God loves us, so He rebukes and chastises us. Hey! He does...tough times are our opportunity to grow. And God uses everything. Sometimes the rebuke comes through those we love or just like, just like in the book of Job. Sometimes He sends our Friend, the Holy Spirit to teach us.
Recently I was alone with God...ok, I am alone with God alot. But with a purpose, I was seeking God's heart for me. I knew the next day would have some potential challenges...so, I was asking God to take all of me and make me what He wanted. I was asking God to show me my imperfections and flaws, so that I would reflect Him at a meeting I was attending the following day. In the past I would have approached things diffrently...I would have been asking God for a list of things that might suit me and still line up with the word. But this time, I just wanted to reflect Jesus.
So...as i waited God began to prepare me for battle. I fought the process, as I knew that I wasn't into any type of offensive stance for this upcoming meeting. If it began to seem like it would be a battle...I would have skipped the whole thing. I argued this with God for a while, and being the silly girl that I am....I suggested God change His directions for me. As I was only seeking peace. God pursued over and over that I prepare for battle. I wrestled, although I have not noticed that I walk with a limp--LOL! It is when I fully surrendered to God that I learned what He was teaching me. And I believe the whole body of Jesus can learn from it. So...here I am making myself vulnerable so that maybe others would benifit.
God took me to the book of Joshua...the 10th chapter to be specific. Joshua was being given some 'holy direction'. I was excited because I needed 'holy direction'. But I have to be honest I was totally not in the battle groove. BUT...Joshua was to massacre 5 kings, by putting his foot on thier necks and then he was to hang them in the trees. The whole time God was saying "fear not", "do not be dismayed", "don't freak out". God was showing us all how to deal with our enemies. So, here I was saying to God...but I chose love, I don't want to call anyone an enemy. But none-the-less God was saying to me that He will smite my enemies and give me voctory over them....and then we get to hang them in the tree for all to see.
I wasn't totally sold on God's direction...UNTIL I surrendered just a little bit more. HEY! I am still a flesh monster! The whole time I was thinking the battle is not with flesh and blood, but instead ruling powers. And how I wanted to love my enemies no matter what. Once I started "listening" again, God began to reveal that the 5 kings that Joshua defeated...and how they represent our 5 senses. He showed me how like the 5 kings our senses hide out in darkness until we drag them out into the light. And He started to show me how I have already put my foot on the neck of many of these "kings" over the past several years....He said to me " you have subdued these kings...but you have not yet hung them in the trees for all to see" So, here I am getting a Holy Ghost download that will prepare me to subdue my senses and maintain my faith in the day to come.
Here are the 5 senses/kings that we must subdue, and how we can do it easily with God's help.
The "king of smell"-- Daniel was in the fiery furnace and when he made it out of that trial. They remarked that not a hair was harmed OR did he smell like smoke. We have the opportunity to walk through trials and not stink from them. Sometimes when we go through the fire of testing we come out stinking, we get stuck in the situation and won't let it go, we don't stop talking about it. In order to subdue the sense of smell we have to step OUTSIDE our circumstance and and get victory over smell. The priests knew how to get rid of stench that lingered....they spent time in the stinking nasty courtyard killing and cooking animals. But they knew to go burn incense. They knew that they defeated stench by going nearer to God and praying and praising. We put our foot on the neck of the king of smell, by being intimate with God. Even Lazarus must have stunk after 3 days...the people knew it. But Jesus said roll the stone away. They were expecting some stink...that was un-belief. We subdue smell, when we change what we expect to smell. You see, sometimes we get burned or upset, or lose our faith a little bit, but just because we have been through the fire doesn't mean we have to smell like it.
The "king of touch/feelings"--you can't get into your feelings more than you do your faith. Feelings are an enemy of faith. Think about the story of Isaac who was blind and on his death bed. Jacob tried to trick him...he had the goat hair on his arm and was pretending he was his brother Esau. His dad says, "who is it?" Jacob gives him his arm to feel. And his dad began to "feel". Then his dad made a statement that warns us to be careful. His dad said "you sound like Jacob, but you feel like Esau". He decided to go with with his "feelings" instead of what he heard. If we go by what we feel, and not by what we hear...we will miss it! We have to put our foot on the neck of our "feelings". Or we might be talked right out of our destiny. I know because it happened to me.
The "king of sight" ---seeing wrong will talk us out of our destiny and kill our faith. After all we walk by faith and not by sight. Elisha sent his servant to check things out. The servant saw enemies chariots. Elisha prayed a crazy prayer, asking the Lord to open his eyes. After another look WITH EYES OF FAITH. We get in a battle and all we see is ground level...we have to raise our eyes and see where out help comes from. When we get bad reports(and we will) or impossible situations we need to see what he sees. God's church has to see what God sees in one another! We can look at one another with natural eyes, or we can look at one another with His eyes. When the servant walked out, he saw chariots and angels. What are we going to focus on, the problem? Or can we see promises...what are we going to focus on?! In order to put our foot on the neck of the king of sight...we have to see with eyes of faith and stop looking at one another without the filter of God's eyes.
The "king of hearing" --Don't be talked out of your miracles. You go by what God says..not by what you see. Jesus said take heed to what you listen to. The biggest faith killer and unity basher in God's church is gossip. It will ruin the best of people...and crash God's plans quickly to the ground. We all want to hear another's opinion of someone, or what they did. But God clearly says never to gossip. If we want to truly understand a person or situation, we must go to that person. It is never just or right to seek information from another person. There aren't loop-holes just because you are in leadership. We must guard our ears at all times. We have to get victory over what we hear! Elijah was there and every body was saying famine and drought...but Elijah decided he was not going to listen to grumblings and whining. He was going to hear with ears of faith. And said " I hear the sound of the abundance of rain!" That is hearing with kingdom ears. All around God is making faith-filled sounds, and if we stop listening to people we will hear God-sounds. We can be like David and know God is near us, when we are facing hard situations. Like David waited on God and heard the rustling of the mulberry bushes...we will know God is with us. We must believe His report. Or as believers we will allow others to talk us out of our blessing. We put our foot on the neck of the king of hearing ...when we stop listening to grumbling, rumors, and gossip.
The "king of taste"--there was a pot of stew that was poisoned. In reality everyone should have avoided it like the plague. We do that with our brothers and sisters..I have been guilty. But in the bible the prophet said we just have to put some meal into it. The meal represents God's word--the bread of life. When we deal with poisonous people, we simply have to pour a little "meal" into them. The Amish would shun a person for poisonous behavior....but what if they tried pouring a little bit of the word their way. They would have saved their brother or sister. When we pour on faith...faith places no limitations on God, and God places no limitations on faith. A little prayer and a little meal and even sister sassy-bucket will be restored. Instead what we usually do with a poisoned brother or sister is we chose to eat bitterness toward them. The taste in our mouth is bitter, and everything we eat after that will have a bitter taste. Remember when Jesus was on the cross? After all He had been through , prior pain, those who once cared for him turning against him, beatings and bruising...they put a sponge with vinegar and gall on it to His mouth and told him to drink. Jesus our wonderful Saviour didn't drink the bitter fluid. He had victory over the king of taste. He refused to become bitter. We have a choice to drink of bitterness...and we have a choice to add the word when dealing with tough people.
I have battled and won the battle against these kings. For the most part I have hung the pummeled king in the tree for all to see. But since I am human and totally fall short of the glory of God.......I have areas in my life where my foot is on the neck, but I haven't yet hung it in the tree for all to see. I am looking forward to applying Gods word to my life!