HOW TO HANDLE YOUR ENEMIES (Part I)

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

Have you ever felt that someone was out to get you? Maybe you had a boss or co-worker that had it in for you.  Maybe you felt a family member was not on your side. Maybe you were betrayed by a friend.  Whoever it was, that person presented themselves as an enemy and obviously did not have your best interest at heart.

In I Samuel 24, David felt the same way you felt or may be feeling right now. King Saul was out to get him. He wanted him dead because he was jealous of David’s success and favor with the people. When David returned from a successful military campaign, the people sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 21:12). For that reason, Saul wanted to kill David.

In this account of David’s dealings with his adversary, while King Saul was out looking for the future king, he went into a cave to relieve himself. Unbeknownst to the Saul, David and his military men just happen to be in that cave. David had a choice to kill Saul and end the upheaval the king had caused in his life, or obey God and let him live. Likewise, we always have the choice to retaliate or obey God when it comes to our enemies. Therefore, in part one of this two part series, let’s take a look at some lessons we find in this passage about how to deal with the enemies we encounter in our own lives:

  • Make sure you surround yourself with people who will give you godly counsel that lines up with the Word. David’s men encouraged him to kill Saul when he had the opportunity (I Samuel 24:4). However, David asserted that Saul was anointed to be king, and he refuse to touch him (v. 6). You need people who will give you God’s point of view when it comes to how to deal with the enemies in your life, or you may end up being out of God’s will.
  • Have a tender heart toward God. David would not follow the counsel of his men because his heart was tender toward God. He did however, cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, his conscience was stricken, and he refused to touch Saul (vv. 5-6). Thus, he was able to listen to God and refrain from taking vengeance on Saul himself.
  • If the person who is treating you wrong happens to be in authority over you, recognize and acknowledge that God has anointed the individual to be in that position. David continuously said He would not touch the person God had anointed to be king. He recognized that God had put Saul in that position. Likewise, if your enemy is a person in authority, you must seek God and ask him to intervene and refuse to take matters in your own hands.
  • Make up in your mind that you will not strike back. As David did, you must make up in your mind what you will do before you get in a situation of this nature. You must refuse to retaliate and vindicate yourself. Romans 12:19 says, “Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.”
  • Stay humble and expect God to vindicate you. After Saul left the cave, David called out to him, came out of the cave, and laid prostrate on the ground before the king (v. 8). That was a sign of humility. That simple act reminds us of our need to stay humble and submissive to authority that God has put over us.

God Himself eventually dealt with Saul and took him off the throne. David had no part in that effort. By choosing to follow the command of the Lord about how to deal with his adversary, David put himself in position to move into his destiny. Thus, if you want to be successful, you must deal with your enemies God’s way. In my next post, I will share more lessons we can learn from David about how to successfully deal with those whom Satan uses to come against us.

Share a time when you handled your enemy according to the principles in God’s Word. What was the outcome? Leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.

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REPENTANCE KEEPS YOUR SPIRITUAL OXYGEN LEVEL AT A MAXIMUM

Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of                Sura Nualpradid freedigitalphotos.net

I woke up one morning with the thought on my mind, “Lord, You are my oxygen.” It kept coming to me over and over, “Lord, you are my oxygen.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without Him. I can’t live without His love. I can’t live without His presence. I don’t ever want to.

I really don’t understand how people go through life without Jesus. What in the world do they do when the bottom drops out? Who do they run to when the sky is falling? God is so gracious and merciful; He continues to pursue them, and they continue to reject Him. That is, until they surrender, taste and see that the Lord is good, and find out that Jesus is the best thing that could have ever happened to them. We all have to go through that process. I just thank God He refuses to “shake the dust off His feet” (Matthew 10:14) when rejected time and time again. At one time He knocked at the door of my heart after experiencing my rejection of His love and grace. He continues to knock at the door of the heart of unbelievers and He is relentlessly determined to be their spiritual oxygen supply.

We sometimes take breathing for granted. We don’t even think about it until we have a cold or our allergies kick in. There are some folks with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) who have to fight for every breath they take and walk around with oxygen tanks in order to stay alive. Again, God is like oxygen for us. In Him we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).  However, when we sin and our fellowship with God is interrupted, it’s like cutting off our oxygen supply in the spirit. In Psalm 51, King David knew quite well what spiritual suffocation felt like. When Nathan the prophet exposed his sin in reference to committing adultery with Bathsheba and then killing her husband, Uriah          (I Samuel 11 and 12), he wrote in Psalm 51:10-12 that he felt God’s presence had left him, and his joy was extinguished. He was miserable.

That is why it’s so important to keep short accounts with God. When we miss the mark, we should immediately repent so that we can continue to “breathe.” I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We need to do this because although sin doesn’t change our relationship with the Father, it does affect our fellowship until we repent, agree with Him that what we did was wrong, and ask for His forgiveness. Only then our fellowship is restored.

Some of us hide from God when we fall short of His glory. That just prolongs the agony of spiritual suffocation. However, there is no need to “gasp for air” one moment. God has made a way through Jesus Christ for us to stay continuously connected to Him so that we can breathe freely. When we sin, we need to run immediately to Him and repent, not isolate ourselves in shame.

When I go to the doctor’s office, my vital signs are taken. My blood pressure and temperature are taken, and then they clip a device on my pointer finger to check the oxygen level in my body. When it comes to you relationship with God, have you checked your oxygen level lately? Let’s make sure that we keep our spiritual oxygen level at a maximum by staying connected to God through spending time with Him daily in prayer, fellowship with Him in His Word, and refusing to let sin put a wedge between us. Our very lives depend on it.

 

YOU ARE MY OXYGEN

Copyright 2012 by Tracey L. Moore

Lord, You are my oxygen; I can’t make it without You. 

I love You and I need You so; without You I’m lost, it’s true.

When I feel disconnected from You, and Your Word I can’t receive,

When I cannot feel Your presence, I feel like I cannot breathe.

I’ve got to have You in my life; without You there is no joy.

My world is chaotic, I lose my peace; without You, I feel a void.

It’s spiritual suffocation, for on You, God, I depend,

I cannot live without Your love, Lord, You’re my oxygen.

Have you ever felt spiritual suffocation? How do you keep your spiritual oxygen level at a maximum? Leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR DADDY IS?

Photo courtesy of Patrisyu Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Patrisyu Freedigitalphotos.net

Father’s Day is right around the corner. However, many children are growing up without a father in the home. In fact, fatherlessness is an epidemic in this country and has been said to be the underlying cause of many societal ills such as crime, out of wedlock pregnancies, and skyrocketing school dropout rates. Some children don’t know who their father is because they have never met their biological male parent. I have a question for you: Do you know Who your Daddy is? I don’t mean your earthly parent. I mean your Heavenly Father. Do you have an accurate perception of Him?

Parents are supposed to model God for their children. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and we all have issues. Because parents may have unresolved emotional wounds from their childhood, they may not always be able to portray the loving character of God. I’m not saying that we should blame our parents for all our problems and use that as an excuse to stay in a stunted spiritual and personal growth state for the rest of our lives. What I am saying is that we must be aware that our parents were imperfect people and could not always represent God accurately in every circumstance. Therefore, we must identify our faulty perceptions that we have acquired concerning God. If we don’t, the devil will use that deception to keep us from fulfilling our God-given destiny.  We have to get into the Word for ourselves and find out Who God says He is.

There are several faulty messages about God that you could have received in your childhood. Therefore, if you are a parent, you can avoid misrepresenting God by doing the following:

Keep Your Word – When you tell your children that you will do something, please follow through. God always keeps His Word. So if you want to model God to your kids, keep your promises you make to them.

Give Unconditional Love –When earthly parents show conditional love, they misrepresent God. Conditional love is exhibited when a child makes a mistake or falls short in some way, and after the he or she is disciplined, the parent emotionally punishes the youth (even after a bout of repentance) with the proverbial “cold shoulder” or silent treatment. When your child fails in some way, unconditional love will require you to discipline and train him, and then get back to a loving relationship without holding grudges. Forgiveness and immediate restoration of the emotional connection should be the norm.

Be Emotionally and Physically There – Abandonment can be emotional or physical. For example, a father can be in the home physically, but be emotionally absent. Whatever the case may be, the youngster ends up feeling alone. When a parent fails to be involved in a child’s life, she gets a distorted view of God. Furhtermore, she will have a hard time believing that God will be there for her and not abandon her. Make every effort to be there emotionally and physically for your child.

Avoid Having a Critical Spirit – Kids are people too. When you speak to your children, remember Jesus is watching you. If He was right there in the room with you (and He really is), would you say the same thing, with the same tone to your young person? Words have such power to build up and destroy. What I like about God is that He is always positive and uplifting. His goal is to build us up, not tear us down. He gives us constructive feedback for the purpose of making us better. Make sure your words edify and communicate love even when you must discipline your kids. Avoid a critical spirit and praise them when they do something good.

Don’t Expect Perfection – Nobody is perfect. When parents expect children to be perfect and give them no margin for error, God is being misrepresented. Sometimes parents try to hide their own imperfections from their kids. They may refuse to apologize to their little ones. Children who have parents who “appear” perfect will end up being perfectionists because they believe they have to be perfect to receive love and acceptance. You were a kid once. Therefore, remember how many mistakes you made as you journeyed into adulthood and allow them to be imperfect as well. After all, Jesus died for our imperfections.

Provide Consistent Discipline – It’s clear in the Bible that God chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). When parents fail to discipline their offspring for behaving badly, it communicates a lack of love.. Also, when children are threatened with punishment or discipline, and the threat is not followed up with action, they learn they can get away with bucking authority without consequences. That is a serious misrepresentation of God. He always provides consistent discipline. There are always consequences that ensue when we fail to follow His commands. That’s why in order to represent God accurately, consistent discipline is a must.

If your childhood was not perfect, you may have an erroneous perception of God in some areas. The way to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him is to read the Word, identify the negative views you have of Him, forgive your parents for their part in that, and let the Lord reprogram your thinking and renew your mind with the truth about Who He really is. So this Father’s Day, take inventory and ask yourself, do you really know who your Daddy is?

What view did you previously have of God that you eventually found out was not true? Please leave a comment below. 

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal GrowthClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Take a trip down a spiritually poetic trail, and dare to become your best for Christ.