“I Won’t be Fooled Again”

I woke up this morning feeling weak and very distant, apart from the power, the presence and the ambition navigate the day ahead. As I sat upon the stoop where I have my quite time each morning, waiting for the sun to burst its brilliant colors of purple, red, and orange across the eastern sky, I laid my Bible down and just stared into the dawn’s faint shadow. Neither did I read nor pray as my heart was not was too distant. For at this moment I felt alone and standing in the shadow hidden by the memory of past days with less grandeur. Adrift there without control and not having much concern about it.

As the day progressed I continued in a blue, lost and lonely attitude without the confidence that I usually command. At work I was unable to accomplish the usual tasks that I do. I had no ability to persuade events and soon the events of the day were in control of me. Instead of leading I soon found myself following. Reacting instead of planning. Catching up instead of setting the pace. But then we all have bad days and I certainly claim my share. What tortured me was the lost, lonely, powerless feeling that I could not escape. I found myself tripping into the mainstream of events around me. Saying things I would not normally say. Contemplating things I would not usually consider. The older the day became the more I resided my old sinful nature. Yet I could see it and still not be able to turn from it. Inside I kept thinking you deserve to have some fun so loosen up and let the hair down. But I know what real fun is and this was not the direction towards it yet I was unable to stop. Somewhere just beyond normal office flirtation I heard a voice which said, “I am with you always.” “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

I excused myself and went to the car and opened my Bible and there the following verse revealed itself to me. “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

I have a vision that our lives are in a current. A strong current which flows away from the shore. It is impossible to swim against this current and without a greater power than our own soon we shall become unable to go against it. Though we boast ourselves to be great we are but minions caught in a great spiritual battle. We alone are powerless to fight and must either surrender to a fate of ultimate death or believe upon a greater power of love which can save us. As we go out each day to face this current good intentions and the excitement of a new challenge alone will not give us the victory. We must know our place and it is a place of honor but first comes humility and the fear of the Lord. “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)To go against the current of this world, the ruler of this world, then we must be as He that sustains us.

First, after Jesus’s baptism by John the Baptist, He went into the wilderness for prayer, fasting and spiritual warfare with Satan. Luke 4:1-13   Before we go out to do our ministry each day we must be in prayer and arm ourselves in the presence of God and study His Word. For He knows the trials we will face each day and will prepare us for it. Paul wrote, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:11-28) If we are to go against Satan then we must have the tools (Word Of God) to work with. Satan knows the Word of God and is bound by it.

So it is my lesson to me that some days I will not feel the power when I arise. My lesson to me that these are the days that I must fulfill my commitment to my Lord and Savior to share the first moments with Him. Days such as these it is the snare of Satan which waits just beyond my door for he knows me too. Satan sits upon the stoop also saying, “Don’t read the Bible, and don’t pray.” Because if I don’t then he has the opportunity to destroy. We must keep the spirit filled as Satan never sleeps. Neither does Our Father but we must keep that commitment to communication open. For what is a love without commitment? “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

I once knew an elderly man named Mr. Massy. He had to be in his nineties and could barely walk. Yet each Sunday I watched him walk up the hill to the church. “Mr. Massy,” I once asked. “Why don’t you get a wheel chair and let someone push you up to the church?” “Oh no son,” Mr. Massy would replay. “The Lord picks these legs up. I must put them back down.”

This is commitment. The Lord lifts us up but we must spread His love around. We must not only have faith in His word but commit to act upon our faith in Him. In order to have that power, that courage to leap into the current in faith that He will sustain us, we must in our hearts have His word to place our faith upon. Not another day, not another morning without first plugging in to the Spirit of Truth and Word of God first. I won’t be fooled again.

 Thomas N Kirkpatrick

December 2, 1998

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