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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When You're In The Pit



Two weekends ago, I was part of an amazing, life-changing event called the What's Your Story? Women's Conference. I stood alongside 8 other ladies who shared their stories with an audience of over 100 women. It was moving, to say the least. 

As we listened, laughed, and-at times-wiped away tears, we were changed. Our hearts were softened, and the Holy Spirit moved in that sanctuary. 

One theme (of many) that stood out was that many of the speakers and attendees suffered from depression. As I listened to women bare their hearts about their experience with being in the pit, I remembered my own. I recalled lying on the floor, sobbing, unable to "pull it together" and not even being able to name what exactly was breaking me. 

I remember the helpless and hopeless feeling--the utter despair.

Today, I am over at Ungrind.org sharing about that despair and the hope that God is there and He will see you through. I hope you will join me there by clicking HERE.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

All Mixed Up, Turned Upside Down

"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Have you experiences this? I have and it's very unsettling. To think something is good--of God even--only to realize that it's all a facade, evil dressed up as something good.

I don't know why I so often think bad or evil will jump out wearing a neon sign, alerting me in no uncertain terms that I should run the other direction.

But it doesn't.

In fact, it usually creeps in so innocently that I don't even notice

People don't always enter into an affair on a whim, whether physical or emotional. It often begins with a friendship, with sharing things in common, with enjoying one another's company.

People don't always begin a drug addiction with the intention of being an addict. It often begins with pain medicine for a medically valid condition.

Churches don't always divide in a day. It often begins with a group moving away from the Truth of the Bible with the intention of being more culturally relevant.

Leaders don't always go into leadership with the intention of having their subordinates worship them. It often progresses from admiration to idolatry.

What is good can so easily be warped and perverted into something evil.

It actually makes me angry. I've seen this happen. I've experienced this in different ways.

It's bad enough to launch into a sin or a sinful lifestyle when you know that's what you're doing. But to be engaged in something that's sinful without fully realizing that's what it is enrages me.

Too often I've seen relationships begin as something so good--even God ordained-- only to morph into something outside of God's will. It's so gradual, so insidious, that you almost don't see it coming. Almost.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

This scripture very clearly tells us that God will always provide a way out for us. We always have the option of recognizing and fleeing from what isn't good.

The Holy Spirit--some call it your conscience--is very good at raising a red flag when something is outside of God's will. If we listen and pay attention, we will sense the warnings.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
The Holy Spirit will sense when something is out of line and will ring a little bell (figuratively speaking). If we are focused and in God's Word daily, we will learn to recognize that bell. If we are seeking His wisdom and guidance, what starts out as a small dinner bell will turn into a resounding gong that we can't miss.

We will see what is happening and be able to turn from it.

Let's not let Satan take something intended for good, something meant to be healthy and right and good and turn it into something perverse and wrong.

Run hard after the Father. Run away from the one who would deceive you.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)
Submitting to God is always the goal, but sometimes it's hard. It's especially hard when what you're entrenched in feels good. Sometimes, even after we've discovered that we are involved in or heading toward sin, we don't want to turn away. Or, at least, it's very difficult.

That's when we fall on our knees and beg for the strength to do so.

And once we allow God to take over and turn away from the relationship or activity that is ensnaring us, we will be blessed and more fulfilled than we ever would have been had we continued down the path we were on.

"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known" (Deuteronomy 11:27)

Let's be attentive to His prompting. Let's not ignore when we hear the dinner bell so that we won't miss the opportunity to be obedient and faithful. 

I pray today that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and watchful of the red flags raised. Guard every word, every thought and every relationship to make sure Christ truly is at the center of it and that we aren't unwittingly veering off track. 


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