The Stubborn Onion / Glory of Zion / Corinth Texas

The Stubborn Onion - A Forced Peeling!
Watch Starting the Year Off Right Webcast Replays!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dear Advancing Saints:

Many people are trying to start the year off right, but must first allow the Lord to do something in their life. Yesterday, Justin Rana wrote the following devotion which will give a fresh perspective on this year of deliverance.

The Stubborn Onion - A Forced Peeling

A little over four years ago, I wrote a devotion for all of you regarding the peeling of an onion. Our personal onion. Our layers. You can find that devotional by clicking HERE. It may be good reading before delving further into this current version.

I am now four years older at 33. I have had another child, named Ryan Matthew Rana, with my wife, Jessica. Much has changed in life with the emergence of a second child! Since Ryan's birth in 2012, it seems that much of life got turned upside down. My wife got even more busy, I began revisiting the idea of going back to college to complete my degree, and we now had another little human living with us. During this recent period in my life, God has prompted some heavy soul searching to occur. Or should I say, God has brought many testings about during this time?

I felt myself starting to be peeled again, exposing parts of myself that I was not comfortable with. You could liken it to losing some layers of skin - and getting down to that really raw layer that stings and hurts when it is touched. The part that really annoyed me was that I wasn't willingly doing the peeling. God was. It was a forced peeling. Through the circumstances of life, God was exposing issues in my life that still related to things that occurred when I was very young. Of course, in the midst of everything, you don't always realize what God is trying to show you. I felt abandoned again. I felt unimportant. I felt hurt. I "FELT."  I began to operate out of pure emotion - how I "felt." At the time, I could not bring myself to cling to and fight with the scripture about casting down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Of course I wasn't abandoned. God was there for me. Of course I wasn't unimportant. God created us in His image and He needs us! But alas, I couldn't see it. I started making choices and decisions that were leading to dark places, making covenants with the foes of God rather than believing in all He had promised me. I was in rebellion. And because of what happened to me as a young child, I refused to listen to any authority around me, including God himself. God was trying to speak...

In August 2013, we recorded a song here called "The God of the Redeemed." Aaron Smith, Tobias Lyons and I wrote it. I produced it. I SANG it. Yet, I couldn't heed what it said. The lyrics are below and you can hear the song here: GOD OF THE REDEEMED!

God of the Redeemed - T. Lyons, J. Rana, A. Smith

Standing on the line of precious promises
Chasing choices that our hearts already met
An old familiar foe has cycled round again
Will we seize upon this chance and enter in?

My eyes are fixed on the splendor of the king
Unmatched His love, grace, fury and envy
Tremble and quake you who stand His enemy
Swing wide your gates before the God of the Redeemed

We've beheld the giant in our promised land
Our voices hollowed by the shadow of its hand
Will we embrace our fears and live on desert ground?
Or will we be the chosen few? The time is now.

We've been overcome, but not this time
Had our lives destroyed, but not this time
We've given up every time but not this time
Not this time

God was obviously trying to tell me: "Hey - attention buddy. You are about to face some foes that are coming back around. You can either operate in fear or you can choose to enter in to what I have for you." The following month is when I started walking toward darkness. Rather than embracing the peeling God was trying to do - rather than turning to Him and drawing closer to Him, I turned away from the ultimate authority and chose MY plans, and MY ways.

Let me be the first to tell you: your plans and your ways lead to death and destruction. Thankfully, God, mainly through my lovely wife Jessica, turned back the battle at the gates. And I literally mean at the gates.

This is what happens when we resist God and resist the authorities in our lives. We are left to our own devices. We are left with our soul and our flesh - which without the Spirit of God is just a bad combination.

Whatever is going on in your life right now, STILL yourself. Stop your flailing. Realize that God is God and you are not. There is nothing that you can do in yourself to make your life any better than what God can make it. Embrace the place that you are in. Many of the younger group here at Global Spheres Center has been going through a peeling, so we are with you!

This is a year of deliverance! Do not resist the forced peeling that WILL occur this year.  Read 2 Corinthians 10 and Isaiah 28.

Love to All,
Justin Rana