No Weapon Formed...

Have you ever had an instance when, all of a sudden, a passage of Scripture takes on "flesh and blood" in your life? All of a sudden, what you've read in Scripture takes on context?

Me, too. About this whole "weapons" thing...

When you walk in a conscious awareness of the unmerited favor of God, He comes to your personal defense. This is because you have made the God of Jacob your refuge by choice, not by default. You have submitted yourself to the righteousness which comes only through Christ Jesus. When you make it all about Jesus, all for Jesus, through, by and to Jesus, you simply live in an unfair advantage. There is no other way of putting it. No weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue that speaks against you in judgement, you will, in time, show to be in the wrong.

Not because of any righteousness of your own, but because you are in one who criticizes you prospers in their effort because of Christ. Not because you prayed a prayer, not because you attend church, not because you decided to be a better, more self disciplined Christian, not because you perform, but rather, you live in an unfair advantage when you know you can't do anything right! You have believed the report of the Lord, and thus to you is His arm revealed! Your unfair advantage comes by blood. By blood inheritance, you are "unfairly favored" in life, and no one can touch you.

Funny, I woke up some time back with the feeling that something else was going to come to light regarding people we love, who have moved on awhile back. I even dreamed about them recently - an unsettling dream that left me concerned for them. In my dream one of them was sick to the point of death, but keeping up a pretense of being well - all because they wanted to be "right", to be thought of as being well. There was nothing we could do to change that. I woke up sad for them.

Then, that very morning, Tim "just happened" to run into someone else who had left our church years ago - the two of them had an amiable conversation, and he told Tim some things that we found to be...interesting. Of all things, a small part of the conversation was concerning the very ones I dreamed about the night before, and about whom I sensed that more was going to come to light. And more did. Nothing of any consequence in this season, but new information, nevertheless.

Maybe for a moment or two, the old knee-jerk reaction was there. The urge to vindicate oneself resides in every human being. But I realized - "...what they said and did, didn't prosper!"

Then, without my having to choose to feel the right thing, the same concern for them washed over my heart, sweeping away what little debris of self-vindication had collected there. Because of my grace foundation, I know that I am loved and accepted and protected by God. I'm aware of possessing such wealth, that it makes the judgement of another person feel like what a billionaire must feel when the law gives him a hundred dollar speeding ticket.

"I can afford this. Why let it bother me?" I'm way wealthier than the one who is writing the ticket. He can write me all the tickets he wants, and he might even be right, according to the letter of the law. I still get to go home and enjoy my wealth, figuratively speaking, while those who write tickets will go back to doing just that....issuing tickets to others for their infractions. I've chosen a different way of life, and I get to go live it.

So I'll take the ticket. It has no impact on my destiny or my day. "Thanks, officer. And I love you. Come over for dinner sometime!"

Friends, this is what I mean about context. This is what the Scripture means when it says that no weapon formed against you will prosper. It doesn't mean that no one is ever going to form a weapon against you. It means they will! Put that in your Promise Box...there are many, even other believers, who carry weapons and write tickets. They will utilize both.

But it won't prosper. Any weapon, in order to prosper, must "inflict pain" or some level of damage that affects your outcome. If it doesn't inflict at least a little damage, if it doesn't at least alter your outcome a little bit, if it doesn't weaken you, at least....the weapon didn't prosper.

Hear me - no weapon formed against you can prosper, when you have, by conscious belief and choice, placed your faith in the gospel of Christ. You dwell in a Secret Place, where, when a weapon is fired, it doesn't do any lasting damage.

"Tis merely a flesh wound!" I can't tell you how many times I've laughed my behind off at that very movie line. I identify with it - with one exception: When my arm or leg gets chopped off, the blood squirts in a shocking way...but then another arm or leg appears almost instantly. The rest is exactly the same as the movie - I'm still hopping around, talking smack. Now, if I can just learn to keep my mouth shut, I'll be a real leader.

When you understand the unmerited favor you have been given, all because of the obedience of Another, you simply can't be touched.

Another thing that distracts us is the lust of vindication. St.Augustine
prayed-"O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself."
That temper of mind destroys the soul's faith in God. "I must explain
myself; I must get people to understand." Our Lord never explained anything; he left mistakes to correct themselves.

When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the
discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.

~Oswald Chambers

Lord, cause me to be your version of a Godly woman, not my own version. Make me into a leader after your Own Gracious Heart, who is willing to go to all lengths to love those you've put in my sphere. Help me not to criticize, but rather to pray.
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