Today is the first day of June. Another new beginning...another chance to step out in faith & share some things God has really been teaching me lately. I hope that my teaching moments with Poppa God will help at least one person...just one that hears God whisper in this message He has given me today & that is an indescribable JOY for me, because God gets all the glory.
See I am still struggling to be still & let God move for me. Sometimes I feel like a 51 year old preschooler...if you've ever dealt with a preschooler, you will understand. If you haven't they are easily distracted...they lose focus quickly...they are curious & they crave being able to do...they are excitable. They have grown past the saying no to everything...but they still have the self centered desires that are placed in each living creature God created. They still say "me" a lot & have a strong selfish attitude. Yes I am sometimes a 51 year old preschooler.
But also, I am a 51 year old daughter of the Most High King...a work in progress...a growing, living masterpiece only partially complete. You see, like everyone else that God knit together in their mothers wombs, I am made of flesh & still struggle every moment to keep my focus on God...but God. He is faithful & merciful...He calls me His & that is NOT just because I am perfect...no it's because of my weaknesses actually. The same weaknesses I hand to Him & He makes them strong...the more I give Him the stronger He is in me...He doesn't make me strong, He is my strength.
Today God took me on an unexpected educational journey into the dictionary...not the whole dictionary, just some very specific definitions. The definitions He's been etching into my mind, heart & life...a lot lately. He has whispered these words during worship at church, during the messages at church, through different social media venues & in the words of the people that are in my life...both momentarily & long term. So today I said "ok Lord I will check this word out"...and the ones He pointed out to me in each of those definitions...the synonyms. The words that are also used in lieu of depending on who's using them. Sometimes the synonyms are much more understandable in certain seasons...more descriptive of what He is saying...more to the point. Other times I have to search for why I need this knowledge. But either way they all led me to a great word today. One that is permanently etched into my heart, mind & soul.
He started with an answer to my asking "how does the enemy distract me?" God reminded me that both He & satan have a plan for me...the actual choice is mine to make as far as which plan to live...since I have chosen to live God's plan for my life, to live according to His purpose, to seek Him in all I am faced with...satan uses different people, places & things to distract me. So just like God reminds me in Ephesians 6:10-12
10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12. For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
So this definition chase today...it is to give me armor to battle the devil's schemes...The first word He led me to today was "tactics"...I know this word seems like a strange word for God to start me on this journey with...but I am a little different...any ways the definition of Tactics goes like this...
Tactics: an action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.
Some of the synonyms were: Scheme, Method, Move, Approach, Device, Trick, Ploy, Dodge, Ruse, Shift & Contrivance.
Well as I read this I realized why God took me to this word...this is exactly what satan uses...everything he does is for his own tactics. He uses all these tactics & more in his schemes...in fact the synonym that God whispered was my next word today was Contrivance...so here's some of what the definition of Contrivance says...
Contrivance: the use of skill to bring something about or create something...a thing that is CREATED SKILLFULLY & Inventively to serve a particular purpose.
So this word I had never heard before, it brought more revelation & more wisdom. It taught me that the devil's schemes aren't just whims, spur of the moment...most of the time he takes time to weave each part together to get the maximum effect...God led me to the word Inventively next...I actually looked up & began to explain that I knew what Inventive meant...this seemed like a waste of time...but I did as He asked & the definition came up for Inventively...
Inventively: Of relating to or characterized by invention. Adept or SKILLFUL at inventing, creative.
This word God defined His reason for leading me to the definition...to remind me that the enemy uses so many different skills to create just the perfect schemes to distract me...he learns where to distract & how by studying me...my behavior, my choices...my life...CONSTANTLY. This made me desire to know the definition of Study...
Study: devotion of time & attention to, aquiring knowledge, detailed investigation & analysis of a subject or situation in detail, the object of someone's endeavors, apply one's self to study & learn INTENSIVELY about something or someone...especially in preparation for (giving) a test, look at closely in order to observe or read, make an effort to achieve.
Wow, as I get deeper & deeper into His definition chasing today, I am understanding why he is taking me into the dictionary...the reminders that are so evident...how distractions are such a struggle...how hard satan is working to get my attention. God clearly whispered Intensively to me so here it is...
Intensively: with extreme or concentrated effort, very thoroughly or vigorously.
So as I learned that the enemy is very well versed in the person I used to be...I learned exactly how much he is willing to do...to distract me...then God whispered, "what does distract mean to you?" Of course I wasn't ready to quit just yet. I wanted to know what Distract means in the dictionary...I can most certainly give my understanding of the meaning of distract...but I realize that having the true definition is very important. So here it is...
Distract: prevent someone from giving full attention to someone or something, perplex, bewilder.
Distraction: extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Distracted: unable to concentrate because one's mind is preoccupied.
Distractor: a person or thing that distracts...in french distracteur.
Yes this explains why when I hear "distract, divide & destroy" I think of satan...I think of all the people & things he uses to get my attention...to take my focus. If he can get my focus he can distract me from what God's plan is. I have to choose to be distracted by satan, he can't distract me unless I take my focus to the distraction & am willing to keep chasing the chaos the devil is dangling in front of my face...I have to pick his shiny plan over God's possibly painful, long, difficult plan...of course God's plan may mean enduring seasons of finding joy in pain, loss & long periods of solitude. The closer I get to God, the distractions seem to be getting multifaceted...more & more different levels to the singular distraction. They have to get more attractive as God brings His light & peace to more & more parts of who I am...or they won't distract me.
I know that lately the enemy has used some people...they may or may not know that they are part of a distraction...depends on what position God has in their lives I think. Regardless of whether they are aware or not, I am starting to learn to recognize if they are pointing me back to God or they are living for something/someone else...God has shown me that when He is speaking through someone, they don't have to be living for Him. They don't even have to believe in Him...He can work through any one of His creations...even if they are choosing themselves & comfort over His plan for them. So when He speaks through a wandering or lost person, it always catches my attention. If I don't look for His message, I would get distracted by the same selfish desire to be comfy at all times.
I know what gives me joy & where I find my comfy spot in God's perfect plan...however as God takes His light to the deeper, darker parts of me...the darkness that is buried so deep, I have forgotten that some of it is there...the pain, the hurt, the anger...those spots are so sensitive to His light, they shrink back & those are the areas He will enter gently one season at a time...they are the ones I have backtracked on over & over...the ones I am learning God trimmed away long ago & all I have to do is remember the feeling of surrender, joy & peace that came when I release it once again.
I've been reading a wonderful book that reminds me that being God's light, is not an easy thing...I struggle against my own insecurities, my flesh desires acknowledgement, my mind can get lost in living someone else's life for them with my thoughts...I can tend to forget that I am NOT the light...God IS the light & He definitely says this in
John 1:8 NLT
John himself was not the light, he was simply a witness to tell about the light.
The reality is that with the self satisfying part of me I can convince myself I am the light...especially when God brings a huge message through His light in me...I can forget that He not only brings the light...but He is the light. So as I struggle to let God bring to light parts of the old me, I am tempted to step back into who I used to be & the comfy old me...the one who didn't put on the full armor of the Lord...instead I just sat comfortably in my own pit. Like the old clothes, the larger clothes that I "fit" myself into at my largest...then they became the ones that had lots of room to indulge the distraction of the enemy...food. The ones that I held onto every other time I would lose weight, just in case I gained back my weight. But God...He asks for not only the biggest clothes, He asks for every size as they become too big...He tells me that the more He trims away, the less room I need...the smaller my outside becomes. He reminds me that though His path is uncomfortable...it feels better. It makes me feel better...It makes it easier for others to see Him...to spot His light in me.
With this He has asked me to examine each area & all the relationships in them to make sure they point me to Him & aren't a distraction...this was difficult & He also reminded me that even if they don't point me back to Him...He can use them in my life...some as examples. So instead of going on a huge deleting spree in my life, I am choosing to allow God to place each person in their proper position in my life, according to His purpose & not the devil's plan. The peace that comes with this tactic...well that's indescribable...you should check it out. It is worth any of the devil's tactics to distract, divide & destroy. When you seek God's purpose, you will find out who you were created to be...you will not only feel the changes on the inside...but you will bear the fruit of that choice on the outside.
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
And then I am reminded of this beauty, as God moves people into positions in my life...into the rings of influence, or out.
Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15:33
And I gladly hand over each relationship to Him...for Him to show me whether or not they are becoming a weapon formed against me by the enemy...I know that as long as I choose God, they can not prevail...that gives me comfort...I am glad to know that the devil's schemes to distract me, are failing & God's plans to make me like Him...are prospering.
So here are a couple pictures of the fruit God's been bearing in my life choices...especially the wall of fat I had built.
Poppa God's still lighting places in me...but His light is evident in the permanent changes He is making on my outside...May you find even the tiniest of distractions from the devil's schemes & hand them over to God for His purifying. & give God control of your light switch..Always.