The Basics of Life—Know Your Enemy

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This is one of the incredible statues at the Light of the World Garden at the Gardens of Thanksgiving Point in Sandy, Utah

Most of us would probably say that we know our enemies. We are aware of most of the people who don’t like us. We are aware some people don’t agree with us and are opposed to us because of our beliefs BUT that is not what the Bible says.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)

God’s Word tells us that people are not the problem. Our struggle is with the spirit behind the people or person. So let’s quit contending with people and begin to struggle on our knees—on our knees in prayer.

  • Let’s pray that we would have a right attitude and be part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
  • Let’s pray for the person or people who is opposed to us,
    • that they might know Truth
    • that they might be in or come into genuine relationship with our Creator
    • that they would seek to live in response to relationship with that One who created us

If you have the basics, the fundamentals right, everything else will come into place but if the basic premises of your life are wrong you will wander around lost.

Bottom line: there is a God and I am not Him (and neither are you)

He is the first cause of every good thing. He desires that we know Him and be in relationship with Him and so He caused men moved by His Spirit to write what we call the Bible. In the Bible He communicated His purpose both to and for us, His love for us, and His standard for us.

If we create our own standard and live apart from His, we are being god in our own mind. I know because I have done this. In the end it does not work.

A good parent does not give their children everything they want the moment they want it. The good parent knows that a child is governed by wants and wishes that can destroy them, and so that good parent says no. How many of us have heard the words, “You don’t love me,” because we wouldn’t give our children what they wanted when they wanted it?

The truth is, the world is full of pretty poison that will destroy us, given the opportunity. This pretty poison is concocted by the enemy to take us away, to lead us away, from the loving One who made us for Himself. These poisons may be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Our society and others around the world are descending into a quagmire of poisons. This is an invitation to climb out.

The gifts that God has created to bless us have been perverted into poisons to destroy us. Our relationships, our sexuality, the technology based on the science He put into place, religion—every good thing has been twisted by that enemy to draw us away from the love we are created for. Good, nice people are building their lives around things that will never satisfy.

We spend our Sundays –the anchor of our week—trying to catch up with what we couldn’t get done during the week, or taking our children to events that we believe will enrich their lives and increase their chances for a college scholarships, or we just sleep in. All the while we miss the call to come apart and worship, to remember Him, to remember who we are and what is truly important. Sunday is the wedding ring that speaks of our relationship to Him and we have taken off our ring. We have taken back the time He has invited us to share in worshipping Him.

Worship is not God’s ego trip. Worship is “worth-ship”. We are called to worship in order to know Him, to know that the answers to all of life’s challenges and problems are found in Him.

The Lord God is not just loving but He is love. Not just sentimental love, not just warm fuzzy feeling love, but love in will, in action. (Read John’s first letter to flesh out your understanding of Who God is.—1 John, it’s near the back of the book)

So back to the beginning of this rambling, we struggle with other people. But we are not really struggling with them—we are struggling with the spirit behind them and even sometimes the spirit behind us if we are not living in His Holy Spirit. What do we do when confronted with those other spirits? We respond in the opposite Spirit. We respond in love. We respond in the fruit of that opposite Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. We step back and truly see and hear what is going on. We shrug off the myriad distractions of our society, culture, and world. We chose to live consciously , purposefully, and intentionally in relationship with God. Then out of that relationship we chose to live in love with others—true love—the love that always seeks the true best for other. The love that points the way back to Him so that we and they don’t have to wander around lost anymore.

Who is my enemy? My enemy is the one who chose to oppose God and the reason God has created us. That one has a name and he wants to pull us and our attention away from the Lord of all creation. I admit to being easily distracted. I have to continually refocus. I have to continually remind myself what is truly important even as I constantly forget. I know I fall short. I know I fail over and over and over. Failure is only permanent if I quit. I keep getting back up.

You were made by our Lord God—God the Father, God the Son—Jesus the Christ, Yeshua the Messiah, and God’s Holy Spirit. You were made for Him and by Him. There is no right to do wrong. There is no right to make our own standard or worship our own gods.

Know your enemy and turn away from that enemy to our very good God.

Tuesday November the Fourth: Loving God Most

Today is Tuesday the fourth of November 2014.

imageTuesday is Duster Dance Day. Many people don’t like to dust but it has to be done if you want to be able to breathe in your home, so let’s make it fun. Put on some music, make sure you have a duster that works, and go to it.
Our Area of Focus this week is the Living Room. In your time in the Living Room today do an extra special job of dusting. Dust the blinds, the ceiling fan, and the shelves and nooks and crannies of your furniture. Move what needs to be moved and dust under it. Set the timer and race it. Give it 15 minutes. I like to wipe surfaces with a damp cloth and then polish them with a clean, dry cloth. That way there is no build- up of furniture polish. When my wood needs feeding I use lemon oil. I spread it on allow it to sit and then go back and wipe off the excess.

Today I am taking my car in for service. There are a couple of small issues. Is your car maintenance up to date? Do you have the month each of your cars need to be inspected on your calendar? Is the date your license plates on each of your cars expire on your calendar? Take care of your car and your car will take care of you and you will have better resale value.
I got hardcore in this purge got rid of years of magazines that I had stored, neatly by type, and date. I realized that I would never do anything with any of those issues. I misread my recycling calendar and did not put them out for pickup yesterday. I was talking on the phone with a close friend and mentioned that I had missed the recycling truck. She told me her grandson’s preschool would love to have the magazines. I took 6 grocery bags over to her house for her to drop off. I could see God’s handprints all over this. The preschool got magazines, my friend and I shared tea, prayer, and conversation. God gets the glory as we shared/share our faith.

Pretty Poison
IMG_0194The enemy has a pretty poison for each of us. That pretty poison has been carefully selected by the enemy to lead us away from God. The enemy uses that pretty poison to lie to us about who we are, what we must have, and how we should live. The antidote to that pretty poison is loving God. If we simply try to resist the pretty poison in our own strength it grows larger and stronger as we focus on it. Loving God means instead of focusing on that pretty poison we focus on Him.

For example, it may be:

I love to be in the know and share what I know with other people (gossip) but I love God more so the words of my mouth will be words that glorify Him. (Gossip is sharing anything in which both you and the people you are sharing with are not a part of the problem or a part of the solution and don’t delude yourself about what the solution is)

I love food but I love God more. My body is God’s temple—His dwelling place so I will care for it and not indulge in eating and drinking the foods that will destroy my ability to serve God well. I will seek comfort in God and not in food and drink.

I am attracted to another person in an inappropriate way. The gift of our sexuality has been given to us as an intimate celebration within marriage—a covenant celebration. The enemy tempts us to misuse this lovely gift of God by pursuing it outside of marriage. Marriage is a picture of God’s love—for Christ and His Bride the Church. The enemy has worked long and hard to destroy this picture by drawing us to indulge in sexual relationships before and outside of marriage. So it may be I am attracted to another person whether a person of the opposite gender or a person of the same gender but I love God more and I will seek His best and not a momentary thrill.

IMG_0422It could be in my marriage and family that my dreams are not being fulfilled and I feel unloved and unappreciated and wasted in a season of my life. I want to give up but I love God more so I persevere and I love my husband and children as onto the Lord. I love others intentionally because I love God more.

It could be that I am discouraged and think my life is not worth living so I want to take it but my life belongs to God and I love God more so I live for Him.

There are so many other situations and circumstances where we have to choose to love God most intentionally. It is not that some things do not bring pleasure for a season or that we could only love one person. There are any number of ways we can betrayed or be betrayed by even a person we consider our soulmate. Don’t buy the lies. God knows what will damage and destroy us and He tells us not to go there. Love God most.

The greater love forces out the lesser. BUT love is not just a feeling, an overwhelming force that we are not able to stop or resist. Love is sacrifice. Love is a choice of the will. Love puts the needs of others ahead of our own needs. Yes we do need to take care of ourselves in order to care for others but too often we indulge ourselves to the neglect of others.

Here goes the same old story I have shared with you more than a couple of times. When my grandson Brayden was much smaller than he is now, he asked me, “Grandma who do you love most?” In that moment of time God moved in me and my answer was God breathed. “I love God most, Brayden.”
“Why do you love God most, Grandma?”
“Because when I love God most, I can love you better.”

Choose to love God most. Focus on God and not on the strongholds in your life. Walk by faith and not by sight and He will help you be more than a conqueror.

Love and Hugs,
Mary

Tomorrow is Desk Day—Get ready to get up to date.