Are We Good?

Temptations wax and wane.  Sometimes they’re overwhelming.  Sometimes, well, they’re easy.  It’s like he’s not even trying.  

This is not one of those times.

Interesting what our enemy says to us that gets us.  For me, one of the best weapons seems to be the reminders of just how wicked I am.  How much of a loser.  How much of a failure.

It would seem like that would have the opposite effect.  Particularly when addressed to someone who likes a fight as much as I do.

I learned two things that I really despise while I was in the Army.  The first is where someone tells you that there’s only one more mile to go when there are eight.  The second is like it.  It’s when someone tells you the end is twelve miles away when it is two.  I just want honesty.

The first one lies by saying you’re almost there when you aren’t.  The second lies by saying it’s too far.  

That is what satan’s voice says so much.  Pointing out all my weaknesses, all my inadequacies, he runs the reel of how I’ll never make it, I’ll never be worth anything.  And so I just want to quit, to give in.

The reality is, to the world, to most people, I am a loser.  But then I look in my God’s eyes.  I hear his voice in the bible that I read.  I realize that I am chosen.  I am called.  I am loved.

Have you ever noticed that, if you can’t see, stepping in mud, on a cupcake or in dog poop all feels about the same.  If you turn on a light, you can see what it is, wash it off and walk on.  If it’s mud or a cupcake, and you’re marching for the King, don’t worry about it.  If the accuser throws some crap in your path, it never has to be something we hold onto.

Wash it off.  And, walk on.

Now I know I’m making light of what can be so heavy to bear, so crushing to face.  But our armor is on, our weapons are made for “pulling down strongholds.”  And we serve a King who cannot be defeated.

So yeah.  When satan accuses, when my own heart condemns me, wash it off.  Wash it off with what Jesus did.  Wash it off with the Word of God.  Wash it off by resting in the “peace that passes all understanding.”

Wash it off and walk on.

Opposite Attraction

I come to this with some fear and trembling.  So do me and your pastor and your family a favor, if you’re not going to read the whole thing, stop here.

Still with me?

Ok, good, let’s move on.

“He’s a coward,” the lie came whispering.  I was thinking about a pastor, one of my pastors, and that is what I thought.  It felt so real, so true.  I felt myself agreeing, believing it.

Now, maybe he isn’t the bravest man alive, but anybody who knows anything about the pastors at my church know that they are not cowards.  Especially when it comes to the Word of God.

So why did I think and start believing what I knew wasn’t true?  Did it make me look better, feel better about my place in life?  Or was it just from the “father of lies?”

Does it matter?

It was a lie.

What is the advantage or who gains an advantage by my belief a lie?  

We get these thoughts from time to time.  In marriage we can get them a lot.  

“He’s a bum.”

“Why did I ever marry her?”

And to these lies, and the ones like them that surround everyone I meet, I like to apply the principle of opposite attraction.

It works like this.

“That pastor is a coward.”  I pray to the opposite.  “God, I thank you for his boldness in standing for you.  I stand with him as he fearlessly lives for you.”

“Why did I marry her?”  The opposite, “thank you for bringing her into my life.”

Here’s the hard part, sometimes it isn’t actually a full out lie.  But make no mistake, a truth that leads us to hate someone is never a complete truth.

“He’s unfaithful.”

“She hates me.”

Oh precious, broken heart, be drawn to the opposite.

“Raise him up to be faithful.  I believe You are working in him to give his heart completely to You.  You are making him a man of God.”

“She is loving and blessed.  I believe You are softening her heart to love despite the hurts she has endured.  You are creating a woman of God who trusts completely in You.”

And in praying to the opposite our hearts can be drawn to the possibility of the opposite.  Our anger and fear dissipate in the presence of the God who says, “all things are possible.”  Our trust is placed in the only one we should ever completely place it in.  And the noise of all the lies diminishes.

Turmoil is replaced by peace.  Depression is replaced by power.

Hate is replaced by love.  

Ridiculous

It makes me laugh to hear it now.

For years the accusation from satan has been to point out what a ridiculous person I am.

And it’s the truth.

When I cheer for someone, I sound like I’m angry (apparently) and I yell till I’m hoarse.  When I sing in worship, I get kind of pitchy, I often sing harmony and I sing till I’m hoarse. I’m overweight but dance and jump.  I laugh out loud, in church, with people watching.  

I’m not sure why the last two matter but I’ve been told it’s inappropriate.

I think the accuser is often honest in what he says.  He just doesn’t want to acknowledge God’s perspective.  It’s like that with lots of things.  And he isn’t the only one saying it.

We say it to ourselves.

I’m ugly.

I’m fat.

I’m stupid.

No one could ever love me.

So that’s two voices speaking the same truths.

And there are other voices too.

Ha!  But it doesn’t matter.

We have heard how God says He loves us.  We “know” he says we are beautiful, precious, worthy.  And we know that’s not true.

But here’s the thing, and I hope I’m saying this right.  God’s lies are more true than anybody else’s truth.  How He sees us matters more than anyone else’s opinions.

I’m not there yet.  And if I try to convince myself of God’s truths it turns into ego and religion.  I think the only thing I can handle right now is looking at Him more than I look at myself.

And He is beautiful!

And I’ll just accept that I’m ridiculous…

And keep dancing!

I Can’t Wait

I was praying for our youth group the other night and had this word from the Lord.  I don’t say that lightly, but don’t freak out on me either.  Youth group got cancelled so I thought I would share it with you.

I heard this:  “They’re waiting.”

Then I heard the following  (different voices), “I can’t wait till I graduate.  I can’t wait till I leave this house.  I can’t wait till I leave him.  I can’t wait till they can’t hurt me anymore.”

Then I heard, “I don’t want them waiting anymore.”

We are waiting.  We hold back from life because our circumstances, our environment is not what we want.  We won’t speak out about the wrong that we see.  We won’t speak out about the wrong that is being done to us.  We won’t pursue God, pursue His calling, pursue life with Him, because we’re waiting for life to change first.

It reminds me of a training exercise I was in when I was in the army.  We were attacking a fortified position and came under fire.  I hunkered down and looked back at my platoon sergeant.  He was frantically telling me to move and I refused.  I could hear the beeps from near misses on my training harness.  I turned back around and, “beep” I was hit.  The funny part was that I was mad at him for telling me to move.  It didn’t occur to me until later that he was trying to help me.

Well guess what, this is your call to move.  This is my call to move.  Don’t wait another second.  Speak out, speak up, get in there, get involved, press in, pursue God, pursue His love and calling on you.  Don’t wait.  You are not too old, or too young.  You are not too broken, too sinful, too ruined.  You are not DEAD.

The addiction that has its claws in you is not “fun” enough to hold you back from being what you were always meant to be.  So cast it off, be free.  Fear can not hold you anymore, rise above it and grab on to the Bible, His promises and truth.  Lies can’t deceive you anymore.  Live the way you were meant to live!

I can’t wait!

 

I Have the Power

He turned the corner and caught her eye.  She smiled at him, so inviting, so brazen.  It was late with no one around, and so he went to her.  She met his embrace, returned his kiss…

But she was not his wife.

And so, though the scene played out in his mind for a moment, he walked away.

Do not take this post as tempting.  Do not take this message as arousing.  This is supposed to be taken as a punch to the face.

Too many are holding on to thoughts like these.  Too many are crying out to God for help, for comfort, for strength.  All the while, nestling sin in the warmth and fetid waters of their humanity.  And this isn’t just for guys.

All of us face the lies, the sickening honey of the affair, the betrayal, the compromise.  But we have a power that no one can take away.  We have the strength to do one thing.

Walk away.  Leave.  Put it down.  Let it go.

Or better yet….RUN!