A few of my Aussie friends tell me that vulnerability is a strength that I have. My husband (also an Aussie) says that the enemy attacks our strengths and not our weaknesses. So - in an attempt to protect one of my strengths and shove the devil's rubbish back in his face - here is a bit of vulnerability.
Right now, life feels difficult, it feels like it's a little dark and I feel like I am being pressed and squeezed from all sides.
I put the word "feel" in italics because I know that feelings aren't always reliable. But I do know that I am being pressed, and I do know it's a good thing.
(Although I do want to scream at anyone else who tries to tell me so..hehehe)
I feel raw. I feel like the Lord has had me find some little foxes (that I actually allowed to enter through my agreement with lies of the enemy) and execute them with Truth. Sometimes the executions happen over and over, and sometimes several times a day. I feel an uncomfortable, near constant ache in my heart and even in my body at times. I feel the frustration and weariness of the emotion behind it, and although it's agonizing I also know it's BEAUTIFUL.
A few weeks ago, after mercilessly executing several lies with Truth, I chose to be like Mary and just lay myself at the feet of my Jesus. Here I saw a picture of myself standing atop a giant cliff. Immediately my mind went to that lovely little meme/saying going around social media about the woman jumping off the cliff and realizing "she had wings" and that "she could fly." But quickly I felt the Holy Spirit's invitation NOT to trust in my own wings, but to trust in HIM alone.
There's so much victory and peace in just letting go and free-falling into God. Some people envision themselves falling into His arms, or His lap or even an ocean of grace. I don't know what I envision when I think of myself free-falling - I just know that regardless of where I land or if I land at all, He's got me. He's got my circumstances, my finances, my relationships, my destiny. Unlike a group of teens at youth camp in 1994, He will NOT drop me on my head.
Last night, while wrestling through this tension again, I felt Him whisper that I am a wildflower that is being pressed into something of great beauty. WOW.
It's just like a good Father to know me and care about the little details. A wildflower being pressed speaks louder to my heart than olives making oil or grapes in a wine press. Pressed flowers release a sweet aroma, they keep their vivid color and they are used to make beautiful things. He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
My friend Nate Johnston says that seasons like this are a place of growth and movement. "It's the place of surrender where you forfeit your old plans and blueprints for His plans and the blueprints you need for the season ahead. It's the place of deliverance and healing from every web of entanglement the enemy has tried to snare you with. It's the place of encounter to ensure you birth the things you were destined to." So good Nate, thank you.
Like the beautiful Hillsong music song "New Wine" says, "I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today." It hurts like heck (and I even type this through tears) but I know it's true - He has new wine for me. New power. New freedom. New destiny to fulfill. And I must allow every part of the process because I trust Him.
I want to encourage anyone else who feels like they are free-falling into complete trust, and/or who feel the raw emotion behind having to repent of engaging with the lies of the accuser and execute the "little foxes." If you're being pressed right now, don't fight it. Just take the leap into freedom and victory.
And one last thing: As a born-again believer, you have been crucified with Christ and it's no longer you that lives but Christ within you (Galatians 2:20), and as He is so are you in this world (1 John 4:17). You're a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). You are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and you are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
God making new wine doesn't mean the old wine was bad or inadequate or had something wrong with it. It just means that God has something BETTER for this NEW SEASON. Stretching isn't a harsh discipline for bad behavior, it's simply making room for EXPANSION and GROWTH. Remember to always view your seasons through the redemptive promises of Jesus and His new covenant.
Keep falling, my friend. I'm there with you!