Monday, February 7, 2011

#137 -The Road NOT to travel!

Good morning! Man... I'm just so thankful that as a Christian I have the right and ability to have a RELATIONSHIP with the Holy Spirit. That I have the ability to have a RELATIONSHIP with my Father. As I was just spending time this morning listening to His Voice... I just had an uneasiness inside me. An unsettled feeling in my heart... I wasn't sure what it was, but I didn't like it. As I spent time listening to find out what this uneasiness was, I found out it was anxiety. I was feeling anxious. Even as I write this, I am reminded of the verse that says, "Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, submit your requests to God." (Phil 4:6) It was brought to my attention that the "subtlety" of the anxiousness that I was feeling was ALSO the enemy. SO... recently, the ENEMY was caught... the enemy of planting thoughts of FEAR & DOUBT in my mind... he was caught. So now, this morning, as I sought the Lord about the uneasiness I was feeling, He also let me know that the subtleness of that feeling was ALSO the enemy. The enemy was trying to cause me to feel anxious. Anxious about what? Pick something, anything. If I was thinking it, I was feeling anxious about it. SO... now that I have RECOGNIZED that as the enemy, I can take those thoughts CAPTIVE put them under the obedience of Christ Jesus. I was even directed to go on a long walk today with Tyler Jr and go to the park, BECAUSE I CAN, and walking slow is a great way to show the enemy that I WILL NOT BE ANXIOUS! He CAN NOT control me or cause me to live in fear, doubt, or anxiety. I am living in the obedience of Christ Jesus & Satan has NO PLACE in my life or my home! 

Well... let's get into the word this morning. It's pretty interesting... and quite an interesting story that you are going to read about. Man... I remember the depths of it so closely! Transparency, sometimes I feel like it could be a fault - how transparent that I can be, but I guess I just feel like if things I have experienced can help someone else, what is there to be transparent about? So, be prepared.... it's coming at you again. :)  
Proverbs 7:4 - Say to skillful and godly Wisdom, You are my sister, and regard understanding or insight as your intimate friend.
Proverbs 7:22-25 - Suddenly he [yields and] follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, like one in fetters going to the correction [to be given] to a fool or like a dog enticed by food to the muzzle
    23 Till a dart [of passion] pierces and inflames his vitals; then like a bird fluttering straight into the net [he hastens], not knowing that it will cost him his life.
    24 Listen to me now therefore, O you sons, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
    25 Let not your heart incline toward her ways, do not stray into her paths.
Proverbs 31:11 - The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. 
Let's start out with the happiness of this devotion. As I read Proverbs 7:4, it just made me smile. Anyone who has a sister or a really close best friend, will probably be able to relate with this. It says to SAY to Wisdom, you are MY sister and regard Understanding as your intimate friend. What I picture is this... 3 girls, arm in arm, just skipping. I picture my sister(s) on one side, and a best friend on the other side. Just skipping. Arm in arm. Like girls do. That is the type of relationship we are to desire to have, and work towards having with Wisdom. One that is tight like a sisterhood, or intimate like a best friend, like someone you would tell anything too. Tight, that when no one else could tell you something, when you wouldn't be able to receive correction from anyone else in life, your intimate friend could tell you and you would receive it without offense. The picture of 3 girls skipping is infused in my mind as how it is supposed to be. Helpful to me.....  Well... let's get into the rest of the devotion... 

As you read Proverbs 7, like I, you read about this loose woman. This woman who leads men astray. Her whole desire is to lure men down a path, her path, but a path they should not be going. As I read Proverbs 7:22-25, my heart was just aching. My heart was wanting to cry out for this man, who reluctantly, is led down her path. Is following her. He's a good man, but is persuaded. The temptation is great. The enticement of danger or what is "off-limits" is exciting. Sin can be fun! This man, he sees a beautiful, seductive woman who wants HIM. She is luring and enticing him, he knows it is wrong to follow, but finally, the temptation is so great, that he gives in. My heart aches for him. As you read in the several verses (through 27), you read that him veering off onto her path, following her, giving in to her will cost him his life. This short term pleasure of sin, this pleasure of following his flesh will cost him his very life! You see that the "dart of passion" pierces his vitals. He is not the only one she has hurt. It says in verse 26 that she has wounded many, and all those whom she has slain are a MIGHTY number. It also tells us the ULTIMATE destination of her path, which is to Hades, hell. The ultimate choice of following her path leads to death. 

Well... early on in our marriage, I remember when I was between jobs at one point and I took at waitressing job for a few months. I had waitressed a lot in college, was good at it, and knew it could be good money. Praise the Lord that our first year in marriage, Tyler and I did a marriage evaluation each month. We had made up an evaluation that covered every topic imaginable that COULD lead to marital strife. Each month we both, separately, filled out the evaluation and came back together to discuss it. This was such a great tool for us as a newly wed couple to learn how to communicate even on difficult subjects. At the end of our evaluation we rated our marriage on a scale of 1-10, and listed WHY we rated it as we did. It was EXTREMELY helpful in learning how to communicate! 

So... I'm waitressing. As I go about my business, the kitchen manager starts randomly just saying nice things to me. He wasn't out of line, but as he said nice things, or gave me compliments, I started to notice that I really liked it. I started looking forward to going to work to get compliments. I was happily married. After a few times of receiving these compliments and realizing that I felt like I was blushing, I noticed what was happening. I even started to take those thoughts captive. I started to take those thoughts, the "good feeling" of being complimented, I started to take those thoughts captive and put them under the obedience of Christ Jesus. I would say or think, I am happily married. I'm in a covenant relationship. Tyler is an awesome husband. I have an amazing man that I'm married too. Well... then... one night I had a dream about the kitchen manager. I had a dream that he kissed me and that I LIKED IT! - I know! Oh my goodness! Now that was when I was really thrown for a loop! Wow, did I feel horrible then! It was a dream. I remember taking the dream captive and casting down those thoughts. At this point, though I felt really bad about my feelings that I had been having, I had known that I hadn't done anything wrong. Up to that point, I knew I had done everything that I knew possible to do, to make sure as a Christian I was doing what I needed to do. But, seriously, when you have a dream about another man, he kisses you AND you LIKED IT! Whoa! That's pretty intense feelings and emotions. I remember deciding that I was going to tell Tyler about it. I didn't have anything to feel bad about, or guilty about, but I knew that he could help me and pray for me with the situation. What a tough subject to approach! I finally found a good time to tell Tyler about it. It was hard. I told him about my feelings. I told him about the compliments, nothing "out of line", but they made me feel good. I told him about the dream and how I liked it. 

Wow! Then I asked Tyler to pray for me. I obviously didn't want to have these thoughts or conflicting feelings about someone other than my husband. What an experience. Well... I believe behind the scenes, at least on Tyler's end, it heightened a lot of things! It made him aware that he did need to pray for me. It also made him aware that maybe I was feeling these things because I was lacking getting compliments from him. As a whole, things did start changing. I believe it was due to a lot of things. Me not fighting the battle myself, but having my husband fight the battle with me. Me continuing to take EVERY thought captive and put it under the obedience of Christ Jesus. Tyler began complimenting me more, showing me more attention. It didn't take long, soon, the kitchen manager, was just the kitchen manager. I didn't get butterflies around him. I didn't look forward to seeing him. Soon, things were back to how they were supposed to be. 

If we are tempted to go down the road of the flattering man or flattering woman like it talks about in Proverbs 7, we don't have to fight the battle ourselves. Single or married. We can ask a friend, ask our spouse, ask a parent... we can ask someone to fight the battle with us. We don't have to do it alone, and we don't have to travel down a road that leads to death. We CAN overcome! We can win! 

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