Wow. What can I say? Lately I have felt like the poster child for “Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events! I think I have come to embody that one quote for which Joyce Meyer has become famous - you know, the one where she said that she went through a period of time in her early walk with the LORD wherein if, “(she) thought two positive thoughts in a row her mind took a cramp!” That is what the warfare this week has been like. In fact, I have been noticing a creeping tendency toward grumbling for awhile now. That miserable tendency to see the cloud over top of every silver lining, etc. My mother called it “the s.... colored glasses”. Perhaps we can see the source of the trouble here! Lol Poor mom! She thankfully got saved, but not fully delivered. Well, not here anyway!
But as for MY issues, I wanted to share some examples, and how I have overcome (or am seeking to) so as to perhaps help others who may be struggling with this just now. I do not think this is a coincidence that I have uncovered this nest of viperous thought patterns the week of Thanksgiving! Nor do I think it is a coincidence that I seem to have had a major set-back in this area right when I began to believe God for some progress in a few areas, and are seeing that progress! No way! I smell a demonic rat! But I think, while I am sure there is a plot of the enemy to keep me from another victory, it may primarily be only some more “flesh” dying, so no worries!
Anywhoo...onto how I discovered this nest of negativity …..I have been praying for our needs to be supernaturally met, for spiritual and practical reasons! After all, not only does the Word instruct us that, “the just(ified) shall live by Faith” - but the current situation of life seems to demand it! And, since it doesn't look as though it might improve in the immediate future, then practicing living by faith – practicing being the art of cultivating a discipline or habit pattern - seems like a very practical thing to do!
But I don't think I ever noticed before exactly how many “vain imaginations” and “unrighteous thoughts” I have left loose and running around within my personal boundaries! Negative thought patterns, which the Word commands us to “take captive to the will of the Anointed One”! In describing these brain cramping yucks, I think the Jewish writers of these epistles would have used phrases like “Yetzer Harah” (the evil urge), or “Lashan Harah” (evil thinking and/or speaking), which the old King James referred to as “Strongholds”, and which some translations have rendered “Keeps” (of the enemy, by which he controls our lives through our thoughts, beliefs, words and deeds) while the current phraseology to describe such mental quagmires is “negative mental paradigms”.
Whatever you want to call it, it sucks, leads to depression, and basically robs one of joy and sets us outside of the presence and blessing of God! Hence the enemy's great effort in that department I suspect! But the really annoying thing is that once he gets your hard drive infected with the negativity virus he doesn't have to do another thing! He can go do something else and just watch us destroy our own lives and peace, not lifting a finger! Grr. Why I have let this go on this long I do not know! But it ends now!
The unseen, but very real, “giants” in MY land, within MY boundary lines over which I have been given Authority and permission – commission in fact - to conquer – but which I have not been obedient to slay, and some I have even unwittingly protected have to GO! Oy gevault! What a schmuck the flesh is! These “Giants” which are bullying, heedless, unreasonable brutes stomp through every so often dropping worse case scenarios in my brain, and accusations - that may or may not be real – which come from my perceptions of the attitudes of those closest to me! Mental paradigms or strongholds in my soul which color and interpret according to that negatively suggestive bent. So. Not. Good!
Some of these negative, extremely persistent, pesky, thought patterns are most likely just the next “layer” of years of unattended generational curses, which I was supposed to battle with the Word and take down! And which I have been steadily working on, since I finally got that understanding. But I found help with all of that stuff later on in my life, and so it has been an uphill battle. A battle which I have fought with diligence and determination for about the last twelve or so years! And for which I sought the help I needed to begin overcoming for about 20 years before that! Yet, still, there seems so much to be done before peace is the reigning atmosphere around here. So let the work continue, I had gotten weary in well doing! Break's over sister! Time to get with it!
I have seemed to be wrestling constantly against well set-in, both learned and inherited, thought and habit patterns (we're talking Imo Jima level set-in – go read the history of that take down – before the bomb....)! And I am getting weary of trying to keep this thing in a positive direction for more than five minutes at a time! How ironic to think that as a child my siblings called me “Pollyanna” because I was so annoyingly positive! But, of course, I have since learned that much of that “optimism” was due to a better than average system of denial and suppression! Oy!
Well, can't win them all! Or can we? Yes. The answer is yes we can win them all, through Christ who strengthens us! Because Yeshua has already done the work and given us the weapons! But – well- see what I mean? Because I haven't done the work necessary – obviously – I have to work way too hard to stay in the positive flow of things! As I just aptly demonstrated for you! But it is time to trade in this oy for some JOY! It is time for these strongholds to come down!
Well, anyway, to get off that Rabbi trail and back to the point of sharing how I discovered this problem, I had prayed for supernatural supply, and specifically for a deer roast to add to the menu for Thanksgiving. Turkey seems to have gone up dramatically, and we are avoiding pork for the most part (though not as diligently as some would desire – still we have made a start). But I just really wanted a good piece of deer meat! That very day that I prayed, I am not kidding, someone where Gene (my husband) works gave him a cooler full of meat! Fresh, unfrozen deer meat! Two shoulders, & two hams. They had been basically field dressed and put on ice – delivered right to my door! All I had to do was prepare them for cooking and/or freezing. How blessed is that?!
So. I am in the kitchen at the sink wrestling these huge pieces of meat trying to get that membrane stuff off, and clean them up, etc. and I feel this sort of whiny, grumbling begin! Seriously! I was starting to get tired, and that began a downward spiral of thoughts about how hard the job was, etc. etc. I won't bore and disgust you will all the pitiful details, but you can probably imagine! I mean, in reality I realize that it is a less than glamorous job. Sort of disgusting actually, to our modern, pristine, germ-conscious society. No doubt. But – as the HOLY SPIRIT quickly and firmly reminded me in mid-grumble – I prayed for this!!!!!
So. Having caught myself – or rather having been caught – and corrected – at this incomprehensible act of ingratitude – (talk about biting the hand that feeds you!) - I quickly and thoroughly repented! Then, prompted by the Spirit of God, went about using the act of “confessing our sin one to another so that we can be healed” as a teachable moment! (Home School Mom!) I called Eli and Emma (my two youngest, and the only students in my education/discipleship program) over, and shared with them what I had just experienced. And suggested that we begin to take note of these kinds of “opportunities”, or temptations to blow our blessings! Adding, wisely, (I have been at this awhile) that we primarily make these notations for ourselves first – but also for each other – to hold one another accountable. And also that it could be an opportunity to practice the rare art of “speaking the truth in love” and/or “correcting one another in a spirit of meekness, humility or gentleness” - not with an - “OOOh I caught you at it again!” sort of attitude!
But since then, there have been so many positive thoughts derailed by this pain-train of gross ingratitude that none of us have time for me to list them all! You would not believe it if I did! I can scarcely believe it myself. Most people consider me to be a grateful person. And indeed, I do express gratitude a lot! I have made it a point over my life. That is probably the only reason I have survived some of the stuff that has happened to me. Because, in all fairness, if anyone had a real reason to be negative, to think negatively, to have a dim view of life, to wear the aforementioned “dark glasses”, it would be me. And I am not just sucking worms, there are years of documented deliverance sessions with witnesses to back up what I am saying. I had the worst beginning possible, from the womb on. So there has been some real overcoming to do! Understatement!
Still! We must consider the Truth of the Word! Did Yeshua come to deliver us or not?! He did! And did He succeed at His mission? He most assuredly did! So while there may be very good reasons to be negative there is no excuse! And I am determined with the help of God to beat down this mess in my life! Today I have already wrestled an alligator sized grumbling opportunity! I had made plans for some in depth cleaning today in preparation for Thanksgiving! I had, of course, counted on the kid's help – seeing that I am to begin a monstrous cooking episode as well! But miraculously, Gene's boss asked them to come help in bindery, giving them a much desired opportunity to make money to buy gifts and such for the upcoming seasonal events! But it threw my plans under the bus...and I am getting so tired of my bus being hi-jacked....etc.etc. ...and so it began! I had to really get hold of myself, and go, wait just a minute here! Sheesh! This is an answer to THEIR prayer! Get over yourself!
Okay. So. At some point I would like to get a few more boundaries on my existence and feel a bit more in control of my personal life than I have felt for the last thirty or so years! BUT – either God is going to be in control of my life or not - and “don't look a gift deer in the mouth” and all of that! So it is that time again, wherein, as the lovely people in my neighborhood like to say, to “Scratch my big butt and get happy”! I think the Word says it this way, (2 Cor. 10:3-5)
“3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,…”
I have learned by now that He does not command us to do things for which He is not willing and able to equip us! If He has decreed a thing, it will come to pass. We are the only thing that can block His will, because He gave us a free will! But even we can only block it in our generation! Or we can unblock it in our generation! The choice is ours. And Yeshua shed blood to ensure that we get that choice!
So today, I am asking for all the prayer strength I can get! I want to live in the mind of the Anointed One (Christ)! I do not want to be subject to the negativity of the world, the flesh and the devil! I do not want to be blown about by every wind that blows – religious or heathen! I do not want to be a mere pawn of an anti-God, anti-anointing enemy! I want to be a real force for righteousness!
But please note with me, if you will, that grumbling and complaining about anything is not the path to that kind of victory! I find it extremely appropriate that this next layer of revelation, deliverance and gratitude-attitude cultivation is happening right here between Tabernacles and Thanksgiving! The feast of Tabernacles was the original Thanksgiving, and was the model for the one which was had by the first “immigrants” to this land, so graciously accepted and hosted by the hospitable original inhabitants!
This Thanksgiving I want to live Thanksgiving! I want every fiber of my being to resound and emanate gratitude! As the Pesach song says, Dayenu! It would have been enough! Had He only chosen us for His people, but had not defended us every step of the way... Had He only created us, but not redeemed us when we threw it in His face... Had He only rescued us from Egypt, but not given us instruction whereby we could stay free.....(what?! You thought it was just a bunch of rules to check off for brownie points?! Nah!) ….Had He only rescued us from the earth's destruction by the flood, and not given us a land of our own...Had He only forgiven us, but not sent a Torah, a living Torah in Messiah Yeshua, His Holy Spirit to lead us into all the Truth/Torah....etc.etc. ...You get the gist.
In other words, if He never did another thing – It is enough already! If He never answered another prayer – He is worthy of our praise, loyalty and gratitude! And it is high time we – I – began reflecting that truth with my entire life and existence. Beginning with my attitude. Today begins the downfall of the stinking thinking! All prayers appreciated as the Journey/Transformation to Life continues!
Shalom Chavarim! L'Chayim!