Focus Scripture: Proverbs 3:1-8
Hello Purposeful People!
In today’s podcast, Strange Behavior, I share one of the many bad decisions I’ve made. While I am not proud of my approach I am grateful to have learned a lesson. I gained clarity. I know what it means to not lean-to my own understanding. Now I recognize when my emotions are trying to take over. My heart belongs to God and as time goes on He shows me how much I am His.
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ if you understand the grace and mercy God extends to us will you please join me in showing more of it to our neighbors? If we can all make a greater effort to allow others to see Christ in us, we can make a powerful impact. Love begins at home, that means becoming disciplined with reading God’s Word and studying His Character.
Are you willing to take 30 minutes each day to read the Word of God out loud? Read to yourself, your spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, or even your pet. Let the Word change you from within. If you’ve never done this before, may I also suggest starting with the book of John in the New Testament? This small amount of time can replace a tv show or even scrolling through social media.
Change is not easy, but doing it together strengthens our bond within the body of Christ.
Thank you for your consideration and I hope this will create a positive change within your home.
I love you all!
Bible Reading: Luke 18:1-8
Indifference- the lack of interest, concern, or sympathy: apathy.
What are we indifferent to? Is it homelessness, hunger, child abuse, drug trafficking, money… perhaps our spiritual or academic lives? Are we indifferent to our social media presence, the forms of entertainment we enjoy, gossip we engage in? What are the things we don’t give a second thought of?
The judge in Luke 18:1-8 showed no concern or sympathy to the widow’s need. He did not fear God nor respect his fellow man. (Luke 18:2) Through the widow’s persistence, he finally relented and gave her the justice she sought. (Luke 18:4-5)
Applying the timeless lessons of God’s Word, we see ourselves in these parables. Every day we are given an opportunity to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8) How can we do that if we are so consumed with our selfish desires? We miss the sacrifices of those wanting to help us through their persistence. The widow was the one in need but, her persistence helped the judge and us see how we can serve God by serving each other. God is in control. (Luke 18:6-8)
I am struck by how many times I’ve had to learn the same lessons over again. The times I have let go of God’s hand and sought my own fleshly desires instead of His divine will; the feeling becomes uncomfortable. It’s as though I’m standing naked in the middle of a busy intersection allowing everyone to gawk at me. Although that feeling of utter embarrassment is overwhelming, I thank God through the Holy Spirit that I feel embarrassed rather than indifferent. It ushers in a fresh remorse and repentance for the things He has warned me against.
If we find ourselves feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or even humiliated we should quickly turn to God and thank Him for the awareness. The gentle discipline that comes from our emotions are far easier to grow and learn from than the complete destruction of judgement that awaits us for not heeding His warnings. Let us all have repenting hearts eager to act justly, and show kindness, because of His mercy.
Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Gaslighted!! Catfished!! Oh my! Both these terms essentially mean the same thing.
Gaslight- to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Catfish- to lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.
No one wants to be scammed. No one wants to lose out on a luxury, or have it swapped for something less glorious; however, it happens every day, and more easily since the invention of the internet. We have all been catfished or gaslighted at some point.
The thief is able to hone in on our insecurities, fears, desires, hopes, and dreams. This gives the thief a way into our minds. When we talk about how scared we are or how badly we desire something, eventually we will be met with the opportunity to overcome it or acquire it. The thief may use this tactic in order to coerce us out of our normal routines and onto his playing field. By manipulating us psychologically the thief will take away time. The time God desires us to have in order to fully develop a relationship with Him and to learn about ourselves. The thief will have us rushing to make decisions; not pausing to consult with the Holy Spirit. Genesis 3:6 **Do you want to get married, have a family, become rich…famous? Is your house big enough, your car new enough, does your body need an overhaul? ** These are just a few questions we will begin to ask ourselves constantly, letting go of our original God focus. It’s how we may be manipulated into doing unthinkable and questionable things. The false hope we are given drives our “new” focus making us willing participants in the insane confusion the Thief wants us in.
There was one rule in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:16-17 By obeying this rule everything would be kept in order. The thief sought to destroy this order. (CATFISH—–GASLIGHT) The serpent disguised himself as a fictitious friend and had Eve question the sanity of God’s one rule and manipulated her desires by giving her false hope. Genesis 3:1-5. The serpent was a master manipulator; unfortunately, we have many “people” here on earth that do just that; they manipulate, befriend, and make us question our sanity. They believe they are working on their own behalf but in truth, they are just underlings fulfilling an evil agenda orchestrated by Satan. Ephesians 6:12
When we take control and give our minds over to God, He will help maneuver us through the schemes we may not be discerning enough to see at first. We are not to let one or even several catastrophic events land us in mental turmoil. By the grace of God we can see the Light and be redeemed…nursed back to mental and spiritual health. Of course, this takes time. When we get to the root of our problems or emotional triggers we can lift up our heads and say “not today Satan, I see your schemes coming and I am prepared!”
Bible Reading: Jonah 1:1-17
Flesh verses spirit! As a photographer and writer, I want to claim ownership of my “intellectual property”… when someone used one of my photos without my permission or giving me credit I felt robbed. However, after a few moments and some deep breaths, I took another look at what had happened. God’s word had been placed over the image. It was a beautiful scripture and what the person did was crop my tagline off. Hmmm… lesson to learn here? Yes, I think so. How often do we take credit for something only God could have done? How often do we “crop” His name off in order to glorify ourselves? How often do we think that what God gives us isn’t enough so we don’t cultivate our own talents but desire an easier route by taking from one of His children? God allows me to capture His beautiful nature, that we see every day, and I share it on social media.
Jonah 1:3 The flesh part of me wanted to RUN AWAY: on emotions – from how this could help me grow in humility – from being an obedient servant – from how I could glorify and honor God through my response. Thanks are to God that I stood STILL! (Jonah 1:17) The Holy Spirit intervened and not only was I able to calmly approach the “thief” I was able to open a dialog that will hopefully prevent her from doing it again. A seed was sown.
The lesson in this case was difficult for me to understand at first but, God softened my heart, gave me clarity, and allowed me to see the bigger picture. (Jonah 1:12) By not focusing on feeling violated and instead how I (we) do this everyday. Nothing belongs to me. I am covered by grace and mercy I don’t always deserve but, God freely gives to me, to all of us. How I and how we react in our fleeting emotional states will affect the outcome.
Going forward I pray we can approach all things through the eyes of God and ask ourselves:
I pray discernment is quickened and clarity is readily available for all of us, so that we may not end up in a storm we could have avoided. Jonah 1:3-4