Where I live my friends refer to as Manhattan, largely because of the district and because the interior is reminiscent of a New York pied-à-terre.
In Manhattan gather some of the coolest, most precious bunch of God-loving people I know.
Lately, there had grown an aura, like a silent disesase, within the group, ensnaring odd ones here and there with vines of doubt, suspicion and mistrust, of lingering bitterness over old quarrels never quite forgotten.
The truth is, sometimes you just don’t know what it is you are truly, truly fighting against. You think you know, because your intelligence and experience inform the mind and influence the heart. I kept looking to the Scriptures for sustenance and solace, but the tension remained.
It is like you are going into battle wearing the wrong glasses, (worse if you *don’t* wear glasses at all), and your mind is clouded with hard-to-shed biases and presumptions.
Then a series of things started to happen. Not just in me, but in and around the Manhattanites.
One developed an aversion for things hidden and which thrived only in darkness, another was reminded anew of Hope that springs eternal. One was determined to advance deeper into group worship to enable the Spirit to speak and touch souls, another had received a prayer earlier that same day and had been reminded of a similar prophetic calling on his life in the old, forgotten past. Others were in dire need of deep rest and restoration.
Different hearts searching for dissimilar things were suddenly coralled together by the encircling love of the Spirit. It was Love that broke the bonds that shackled our minds, that released our hearts from confusion’s suffocating hold, and Truth that set us free from lies that had long clouded our vision of God’s reality.
Jesus the Shepherd gathered His blinded, wounded, wandering, and bleating lambs to Himself, and in a wondrous atmosphere of prayer, submission and surrender, there was healing. It seemed like a bad spell that had been cast over the Manhattanites had been broken.
Suddenly, everything was seen in utter clearness, as if under the noonday sun, though the battle prior had been fought in the darkest of night.
Thanks be to God, in whom we have the victory, in whom we have the promise of new beginnings.