And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:~Ephesians 6:17
I used to do a lot of acting. Not that I wanted to be an actress. Nothing like that. I was interested in understanding how written dialogue worked best ~ not that we actually studied that & I did a lot of acting by default ~ & there's one thing I can tell you: Everyone should do a little acting. It teaches you how to deal with public scrutiny. It teaches you how to deal with fear. With ridicule. To cope when things turn catawumpus. To think on your feet & to roll with the flow.
As a result the one thing that does not faze me terribly is public speaking. Done it all my life & the way I figure it, no~one's going to whinge too hard no matter how awful I am because if anybody could do it, it wouldn't be me up on the podium!
If you've been following along you know I used to give the occasional message at the church we once belonged to. Long complicated story as to the reasons behind that to do with super small communities & lack of the people who are in full time ministries wanting to minister in small, difficult communities. It was either do it ourselves or do without. We did it ourselves.
And I learnt something. Several somethings. I learnt if you ask, God will say. God was always gracious to make sure I understood very, very clearly what He wanted me to say to His people. I did not understand how much I was working in the prophetic. I thought it worked that way for everyone. Apparently not but how was I to know? I learnt that if I was given a message I could expect everyone in the house to come under spiritual attack ~ & believe you me it got incredibly bizarre. When preparing a message I've had dying cats, hysterical children & phone calls announcing deaths in the family. We've had cars that were running fine suddenly break down & sick people take a turn for the worse. I've wrestled with God & ranted at God & begged Him not to make me say what I'd been given to say but I never, ever worried about actually having to stand up before 50 or so people & talk. That was the easy bit but I was not sorry when circumstances forced us to remove ourselves from the line of fire.
I am such a woos. A pacifist woos. The sort that skims over all those passages in the bible that talk about being a soldier, putting on your armour & fighting for the Lord. Metaphorical. Inapplicable. Naught to do with me. Besides, I had removed myself from the line of fire.
And there I was peacefully pottering around in my little backwater with a small, very, very small, home worship group when it dawned on me that God was still delivering His messages but I now had nowhere to deliver them. Being the dunce I am I ignored the promptings. Obviously that was for some unforeseeable time in the future. Um, apparently not. So I began that other place, the one we don't talk about here, & somewhere in my foggy little brain I had the idea that I was flying under the radar. Undetectable. Unimportant. So much so that precautions were unnecessary.
I am such an idiot!!!
You'd think I'd recognize the signs by now. You'd think I had enough experience. That I'd know better. Nope. I'm in the retarded class for absolute morons because I couldn't work it out, you know. Why was I having so much difficulty? What was going on with my insides? Where was the depression coming from? Um, hello! It was glaringly obvious in the end. My prayer times got interrupted. My writing got interrupted. Everyone in my house is starting to loop the loop. The cats are unravelling, the phone is ringing incessantly. Dearest wanted to put a listing up on E~bay; a 20 minute job turned into a 3 & 1/2 hour marathon that left me exhausted & ratty. Have I said enough? Do you have the picture?
Am now buckling on my breastplate. Jamming helmet on head. Grabbing my shield, looking for that misplaced sword. What have I done with it?! Such a fuss for a regular run of the mill sinner. *sigh* I am so not good with swords but I do know which end is the cutting bit.
Haggai. It's all because of Haggai; 2 chapters; 38 verses. Hardly believable, is it.