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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When You Just Need a Cartload of Joy

I'm Packing Pisteuo
Chapter Two-continued from last week

He’s already said what He’s doing about me. He’s leading me in to enemy territory where I am to serve and bow down to Him. 
It’s His battle plan. 
It’s how I will completely overthrow the enemies. 
He’s tougher than leather. 
I’d rather stay home and bake biscuits.
“You’re going to cut off the enemies, right?” I ask Him.
“Yep, and you’re not going to be baking biscuits.” He knows my thoughts. “Saddle up, sweetheart. We’re gonna fetch you a cartload of joy!

 My breath catches, because I've read what He's saying.  I've read how He endured the cross for the joy that was waiting; and I've read that there's joy waiting for me, too. 
Run the race; fight the fight and beware of Him.
Isn’t beware short for be aware? I think so.
Isn't this how battles are won, by being aware of the One who leads me? By looking unto Jesus and not the enemies?
I turn from Exodus 23:21-22, "Beware of Him and obey His voice," and "I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries;" and turn to Hebrews 12:1-2 which begins "Therefore we also," and continues, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Joy? Yeah, I'd say that's a cartload of joy.
Be aware of His voice. Wary in battle. Alert in danger. But aware of Jesus and the commands He's giving because what He’s saying is more earth-shattering than the -ite roar. My enemies have different names than Amorite, Hittite, Perizzite, Canaanite, Hivite, and Jebusite-but Fear, Disease, Coveting, Self-righteousness and Self-pity roar just as loud.
"The battles are won by knowing My name over any other name," He reminds me. He tips His hat at me, penetrates my soul with eyes as full as the sky, "Yep, that and summing up the enemies till you're counting joy."
It’s a choice not to bow, not to serve, not to do. 
"I choose to beware of You, of Your words." I chose  long ago, but I still choose every day. "I choose to look unto You."
He knows fear has thrown me down and seized me till I shook, unconscious; and He reminds me that thrown down is not bowing down.
I find the more I know His name, the deeper I bow to Him and the less I care about being thrown down. Thing is, I'm also thrown down less, because that's what happens when I do what He says. 
"Look at Me," He says, "and "I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you" (Exodus 23:27).
"Listen to Me," He says, and then He begins to tell that He will set my bounds from sea to sea and from desert to the River Euphrates.
I'm practicing awareness of His voice, and obedience to it because I really like this part about new boundaries. Really, this is some joy He's setting before me. No more enemies. That's a cartload of joy, too.
Maybe I don't always know it, but the kind of joy-the real joy-that made suffering the cross worth it to Jesus; isn't that the joy I’ve been praying for since before my knees begged for the yellow life preserver stored under my bed to pray upon because, yeah, my enemies can make me cry till I'm swallowing the salt of my tears, but that just makes me thirsty for the sweet water. 
Euphrates means “sweet water.” 
It's set before me. 
God has some skin in this. 
He clothed His Son in the same kind of skin I’m wearing-epidermis. 
Why isn’t it just dermis? Dermis means skin. What is the epi part of the skin I wear, that the very Son of God Himself wore? 
I google epidermis. says that it's “the outer nonvascular, non-sensitive layer of skin, covering the true skin." It’s skin on skin.
Jesus wore the same epi skin that breathes in and sweats out and covers the porous, thin dermis that feels and bleeds out blood and pours out water. 
The holy poured through holey pores.
The holy poured.
The “It is finished!” shook the earth to its core and the -ites to death, and the battle won the war.
Still, there are battles. 
They have to be fought, but I’m not fighting for victory but from victory. 
And I fight covered in holy skin on skin-His skin changes everything.

Combat Boots
I’ve laced up my combat boots, and I'm packing a pistol loaded with pisteuo. 
Kaboom! Pisteuo declares God’s faithfulness. 
Kaboom! Pisteuo declares trust, belief, and hope in Him. 
Kaboom! Boom! Bang!
I’m learning what this pistol feels like in my hand, how to aim it, and how to not shoot myself in the foot. I am thankful for this pisteuo notion of obedience. 
And guess what? I’m not waving it around like a madwoman!
Yeah, I’m fighting like a girl. My camo is pink, and I don’t like broken fingernails. But I’m fighting all epidermis and episoul, which has to be a word because I’ve felt my soul sweat with chills and hot fear and because I’m in this and not just skin-deep.
I’m in this, believing the holy is the true when the -ites fake it.
In this because I’m not a deserter and don’t own a surrender flag.
In it because I’m kept in by this crazy Exodus angel sent by the one whose name is in Him and who isn’t afraid of anything and who says, “If you’re going to beware of anything here, beware of Me, and if you’re going to listen to anything here, listen to Me.”
I’m in this because I can be at peace, not in pieces.
I can be whole, not shot full of holes.
I can be at ease, not uneasy. 
I can drink Euphrates sweet, not swallow salty.
And I will be, and I am, because “I’ll cut them -ites off, ma’am.” I can’t help but smile at this crazy, tough angel.
“I’ll send My fear before you. And them ol’ hornets the size of Texas? Yep. Hon’, they won’t know what hit ’em when they hightail and run scared cross the border of Mexico.” Yeah, this angel wears it right.
“And one more thing," those eyes blaze like the sun and crinkle at the corners like the map He's telling me about. "I’ll draw up the lines from this here sea to that sea there, and from the desert to the Rio Euphrates.” 
I laugh, raise my pistol overhead and fire off three freedom shots like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
“Pull!” Truth shoots up, red flare bursting open.
“Pull!” Faith shoots up in a pure-white glare.
“Pull!” Hope breaks the sky open wide in blue.

God is faithful, and this angel is awesome!

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
-adapted from my book, PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart

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