The Thief Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy

As some of you know, I took a few days for God to do some work in me and I am happy to report he did some major reworking in my heart. I came across a blog from Lysa TerKeurst yesterday that just started a major fire storm and I would like to share a little bit of that post below. You can find the complete posting at http://www.incourage.me/2013/07/when-my-happy-gets-bumped.html

“Well, I’m learning something about a little mental perspective I need to have when things bump into my happy. In that moment, Satan is scheming to have me help him out. If he can just get me jostled to the point where I react out of anger, it’s like lighting a spark near a puddle of gasoline.
Even the smallest spark can ignite quite a fire. A fire that will spread and feel much bigger than what the situation ever should have been.

Take the temperature discussion for example.
It should be just a simple discussion. But, add a little anger and suddenly things in my brain escalate to the point where I’ve just about convinced myself Art is completely insensitive and couldn’t care less about me.

Is that true? Of course not. He just likes to sit in his house without sweating. Surely, we could find a compromising temperature or I could go put on some socks and a sweatshirt.
Instead, when he bumped my happy, I sparked, and a ‘growth opportunity’ ensued that left us both feeling a little burned.

In other words, I played right into Satan’s scheme and helped him out. Remember, Satan’s very name means one who casts something between two to cause a separation. Be it a temperature issue, tight finances, a misunderstood statement, or one of the millions of little things that can bump our happy… we must remember we do have a choice.

We can choose to play into Satan’s schemes and add to his attempts to separate us from God’s best.
Or, we can choose to fight for our relationships and against Satan’s attempts to trip us up.
When I think about it in these terms, it helps me realize who my real enemy is.
My real enemy isn’t any of the people that bump my happy. My real enemy is the one who tries with all his might to get me to jump into a grumpy mood and help him tear down all that I love.”

Lysa TerKeurt 2013 ” When My Happy Gets Bumped”

WoW! How I need to hear this at this very moment. Thank you God! Thank you Lysa!

I think it is fair to say that anyone of us could insert our own story into the spot where Lysa tells of the temperature disagreement. We have all been there and I have been there more than once. [Shocker, I know.]

Recently I have found myself rehashing an old issue that I thought had been settled a while ago. After reading what Lysa had to say, I can clearly see that Satan is behind this attack. I now know that I have a choice to give into my fleshly desires and be used by Satan to further his cause or I can do it God’s way and allow him to work the situation out. This may seem like a whole bunch of Christian ease to some of you, but hang with me for a second and hear me out.

I am pretty much an open book; what you see is what you get. If I am mad, you know it. If I am sad, you know it. I think you understand what I am saying here. I never intended to be this way and I do not necessarily like being this way; however, I know I tend to be this way because I hate fakers. I hate when people hide their true feelings and let things build and build. I would much rather confront the issue and deal with it, so that Satan doesn’t get a foot hold. The downside to that is I don’t give God time to work things out in my mind and heart before I react and make a mountain out of a mole hole. I know the correct approach is somewhere in the middle, more along the lines of giving God a day or two to work it out and then, if necessary, comforting the issue biblically and not out of sheer emotion.

I just love how God works. Not only did he lead me to Lysa’s blog today, but yesterday when I was doing my research on Pharisees I came along the verse below and while I was already familiar with said verse, I felt God was offering a friendly reminder:

Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV): 15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

Most people do not like to admit that conflict happens within the church. But, as we are human and live in a fallen world, disagreements arise and Satan moves. Isn’t it great to know that God has laid out a plan for dealing with conflict? Our instructions are clearly written, we just have to follow them. I am not saying it is easy. I would even dare say it wasn’t designed to be easy. If it was easy to confront others with their sin (or what we perceive as a sin) we would be going to each other over every little hiccup. No, sometimes the blood of Christ has to be enough and we must simply let little things go. That being said, only you and God know what issues you can let go and what issues will cause you or another to stumble. If it is an issue you just can’t let go, then you should definitely go to the other person. I will be the first to admit that I have failed many times in this area. Why? Well, it is much easier to discuss the issue with a close friend or my pastor. I am not intending any harm in doing this as these people can usually help me sort out the issues; however, I am acting contrary to scripture. Disobedience doesn’t always come from a place of intent or malice, but it is still disobedience. If you have read any of my previous posts, you probably can guess what I am going to say next: If we are to walk in the Spirit, we must try to obey God in all areas as half-hearted obedience is not acceptable. His words are clear. I have read them and I understand them; therefore, I do not have an excuse if I fail to live them.

When I fail to follow God’s ways, I let Satan win and I give him ammunition to bring me down. You see, I often get in trouble with my reactions to situations and hurts rather than something I set into motion. If I take the time to recognize how Satan is trying to work in a situation, I would probably be less quick to react and thereby have fewer apologies to make. Remember, John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Satan will do whatever he can or use whoever he can to steal, kill, and destroy whatever is of God. We must guard ourselves and our churches against his attacks and not even allow his pinky toe to cross the thresholds.

I don’t know about you, but I am ashamed to be a helpmate of Satan and I refuse to let Satan win one more battle. I am taking my thoughts captive today and making them obedient to Christ. I vow to be more mindful of my reactions and give time for Christ to work in all matters. I am letting go of all hurts, wrongs, etc. and moving on to a peaceful state of mind. Why? Because I have a choice to be a helpmate to Satan or a follower of Jesus Christ. I choose Jesus! How about you?

Lord, I thank you for your timely words. You know just how desperately I need to hear them and how desperately I need you. Help me to be better. Help me to be the woman I was made to be. I cannot do this without you. Give me words when I need to speak and take them away when I need to be silent. I thank you and I praise you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Until next time, stay safe and God bless,
Missy

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3 thoughts on “The Thief Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy

  1. Praise Jesus! It’s refreshing to hear other’s struggles, sometimes we put on our “church face” and “Christian talk” and everyone thinks all is well and we are just “perfect” and have no problems and struggles. But we know that’s not the case. Thank you for sharing and I’m thankful that you are back from the “battle” and better for it. We learn so much from our trials, we wish we didn’t have to go through them, but if we really stop to think about it, God used it for our growth.

    Love in Christ,
    Debbie

  2. Thank you, Missy! This was a very timely message, and one that I expect I may have to return to often. I completely get what you mean by being real and yet having a short reaction time, not allowing God time to work. We’ll keep on praying for each other!

    Hugs,

    Gwennon

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