A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

I’ll tell ya, John is MUCH more brave than I am!  If something is hidden, I tend to just let it be…  you know, like the Beatles taught us to do so long ago…  😀

I have so many fears…  too many to list here, actually.  The top of that list, however, would have to be SNAKES!  I don’t care if they are deadly or not – it makes absolutely no difference to me.  They’re slimy and slithery and they’re sneaky and…  well – there’s a reason God turned the devil into one – jus’ sayin’…

My theory is that nothing that is hidden can be very good.  If something has to hide, it must be either illegal, immoral (does morality matter to anyone anymore?), or just plain bad news.  This video got me to thinking about different ways to face the things or places in our lives that are hidden.  We can ignore them or we can face them head on and chances are, they will not be so scary or spooky to us once we’ve encountered them.

Fight or flight???  I’m big on FLIGHT.  I don’t think it’s always been the best choice, and I readily admit, it’s the path of least resistance.  I hate to face opposition.  It’s easier to just agree or ignore – but to actually stand up and say I disagree with someone – then explain clearly and boldly WHY I disagree – well, no I’m not good at it.  In college I opted for Interpersonal Communication because I didn’t want to take Debate.  That was such a weird class.  But I digress…

I want to be better at charging into the hidden forests in my life.  As with everything, it’s a process that begins with a single step.  I’ve found that facebook is an excellent practice field.  It doesn’t take long at all to find people talking about a subject and offering advice and opinions that I completely disagree with.  There was a time I’d just think, “Oh I’m not getting in THIS mess.”  Now, I speak up – well, I don’t actually say anything…  LOL.  It’s facebook – I type my opposing views.

Sadly, while I’m in the thick of the hidden forest, the language tends to get not only offensive, but rude and completely obnoxious and uncalled for.  Once again, with God’s help, I type that I don’t believe just because I disagree with a viewpoint, I should have to read verbal vomit.TRUST FOR STRAIGHT PATHS

As Christians, we like a peaceful life in a little corner where we can sing praise and worship songs all day long.  The fact is, there are times when we have to go into a hidden forest – face something or someone who is offensive to our morality and our value system.  We must be willing to sharpen our debate skills, while also keeping in mind that we’ve all come short of God’s glory – none of us have arrived and none of us ever will.  It’s only by God’s miraculous GRACE that any of us can stand.  Without HIM and HIS sacrifice on Calvary – we’re nothing – and I mean NOTHING.

While the world is twisting and turning with every whim that comes along, we trust God to make our paths straight.  We long for simplicity that is a life lived in Christ.  We know that He will provide for us and that He will hear each prayer we pray.  We are never alone and that gives us such comfort – comfort that the world considers weak.  I once asked a co-worker, “I lean on God to help me.  Who do you lean on?”  Without hesitation, she boasted, “I lean on myself!”  I didn’t say anything else, but as I walked away I muttered under my breath, “Okay…  good luck with that.”

Join me today in praising Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made for all of mankind on Calvary – for HE IS WORTHY of our praise!  🙂

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EPHESIANS 6:12 ON 6/12

TL 6-12 EPHESIANS 6-12 ON 6-12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  – Ephesians 6:12

Today’s post serves to remind us that the hurdles before us, the hoops we are expected to jump through on a daily basis, have nothing to do with anything but the power of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?

What is a struggle?  An opposition.  Does evil oppose good?  Well, yes – the last time I checked, it did.  A struggle is a contest.  I’ve read the back of the Bible and guess what?  It’s a contest that’s already won.  A struggle is a fight to be sure.  Who fights on your side?  Christ Jesus does!  Be on the right side.  Does a struggle produce conflict?  Yes, it usually does.  But stay the course and let prayer be your constant companion in the midst of the conflict.

A struggle is an endeavor to do right in a world that wants nothing to do with right.  To struggle is to exert resources every day along with prayer without ceasing to our God who never fails.

We encounter in our struggles – sometimes God puts others with similar beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a real blessing!  Sometimes He puts people who are quite dissimilar in beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a challenge and we pray even harder for the right words and actions so our witness is not blemished.

Have you ever had a skirmish in your struggle?  I have – and that’s when the prayers reach a point where you’re constantly asking for direction on a moment by moment basis.  When there’s a skirmish in your struggle, it’s easy to say or do the exact wrong thing!  Does that ruin your witness?  Yes, sadly – it does.

When we clash during a struggle, we have to stay in a constant attitude of prayer so we don’t crash and burn!  We don’t have the answers, but we know the One who does!  We don’t know what the future holds, but God does.  We’re at a disadvantage during a struggle because we don’t see the way out – but guess what?  God does.

Struggling against forces we can’t even see takes the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we try to struggle without Him, it can take a significant toll on us physically and sometimes emotionally.  A Christian in the midst of a struggle who has stopped praying is defeated.  I’ve met them and so have you.  I don’t want to be one and neither do you.

Our struggles are not fun – but they do make us stronger in our faith when we come out the other side!  Remember that there’s not actual hand-to-hand combat; that’s what God’s Holy Spirit does for us.  The battle is His when it’s all said and done.  Trust Him and be still.  Pray and read God’s Word.  Find His peace as you pray for His way out.

When we struggle, it could be as small as a clash of opinions on facebook, or as big as a major medical issue.  Whatever we face, we know we don’t face it alone.  We know that God is there.  We just have to keep praying and studying His Holy Word, the Bible.  Evil will not win.  Let’s encourage one another with these words as we struggle along together in this life.  🙂