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Monday, August 2, 2010

Haggard and Worn

A furtive glance in the mirror confirms what I have been suspecting all along, time is leaving its mark. With each passing day I notice more hairs from atop my head going on one way trips down the shower drain, and the graying temples that once seemed distinguished seem so no longer. The harbingers of a fleeting life seem more pronounced, from sprouting hairs in odd places such as my ears, to achy joints, to a constant and unnerving need for quiet and solitude.

Futile and foolish things such as a leaky roof or a persistent toothache monopolize my time, and when I take an accounting of the day that was, I realize very little time was dedicated to lasting or purposeful pursuits.

I find myself spending more and more time in prayer not to grow, or to ascend, but merely to stay level, merely to hold my ground and not retreat. Already, I am haggard and worn, and then I have to remind myself that we have not yet begun to fight, we have not yet stood against the full fury of the enemy’s last siege.

In talking to friends and fellow ministers, I’ve discovered I am not alone in this state of being. The enemy is attempting to whittle away our resolve, to whittle away our dedication, to dampen our fire, and bring us to a place of sluggish spirituality, a state of spiritual dryness, wherein spiritually speaking we’re just drudging along, getting by from one day to the next, and the very act of spiritual survival seems like an overwhelming and taxing effort.

Every minister I’ve spoken to thus far has confirmed what I’ve been suspecting for awhile, the enemy is not employing full frontal assaults, but rather sneak attacks, small jabs and pricks that accumulate over time and both frustrate and weaken us.

I’ve been debating whether or not I should post this, it’s mostly just my early morning ramblings, but I decided to post it because I think there are many others who are feeling this selfsame oppression, this persistent onslaught that isn’t coming from anywhere in particular but is evident nevertheless.

There is one conclusive truth that we must never lose sight of, even when spiritually speaking we are not feeling like giants, or supermen, but rather like tired souls trying to break through the storm clouds and into the light.

Whether haggard, worn, bruised, bloodied, blistered or exhausted, the only thing that matters is that we make it home. There are no believers that make it to heaven with their garments in pristine condition. By the time we get there our garments will be torn and bloodied, caked in our own exhaustion, hence the reason we are given a new garment, a white garment upon arrival. Our duty is not to try and spare ourselves, to keep ourselves from battle, to avoid the hard tasks and the dark times, but to commit to holding our ground, to commit to putting one foot in front of the other and barreling through until that glorious day when we will see Him face to face, when our fight will have been fought, and our race will have been run, and the only thing left to do will be to enter into His eternal rest.

Haggard, worn, bruised and bloodied as I might be I will not give up because home is closer now than ever before. There is finality to every journey, there is a point of arrival, and our destination, our point of arrival is within view.

Hebrews 10:37, “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael-I have been feeling the same way recently. It's nice to know I'm not alone. We all need to be encouraged in knowing that this present life is very short, compared to the time we will spend in eternity with Jesus. Yes, I believe He is coming soon!!!

Lori said...

This is truly an encouraging post. This is hitting here, too! Thanks for posting it. We must encourage one another, while we can.

Boat Living said...

Yes, we must endure until the end, that is the final goal. To endure to the end!

I'm looking for some of my true famly now. They seem to be among the very few, can't seem to find hardly anyone.

What ministers do you even talk to? I wouldn't talk to any now. The ministers are the ones that keep these false churches going. I'd stay away from the ministers, unless they might be ministers of home churches.

It's been 29 years for me, knowing the truth about the churches. They are fallen away, false.

My garments so bloodied, I'm black now, as the Song of Solomon says.

But thanks for the encouragement.

Sister Kim

wendyworn said...

Thank you for posting this. The adversary is always attacking us, and definately does use the sneak attack. I question the thoughts that come into my brain, whether they are an attack and then I name the culprit. I'll say, Hey! That is a spirit of condemnation, there is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, I rebuke that condemnation in the name of Jesus Christ.

Or, Hey! That is a spirit of rejection, God said He wold never leave me or forsake me. Be gone rejection in the name of Jesus Christ.

God bless you Michael - you're still young! :)

Anonymous said...

hey micheal,

i smiled as i read your current post, not at your struggles, but at your honesty, for i had you pegged as one of those superman in the christian faith. wait until you get into your 50's and the roof still leaks, and parts of your body that you didn't even know you had show their presence.

i don't know if you have read anything from randy alcorn, but i would suggest his "in light of eternity" as a must read for our current times. it has given me the shift in perspectives on heaven that is sorely missing in our times. a great encouragement from the Lord.

one quote from luther that will encourage is "there are only two days, today and that day."

sometimes in living today we forget about "that Day".

thank you for fighting the fight, for i am encouraged not to give up, because of such testimony!:)

-----p.g.----

Anonymous said...

Amen, Brother. Just trying to make it through the day - trying to keep my family from getting distracted from the narrow path... and hopefully my neighbors as well. God bless you - always look forward to your posts.

Nicole said...

Praise God that you did post this one! I am one of the many of whom you speak. It seems at times we are able to advance with great boldness and fire in our steps and yet alot of the time our walk is more likened to the one you have mentioned. But Glory to God, He is our strength when we are weak, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Just keep holding his hand everyone! Don't let go, He will never leave you. We put our hope in the Lord; He is our strength and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his Holy name. (Psalm 30:20-21)

Arise O Lord!

Nicole

The Hunter said...

Thanks for telling the truth of what you feel.This is a fight of spiritual endurance that we all must take part of.Most are blind to the fight,and some are not.Those who are not blind will always have to fight harder because the enemy knows a blind man is no threat his plan.Only a person who can see and is willing to obey our lord is a threat to satan.Dont give in,dont give up hope and remember that blessed is he who endures to the end.Please keep writing these posts, they have helped me alot when I feel tired, beaten,lost.Thank you.

Sam said...

I have been going through the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Brother Michael,

I'm glad that you obeyed the prompting to post these "ramblings", because what may have seemed like ramblings to you was a confirmation and encouragement to me to keep pressing on toward the prize and fighting the good fight of faith.

I myself have been coming up against a similar feeling of oppression and weariness, but we must stand on the word and wait on the Lord being patient in affliction, joyful in hope, and faithful in prayer. Brother, I stand with you in this struggle against the enemy of our souls knowing that we have not yet resisted to the point of shedding our blood. Although that day may be fast approaching, let us not become weary and doing good, because at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we faint not.

Finally, I leave you with Jude's word to the church, "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."

Grace and peace be yours in Yahshua

Brother Andrew

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I'm so glad I decided to catch up on my reading on Google Reader today (where I subscribe to your blog).

Both my husband and I have been feeling so down and just plain worn out... spiritually and physically.

It truly is that we're in a battle that intensifies each day and we're not in ministry.

I never leave a comment but I wanted to this time, to let you know how much I do appreciate your writings. You bless us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for your encouraging words. I would like to add an except from 'Spiritual Man' by Watchman Nee - "We would hasten to inform our readers that we have not lost sight of the fact that our body is indeed a mortal one; even so, we who are the Lord’s can verily possess the power of that life which swallows up death. In our body are two forces in action: death and life: on the one side is consumption which brings us nigh to death; on the other side is replenishment through food and rest and these support life. Now extravagant consumption weakens the body because the force of death is too powerful; but by the same token excessive supply reveals signs of congestion because the force of life is too strong. The best policy is to maintain these two forces of life and death in balance. Beyond this, we should understand that the weariness which believers often experience in their body is in many respects distinct from that of ordinary people. Their consumption is more than physical. Because they walk with the Lord, bear the burdens of others, sympathize with the brethren, work for God, intercede before Him, battle the powers of darkness, and pommel their body to subdue it, food and rest alone are insufficient to replenish the loss of strength in their physical frame. This explains in a measure why many believers, who before the call to service were healthy, find themselves physically feeble not long afterwards. Our bodily strength cannot cope with the demands of spiritual life, work, and war. Combat with sin, sinners, and the evil spirits saps our vitality. Solely natural resources are inadequate to supply our bodily needs. We must depend on the life of Christ, for this alone can sustain us. Should we rely on material food and nourishment and drugs we will be committing a serious blunder. Only the life of the Lord Jesus more than sufficiently meets all the physical requirements for our spiritual life, work, and war. He alone furnishes us the necessary vitality to grapple with sin and Satan. Once the believer has truly appreciated
God as the Life of the Body 703
what spiritual warfare is and how to wrestle in the spirit with the enemy, he will begin to realize the preciousness of the Lord Jesus as life to his body.
Every Christian ought to see the reality of his union with the Lord. He is the vine and we the branches. As branches are united with the trunk, so are we united with the Lord. Through union with the trunk the branches receive the flow of life. Does not our union with the Lord produce the same results? If we restrict this union to the spirit, faith will rise up to protest. Since the Lord calls us to demonstrate the reality of our union with Him, He wishes us to believe and to receive the flow of His life to our spirit, soul, and body. Should our fellowship be cut off, the spirit most assuredly will lose its peace, but so will the body be denied its health. Constant abiding signifies that His life continually is filling our spirit and flowing to our body. Apart from a participation in the life of the Lord Jesus there can be neither healing nor health. The call of God today is for His children to experience a deeper union with the Lord Jesus."

God Bless You

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for apt words, here's an excerpt from Watchman Nee's Spiritual Man ....
"We would hasten to inform our readers that we have not lost sight of the fact that our body is indeed a mortal one; even so, we who are the Lord’s can verily possess the power of that life which swallows up death. In our body are two forces in action: death and life: on the one side is consumption which brings us nigh to death; on the other side is replenishment through food and rest and these support life. Now extravagant consumption weakens the body because the force of death is too powerful; but by the same token excessive supply reveals signs of congestion because the force of life is too strong. The best policy is to maintain these two forces of life and death in balance. Beyond this, we should understand that the weariness which believers often experience in their body is in many respects distinct from that of ordinary people. Their consumption is more than physical. Because they walk with the Lord, bear the burdens of others, sympathize with the brethren, work for God, intercede before Him, battle the powers of darkness, and pommel their body to subdue it, food and rest alone are insufficient to replenish the loss of strength in their physical frame. This explains in a measure why many believers, who before the call to service were healthy, find themselves physically feeble not long afterwards. Our bodily strength cannot cope with the demands of spiritual life, work, and war. Combat with sin, sinners, and the evil spirits saps our vitality. Solely natural resources are inadequate to supply our bodily needs. We must depend on the life of Christ, for this alone can sustain us. Should we rely on material food and nourishment and drugs we will be committing a serious blunder. Only the life of the Lord Jesus more than sufficiently meets all the physical requirements for our spiritual life, work, and war. He alone furnishes us the necessary vitality to grapple with sin and Satan. Once the believer has truly appreciated
God as the Life of the Body 703
what spiritual warfare is and how to wrestle in the spirit with the enemy, he will begin to realize the preciousness of the Lord Jesus as life to his body.
Every Christian ought to see the reality of his union with the Lord. He is the vine and we the branches. As branches are united with the trunk, so are we united with the Lord. Through union with the trunk the branches receive the flow of life. Does not our union with the Lord produce the same results? If we restrict this union to the spirit, faith will rise up to protest. Since the Lord calls us to demonstrate the reality of our union with Him, He wishes us to believe and to receive the flow of His life to our spirit, soul, and body. Should our fellowship be cut off, the spirit most assuredly will lose its peace, but so will the body be denied its health. Constant abiding signifies that His life continually is filling our spirit and flowing to our body. Apart from a participation in the life of the Lord Jesus there can be neither healing nor health. The call of God today is for His children to experience a deeper union with the Lord Jesus."

Hopeful Voyage said...

Thanks Michael for your honesty and continual encouragement. Something God revealed to me recently is that He feels all of the misery that we feel. As we feel the brunt of attack, He also feels our pain and suffers along with us. After all, we are parts of His Body. Naturally, He feels all of our pain. This is extremely comforting to me.

John R Peacher said...

Same here in WV, Brother. A retired minister friend in nearing his 89th year stood in my driveway this week and spoke of just how tired, worn down and under attack he has been for two weeks. I speak with him over the telephone every evening and it sounds like all we can do is hang on...I feel deep down in my spirit that their may be several reasons; and they are all spiritual, eternal and for our benefit. Yes, the saints of the Most High are under severe attack, but God is still in total control. We are finding out first hand just how totally dependant we are upon the Spirit of the Living God. There is nothing at all in ourselves that will cause us to be successful or fruitful for Him; It is ALL FROM HIM. He is the quickening Spirit; He breathes life from the dead, we are but flesh and this has to be drilled into our being that we are totally, absoultely dependent upon Him. There is noting in ourselves that can overcome the evil that is growing by the day; but their IS ONE who can cause us to be more than overcomers; and He will do this at the given moment when we need it. We are truly dying a slow death daily; but our eternal man is growing spiritual muscle that we cannot yet feel. Our outer man dies so the inner man can grow. We will awaken one glorious day with a new body likened unto His glorious body. For the joy that is set before us; we must strive to His perfection. Thank you for the honesty of your thoughts; every true believer I know is going the same route!

Anonymous said...

Praise God for your honesty, Michael. I could have written that blog. I thought that there was something wrong with me....But now I know this is just a "stage", and like Paul, we can forget those things that are behind, and reach for those things which are ahead, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! I remember to pray for God's faithful ministers, for I'm thankful for each one..and you dear brother, are one of those! Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might!

Anonymous said...

Rev 3:8, 11-13 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name... Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

As it states in Rev 3:8, many are feeling weary, like they have little strength left, and like they are just trying to hold on.

There is nothing wrong with just trying to stay spiritually "level. In fact, in Rev 3:11 we are exhorted to hold on to what we have and one day we will receive a crown. We are to protect our doctrine, attitude and worship till He comes. Don’t lose out right before it’s time to collect your reward.

Anonymous said...

I take it Michael that you don't subscribe to Dominion Doctrine? Bless you, A fellow Pilgrim