Shadow Of Victory

Monday, 2 February 2009

February 2nd...BOUNDARIES

I have completed a 3 day fast for the first time ever and know that God has touched my life and done some work in my spirit. It helped immensely to be doing it with others in the church and to be meeting each evening for prayer. I feel refreshed...revived ...restored...re-affirmed...and ready to move on. Yet alongside this I have had a tough couple of days which have caused me to realise afresh how much I need the support...love and acceptance of family and friends.

The verses that God has brought to mind from Matthew ch. 12 v.43- 45 tells how .."once the house is swept clean and put in order then the evil spirit goes back with 7 others and the final condition is worse than before." I remember other times when I have felt renewed and cleansed but after a period of time I realise that I have slipped back into sin and at times it has been even worse than before.!!! It is of vital importance that after I have "de-cluttered " my spirit ..that I put good things in place otherwise I know from experience that rubbish will begin again to accumulate.

So....for this reason I have decided to put some boundaries in place and to tell you about them so you can hold me accountable.If you are reading and following this blog it is because you consider yourself my friend and have a relationship with me. Therefor I give you permission to gently ask me how I am doing with the following....

BOUNDARIES....

To continue to read through the bible in a year.
To ration my fiction reading to bed time only.
To pray FOR my husband and WITH my husband .
To pray for my children daily.
To aim for telly free chunks of time.
To walk dog daily.(altho with the snow outside today I may start this one late.!!)
to eat sensibly.
To be in bed before midnight..(aim for 11pm at latest)
To write daily...not just in blog but others projects I am involved with.

I know that I can be very lazy..both physically and spiritually and I am aiming to be more disciplined and to build good foundations once again. I feel it is a good time to be doing this as I have commited to Exposition...commited to being Mentored....commited to Life group...commited to Serving and Leading...all of these will cause me to dig deep and seek God.Writing this blog will serve to keep me honest and accountable as I am asking God to keep my writing "authentic".

As I said at the beginning of todays entry I have had a mixed couple of days after I broke my fast ...I went from a complete "high" as I celebrated my birthday with family and friends over 2 days to a complete low after I served at church on Sunday.My area of service is a source of amazing joy to me...most of my friends cant understand why I do what I do and I cant really explain it but I know I am in the centre of Gods plan for me in this season of my life.Yet...this Sunday for the first time in almost 18 months I whispered to God...I cant keep doing this..I cant keep on giving...I cant keep on forgiving....I cant keep on accepting.....I cant keep on loving...I cant keep on turning the other cheek.....I cant keep on leading...I just cant keep on....keeping on....

Perhaps it was the weariness of serving for too many weeks....perhaps it was the sub-zero temperatures...perhaps it was trying to train the teams in new ways of doing things...perhaps it was post birthday hangover...(I knew the 3rd glass of wine was a mistake ) ..there are so many "perhaps" it could have been but all I know was that during the evening meeting as I worship-ped .....I felt as though I was in
the " Shadow of Victory ".... From being on the mountaintop my feet had faltered and the shadow had come upon me .I knew that God was with me and I allowed myself to rest there awhile and God just brought release to me and the tears flowed....and I was able to let go of trying to hold myself together.This is where being in community with others becomes vital.! God never planned for us to be alone...His plan is for us to be in a loving community to share and care for one another and in this context I was both the recipient of other peoples love but also was able to give away to someone else. As I wept all over my friend another friend arrived who was also crying...together we shared and laughed and hugged and prayed with and for one another. Gods perfect plan coming together in the ladies loo.!!!

Later in the evening the senior pastor of my church came alongside me and "listened". I cant even begin to share how valuable listening is...if there was a spiritual gift of listening then my prayer would be that everyone ..everywhere would develop it to the full. Listening is without doubt the best gift anyone can give to another.I know I still have to deal with the concerns I have but I now know I am not alone...from sharing with my husband ..my pastor and friends at church....at home...in the pub....and just being able to share with you in this blog automatically ensure I am not alone and for this I am grateful.

In all vulnerability I ask for your prayers in the hope you will continue to walk alongside me on this journey.

4 comments:

Ruthie said...

You will always have my love, prayers & acceptance. You are an absolutely invaluable friend and person. I know you are an amazing gift from God. Thank you for being open & honest and for being accountable. Love you. x

Jacqui W-G said...

Hi Irene. Remember that when Jesus came to the end of his fast he was challenged by Satan. The temptation was in typical style like the temptation that Eve gave in to. I have always noticed that Satan speaks in the same voice as me. If he had an accent or sounded like the snake in Harry Potter then I think my instincts would be up and I'd know to resist, but it's my own voice that I give in to-for me putting off things or getting over tired and then staying up even later which keeps the whole cycle going. James says to resist the devil and he will flee from me. I find that the resistance has to be root and branch-cutting things off at source so when low there are not snares that I can easily slip into. We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony so just posting this is a right step-we all face this all day long so let's encourage each other. See you Friday. Jax

Sean Green said...

Keep blogging Irene - I love to read! Well done on fasting ...

Karen M said...

Hi Irene

Thanks for your openess and honesty, and your willingness to share your daily struggles and victories.

Jesus said “Only God is good”

When we are weak or when we are strong, God is good.
When we are in the deepest valley, or on top of the mountain, God is good.
When we are full of joy or grieving, God is good.
When we are soaring on wings like eagles, or flat on our face in the latest mud of our own making, God is good.

During the tough times it helps to hold on to this, and to remember some other key things about our relationship with Him.

He loves us
He died for us
He saved us
He clenses us
He knows us
He made us
He fathers us
He disciplines us
He teaches us
He shelters us
He delights in us


I guess what I am trying to say is that setting ourselves goals, targets or bounderies, is a key way for us to grow, but when we fail in some way, which is just in our nature, it is at that point we see the beauty of grace, and all our relationship with Christ gives us. We can experience the perfect unchanging nature of God and why only God is good.

Much love

Karen