Holy Vaccination Supplementation!
Have you ever had a cold? I mean a really bad one? I had a cold in the month of December. It was such a bad cold I couldn’t decide if it was just a cold or the flu. I realized it was just a cold, but it kept hanging on and on. I couldn’t shake it. In fact, I’d nurture myself and get over it to only relapse with it three times. I wasn’t myself the entire month of December. Merry Christmas, right? I found myself feeling a bit frustrated. I am a very active person by nature and have a hard time just sitting for long periods of time. You all know I love to train hard, so it wasn’t easy to back off and rest. Be still. On top of all this, I rarely if ever get sick. My entire life I have had a super resilient resistance to sickness. I thank my parents for both having strong immune systems as well and for passing the family gene on to me. My husband is the same way. We just don’t really get sick much in our house. If a virus or bug does try to emerge in our house, we attack it. That’s right, we attack it fiercely like an unwanted intruder. We know what to do. For starters we make sure we up our electrolytes and take in lots and lots of fluids; We also mega-dose vitamin C. Not just any vitamin C (not all vitamin C supplements are created equal. In fact, many inferior C products on the market are not much more than chalk, literally). We eat tons of foods loaded with vitamin C as well. We have an acquaintance who is a nutritional biochemist and does consulting for the FDA. He told us years ago that vitamin C is such a super food. It helps the body cope with stress of all kinds. Animals naturally produce vitamin C and when they are sick or under extreme stress their bodies naturally start producing more than double the dose within their own bodies. He advocated to us to be regular consumers of vitamin C in high quantities. It is water-soluble so you discard what you don’t need. You cannot overdose on it. We took his advice, and I can testify, when we are starting to feel a little tickle in the throat or a little under the weather, we begin to increase our consumption of the C. It not only helps us feel better fast, we also get over what ever it is fast! Viruses don’t stand a chance!
Unfortunately, back in December, when I had that cold that wouldn’t go…I was all out of my favorite vitamin C. I wasn’t able to get it into my body soon enough. I ate as many oranges as I could and loaded up on vegetables rich in C, but this virus was fierce. I wasn’t prepared for the attack it had for me.
All of that got me thinking…
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
One of the things I learned as a young Christian, in discipleship, was the scripture for the whole armor of God found in Ephesians Chapter 6. I was taught about it, but I don’t really remember it’s purpose sinking in at the time. Years later, this passage would come alive in my life as God began to groom me in how to combat the schemes of the devil; How to fight the good fight and keep the faith (1 Timothy 6:12). This passage is designed to equip and teach a Believer, a Christian, how to guard their heart and mind and how to defeat principalities and demonic forces. It says right in the passage, “we do not fight against flesh and blood.” What does that mean? People are not our enemies, but sometimes there is a spirit at work behind the scenes in any trial or trouble that needs to be dealt with. I have seen all kinds of strange oppressive spirits come off of wonderful Christian people. I have always been very sensitive to the unseen spirit world. As a child I didn’t understand it, but God was so faithful and as a young woman he brought mighty Christian men and women who were gifted in discernment, deliverance and spiritual warfare to groom me and educate me on how to use this armor spoken of in Ephesians 6 and cultivate my gifting in this arena.
Here are some things I’ve learned over the years…
It isn’t enough to have the armor on. Imagine, you have prayed through the verses, but often that does nothing more than leave you standing there with armor on, but shield and sword down at your sides. God wants you on the offense not the defense. Offense, not as offended easily or readily, in fact, when we have our armor in place and are prepared we DON’T get offended because we deflect that spirit when it hits us. He wants you ready and equipped at all times. When we effectively put on our armor everyday…
- we spend time praying through our Bible.
- We ask the Holy Spirit to show us what He wants us to see in the Word. People are gifted to preach and teach and we need each other, but the ministry of the Holy Spirit is powerful.
- We worship.
- We give thanksgiving.
- We search our hearts and ask God to address and bring revelation where we need it.
- We enter in with a humble openness. If we don’t understand something we ask to see it as God sees it and be willing to receive His direction.
- We take our thoughts captive from negative thinking, reckless assumptions and wild imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:5)
I don’t necessarily say do these things in this order. I think praise and adoration should come first, but for me, honestly, it’s different every time. It’s like talking to a friend. I begin with “HI, how are you?” But the conversation is different from conversation to conversation because it is alive and breathing just like the best of friendships. I don’t think God is so much interested in rituals in our worship, just our time, devotion and attention. He enjoys your company.
I told the story of my cold and the lack of added ammunition my immune system needed to effectively fight off the ailment because it is a great analogy to what happens in the spiritual realm. We have trials. The devil attacks us like a virus. If we learn from our trials we gain relief, but the lessons learned are only greater equipping for future tests of our faith. Our spiritual immune system gets stronger. God wants to develop a well trained and resilient soldier of the faith in you.
- He needs his Bride fit.
- He needs His Bride strong.
- He needs His Bride resilient.
When we become a seasoned Believer, full of faith, and knowing how to fight the spiritual fight, we quickly recognize the handy work of the devil. It’s like the eyes of discernment enable us to see in the dark. We become "night vision experts" so to speak. That’s like taking your vitamins and eating well to ward off sickness. When we don’t take care of our spiritual health, wear our armor, learn from our trials, we repeat them over and over and never gain the victory…just like that relapsing cold.
Why is this important? I will tell you why, because God wants the very best for you. He doesn’t want you to be a victim. He doesn’t want you to suffer. He wants to see you win. He wants to see you overcome. He wants you to be strong enough to live up to your greatest potential. Then, once a deeper maturity in the faith is acquired, he desires to use you to encourage others and help them gain the victory, too. Please note, we never stop growing; We always go deeper. We always mature and become more seasoned. I would never imply anyone, including myself, has “arrived”. It just doesn’t happen, and if we think it does, we stop growing all together.
Here is what I know. God has granted me the ability to affirm others and encourage others. It is how he uses me and it is my love language. Just like my Mom, I also have this gift that can’t be me, but only Him (gift of Exhortation)….people randomly start opening up to me and sharing their deepest pain. It can be someone who specifically seeks me out or a stranger. Just the other week at church a woman in the bathroom began to pour her heart out to me. I’d never met her before. I can be in the aisle at the grocery store, same thing. Then, there are others who have very deep and complicated pain. God sends me those, too. Why am I telling you this? Because, I believe God is about to bring a mighty move of His hand. The Church is going to explode in growth with people who are deeply wounded, hurting and having some major drama. Love is what will heal their hearts and help them put the pieces of brokenness back together. Once that begins, then we can rehabilitate them to rebuild a broken life, broken family, broken promises, broken dreams.
True Exhortation is not for the faint hearted.
We cannot take anything personal. We cannot easily offend or get our nose bent out of shape. We must be patient, deliberate, purposeful and most of all…we need to be able to leave the wounded at the foot of the Cross at the end of the day. If we carry it all, we will cave under the burden. This one was the hardest for me to learn because I care deeply and am a person of deep compassion and empathy. God does the fixing, I just obey and do my part to love people strong. We are all ONE team.
I believe God is building a Super Star team that is absent of “Super Stars” but full of people who’s only bragging rights are that we have met intimately with the greatest Lover of them all, the Messiah.
If we do not stay suited up and ready with the Rhema word of God of the tip of our sword (that means to declare the word with your lips and speak good into every situation), we will become a casualty. We will get sick.
Suit up today. Sing a song of Praise. He’s got the whole entire world in His hands, yet you remain the Apple of His eye. How beautiful is that? I don’t want any in God’s army to become a casualty. We have a lot of work to do to love our communities and our country strong. Fight the good fight, keep the faith, and allow no weapon formed against you to prosper. You are a child of God. He is on your side, and so am I.
You are Beloved…