Sunday, January 1, 2012

Jesus and Josey Wales

Josey Wales, the Clint Eastwood outlaw from the movie by the same name, turns to his motley little band of renegades. They are getting ready to go to war against overwhelming odds. There is a widow and her daughter, an old Indian man and his girlfriend, and a couple of saloon drop outs, and Josey. It has been a bad time for them. They have lost a lot of battles lately and buried some friends along the way. Josey has tried to teach them to shoot, positioned them at windows in the one room hut they are defending, and spit tobacco on their shoes. (You have to see the movie.) Then he turns to them and in that unmistakable Clint Eastwood kind of whisper says, “When things look bad and it looks like your not gonna make it then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb mad dog mean. Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither win nor live. That’s just the way it is.” How’s that for a New Year’s message?

 It may not be scripture but it feels like pretty good advice for right now. 2011 has been a rough year for many of us. We have faced economical challenges, political upheaval, social decay, and spiritual attacks like never before. We have seen people that we love pass away. We have fought back the fear of medical reports. We have watched relationships become fractured and disconnected. And we have endured broken hearts. The devil gets too much credit most of the time but it does seem he has had a heyday in 2011. But enough is enough.

 In the words of that great prophet Josey Wales, “We gotta get mean, plumb mad dog mean.” And that’s what I intend to do as we enter 2012. Listen, we are not sissys. We are not mealy mouth victims who have no recourse but to whine, complain, and take whatever the devil dishes out. WE ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE KING. I am ready to get mad at the devil and all his minions and start taking back everything he has taken from us this year. Mean might not be the best word but it kind of gets the point across. As far as sin, sickness, and the devil is concerned this year I am determined to fight back, stand tall, and stay strong in the Name of Jesus.

My friend Robert is teaching me the power of doing what we do in the Name of Jesus. He claims parking places in the Name of Jesus. He gets new clients in the Name of Jesus. He casts out demons and he prays for healing in the Name of Jesus. I believe it is time for us to live in the Name of Jesus. Not just some good luck charm or motivational mantra. But really living in all of the confidence and authority of the Name of Jesus. The kind of confidence that says, “Our God is able to do exceeding, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.” Or, “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.”

 I’ve been thinking of some ways to live mean this year. Here are a few:

  1. First, I am going to claim what is rightfully mine as a son of God. And I am going to do it out loud. You know I am not a “charismatic” person. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Seinfeld) But I am ready to start speaking out the power and the promises of God. Listen, if God spoke the universe into existence surely He is interested in what comes out of my mouth. I am determined to speak out the truth, to talk the talk of faith, to use my words to express my trust in Him.
  2. That leads me to the second thing, I am going to begin believing the Word of God. Oh, I have always believed the Bible, kind of, but now it is time to really live that out.  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Cor. 4:8 Hey, that is true and I am going to start living that way. WE WIN. This year I am going to get mean about living like a winner. I am going to believe the Word of God. (And to believe it I have to read it.)
  3. Finally, I am going to get mean about recognizing and affirming the blessings of God. 10 years ago when Doris was in her darkest place (because of me) she began praying ever day, “God, Show me one thing today to let me know that you are at work in my life.” And then when He did (and He always does) she would testify to it. Out loud. We have been doing this for 10 years now and God never fails. Sometimes big things, a check in the mail just when we need it. Sometimes small things, a song plays on the radio with the perfect message for us. Big or small we say it out loud, tell others about it, and thank Him. And you know what? The more we thank Him the more we see His blessings.
Well, that stuff may not seem mean to Clint Eastwood but it does to me. And it will to the enemy of our souls. We are children of the King. We are warriors. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) And we are on the victorious side. So, let’s load the guns. Let’s take our places. Let’s get ready for battle. And let’s get mean. “If we lose our heads we neither win nor live. That’s the way it is.” 2012 is going to be your best year. God is going to come through for you. I MEAN it. Take the devil by the horns and throw him out of your life. Square your shoulders, put on the whole armor of God. Spit tobacco juice on somebody’s shoes (Ok, I got carried away) and live this year in the Name of Jesus. You can do it. We all can. And we will.

 Here’s a prayer I wrote and am praying today all day for my family and for yours. Pray it today over your family. And get mean when you do.

 In the Name of Jesus we claim this year the year of jubilee. We take back from the enemy all he has stolen from us. We breakdown walls and enter strongholds to say “Our God reigns. The Lord is with us and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” We will overcome all that is against us. We will be a family and a people of victory. We will take our place as the sons and daughters of the King. Today is the end of our persecution and the beginning of our breakthrough.

January 1, 2012


1 comment:

  1. Yeah!!!!!!
    I'm going to wield my sword more often!

    Thank you brother for showing us how to walk in victory.