The Antidote...

by
Charles Martin

I woke this morning with this in my heart and on my lips. Rather than offer a social commentary which would do you no good, I offer this prayer. For you and me. It's my response to the fear and anger and mistrust of the day. If you've read 'What if It's True?' you'll find this prayer familiar. Feel free to pray it with me and make it your own. Share all you like. Print it out. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Your front door. Tuck it in your pocket. Read it in the grocery store checkout line...  

"Lord Jesus, I woke today to find myself standing in a world on fire with anger and crippled with fear, distrust and suspicion.  Hatred has run rampant.  So, as Moses did with a nation of slaves and you do with us daily, I lift up to you all of us.  I intercede – which is just a fancy word that means to ‘stand between.’  Jesus, You have not given us a spirit of fear.  And it was for the reason that You came to destroy the works of the devil.  To render him powerless.  What’s more You uphold all things by the word of Your power and all things includes this. You have given us Your Spirit, one of power, love and a sound mind.  Father, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual and more than enough to tear down strongholds, and speculations and any high thing that exalts itself against You.  Lord, I’m not at war with that person who honked at me, or cussed at me or whatever, I am wrestling with and at war with spiritual forces of wickedness and rulers of principalities that I can’t see but that doesn’t make them any less real.  My enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for one he may devour, I’d like to introduce him to the Lion of Judah. The undefeated, unvanquished, unconquered, King who sits on the throne in unimaginable light.  The God of Angel Armies who is clothed with His sword strapped to His thigh. Lord, You rule in the midst of Your enemies.  No other King can claim that – because no other king does. I love that.  

So, today, because Your word is true and it will not return void, and because Your shed blood is the most powerful thing on this universe or any other, and because You love us and it isYour very real desire that all would come to know the Father, I throw off everything that hinders and I hold fast my confession.  You alone are God.  You are good, true, faithful, worthy of all praise and you alone fashioned each of us from the dust and then pressed Your lips to ours and breathed in Your very breath. The 'ruach' of God.  Making us living souls.  This means we matter to You on a level of intimacy that if we really understood it would make our fuzzy little heads spin off.  My enemy would like to suggest otherwise but he’s a liar and has been from the first time he opened his mouth.  

Father, we overcome him, satan, byYour blood and the word of our confession and my confession is this – the tomb is empty and You are alive.  You walked outshining like the Sun, holding the keys of death and hades on your belt.  We don’t worship a dead God.  And what’s more you are not indifferent to us.  You’re not detached.  You’re intimately involved in every detail.  There’s not a single thing happening to us that hasn’t been sifted by Your sovereign hand. I don’t understand that but I don’t have to.  I have Faith. And I trust You – and the promises in Your Word. Period.  I trust You with me.  My family. My household.  My health.  My provision. With everything that concerns us. I will not allow my enemy, through my circumstances, to take potshots atYou and chip away at who I both believe and know You to be.  Or chip away at Your promises and Your heart for me.  What right does the thing formed has to say to the One who formed it, ‘why have you made me thus?’  I will not do that.  I’m clay. You’re the Potter.  Have Your way.  You don’t need my permission, but for the record, do what You will.  

And while we’re making a record, I just want to back up a second – this is what’s true about You and me.  I was born a rebel.  Born into the enemy camp.  Aiding and abetting the enemy.  Nothing but a black-hearted sinner.  A slave of sin.  Sold under the spear.  Given my own sin, I ran up an exponential debt I could not pay in ten thousand lifetimes. This is the truth of me and for this I am really sorry.   Please forgive me.  But You – which are two of my favorite words –because You love me for reasons I can’t fathom, and while I was still in the enemy camp, died for me.  Paid my debt.  In full. Not only that but You reached to the far ends of the earth, You left the99 to find the 1, and when I thought I was just too far gone, You snatched me back.  Proving once and for all that there’s no place on planet earth where Your blood can’t or won’t reach.  That no gone is too far gone.  That while all have fallen short and all gone astray there’s no sin too great, that nothing – not death, not life, not angels, not demons, not height, not depth, not the present, not anything to come, not any power, and not anything in all creation can separate me from Your love –and to think otherwise it to make a mockery of the cross.  Which I’m not about to do.  What kind of King does that?!  What kind of King offers this kind of love?  There is no other.  

But You didn’t and don’t stop there.  You went one step further.  You gave me the right to become Your son and daughter.  With all the rights and privileges of an heir.  You gave me Your Spirit of adoption through which I cry ‘Abba’ which is probably my favorite word ever.  I cannot fathom how and why You accepted a treacherous and treasonous sinner like me and opened wide the door AND you let me call you ‘Father.’  And yet You did.  You became sin so that I might become the righteousness of God.  By one offering, You have perfected me forever.  This is too much for me.  I cannot take it all in.  But, I do. Because it’s true.  Because You made it true.  Jesus, I declare throughout the stratosphere, in grateful unworthiness, that Your shed blood counts for me.  You gave me what I did not deserve and withheld from me what I did for reasons that are just bigger than me.  Then, after having nailed the written decree of my offenses – all of which were all true and committed by me – to YourCross, You made a public spectacle of the one who kept the list, my enemy.  And then because You were not finished, in your endless love for me, transferred me out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of the Son of Your Love. And if that’s not enough, You walk me up to Your Father for no one comes to the Father except through You – and when My Father sees me, He doesn’t see my past or my shame or the all the ways I betrayed Him, He sees Your spotless righteousness covering me.  It is the craziest most illogical transaction ever in the history of history and yet it’s absolutely true for all that would call on You and here’s maybe my favorite part.  My Father, when He sees me in Your arms, jumps off His throne, crosses the distance between us in a lightning bolt and covers my face in kisses.  

This knowledge is too much – I am undone.  

Despite the enemy’s pitiful claims to the contrary, there’s only one way to the Father and You alone are that way.  Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted high.  And You, when You are lifted high, will draw all men to You.  Father, with my world in an uproar, with people on edge, with the love of many growing cold, I just want this to be my profession today.  Let this prayer be part of Your drawing men to You. Please don’t let my love grow cold. Please Lord, rekindle my love of the unlovable.  Please give me an unoffendable heart.  When people see me today, let them see a reflection of You.  Let them hear your tone of voice.  Please Lord Jesus, let me love Your people.  Let rivers of living waters, springs of hope, well up and flow out of me.  Otherwise, what’s the point.  Father, where there is unforgiveness in me, I’m sorry.  Here take it.  I don’t want it anymore.  I offer it to You.  I forgive all those who have wronged me in any way.  Outright and completely.  Further, I tear up the IOU.  No matter the wrong.  And I’m sorry for carrying it this long.  

Lastly Lord, Your will be done.  Your kingdom come.  It’s really that simple – I want nothing more.  I look around me and there’s a lot I don’t know but this I do know and I’m stealing it from your servants Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, “My God can save us, My God will save us, but even if He does not, I will worship Him alone.”  Father I pray the words of Your servant Joel.  If they’re good enough for Peter, they’re good more than good enough for me.  I ask that, today, You would pour out YourSpirit on all flesh.  Bring on wonders in the heavens and on the earth.  If that means blood and fire and columns of smoke, if that means that the sun be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, then let it come to pass, AND when it does, let it be that everyone who calls on your name be saved. For there is salvation in no other name.  And like it or not, atYour name, every knee will bow, so knowing that, I bow now in advance.  I’m not waiting.  I bow before You and You alone.  I worship no other.  

Father, Consecrate us for war.  Stir up Your mighty men.  Let the weak say, ‘I am a warrior.’  Today, I and we, raise our hand in covenant with You.  We willingly submit to Your righteous reign and the dominion of Your kingdom.  Your word tells me that with our mouths we can bless or curse, so today, in and by and through and because of Your blood, I command a blessing today on all who would hear this and who would agree with this prayer.  I decree and declare Psalm 91over them and their households.  I ask that You would command Your angels concerning us.  Let us dwell in Your shelter and rest in Your shadow.  Jesus, Your blood is the singular antidote to the virus of sin that runs in our veins. Let this prayer be an antidote in our hearts and in this day and age to the raging voice of the enemy that wants desperately to separate, divide and kill us. Let this prayer resonate deeply in us, let it take deep root and let it be our own.  Because when it does, and when we praise You, when we join our voices with the hundreds of millions in the heavenly host singing ‘Worthy is the Lamb’ and ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come,’ You are enthroned in our Praise.  I love that picture.  High and lifted up.  Be enthroned today in our Praise.  

In the matchless name of Jesus.  Amen.  

If you'd like more prayers like this, you can find them in 'What If It's True?'. It's full of them.

(FYI, this thing crashed twice while writing it. Totally lost. Caput. And the guy who manages my website, who is a web-genius, can't duplicate the reasons why it crashes. It's almost as if we have an enemy who fears God's children agreeing in prayer...)

 

***** For those of you who like digging in scripture, it might be fun to pick through here and find all the places I quote scripture.  I haven’t taken the time to do it like I would in a book but there are a bunch.  Maybe posted them in the comments below.  Would be a fun exercise.  

 

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