I Have Fallen

I have fallen
Fallen hard
Fallen fast
Fallen for the deception of my enemy
Fallen from a place of comfort
To a place of ruin
The world spins around me
Like a chaotic cyclone
Churning with confusion
Not knowing which way to turn
Which way to run
Which way to hide
Where to find help
This is a lonely place
Down in the shadows
In the valley
Where darkness dwells and I listen to it’s voice

How did I get here?
How did I get so far into this hole?
This quagmire of doubt and disbelief
It was pride that brought me here
Pride that had me not listen to others wisdom
Pride that made me keep going deeper
Father into the enemy’s lies
Father into the deceit that enveloped me
In the background
Behind all the noise
Behind the confusion I could hear His voice
I could hear the Holy Spirit calling out
Stop
Don’t go there
But I continued onward
Ignoring His voice
Ignoring the very one who could save me
The one who could turn me around
The one who had my best interest at heart

Finally, I hit bottom
I realized where I was
Where I had been
How I had arrived here
And I was ashamed
Ashamed that I had fallen for His lies
His deceit
Ashamed that I listened to the enemy instead of my Lord
Destroyed in my heart
Feeling destined for failure
Destined for heartache
Destined for destruction
The shame was eating me alive
Tearing up my soul
And my spirit
It hurt so bad

So, I confessed
To my wife, my Pastor, my kids
I confessed to my own soul how I got here
I thought it was a way out
But it was a way to go deeper
Further down
I was trapped
I was fooled
My pride was hurt
But that is good
That is what I needed to realize
It was all pride
And I needed to humble myself
Humble myself before God whom I had ignored
Humble myself to my wife who trusted me
Humble myself to all those who turned to me for wisdom
So ashamed
Such a lonely place

I cried out to my God
And He heard me
From the depths of my sin
He heard me
He comforted me
He said He loved me
He said He needed me still
Needed me to preach His word
To write His words
To write my heart
He was not done with me yet

And I wept
I worshipped
I praised His name
I drew close to Him and He drew near to me
Back in His arms
Back in His grace
Trusting Him once again
He loved me even when I was in the valley
Fallen deep into the enemy’s deceit
He still loves me
And He will carry me out
Out to safety
Out to blessing
He will turn my mourning into dancing
My sorrow into joy
My pain into peace
What the enemy meant for evil He will turn for good
Because He loves me

When Storm Clouds Gather

                      I love a good storm. I love watching the clouds roll in from a distance and seeing the lightning flashing, and waiting for the thunder to roll.  I love seeing them build as they move closer, higher and higher.  I love the pre-rain smell that fills the air when a thunderstorm gets near.  And then they are here, and the air is filled with rain and lightning and thunder – a magnificent display of God’s power.  It is one of the most awesome things in all of nature. 

When I look at clouds, I think about the storms that can come into our lives.  They come in all shapes and sizes and can affect us in so many different ways.  Sometimes, we can see the storm directly ahead of us, heading our way, but we cannot see a different road to take:

As we listen to the voice of God in these situations, He may tell us to stay on the straight road, and not turn to the right or to the left.  The Israelites were told this as they went through the desert (Num 20:7), or by Jesus in the New Testament (Matt 7:14).  There are times that God knows the battle is before you and He wants you to have faith in Him to see you through.  These times are precious because they really test our faith.  Our inclination is to avoid the storm at all costs.  It looks dangerous.  But if we listen to God’s voice and trust in His strength to get us through, the blessing that is one the other side is well worth it.

Then there are times that storm looms over us.  It is big, and ominous, and scary.  The clouds surrounding the storm hide its intensity, but you can see danger in their formation.  You do not know exactly what is going to happen, you just know this storm, this trial, is going to hit at any time:

You face it with courage and an unmoving faith in God, like a tree planted by the water (Psalm 1:3).  A tree relies on the water for its sustenance and strength.  It sends those roots down deep to gather the water and feed the rest of the tree.  When it is close to the water. It does not worry where that supply will come from, and it will not be moved from that spot.  We need to be like that tree, relying on God to give us the strength to go through the storm, not to avoid it.  The storm is right there, ready to burst, and we praise Him regardless, because we know by faith He will see is through.  He knows what the storm will bring, and He is more than able to help us get to the other side, where the blessings flow.

There are storms that make a lot of noise way off in the distance.  They look like a danger, and we start to worry long before they get near us.  And we hear the thunder rumble, and people tell us we are in for a battle when the storm gets here.  The storm, or trial, looks frightening, and could be devastating when it arrives:

We are told not to fear, or worry about tomorrow (Matt 6:34).  God holds all our tomorrows.  Only He knows what the next hour will bring.  The storm could dissipate and never reach you.  I have watched thunder storms stop on a dime and give out.   I have also seen them part and go around on all sides.  We never know.  So, when that storm is approaching, pray.  Ask God to stop the storm, or to move the storm, that is coming toward your life.  He stilled the waves and the wind (Mark 5:35-41), and He can calm your storm before it even gets to you.  Just ask.

Then there are the storms of life that affect your friends, your family, your neighbors, and, yes, your enemies.  They loom off in the distance and all you can see is the looming clouds.  You are not sure who they are affecting, or what the intensity is, but you know there is a storm over their lives, ether because they told you, or you see the signs of a storms:

This is a time to pray.  We are called to be intercessors (Ezek 22:30-31. Eph 6:18).  This is the highest calling I believe.  To be a prayer warrior for God is a blessing to so many people often those we do not know.  If we are listening to the Spirit, He will tell us people who need prayer throughout our day.  Do you ever have names pop in your head in the middle of the day?  This is the Holy Spirt prompting you to pray for them.  Never, ever doubt that.  How should you pray?  The bible tells us the Holy Spirit will give us the words as groanings that cannot be uttered (Rom 8:26).  Allow God to work through you, and just open yourself up to pray.  He will help you.

And on the other side of that storm is always a blessing.  When we go through trials of faith, we grow in our walk with the Lord.  We become stronger, ready to face bigger trials.  But we also are ready to help others face theirs.  We are more prepared to help someone else who is going through the same storm in their lives.  These storms are meant for our growth, not out harm.  But if we try to get through them on our own, they will probably cause harm.  Either that or we will not make it through, and give up.  If that happens, we will most likely have to face the same storm again.  It is so important we rely on God’s strength to help us through.  He will never fail us.  And we will see the blessing when the storm passes.