When life doesn’t have an easy button…

“It’s so hard, you know?”  I hear this all the time used as an excuse for making bad choices.

Let’s keep this honest. I don’t know what is hard in your story or how hard it is. We all face hard things and I can only live my own story.  Every day I am challenged to choose differently and not use difficult things in my story as an excuse. I often wish I could just push a button and make this situation or that personal relationship easy, or at least easier!

As I get older, what I continue to learn is that sometimes our choices make life harder.  This is because sometimes what we choose is sin. We try to justify our sinful choices with the excuse that making good choices is somehow beyond our reach.

We go left when asked to go right.  #disobedience

We eat junk when our body says, “eat healthier”.  #rebellion

We stay when we are asked to go.  #NotJustJonahAndTheWhale

We spend more time talking about what we want to do rather than doing it.  #procrastinating

Nike had a slogan of “Just Do It” that made them billions of dollars. They chose well, but choosing well is easier said than done, eh?

Not if you have the right tools.

Spiritual Tools:

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength”.

Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to it.”

1 Timothy 7-10, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promises for both the present life and the life to come.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.  That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Could God’s Word be our “easy button” for choices that lead to strength, peace, patience, endurance, perseverance…whatever you need to make your load lighter?

Physical Fitness Tool:

Finding the right fitness plan for you and your body.  For me, I have learned that I need people with me when I exercise to help me stay consistent.  Not just a gym full of fellow strugglers but one or two people who will come alongside and exercise with me but also push me to get better.  Sadly, I have yet to find such companions.

Emotional Mental Tool:

A trusted friend is great but sometimes we need more than that to carry the heavy stuff up and away from our path.  A counselor, Life Coach or Spiritual Director that will give you a different perspective to help lighten your load.

The Gospel:

The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for you and for me. I am guessing that having nails pierced through hands and feet and donning a crown of thorns for the sake of another…IS HARD.  Every hard thing I have ever experienced in my life, pales in comparison.

For those of us that claim that “we are hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3), this means we are to take up that cross and follow Him…regardless of how hard the situation is.

I don’t recall hearing that Jesus grumbled or complained about how hard it was to take our sin upon Him.  He prayed.  He obeyed.  He did what His Father asked Him to.  He wanted God’s Will.

Having trouble obeying?

You are not alone! However, choosing to obey (with God’s promised help) will give you the freedom and peace you seek and bring clarity of what God’s Will is for you.  The more you grumble and complain, the further you get pulled away from intimacy with God.

Neil Anderson puts it this way. (RE: temptation)

  1. Lust of the flesh draws us away from the Will of God (destroying our dependence on God; John 15:5) When we give into this lust we trust more in our own ways and ideas than we do the Holy Spirit.
  2. Lust of the eyes draws us away from God’s Word (destroying our confidence in God; John 15:7) We allow the world, the flesh, and the devil to fill us with their thoughts and words instead of God’s truth.
  3. Pride of life draws us away from Worship of God (destroying our obedience to God; John 15:8-10) We embrace our idols rather than find comfort in the presence of God.

*italics mine

Do you want to obey God? Are you struggling with knowing His Will, with being in and understanding His Word, or do you lack Worship? Maybe it is lust and pride that is distracting you.

REFLECTION:

Question is… “what are you willing to do about it?”

 

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Kinita

Satan is a pimp…

[I wrote this back in May, but haven’t posted since then.  I have been writing pretty faithfully so watch for more posts in the near future.  I started my own business in June called Seema Ministries, LLC.  Checkout our website at http://SeemaMinistries.com and let me know what you think!!]

 

…kick him to the curb.

I have a picture burned in my brain’s photo album and because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, the actual location this picture was taken and the danger it might bring to people I dearly love, I cannot post it.

The picture is of men standing on a balcony of a nearby dingy building with their phones in hand and their eyes fixed on the women prostituting themselves on the street corner below.  They were the pimps, watching their possessions.

(These facts were given to me by the trusted people we were serving with).

Please, stay with me a moment longer.

I took the picture and stood there watching them watch them.  I was overcome with emotions of anger, disgust, a deep sadness, and a sense of “why???”.  These men are made in the image of God, right?  So why the deep feelings of disgust?

It’s the behavior y’all.  They stand around prowling and waiting to steal, kill and destroy the spirit of innocent young girls, young boys, and women.

Sound like anyone you know?  It did to me. Satan.

As I embraced the negative emotions that I was experiencing in that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed that those pimps are no different than the Enemy (Satan) himself.  I also have a deep disgust for him and a sadness of how he tries to infect the lives of those I love and hold dear to my heart.

As we read in John 10:10, “the Enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy…”

Also, in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”.

The only difference is that we can’t always physically see the Enemy prowling.  Is God’s Word enough for you to believe he is?

As the Enemy prowls around (like a pimp) looking for someone to devour how are you making yourself available?  How are you guarding yourself?

There are so many little (and big) ways that the Enemy pimps his way into our lives.  It seems the big ways are “easier” to fight off sometimes. A few little ways he might be trying to pimp us with.

  1. He keeps us busy.
  2. He provokes us.
  3. He deceives us.
  4. He feeds our idols.

The list goes on and on.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man (or woman) of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I am a firm believer that God’s Word fills me with His truth to fight the lies that I believe.  He corrects my thinking, so it doesn’t become “stinking thinking”.

Satan wants to be the pimp of our minds which then affects our behaviours.   Prostitutes have been physically prostituted, but I think Christians are being mentally / emotionally prostituted in many ways.

Where our thoughts linger, so go our behaviours.

Quoting Tim Keller, “sin is a kind of practical atheism – acting as if God were not there”.

Since God’s Word is teaching us that the Enemy is going to do it anyway and we can’t change him, then I believe what we need to do (as followers of Christ) is protect ourselves as we remember the second part of John 10:10, “…I have come to give life and give it abundantly!”

  1. Confess your sin. (unconfessed sin opens the door to the Enemy)
  2. Put on your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6)
  3. Get accountability from a truth teller and Jesus lover. (sorry to say, that not all Christians fit this description)
  4. Choose to walk in the freedom that The Gospel of Jesus Christ has afforded you.

Doing these things doesn’t mean the journey will be easy.  It means that you will be able to grow stronger in your faith and understanding of God’s love for you because He is the one that does the protecting as we engage in this way.

Several years ago, one of my dear mentor/friends, Patty, said these words to me during a very challenging season in my life.  “The Enemy plays dirty”.  Through her stories, experience, and wisdom she worked with the Holy Spirit to develop in me the confidence to stand firm in my faith and not sway towards what the world, the flesh and the devil do.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, I have learned to “play nice” and allow Him to pour out His Grace whenever evil is present as He is protecting me.

I have been back from that trip for about a month now and the picture I have burned in my brain continues to sit at the forefront of my memory.  I realize that I am still sad because I can’t really do anything about them.  But God gives me HOPE, and I can do something about the Enemy wanting to pimp you.

I can point you to The Rescue, Jesus Christ.  He Rescued us by pouring out His blood as a ransom for our sin. He paid the price, so we wouldn’t have to.  As a result, we are free.  We aren’t getting the life we deserve (mercy), we are getting this life as a gift (grace)!

Please dear friend, LIVE into that freedom.  LIVE into that Truth.  For your sake, and mine…and theirs.

 

REFLECTION:

Where do you see the Enemy pimping you out?

Are you on standing on the curb too?

What are you willing to do about it?

 

Thank you for joining me on the journey,

Kinita