Our little cartoon girl certainly would have been drawn quite differently if someone was trying to illustrate the result of positive thinking, don’t you think? !
What we think determines how we feel and what we feel influences out actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking! p. 15 Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.
Awhile back, two of my friends and I took a road trip to attend a ladies’ retreat in the mountains; about an 8 hour drive from our homes. (Of course, that’s just the drive time; we stopped at Cracker Barrel going and coming. The two in one experience–eating and shopping, you know. Well then, let’s say 8+ hours.) We learned a lot about each other, made a heap of memories, and discovered a rather unique character trait possessed by God. It has taken numerous experiences for God to teach me that He can work things out without me fretting and worrying over how He’s going to do it. So while I have been blessed by this trait of God’s, it wasn’t until this trip that I found a name for it. And here it is:
A logistics coordinator, by definition, is someone who plans, implements, and coordinates the details for someone else. After reading the illustration below, followed by the 2nd illustration in my next blog post, I hope it will become clear to you that acknowledging God’s ability to work things out for our good (Romans 8:28), is a powerful weapon in defeating worry. So, let’s begin!
Illustration No. 1
My friends and I were driving to a quaint little restaurant in the mountains for lunch. We had driven to this little lakeside restaurant the day before but had arrived too late to eat. This time we left early enough to arrive in time for lunch and to enjoy a spectacular view in the process. But while time was on our side as we made our way towards the restaurant on that picture perfect spring day, my gas gauge was not! I notified my friends that we were getting rather low on gas and it might be a good idea to pray. None of us could remember exactly how much further the restaurant was or even IF we had enough gas to get us there. So, we prayed for a gas station!
Now, here’s where the connection to Worry comes into play. Under the circumstances, I am sure you can understand why we were sorely tempted to fret and worry. You name the fiery darts that would be apparent on such an occasion and believe me Satan shot them at us. And as I watched that gas gauge move closer and closer to the empty mark, and no gas station or restaurant yet appeared on the near horizon, I felt it was necessary that I come up with a plan just in case God’s plan was NOT to get us to a gas station in time. I knew that my friends at the camp would come to our rescue, if needed. But then we were in the mountains and cell reception was ‘iffy’ at best. (Okay, sometimes you can over think a situation!)
I resisted the fiery darts with all the strength I could muster from my lessons on how to fight (and win) against such negative thinking. I called on the 3 R’s of fighting fiery darts: 1)recognize the fiery darts 2) resist the fiery darts 3) replace the fiery darts (you remember, with truth thoughts.
It was an effort on my part but by the grace of God, I maintained a controlled calm. My friends were doing the same, but I knew it was a struggle. The reason I knew that was because of all the wise cracks they were making. When you are faced with a dilemma such as ours, sometimes laughter is a beneficial distraction.
And as so often happens, a few minutes after the ‘need to fill the gas tank asap’ light came on (causing the oxygen level to be seriously depleted as we all gasped for air) there appeared the gas pumps (not station, just a couple of dated pumps outside a run down little mom and pop type grocery). And next door to them was the restaurant; still open! We were rescued!
Wow, I came away from that adventure convinced I had the best logistics coordinator in the universe (and of course, I did. We all do, actually). There is one more experience that I want to share with you that will illustrate the benefit of seeing God as our very own and personal Logistics Coordinator! However, this is enough for now, so I will wait till next post and bring all this to a conclusion then.
Recently, a young friend shared with me her experience in defeating an attack of fiery darts. I was so intrigued with the simple yet powerful process that led to her victory, that I thought I would share it with you here.
First, she had been praying (Major component of any encounter) about a job change. It seemed to her that God had been leading in a particular direction which she pursued. Then everything fell through and she didn’t get the job. Of course, she was confused and upset, for this was the job she’d been hoping for.
Initially, her emotions were defined by her severe disappointment. However, soon the Holy Spirit sent her the following verse b/c remember she had been praying:
“Trust in the LORD, with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Prov. 3:5-6
Therefore, she cried out to the LORD, “LORD, I don’t understand and I don’t know what to do, but I’m trusting in You.” She just kept praying that prayer over and over. Then she had the thought that she would email every organization she had been following and ask for their advice on how to get into the field without the benefit of experience in the area. (I believe, that b/c her mind wasn’t awash with despair & confusion, her thoughts were free to be guided by the hope of God’s Word.)
The response was immediate from several organizations, offering advice. But when a local organization contacted her and said they would be hiring soon and she should send them her resume, all my friend’s confusion vaporized. For she had been following this particular organization for awhile and quietly yearned to be a part of it.
At this writing, the results are not in about whether my friend got this job, but I wanted to share this now b/c the main victory’s already been won. In this life experience my friend has given us a clear example of how to fight successfully those fiery dart attacks. ( I’ll get back to you and the job thing) In the meantime, allow me to review:
1. Acknowledge the fiery dart
2. Find a verse to focus on
3. Allow prayer and God’s Word to define your attitude and/or actions
I think it’s important to understand that the fiery dart my friend encountered was designed to create frustration, disappointment, and to dishearten her to the point that her attitudes and actions would have be set in a downward spiral. Yet, she broke this destructive and predictable cycle by simply turning to God and saturating her mind with a word from Him then allowed that fresh hope to define her actions from that point on.
But watch out! Satan will attempt to convince you that this process is not nearly as simple as all this. You know, the all too familiar catch phrase used these days when people have succumbed to overwhelming attack of fiery darts and have no clear understanding of what God would have them do (largely b/c they are not familiar with this whole fiery dart thing):
(Don’t be bamboozled! Remember! that’s a fiery dart!)