On the Battlefield!
The last few weeks have been a war zone. I got sick twice, had a few car problems, found out my graduation date may be pushed back, ambushed with loads of papers to grade every night, most of my students this year are either really low academically or just plain ole’ lazy, family members aren’t acting right, and certain promises were beginning to look non-existent… pretty much every aspect of my life was being challenged and to be honest, I grew weary, disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated. I asked my fellow prayer warriors to pray me out of it, but at the end of the day God had something else in mind. I had so many moments where I asked God Why must I do this, Why have you blessed me only to go through another battle, Why can’t I just go to school, When will it be my time, When will I be free to do something new … Why When Why When…I could go on and on about the many questions I’ve asked God.
Did he give me answers??? Well, not the ones I wanted, but he has given me what I needed to hear! He told me so clearly, “Your trials are not a result of doing something wrong, but more so a retaliation because you’ve been doing something right. You have the power and authority to make it through this and by doing so you will come out stronger.” He gave me scriptures such as Psalm 37 and 73. Those chapters broke me out of a place of feeling defeated. They reassured me of God’s power and covering over my life.
As much stuff as I thought was going wrong, God still moved in miraculous ways. One being a family member of mine coming into a deeper knowledge of Christ. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m somewhat of a lone ranger and although I have family, everyone either hasn’t received Christ or they deny the power of Christ. SO let’s just say the attacks on my life were only a result of the victory the kingdom received when my cousin’s heart was pierced with the love of God; opening his eyes to the limitless things God wants to do in and through him.
During this time, God also downloaded a massive amount of revelation through my 2nd form of relaxation…MOVIES!!! Not being able to breathe and having headaches doesn’t make you the best candidate to do anything that may impact the lives of others…like grading, so I finally watched Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. The irony…going through battles only to watch a few in a movie. Now, there were so many lessons to be learned even though they were battling each other. First, why are they fighting each other anyway… It was a bit disturbing to see how the Avengers became so divided. All of them were facing internal battles just as much as the external battles they faced.
Pride, anger, distrust, insecurity, and unforgiveness consumed them all BUT the battle that stood out the most was with Black Panther aka T’Challa. No, I’m not just focusing on him because his roots are from Nigeria, even though many people know my heart, but his storyline really touched my heart. His father was an innocent victim, killed for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Black Panther went into a state of rage, only seeking revenge. Due to being so angry, he almost killed the wrong man. It wasn’t until he finally met the man who was responsible for his father’s death, Helmut Zemo, that his eyes were opened. After speaking with Zemo, Black Panther realized that Zemo’s actions were only a reaction to the pain and hurt he himself had endured. Zemo’s family had been killed and he blamed the Avengers. Black Panther’s response freed not only himself, but I even felt a little freedom hearing him say it…
"Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I am done letting it consume me.
Powerful right!!! I know! This less than 5 minute conversation changed Black Panther’s whole perspective and led me to have yet another conversation with God.
In a perfect world, I would never have to fight another battle considering all the hits I’ve taken, but the reality is, this Christian living was never meant for a perfect world. If we as believers never experienced some sort of conflict or challenge, how would we grow to depend on Christ? How would we get to a point of needing God more than anyone or anything?
During this season, I was reading Prophet Graham Cooke’s book, Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior. This particular chapter was called Understanding Crisis and Process. I know, one of those divine appointments where you KNOW you are getting a word from God.
The process that the Father seeks to commit us to will be the breaking and the making of us. He will break out independence and self-reliance. He will break the power of our own soul. He will make us both a warrior, and a son (generic) of His love. Process is our own personal action plan for growth and development.
We learn in process the purpose of problems is to produce faith. The aim in allowing demonic opposition is to develop power and authority in us. The intention behind human opposition is that God will use it to teach us grace. Tribulation is designed to produce patience and endurance. The objective behind conflict is to increase God’s love in our hearts and bring us to full maturity in His nature. When God allows temptation (that doesn’t mean He causes it --- He cannot tempt) He seeks for us to be advanced in righteousness. When our resources come under attack, He teaches us how to give so that all our needs can be supplied in Christ. Process is where we discover God to be all that He ever said and all we will ever need.
Amazing right! Yeah, I thought so too! Hence, my change in perspective! When everything externally seems to be going wrong, we must be still and have a conversation with God. There are so many factors involved that we know nothing about. Watching the shift in Black Panther reminded me of the shift that takes place in our lives when we allow God to speak to us and reveal what’s really happening during our trials and tribulations. Needless to say, I have overcome and I am stronger. Does this mean I will be battle free…. Absolutely not, but I am assured that God will see me through so that I will come out a victor again!