For the past three-four weeks my journey has led me on a gnarled and twisted path where challenges lurk in every tangled web. I am not traveling alone. Jesus is guiding me, and I am armed in case of enemy encroachment. My weapons, however, are not worldly ones, but spiritual, so I can tear down every conceivable lie, break strongholds. The path is long, dark, and arduous. Often cold and damp, but there are breaches of light and tranquility. I don't always see the Light or feel the warmth of Love, yet I know He's here with me. He hears my voice calling out, holds me close, wipes away my tears, stills the anger as my heart gives way. He presses in, calls my name, encouraging me onward. This narrow path is not the only one that's there, but it's the one I choose, because He is there.
Today, I shut out the voices inside my head, the noise that threatens me, and I breathe in His Presence. I lift voice to Heaven, and I praise Him! I live to praise His Name. This is what I need right here, right now. I grew up singing hymns like "I Need Thee Every Hour," "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and "In the Garden." Sadly, some who mouth the words don't hear the message, feel His Presence, or fully understand the truth. Words are important. So, when troubles threaten, I know from Whom my help comes. I know into whose arms to run. I don't have an earthly father, but I do have my Abba Father. When I trust enough to write and share, I make every attempt to be authentic, transparent, true. The journey was difficult in my early life. Still, I know I was loved, and I know that my earthly father was proud of me, because he told me. He always held high expectations, but throughout my life I felt that I failed him, or so it seemed. When he came to truly know Jesus as Savior and Lord later in his life, he began to see me as I am, a child of God, and understand me better. My daddy held expectations of me til the day he died with regard to my daughter who has her own journey through illness and isolation. That's another story and part of the tortuous path I journey. So we walk it alone in the human sense, but spiritually, we are never alone. She knows that, and she grows from it, as do I. Sometimes I feel so close to Abba that I feel the natural and the supernatural merge into one. They do actually, in Jesus.
Praise and worship have consumed me for these weeks. I am carried through the tasks and turmoils of each day by the notes sand chords of Heaven. I share these messages of hope on Facebook for fellow travelers so no one feels alone. The mere mention of His Name and uplifted hands chase away the enemy. This morning, by chance or Divine intervention, I discovered a new song from another ministry team led by someone I adore, Israel Houghton. It's called "To Worship You I Live" by Israel and New Breed. In a time of spontaneous praise these words are raised:
"You are breath of my soul,
life in my bones,
You're the only one my heart wants to know."
This song has played over and over in my heart and mind this morning, much like others have carried me over the past weeks as I hang on to life and dreams and disregard the lies the enemy is trying to tell me. Sometimes he uses well-meaning people, other times he uses professionals who are supposed to encourage, not destroy. But I'm standing strong, gaining ground. I snap the undergrowth from my feet, and I knock down the webs of deceit and destruction, and I follow the voice that says "This is the way, follow me." I am comforted and strengthened, and I praise my Lord, because I will make it home safely.