Receiving Victory

May 18, 2010

Ephesians 6:13     PLR, 1998

“Receiving Victory”
But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10

I always excused myself with the Sin.
“If I could just stop the sin!”
          I told myself,
“I could flow with my talents.”
          I told myself that
          I would reach out
          like a tree
          planted by living waters
          basking in the sun and
          dancing in the clean, clear air!
“Ohhh, but the Sin,”
          I cried in the night,
“He pollutes my water,
 He blackens my air,
 He blots out the sun,
 So I struggle cold and fruitless.”
But I am not a plant.
I am a man.
          Free with thought,
          and with feet.

Born into Death,
The Sin pumps through my veins.
In the beginning I gave myself up to him.
Though I now despise him,
          I still find myself fascinated
          by the stories he creates
          to bind my limbs,
          to bruise and rape me
          cold and dead.

Once, the King pardoned me:
          He gave Himself up for me.
I was trapped, a slave to the Sin.
I was abused, drunk in my sorrow.
He came to me humble, with no glory:
“Follow me,” was all he spoke.
          The love in His eyes,
          the authority behind His word,
          how could I not follow?
My limbs still bound by chains,
          I stumbled after.

I had expected greater things
          from One with such power,
          but He just died.
Afraid of my old master, I hid and I wept…
But then He appeared!
          Not a vision!
          Not a ghost!
But He that was dead appeared in the flesh!
        —Only this time in His glory—
          Oh, His face is my warmth!
          His breath a sweet fragrance!

Tears controlled my senses!
His embrace broke my chains!
His love, His power entered me!
His Spirit saturated me!
He wore the King’s crown!

I said “Lead me! Forever am I free!”
          Head’s free; hands’ free;
          feet are free to follow
          without hindrance.
To follow Him into battle:
Fighting in the trenches to save others
          caught and captivated by the Sin and by Death;
          to declare their pardons from the King!

Still, my will is free to look back…
          to wander from camp,
          to visit with Sin.
Evil children come and they take my hand:
Lead me off my path to the Promised Land.
          In darkness they lie and they wait…
          I am overtaken.
          The Sin.

 The outcry.
 The weep.

In mercy my King comes for me:
          the gallop of hoofs,
I look up to see muscles ripple
          beneath short white fur.
There He sits crowned with majesty,
          riding his warrior horse.
Steam shoots from the beast’s nostrils
          as my King pulls the reigns.
The beast groans,
          my King draws a flaming sword;
Eyes of fire look at my soul and speak:
          A flash of white light.

I am rescued again.
I am rescued again.
I am rescued
          again.
          again.
          again.

That which needs to be mastered
          pumps through my veins.
Therefore, I make my body my slave.
I will no longer give myself to the Sin and to Death,
But by my King’s Spirit I will put the Sin to death!
I set my sight upon the Throne.
I bow before my Master.
          I receive Your grace.
Make me Your slave.
A slave to righteousness.
          I receive Your grace.
You have made me a son and a brother.
Let me serve in Your kingdom.
          I receive Your grace.
I eat at Your banquet table.
I receive the rich and filling fruit of Your Spirit.
          I receive Your grace.
Train me for war.
Dress me for battle.
          I receive the full armor of God.
          I receive Your grace!

How can we be cleansed, refreshed,
          if we walk too many days from the River?
How can we find warmth,
          if we hide in the shadows?
How can we breath clean air,
          if we make love to a rotting corpse?

Walk with Jesus:
          Receive Grace.

Peter L Richardson
1/26/97 (first draft)

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