Feeling the need to talk about this. I am talking with some people who have recently been taken out by gossip. Gossip is really an ugly thing. It is one of the things that has the capability to hit you in such a deep place relationally. For women it is such a betrayal of their hearts. For men it seems to hit them in their identity of how the world views their abilities. For all of us it attacks us trying to cast a shadow and eclipse the truer things about who we really are.
How do you battle it? How do you fight it? How do you, in the midst of it, remember that we all have the same enemy and it is not each other? How do you remember in that moment all those words that Jesus spoke (in the flesh) to us (the masses) in His word?
Love one another…….love your enemies……you who is without sin cast the first stone…….we do not battle against flesh and blood but principalities and powers
……..in the middle of hanging from the cross and all the persecution Jesus is singing a hymn from David crying out Father Father why have you abandoned me (the ache of Psalm 22:1 and Psalm 74:1).
I can not say that in the middle of my persecutions I have stopped to crack out a hymn…even one like this lament where David and Jesus chose to keep their hearts engaged and cry out and pour out their hearts to their God in anguish instead of going to hatred or defending themselves. Giving God full permission to have His will be accomplished.
But what is a practical example of that in our everyday life? In our church body where we are like family and have to see each other all the time? Some situations I have been in personally have felt like persecution every Sunday.
It is time for a kung fu lesson (like in blog….A Little Lesson in Warfare). We have to break down what the real issues are to be able to counter our opponent. Remember our opponent is not each other.
What I have learned is that I must know who I am first and foremost. I have spent time with God. I have even written down who He says that I am and carried it around with me in my purse on a notecard. I am really visual so I needed to keep the truth close to me and accessible at all times so I could access it when the mirror, other people or circumstances where telling me something other than who God says I am. If you go into the fighting ring and do not know, or believe that you are a fighter, you are doomed.
So you get your identity and if it is in Christ then you also have brought your authority. Now you know who is in your corner. Cry out to Him! Ask Him for His sight, His heart, His truth and His purpose for this. Sing praises of who He is. Go into battle with worship at your forefront.
Then you identify your enemy. You know it isnt the other person so you look past the faults of the person you are in the ring with to the one who is at the controls, or in their corner.
What exactly is he after? What are his goals in this particular fight?
The obvious one is identity. But it isn’t exactly what you think it is. It isn’t just an attack on your identity but also the on the person who appears to be doing the attacking. Have you ever considered that they are being taken out by their enemy? (like in blog…..You Both Have the Same Enemy) That the enemy is taking them out to get to you? Well start considering it! You will be victorious on many fronts if you choose a supernatural outlook to fighting a supernatural battle. We get it all wrong when we choose to just battle with flesh and blood and let the principalities and powers get away with so much. Jesus told us “we do not battle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers”. We have been given first the identity and then the authority to fight that supernatural battle. But we have to choose to use God’s sight to do it. There isn’t a physical class I can go to for this kind of battle like I can take kung fu lessons. It requires more on my part to seek out the truth. If He is truth and He says, “If you seek me with all your heart you will find me”, then that is what we have to do. You can not “seek” by accident. To “seek” something out is to intentionally do something toward that. It is an active participation that has to take place.
Now we know our enemy is hiding behind the maneuvers of our flesh and blood opponent. We have our identity, authority and God’s sight (God’s version of what is happening). What I have come to realize is that when someone is gossiping about me, it really isn’t about me. It is about them and where they are at in their life, or their story. It is really about a battle for their identity. They are taking matters into their own hands and feeling the need to manipulate others to either side with them so they do not feel alone, or to side with them so they do not have to change themselves. It also could be in their story somewhere deep.
Women have a fear of being abandoned. So when other women are shining bright and really in the glory of who God has called them to be, people are drawn to her and it can draw out fear sometimes in other women who then do not want to be left behind, or alone. They will begin the manipulation series of events. Oh….did I forget to mention…..gossip is just another form of manipulation. I know…..ugh!
For men, it seems to draw out their fear of not being able to come through or to be exposed as not having what it takes. They go into a self-protective mode too. They begin to manipulate how others view you to keep the eyes, or judgement on someone else so that they are not exposed. Either way it is ugly. Most people do not even realize they are doing it. Like I said, it can also come from old wounds in their stories where they were left behind, or didn’t appear to have what it takes. Somewhere along the line they have vowed to not ever let that happen again.
I used to write people off. All the time. I could care less about you if you are going to go down that road. I was not going to go with you. I knew who I was and that was all I needed. Wow! Really? That is not a Christ-like attitude. God began to soften my heart. He said He had more for me and for others. He was about to entrust more talents into my hands……and He wasn’t telling me to bury them in the sand. He especially worked on my heart with women. He gave me the song, This Little Light of Mine. I found myself at this church where we had just moved to a new state. God asked me to lead women. After tellling Him “NO WAY”…..I came around and submitted. There was one woman in particular that seemed to have it in for me. God kept giving me my song…..This little light of mine…..I’m going to let it shine…….hide it under a bushel……no! I’m going to let it shine. So regardless of what she chose I would choose to shine anyway. It got so bad that one day at church you could actually see how these other women were acting differently toward me and some where really turning away. So sad. I was tempted to just write them off but God asked me to fight for them and lead them. So one day at church it felt like she was literally running after me and we were in the part of the song where …… don’t let satan whoooosh it out…..I’m going to let it shine. I called out to God while running from her protecting my light, “if she isn’t satan then I am confused“. He said, “you both have the same enemy. Look at her through my eyes. Her enemy has taken her out to get to you“. I turned around and I could see through His eyes. I saw past her wounds (and the manifestation of her wounds) rebuked our enemy, recognized her wounds and ministered to her, and with my light relit hers.
That is God’s view of what it looks like to battle principalities and powers. That certainly isn’t anything I am capable of in my own understanding or humanity. That was who He is, who I am, who my flesh and blood counterpart is, who my enemy is, what his tactics are and countering “our” opponent.
The rest of the story is, that woman still struggles with gossip, back stabbing and many other things especially toward me. But I know it isn’t really about me. I know she is getting taken out by her enemy…..I say “her” because I have disarmed the enemy in this battle where I am concerned. Now I pray for her and the other women she tends to influence. Because someday they are going to be accountable for speaking out against a daughter of the King. Someday they will have to be accountable for the things that have come out of their mouths and hearts toward someone God called to speak and lead. I have lots of freedom in that space. The only grief I have is for their hearts because I desire healing and freedom for them so badly. I believe they will have it. God is still working.
So even right now after all the things people have said about me or conclusions they have come to concerning me…..I am still Jennifer. Who God says that I am is where I choose to walk in and live from.