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Is Life Overwhelming? Do You Feel Flooded?

I woke up to reports letting us know that bad weather is headed our way – nasty rogue tornadoes are bringing death and destruction. Earlier in the week our freeway caught on fire and collapsed. Apocalyptic times.   I didn’t need a weatherman to tell me. The enemy already showed up yesterda…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I woke up to reports letting us know that bad weather is headed our way – nasty rogue tornadoes are bringing death and destruction. Earlier in the week our freeway caught on fire and collapsed. Apocalyptic times.
I didn’t need a weatherman to tell me. The enemy already showed up yesterday and personally delivered the same message:
  • A racer was rushed to the hospital in Guatemala with malaria and severe dehydration.
  • Several of our leaders reported debilitating pain. One is so incapacitated, she is fighting for life.
  • In our ministry, concerned calls are up. There is a contagion of fear in the land. 
  • In my own house, one set of guests left and three new sets of guests showed up. Talia and Joe and the grandsons show up this morning as refugees from the tornadoes. There’s a free couch left to make a bed out of.
I could go on. It looks like the scene from When We Were Soldiers where Mel Gibson radios in to HQ: “Broken Arrow!!” (see the first few minutes of the scene here). It’s code for “the enemy has overrun us – just bomb our position!”
Problems like bees
This morning I woke up with problems swarming me like bees. My first move was a winner – I snapped at Karen. My follow up was to snap at one of our leaders over text. No time for prayer, just me in full Mel Gibson mode.
Psychologists talk about our senses being “flooded” by too much stimulus. What do we do when life feels overwhelming – like a flood? 
Well, God’s people have lived through such times for centuries. And they find their strength not in To Do lists, but in the Lord himself. What do we do in the floods of life? God tells exactly what will happen: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Is. 59:19
What we have to do is to cast our worries and our messes on him. We need to go “all in” with him. We need to hit our knees and cry out for his intervention. 
Faith expressed through love
Bad weather or not, we were wondering about schedule conflicts in the office this morning. A training and an important leader meeting were scheduled for the same time. What to do? 
Bob and I were texting. He found solace in Galatians 5 & 6. The early church was fighting. Mini-tornadoes of legalism and feuding threatened the new believers. Paul didn’t have email. He sent snail mail calling them back to the bottom line:
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Gal. 5:6
That’s it. What does faith require? It requires expression through love. Let God sort out the rest. He will deal with our critics. He will dispatch warring angels to take out the accuser of the brethren.
I’m in my office writing you. Outside it just got a lot darker and the thunder sounds like ominous brass kettle drums. And inside, I am tempted to worry about a girl in a Guatemalan hospital.
Can you relate to feeling flooded? In times like these, I have learned to go all in with God. I have a prayer that I have learned to pray that I invite you to join me in. 
“Oh God help me! Broken arrow!”
He won’t fail us. I’ve seen how this story ends. Mordor may attack. But as Bob Goff knows, love wins.

Comments (25)

  • Dear Seth

    Your raw honesty is a breath of fresh (non tornado) air. I’ve been and lived through two tornadoes. Fort Worth Texas and Erie Pennsylvania. Now for the tornadoes of life, nothing can prepare us except standing ( gripping) on to the rock, Jesus. I know this: When I fail ….He won’t. When I sink…..He won’t. When I wander….He hasn’t. Your inspired words are always cherished by His sheep. Here’s a big bawwwwww of Christian love to ya bro!!!

    • Sandy – you have been thru the storms of life. You are more than a conqueror! You will continue to show those around you how to live in victory.

  • Seth thank you for your real, honest and raw emotions in this blog! I have been doing the “Art of Listening Prayer”, and Betty Means suggested I take a “break” from the chapters in the book for just a few days and pray and listen about my upcoming PVT to Swazi. It seems as though the closer I get to PVT, the more that keeps happening at home and in life…I feel under definite attack from the enemy as I prepare mentally, physically and financially. Broken A/C at home, broken cars, a lost daughter in college…so many things keep popping up and trying to stand in my way..Enemy lies, doubts and fears. Thanks for this blog to remind me to hit my knees and cry out for help….then listen! I feel God speaking to me today through blogs from racers and from you. I am amazed how much I am learning from the young people on the WR.
    “God help me…..broken arrow” Amen

  • Thanks for this.

    And thanks for sharing you snapped at your wife. Not because I relish the idea of Karen or any wife being snapped at, but because it happens…all the time…all over the world. And yeah, I’m sure the reverse of wives snapping at hubbies happens all the time too. The point is, not to rejoice in our impatience or fears, but to expose them to the light in recognition of God having a better script. That is instructional/mentoring to all of us.

    And living in an active malaria zone, you have now added someone who will pray with understanding for your racer in Guatemala.

  • Sissy, from what Betty tells me, you have been one of the best parents she knows at pressing into God. You may feel distressed, but you are doing so well!

  • Thanks for the prayers, Melinda.

    My daughter tells me there’s a party going on over at our house now. I’ll continue to ride out the storm here and then when the hail starts, I’ll go join it. What better way to take on what the enemy dishes out than with laughter?

  • Thanks for this uplifting devotional. It was right on time with how I was feeling with my workloads and deadlines. I am now confident in the Lord that I don’t have to worry or fret. My God has never failed me yet. The work will get done in record time and I will once again have a testimony to tell. Not feeling overwhelmed anymore! Amen!!

  • As is often the case with Gods truth, these words you wrote came at a great time. I brought my wife home from surgery last night and with that, and the weeks proceeding, has brought on this overwhelming onslaught on our family from the enemy. Thanks for the encouragement this morning! We will be praying for our AIM family in Georgia today weathering storms and for those under attack in the field as well.

  • We are in such a time right now. God is letting the rope out on the enemy. There is more and more evil in the world. He is allowing His people to be refined so that they can be strong in faith because we are going to need all of our weapons sharpened for the coming years. The battle is intensifying in the world right now. All you have to do is look at the battle in the government to see how intense it has gotten. Trump’s life and that of his families is at risk every day. He made a commitment to God before He decided to run. He said, If this is the only way to stop the evil and bring righteousness in America, I will do this, even if it takes my life. He has been the one who is encouraging other countries to take back their land and stop the corruption. The battle is world wide. I am in a ministry with a small group of people. God was so in it when we started. He brought every person, provided for us and He was the leader. But as time when on, the leader was not hearing and took us on a different path. The fire went out. I kept praying, God, either release us from this ministry or speak to the head because he will not hear anyone else. As we prayed before the meeting, God spoke and told me he was handing our ministry down to someone else. He said there was a missing link. He said He was the missing link and He will be the head and we will be great because He will be in us. He is going to dismantle and rebuild like he’s doing in the government. When we went into our meeting, the head told us what was going on in his life, that he could no longer lead us, that he would still be apart of us, that someone has to lead that can hear, and that he had taken us on the wrong path. Then I read my word from the Lord. So now we have very few people, no leader but the Lord is telling us to proceed in faith. The only thing I know is that EVERYTHING WE DO MUST BE BIRTHED IN PRAYER FIRST SO GOD SHOWS UP AND LEADS US INSTEAD OF US LEADING US. Just know that God has your ministry and things will be very difficult until the refining is done. But those that keep on to the end will experience His glory coming down upon them and see great things and miracles like never before. But, everything must be birthed in prayer from now on. Love and blessings, in His kingdom, a fellow lover of Jesus Christ. Dulce Peelman

  • Thank you Seth…… one day at a time …it’s comforting to know that God does not expect us to figure out tomorrow.

  • Perfect! And hopefully there is dancing going on at that party as one of the finest ways I know to rebound back to the enemy is to kick up your feet in celebration of a good God even when life is difficult or challenging. One of my favoritest activities in life is to dance in the dump with some fellow Mozambican believers who live right there.

  • Wow what a compliment! Thank you. I can say that this Kingdom Journey Taylor was called to, has done wonders for my life!! I will never forget hearing many times at our launch how this would become our own journey….I had no idea how true that statement would be and how quickly God grabbed ahold of me. Like He has been waiting in the wings for me to open my heart and open my arms for Him. Thank you so much!! I can’t wait for more

  • Flood waters rising – tornadoes ripping through lives – disciples being tested – Sharing our pains, challenges and difficulties – our fears and concerns – the enemy is on full alert. Prayer warriors rise up! I love the way you end your blog, Seth…. ultimately, we know how this story ends. I’m very thankful of such a wonderful group of brothers and sisters who are available to vent to and gather inspiration and strength from as well as our Father who is always here. Phil. 4:6-7 is my verse.

  • Thanks for two days together at the Evangelical Press Association event in Chicago. I noticed you trying to live out this powerful ethic described above. Love you brother.

  • We’ve talked about this before… I’m feeling it. More literally than ever at this moment. I’m sitting on a plane in Charleston, SC waiting for the weather to lift so we can get to Atlanta from this little detour to make our connection to Havana. Before I knew we were diverted, I prayed, “Jesus, I feel so bad at everything. Everything I’m touching is failing (that’s hyperbole… more accurate would be a trouble spot, some of them minor). I refuse to receive that but I feels true.” He said, “Am I touching you? Then nothing you touch can fail. It can change, shift, alter, and cease but failure isn’t how I operate.”

  • “Havana” Update: tornados have us grounded in Atlanta until Friday. We’re praying for you on your own soil. 🙂

  • I would love to! At the moment we have no luggage, no transportation, and no plan. We’re basically ATLing and Jesus has already gotten us a nice hotel. I’ll throw it out there and see what the team thinks.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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