Standing in The Gap - Between Two Trees
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
Welcome to part four of my walk with a sister through a spiritual battle. If you would like to catch up, click here for part three.
If you look up the word spiritual warfare, you will read words like evil spirits, demons, possession, oppression, and strongholds. Why is it always so scary? Why do we focus on the black spirits and ghosts of our lives; when the reality is that in every battle there are always two sides. And the truth is that the other side wins!
Yep, Jesus has already defeated the demons and evil spirits of this world on our behalf. So why do we focus on them?
On the other hand, we can’t ignore them. The spiritual battle is real. So what can we learn from Ephesians 6:18?
We must be alert and pray.
So, Kayla and I prayed, and we prayed. Every morning, every afternoon, every night. It was such a beautiful season of prayer.
But I’m not going to lie; it was hard. I get tripped up on that whole phrase, “let Your will be done.” If we could have our druthers, wouldn’t we all admit that there’s a little five-year-old in all of us that stomps her foot and says, “But I want it, and I want it now!”
I know you get me.
I wanted her to experience immediate healing. My heart tore into a hundred pieces when I would read her texts of pain. Honestly, I would have taken the pain for her if I could.
But God’s answer? “Keep praying.”
Okay, maybe not quite so dramatic, but very close to it.
In June, I would see the reason why God would answer as He did.
I think she experienced some relief when she came home for the summer. Change of scenery and the stress of school behind her for a brief moment allowed her time to breathe. Her smile came back, the texts and calls weren’t as frequent. I breathed a sigh of relief, “She is on the way to a healed heart! Thank you, Father!”
Until she wasn’t.
I wonder if the enemy gives us a break or if we just sweep him under the rug and ignore him for a time? Maybe God sees us in our weakness as He picks us up and says, “Just sleep, daughter, I’ve got you."
While the thoughts seemed to have dissipated for a time, something more sinister set in. She didn’t see God, and she didn’t feel Him. Even if God had her in His Hand, she was looking at everyone else but Him. So, of course, she began asking the obvious question, “Is God even with me? Did I do something wrong that made Him leave me?”
Oh, the tears over that question! I just want to punch the enemy in the face for EVER placing that thought in anyone’s mind!
But don’t we all ask that question? Isn’t it the very thought that we aren’t good enough for God that drives us away from Him? When the absolute truth is that HE LOVED US so much that He took on flesh, walked among us and took death on our behalf so that we would experience LIFE? How could we ever do anything to drive Him away?
But, that is what the enemy would like us to believe.
Oh, the lies he weaves:
You aren’t good enough.
You aren’t smart enough.
You aren’t pretty enough.
You aren’t popular.
You will never amount to anything.
What makes you think that God loves you?
Look at what you did; you’re such a sinner!
What makes you think He could ever use you for His Kingdom?
It’s all poppycock! Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The enemy and his lies can just take a hike because Kayla has been chosen! Jesus even prayed specifically in John 17 that we would become one with Him just as He and the Father are One. Yep, Kayla might as well write her name in that verse, because Jesus was praying for and about her!
The enemy is devious, but He has been defeated!
So, in a new season of prayer, we focused on grace. What did God do for us?
You see, our humanity judges on the things we do. Whereas, God sees our heart through the eyes of grace with the righteousness of Christ applied. There is nothing that we can do or say that will ever take that away; short of completely walking away from Him and wanting nothing to do with Him, ever.
As we focused on grace, we spent a lot of time under two trees.
The “Do” tree and the “Grace” tree.
The Do Tree is the one where we add up all of the things we’ve done right and the things we’ve done wrong, and we say, either, “I’m good enough for God’s Love” or “I’m not good enough for God’s Love.” Then we work to try to become good enough.
Then there is the “Grace” tree. Think of the Cross. Where Jesus wrote your name on His heart and nailed your sin and said: “She is mine, the enemy cannot have her!” Yes, this is the tree that our Father so longs for us to sit under. The one where we are FREE. Free from condemnation, guilt, shame, worry, and fear.
We go back and forth between trees. Unfortunately; however, we spend a LOT of time under the Do tree. And the honest truth is this is where the enemy wants us to spend all of our time. You see if we believe that it’s our power and our strength, he knows that one day our pride and/or weakness will bring us down. Then discouragement will follow. But when we find our way to the Grace tree, we find our rest. No longer are we “striving” to be good or strong enough, but instead we can rest in His power, His strength.
What we believe about who we are and what Christ has accomplished makes all the difference.
So, Kayla and I had to retrain our brains to enjoy the freedom under the Grace tree.
That means receiving grace for ourselves and extending that same grace to others.
Did we swing ourselves into Happily Ever After? Check out next time when I wrap up what God taught us under the Grace Tree.