I'm so excited. I feel like God is really setting me on fire for Him again and it feels so good! It's definitely been a gradual process, but I've been really digging into my podcast sermons again and there's almost been this insatiable hunger to *know* the Bible, to really dig into the Word again. And then today I went for a walk,just by myself. It started out with me in this really truly rotten mood because of a build-up of events that have all just kind of collapsed on me, but I took the opportunity to talk it out with God. And the funny thing is that I actually didn't end up talking to Him much about it. Subjects got switched and He showed me a couple things that I had been totally blind to... Gosh, it's been so long since I've had a real conversation with Him, you know? Or at least one that didn't consist entirely of me winge-ing about something or other.
But anyway, get this- I think I had a demon. Like, a real fire-breathing type I'ma-possess-you kind of demon. Except that he wasn't possessing me. But maybe not. I don't know. The story goes like this: I was at this gorgeous national park in New Zealand and had the day to myself so I thought, what great opportunity to hang out with God among His creation. So I did. And I was packing up my stuff to have a quiettime when I realized that my Bible wasn't in my purse like it was supposed to be. A long, clothes-flinging search ensued with no results. I sat there sobbing in my room for a goodfifteen minutes, devastated. In my mind, I was asking God why he would have taken it from me... if maybe there was some lesson involved here, or maybe someone who would find the Bible who needed it more than me? Or maybe I'm just really irresponsible and God had nothing to do with me losing my Bible (though as I write that out, just the idea that there's anything that God didn't have His hand in in any way just sounds wrong, you know?)
So, upset but still determined to have my time with Jesus, I went for a hike and found a secluded area and popped in my ipod for a Village sermon. Matt Chandler rambles on with an awesome message as always, but then he goes on this side tangent about demons. He throws out a CS Lewis quote that goes something like this: People make two mistakes when it comes to the demonic. The first is to pay too much attention to it (like getting a flat tire and blaming the devil rather than the nails that you just ran over), and the second is not believing in it at all. I realized as Chandler was throwing the quote out that this was the fourth unrelated sermon in a row that I had heard this exact quote thrown out. I had never paid too much attention to it because I didn't think I belonged in either camp. I mean, I know demons exist. But I certainly don't blame them for everything bad that happens to me. In fact, I don't think I've ever blamed them for a single thing in my life. And with that thought, I realized that maybe thinking of demons as inactive is maybe just as bad as not believing in them in the first place.
From there I thought back to my morning, where I discovered my Bible missing and immediately assumed God had done it, though why He would take my Bible is anyone's guess. But what if it wasn't God? What if I had a demon following me around? It sounds ridiculous, I know. Even now, I feel kind of silly about it and have no idea if that was actually the case. But as I was walking back to the place where I was staying, I went ahead and tried to cast out my hypothetical demon by telling it to leave me and never come back, in Jesus name. It was shaky and disjointed and probably wouldn't have quelled a demon into leaving me, so I did it a second ime with a little more confidence in my voice, but this time added that it should return my Bible to me first.
Well, I haven't gotten my Bible back yet. I'm in the process of contacting the bus tour that I'm on to see if anyone has found a stray Bible floating around one of their busses. I'm desperate to get it back and I don't know if I will. Please pray about that. And especially with this new fire that I've got going for God right now, I feel like I'm a junkie going around without my fix. I'll buy a new one if I have to; it's just that my old one has all my notes and musings in it and I can't even begin to imagine having to start all that over from scratch.
But, on a happier subject, God's been showing me some pretty cool stuff. Like, have you ever realized how awesome of a guy John the Baptist is? In Luke 7:28, Jesus says about John, "I tell you, among those born of women, there is no one greater than John." Did you read that? JESUS the SON OF GOD just pretty much said that John the Baptist was the greatest man who had ever lived. What would you have to do to get that kind of estimation of your life from Jesus? Obviously, John's been doing something right.
The other Biblical character who I will never think the same of is Jonah, of all people. Seriously, look up this sermon: Biola University Chapels "Thorny Bible Pasages: Why did God use Jonah? Kent Edwards". So, so good.