Saturday, October 6, 2007


drying laundry 2


I have recently been reminded of the truth of spiritual warfare. For me, this warfare seems to morph into hologram-like images -- here now, gone now, a bit shifty and evasive now. Just when I think I've grabbed ahold of it (Aha! This is the battle! This is the fight!), I find myself being attacked from behind, and the ugly monster in my hand is laughing.


And these are the good days. The other days? The more frequent days? Those are the ones that find me surrounded by the enemy, yet so unaware of any ongoing battle that you might even assume I was comfortable with it. Or, worse, fighting alongside the enemy. On his side.


 I have read the phrase "sacred and profane" so often that my mind jumps over it. Yes, yes, there is no secular... But the truth of that has been thrust at me this week. Nothing I do is secular. Nothing I do is neutral, blank, without loyalties. Nothing. Not hanging laundry, not checking email, not doing my daughters' hair, not scraping dishes. Because no matter what I am doing, or not doing, I am there. And I am not neutral. I was once profane but now am sacred. I, who once trembled at the blazing fire and darkness and gloom and tempest and the sound of a trumpet and begged that no further messages be spoken to me,  yes, even I, now come to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel (see Heb. 12:18-24). 


Ethan reminded me that Philippians 4 admonishes us to think on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise. And if we are not doing this, we are not being obedient. But what of ugly things? There are ugly things in this world. Painfully ugly: torturous, murderous, horrific, wrenching. And equally ugly: cantankerous, smarting, snapping, wasting. But these ugly things? These things are only in this world. Colossians 3:1-3 give the antidote to this ugliness: "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."


That's where my mind is to be. On things above. Even in the midst of the ugliness, I must look to find what God's Word says, His Word from above. He knows of the ugliest things: torturous, murderous, horrific, wrenching, cantankerous, smarting, snapping, wasting things. But He has overcome.


So how does this fit in with my hanging laundry, checking email, doing my daughters' hair, scraping dishes? When I do all of these things, do I do them with a misguided sense of duty? Is my mind scrambling for the next thing that needs to be done, the next item to cross off the list? Am I fuming with a misguided sense of merit, angry that I, even I, seem to be the only one doing these things? Or is my mind fixed on things above? Whose side am I on?


This is where my subject line (finally!) comes into play. I realized that my mind, when I did try to fix it on things above, was flopping flabbily about, vaguely slapping on some Sunday-schoolish generalities. Umm, think on things above. OK, God is good. I'm glad I have a family. I'm thankful for my house. And while these are valid thoughts, I felt I needed to rise above the level of the first-grader's Thanksgiving prayer.


And I realized that constant, diligent, purposed memorization of the Scriptures has been absent from my life for quite some time. How can I meditate on His Word day and night if I don't have it hidden in me? How can I fix my mind on things above if I keep forgetting what they are? This really hit me between the eyes when I was talking to a friend and explaining how I had providentially read a verse that helped me keep my mouth shut at the right time. "It was in Proverbs 19. Wait...Psalms? Oh, Psalm 6. Or Proverbs 5. Or Psalm 2? AARGH!" (I did eventually find it, by the way, after a LONG search...Psalm 5.)


So here is my first chunk:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (II Peter 1:3-9)


  1. way to go!

    I think you are right to memorize by chunks.

    My kids all do Bible Quizzing so this year it is Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians under this roof. But right now I am all about Job 28.

  2. Thanks for this reminder. The battle is daily, isn't it? And I need a plan for memorization, as well. I've just read two posts on that in a row! God is getting my attention here. My pastor just started a series on 2 Peter last week, so this section of verse was fresh in my mind! Thanks for the reminder of what the Lord wants us to have in our minds - Truth, all things good, honorable, right...FIXING our minds on things above! I'm grateful that in His grace He draws us to Himself and reminds us that we need to be renewing our minds this way. Thank you for sharing it with us, as well!


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