Two Weeks Notice

I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan again. (If you have not read it, READ IT!)  My husband bought it for me quite some time ago and I absolutely loved it!  While sitting in carpool the other day I discovered I had it on my Kindle App (on my EVO) and started reading it again.  I am in awe of the way in which God works.  His timing is truly perfect.  I needed to hear those words of truth again.


Yesterday I gave my two weeks notice.  I gave up the fight and surrendered to what I knew God was placing on my heart.  I am now anxious.  I am not going to lie about it.  For a while now my husband and I have gone back and forth about me resigning.  He was confident, I was not.  I kept praying.  God kept answering.  I chose to ignore Him.

Here is what I do not understand about me. I have taken so many steps of faith throughout the past few years so why is this one so hard?  I have seen God do amazing things.  In 2011, God made it very clear that I was to trudge ahead in the battle for custody of my children without an attorney.  I heard Him clearly and knew what I had to do.  I fought against those who told me I was doing the wrong thing.  I held my ground and I trusted the Lord wholeheartedly.  I walked out of a court battle knowing I had done what I needed to do and given God complete control.  I had total faith even when I thought I had lost I knew He was in control. That battle was huge but I did not doubt His provision.  Not once.   Two years later, I am a walking billboard to the promises of a mighty God.  I know He takes care and provides for His children.  I am confident!  So why can I not trust Him with this small thing?  Why am I afraid to walk away from my small part time job?  Why do I think that somehow He will not provide?  I want to smack myself around a little.  Tell myself to wake up.  Remind myself that when we walk in obedience He blesses our obedience.   

As I read Crazy Love again I am reminded of how small I am in the grand scheme of things.  I am reminded yet again that my life is but a mere vapor.  That for what small amount of time I am here my only purpose is to serve and glorify God.  My life purpose is to glorify a Holy God.  I tossed that around in my head for a while.  How exactly do I do that?

I have been through so much yet every step of the way I have seen God make way.  In every choice to step out on faith and follow Him, He has blessed my obedience. Has it always happened the moment I wanted it to happen? NONot even close.  Instead, I have learned patience but most importantly, I have learned how to trust Him.  He has promised me His provision and He has followed through every time in His time.   Here is where I now ask myself do I continue to live each day worried about everything? In doing so how will my worrying bring any type of glory to God?  Philippians4:4-7 reminds me that I am to be anxious about nothing but to rejoice in the Lord always.  Not just when things are good but when things are just downright crappy as well.  No matter what is happening I AM TO REJOICE!  This is not a debatable thing.  This is what scripture tells me to do.   In 1 John4:18, I read that there is no fear in love.  That perfect love casts out fear and in knowing that God’s love for me is perfect then I have NO right whatsoever to be fearful. WHY? Because HE LOVES ME! 

So to wrap it all up I turn to truth.  Yesterday after giving my letter to my manager, I noticed I had a voicemail from my husband.  As I took a moment to listen, my heart found a moment of peace.  His voicemail told me to turn to Numbers 23:19 (which happened to be the verse he was praying for me that day from the wedding gift he gave to me).  As I pulled up the Bible app on my phone, I read

“God isn’t a mere man. He can’t lie.  He isn’t a human being.  He doesn’t change his mind. He speaks, and then He acts.  He makes a promise and then He keeps it.”

God knew on June 17, 2013 I would hand over my resignation letter.  He knows my fears.  He knows my heart.  God knew that on December 1, 2012 my husband would hand me a calendar filled with scriptures that he committed to praying over me throughout the first year of our marriage.  God knew that on that day (yesterday) I would need that verse as a reminder of who He is in my life.  HE is MY PROVIDER.  He is unlike those in my life who have repeatedly broken promises.  HE is God.  He cannot lie.  When He makes a promise, He is true to His word.  As I let that sink in and I meditate on the truth of who HE is, I am left confident that stepping out on faith and trusting His word is truly a way in which I can bring glory to Him.  Now I am going to take a step back, grab hold of His hand and let Him lead me once again.  I am now eager to see where this journey is going to take me with the great hope of bringing Him glory along the way.


My Husband used to be a pastor- Part 2

All of this is for your benefit.  And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

2 Corinthians 4:15

This morning I noticed that I have not written in quite some time.  It is not that I do not have anything to write about, as it is quite the opposite.  The problem is that I have so much to write about and so little time to put it all on paper.  As being one who uses writing as therapy this is not a good problem to have.  It means that I am constantly walking around writing in my head leaving everything a jumbled mess. There seem to be too many stories to tell. 
Back in March, I wrote about my husband who used to be a pastor and titled it My Husband used to be a Pastor Part 1 leaving room for the rest of the story.  Who would have thought that three months would pass before I would have the opportunity to put into words the rest of the story?  God knew.  He knew what was coming.  He knew this story would only get better and I needed time to let it play out.
My husband is no longer a pastor by definition.  He is currently a corrections officer in a state prison where men are sitting on death row waiting to die.  He spends 12.25 hours a day “caring” for men who have committed heinous acts such as rape, murder, sexual abuse on children and so much more.  He works in a place where there is not a lot of God but instead of lot of worldly ugliness.   My husband spends time with men who the world has forgotten and tossed aside.  Society has given up on these men but not my husband.  He is an amazing man that way.
Over the past several years, my husband has been referred to as a great many things.  Many of those things are not pleasant things.  His character was trampled and integrity questioned. He was judged.  He was ridiculed. He was wounded and hurt.  He has taught me so much.  Through it all, he taught me that the only opinion that matters is that of God.  Only God knows the hearts, motives and actions of His children.  All other opinion need be ignored. At the end of the day, God alone will judge us.  For me, a people pleaser, this is not an easy thing to put into practice but I watch him live it out on a daily basis.  I watch him as he seeks daily after the Lord and turns to the Lord for direction. He does not ask the opinion of others but instead looks to Truth from God’s word.  He inspires me. 
That is how my husband lives his life.  When the world would condemn his choices to love the unlovable, he chooses to love anyway.  When the world would condemn his choices to help someone who has caused him so much hurt, he chooses to help anyway.  His heart is big.  His patience not always as great as his heart but in the end he does what needs to be done to show the love, grace, forgiveness and mercy to those who need to see those things lived out in a the harsh reality of this world. 
Over the past week, I have watched my husband put this all into practice.  He has extended a great deal of grace, forgiveness and love and it has blown my mind.  Upon sharing the events of what has transpired I have had the great privilege of sharing the faith that my husband and I have with those who don’t understood the choices my husband has made.  It is an amazing thing to watch the faces of those who do not understand grace and forgiveness as they see it in action.  I am so incredibly blessed!  God is using my story and my husband to share His love and grace with those around us.
I am so proud to be his wife.  I am proud to call him husband.  He is an incredible leader in our home and a mighty example in front of my children of Jesus. He may no longer be a pastor in the world of “church” but he is a walking example of who Christ called each of us to be.  He lives out the great commission!

  

Overcome

My first article published as a guest blogger. I’m really excited!! Take a look  🙂

http://faithfuldevotions.com/devotions/overcome

Another day of court…

Yesterday I decided I would clean out my closet.  While going through the clutter, I found a green notebook.  It appeared to be brand new and unused.  I LOVE new notebooks.  It means a clean place to begin writing.  I sat down on my bed and was pleasantly surprised when I found my own handwriting on the first page.  What I found written was dated July 19, 2012.  In parenthesis, I had written the word court.  I checked my calendar.  Sure enough, I was in court on July 19, 2012.  What I found I had written reminded me of God’s amazing faithfulness and His love for me.  Little did I know what God had planned for me that day.  The following are the things exactly as they were written in my notebook while sitting in a freezing cold courtroom on a Thursday morning in July.
In this life, a lot of time is spent waiting.  Waiting on people, waiting on things, waiting on answers.  God calls us to wait.  He asks that we be still before Him trusting Him in every circumstance for His plan to unfold. He has this awesome story written out that we have the amazing privilege of being a small part in.  We choose whether we will play the role of the antagonist or that of the protagonist in His story.  Will we live our lives in a way that brings Him glory?
Daily choices are placed before us that cause us to decide whether we will respond in a righteous way or a self-serving way.  Those choices must be met with aligned hearts.  Hearts that yearn to be obedient to the One in which we serve.  Our choices must come from a place of selflessness if we are going to choose to honor God.  We are commanded to love one another and to forgive and when we live a life that is reflective of that lifestyle, our choices are ones that are selfless.
In life, our obstacles and trials often come because of the choices of others.  We live in a world full of sin and because of that sin, bad choices are made and people are hurt.
Be courageous! Be brave! Be bold! Be strong! Stand firm on His Truth! Rest in His promises! I place my feet on solid ground because of His Truth….
                              ….I won’t shift with feelings
                              …I won’t drown in a sea of tears
                              …He won’t leave me when my cries don’t sound so Christian
Job 17:11- acknowledge hurt
               My days have passed, my plans are shattered and so are the desires of my heart.
Nahum 1:7- recall the beauty of trusting Him
               The Lord is good, a refuge in [times] of [trouble].  HE cares for those who trust in Him.
Proverbs 19:20-21- Nothing I go through is pointless.  Even when I’m hurting, God has a plan.
               Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise.  Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the [Lord’s] [purpose] that [prevails!!!]
Isaiah 55:9b-I don’t have to have the answers.  I choose to trust.
               (God’s) [My] [ways] are [higher] than your [ways] and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Psalm 37:3-4- Only God knows the desires of my heart
               Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and Hewill give you the desires of your heart!
God is good!!! He cares for me even in times of trouble and so I trust Him in all things.  God has a purpose for everything and His plan will always prevail!!!!!  God’s ways are so much greater than my own and so I choose to trust even when I don’t have the answers and things don’t make sense.  When I trust Him and choose to do good, He will give me the desires of my heart.  God is faithful to His promises!!!
Today as I sit and reread what I wrote last July, I am in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness.  Little did I know that when sitting in that courtroom that within a month I would be engaged.  That in five months I would be married and that in seven months my children would be with me again.  I had no clue the plans that God had for me but I knew that I trusted Him completely and took Him at His word.  I have not always gotten it right or made the best choices but God has known my heart all along and has made a way.  I am truly blessed beyond words and have been given the desires that my heart for so many years has longed for.  GOD YOU ARE AMAZING!  Take Him at His word!  He is Faithful to His promises!!!

Grace for Love

I have loved God for most of my life.  I prayed and asked Jesus in to my heart when I was nine years old. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday.  Oh the excitement!  I called everyone.  My grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and friends.  I wanted them all to know.  I understood who Jesus was in my life but the problem became that my approach to Him was one of a religious approach.  I based my relationship with Him on a list of things that I could and could not do and not what Jesus had already done for me through His work on the cross.  I used this system to judge those around me to determine whether they were “good” enough for me to befriend. That is religion. I was a “rule keeper.”  It was not until I reached my thirties that I realized how much I had missed the mark.  I did not understand grace to its fullest.
Back in New Testament times, Paul had his work cut out for him when he was given the job of preaching the gospel to the Jewish people.  They had spent years trying to keep the Law and spent years living under “the system” in which righteousness was attempted through what they did.  God had given Moses the Law (back in the Old Testament) so that one day the Jewish people would see their need for a Savior (Jesus) as they realized that there was absolutely no way they could not keep the Law on their own. 
For those who understand grace (what Christ died to give us) this is very good news. Everything that we receive from God is attained only by our faith in Jesus and nothing by what we do. However, to those religious people who feel they must “do” something this is not good news. Our human flesh cries out with the desire to have something to which we feel proud.  It wants credit for the right done when we get it right.  However, with God’s design, credit can never be given to man because Jesus has already done it all!  
So how do we steer clear of a religion that says do and instead focus on a relationship with Christ that says trust?  It starts with faith. Every gift we receive from God is attained by faith and not by works.  We certainly want to do good things to be a reflection of Christ but those things we do, “works” will not earn us any favor with God. He wants our works to come from a pure heart that is free of any motive in which we think we will receive more from Him. When we follow Christ, our heart desires to serve and love others so that they may know Him too.  Following Him makes us into lights of the world (Matthew 5:14) and people are watching. They are looking for vibrancy, love, peace and joy and those things cannot be reflected fully when we are following a set of rules.  Peace, love and joy are only truly reflected when Christ shines through us.
To illustrate the above we can look back to Moses when he came down from the mountain after receiving the Law (The Ten Commandments). He had been in the presence of God and because of this, his face shone with a glorious radiance.  Because his face shone, he wore a veil when talking to the people because over time the glory would fade.  The glory Moses enjoyed was not permanent. It was a “fading glory.” It came because Moses spent time with the Holy of Holies but once reunited with the rebellious hearts of the people, the glory on his face would fade.  The veil he wore represents separation.  The Law represents separation because the Law brings with it condemnation. In Paul’s writings to the Corinthians, we read that when the Law is read a veil lies over the hearts and minds of the people.”
But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

2 Corinthians 3:13-15
As long as we continue to read the Bible as Law, there will be something separating us from God and hindering us from having an intimate relationship with Him.  This means that we have to stop being “religious” or legalistic, and just come to Jesus. This means not hiding behind a veil of rules attempting to accomplish righteousness on our own instead of walking in an intimate relationship with Christ.  It is laying down all “my” works and seeing The Work that He did on the cross. We want the glory to shine on our faces permanently. And this only comes when we are walking with Christ. When we walk with Him, we are able to come into His presence just as we are with open hearts and unveiled faces and the glory becomes permanent, never fading away. 

My husband used to be a pastor – Part 1

I am married to an amazing man.  He is a man with a heart for people and love for the Lord.  My husband used to be a pastor.  Before we were married, he attended seminary, graduated with a masters degree and became a pastor.  He was married to someone else and living a life different from the life he lives now. That was a different time and he was a different person.

Not long ago the two of us were having a conversation about grace.  He shared with me a story about his time in seminary in which a friend of his fell into sin.  He shared that his (my husband’s) response along with responses of other friends to this friend in sin was lacking in grace.  He admitted that when it came to those “clearly in sin” his extension of grace fell short.  I knew him back in those days and though he was a “nice guy” I had a different opinion of him than I do today.  Back then my now husband could be rigid.  It felt like he was more into following a “religion” or system of rules and procedures in order to accomplish what God wanted him to do.  At the time, I had several friends with husbands in seminary and this seemed to be the general approach.  Nothing against seminary, but from what I encountered this seemed to be the trend of those in that circle.  They could be “super spiritual” while greatly lacking in the department of grace.  At the time that is how I felt about my now husband.

Religion can do that.  Religion is complicated because it becomes more about doing than trusting.  I found a quote that said, “Religion is man’s idea of God’s expectations.”  In the New Testament there were religious leaders who Jesus called vipers (Matthew 12:34) and whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27). They were Pharisees and were all about keeping the rules.  They had zero mercy and lacked compassion for those who chose not to follow their rules.  On top of it all, they had ungodly hearts. These men were legalistic and demanding. To them things had to be done a certain way, their way or they were not acceptable. That is a great description of religion.

Back to my husband who is now no longer a pastor and you may be asking why he is no longer a pastor. Spiritual burnout.  Several years ago, when his life began to fall apart he was “diagnosed” by his counselor with spiritual burnout and recommended by the counselor to resign from his church.  He did.  That may seem like a bold move over something that is simply called spiritual burnout. Maybe it was but it is something that is real.  It was something I had never heard of or knew anything about, so I researched it.  Spiritual burnout is a “disease” that at one time or another has probably plagued us all.  Spiritual burnout can be linked to following a religion.  It can be linked to thinking that we must “do” in order to gain God’s approval.  It is linked to having unrealistic expectations.  It is linked to unconfessed sin.  This “disease” is killing people.  Now I do not mean that people are physically dropping dead because of spiritual burnout, but I do believe that following a religion instead of investing in a relationship with Jesus Christ can eat away at us much like cancer, leaving us spiritually dead.

So how do we get this “disease?” Religion says that we have to find a way, no matter how difficult it may be, to keep the rules or we must accept the punishment.  We set unrealistic expectations upon ourselves.  We live a life trying to be perfect and attempting to do all the right things hoping for God’s approval and favor. It is a lot of exhausting work.  We seek out looking for God in an intimate way only to find that whatever religious community we are a part of is telling us that we need to “do” and “do” more of it in order to have that relationship.  We begin believing that we can only have that intimate relationship if we are good and doing all the “right things.” Religion, or legalism as it is also known, steals life. It is being overly concerned with keeping the rules and exalting those rules over a relationship with Christ. It does not nourish but instead drains us of life. When we follow “the Law” it kills, but when we follow the Spirit, we feel alive.

He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

Trying to follow a religion leaves us unbalanced and we need balance.  We do not need to spend every day of the week participating in some church activity or function and then our remaining time sitting at home reading our Bibles.  Yes, we do need time with other believers and one on one time with God, but not in excess to the exclusion of everything else, not with the wrong motivation of following a list of rules, and not to the point where we are physically drained. Religious leaders tend to lead in this way.  This is not godly.  Satan is into excess.  It is his playground. When we get to doing something too much, it consumes us and leads us to spiritual burnout. When that happens, if left unchecked, it is the perfect opportunity to backslide.  We have to know when enough is enough.  We have to know when we are practicing a religion instead of nurturing an intimate relationship with Christ.

Victory

May he grant your heart’s desires
    and make all your plans succeed.
Psalm 20:4
Throughout the Bible, there is story after story of people who faced mighty challenges that they were able to overcome with incredible confidence and assurance. Great men like Moses and David both faced odds that were not in their favor but they did not hesitate and ended up experiencing great victories.  How did they do it?

The answer is simple as their victories were not things they accomplished in their own strength.  Instead, their great challenges were won because they wholeheartedly believed in the ONE. They trusted God above all else and recognized that no matter how bleak their situation appeared, they would overcome because God was on their side.

I am learning that I can have that same confidence too.  No matter what God calls me to do, I can be confident that there will be a victory as long as I choose to follow Him in obedience and do as He calls me to do. My earthly resources may not be anything to write home about but I have an amazing God on my side.  Because Of Him, I can be confident that I will have the victory and experience the abundance of His blessings every time.

My "other half"

I love my husband.  I love my husband more than I can express in words.  As I type those words, my eyes fill with tears from the flood of emotion.  I have never known this.  On the other side, my husband loves me.  He loves me with an intensity that too is beyond description.  It is a love that I was made to believe did not exist. Now, because of him, I am confident that it is real.

Over the years, I was given books and articles written by Christian writers debunking the myth of “Hollywood love” or true love.  I read what was written believing that settling for a relationship and not expecting to be loved, honored or cherished was the way love worked.  It was a lie.  It was a frustrating lie.  It was a lie that left me feeling empty and cold.  I became cynical and grew to accept that I did not deserve to be loved unconditionally.  I did not deserve to be honored.  I did not deserve to be desired by someone.  It left me feeling as if I did not matter.  It left me doubting God’s love.

I find it fascinating that anyone would say that true love does not exist.  It is like saying that God’s love is not real.  Clearly, in 1 Corinthians 13:4 a clear picture of love is painted.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.


Again, in Romans 5:8 we read that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Does that not sound like something that comes straight out of a Hollywood movie?  Someone giving up their life for the one they love?

I read those verses and I hear true love. I hear what I see in the movies.  Is it really a love that is too good to be true? A love that no one can live up to?  Love cannot be that perfect.  Right?!  So we are made to believe.

I found true love.  I believe it does exist.  For me, it started with finally finding security in my relationship with Christ.  It began with me allowing the walls of hurt to fall.  By allowing those walls to be removed, it gave Him the room to fill me up and take His rightful place in my life.  (You can read about that discovery here and here.) From there my heart began to heal.  It was made ready for the one who would love me the way in which God designed us to love.

On December 1, I married my soul mate.  I say that today after claiming for a very long time such a thing did not exist.  My heart had grown cold to the idea that anyone could love me in such a way.  The idea that someone could be my “other half” was a laughable notion.  After a roller coaster ride with many curves, loops and gigantic hills, I found mine.  I found the person who completes me.  As cheesy as that line many sound, it is the truth.  He is my other half.

Our love is not all about butterflies and roses all the time.  Matthew and I can argue with the best of them.  We would not be human if we did not disagree every once in a while.  It all comes back to those disagreements. Those disagreements are what balance us out.  It keeps us in check.  It is in those moments that I realize what I have with him.  In the middle of an argument, I see the love in his eyes or hear the hurt in his voice and I want nothing more than to grab hold of him and not let go.  Those moments in the middle of an argument makes me see the man I absolutely adore with every fiber of my being and no longer care if I am right or wrong.   Those special moments come because this man loves me as he is called to love me.  He loves me as Christ loves the church.

It is fascinating to discover that God’s truth is real.  When things are lined up as God has arranged them to be, everything falls into place.  Love becomes a fairy tale.  That fairy tale is made real by those moments in which my husband makes me confident of his love.  He lives out his love for me.  It is not just words.  It is not just ending a phone call with “love you.”  It is lived out on a daily basis.  He writes me and has written me countless love letters.  It is not unusual for me to get into my car and find a letter in the visor reminding me of how much he loves me. It is not unusual for him to ask me to dance in the middle of the lobby of an Olive Garden with Frank Sinatra crooning away over the speaker.  It is not unusual for my husband to sit up with me at night when my head is hurting too much to sleep even when he has to get up at four in the morning.  It is not unusual for me to find my husband staring at me with a look of love flowing from his eyes.  His love for me is perfect.  His love for me is complete. However, I know that the love he has for me comes because of his love for the Lord. The love Matthew has for me is an overflow of his relationship with Christ.  For the first time in my life, because of my husband, I get a taste of how my Father in Heaven not only sees me but how He loves me.  It is amazing.  It is a gift.  It is a blessing. 

God has a design for marriage.  Matthew and I were flipping through Song of Solomon and I realized that God loves romance.  He created romance. We read:


You have captured my heart,

    my treasure,<sup value="[c]”>[c] my bride.

You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes,

    with a single jewel of your necklace.

 Your love delights me,

    my treasure, my bride.

Your love is better than wine,

    your perfume more fragrant than spices.

Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride.

Song of Solomon 4:9-11

What a beautifully romantic passage. How tender and sweet. Full of love.  God created those things around us that add romance to our world.  Those birds that sing love songs to one another in the trees.  He created those butterflies that dance from flower to flower.  He created the flowers that grace us every spring with color and fragrance. He created the sunrises that greet us every morning with a breath-taking splendor of color. God created romance.  It was His idea.  His creation.  And it is all because God IS love. 

Troubled Heart

We all know I love my husband.  Not a secret.  Today I love him even more.  A few postings ago I wrote about the wedding gift that he gave to me the night we were married.  It was a calendar with each date marked with a different passage of randomly chosen scripture.  Scripture picked and placed on days without any rhyme or reason.


Today’s verse is from John 14 and says; Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. God in His sovereignty knew how my day would go today and He blessed me with an amazing husband who walks with Him in obedience and wrote down that verse for this day for me months ago.  As my husband reminded me of the verse for today, it was as if God spoke into my heart reassuring me that He is here.  I am overwhelmed. So amazing!  So awesome to see God’s hand at work.  To feel His presence.  To know that you are loved and protected.  It is incredible.

God loves His children.  He speaks to us through His Word. He provides our every need.  Every one of them.  It is amazing.  Once again, what the enemy meant for harm, God has used for good AGAIN!  Life is good!  God is good!  He is faithful beyond words!

Overcome

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.
Exodus 14:14

God fights for me.  When I stay still, He fights.  When I stay quiet, He fights.  When I stay calm, God continues to fight on my behalf.  I do not have to do anything.  He will do it all if I just choose to follow Him in simple obedience.

Each time that there is suffering from some form of pain, injustice or offense, I have to remember that people are not my enemy.  Satan is my enemy.  Satan’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy.  He works hard to accomplish his agenda.  However being a child of an awesome God, I am given an incredible secret weapon.  It is a weapon that is certain to defeat the enemy and most assuredly destroy his agenda.
   
Back to the verse from my last post, Romans 12:21, “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Hidden in that verse is the weapon.  It is one that the enemy absolutely hates because he knows that he CANNOT stand up against it.  It is only a secret weapon because most Christians miss its simplicity.  As a Christians, I am given the God-given ability to be good to people who offend and hurt me.  My flesh may scream out for revenge but God tells me to press through the hurt by repaying all evil with good.  Good overcomes all evil.  Just like the saying, “kill ‘em with kindness.”  It is that simple.

Don’t get me wrong though, being good can be hard when I am on emotional overload but God does not ask me to do anything without giving me what I need to accomplish it.  He has given me the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me. He has given me the power to remain rational and calm.  He is there to help me “to be good.”  It is by God’s grace and mercy that I can cry out to Him for help no matter how hurt I am because of the actions and words of others.  Instead of lashing out at them, He gives me the strength to offer a simple kind word or even pray for them.  I CAN overcome evil with good.  I can extend kindness and grace by choosing to obey His word because of the grace He bestowed upon me through the work of His Son on the cross.  Choosing to follow His truth in obedience is surely an act of my will.  I have to make the conscience choice to be kind and “do good” but eventually I find that the right feelings follow as God works it all out in my heart.

God’s truth has brought me so much freedom.  It has released me from the evil in the world and the hold it can have on my life.  Knowing that God is on my side and that He fights for me allows me to let go and “be good” because HE equips me with all I need to stand against the enemy.  Because of this freedom, I can make my own choices as to how I will react to a situation instead of being a prisoner to the bitterness and negative emotions that can consume me and rob me of God’s blessings in my life.  If I want a life that is fruitful for Christ then I must live a faithful life that reflects God’s word to be true.  Good DOES overcome evil!