“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. And God hath put all things under His feet, and hath given Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” — Ephesians 1:17-23 NKJV
My cats hate a vacuum cleaner. Now, let me start by first explaining, somewhat apologetically, that I’m not an immaculate housekeeper like many of you ladies and gents. My vacuum gets run on a strict schedule–meaning, whenever I get around to it–which also translates to seldom if ever more than once a week (don’t judge! Ha!).
For those weeks when I don’t have to spend Saturdays working, it’s a designated cleaning day for me. So this morning, I started in the kitchen and am progressively working through the house. My cats always recognize the sound of the vacuum cleaner being rolled out of the closet and across the floor, and they begin evacuation at once. If I could hear it, I’m sure that there are supersonic severe weather warning sirens going off; because these two felines scatter like a Kansas super-tornado is impending. Shelter-in-place is typically behind the couch, under the bed, anywhere else but in the same room as the Intimidator.
Today I’d begun my devotion time with the above Scripture, so when what happened next occurred, I got a quick lesson that drove it home!
I rolled out the vacuum cleaner, plugged it in, and began vacuuming the kitchen entrance rug. I looked up to see something I’d never seen before: Sam had jumped up onto the window sill between the kitchen and dining room, and was watching the “terror tool” from above! She wasn’t running, because she had risen far above it…and had this curious sort of look of superiority as she observed the object of her great displeasure. The rumble and sputter and bright beacon on the vacuum head didn’t frighten her because she was no longer on the same level as it was. She watched me clean that rug almost the whole time, and eventually jumped down and sauntered away–not out of fright, but rather out of boredom.
The Lord drew my remembrance to the Scripture and sweetly instructed, “When you finally grasp how, as part of the Body, you are connected to the Head–Who lifts you up above the things that intimidate you–you will stop being reluctant to confront the things on earth that I want you to confront!” Wow!
The Lord knows my greatest desire in this season is to do just that. I want to be effective in the place of prayer, and to effect change to things I see wrong all around me. There are strongholds to pull down, sicknesses to rebuke and command to leave, lives that need the reconciling power of Christ. I know there’s a level I haven’t yet attained in my understanding and actions.
But I want to go there. I want to stop dreading the sound of the adversary rumbling and shouting. I can’t ever get there with a mindset that I’m all alone down here having to stare at what scares me, trying to decide whether to fight or to flee. I must understand that connection to Christ’s authority–available to us if we’re believers–empowers me to rise above and address these things in a realm that brings true change and not just wishful thinking. We can do it with our Father’s endorsement as we pray in Jesus’ name! Oh, I’ve got a lifetime full of wishful thinking on my resume’. And quite a few episodes where I dove behind the couch and waited for the adversary to leave instead of establishing resistance against him.
Interestingly, after seeing the vacuum cleaner from a different vantage point, the cat was no longer afraid. She actually came back and watched, from the a few feet away in the floor, as I vacuumed the next room…
Lord, thank You for helping me to learn a lesson from, of all things today, my cat in a windowsill. I respond with even greater enthusiasm to Your beckoning to a higher place where I might defeat the spirit of fear, and of fear of failure. Thank You that I rise above what has historically frightened and intimidated me. Use me, I pray, to make a difference wherever I am, and to draw people’s attention to how great You are!
As Paul shared in Ephesians 3, I thank You for granting to me, according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with might by Your Spirit in my inner man; that Christ may dwell in my heart by faith; and that being rooted and grounded in love, I may be able to comprehend (With all the saints! Help me teach others about what You’re sharing with me!) the the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that I (and of us who serve You) might be filled with all the fullness of God. You are able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…according to the power that worketh in us, Your Word says! You are actually empowering US as we remain connected and submitted to the Head–Jesus Christ! Why, Paul even says in the previous chapter (Eph 2:6-7) that you’ve raised us up with Christ and made us to sit with Him in heavenly places! That’s a game changer!
Help us all to rise above what keeps us stagnant; to stop just shaking our heads and “tsk tsk’ing when we see the sick, the blind, the maimed, the bound. You want us to do something about it! Teach us to walk in Your power, to achieve Your will for our lives, to remain humble before You but fearless against the works of darkness!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.