31. Connection = intimacy = power
My mind was racing like a runaway train – thinking of a million different things, yet focussing on none. Steroid-induced insomnia had sent my brain into freefall, with a cycle of random jumbled thoughts that tumbled through my mind as I lay awake hour after hour. This was soon followed by wave upon wave of nausea, washing over me like the rhythms of the changing tide. Despite the warnings, the sudden fiery burn in my thighs actually brought tears to my eyes, with an ache in my bones making me beg for mercy. If only I could eat, maybe this would soak up the toxic soup my body was reacting so vehemently to. But with a mouth stripped of all its lining, the discomfort seemed to outweigh the benefit. These were all part of the expected side effects from the new therapy I was now receiving.
Ordinarily I aim to live with spirit leading soul and soul (mind, will and emotions) then instructing body. But my body was screaming, drowning out the instructions from my soul, rendering my spirit seemingly impotent in the process. I was in trouble – not from the passing side effects, which I knew would eventually abate. But from a disconnect from the source that had empowered me through this whole journey so far. For a good hour, I could not sense the same powerful presence of God that had steadied me. On the only night Andy was away, (oh how the enemy likes to hit us when we're on our own!), came the crucible of the pain.
In the deepest dark, I did the only thing I knew to do – I cried out for God. Through a fog of drug-induced disorientation, all I could say was ‘help’. In an instant, the invitation was answered; there He was, bringing an instant spiritual relief. The pain was the same, but my awareness of His presence had returned. He’d never moved an inch, but my connection to Him had.
In the quiet of a sleeping household, turning to the word, my reading focused on 1 Samuel 3 and 4. It was the perfect message in perfect timing. Why was it that the Philistine’s tactics were to steal the ark of the Lord, rather than to kill the Israelites? The enemies approach was to remove the vessel that held the very presence of God, for they knew the proximity of this was the source of the Israelites power. Remove this, remove their ability to fight victoriously.
‘Guard my presence at all costs’, came my specific spirit-led instructions. ‘Don’t fight the symptoms, fight against allowing them to distract you from me’. I was being reminded – the enemy isn’t intimidated by us, he’s intimidated by the power that’s within us. Unlike the old testament times, the power of God is no longer held in a sanctified vessel. Our power comes from His presence living within the sanctified us. It’s God in us the enemy knows he can’t defeat.
Vital as all the support I’ve had has been, through the pain, the enemy had tried to distract my consciousness from the ultimate source that gives victory. Like the Israelites before me, the enemy was trying to steal my connection to God. It wasn’t personal, but it was warfare.
How do we stay umbilically linked to the intimacy of God when circumstances try to take our eyes away from the power that comes through this? In one word. Invitation. God is on stand-by, just waiting to respond. He won’t barge His way in, but as soon as we open the door of our heart, He is there in an instant. This connection is about consciously making a decision to open ourselves up to God’s support. When we invite Holy Spirit in and connect our spirit to Him, this enables us to be constantly refilled with all He is here to bring us. It was Jesus himself who assured us that if we ask, we will receive. In exchange for our invitation, we open up the channel to receive all of Jesus today. Every fruit, every quality, every characteristic. Just the way God always intended.
Sat in a crumpled mess on the floor of the bathroom, within seconds, my simple cry for His help brought an intimacy that short-circuited my focus on the pain, a peace that obliterated the physical fear of whether or not I could endure and a courage that overpowered my vulnerability. My weakness had been exchanged for His strength and with it, tears of anguish were quite literally replaced with tears of joy. The circumstances, the pain and the trial had not changed. But my reaction to them had. The power of God within me had been restored. And with it, my hope.
‘I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.’
John 15:5 AMP
Excerpts taken from The Promise – How to live a Spirit-led life by Kathryn Brook-Simpson. As yet unpublished, but fully copywritten.