as tools or weapons to build the kingdom. A hammer gets pounded, gets scratches, nicks, dings, but it builds a house. Does it cringe every time it sees a nail because it knows what’s coming? Or does it exult, because it knows that’s what it was made for?!

    I hesitate sometimes to be too fanboy or anything, because I remember once your wrote that you were suspicious of those who heaped praises, because it usually meant they wanted something, or were being insincere to curry favor. But I also know that encouragement helps us remain steadfast to do what we are called to do. To write and keep writing, even if sometimes we think our audience too small to make the effort worthwhile. But your stuff preaches, dude. Keep it up.

  2. Steve H. Says:

    Thanks, Steve. Anything that resonates came from God.

    One great thing about testimony is that unlike man-made doctrine, it has to be right. If a thing happened, it happened. The interpretation may be a subject of debate, but the facts can’t change.