1 Peter 5:8-9 Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are (NLT).
Remember that rough week I told you about in "#enduretotheend" blog post, well everything worked out for my good and for God's Glory. During my time of testing I learned, once again, that I shouldn't take things personally...God is at work and my faith should be on Jesus. Satan tried to steal my joy, my peace, my victory, my focus, but he wasn't successful (Praise God).
Even though the outcome was in my favor and I felt VICTORIOUS and wanted to have my "ROCKY" time or do a happy dance (which I didn't), I remembered to "guard my heart and mind". It would have been real easy for me to go from one extreme to another, the week before it was disappointment, this week it could have been pride and self-righteousness, thank God, I didn't fall into that trap.
A few years ago (around 2007), I was in a season of, let's call it "misunderstanding" between myself and another individual. It took me three years to come out of that thing, I know right! That whole experience taught me a lot about myself and the importance of "guarding my heart and mind", my mind was so set on being right that I was unaware that bitterness had taken root in my heart. When this person did apologize, not that he/she had anything to apologize for, it didn't mattered because that root was so deep. I was no longer clothed in righteousness, but I wore anger, unforgiveness, slander, yeah!, and that's a lot to carry and the Lord let me carry it until I got tired.
This thing consumed me to the point of misery, I went to bed with it, I got up with it, I talked about it constantly, until I just made myself sick on every level - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. When I did finally make peace with God and with myself, there was still this battle going on within my mind and I had to learn how to "cast down" thoughts, it was a humbling experience. Humility is key, my being right/wrong is not important, it's more important for me to do what's right in the sight of God so that He gets the Glory (recognition).
Philippians 4:6-7 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (NLT).
Last week I learned the importance of the "Be Still" moments. It's during those times of anxiousness and frustrations that we get out of the Will of God, and begin to "lean to our own understanding" and become judgmental and harsh, so "guard your heart and mind" against anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, gossiping, or any evil intentions. The "Be Still" moment is also a time of quiet reflection, when it's just me and God and I give Him honor, exaltation, thanksgiving and reverence for being Almighty God. I'm reminded of just how powerful He is and how weak I am, so be still, remain faithful and you will grow in the grace of God.
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your path. Don't be impressed by your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality (NLT).
Psalm 46:10 Be silent (still) and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world (NLT).
John 15:5 Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (NLT).
One more thing, I learned that God is pruning me, He's cutting away things that are not like Him so that I may be more like Christ and be fruitful in the things of God. Jesus is my life source/power source and apart from Him I can do nothing, but I also know that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." You and I must "guard our hearts and minds" by obeying God's word, being imitators of Christ, always be thankful, live peacefully with one another, and let the love of Christ be your guide. To God be all the Glory.
Until next time, you are BLESSED!