Monday, December 24, 2007

Sinless Ages! Sinless Ages!
Sinless Ages
to sing HIS+ praise!

If His+ first Advent brought the offer
of peace and goodwill toward mankind,
what will His+ second Advent bring?

See: 2 Thess. 1:7,8,9. See: Rev.21:1-9 See: Zech. 14:4
We look forward to
His+ second Advent
with great anticipation.
Maranatha !
Come, LORD JESUS.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

FOR WANT OF A NAIL...
The Battle with Discouragement

Ever wondered WHY discouragement is a battle? It is because there are wicked spirits involved which somehow creep through our protective barrier placed by The LORD to torment us.

Fighting discouragement is discouraging, to say the least. I do not recall one distinct time of facing this tormenting spirit or spirits head-on and winning. Whining is my usual mode when I am forced to face these nasty, tormenting spirits.

How is it that these spirits are allowed to pass through our divine protection and worry us as a dog worries a bone? How is it that we must wrest the promises of GOD with all our strength… yet barely keep from drowning in a sea of discouragement?

Again and again, the lesson book keeps opening to this chapter as The LORD insists on mastery instead of failure in this battle with these tormenting spirits.

Recently, The LORD, bless HIS+ Holy Name, has mercifully pulled apart this netting so that I can see some of the threads which tangle together to ensnare my soul. Here is what HE+ has shown me.

Lesson One ...

Sort it through, thoroughly.

Where do discouraging torments come from? To know what triggered discouragement off is step number one... but only step number one. Knowing is NOT routing these wicked spirits out of the vicinity, however. Beware of stopping at this step.

For me, I am tripped up when something earthly, temporal doesn’t go the way I planned... especially when I’ve been meticulous in planning and careful in the execution of the situation. This has happened twice in the last 3 days... one, with a cake I baked for company and the other, with my supervisor at school. I became discouraged because I followed the “rules” and it produced the opposite of what I wanted.
[1]

In each situation, The LORD showed me that my work itself was not necessarily faulty. I felt bad because I thought my judgment was in error.

Then, the worse part hit me:

I “looked bad” in the eyes of man.
[2]

The attack then intensified as the tormenting spirits of anger, bitterness, resentment and ... alas... self-pity came banging on the door, clamoring to get in. They pelted me with their lies and worse, another rotten spirit was coming down the road at full speed: Self-indulgence.
[3] After all my hard work, someone has to make me feel better, n’est-ce pas? Unfortunately, something is ready and waiting to pet me with a self-seeking illusion just as soon as I want it.

Thus, now the battle is with a battery of vicious, wicked spirits who are stomping me on the ground and grabbing at my thoughts. My heart feels like it is in a vice and I can hardly breathe. My peace has fled and nearly my sanity, also. I am ready to scream and be mean to anyone in the vicinity. No-one can please me, at this point... although I demand that they do, in my heart.


LESSON TWO

Stop all wrestlings.

Return to the original situation and observe: what is out of line with The Word of GOD? Someone not in the thick of the battle can see it instantly. Fear entered in because of how I thought I looked before the eyes of man.
Well, that is wrong and worthy of a hearty repentance. At that point, the pack of dark, bullying spirits back off to the nearby bushes and I can breathe a little easier.

LESSON THREE

Behind most of my fear, I have learned with much pain and sorrow, lurks pride. I want to be seen as doing the best, working the hardest, and acclaimed much for so doing.

Aha! Now the real motive has surfaced. Basic, old Adamic pride which cloaks itself in virtue is at the root of this insistence to be valued by man. My fear of failure is NOT a noble virtue. Rather, this particular fear is a noble and hard-working slave of pride.

LESSON FOUR

May The LORD’S Name be praised! HE+ truly is our deliverer. HE+ is able and willing to deliver us from our enemies. But, we must do our part. We must sort through the tangled netting and see where we veered away from walking in the Truth of the Scriptures. If we get to the original situation and repent of leaving the Scriptural path, the skirmishes with the other tormentors will decrease and end altogether.

If we allow sin in our hearts (i.e., a veering away from the Words of Our LORD), then we cannot stand in the battle. Even praying mightily, we still cannot stand in these battles and we wonder why The LORD does not regard our cry.

HE+ does hear us, but HE+ wants us to walk through these situations His+ Way. HE+ will allow us to be soundly beaten in order to teach us to do so.


LESSON FIVE

Repentance, then, follows after being led by the nose to indulge Self in anger, bitterness, resentment, meanness of heart and my “brand” of Self-pity.

Now my anger is directed rightly:
at the tricks my Self, that old Adamic nature that is supposed to be dead, has pulled on my New Creature to make her leave the side of her Savior and be beaten by her own, old, sin-filled nature!

LESSON SIX

I have found my mortal enemy: my Self.


I myself have allowed the wicked spirits to run rampant in my soul and they mopped the ground up with me. They always do their job well.

I have no-one to blame but myself... and shame, on top of that.

LESSON SEVEN

What shall be done unto you, old filthy Self ? Penance is slightly out of vogue among Christians, even serious ones. However, physical chastisement helps one to learn the lesson better. Remember: children learn best by touch (tactile) and adults are only grown-up children. So, do what you can by way of fasting, additional prayer times, shut-down times with only The LORD, times of Holy Silence, etc. in order to teach your physical man that it must submit unto the New Creature, the Spiritual man, that you have become. Then comes that sweet, sweet VICTORY IN JESUS.

Amen, and Hallelujah.


PS… As a case in point, I have been so discouraged that it has taken me 2 weeks to get this on the page!

[1] This usually happens on the job with the public, something like this: my supervisor tells me to teach reading a certain way, using certain prescribed phonics programs. I do it with gusto ! But, I realize the children would gain more reading with another program entailing more actual reading . I do not want to displease my supervisor, so I continue to do what he says. Later, I find out other teachers have done what I wanted to do ... and have made greater gains and received commendations from that same supervisor!

[2] This “looking bad” may or may not be reality. It just seems so to me. Others have not said a negative word and , in fact, have said I was doing well. I cannot trust that, though.
[3] My self-indulgences usually take the form of fantasies, which end up making me feel drunk and emptier than before they started. Other people may turn to food and crave sweets ... or pizza. Some may turn to TV, movies, or music.