Thursday, January 26, 2006

Greater Levels

I have been reminded lately of the phrase, "Greater levels, greater devils." This refers to the widely accepted belief that when God is working in powerful ways, God's servants will experience different forms of spiritual struggle. For me, this breaks down into two assumptions:

1) When God is doing good things, Evil (The Devil/devils/evil forces/the human tendency to resist God) will fight back. C. S. Lewis illustrated this in The Screwtape Letters, by writting letters from a demon who is mentoring a younger demon on the art of tripping up Christians. Whether one believes in a Devil or demons or simply an evil force in the world, Evil does not like to see good happen, and will try to stop it. If you just believe in human nature's bend toward sin, then you can explain this by saying that the parts of you that don't want to chance are trying to hold you back. I believe in evil forces, but I also believe that my Id is sometimes out to get me and likes to sabotage me by giving me wacked out dreams.

2) In order to prepare us for new and greater work, God uses challenges (as described above) to strengthen our faith, and weed out things that are holding us back. God allows us to be tested by evil, others and ourselves, get us ready for the next act. Today God used some situations in my life to remind me that I am a control freak and need to chill the heck out and just have faith. At the moment it seems annoying that I have to deal with my control freak tendencies at the same time as a lot of things I want to control are going on, but I guess that's learning my immersion.

So, awesome things are happening and God is blessing me and the ministries I serve in a lot of ways. ( ) Right now I also feel like I'm running through a spiritual obsticle course, but I am clinging to the belief that this is in preparation for the outpouring of God's spirit that is going to happen in my community. It is already starting to trickle down and I have a vision that soon the skies are going to open up and the Holy Spirit is going to take this place by storm.