The Devil in the Details

It is the details of life, which often bog us down. Our priorities are sidetracked by the little demonic foxes that spoil the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15). They sway our thoughts and emotions until we lose our peace, fall out of God’s rest and end up drowning in stress.

 

The good things in life become the enemy of the best things. They demand our attention away from what is important. We fail to walk in God’s Spirit or perform His will for our day, because the details scream for our attention.

 

It is difficult to ignore those little nagging issues, which arise during the day and night. They are like a flashing neon sign that continually pull our focus back to them and away from God’s best for us.

 

We end up reaping physical illnesses, negative emotions in our soul and our spirit is malnourished from neglect. We feel like a failure and often start believing that we are hopeless. Yet, there is always hope in God.

 

Many details can be eliminated; for instance, immediately throw away that advertisement or catalog, which came in the mail; dust and vacuum once a week, and do not allow the gathering particles to bother you that collect in every corner and flat surface of the room until that day.

 

Separate the laundry in bins and only wash when the bin is full; wash dishes as you cook, so there is not a pile at the end of the meal; and, if necessary, allow yourself to leave the sink full of dishes and go to bed to get your needed rest for the next day.

 

Do not answer the telephone every time it rings – caller ID helps us to distinguish if our child needs our attention and everyone else can leave a message for us to hear at a more opportune time.

 

Make a grocery list and shop once a week or month or quarter, rather than running to the store every other day for some forgotten or needed item.

 

Making more little changes in the details of our home life, vocational activities and church ministries – as God gives us wisdom, changes our mindset and schedule.

 

We put our priorities in the proper order and we have more time for spiritual pursuits. Our life is more fulfilled and our spirit is nourished by our close intimacy with our Heavenly Daddy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for pointing out to us the areas where Satan uses the zillion details of the day to distract and discourage us. Give us Your wisdom to know how to organize and to make Your plans our priority. Help us to stay focused on the spiritual rather than on this earthly realm.

 

We want our day to start and finish in Your perfect will for us, accomplishing all that You called us to do at work, home and play. Draw our hearts to You and never let us go, as our intimacy with You deepens and our spiritual focus increases.

 

Thought for the Day:

Be aware of the minute details that tend to destroy us from the inside out, to interrupt our home life and relationships, and to spread the roots of apathy in our churches.

 

 

Renewed Mind – Part 4 – God-Given Emotions

Our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – is a vital part of who we are as human beings. Ignoring our soul only stunts our growth both in our soul and in our spirit.

A need for attention, dependence on others, and fear of being alone are results of abandonment issues from our childhood. Destructive acts, pouting, self-centeredness and temper tantrums all stem from deep deprivation and anger from our past.

Our lack of self-awareness and failure to accept our emotions will compound our past wounds, which we carry with us every day of our life, some of them since conception.

Our relationships suffer due to emotional, behavioral and mental deficits. Psychologically, we are stuck in the unresolved issues of our past, which prevent us from experiencing adulthood with a mature attitude.

We fail to succeed in most of our endeavors due to the lack of adult persistence, self-control and planning. Some of us are consumed with anger and unforgiveness, which we internalize.

This results in depression for which we take medication. This simply masks the pain in our soul and causes more grief as well as physical ailments such as headaches, and stomach and breathing and heart related issues.

If we allow our self to feel our anger, we can work through it to the grief buried within our subconscious mind (Ephesians 4:26). We can journal our thoughts and feelings, and ask God to help us to find the root cause of our grief and other negative emotions.

Never apologize for your emotions. God gave them to us. They are either a sign of sickness in our soul, a precaution to keep us safe, and an expression of the joy He places in the heart of His children (Proverbs 16:32, 17:22, 19:8; Ephesians 4:26-27).

After we identify the source of our negative emotions, we can grieve our losses and affirm and validate our feelings. Then we pray for God’s wisdom and healing, we forgive the perpetrators, who wounded us and caused our grief; and we move into the freedom and rest of the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:5; John 8:36).

Prayer:
Father God, there are few of us on this earth who did not experience some form of abuse in our lifetime. We never learned to handle our emotions and often sin because of them. We may minimize, disassociate from or magnify our feelings; but teach us to learn from them, and to bring them to You for understanding and healing.

Help us to stop blaming our self for the abuse we suffered; to release the pent up energy from our negative emotions without sinning against You or someone else; and to allow our self to cry and grieve our losses. Then we can release the incident to You and find Your forgiveness for those who wounded us.

Thought for the Day:
God and Christ both gave us clear examples of how emotions are a normal and healthy part of life.

A Secure Life

Every trial in life threatens our stability. Physical illnesses, emotional trauma and mental stress take their toll. Sometimes they cause us to lose our job, home, mate, family, bank account and our security. We have nowhere to turn and we end up defenseless, scared and lonely.

Our human independence drives us to deal with life’s stresses on our own. We pridefully believe that we can conquer every obstacle without anyone’s help. In his day, Paul called people like this “foolish” (Galatians 3:1-3). God did not redeem us to forsake us (Isaiah 43:1). We cannot save our self for eternity and neither can we save our self on a daily basis.

There is only one stable place on this earth, and that is in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. He sacrificed His Son in order to pay the penalty of our sins and to give us free access to His throne (John 3:16; Hebrews 4:16). He invites us to call upon Him anytime. He will answer us, give us security in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and work out our circumstances for our ultimate good (Jeremiah 33:3; Romans 2:28).

As authentic Born Again Believers our house is no longer built on the sand of Satan’s lies, but on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:26; Psalm 18:2). Jesus is our chief cornerstone and He keeps us secure through all of life’s stormy trials. God’s Spirit within us provides us with a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). As we cast our burdens on our Father God, He tenderly cares for us (Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7).

We cannot be good, holy or spiritual enough to deserve God’s blessings; therefore, He loved us while we were still sinners (Isaiah 43:4; Romans 5:8). As we trust in Him, God manifests His glory in and through us during our entire lifetime (Titus 3:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-10). Once we enter God’s rest, we no longer strive in our human carnal efforts (Deuteronomy 33:12; Hebrews 4:9-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we consider more than this one moment of time, we will feel remorse for our past and fear for our future. As we realize that in this one moment we are blessed beyond measure, we can dwell in peace with our confidence in You. You give us peaceful dwellings, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest now and for eternity (Isaiah 32:17-20). Only in You do we have a secure life.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of life’s circumstances, nothing can separate us from the love of God. – Romans 8:31-39