Tag Archive | Philippines 4:19

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

bobby & family 2016

   For the past year my son, daughter in law, and two small grandsons have been on stateside assignment. For 9 of those months they lived in Scotland while my son worked on his masters. Not living in a 3rd world country, we have enjoyed the luxury of easy access to them via internet.

   At present they are living with us as they prepare to return to Africa. And once again I’m faced with the painful thought that they will be leaving soon. But something unexpected happened while they were home that complicated the  emotional strain of sending them off.

Rach & family

   My husband and I have four children and two of them live near us. We take a great deal of comfort in knowing two of our daughters are close by. That was until recently! In April we were hit with the news that one of those daughters would likely be moving an 11 hours’ drive away to San Antonio, Texas. (And they did just that on August 18th)

   Therefore, this summer has been one of extreme high’s and extreme lows. There was a constant flow of children and grandchildren in our house all summer. Three of those weeks were especially momentous: Nammy Camp for the 6 granddaughters, a family vacation in East Tennessee for all 20 of us, and Nammy Camp for the 4 grandsons. The month of August our son and his family has been spent here with my husband and I.  My life was filled to overflowing with memory after wonderful memory of times spent together.

   The quote from A Tale of Two Cities (post title), describes my emotional state over this past summer quite succinctly. And predictably with every low moment I was hit with a barrage of fiery darts.

   It would have been my undoing had it not been for God’s instruction which had prepared me to not only identify fiery dart thinking but how to extinguish such thoughts as well.  While the pain persists, I’m learning by His tender mercies, how to manage it. My life moves forward as God tenderly and lovingly leads me. 

One of the most helpful Truth Thoughts I have found is Psalm 34:17:

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How does God deliver me from my present troubles and rescue my crushed spirit?

If I cooperate with God, He will give me the desire that pleases Him (Philip. 2:13) He will remind me that He will fill the void when my children move away. (Philip. 4:19).

His presence will restore my crushed spirit. Every time I began to focus on my loss, He reminds me to direct my focus towards His presence and the love He has for me. (Psalm 16:11)

He reminds me that He will work all this out for my good (Rom 8:28). 

Okay, so I have a choice!

I can pick up my shield of faith and face down the enemy with these Truth Thoughts! 

Or I can continue to focus on my losses and grow more miserable with every day!

My choice is obvious!

 

Sometimes, we just need Mercy!

th-16

     Sometimes we struggle to walk the path that has been set before us. And though we are confident this is the right path, we find ourselves making little progress.(ugh!) This leaves us feeling doubtful and confused. After all, being on the right path should not be fraught with such experiences, right?   Taking our frustrations to God, we earnestly seek God’s wisdom and guidance by faithfully searching His Word, but the verse that would give us the affirmation and/or direction we need continues to elude us. 

When this happens, what should we do?

     I would suggest that we examine the thoughts that are producing the doubt and confusion. And ask ourselves the following question from Chapter Five of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

Does it produce confusion, fear, doubt, anger, inferiority, indecisiveness, jealously, or selfishness, for example? (FD p. 33)

     It’s crazy, I know, but there are times when in spite of our best efforts we seem to be mired down in the mud of our own negative thinking (you know, fiery darts) and progress just doesn’t happen for us.  Therefore, once we examine the thoughts, then we:

Apply the 3 R’s of fighting fiery darts (published 02/17/2014)

1. Recognize

2. Reject

3. Replace

 

So, join me in an exercise of replacement!  

God isn’t listening to me.

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,  Psalm 10:17 

I can’t figure this thing out.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6 (p. 42 FD)

I’m not smart enough to know what to do.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 (p. 42 FD)

I can’t manage this.

 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

It’s just too confusing!

 . . .for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, I Corinthians 13:33

 * * * * * *

     Fill up your mind with the Truth-thoughts from verses such as the ones listed above.  (your own search will produce the verses that apply to your particular fiery darts) This powerful exercise will prevent the fiery darts from overwhelming you and sending you into despair when the answers are slow in coming.  And I have found that Lamentations 3:22-23, is just what’s needed in times such as these. 

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

Sin is greater than Grace?

Yesterday, a young lady sang a song (who has by the way a voice gifted by God. a natural innocently beautiful voice) during our morning worship service entitled:

Grace will always be greater than sin!

This special music performed by this young lady (who was masterfully accompanied by our choir) reminded us that grace always wins out over sin.  So does Romans 5:20,

 Romans 5:20, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

But I’m sure you have noticed a discrepancy in the title of my post and the title of the song! Well, this is a blog that deals with fiery darts so hang in there with me while I elucidate! (Okay, I could have said ‘explain’ but where’s the fun in that!)

As my young friend sang her heart out, my mind began pondering the duel between grace and sin in my own life.  My mind turns against me often in self-condemning thoughts (or should I say fiery darts!) And even though I believe that Grace is always greater than sin, sometimes my mind’s thoughts reveal the opposite–that sin is greater than grace!  That’s the fault of my focus.

Now let me clarify something here.

Yes, I wrestle with self-condemning thoughts BUT they do not rule me because I do not focus on them.  A deliberate effort has to be made to focus on Christ instead. Since my Heavenly Father unveiled the Enemy’s plan of attack in the use of fiery darts, I’ve grown in my skill to focus on Christ.

Once Satan’s intentions were exposed and the tactics he was so skillfully using to produce such defeat in my life were revealed, then my instruction on how to counter these attacks began in earnest.  p.3, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

You see, my dear readers, those negative thoughts, fiery darts, or self-condemning thoughts use to send me spiraling downward.  And excerpt from p. 15 of my book illustrates this.

What we think determines how we feel and what we feel influences our actions.  A negative action is often the result of negative thinking.  Understandably, if Satan can negatively influence our thinking then temptations to act negatively will be harder for us to resist. 

My plan is to apply what I have recently learned (yep, you keep learning as long as you are alive, right?) from the verse Philippines 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such thing.

Since negative thoughts pop into my mind so speedily (I mean they are usually the first to arrive), I have learned that the most practical means of slamming the door in their faces is to create an uncomfortable greeting for them the moment they arrive.  That’s where Philippines 4:8 comes in.  For I am learning that if I fill my head with the kind of thoughts this verse refers to, then the self-condemning thoughts don’t really want to hang around.

Philippines 4:8 leads to the next step in fighting fiery darts which is taken from p. 79 in my book.

Afterword

Here are five simple steps to keep in mind when you are faced with a fiery dart:

 1.   Examine the negative thought.

 2.   Ask yourself this question:  What is the purpose of this thought?

 3.  Acknowledge it as a fiery dart, if the purpose is to pull you down in any way.  Then, personalize this prayer based on Isaiah 54:17, “May this weapon formed against me not prevail.” (Keep in mind that conviction brings restoration, a fiery dart brings condemnation.)

 4.  Search your concordance for a Scripture that addresses that issue, after determining the TRUTH you need to combat the lie of the fiery dart.

 5.  Call upon the TRUTH of the Scripture from Step 4, every time you are tempted with the fiery dart.  

Now I’ve come full circle.

Focusing on the fiery darts, (self-condemning or negative thoughts) more than you do on on the TRUTHS that contradict those thoughts is a sin and will result in stealing your joy. (We are thinking thoughts that attribute more power to sin than grace; so be careful here.)

Focusing on God’s TRUTHS instead will fill your mind with hopeful thoughts.  Knowing that His grace is always sufficient and is always greater than our sins, pulls us out of the mire those fiery darts have condemned us to, and the light of God’s grace fills us with hope.

Here’s the wrap up!

Some happy thoughts that I’m focusing on at present  (Philip. 4:8, remember) is that God does not ignore my needs,

Philip. 4:19, He supplies ALL of them

and that He doesn’t condemn me

Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

Romans 8:28, AND that all things work together for my good, 

AND (drum roll…….)

His Grace is ALWAYS greater than sin!