Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking off the armor...

In "Other" Words

This week's quote is:

"Under the banner of God, victory is always assured; but apart from it, defeat is a certainty. When the banner of God's rod was not held high, Amalek prevailed.
You can't do battle against the flesh under your own power."
~ Kay Arthur ~
Lord, I Want to Know

If I could have designed my own family banner as a young Christian, I would have pictured a knight standing on a hillside facing the enemy, resplendent in her polished armor, red plume on the helmet waving in the wind of adversity and a lance with bright blue streamers attached to it in one hand. In her other hand would be a sword, poised to strike as she stands ready to do battle to protect her territory.

That was the way I always pictured myself as a young person and a young Christian. Can you see the problem with that mental image? Right! I always pictured myself standing there ALONE, poised to fight for my Lord, rather than with Him.

In reality, I was fighting for my life – developing coping strategies to live with the damage from abuse and pain in my young life. I needed to portray an image of strength and control to myself and the world around me for if they saw my vulnerability, they might be able to hurt me again.

I didn’t even want Jesus to know of the hurting child behind the armor plating. Not only did the armor keep me from getting hurt again, but it held my frail heart together within its confines, It also kept out the healing love of Jesus that I desperately needed.

But He is never fooled by the shining armor and brave hillside stance. When I finally collapsed under the weight of my own protective armor, He was there, gently removing the helmet and protective metal, ministering to the hurting heart inside all the while.

by Bonnie Winters © 2000

Today You asked me for the key
To the secret place of my heart.
I stood before You naked and ashamed,
Desperately wanting to hide
The unclean thoughts, the secret fears,
My angers and jealousies,
All the things I know You hate.
Somehow, You might love me less
If you knew of this ugly darkness.
”I will do more good works for others,
I’ll be a better person, You’ll see.
Just don’t look inside my hidden heart.”

My child don’t you understand?
I already know your hurting heart.
By keeping y our fears and failures
Hidden from My loving view,
You only deprive yourself of the love
And mercy of My outstretched hand.
I want to open the old wounds,
And bathe them in forgiveness
Until they are wholly cleansed
And your heart is pure before Me,
For you are the work of My hands,
The beloved creation of My heart

If I were to design my family banner today, I think I would picture a woman in street clothes, standing on a hillside. In one hand she would hold the Word of God, her sword and shield. With her other hand, she would be holding tightly to His hand. No more armor, and definitely not ALONE. We are fighting together under His banner and we are winning!

If you would like to join us, simply blog about the quote on your blog site, then visit "Joy in the Morning" to read her take on the quote and leave your link along with the other participants.



Karing said...

A family banner! I like that thought and most definitely that God is it. We are not alone. God knows our secrets and He still fights for us. PTL

ellen b said...

I love the picture of us fighting together under His banner and winning! Blessings...

Karing said...

How awesome that we don't have to come up with our own banner, that God is it. That he sees behind what we try to use that just doesn't work. Praise the Lord he waits for us to get there, properly equiped and ready to win.

Butterfly Kisses said...

What a beautiful picture you painted of the woman on he hill holding the Word of God and also God's hand.

Lana G! said...

Fight on with Jesus!

Angie said...

I love that picture Bonnie! How like me and possibly others to even "think" that anything could be hidden from God---I can't hide anything!
I loved the picture you painted at the end! I am glad He's always holding my hand/life in His!
Bless you!!

Mrs. Pharris said...

Absolutely lovely. I can see it! The second one, of course. How wonderful to have His big, strong hand to guide and protect!

Thank you so much for sharing that powerful testimony!

The Small Scribbler said...

I love that the woman in the second banner does not have an armor. The greatest healing happens when the armor comes down. We are the best witnesses for Christ when we approach people without armor.


Laurel Wreath said...

As a contributor to the Laced With Grace Devotional Site I want thank you for your faithful readership. September is our one-year anniversary. We are please to announce we have a permanent new address. Please change your link to include this new address.

God's Blessings,