Joykeepin vs the Joykiller.

First off I am no match for Satan but Christ  in me is and I have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who all are a complete match for him. Jesus always is my advocate at the throne.  I have been under an attack most of this year.  I am not sure I can plainly explain how this works but here goes.

Satan has a plan for your life. Satan uses much more than our past to harm us.   He loves to get in and confuse and create chaos in our present by distracting, dividing and conquering. He will make the right seem wrong and the wrong seem right. That’s the reason Eve plunged the world into sin as Adam was silent. Adam was right there with her and ate after her. The silence of Adam is why most fail to his prey.  Satan only has the power we allow. If we are deceived we are doomed until we get a clue because God said “having done all” putting your amour on “to stand” standing in the truth of God’s Word “stand” don’t back down and fall prey.   If he tempted Jesus – who should have certainly had sure footing with the Father- he will surely tempt us who are mere man. Jesus didn’t use his God powers to tackle the Devil, he used what can’t be argued. The Truth.

The Truth is the only foundation against a Father of Lies. The Truth is the light in the darkness. It’s the voice saying true things overriding the voice saying “maybe, might be, could be, what if, I don’t know why, and but….. It overrides fear and deception. Truth begins with I know this is right because ……… I know this is true because…… I know I can trust this because……… there’s rhyme and reason for the truth.

Understand if he can get your joy he has your strength. The clear test for an attack is the lack of joy. Neh 8:10 The joy of the LORD is your strength. Therefore no joy = no strength. It’s that simple and clear.

Without actually taking authority over your life and using the same thing Jesus did- the WORD- we are all going to be oppressed and spend our wheels until we get a clue and cry out to GOD for help and deliverance. We’ve all been there. He comes to kill, steal and destroy. Not the physical but the spiritual. He doesn’t need a body count, our possessions or things. He needs to make us grope and search in our circumstances and own reasoning for answers that GOD is clear about already so we miss opportunity and God’s will. That kills our purpose. That keeps us ineffective and always trying to try. It destroys our goals. He steals what God had intended for us to be blessed with.  I have experienced this first hand. It begins with self justification and ends with shattered dreams and ruined lives. Not a bit happy about finding myself deceived by him and rebuilding from the ruins of that kind of deception. By the power of God in us and the will of GOD for us, and the Word of God to us, to the glory of Him we have to stand against it. We have to believe God and realize the father of lies counterfeits God’s plan. He is subtle and makes his counterfeit look so real. It’s the oldest trick in his arsenal. We can take our future back and create a past Satan can not use against us if we walk in the Spirit and the Word. It’s really that simple. But if anyone is oppressed and being deceived they can test it by finding out if they are moving in truth or feelings. If they are confused or clear. If they have the joy and spiritual blessings God intends in Ephesians 1 or are they still trying to find the right combination of performance with GOD that brings that joy. God’s joy comes from letting the Lord be our joy which provides our strength. Neh 8:10. Remember if you have no JOY… you have no strength. The number one thing Satan comes after is our JOY.

Think about it this way. When I was a little girl my mom would say to clean my room. I loved playing much more than cleaning my room. It would pop my bubble to have to stop playing and clean. It took all day because I dreaded it and was unhappy to do it. I cleaned it but wow I  did it by pushing through being sad. Immature huh? Well I was just a kid. Yet many Christians get asked by God to do certain things in his Word and they push through.  They do not act  like they are blessed to be able to offer something to  a King who has sacrificed so much for them. They instead “suffer for Jesus” as if they have been asked to take castor oil.

Joy makes all the difference in the world in approach to the will of GOD. Without it we get frustrated and have to push through instead of walk through.

Sometimes the battle gets weary. We know GOD is for us and we have to hide ourselves in the fray in him. Satan wants to destroy God’s plans by having counterfeit plans for our lives. He sometimes covertly works through any means possible to find the smallest chink in our armor. Please know that yesterday’s victories aren’t sufficient for tomorrows battles. We have to be vigilant and trust what is true. Each day we need grace and the Holy Spirit power that keeps us from being ensnared. I know this from personal experience. Nothing is worse than getting far down a path and finding out you should have never taken the journey. It was easy to get there and I even justified each step of the way. I decided who GOD was and framed him to allow all of my choices. You couldn’t have told me I was wrong at that time. (And many tried to warn me) I just kept on going until I found myself confused and with many hurts. I became frustrated with God because I thought he was leading me but realized I was deceived. There was no reason to think God was in it which is the ultimate irony. Nothing I had chosen to do violated Scripture but the path I had chosen was very unwise. That’s the thing we think wrongly about Satan. We think he tries to get us to do evil. Most Christians in their right mind won’t do pure evil. But they will head in the wrong direction and lose focus and get entangled with things God didn’t assign to them. My entanglement lead to a couple of years of being in the wilderness. I would still be in that wilderness if it hadn’t of been for God using people to reach out to me. I dismissed many before these few who finally got through.  I was drowning and had no clue. It occurred to me when I got back in my race that I had hardly read my Bible daily, had earnestly cried out and prayed only for relief and rescue and that I was not hearing from God all during that time. I was dismissing good advice right and left from clear headed people who could objectively offer soundness.  I cherish being out of that wilderness and will protect with my life now no matter how it looks to the world.

I remember when I was delivered. It was at a Dennis Jernigan freedom conference with Dean Briggs speaking. My friend  had invited me to go. I heard identity in Christ and freedom presented in a way I had never heard before. It revealed how deceived I was, how wrong I was about much of my belief about how God loves us. When I realized what Jesus did to redeem my soul and to put me on solid ground it opened up my heart to something I had never experienced, intimacy with God. I finally felt the complete connection of being his and he being mine. I left there with hope. I had been hurt a lot in life. I never felt as if I belonged or could be loved. Then God with his perfect timing sent a lady to invite me to a Bible study.  I had started to attend the Thursday night Bible study. God orchestrated the most magnificent circumstances to actually pull me from the pit of deception I was in. Little did I know that Satan was forming a counterfeit plan. As much as I was free there were two pieces of the puzzle for God yet to do. The first was for God to build my trust. I was beginning this new intimacy with him but from previous damage by my Father and  in my life I didn’t really fully trust God. I said I did and I tried to but there was an unsettled place in my heart that thought God would let me down too. The second was finding out how God sees me. Realizing that I am priceless to him gives me confidence in GOD that is unshakeable.  I know by his character and how he sees me I can have joy because I am his and he is mine. It might look dark and might feel like the wind is being taken from you. Yet, there’s joy unspeakable that you can’t explain to anyone fully because it defies what you are going through. It’s there no matter how much you cry or fail. You know that you know that GOD will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Blow out on I-30 GOD never promised a Flat LIFE.

We had just left a beautiful scenic harbor heading back to my apartment. I had friends with me in a 2 car caravan and suddenly the vibration in my car became severe and we all heard a loud pop. My rear tire had blown. If you know anything of Dallas you know on an interstate this could be deadly. I calmly pulled the car to the side of the road and proceeded to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately the lugs were torqued too tight and three grown men couldn’t get them off. We are talking hefty men standing on the lug wrench, using 4 ways and cheater bars. I decided to send some of my guest to my apartment and keep them out of harms way using the second car.
One bent lug wrench and 2 hours later we waited on the police to help us get off the highway. All the plans for the evening were changed. It was close to midnight before the police finally came. They were great following me as I drove my poor car to my home which was 1/4 mile from the blow out. It was more than ironic that I was almost home and could see my front door across the interstate. So much went through my mind as I thought about my guest and hoped they all were ok and not too disturbed by the events.

The next day a guy came over with a breaker bar and 19mm socket and with great ease he loosened the lugs. I had soaked them overnight in WD40 but he credited the success with having the right tools.

Here’s the parallel I drew in my mind. I was almost home but the blow out challenged my journey. I could see my destination.  I couldn’t get there because I had an unexpected storm and was not adequately prepared for it. I had tools that were tucked away for such a day but they were inadequate and I had no experience using them since I had purchased this car. They were cheap, used improperly (we broke a 3/8 socket wrench and bent the lug wrench) and the wrong choice for the job. Isn’t life like that? We go off with the wrong tools and when the storm comes we are ill-equipped to handle it. It was very dangerous in Dallas on I-30 that night. Cars flew by as I stood there on the highway. Each tool failed and we were all still stranded.

God has promised to equip us for this journey. The best way to be prepared is to know him intimately by His Word and His Spirit. I can’t overstate the value of staying under the influence of the Word. It will be the tool that sustains you on days where a blow out changes everything. Things in life will cause a change in direction but not destination. I could clearly see the finish line, my front door but the tools I had to get there wouldn’t work and I had to accept an alternative route. The truth is useless unless it changes you. Use the truth you have been given to help you when a blow out in life  occurs so you won’t be stranded waiting on someone or something to help you out. Accept that there might be another way so that you are open to leading and teaching when the way you have isn’t working.

How does a Christian have a bad day?

There are some days that are just not what you want them to be. As a matter of fact to be honest, some days are plain rotten. Today was one of those days. I woke up with a fever and was trying to figure where it came from, a bad tooth, earache, bronchitis? All of them could have been a viable possibility. To top it off my tendonitis had flaired up and was giving me a hard time. I wrestled with going to the doctor and missing work or just sticking it out. These are the choices you have to make when your livelihood is totally dependent on you working. My job has been tenuous, being in a new city, learning the ropes of something I have a hard time grasping.

Seventeen years of teaching in a Christian school setting didn’t prepare me for the secular business world. I am ill equipped but catching up. I decided at lunch to possibly go home. That’s when a kinda eh day started to sink. I found out I needed to stay at work and so I decided to get some things done and kept at it. My fever broke at about 3:30 and I figured I had avoided a visit to the doctor which meant less money I had to pay out. That didn’t disappoint me but I still had to finish my day.

I have never been able to be heard in a particular situation and it presented again today. Somehow I have an ability to articulate the things I want to say but still be dismissed. I try to figure out if it’s a lack of respect or if I am portraying a run over me essence. Either way it made the end of my day emtionally draining. I seem to try to explain my position but without fail wind up being told I am manipulative or wrong. Sometimes I am wrong, I don’t have too much pride to admit that but manipulative is so far removed from my head. It actually hurts me to be accused of being manipulative because that would indicate that I want to cause harm and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I don’t want to do that. Maybe my definition of that word is the problem. To me, manipulative is when you trick or cajole someone either honestly or dishonestly into doing something for your own advantage or gain without considering how it affects them. I was manipulated by guilt placed on me all my life and it took a lot of work to heal from that. So it would be far from my mind to do that to anyone. I guess I am venting my frustration but it seems so aggravating to me to say something and be dismissed or judged for it or to not say something and be scolded for silence. How do you accomplish anything when both streets are dead ends.

I know something new clicked with me today. The first thought I had, and I know this is the first time I have ever thought this, that I am a victim. But the further thought was almost an ephiphany moment. I don’t have to be. Before when I became a victim I thought I was being tolerant or meek and I stayed in the role and just took it as it came.

Today, I looked around me and said, I did nothing wrong. Yes, I was emotional after I saw I didn’t matter, but I expressed myself, was told I was wrong and manipulative and I know I was just expressing a need the same as a person would say I am thirsty. I came to the conclusion. If you are a victim it’s because you allow it.

People on a day in and day out basis without words do treat you the way they want to. I used to think love would win the day but now I know it doesn’t. Some people don’t care if you love them or care about your contribution to their life. They make that clear when the me’s and I’s come out.

There is a limit. I have reached mine. From this day forward, rotten days are behind me if they are the product of someone else’s issues. 🙂 Time to sing of the great faithfulness of GOD who knows me 🙂 and my widdle heart.

I know God loves me and I will be sure to remember what is true, lovely, and of a good report.

God bless Thanks for hearing.