Yesterday afternoon, I stood in front of the TV listening to the horrible news from the Middle East. I didn’t recognize what was happening to me. It is not the first time I have experienced that kind of emotions. It was larger than anxiety. I was afraid. A feeling of hopelessness swamped me. “Nothing we can do—the viciousness, brutality, satantic slaughter….” All the words moved over me and into me. Maybe emotional paralysis?
The purpose of terrorists is to engender terror. The visual and word descriptions of what is happening in Iraq and what is intended in Israel can terrorize us.
In retrospect, the sense was that it came on the wind—more insidiously on the breeze. The terror, fear, hopelessness, not knowing what to do to protect loved ones (and me!) came in the air. It was like a substance in the air that attempted to smother me.
We spent a couple of hours last evening with a family who will return to the Middle East in a few days to study and work. They will be in the path of the extremists. I wanted to implore them to take a job closer to home where they have sanctuary while able to work with those to whom God has called them. I didn’t. They wouldn’t have listened.
On my mental split screen, I now have faces of those for whom I will pray to counter the masked faces. It is no longer just a news story from the part of the world where the butchery is generations old, I now know people who love the people on the 24-hour news channel.
My wife said a few minutes ago, “There are a lot of upset people this morning.”
Some of those upset friends are uniquely wired. Words I read this morning from Dr. Mark Chironna:
“…you don’t have the benefit of your completed biography to help you figure out what your potential really is. Instead you have to search it out…. When you don’t know what is inside you—the dreams, abilities…unique wiring for a specific kind of success—you cannot and will not grasp the loss that would be suffered by letting it go to waste.”
Live Your Dream, Dr. Mark Chironna, (Destiny Image Publishers, 2009)
If you are wired with a raw edge to depression or anxiety, you may also be gifted as a seer, a prophet or an intercessor. You see things coming before others do. You feel the wind changing. Sometimes it is depression, but other times it is a spiritual awareness that you have been given a heads-up: an alert that feels like anxiety.
Jeremiah is known as the Weeping Prophet. What he saw would make anyone cry. He did not have an emotional weakness. Out of what he saw and felt he preached and comforted.
There is evil on the wind in our small city. Shootings, violence, craziness. My friends who are so wired are feeling it at a level others do not. Scared, of course. But they are tuned in to the evil at a visceral level. The Holy Spirit will give to them, upon request, the Spiritual gift of discernment—a revelation (Jeremiah 33:3) of the spirit that is driving the evil behavior. With that knowledge should also come solutions, an alternative answer to what is happening. Diagnosis is not adequate. The Holy Spirit will also provide solutions and strategies.
“Bomb the hell out of ‘em,” is one option. Calling forth intercessors to pray into the environment the solutions and strategies revealed may be another. Reframe what you are feeling (What may feel like fear may be the sharpening of your spiritual sensors.) Listen for God’s instructions—no matter how crazy they may seem. Test the spirits—what you think you hear may indeed be crazy so run it past your spiritual director or wise friend.
If you are “sensing” in your raw spirit or there is an urging, find a place and time to get away to listen. Take a notepad. Expect God to speak.
- Quiet yourself.
- Focus on God.
- Present the question to Him—solutions & strategies—
- Listen for the first things that come to mind and heart.
- Write down what you hear.
There is danger. If you are given to a low estimation of yourself, depression, anxiety, panic, hopeless thinking, then isolating yourself and being alone for any period of time can be a wide open invitation for self-indulgence or spiritual attack. So, ask for prayer cover and don’t stay “away” very long. Tell your covenant life-team partner(s) what you are doing. They will pray for you and check on you. You are the watchmen on the wall.
D. Dean Benton
Benton Quest House— http://bentonquesthouse.weebly.com