By Alecia Simersky
Very rarely when we are doing battles in life do we want to stand still and do nothing. Someone wrongs us, and we want to fight. Defend ourselves, prove our case.
But when we look at God’s word so often we see Him instruct His people to, “stand still.”
That seems so counterintuitive if we want to win the fight. We must make a move, we must do something. And yet, over and over we read “the battle is mine, all you need to do is stand your ground.” (2 Chronicles 20:17 (my paraphrase))
Do I think there are times we should act? Absolutely.
But how often could the battles in our life be won if we took it to Heaven from the start? What if we began the battle on our knees first and then allowed Him to direct our next move?
Our way usually makes things worse anyways.
In 1 Samuel 12:16, we find the Israelites once again have gone astray. (I know, shocker!)
They are LOST. They are living life their own way, creating their own gods and have gotten themselves into heaps of trouble. Samuel is trying to help them out, he tells them if you keep rebelling the hand of God is going to come against you.
He encourages them: “Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes.”
He’s pleading with them to watch and take their eyes off their idols. To stop living life the way they think is right and look up!
Are we any different today?
Thankfully, we do have the Bible as our reference to learn from the stubborn Israelites. I used to judge them, big time. How could they be so stubborn and dumb? I mean, they had all these signs and wonders happening right in front of them and yet they still doubted and turned from Him. I would think, I would NEVER doubt God with all those miracles happening right in front of my eyes.
Oh, to walk so closely day and night and never have to wonder if He was real.
In my eyes the Israelites had it made.
And yet I look at my life and I can look back and see ALL the ways He has carried me through. In my dark days He’s provided ways when I couldn’t find one. He’s performed downright miracles just to show me He can be trusted.
But I still doubt some days. I still wonder are you there, God?
Do you see? Do you care?
Samuel’s words were to spur on the Israelites, but they are for me too.
The spirit whispers…
Watch what I will do, Alecia. Take your stand and I will do great things before your eyes, you just watch and see.
Oh, how I want to get better at this. Standing still goes against my every nature, however I want to see my Father fight for me. I want to see the miracles happen before my eyes and be blown away by His goodness.
Father forgive me when I take matters into my own hands. Help me to turn, stand, and watch for you.
By Alecia Simersky
Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn…”
Seven years ago, I began a blog and began writing. I didn’t know what I was doing or even why. I just knew that when I sat down and typed out the words on my heart I felt like I was doing what I was made to do. I learned all I could, met lots of other “writers” and even met a few in person.
But what was the purpose of it all?
Many times, the Lord would bring Isaiah 61:1-2 to mind and I would read and study the verse, searching out clues to my God-given purpose. Obviously, (to me) it seemed the Lord had anointed me to use my small little platform to tell others about God. And obviously He knew I knew a little about heartbreak, so maybe my job was to write and help people get free from legalistic viewpoints, fear, and pain that can keep us stuck. I declared, “Send me, God! I’m your person. Let’s set the captives free…yeah!!”
And then I went through a crippling season of depression. One that left me wondering if I would make it out alive. I had never in my life felt so hopeless and alone. The medicine left me a in zombie-like state and I was doing good just getting through each day.
About this time the website, God-sized Dreams that I had helped found and wrote for decided that it was time for our small group of writers to meet and have a weekend to plan and dream. I woke up at dawn and drove myself from Dallas down to Houston. Ignoring the butterflies and the feelings of dread about being with others and having to fake myself through, I fought rush hour and the urge to stay home.
On the second day Gindi, our host, pulled me aside before breakfast. She said, “Alecia in my quiet time this morning I was reading Isaiah 61 and felt like the Lord said this word was for you.”
I couldn’t believe it. There it was again, that verse. What did it mean? What was God trying to tell me?
Could it be that all this time I thought the message was for me to set others free when God was telling me I was the captive?
I spent the rest of the time trying to figure out why. Why did God see me as a prisoner that needed to be set free?
In the years to follow I began to understand. I wanted to love and follow Him with my whole heart, but it was a divided heart. I held onto misconceived notions, anger, unforgiveness and like an onion with it’s many layers He was peeling off one by one all that was keeping me bound.
I put idols before Him and instead of trusting Him with my unknowns I held tightly to what I knew and could control. I told Him I’d do anything for Him but put certain things in a “Do not touch” pile. Do not touch my family, do not touch my health, do not touch my children etc.
I was finding out that when you say anything to God He will take you at your word and the pruning is painful.
I wanted shallow faith that didn’t cost me anything and God wanted me to go deeper. He wanted me to have a faith that could sense a storm coming and prepare for the downpour, not run when the waters rose.
God wants us to be free from anything that will hinder His work and plan in our life. He knows the cost because He paid it. Binding broken hearts, setting captives free, comforting those who mourn…we can only do those for others when we have fully experienced it ourselves.
Today, ask the Lord what is holding you captive. What is keeping you from living in freedom?
Freedom-the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved (dictionary.com)