Can’t Hold You Back

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 ESV

God sure has a way of doing things. I promise you, this morning I was trying to sleep an extra hour, but He wasn’t having my laziness today lol. He wanted to talk to me. So here’s what I took from that…

I teach bible study online tonight (leave a comment for details if you’re interested) and after a few texts from friends, I remembered I needed to prepare. So I’ve been doing this series called “Effectual Prayer”. Over the course of the last 2-2.5 months, we have been exploring the various types of prayer. Long story short, the prayers I have selected for tonight are Deliver Us, prayed by Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19, and Help Us, prayed by Asa in 2 Chronicles 14. In both of these situations, from the outside looking in, the circumstances these kings faced were bigger than them, and to a faithless person, bigger than any God. But in both cases, they prevailed.

I have a tendency to ratchetness at times, haha. Several songs that I need to take several seats for came to mind. First, Rick Ross…I love how I can take a poem or lyric and it remind me of where I have been and where God has brought me. Anyway, Can’t Hold Me Back has several choice words, but this part is key–enemies and ‘the enemy’ do not have the power to hold you back. No one can keep you from your God-appointed destiny but YOU. Yes weapons will form (Isaiah 54:17) but they cannot prosper unless you allow them to defeat you. You see, what you are fighting for is power and control over your mind, because that’s where the battles are lost. But the beauty of God is that He can deliver us and help us in the midst of these situations, physically, mentally, and spiritually. That’s what He did for me…fought the battle over my mind, so that I could start winning the battles that were physically challenging me.

I love how I now ‘self-police’ my thoughts. The minute I allow a foul word to exit my lips, I immediately say something to change it. Why? Because we speak our realities into existence. Sure, a child didn’t speak abuse into existence, that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s that ‘woe is me’, ‘agony, agony’ victim complex that can plague our minds and keep us stagnant, not growing and not progressing. Back to our references, had either Hezekiah or Asa decided in their humanness to attempt to fight either of these armies in their own strength, their defeats were eminent and almost certainly there would be very few descendants to speak of it. But they chose to call on God, who in all His splendor and greatness, was more than well-equipped to to handle the battles. In Hezekiah’s case, the angel of the Lord came
over the 400000+ army of Sennacherib and the next morning more than 185000 lay dead, scaring them so bad that they ran home. And with Asa, the Ethiopian army that came against them were over a million men strong.  Asa, who was a man of peace, did the only thing he knew how to do and sought God for help. Of course this ended terribly for the Ethiopians.

As these words filled my thoughts this morning, I was reminded of my tattoo (yes I have a tattoo). I got it after having survived what at the time to me was the most difficult experience to remind me of exactly this thing. Psalm 27:1 says “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” It says exactly this; why fear, when you can call on God for deliverance, like I did? Why be afraid of what men, women, and the enemy say or try to do when God is your helper and deliverer? They can’t hold you back, they can’t hold you down, because God goes before you! Trust in that today!

“I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:4 NLT

Itchy

The LORD will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. Deuteronomy 28:27 NASB

Itching in almost all cases is an indicator that there is something wrong. Whether you start itching immediately after a mosquito bite, you start itching during the summer from the heat and the resultant eczema patches, or you are suffering from allergy and sinus-induced itching and scratching of the throat and ears as often used to happen to me, itching is an indication that further investigation should be done to identify the root of the issue.

Likewise, when we itch spiritually, that is a clear and key indication that something is going wrong in our lives. And more often than not, we all seek natural ways to calm the itch.

Testimony Time! Okay, sigh, inhale and exhale here it goes…

So…when I had my transplant, I decided to give my life to God fully, meaning I would date whoever He had for me–thus resulting in me breaking up with my high school sweetheart, I would do whatever He wanted me to do with my life–including pursuing ministry if that is what He had for me, and just live life for Him and leave everything that was hindering from true growth and development behind. Sure enough…I started in the area of love, seeking to learn to love whoever He put my life how He loved me. So I tried, I mean I tried, taking every kind of mental blow and honestly lowering my standards to be the best girlfriend I could be. But something within me just felt the relationship was so wrong. On the surface, everything seemed okay. I thought my apprehension was a defense mechanism I had acquired from life and life experiences. Instead of letting God love me and thus teach me how to love others with His agape kind of love, I stayed in an unhealthy relationship that took a toll on me and scarred me. I was so afraid to be in a relationship after that one that I just kind of ‘floating’ in a quasi-relationship status, from one guy to the next, all the while harboring the anger and bitterness that my ex sparked within me. I had the realization at my dad’s funeral that I had a perfect example of His love all along in my parent’s relationship…and I had been seeking to satisfy that need to love and be in a relationship for validation in the wrong person, through the wrong means.

I now know that it is no truer a statement that if you try to appease an itch with a mediocre balm–lust, human conditional love, work, etc.–IT WON’T HELP! In fact, it can make the itch worse. It can and will leave you broken, battered, bruised and still itching!

I find comfort now that as long as the thing I desire is in God’s will, He will provide it. I can go to Him and get my fill of ‘antihistamines’ and ‘histamine-blockers’ for any situation or circumstance. Stop scratching those itches with poor imitations of the real thing! You can’t get a knockoff generic when Benadryl is proven to provide you relief! God is the relief you seek!

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NLT