Thoughts on life and writing from Morgan J. Blake

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Victim or Victor?
In the last year, I have experienced more spiritual attacks than I think I ever have in my life. The first several times these attacks came upon me, my reaction was the spiritual equivalent of curling into a fetal position, crying my eyes out and chanting "why me?!" But little by little as I have endured these times of testing and attack, my faith in my Lord has grown stronger.
Also during that time, God has been teaching me more of His ways, revealing to me some of His plans for my life, and calling me according to His purposes. It has been an amazing time, and one full of anticipation for the things He has been revealing.
But anytime the Lord says, "Child, it's time to move to the next level..." we should be on our guard that the enemy has taken notice and will be putting on his battle gear. He'll be coming after us, doing all he can to steal our joy and promises, kill our faith, and destroy our hope in God, and sometimes even our physical bodies.
The truth is that the enemy doesn't waste his time attacking weak believers. If you find yourself under spiritual attack, it means that you are becoming a threat to the enemy...he doesn't like the new, stronger you. Today as I considered the current attack, I came to a place within my own heart where I could THANK the Lord for the situation I am in because I knew it meant I was on the verge of something really big. The bigger the step you are prepared to take, the bigger the attack the enemy throws your way to keep you from God's blessing.
It's time to stop playing the victim. We are not the victims any longer. If we truly are followers of Christ, we are the victors, for we are joint heirs with Christ. Whatever is His has become ours also. Thus, His victory over the evil one is ours through Christ Jesus.
There's something really freeing about laughing in the devil's face and saying, "You know what, devil...you will NOT win this battle. You are under my feet. I am a child of the Living God, and you are already defeated. Begone in Jesus' name!"

Saturday, August 06, 2005

MANY ARE CALLED...
Have you ever stopped to wonder what it was about the twelve men that Jesus chose as His disciples that made them stand apart from the rest? There had to be something that set them apart from the crowd in Jesus' eyes. As I read the account of the Lord selecting the twelve in Mark, I began to ponder the thought.
Jesus didn't just walk around town and pick the first twelve guys He came across. He called many together...and, according to the account in Mark, some days later, He selected the twelve to be His disciples. These men became Jesus' closest friends on earth. These were the men He traveled with, ate with, slept beside. He relied on them. They came from all different walks of life -- different careers, some single, some married, maybe even some with children. I'm sure they all had their own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. But what was it about the twelve that stood out and caused Jesus to say, "I choose you."
I can't say what qualities stood out in each of the twelve disciples, but I suspect that one quality was present in each -- an unfailing love of God. But as I thought on this question, the verse in Matthew 20 came to mind -- "Many are called, but few are chosen." So many of us love the Lord. Many of those who gathered around Jesus loved Him, loved His Father. Yet there was something very special about the twelve, or Jesus wouldn't have chosen them.
I wish I could wrap this blog up with a neat answer to my questions and ponderings -- but I can't. It's one of those "yet to be discovered" answers. All I know is that, as I read the account of Jesus selecting His twelve, I felt a deep stirring to be one of the few who are chosen.
Lord, help me to posess the quality or qualities You are searching for to become one of Your chosen few. I long to be one that You seek out for friendship, and I want to learn from You all You have to teach me. Pick me, Lord! Pick me!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

EXTRAVAGANT!
Have you ever really stopped to think about the people who received miraculous healings, blessings, or forgiveness from Jesus in the New Testament? Some of them went on about their business, as if life carried on as usual. Others fell on their faces and worshipped the Lord who had just healed, blessed and forgiven them. It boggles my mind to think that a leper could be cleansed, made whole again, and then walk away as if that sort of thing happened every day -- that nothing of importance had just transpired.
But how often do we Christians do exactly that? How often do we receive some blessing, some answer to prayer, a healing or forgiveness -- and shrug it off as though it deserves nothing more from us? We need to understand that all good things come from above -- that it is because our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, paid the prices of His life on the cross that we have anything good at all. Now tell me, why do we not worship Him more?
This is an area I'm only now truly coming to understand. Yes, we ought to worship our Lord for what He has done -- but even more, we ought to worship Him for who He is! He is the Son of the Most High God. He deserves our worship, love and adoration. And yet we, ingrates that we are, so often withhold our worship from Him until He gives us a reason.
I no longer want to wait until I have a reason (an answer to prayer, a healing, etc) to worship Him. I want to worship Him just because... And not half-hearted worship. I want to be extravagant in my worship. I want to be like the woman who came and washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. To that woman, it didn't matter that she was walking into a hostile environment, that she wasn't welcome in the place by the others in attendance. It was far more important to her to wash her Lord's feet than her own comfort. And believe me, I'm sure it was uncomfortable to wash His feet with such an unwelcoming audience. But she did it, and Jesus was honored by her sacrifice.
Lord, help me to learn the art of extravagant worship, and may You be honored through it!

Friday, July 22, 2005

LET MY WORDS BE FEW


Right now, one of my favorite CD's is by a Christian group called Phillips, Craig, and Dean. My most favorite song from one of their CDs is called "Let My Words Be Few." The lyrics to the song say:

You are God in heaven
And here am I on earth
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

And I'll stand in awe of You, Jesus
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

The simplest of all love songs
I want to bring to You
So I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

And I'll stand in awe of You, Jesus
Yes, I'll stand in awe of You
And I'll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with You

Every time I hear that song, something deep within me stirs. And yet, every time I hear the lines "I'll stand in awe of You, Jesus, Yes I'll stand in awe of You," I know that I probably don't stand in nearly enough awe of this great and mighty Lord who loved me enough to die so that I might live.

As I was driving down the road this morning, I spent some time praying about exactly that. I asked the Lord to show me exactly how awesome He is. Within hours, He began to show me.

I had asked for prayer about finding a new job, and one dear woman (Hi Jan!) whom I had never met before responded to my request with encouragement and scripture. The most amazing thing was that one of the verses she shared with me was Luke 1:45. "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord said to her will be accomplished." That verse was one my Lord spoke to me months ago about another area of my life where I have struggled to keep my faith strong, and to have her speak that as encouragement in my job-seeking was absolute confirmation to me that God is at work in the situation of my work. All I must do is to hang on and remain faithful to trust Him to bring it about. It is precisely what the Lord had quietly been speaking into my heart, so it was a really special confirmation!

When I responded to Jan, I related to her the story of the other area for which God had given me Luke 1:45 as a promise, and she again contacted me with yet another scripture which was spot-on, another confirmation from the Lord.

Now I ask you -- how could a woman whom I had never before met, either in person or online, possibly know to speak to me two scriptures so absolutely perfect, and which boosted my faith a million times over what it had been moments before if God were not an awesome, mighty, powerful and WONDERFUL Lord?! He used Jan as His channel to pour His love through to me -- she was the funnel, I was the empty vessel, and He was the One who filled me to overflowing with a few simple words.

Jesus, I am so IN LOVE with You, and I WILL stand in AWE of you, Lord! Let my words be few!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

PROMISED LAND

Well, it's been a rather rough year so far. Just seems like a lot of little things have been happening to throw me off track -- a lot of busy-ness, a lot of craziness, some of it bad (some pretty big things), a lot of it good (smaller areas). But because my little "schedule" has been shoved to the side for all of the stuff going on, it has felt like my life is out of control. And I don't like that feeling.

But through all of this, I feel as though God has told me there is a purpose for it all. At times, I can focus on that and be content. Other times, I resist it. As one friend said, I chafe against the circumstances. However, I do believe that I got a real clear picture of why all of this has been going on.

Have you ever felt like you're on the verge of a major breakthrough in some area of your life? That is where I am. I feel that a lot of areas of my life have been in limbo for a long while now -- years, actually. I haven't liked where I am, but haven't known how to move beyond the circumstances. But in the last week, two things happened to clue me in to the fact that I'm on the right path.

First, my dear mom let me borrow an audio tape of a sermon. In the tape, it dealt with becoming more Christ-like. The speaker said that in order to be transformed to Christ's image, we must go through a fair amount of "stuff" -- trials. It is through suffering that the impurities are refined out of us, so that we become more like the perfect model. I began to think about the various things that have gone on in the last several months, and I could see that God's hand was in it all. To use a cliche, change is in the wind, and it seems that I am the one getting blown on a lot lately.

The second thing came about during church this past Sunday. It was as if the pastor was speaking directly to me, as if I were the only one there. His message was on how Joshua was named the successor to Moses, and upon Moses' death, he led the Isrealites into the Promised Land. After forty years of wandering in the desert, the new generation was finally ready to move into the land they were promised, but it didn't come without some difficulty.

The whole point of the message was that God is raising up a "Joshua" generation now -- one who is set to take this world by storm for God. But if we are going to be a part of the Joshua generation, we had better expect some adversity mixed in with our promises. It won't just be handed to us without some difficulty -- but if we keep our eyes on the Lord, put our trust in Him, in all things He will lead us on to the promise!

It was exactly the spiritual check I needed. Rather than focusing on the fact that things may not SEEM to be going right, I want to focus on the fact that the adversity and difficult times mean that I am on the cusp of something wonderful. Yes, I might have to fight for it with everything in me, and it may be a rough, dirty job for a while. But when the battle is over, I'll be the victor because I held on to God and He carried me through.

Hallelujah! I'm moving on to the Promised Land!