Obviously, the significance of Thanksgiving is that it is a time to pause and contemplate all the things we have to be thankful for.
Some broad categories for which I am thankful are Faith, Family, Friends, and Country, just like many of you, I imagine. But in this post, I will zero in on a significant aspect within the category of Faith whose impact carried over into Family, Friends, and Country.
It was about 9 years ago, when God first introduced me to the concept of fiery darts. That instruction opened my understanding of how I had been victimized by my own thoughts. Negative thoughts or what I eventually began to see as fiery darts. I shudder to think the course my life would have taken, had I not been awakened to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking.
As my training proceeded, I began learning how I had been deceived by my old nature (my thoughts and attitudes prior to my becoming a Christian), and the world’s concept of truth (a truth void of God’s Truth). I discovered that the world’s concepts of truth held more sway over my thinking than God’s concept of Truth.
That deception was advanced by my lack of spending time with God in His word. Notice, I didn’t mention that I did not spend time with God in prayer! Because I spent a lot of time praying. But you know what that amounted to? I spent a lot more time talking to God rather than listening to Him. For we hear God’s voice when we read the Bible.
When my talking to God and my listening to God got in balance, then and only then, did I find my way out of the bondage I had placed myself in with fiery dart thinking.
This balance impacted how I dealt with problems within the context of family and friend relationships. It encouraged me to take those problems to God. Faithfully He would lead me to a particular scripture or scriptures that would shed light on how I should respond.
There hasn’t been an area in my life that this balance hasn’t impacted. For example, instead of despairing over the negativity of our recent political climate, God reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. My prayers for my country are worded according to God’s Word, not my despair.
When disaster strikes our nation, I’m reminded of verses such as John 16:33. My prayers are worded with the hope found there, not my fears.
Knowing how to counterattack the temptation to think negatively about our problems, presents us with a perspective that will identify solutions.
My expressions of thankfulness this holiday will be centered on the gratefulness I feel towards God for opening my understanding to what fiery darts are and how to defeat them. For that knowledge has enhanced the gratefulness I feel towards
As God exposed the weapons of fiery darts that for years Satan had skillfully used against me, my spiritual walk underwent a dramatic transformation. By teaching me what fiery darts were and how to counter their attack, my walk along the path God had set before me so many years before was illuminated to such an extent that my skill in recognizing Satan’s tactics dramatically improved along with my ability to successfully fight against the fiery darts. FD p. 6
A Pivotal Question!
For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people?. . . Galatians 1:10 (HCSB)
No Christian ever wants to admit that they are more concerned about pleasing people than they are pleasing God. But that is exactly what I, the people pleaser, was doing! God revealed this to me several years ago in the midst of a tumultuous episode when a particular decision I had made resulted in creating discord among many.
For the first time in my adult life, people were severely displeased with me and I couldn’t handle that! At first! But after much counsel and doing some honest soul searching about the Galations verse, my course was redirected. My downward spiral was interrupted as God reached down and rescued me from the plans that Satan had concocted.
Pleasing God now trumped pleasing people! It was quite liberating to live life that way! And on top of that I had the reassurance that,
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 (HCSB)
Another powerful lesson learned during those days was how something that Satan meant for bad was turned into something good by God. Therefore, I saw all those involved as instruments of God’s will in helping me understand how important it was to please Him above all others. As a result there was no anger or bitterness on my part towards anyone.
As I look back on events such as the one I just described through the lens of fighting fiery darts, I gain clarity about the work of Satan’s manipulation. Of how he can take my weaknesses and victimize me with my own thoughts. Now when those fiery darts try to infiltrate my thinking, by God’s design, I have a plan in place to reject them thus averting the devastation those weapons formerly imposed.
No more downward spirals; depression has been defeated!