Yesterday’s sermon notes were full, and I mean like three pages worth! That being said, once again today’s blog is not about the sermon. I should consider renaming my titles, but what the heck, it kind of works. Actually, the music is what really had the biggest impact on my life. The days leading up and the morning of were challenging. The enemy has been on the attack pretty consistently for the past few weeks and he is bringing the thunder. The enemy is hitting me with all of his weapons at once. Depression, doubt, bitterness, outside influences, and even the occasional lust temptation, but it seems like a full out missile campaign. Just as I notice one attack, another comes from a different direction. If you have ever seen the movie “The Mighty Ducks” there is a scene where the goalie “Goldberg” is tied to the goal posts to help him get over the fear of getting hit by the puck. After tying him up the entire team begins a constant barrage of shots at him with intents of hitting him.
Much like Goldberg I felt tied to the posts, knowing the attacks are coming and unable to do anything about them. I have heard people talk about moments of trauma or near death experiences happening in what seemed to be slow motion. The moments before the attack are just like that for me. I see them coming and as I watch them slowly approach my emotions begin to go haywire one by one. This is crazy to me considering the effects that the attacks are having on me are not even because of impact, but because of the anxiety caused by the anticipation.
The chaos leading to the journey to church yesterday morning caused me to feel almost like not even going. I tussled with the idea of not even going to church because of my emotional state. I could feel depression’s sticky texture crawling up my legs and working its way to my heart. My feet were sluggish and sticky as I tried to step towards the door, like trying to walk through thick mud and having to yank your foot out of the mud to take the next step. On the way I decided that I wouldn’t go to the front as part of the response team to pray with anyone because my spiritual state was lacking. I was feeling disconnected with the Spirit and I started to recognize some of the old patterns emerging like a fresh zit forming under the skin.
After getting the service started I began to feel a little relief, almost like I had arrived home from a long hard journey. The second song was my cry to the Lord and it was spot on. The Lord used it to completely transform me and bring me right to His presence. Psalm 100:4 says:
Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name
I can remember sitting down before the service started and just thanking Him for getting me there, just then the music started. The first song rang out His praises and tore the roof off the building granting access to the Father, the second song “Lord I need you, oh I need you” Brought me right into His throne room standing before the Almighty calling out to Him, “I NEED YOU”.
That is it! I need Him!! We all do. What for? EVERYTHING! There is nothing without Him. Jesus is… well, He IS. That’s right, I need Him. The song says “my one defense, my righteousness, oh God how I need you.” I need Him for everything. He is my one defense, He is my righteousness. I cannot protect myself from the attacks of the enemy. His weapons are strong and accurate. The enemy’s aim is spot on and man is he persistent. I think about that movie again, “The Mighty Ducks”. Prior to the events that I shared above, the team was full of low income families who used rolled up magazines and pads from different sports as protection. “Goldberg” had newspapers and magazines for pads, no wonder he was scared! This is me, I have scraps that I have picked up from the trash to try and protect me from the enemy’s attacks and it just isn’t enough. No, I need Him! I cannot protect myself from the enemy I need Jesus. He is my one and only defense agains the attacks of the enemy. In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about the armor of God, our defense against the attacks of the enemy in battle. Without the Him I am defenseless. I need Him, you need Him, without Him there is no defense.
Jesus is my righteousness. Nothing that I do earns my spot in His kingdom. I am reminded about how far away from the mark I fall. I do not measure up one bit, on my own, to the standards of the perfect and magnificent Creator God. I am not worthy, I am not able, and my life is full of constant failure. There are two words in the Bible that melt my heart over and over again, “but God…” My unworthy, pathetic little life earned nothing but hell, but God in His grace, sent His Son to die on a cross and save me from my sins and bring me back into right standing with the Father. All because of Jesus, all because of the risen King I am able to stand in the courts of God. I am not worthy without Jesus. Jesus is my righteousness! I need Him! You need Him!
This morning it all came together. “Goldberg” started screaming in fear as they launched the attack. Once they started bouncing off of the new pads given to him his screams of terror began to the big belly laughs of relief. Those big laughs of relief transitioned into laughs of victory, which ended in the loud battle cries of the warrior. This morning I experienced the same! I called this morning one more time to the Lord, “I NEED YOU” and He sat back and watched the arrows of the enemy bounce off of me. I laughed in relief, I laughed the deep grunting laugh of victory, and now I scream the battle cry as I advance to return the attack. None of which was possible without Jesus.