Control or Contentment? Success or Selfishness?

I’m hearing lots about eliminating “toxic” people from my life–those who don’t contribute to my “success”–about walking away. I really like this idea, but does God?* In listening to and reading motivational “success” gurus I know I’ve gotta get up at 5:00 a.m. if I’m going to “be somebody.” But God says I am somebody. People always want to know what I “do” and the temptation is to say, “I’m a writer,” as this, unlike homemaking, is an approved occupation. But God approves of me. Just because.

Still, the messages are so compelling, as are the ideas of writing bestsellers and achieving other lauded goals, having an actually heeded day planner, and checking off my to-do lists each day. And the facts that vision boards don’t work for me, and my plans almost always are superceded by “life” doesn’t faze me. It can’t be that all those people are missing something–after all, they’re “successful”–I MUST TRY HARDER. FASTER, FASTER, WORK, WORK!

As I ponder all these things, and wonder why Christian motivational speakers consider non-Christians “successful” simply because they’re famous, I suddenly remember something I once heard, and now I am listening: If at first you don’t succeed, fry, fry, a hen. Ah, now that sounds like success to me. My daughter recently roasted a fat chicken in the Hobbit way – bacon, butter, herbs, and those things under as well as atop the skin. The chicken was first rinsed and then patted dry, to be cooked on high heat, and all in pursuit of a very crispy and delicious skin. Roasted along this dear bird were root vegetables, and all hearts were made glad.

When Rebekah asked what I wanted done with the chicken I could have told her my plan. Rather, I asked for her suggestions and out came An Unexpected Cookbook–The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery. Not my plan, but better than. I’m liking the sound of that: Not my plan, but better than. My daughter is happy, my family enjoys an excellent meal, and I don’t have to cook. Success!

* In Andrew Murray’s classic book, Humility, he writes: “Look upon every fellow man who tries or vexes you as a means of grace to humble you.”

The Big “I Will” Trap

Even as I speak that the tongues of liars be tied, or better still that it becomes true–liars’ pants really do catch on fire, I MUST, we all MUST, forgive.

Satan, the enemy of all freedom, is full of tricks. He is, after all, “The Great Deceiver” and “The Father of Lies.” The Apostle Paul said, “We are not unaware of his schemes,” but it seems that perhaps we are, at least when it comes to the pit of unforgiveness, into which we fall again and again. The stakes are too high now. We can no longer afford the luxury of being offended–that account is way overdrawn.

In “Limitless Love” Gloria Copeland says, “The devil is continually devising plans and schemes to throw believers off course. He is constantly sending offenses, troublesome circumstances, pressures and temptations designed to trip us up and keep us from finishing our race in God.”

We must win this race, and God’s way is the only way we can do so. I have been praying we will be steadfast. I have been praying for a strengthening of the hands that hang down, and for unity in the body of Christ, that our prayers be not hindered.

No more hindered prayers! I have prayed deliverance from fear that our prayers be not hindered, as God works through faith, not fear. And now I am praying that we will be finished with the pride that will destroy us, the pride that says we can do anything apart from God, the pride that He resists.

Pride says I will take offense, I will denigrate and despise and deplore the denseness and debauchery of those people, I will ignore what very Word of God says about who the real enemy is, and I will take offense. Not only will I take offense, but I will hide it deep in my heart and pet it and feed it by continually talking about it.

No. Try this, Bev: When someone mentions certain witchy women in government, put on Gollum and say, “We do not speak its name.” Or do as Pastor Mark Hankins’ mama did when things got negative. She began to sing, “Let’s Talk About Jesus.” She was fighting against the I wills.

I will, regardless of what God says, refuse to trust and obey. My prayers will be, as the Bible assures me, hindered, as I coninually consider “evil reports” rather than considering what God says.

Oh and by the way–lest you think your anger at man is accomplishing a single thing, let me assure you, again as the Bible says, “any fool” can be angry. Let’s get angry at the real enemies, Satan and our own big mouths and small faith. Small faith is what we have when we put our faith in anything or anyone except God.

“We the People” trusting the One who made this great nation is what will save us all. Let’s do all we can to stand and then stand. Amen.

II Corinthians 2:10-11

Freedom From Fear – Hooray! Today at 2:00 on 1360am.co

Life is once again colorful.  The cloud I’ve been struggling and smothering under has made life as grey and bleak as a cold and cloudy day.  It’s the cloud of fear.

Fear is the world’s currency, as faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God.  After a two-year struggle with fear in a certain area, I am free indeed.

Join us today at 2:00 Mountain Time on The Homefront Show.

Just go to http://www.1360am.co and click on Live Radio.

God is good and His mercies are new every single morning, and you’ll hear lots more about that today when you join me.

Thanks!