my hallelujah

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When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain ... You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies...

You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! 

- Psalm 68: 7-10, 19-21, 35

Over the past few months, the Lord has prodded me toward a greater refreshment in a particular area of my life. What's interesting is that I've been convinced the battle was already won, that we were out of the wilderness, and the Lord had rescued me. And that's true to a certain extent. A lot of ground had been won.

One of the most humbling things to admit to God and yourself is that there's more ground to be taken in a battlefield of your life where you've already declared it a victory.

It feels like I'm adding those tasks I completed back on the to-do list, erasing the line that I so proudly struck through the task I completed for a long-awaited sense of accomplishment.It feels unproductive to let the Lord back in. "This again? How many times will we come back to this, Lord?" I begrudgingly think to myself.

On the one hand, I know that we aren't quite reverting back, but on the other hand, it feels redundant, repetitive. It makes me feel like a child.

Jesus sees this situation from an entirely different perspective:

"Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there."  - Matthew 19:13-15

I think that's exactly where he wants me to be, humbled like a child, with Jesus placing his hands on me and praying for me. He wants to march before me to bear my daily burdens and relieve me from the pit of self-condemnation. You might know the pit I speak of, where echoes of failure and judgment resound.

This past week, I experienced (yet again) the fruit of such humility with the Lord. Toward the end of a small group meeting, we were closing in prayer, and Jesus prompted me to let him enter in to the particular place I mentioned where I had claimed victorious, done and over with, in the past - for years now. The other people in my small group were praying, and this thing had nothing to do with what they were praying. The Holy Spirit's whispers welled up to the forefront of my mind. I couldn't ignore his voice. Initially, I thought, "Don't say anything, don't make this about you, just focus on what they're praying and let it go."

But I couldn't let it go. Jesus wanted me to come to him.

A natural pause came, so I took a deep breath, and fumbled my way through the embarrassment of making this moment of humility a communal experience. I felt Jesus' desire to crush the head of my enemy, along with a flood of past memories huddling around my enemy. As I began to renounce the fear and ask Jesus to conquer it, my small group laid their hands on me and joined in my prayer.

The passage from the Gospel of Matthew became a lived experience.Here I am, a child before her God. He laid his hands upon me and prayed for me. He met me in the face of my enemy and crushed its head, exchanging my fear for his power and strength. 

You restore my heart, over and over again.

The refreshment that the Psalmist describes as abundant showers from our God rained down as our God who saves, saved me once again.

He gave me a victory to proclaim. Hallelujah, God be praised, in the presence of my enemies!

Where does the Lord desire a greater victory in your life?

My encouragement for you is to spend some time prayerfully digesting Psalm 68.
Ask the Lord to reveal the place where he desires to crush the head of your enemy.
Come to Jesus, as a little one, beloved in his sight, and let him lay his hands on you and pray for you.

In moments of hesitation, remember: Our God is a God who saves.

THEN... Join me in singing of our victory. I can't get enough of this song!

I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me
I'm gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you're gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!

I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah, in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me!

- "I Raise a Hallelujah" by Bethel