Sometimes You Just Have to Fight…


Recently, I found myself suffering from a physical issue I neither planned on nor expected. Being a believing believer, a self-professed son of God with power, I inadvertently found myself questioning how something like this could happen to me and further what I could do about it. I knew God’s promises to me yet continued quite uneasy with the rather unpleasant circumstances and the potentially life changing consequences should things not turn out right for me. So, as you might expect, I went to God in perfect prayer at significant lengths in order to figure out what to do next. During those fretful days that followed, I learned a lesson of paramount importance and inestimable value, namely that sometimes you just have to fight!

You may have found yourself at certain junctures in life besieged and assaulted by something that threatens to change your life forever or at minimum, take something away from you that you formerly enjoyed without question. In those frightful moments, what can you do? When you believe in God and have expectations for His care and protection in your life, especially when you’ve enjoyed a lengthy existence with virtually nothing negative ever happening to you (yes that is called being blessed), when something bad happens it can come as quite the shocker. It sort of knocks you off your feet and leaves you reeling for answers. How many people do you know that either begin to search within for possible causes or worse blame God for failing them in some capacity? Or, sadly, how many resign themselves to an awful fate and simply learn to live with it or live without it?

I think that in these moments, you sort of find out who you really are or maybe better, what you really believe. It’s all fun and games until the shit hits the fan. It’s all terrific in theory. It’s nice to talk about and tell others about. I mean it is the truth after all. But knowing the truth of God’s Word and preaching about it is one thing, but demanding it in your life is a whole other thing. So you are basically left with a choice. Are you going to hold fast to spiritual truth or are you going to faint in your heart based on the information supplied to your senses mind? The whole fight will be won or lost based upon your ultimate decision. But, there’s the clue. It’s a fight and in order to win sometimes you just gotta fight!

As I’ve said on many occasions, we are all in a spiritual contest between good and evil. Good proceeding from God wants you to be blessed, healthy and prosperous. Evil proceeding from the devil and his multiplicity of minions, wants you to be miserable, defeated, sick and finally dead! God wants to give to you and the devil seeks to steal from you.  How you vote determines the election! Unlike our dismal, present day political elections, yours is the only vote that counts. Who or what are you going to believe?

Now flash forward to a guy who already believes, wholeheartedly. Well, maybe I should add, wholeheartedly wants to believe. Imagine that this guy is generally passive in nature and seeks rather to avoid the fight than get in one. He aint no punk, but by nature he loves peace and harmony. Yet now he finds himself assaulted! What should he do? Well, first in his quest is to recognize that he is in fact being assaulted. He has to remember he is in a spiritual contest and that his opponent plays for keeps. He has to look beyond the five-senses portrayal of events and see things spiritually. Now, with God’s help and clarity, he has to do what anyone finding themselves assaulted needs to do. Fight back! He cannot spend another moment considering and dwelling on where he may have gone wrong or what in his life allowed this to happen (though it will prove useful to learn this after he wins) but instead has to get into the fight. He must perceive the insidious nature of his opponent and resolve himself to fight until the end, no matter what it costs, until he wins. There is no other reasonable solution. God has given him spiritual power with which to fight, but he has to get off his mental ass and swing!

It is futile for him to wish God would simply remove the barrier and bring back his ease and comfort. God never promised he wouldn’t be assailed at times, but instead promised no matter the attack, he could always win. God doesn’t need to make an obstacle in order to strengthen him to win, but rather uses the obstacle from the dark side as a means to make all things to work together for good, provided his man or woman is willing to fight. It’s sort of like you going to get your Dad’s help in a conflict and him telling you to get your ass back out there and fight! However, this is always a spiritual fight and requires you to tap into your spiritual Father’s power if you are going to be able to win. By your own self, you can do nothing!

In that great fight, taking place in the arena of your mind, you have to stop vacillating between what could be or could go wrong and instead gird up the loins of your mind with what God says is true. Don’t fall into the fallacy that you can overcome your opponent with your logic. He will eat you for breakfast. The logic of your senses mind is his home court. He will squirrel up your thoughts so bad you won’t be able to even stand up, let alone fight! No, no, no! You fight with God’s Word with no backup plan, no settling and no negotiation. You stand on, with all that you are and could ever hope to be, what God says is true, which in this case is to heal you. The doctor says your recovery is doubtful (and maybe it is according to the factual world), so you quickly duck and fire back (in your mind) with, “I am the Lord that healeth thee!” Your conditions don’t seem to be getting better or maybe the pain persists, so you duck again, dismiss it and throw your haymaker, “Jesus Christ suffered torture so that the devil would never again have access to my physical body to cause me to suffer!” And you just keep punching that bastard until he backs down as he necessarily must because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world!

You see, us peace-loving folks aren’t always looking for a fight, but when we find ourselves in one, we stand up on our spiritual haunches and fight back!

If you want to live the more than abundant life God has promised you, and you have some need to be fulfilled, sometimes you just have to fight and fight and fight until you win! That’s the only reasonable, logical conclusion. Don’t faint in your heart because of what it looks like for nothing is impossible with God.

We win folks, we always win…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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To Do or Not To Do…


not-to-doThere’s a false assumption circling the earth that life is basically a neutral experience, meaning that if you do good, good will happen and if you do bad, bad will happen. If you want to be happy you have to do the things that make for happiness and if you choose badly and select the wrong things, you will garner unhappiness instead. It seems very logical and straightforward especially if you got convinced that humans arrived as part of a chain immediately following some intelligent apes. Life absent creation would of necessity have to function that way. But, and this is the mother of all buts, if humans beings were actually created by God, they would of necessity have the seeds of happiness and goodness built right into them. Then that elusive happiness for which the whole world seeks would emerge naturally by not doing those things that hindered it from happening as opposed to wearing yourself out in fruitless endeavors that never lead to the real McCoy! Truly then life is about what not to do instead of what to do…

God, in His word, is very clear about what not to do. I aint talking about not cussing and drinking and going out with girls who do. That sadly, is a surface level view of life made up by men who are wholly ignorant of spiritual matters. How silly and foolish would it be to think that life and happiness hinge on whether or not you had a glass of wine or said an occasional swear word or made mistakes of which the whole world is guilty. Religion and its multifarious rules for living produce the exact opposite of life. And, if you have been unfortunate enough to have learned to live that way, you know what I’m saying is true. Instead life, spiritual life is much deeper than that. It is more what you believe is true in your heart than it is your behavior and the sum total of your human foibles and missteps. Happiness follows obeying what God says not to do which leads ever naturally to life and fulfillment and growth, the pattern displayed by all living things.

For example, God says that because of the accomplishments of his son, He has made you righteous before him. As such, there is nothing you can do to add to that divine favor God has given you. It has already been freely given to you. Each time you seek to do good works to increase God’s favor towards you, you are now engaged in something God said not to do. Try as you will, you will never arrive at the place you are seeking because what you are seeking is a lie. Doing good works does not make your life happier. Believing what God said He did for you makes your life happier. Refusing to try to earn something from God makes your life happier. Have you ever noticed that when you are afraid of something, your behaviors improve a little as if you can somehow force God to take care of you? “If you get me out of……I will never…….again!” But doing so, you miss the point. God taking care of you is natural and to be expected. Being afraid He won’t is the perversion. If you want to be happy, do not try to earn favor with God. You can’t!

In a similar vein, God’s desire is that you accept the sacrifice of His son to cover every misstep you have ever made. Jesus Christ paid the price for every looney tunes activity you ever got caught up in. Because of that sacrifice, you remain sinless in God’s sight. You have a right to stand in God’s presence with no consciousness of sin, guilt or your shortcomings. That’s who you are and that is what you have. Spending your life in futile attempts to atone for your errors is the wrong approach. Again, it’s not what to do, but what not to do. Do not maintain a running consciousness of your shortcomings and mistakes. Do not catalog and consider your errors thinking it makes you humble. It doesn’t make you humble, it makes you weak and susceptible to more and more errors. No-one is weaker and more miserable than a perpetually condemned Christian! No-one! Thus your task, your challenge, once you get things straight with God (i.e. I’m sorry Father) is to immediately engage in the process of forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead. If you can do this and not do what God says not to do, you will find yourself overwhelmed with joy and happiness.

Life is supposed to be a joyful experience, not an arduous hanging on or surviving. If you are barely keeping your head above water I can assure you, you are doing something God said not to do either from ignorance or willful, stubborn rebellion based on your easily defeated human logic. It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters what God said is true. Sin is simply missing the mark or the bullseye. When you miss the bullseye you lose instead of winning. BUT, you don’t hit the bullseye by never sinning again, you hit the bullseye by accepting God’s savior from sin. God knows you and He knows me. He sees through all of our foolishness; all of our rebellion; all of our human tendency to step aside and loves us anyway. He knows we are going to blow it and has already made provisions to cover us. Your man-made provisions will only leave you empty and defeated. It aint about you, it’s about Him!

Your best chance at happiness and peace and love is to learn for yourself what God says not to do. Get rid of the hindrances, the obstacles, the chains that drag you down and see if you, like a pretty flower won’t grow and blossom into something beautiful. Living things thrive when the obstacles to their growth are removed!

You are God’s created being and as such are due all of the happiness and blessings that you can handle, not because of how good you are but because of how good He is… Learn what not to do!

Just some good thoughts…

The Great Human Experience…


wall-700x465The experience of life and indeed, human beings is a fascinating study at best. Trying to understand how one can travel from lost and confused to focused with clarity often within the same twenty-four hour period is a conundrum reserved for a mastermind. We, the people, are literally all over the place. We ride one day on the high places of the earth and the next day subdued in the misty flats. In the quiet of the morning, our thoughts are gentle and expectant only to turn harried and pressed by the end of the day. And all of this can only be defined as the great human experience.

Sometimes when you are a writer and you know you have something to say, you find yourself intoxicated with the notion of communicating some idea, some ideal way to think and be that will enable your brothers and sisters to live only on the high road in the space of clarity and with undisturbed peacefulness. Yet the words, however earnest, elude you because that isn’t the way of life. It’s just not that simple. Soon you begin to realize that life isn’t found exclusively in the victory, the challenge overcome, but in the learning that accompanied it; the thoughts and considerations that finally brought you there. To fantasize that you could arrive without the challenges isn’t life, but a false expectation that you might get something for nothing and somehow gain the prize absent the exertion! Such is not life at all… Such seeks to  cheat the great human experience.

If ever you may finally get to the place where you accept how life is, your trophy, your purse, your joy and your fulfillment arrive in concert with your decision to learn how to compete. Once you discover the competition taking place and learn how to see it as such, you begin to zoom in on the details. It’s the subtleties, the little things that shape and round out your existence, not the big moments and flashy circumstances. Your body, your mind with its five senses registering and if you have believed, your spirit, all work in concert to play out and reveal a grand drama in which you are the lead actor. Every registering sensation, feeling or insight begging for a decision, a conclusion, a judgment. How you vote determines how your life proceeds; how your year goes; how your day plays out! When you feel subdued and defeated, wandering in the low places, you’ve likely failed to register the appropriate scintilla and cast your ballot amiss. When you’re enjoying the ride on the high road; when you are the head and not the tail, you have discerned properly and made the right choices. You’ve challenged the lie, the error and seen through the false threats and with perfect equanimity rose above the challenges of the day. Such is the great human experience.

People often imagine how their lives might have turned out if they made some different choices early on. They pine for what might have been had they lived in another locale or chose a different partner or discovered their passion; their gift earlier. But, that’s not how life works and constitutes a futile reminiscence. You chose what you chose when you chose it because for you, in that moment of time, it was the right choice. Now that you’ve grown and progressed does not negate your earlier choices, but rather demands that you adapt and change to match your present condition. The capability you enjoy today was not your capability of ten years ago. You are where you are that you may continue to learn and continue to grow. To think that growth and learning are reserved for the young serves only to cut you off from the sweetness of life. It seems many elders have acquiesced to a limited view of life, no longer seeking to delineate their experience, but voting based on what they already know. Yet life and circumstances have changed as you would expect within the great human experience.

Have you ever considered that the challenges you face exist not because God has placed them in your path, but rather because there is some aspect of your experience, your previous learning that needs modification and as such is exploited by a hidden enemy fully aware of that deficiency? Instead of whining against the circumstances; ever begging for a changed existence, your duty, your obligation, your absolute requirement is to discover how to overcome! Each piece of darkness that prevails does so by some ignorance of the truth concerning it. Every affliction, every anguish, every burden, every discouraging aspect of your present life exists only until you finally uncover the truth concerning it and change your vote accordingly. Your belief of the truth; your full persuasion concerning that which is right; your unalterable determination, is the only course to victory in the great human experience.

Life in all of its varieties and manifestations has been programmed by its Source to prevail. You can learn to live above the distractions, the heartaches, the troubles of life as you consciously decide to learn what the experience; what the circumstance contains for you. Instead of frustration leading to fear, start paying attention to recurring dramas, to issues resembling other issues, to chronic problems and then believe God to show you the solutions, indeed the way out! If you were smart enough to have done it on your own, you would have done so already. You are only as stuck as your dogged pride has determined you to be. Believe to see. Accept that you do not know already. Admit to your need for assistance. No-one wins at life on their own. If you do this, you will, like the blind man who God gave back his sight, at last see and in seeing, change…

This is the only way to master the great human experience…

Just some good thoughts…

 

When Your Problem Becomes Your Problem…


ProblemAlerts.jpgBy nature, in order to have a “problem,” means there is some aspect of your life that you find yourself incapable of solving. You’ve done your best thinking. You’ve looked at it from every angle. In short, you’ve devoted yourself 100% to it and yet your problem remains. You may have even resigned yourself to a life with the “problem.” However, there eventually reaches a point where your problem becomes your problem!

We all have bad things happen to us. Some things that happen to people are so indescribably evil, there are no words to explain it. Other people just sort of get stuck with some dilemma they find themselves living a lifetime trying to escape. Catastrophes, extreme losses, losing it all, all have the potential to take away your lifeblood and reduce life to mere existence. Lower down the scale many find themselves a victim, not to something that happened to them directly, but to the repercussions of some grand mistake; some error in judgment; some momentary lapse that became the defining factor in their lives! Again, the apparently inescapable problem became their life problem.

No matter what may have happened to you or what insurmountable problem you may face, there is always a solution. The trouble permeates when it becomes your sole focus in life. You can spot someone suffering in this way immediately because it is the only subject on which they speak authoritatively. They unknowingly dwell in it; they breathe it with every exhale; they consume it and drown themselves in it. Instead of being a problem from which they can still escape, it becomes their reason for living, their red badge of courage.

Ironically, the way to escape it, is the exact opposite of what appears. In the words of a wise man, “Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light.” Dwelling on what went wrong, what you did wrong, why something went wrong, all serve not to remedy the situation, but rather to affix you, the sufferer, deeper and deeper into the problem. And sadly, if you remain fixated on the darkness long enough, your chances of escape become slimmer and slimmer. You are never, ever going to out-think the darkness by remaining in the darkness. Instead, like all people in the dark, your task will become more and more insurmountable. The reason people are locked into some tragedy or failing that happened twenty-five years ago is because they never let it go. You cannot overcome unless you eventually let it go. In fact, you aren’t going to begin to solve your problems now until you finally learn to let them go.

Life was never intended for you to be the party of the first part, the second part and every other part. You are a human being for God’s sake and much of life escapes your control. When the doctor says you have an incurable disease there’s not a damn thing you, the human being, can do about it. You are fighting against spiritual powers of which you may know or understand very little. Instead you, the finite human being, are supposed to eventually admit you do not know what to do and beseech the help of the One that knows exactly what to do. Absent God and left to your own limited devices, you are simply going to lose. But, if you can get to the place where you wake up, you hand those life-long issues over to God and let Him do what He promised He would do all along!

Goodness knows that some of the things that may have happened to you are awful and painful and arduous at best. That’s not to minimize their grave impact on you at all. You’re stuck because your problem is beyond your human capability to deal with it. Your solution is to let it go. Give it to God every time it lands itself back in your lap. Stop thinking it, fearing it, rehearsing it, addressing it and embracing it. The inescapable problem is bad enough without giving over your entire life and mind in defense and admiration of it. Your problem is not the supreme thing in life. It is not to be your primary thought in every situation. It may have become that but it doesn’t have to remain that. God is supposed to be your supreme thing and your primary thought in life. Dwelling on God and what He says is dwelling in the light. In the light, the solutions become clear and obvious. Maybe your solution is healing. Maybe your solution is to finally get past a terrible event. Maybe your solution is a radical change in your thinking and manner of living. Whatever your solution may be, it can only be found in one place and one place only – the light!

Darkness is a slippery character and is well schooled in how to defeat a human being. Evil and wrong don’t just hit you with a sucker punch you never saw coming, but instead seeks to take away all that is important to you. It’s goal, like trapping a bird in a cage, is  to snare you into some mode of thinking that guarantees more and more trouble will replicate itself in your life. For this reason, you need something bigger than yourself to set you free.

All of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves trapped in some grand dilemma. Everyone of us has had a problem whose solution escaped us. We’ve all been stuck, distracted and caught up into some thing that has been gaining more and more power over us. And like a rodent we seek to remove from our situation, in order to rid ourselves of it, we have to remove its food source. Literally, you have to stop feeding it! You have to steadfastly resist your human tendency and ego that is striving to figure it out and choose rather not to give it any space in your thinking. It’s not easy to do, but is required if you want to win. You have to seek God’s help and continue seeking God’s solution until you realize it in your life. God is faithful and will provide what you need, but you have to do it His way. Every time your problem presents itself to you by knocking on the doors of your mind, you have to give it back to God where it belongs. God will deliver you my friend, with the duration dependent entirely upon your faithfulness to keep your mind fixed on the light! It can be done. It will be done!

How do you prevent your problem from being your life’s problem? Make your problem God’s problem and let Him figure it out. There is no other way…

Just some good thoughts.