I sometimes lead a double life. One is a reality based on lies, and the other, God's truth (but is there any other truth but His?).
When life is rough, I sometimes live in the enemy's reality. It's a wasteland, of muddy brown fields, skeletons and grey skies. There's also lots of "dissing" going on. That is, dis-ease, dis-appointment, dis-couragement, dis-pair (yes I know that's spelled wrong), dis-tress, dis-may, dis-sension, dis-ability and so on.
If circumstances are dark enough, I swallow the "dissing" wholeheartedly, though I may yet be seeking God and praying for Him to pull me out of it. Sometimes, an hour or two in His presence is enough to move me into another reality -His- but at other times, I need a bigger push in order to get out of the wasteland.
By the way, God's reality is abundance; green pastures full of good feed, the sun warming the earth, eagles soaring, and His will being done on earth, just as it is in Heaven.
Sometimes, the pressure to live in the wasteland is great. Difficult circumstances press in on all sides, and it's easy for us to forget where our true home is. And if the "dissing" has gone on long enough, we may need more than just an occasional Sunday in church or an hour with God, in order to get out of the wasteland.
Because it's one thing to get a glimpse of God's wonderland from the other side of the fence, and another to step into, and live, in His place of paradise.
Though we all want to live in green pastures, we get stuck in the enemy's territory because it's sometimes easier to roll around in the muck, as we replay the lies we've been fed over a lifetime. Staying on the prosperous side of the fence can be an especially fierce challenge for those who have been programmed to crave the familiarity of barren places.
Today, God reminded me that one important way that we can remain in the reality of His paradise is by loving, and ministering, to others. Because as we do, we are reminded that He is active within us, and faithful to bless those who seek Him. As we speak kind words to another, we realize that His love lives in us and flows through us. As we pray over strangers, we witness His power to heal, transform and pull people out of the wasteland. As we provide food and clothing for neighbors, we witness His provision. As we cheer up the downtrodden, we experience the warmth of His sunshine. And then, we remember we have value because He inhabits our being and deems us worthy to carry out His great works of love on earth. And suddenly, we are back in the green of His land, simply because we activated what He has put inside of us.
Today, when I awakened from my slumber four hours earlier than usual, I unwittingly sentenced myself to the enemy's territory by lamenting the fatigue in my body. "This will never go away, anyway, whether you get two hours of sleep or ten, so you might as well get used to it." Went the sinister little voice in my head.
But as the day progressed, and God used me in church to heal a 20 year-old woman who had suffered from intense back pain since the eighth grade, I felt myself jumping the fence. Afterwards, as the healed woman looked at me, her eyes round with amazement and joy accentuating her lovely features, the morning lies moved further from me. "I can't believe it," the woman said, and as she asked me my name, the astonishment in her voice indicated to me that her real question was, "Who are you and where did you come from?"
Had she articulated those words, I would have replied, "God sent me. To remind me, and you, of the land to which we belong."