Thursday, January 27, 2011

Warding off the Evil One

The physical and spiritual are woven so tightly together within us that what affects one will affect the other.  For good or for bad.  Satan undoubtedly knows this and uses it to his fullest abilities.  He’s used my ailments to tempt me.  Given me a reason to not go to church, not be involved and interact with others.  What he’s given me is an excuse.  And I took the bait.
The line between sickness and excuse became fuzzy and I couldn’t tell one from the other.  My attendance was poor, my worship shallow and my time in the Word non-existent.  My prayer life had not suffered and thus another trick Satan used to fool me into thinking that all was right with the Lord. 
So how does one tell if it’s a trap or an excuse?  I call it a ‘gut check’.  On the days I feel weak, I pray for strength and I search my soul looking for the traps that may lie within.  Am I too sick to go out for coffee?  Am I too tired to see an upcoming flick?  Am I too weak to clean my house?  Am I too down to shop?  If the answer is yes, then I know the sickness is in its truest form and it is in my best interest to rest my body so I can continue in God’s work. 
But if the answer is no, then Satan is tugging and tempting trying to keep me from God’s will.  And I’ve learned to recognize his presence and pray for power over the evil one with the authority of the Most High, pressing on in service to the Lord.
So be mindful of your weaknesses (physical and spiritual) for Satan will puncture your soft spots tearing the wall down one piece at a time.  Walk with the Lord daily through scripture and pray without ceasing.  For if we aren’t even keeping the foundation of friendship alive how can expect to thwart the enemy?  And do a ‘gut check’ when the urge strikes you to not be involved.  It may very well be God wanting to carry you through.
The Lord is sovereign and holy.  My father, my friend.  We are in partnership together discussing daily the hardships I face.  He delivers me from one day to the next.  One moment at a time.  And He will do the same for you…if you let Him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Willing Heart

One of my greatest struggles living with a chronic illness is the endeavor to have a positive attitude and keep a willing heart.  A willing heart seems like such a natural part of motherhood.  As mothers, we put everyone’s needs before our own and we do it joyfully.  It’s part of being a mom.  But what happens when we can no longer do that through no fault of our own?  The joy exits the equation, the ‘mommy guilt’ sets in and Satan readies the trap.
He has many traps.  Of this I am certain.  His traps differ from person to person, depending on which is most effective for him.  But these are the ones of which I am familiar.
Depression inevitably sets in when physical limitations are present.  There’s no escaping it.  It is all encompassing and a formidable enemy.  Monotonous and mundane chores leave no sense of accomplishment.  Loved ones demand physical and emotional attention that may never come.  Friends hang in the background unaware and often unable to understand the depths of the suffering.  Judgment claims the righteousness that seems miles away.  And the one I am most familiar with...Manipulation of the heart. 
Satan’s ultimate goal.  To claim it and use it for his own purposes. 
I gave in to the lies Satan laid on my heart.  He twisted my thoughts to believe others were judging me.  He kept my friends at a distance to prevent encouragement and help.  He turned loved ones into burdens rather than blessings.  Piles of stuff surrounded my house with no end in sight.  And he forced me to believe there was no way out.
But the Lord rescued me from the snares of Satan.
But He said to me-My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
And so I hope you will join me on this journey of how I have come to have a willing heart through all of the weakness that has been brought upon me.  May God be glorified and you be encouraged and forewarned if you should find yourself in my shoes.