Encouragement, Listening to God

When You Need a Breakthrough

I had a dream …

This particular dream involved a lady humbly praying as she walked around what seemed to be a small town.  She came to the grave site of my husband’s Grandfather Martin  and while praying, he came back to life!  He joined us at the house we were in and talked with us.  Of course, even in my dream, I wanted to capture the moment by taking pictures and insisted on lining my husband, his brother and his very alive grandfather up in front of the mantel for a picture to document the happy time we were enjoying together.

The dream continued on with a few more fun and interesting details but at some point (still in my dream, mind you), I thought to myself —  since this lady was quite the prayer warrior, I’d ask her to pray for me for deliverance from  anxiety and OCD type issues.  When she prayed over me, she said she saw “foes” all around me.  The dream ended there …

Now I’m here to tell you, not all dreams are from God but I believe He has used some of my dreams to reveal a significant truth to me.  When a dream seems to have that kind of importance, I write it down in my journal, talk to God for any clarification or interpretation, look up any Bible passages that the Holy Spirit brings to mind related to the dream, and  I’ll often share it with a good friend who can help process any spiritual implication where the Holy Spirit might be speaking His truth.

When I woke up the next morning, I wrote down the dream and sat down with God over any meaning that He might have for me.  Some initial thoughts focused on the word “foes.”  I rarely, if ever, use that word but it sure sounded familiar from verses I’d read in the Bible.

I looked up Scripture where that word is used and it seems  King David of the Old Testament had quite a few up-close-and-personal-encounters with a few “foes” in his time…

“Only by Your power can we push back our enemies; only in Your name can we trample our foes.” (Psalm 44:5 NLT)

“With God’s help we will do mighty things, for He will trample down our foes.” (Psalm 60:12 NLT)

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.  He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.  They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.  He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”  (Psalm 18:16-19 NIV)

“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psalm 112:7-8 NIV)

I believe God was relating “foes” to the spiritual enemies that come against us to try to attack us spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.  But as God also reminds us through the pages of His word …He will fight our battles for us, He will  rescue us  and give us spiritual weapons to stand against the fiery darts the enemy hurls our direction.

Many days later, the Holy Spirit continued to give confidence and encouragement in the journey –taking me over 12 hours away to another state to hear words like these taught by Pastor Gates as he took us through 2 Samuel 5:17-25  at The Mending Place Church in Wichita, Kansas*…

“The LORD did it!” David exclaimed, “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the LORD who bursts through”). 

2 Samuel 5:20 NLT

While the whole story is pretty fascinating, the meat and potatoes of this scene serve a healthy meal of victory.  David, fresh out of his inaugural clothes as the newly anointed King of Israel, is faced with public enemy #1 — the Philistines.  Arch rival to his people.  Personal nemesis since his Goliath giant-slaying days.  This was definitely not his first rodeo nor would it be his last.

“David inquired of the LORD” for help and when the enemy circled back around to nab him again, David again asked the LORD what to do.  Always seeking God’s direction.  Always dependent on the Rock that made that giant tumble in the first place. Always knowing where his ultimate victory would come from.  Never assuming just because he had “been there-done that” before that he wouldn’t need the Almighty God to help him.

Clearly, David knew who his enemies were.  There was no question or need for discussion or “is it just me or is this an enemy attacking?”  He knew.

Have you identified your enemies…your “foes”?  Do you look at an enemy as a person?  Someone who has hurt you in a significant way?   Physically …emotionally …mentally …spiritually?

How about your emotions?  Depression?  Anxiety?  Stress?  Pain?

Health? Cancer? Suffering?  Finances?  Government?  Evil in the world?

Are these really “the enemy” or is it that same old nemesis that’s been around since the beginning of time?

The truth is “…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

I know it often seems like there are people and places and situations who feel an awful lot like the enemy and give that eerie  feeling that they’re hiding behind the bushes waiting to ambush us at every turn; but the truth is, we have an arch enemy and it’s not “them” or “that place” or “that thing that happened to us.”

Not only that, our true enemy is impressed to the point of being threatened that we’re anointed by God to do great things for His Kingdom.  He’s so impressed, in fact, that he’ll go to great lengths to take us down and end any influence we might have been anointed by God to share in this dark world.

He’s a robber and a liar and there’s nothing good in him.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10 NIV

But I can’t camp out there.  I can acknowledge who the enemy is and be clear on his tactics.  He’s always going to be on the attack — especially when God’s moving in my life with the fresh wind of His Spirit.

I’m circling back around to that phrase — “The LORD who burst through.”  I’m writing it out here to remind me to keep asking God what to do …how to handle these things that feel like they ambushed me out of nowhere to try to destroy me and steal my joy.  I’m trying hard to wait and  listen for that still small voice or that voice that thunders from the heavens if necessary or that word He shares through another person.  And I’m also watching for the trees to rustle above me — those supernatural things that are happening around us all the time if we’ll just look for them.

God’s bigger.  He wins.  His plan will never be thwarted.  His will is accomplished above all others.  He will burst through any darkness, any enemy camp, any storm, any bad news you just received, any battle raging before me or in me.  That’s His name.  That’s His honor.  It’s Who He is.  “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” (2 Samuel 5:20 NLT)

Whatever you’re going through right now …whoever or whatever seems to be throwing darts at your tender heart as if it has a bull’s eye on it — God is standing ready to burst through and fight for you!

Ask Him for help.  Listen for His answer.  Wait for Him to come.  Look around you and watch for Him to act on your behalf.


*To listen to Pastor D.M. Gates’ entire message from the Mending Place South City, click HERE  or check out more good news  @   www.mendingplace.org/listen-online

**My granddaughter used to sing THIS SONG when she was knee-high to a grasshopper and I can’t stop singing it the way she always did it …using her little arms to push through the air and show how God pushes back the darkness!  Listen to Darlene Zschech sing “In Jesus’ Name” HERE.

May God bless you and keep you and may His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace …sweet peace! 

(from Numbers 6)

 

 

 

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