Monday, April 27, 2009

Are you using protection?

I went to the zoo a few weeks ago. My children and I watched a turtle retreat into her shell and a lizard blend into his surroundings. Later, we learned about how an octopus, when under attack, sprays a cloud of black ink. This ink impairs the vision of it's predators and also temporarily paralyzes their sense of smell.

God provides His creations with defense mechanisms for their protection.

As humans, we'd like to think that we are a zillion times smarter than any turtle or lizard. But, the very brain that makes us different from them is typically the reason why we often find ourselves in so much trouble. For we have been given free will. Choice. When we don't make the choice to go to Jesus for our protection, we are easy prey.

Our defense mechanisms are found in the word of God. Are you using protection?

We all have different struggles with things that can keep us from being productive. Here are a few scriptures that I find useful.

1) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
2 Timothy 1:7

Fear and nervousness, for me, can be paralyzing. But I'm learning to push forward through prayer and faith in God's power. Sometimes I really have to step out of myself.
Note: See first blog post. :)

2) "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4 6:7

Worry is another one...I've been known to rock back and forth, all day, fretting about one thing or another, as if my rocking could move mountains. I have a 'thankful list' that I keep on my wall. Each day, I thank God for what we have and look to Him for what we don't. Surely, He knows every one of our needs. He provides, and I learned that being still, and talking and listening to God brings about a beautiful peace and gets me much farther than rocking does.

3) "A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

I used to pride myself on being right and 'winning' an argument. Oh, I could shut somebody DOWN! But there are rarely winners when names are called and feelings are hurt over something that really could have been left alone. Holding my tongue has to be THE hardest thing. But my time is too precious to waste on foolishness. And, I've learned that when I don't entertain it, but hand it off to God, the drama goes away.

"For our struggle is not against 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." Ephesians 6:12

The battle is spiritual. Wrap yourself in God's protection and get about His business!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do you believe in magic?

For the past few weeks, I've been watching a magic show on Monday nights with my family. The 'masked magician' performs several magic tricks and reveals the secret to how each act was carried out. A woman was cut in half. A handcuffed magician escaped from a locked barrel. People disappeared and reappeared.

I explained to my children that what we were watching was an illusion. We were being led to believe that an event was taking place, when it really wasn't. Someone was behind the curtains, manipulating things because they wanted us to believe that what we were looking at was real.

Once we caught on to the secrets, the performances grew a little stale. The ladies twisted their bodies into one of the five zillion secret compartments. The magician was never really chained and the barrel wasn't locked either. Look-a-like assistants pulled off the disappearing/reappearing acts.

Don't get me wrong. It was still fun to watch. But our perspectives had changed. We knew the truth, so our reactions were different. Instead of being amazed by the illusion, we immediately searched for a loophole, trying to figure out the truth.

We live in a time where many of us are being deceived by the illusions of this world. We are hurting ourselves, and hurting each other. We look at our temporary circumstances and are tricked into believing that we have no hope, no self-worth, and no future.

Satan can definitely bring the drama, and it is intensified by our own self-doubt and fear. While unpleasant situations may get us a little rattled, we should seek Jesus and His truth about our next move. For He truly brings the magic.

No, the miracles.

Pray, have faith, and enjoy the show!

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. " John 10:10