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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Friday, May 3, 2013

An open letter to the enemy of my peace

(there is a precedent for my behavior)

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar (that is, En Gedi).  Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:
Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying,  If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us. 
But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.
He said: Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but Gods. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before theLord. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
Give thanks to the Lord,  for his love endures forever.

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.. 2 Chronicles 20:2-24 (NIV) 
To whom it may concern: (I will not call you dear. I do not hold you dearly. I respect you, but will give you no affection.)

To the enemy of my peace, I will not deign to battle you. We will not fight. You see, to fight you is to acknowledge you as a worthy opponent. You are not worthy. Though this is warfare, this battle is not mine…
He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV)

To the enemy of my peace, I am aware that you have chosen me, those I love, those who surround me, as objects of your wrath, but we call you by your name and know you for who you are. We rebuke you in the matchless name of Jesus, and we’re done. You may choose to attack us, but like Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel, we will be obedient to The One who saves. He who...
rule(s) over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.

To the enemy of my peace, I will not battle you, because you distract me from my praise. I will not be distracted. You desire to take my focus off of God. Misdirection; an enviable strategy, which might have worked except that I see you, and I will not be afraid. I have nothing but my faith. There is no more.

To the enemy of my peace, I will not cede this last thread of still quiet grace. I cannot. I will not falter. Though I am weary, weak and worn, I have the prayers of the faithful to uphold me. At Starbucks. On Facebook. Via text, I am reminded to “fall forward into the arms of Grace.” Weary as I am, this I can do. Oh, and one other thing…I can ignore you, choosing to pray and praise instead. My deliverance comes, and while I wait, I will ignore you. Go bother someone who cares. My peace is precious,  gifted to me by The One. And I will not cede it. Certainly not to the likes of you. 

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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