- Exodus 39:1-40:38
- Mark 1:1-38
- Psalm 35:1-16
- Proverbs 9:11-12
I said I was going to get deeply vulnerable in my online journal, so here it goes. I pray that all I write can minister to those who stumble across this writing and that God use it to draw each one closer to him.
Do you know that our battle in this world is not a physical battle but a spiritual battle? I do know this, deep in my soul. In fact, in times of stress, I have often prayed the words, “If there are any evil spirits in or around this person, or in or around this situation, I command in the name of Jesus that you quietly leave.” I hope that my kids will remember these words fondly, because they’ve heard me pray it many times. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty severe movies out there that go a bit crazy with demon possession & exercism, I’m thinking of the movie Sybil, with Sally Fields. Its an old movie that I really never could get all the way through. She’s a great actress, but I don’t recommend that movie. (Sorry Sally)
However, here is a documented moment in Mark 1: 21-28, where Jesus himself makes it very clear that we will meet evil spirits just about everywhere; even at church. Those spirits will confront or attack without warning! They may cause arguments and disagreements where otherwise there wouldn’t be. Like here for instance, here’s our friend Jesus, just hanging out and teaching the people at the synagogue. People were amazed at his teaching, so they must have been learning something, ya know? They were drawing closer and closer to God, beginning to recognize that this person Jesus was a new kind of teacher. This is another clue that its evil that’s disrupting the situation, its interrupting people involved drawing closer to their Creator. Teaching first, drawing closer to God next, then the temptation or impure disruption occurs, then the miracle of Jesus calling out the impure spirits! One observation I have, is that the evil spirit wasn’t identified, it was just a person talking smack, right? I can relate to being amongst a bunch of smack talkers. I’ve probably even been that person myself. *sigh* But Jesus recognized who it REALLY was. See that? Here’s a clue for us….ask Jesus what is causing all the conflict before reacting ourselves. Sound right?
In real life, I have an example. Here comes the vulnerable part. This is what, day twelve of my online journaling? My purpose is to put my reflections out on the web and to hopefully attract readers closer in their walk with the Lord. That’s the goal of THIS JOURNAL. I must be doing something right, because Jeff and I, this past weekend, bickered and experienced strain in our relationship. Seems weird, right? How could those possibly be connected?
Here in Southeast Kansas this weekend, we’ve had some severe winter weather. This morning we woke up to -7 f degrees and a real feel of -27 f, because of the windchill. This kind of weather will stress out livestock, and we have been a bit worried about our 10 pregnant cows. Having calves in this kind of weather, as you can imagine isn’t very good for them. So we’ve been shuffling things around here to make sure they have a place to get out of the wind. Jeff has been really worried, as have I. The 2 weeks before, Jeff had been putting in extra hours at work and he had been really worn out after work.
And then yesterday was Valentine’s Day. There were no Valentine’s cards, or dinners out. Well, actually there was a dinner out, at our local restaurant. The place was packed, but we saw Jeff’s cousin and his wife came in, so Jeff invited them to join us on our Valentine’s date. (grumble grumble) I had said that we would spend Sunday wrapped in blankets together, but then we had to go check cows every hour or so. So that didn’t happen, it really couldn’t happen, we were worried about our livestock, so they needed to be tended to. Jeff did write me a last minute note yesterday with promises that he’s made before to being more romantic and intentional about our relationship. Promises that he’s made before, but he just doesn’t seem to keep, in my view anyway. I didn’t keep my promise of cuddling under blankets either….I could have tried harder.
I just wasn’t feeling like he wasn’t putting our relationship first. And he probably was feeling the same, because by the end of the day, not only did we not cuddle in blankets, but I didn’t even cook dinner.
When I point to evil spirits, I don’t mean the weather, or cows, or cousins. No, that’s not it. Where I recognize demons is that our relationship was full of anger, self-righteousness, and resentment. Challenging times are going to come. They always do. Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances, but we can change our reaction to it. Work gets stressful, kids need running around, financial strains come. But God put us here TOGETHER, to work through those times, and love each other through them.
#BIGFAIL. Yea, I pretty much failed at all this yesterday. I know my husband pretty well, and I judge he may be feeling some of this personal regret too. (humbly I admit, inside I am saying “he better be!” #bigfail again) GET BEHIND ME SATAN!!
Jeff and I have been married for 29 years and that’s not by chance. We have worked hard on our marriage and are wise enough to know that during times when we are on the right track with the Lord, the evil one is going to attack our relationship and cause tension. I wish I would have asked Jesus what was going on yesterday. Sadly I didn’t…..I just sat and stewed. I wish I would have seen this yesterday and swallowed my pride and been more appreciative of his last minute letter. Because there are no tomorrows guaranteed.
In the last couple of days there have been unprecedented ice storms in much of the United States. Because of these storms, there were two multiple vehicle accidents in Texas and in Oklahoma. At least 6 people lost their lives. That’s 6 husbands/wives; daughters/sons; mothers/father; sisters/brothers that did not come home. There will be a hole in those families FOREVER! I pray that there were many hugs, kisses and talks the last time these families were together.
As for me, I’m going to try and put my own attitude of entitlement aside and ask my husband for forgiveness. Cook a nice dinner, and by my husbands side, check cows every hour…..because there’s still circumstances to idle through. My relationship with my husband is too important to disregard. Besides, we must be doing something right if we are being attacked in our attitudes like this.
Lord, I pray for my husband this morning. Calm his spirit in regards to work and our farm. Help him to know that You built this home and you will sustain it, no matter what. I pray for our relationship, that you use all circumstances to draw each of us us closer to you and subsequently, each other. Lord, speak sternly to any evil spirits that are in or around our home, and our relationship. Lord, I trust that you tell demons to be quiet and storms to calm. Search Jeff and me, point out any impurities that each of us needs to work on. I pray for the person reading this right now, that their relationships would be free of evil and that you would use any adversities to draw them closer to you.
Did you have a good Valentine’s Day?
How can you love yourself and/or your relationships today? Please don’t take tomorrow for granted.