The Cloak of Confusion

Most of all the Enemy will try to jam communications with Headquarters. Commit yourself to prayer every morning for two weeks and just watch what’ll happen. You won’t want to get up, an important meeting will be called that interferes; you’ll catch a cold, or, if you do get to your prayers, your mind will wander to what you’ll have for breakfast and how much you should pay for that water heater repair and what color socks would look best with your gray suit. Many, many times I’ve simply come under a cloak of confusion so thickI suddenly find myself wondering why I ever believed in Jesus in the first place. That sweet communion I normally enjoy with God is cut off, gone, vanished like the sun behind a cloud. If you don’t know what’s up you’ll think you really have lost your faith or been abandoned by God or whatever spin the Enemy puts on it. Oswald Chambers warns us, ‘Sometimes there is nothing to obey, the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, to see that nothing interferes with that.’ — John Eldredge, Wild At Heart

I admit that every time I see the word “cloak” I think about Star Trek and the “cloaking device” of the Romulans. This device made it possible for an entire starship to be undetected and invisible. Is it possible that our Enemy has a ‘cloaking device’ that seems to make God invisible … undetectable … absent from our universe? I don’t have all the answers to how things work in the spiritual world, but I do know that God is never far away. No matter how it seems. My feelings about the nearness of God seem to ebb and flow. There are times when I feel that I am trudging my way through the Kingdom alone … even though Biblical information tells me that this is not so. At other times I feel very close to God and yet I know that He is no closer, for He was never far away.  So my feelings, my emotions, my faith is never static. The truth about Jesus in which I trust, however, is solid and firm (although growing).

Breaking the Enemy’s ‘cloak of confusion’ is not simply a matter of following steps, but I do have some thoughts about how to break through spiritual malaise.

– Do not give up praying. This is so tempting because it seems so useless. We need to place what we know as priority to what we feel. We only strengthen the Enemy’s grip if we abandon prayer.

– Do not give up listening. We need input from other sources … people of faith. My iPod is loaded with more sermons than I’ll ever listen to. It is not true that every sermon is helpful … but we need to listen to people of faith that we admire talk about their faith. That might be listening to sermons, reading something they wrote, talking to them personally, exchanging correspondence … whichever form it takes, listen to someone else.

– Do not regard this situation as permanent. Victory over the Enemy is already yours. You actually may learn something during your walk through the valley. It is not the time to make significant spiritual decisions.

– Do not neglect a word from the Lord. God is speaking to you through His Word … through some circumstances in your life … through some people you are working with … through an event … Remain open to the wisdom He imparts.

– Do not continue in a sin that you consciously have denied … maybe sub-consciously believe God does not know about. If we are not willing to deal with the sin-issues in our life, then we should not expect a strong connection with the Father.

– Do not be afraid to serve in the name of the Lord, even though you are struggling. Do something for someone who is living in unfortunate circumstance.

There may be other ideas as well. Feel free to share them in comments.

From my friend Bobbie…

A man dies and goes to heaven.  Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you’ve done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in.” “Okay,” the man says, “I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart.” “That’s wonderful,” says St.Peter, “that’s worth three points!” “Three points?” he says. “Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service.” “Terrific!” says St.Peter. “That’s certainly worth a point.” “One point!?!!” “I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans.” “Fantastic, that’s good for two more points,” he says. “Two points!?!! “Exasperated, the man cries. “At this rate the only way I’ll get into heaven is by the grace of God.” “Bingo,  94  points! Come on in!”  We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and duct tape. God did it with nails.

***LINKS***

100 Homes in 100 Days Kicks Off!

The Center for Biblical Spirituality

Will & Brittany’s Big Day

Will’s Pre-Wedding Road Trip

Friendly Churches … Via Dodd

Friendly Churches … Via Dabbs

Breaking Bread in Acts

The Need for Radical Changes in Churches

Farewell, Larry ‘Bud’ Melman

Thanks for reading!

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