The complicated intertwining of life’s demands sometimes look like a bowl of twisted spaghetti…upon which we are sprinkled like parmesan cheese, resting on top but eventually slipping down and being absorbed. We are no longer able to see the “view from the top.” We sink down so deeply we can’t sense any way of escape from the strands that surround us.
We feel pressure. We feel pulled in multiple directions. Distracted. Moving forward with a sense of purpose, but with our feet set on random, scattered paths that lead to dead ends of confusion, stress, uncertainty…and purposelessness as the eventual outcome.
Paul has been in the spaghetti bowl.
But he remained victorious, certain of He Who called him, and certain of His transforming Power at work in Paul’s life. And therein is the struggle: when the spaghetti bowl of life crushes in on us, our minds are easily directed towards thinking that we are crushed….we are despairing…we areforsaken…and we sense a daily wearing down, that through the pressures of each day, a little more of “us” is slowly being destroyed.
It’s time to let Light shine in the midst of that darkness. We do not control the darkness, but it is not our God-given, God-breathed destiny to allow it to control us.
Our earthen vessel will, indeed, be subject to the “wear and tear” of everyday life…but not for the purpose of destruction, as the world and the enemy would like us to think.
“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves…so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:6,7,11, NASB)
We are called with a divine destiny to display greatness of power….not to be crushed, perplexed, despairing, or having a slow sense of destruction constantly gnawing, gnawing.
But – did you catch the “catch”?
“The surpassing greatness of the power will be of God…and not from ourselves….so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
From that point, Paul writes, “Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 4:16,17, NASB)
And that applies to us seeing ourselves in the bright Light of that revelation as we live His life-in-us when the spaghetti-bowl pressure mounts. We are no longer “parmesan cheese,” melting and slipping down the tendrils of calamity, sinking to the bottom of the bowl. We are absolutely new creatures, beings for whom “old things passed away.” Old concerns. Old fears. Old ways of responding to challenges. The deceptions and lies of the world and the enemy always seek to crush the Kingdom within us for they know it is a formidable, conquering force.
I purchased a book for a friend and, in glancing over it, was surprised to quickly read a passage that had practical guidance regarding spaghetti-bowl pressure: “The Holy Spirit who lives within us equips us with all we need to respond to…everyone else in our lives without fear – in fact, to respond to them in a way that drives out fear. It’s important that we understand that the Holy Spirit is the true Spirit of power. Anger and violence are false powers that we grab onto when we are controlled by fear. The reason we have been given the Spirit of power is that we need power. ..as believers who have been raised from the dead and have the Spirit of God living within us, supernatural is exactly what our lives should be…when we believe that we are the only ones who can control us and we exercise that power of self-control toward loving God…we are partnering with the Holy Spirit and inviting His Kingdom to reign…but when we partner with a spirit of fear, we invite the kingdom of intimidation, manipulation, and anger to reign.”*
We, as were the Corinthians, continue to be entreated to be “always of good courage…for we walk by faith, not by sight…” (2 Cor. 5:6,7 NASB) *”Loving Our Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk, 2008