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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Really Jesus...really?

I say that <insert the title> at least once a day. Sometimes I say it like really Jesus, really I'm going to <insert something awesome>! Or I say it like really Jesus...really  I'm going to <insert something not so awesome>. It's a subtle difference between the first two, there's more hesitation with the latter. Or I say it like REALLY JESUS, REALLY?!? As in did that really just happen. And that's how I said it today.

The past couple of days I've been struggling to read the bible. I just can't focus. I seem to have no control over my mind, I'm seriously considering getting tested for ADHD. Not that I would take anything if I found out I did have ADHD. I'm not against people taking meds or anything (I'm not Tom Cruise), but personally I try to be as holistic as possible <insert I avoid taking any medication/going to the doctors and just encourage my body to heal works 95% of the time or at least that's what I tell myself>. But finding out I did have some kind of problem like that, sure would explain a lot. Anyways, as a direct result of not really getting anything from my time in the word, I've been down emotionally.

The first thought I had this morning was "you fail at life" (apparently my thoughts weren't in a friendly mood). So needless to say I didn't have high hopes for today. Now you should know that pessimistic thoughts like that don't normally fill my mind but man today was I getting beat up by them. And if I'm being honest, I kind of just allowed it. Now let me stop and say I am not writing this to be like oh poor me. I promise there is a point and it is not for you to feel sorry for me. Anyways, I tried reading the bible but it just wasn't working <insert I was finding myself more interested in what kind of dress I'm going to wear to my friends wedding and what color I should paint my nails rather than what any of the disciples had to say>.

When I realized that I hadn't comprehended a single thing I'd read, I decided that maybe today I just need to hear the word, since obviously reading it isn't working. I've recently been listening to this pastor Louie Giglio (thanks to my friend Anora). He has a series called The Name (it's pretty awesome, you can check it out either here or on itunes). Last week I listened to the first message and it was really good. So I decided to continue on and listen to the message titled Empowered to Carry the Name.

I listened for awhile. I wrote down a few things that stood out to me. But before I knew it I was reading a friends blog, shopping online, and stalking people on Facebook. I was still listening but I was more concerned with finding a watch for camp than what Mr. Giglio had to say. He started talking about the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-16).And how these seven men came across a demon possessed man and tried to drive out the evil spirits in the name of Jesus whom Paul teaches. The evil spirit answers them by saying "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" Then this evil spirit beats the crap out of these seven men, so badly that they run away bleeding and naked. That's interesting and all but it wasn't until Mr. Giglio started doing a pretend monologue of the spirit (it's like the last 2 minutes of the message if you are so inclined to listen) that I woke up out of my stupor and started listening. The spirit started attacking the peoples motives for trying to drive out the demons. Accusing them of seeking their own agenda and trying to mask it as the Lords.

This hit me hard because recently I've been thinking about making so pretty big life changes. Changes that I believe the Lord is calling me to make. And all this morning I was getting beat up with thoughts like Why are you acting like this is God, when you know it's you. And if this is you, you know you'll fail. So hearing this, hearing that these people got so badly beat up that they lost their clothes (I've never seen a fight so bad that someone lost their clothes...I don't want to be the one that it happens to), I immediately thought omgosh this is a sign, I shouldn't be doing what I'm thinking of doing. The next thing Mr. Giglio said was "wouldn't it be awesome if instead of the spirits saying yeah we've heard of Paul, they said your name." I said yes.

{Okay it will be more awesome if you follow this link and cut to38:05 and watch...but if not you'll just have to take my word for it}

The next word's out of Louie Giglio's mouth were (remember he's doing the voice of the spirits) "Yeah we've heard of Amanda. She's been kicking the darkness out of us. We've heard of her. Her prayers are strong. Her faith is unshakable. Her love for Jesus and the way she speaks about Him is absolutely crushing our plans. Yeah we've heard of Amanda." And that's when I said REALLY JESUS, REALLY?!? Out of all the names in the world, he uses mine!

I've never physically been beat up. But I can imagine that you're praying for one of two things to happen. 1)For the beating to end or 2) To get stronger and beat up the attacker. Now I don't know about you, but I like the second option a lot better. Because if the attacker just decides to stop beating you up, there's always the threat/fear that they'll just come back and do it again. But if you get stronger (or shall I say empowered) and beat them up, you not only stop them from attacking you but you don't live in fear of them anymore. Because if they do come back, you know that you're strong enough to fight them. Now I know, most of you're thinking Amanda that was just a random coincidence. There was probably someone in the audience or his friend or wife was named Amanda, so that's why he used that name. And you are probably right. But I was in the midst of getting my mental ass kicked and hearing that, hearing my name, empowered me (thanks Louie your message lived up to its title) to I get up and fight. It's the end of the day, and I've listened to the last two minutes of  that message a million times, and all I keep saying is really Jesus, really.

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