Saturday, June 27, 2009

God on the Greenway: Power and Authority!

Last Sunday, I spent the majority of the day at my Dad’s house for Father’s Day. It was a fun day, and it ended on a high note with a nice long run in the evening once I got home. Lately, I had been driving to the Greenway and running just the four miles. Though, I tend to push harder and run longer when I just run straight from my house for some reason. So, I decided to do that.

It’s 1-2 miles from my house to the Greenway. Then, the Greenway itself is two miles one way and then you have to run the two miles back. So, I ran a full 5-6 miles in 81 minutes without stopping (well, aside from the two seconds I lost when I had to pick up my dropped iPod). It was unbelievable! I think the longest I had run before that was 75 minutes. Needless to say, I was so tired!! My knees, feet, and hips were feeling it the worst. However, I felt incredibly accomplished as I sat on the bench that muggy evening; drenched from head to toe in sweat. Then, I walked from the Greenway back home; eager to get a shower!

I’m always amazed by the strength God gives me to persevere and finish; especially when there are obstacles in the way. Most of the time, I’m my own obstacle (that is, my aching body). Other times, it’s things like geese. That run happened to be the face-off between me and those obstinate little boogers!

It happened when I was almost at 60 minutes. I was really starting to struggle to keep going, but I wanted to at LEAST run 60. I was two minutes away when I saw those stubborn geese up ahead! I knew that the time to stand my ground had come. I thought of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I wasn’t going to fear these geese anymore, and I was not going to be intimidated by the assumption that their hisses might turn to bites and that I would be chased by them all over creation. I also thought of Matthew 17:20 in which Jesus says: “….for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

So, would I have mustard seed faith and pray the geese out of my way? At first, I wondered. In a way, praying for geese to move just seemed so silly. I thought, “can I do that?“ Sure I could! That verse doesn’t only apply to mountains, but to ANYTHING! Big or small, yeah, you sure can ask that mountain (or goose) to MOVE!! Gosh, I even remember praying for someone’s hangnail to quit hurting once. We all thought a little silly for praying for something so seemingly “insignificant”, but realized that God wants us to bring every big or small request to Him. He’s not going to be like, “Are you kidding me? A hangnail? Geese? Don’t waste my time!“ No, God isn’t like that. He wants to show us that He’s God in every situation. So, I decided to pray those geese out of the way!

I was probably 100 feet away from them when I stretched out my hand in front of me and said, “in the name of Jesus, MOVE!” They started walking, but they weren’t off the path completely. I kept saying that over and over again as I started coming closer. It felt repetitive, but prayer has to be persistent. Keep pushing and praying, and you will get results! I saw the evidence of that right before my eyes!!

They were right at the edge of the path in the grass when I started to come by them. I didn’t stop running, but I did go a little slower. They started hissing at me, and I stared right at them with my hand outstretched and said sternly, “NO! I rebuke you!” Ha ha, can you imagine that?! A part of me still felt a little silly, but at the same time, I felt empowered and strengthened. You would have thought I had just rebuked Satan himself and put him in his place through the power and authority of Jesus Christ. In a way, I did. To me, those geese ARE Satan lol. They hiss and threaten you, put obstacles of crap in your path, and act as though YOUR territory is theirs. That’s exactly what Satan does too. Though, like those geese, he has to move out of the way when we assert the power and authority of Jesus Christ! Satan and his demons don’t have authority over us (unless we let them). All it takes to strip them of their defenses and schemes is the mere mention of the name of Jesus. Isn’t that amazing?! Just the NAME of Jesus makes them cower! What POWER! Praise God!! He’s amazing!!!

When I passed them, I thought I heard one of them honk. I turned to make sure none of them were chasing me in vengeance. They weren’t. I gave them a stern stare just in case. Though, it was like that honk was an impudent and stubborn attempt to have the last word; like a “you haven’t seen the last of me” threat lol. Indeed, I probably haven’t seen the last of them. They’ll be lurking around just like Satan does. It’s war, and Satan is going to keep fighting. But praise GOD that we have the victory and that he’s already defeated!! All we got to do is BELIEVE it and CLING to it! It’s truly tragic when victorious soldiers in God’s army forget that fact and that we can (and should) be waving that banner in the face of the enemy! So often, we act as though WE are on the losing side and we let the enemy trample all over us! Don’t we know who we are?! We aren’t his prisoners!!

The one other thing that was impressed upon me as I had my showdown with the geese was the fact that not only had the adult geese hissed at me, but their ducklings had too. Yeah, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander (and their little ones too). Their attitude was undoubtedly passed down to their babies. It reminded me of how legacies of bondage are passed down from generation to generation. Yet, all it takes to break free from the cycle is the power and authority of Christ. He can, and will, deliver you!! Do you want it?

That run was all about having Christ’s power and authority cemented into my heart. He’s powerful in the big stuff AND the small stuff! Nothing can take me prisoner! I won’t be captive to anyone or anything except Christ! I will hold fast to that fact and remember it always! I will continue relishing the fact that I am a child of God and that through the strength of Christ, I can do anything!! Amen!!!

Grace and peace to all of you; my fellow victorious warriors in Christ!! God has given you His power and authority. You are no prisoner! Remember that! God bless you all!


Anonymous said...

Melissa, Your faith in God is self-limiting. You demonize the geese, referring to them as Satan-like but you forget - All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small - All Things Wise and Wonderful - The Good Lord made them all.

Melissa said...

I was jesting when I said it (did you not notice the "lol" after the statement?). I don't really think geese are Satan (and in a prior blog, I actually talked about appreciating the geese and "forgiving" them....and I also talked about the very thing you mentioned; appreciating God's creation - see the blog about "Robins"). ;)

It's sadly obvious that you missed the point of the experience. Though, that's ok. The things that God shows me aren't meant for everyone. There are always going to be those that can't relate. We are all on a journey, and God will probably show you concepts in different ways than He does me. He's very personal and He meets us at the level we're at and relates to us in the ways we can best understand.

Jesus often talked in parables. And, he even made remarks about how God will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32). Goats are often viewed somewhat negatively, if you've noticed that in scripture. So, by all appearances, one might think that goats are somehow "bad". But, that's not what Jesus was saying at all (just as that wasn't what I was truly saying). It's not about demonizing goats or geese or whatever. They are parables and metaphors; giving people something to relate to so that they can understand spiritual concepts, my friend. ;)