How weak and discouraged we can become! Oh how easy it is to slip! It amazes me that even with bucket loads of genuine faith, it is still so easy to listen to our own excuses and take the easier options. A profound quote, which I heard recently, comes to mind….
“The blood of Christ can cleanse EVERY confessed sin, the only thing it cannot cleanse is an excuse!”
There are countless excuses to put off doing the often grueling work of a calling. My recent excuse has been my illness and medication. The high levels of medication needed for the past year totally destroyed my ability to be creative. I could barely come up with an idea of what to make for dinner, let alone write something that may inspire any of you!
In His usual merciful way, the Lord gives much needed grace. The pressure to perform work for Him decreases, and even though we keep Him in our thoughts and speak of Him to others, It’s easier to turn to comfort and away from suffering willingly. Instead of researching diligently for motivation and spiritual food, we often give up and lean hard on any distraction.
True to form, the Lord gives us enough rope to hang ourselves with, and as usual He reaches down and intervenes before we can completely destroy ourselves and all His blessings around us.
As the rope tightens, fear overcomes us, discord enters our lives from almost every angle. In my case I became defensive and self-righteous. I had used my excuses for a longer period than God had deemed acceptable. By stepping outside His will we step outside His protection. As a result we become discouraged, full of confusion and despair.
In times like this we need a WORD from the Lord, and sometimes that word is not the full picture but a single step which He directs us to take. A single step of obedience, often a horribly scary and difficult step. However when you get a WORD from God you know that you know what you must do, no doubt at all. It’s a step that takes constant prayer, complete reliance on God’s strength to stick to it, and acceptance of our weakness, our inability to perform it without Him. All trust and Hope must be in Him!
Steps like this usually go against every step we would normally take, it is a step within the spiritual system and appears to be something entirely different to those in the world system. It also comes with intense demonic attack. Attack trying to discourage you so your faith is weak. Attack to distract you from staying within God’s will, and you can be sure you will get attack after taking that step of obedience, as spiritual backlash. This is spiritual warfare at it’s core, a fight within ourselves against our flesh, a fight within ourselves against our poisoned souls and hard hearts, a fight against the armies of the spiritual world aimed to unravel God’s plan. Inner Angels and Enemies in full force BATTLE!
Without knowing the entire message, we must obey, we must take that step and stand there waiting for our next direction. Standing in that tiny square, waiting on God in obedience, is a test. How long we must stay there depends on how long it takes for us to get an A+. God wants us to pass with flying colours and is patient enough to wait however long it takes.
After the time of this test, while standing still, leaning on this WORD, this step, I turned, face first into God’s presence and the moment I did, the Lord began to comfort me. Not many more steps were needed in His direction to receive His revelation, and after my remorseful confession came His wonderful blessing! Stable, Strong, Zealous, and Productive Faith!
I am overjoyed to be useful to Him again! To have Clarity replace Confusion, Faith replace Fear, Health replace Illness, Love replace Hate. God is SO GOOD!
I’m not going to lie to you, It has been a tough couple of weeks. It took a lot of pouring out my faith to write (and publish) the series ‘Gaining Help from Above’. Draining my faith like that often leaves me vulnerable, I want to withdraw, to protect my exposed soul. If I engage too deeply with another I am often touchy and defensive. My guard shoots back up, because I don’t like the feeling of being exposed, even though I accept that it is worthwhile in order to obey and reach the next phase in my faith walk towards being useful for my Father in Heaven.
I want to set aside this vulnerability and regain some clarity and security in the familiar, the routine, my comfort zone. Yet I still feel pulled to finish off this series with a neat bow, and get back to writing one-off posts, the ones that I am “more comfortable” with, (I know, I am so soft! 😉 ).
While writing this series I found myself wanting to repeat words I have written before, and memories of each stage in my faith walk came flooding back to light. I have become overwhelmed by how long it will take me to finish sharing. There is so much to the task of gaining help from above, more and more insights kept filling my heart as I tried to reach the light at the end of this series. Then I realised that gaining help from above is not a one series wonder, it is a daily walk, not a one time deal. It takes commitment, it takes discipline, it takes a heart willing to soften each day. It takes a daily prayer, asking The Lord to make a home for Himself in our hearts.
So to wrap up this series I am going to set my readers up with a few links to help them keep on trekking toward their goal of a ‘God inspired’ existence. These are some resources to help those of you who are interested in expanding your insights, to make further steps onto a path of research. There are some of my own previous posts which cover areas I believe are crucial to the authenticity of a relationship with God, and also some links to the Bible teachers who have inspired and filled my soul more times than I can count.
I hope you receive much filling of your own soul from these links and I wish you all the best of feeling God’s love and strength as you continue forward on a journey to righteousness and peace. It goes without saying that I will continue to share more of my stories and perceptions here at Inner Angels and Enemies, so I hope you stick around for those.
God…Really? – Sometimes it is hard to tell whether we are being directed by God, another ‘human’, the enemy, or our merely our own thoughts. This post shines a light on these issues, and the falsehood often found in religiosity.
“When Will We Feel Good Enough Already?”… This post outlines a perspective of how to identify our feelings of a lack of worth, our toxic ‘good intentions’, and our pride, to understand how these distances us from God, and how our humility brings us closer to Him. God blessed me with a word the day I wrote this post, and I hope it will continue to bless others as much as writing it did for me.
The Two Voices of Guilt – Even after we receive forgiveness and salvation through faith we can still battle against guilty feelings. I touch on this issue in this post.
Confessions – Read along as I list my confessions and accept The Lord’s blessing of forgiveness from them. I am certain many will be able to relate.
Dr Michael Youssef – Leading the Way My Dad put me onto this guy and he has a way of simplifying and reinforcing the principles of God. He makes me laugh and grow every time I watch him…This is not milk for babies, he speaks the meat of the word, it will fill all.
Beth Moore – Life Today The first time I heard Beth Moore speak I cried like a baby in the Lord’s arms. Her passions for The Lord inspires me, her humility moves me, her wisdom convicts me and her love for all is a true blessing.
Thank you to all who encouraged me throughout this series, I truly appreciate it. I pray for all of us to find the love inside that God has for us and for us to finally be fulfilled and at peace in His presence. Blessings to All!
When I was a young single Mum, before I began deepening my relationship with God, I found myself bouncing from one relationship to another. I was hunting desperately for that one man who would fulfill my dreams of a united family, and a stable home for me and my daughter, a nice yard with a fence where she could play, and maybe a dog. You know the ‘typical’ family life, a life I had been dreaming of since my parents split up when I was a young girl.
I was in a relationship with a man, we did not live together, and after 2 years I was frustrated. I had pinned so many hopes on him, hoping he would want the same things as me. No matter how much I forced discussions about our future he always seemed to change the subject, or speak in vague riddles. Eventually, after long talks with my Dad about life, love, faith and dreams, I began to accept the truth. In reality this man and I were looking for different things, and I was so hell-bent on controlling my life and those in it, that I had given God no room to take the wheel and steer my life in a better direction.
Dad’s talks gave me a new perspective. I needed to let go of my rigid dreams and allow God to bring His dreams into my life.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11 (ESV)
I ended my 2 year relationship and took some time to sit quietly with God, I promised to truly give up my pursuit of that one dream I had been in search of. I committed my life into God’s hands, and rather than the physical ways I had been intimate before, I began to develop intimacy with my Heavenly Father instead.
Within a few months everything changed. A good friend invited my Dad, myself and my Daughter, to rent his house, it had a nice yard and even a dog. I now had my Dad as a stable influence in our life and a dear friend who completed the household. I found myself rushing home from work to spend time at home, something I had no recollection of doing for as long as I could remember. Then one day, in an miraculous way, my heart changed. I saw my friend with ‘new eyes’, and an attraction developed. God gave me a number of confirming signs that this was the man He had chosen for me, and I began to expand on the love I had for my friend. The reality of our life together has had higher highs and joy than I had ever envisioned in my previous ‘controlling’ dreams. Of course we have been through some rough times, but I have confidence in God’s dream much more than I ever had in my own, no matter what the future holds God is trustworthy. In all areas of my life I can trust in His loving provision, believing He will have more in store for me than my limited imagination can conceive.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Prov 19:21 (ESV)
Control is an illusion anyway! If we have faith, we know that God already knows what we are going to do, and what we are going to choose in our daily walk, and He knows what He is going to bring our way in relation to our choices. His Will, will be done after all. If control is in fact an illusion, why not work with God by submitting to His influence over our lives? We have been given free choice, and it is a free choice to choose His way over our own.
Letting go of our own dreams allows Him to bring us a new dream, His Dream.
By using both hands to hold tightly to the steering wheel of my own dream, I had no free hand to accept all that God had in store for me. If we rest this life on an open palm, we allow God to take and to give, then we can experience His blessings for us. I promise that He loves us so very much, and if we give Him the chance, He is faithful to blow our minds with a miraculous reality that only He can create.
‘Control’ is the 4th post in the series ‘Gaining Help from Above’, which I am writing for a friend, who reached out to me in her hour of need. Here are the links to the previous posts in order from the beginning – ‘Connection‘, ‘Accepting an Encounter’, and ‘Security’. Here is the link to the next post. Blessings to you all!
In my previous blog Discipline + Trust = Love I took you through the story of my emotionally manipulative behaviour and how perhaps a lack of discipline and trust contributed to it. I hope it helps others recognise similar behaviour in themselves, and to learn how to access powerful angels to combat this all too common inner enemy. Please read the previous one first, as it sets the foundation for this post.
If you would like to hear more about the emotional trials I faced in my relationships and the success that came from my new perspective have a read of Less Tantrums, More Love. I’d like to keep the focus here to explain more about what God has been trying to help me understand, about how disciplining our children with love helps to build trust and a healthy perspective of how to feel love and be grateful of Godly discipline.
Discipline means, the trait of being well behaved; a branch of knowledge; and training to improve strength or self-control. Trust means, the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others; allow without fear; and complete confidence in a person or plan.
Seeing as I am a parent currently learning these lessons myself, I feel my readers may as well be learning this right along with me. God has been showing me that it is our job as parents to seek His advice in deciding what is right for our children and stick to that with all the tenacity and prayer we can muster, even if they don’t like it, even if they panic, and even if they cry! The hope is that this may help them develop strength, self-control, good behaviour and knowledge. If our children learn that they can trust us, they will believe in our honesty and reliability, have complete confidence in us and our guidelines, without fear.
When I first became a parent I was mindful of the problems the lack of discipline in certain areas caused me, I did my best to address this early on, and was indignant if my children battled against me, sometimes I would win and sometimes I would be defeated. However it wasn’t until I developed some faith that I was more able to withstand against their emotional manipulations. I am far from a role model parent, I loose my temper, react badly and still struggle with the effects of my psychological conditions. However, I am willing to try to stick to my convictions and trust that God will cover areas I am unable to! Amen! I always hope to keep improving as a parent so that during times when they may stand against my authority, or when as they grow and begin to decide for themselves, I can adapt with each phase and yet must remember to recognise the enemy’s tricks and pray for the strength to stand strong with Godly principles in mind.
I came to recognise the inner enemy as the force at work that is trying to get parents to crumble under the emotional pressure and allow children to get away with bad behaviour. The only weapon we have against any inner enemy is God’s army of angels we must call upon with faith and the armour which God provides. This article by a fellow blogger explains The Armour of God from the scriptures if you want to read more on this subject.
After many battles of will with my children and seeing the difference the help from my inner angels makes, I am beginning to realise that ‘meaning what you say with love in your heart’ is the most important way of building your child’s trust and gaining their respect. If we offer a punishment for bad behaviour or a disrespectful attitude, and fail to pass it out, why would a child be concerned by our threats and learn to respect us? If we allow our children’s emotions and tantrums to dictate a change in our rules or our decisions, doesn’t that change who’s in authority? Why then, would they trust us to know what is best for them? I believe we need to teach our children to understand that when we insist on what is best for them and what is acceptable behaviour, even if they don’t ‘like’ it, it proves our trustworthy authority over them and therefore our stable, dependable love for them.
I am seeing more and more that Godly discipline is proactive discipline. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ This is an understanding of what the consequences will be before the child continues with bad behaviour, a warning, then following through with the threatened consequence every time they ignore the warning. I hope my girls grow to trust me to mean what I say, and know that I’m trying to teach them that for all of life’s decisions, there will be consequences. Good or bad. God gives us warnings, that small voice of conscience reminding us of what is dangerous or unacceptable behaviour. We can choose to ignore the warning, but be assured there will be a consequence eventually.
Too often tactics of discipline don’t always work, because a quick sting on the hand may cause tears, and parents do not want to cause their precious baby to cry, as quite frankly the baby cries enough already! It then becomes common to wait to begin disciplining until around 2 years old. By this time the child has already gotten away with unacceptable behaviour without understanding consequences, they have no idea how or why to heed a warning.
Usually the frustration parents feel at having no control or no respect from their children can lead to emotionally reactive discipline, for example yelling, swearing, smacking in anger without warning, unreasonable punishments or irrational threats that may sound scary but will never be carried out. Reactive discipline may actually be the cause why the child does not trust us or respect us! From the minute they try to get their own way, we need to take control and mean what we say with love in our heart.
As we grow older it is much easier for us to accept the ups and downs in life if we have a stable foundation to build on. As a child we may feel angry, scared, sad or confused when we aren’t allowed to get our own way, but if we are disciplined correctly we grow up to learn that our parents loved us, were trustworthy, helped keep us safe, to make stable choices and display appropriate behaviour. Wouldn’t that also help us see that when life gives us warnings and consequences, we can interpret that as God’s unfailing, trustworthy, guidance and love for us, rather than acting like defiant children who throws a tantrum when we don’t get our own way.