A couple of weeks ago, our Pastor did a sermon that really spoke to me. One thing I love about our Pastor is that his messages are very relevant to many different kinds of people. You'll know what I mean as you continue reading.
Sometimes I committ myself to reading His word daily and become so passionate about this, I look like child about to start school. I make a plan, I envision it, I can almost taste it and anticipate it, I sit and smile as I await the many blessings and the joy I'm going to experience. Yet.....a few weeks maybe even days later I find myself disapointed to see how I failed to do what I told the Lord I would. How days went by and I didn't follow through, how I found time for so many other things yet God was patiently waiting for me and I never showed up. I sat and gave this alot of thought the other day...let me tell you...it didn't take long to realize that the main poison to are my DISTRACTIONS. I think many of us suffer from this disease....we want to do what is right but we let life and it's distractions get in the way to the point where they spiritually paralize us and eventually take control. Paul knew we'd suffer from this when he wrote:
"I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15
It doesn't take long to realize that we are surrounded by many distractions or how my pastor called them "attractions". They come in many shapes, colors and forms but they all have one goal....to keep our eyes away from the Lord, to pull us away from the One who has created us and longs to spend time with us. We know that Satan is the father of lies and many of these if not all only bring temporary joy. Nothing compares to the kind of joy that only our Heavenly Father can give us. When we are in His presence and are filled with His joy..everything else such as our troubles, our sorrows, our worries, our trials, life.... becomes a big blur.
"These things I have spoken to you, that Ny joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full" John 15:11
These fatal aatractions are destructive with the intention to take us down the path of death like Proverbs mentions. The Bible also calls them chains.
Chain = bondage; servitude: to live one's life in chains (Dictinary.com)
Bondage = 1. slavery or invonluntary servitude; serfdom. 2. the state of being bound or subjected to some external power or control. (Dictionary.com)
WOW....notice it says "External" power or control. Who is really suppose to have control? If this is not the way we're suppose to live than why do we allow it to happen? Why are we serving the wrong person? Why would we allow the father of lies, of destruction, of murder to control us. Are we really asking for trouble or what?????
I believe with all my heart that satan's goal is to get our attention, take full control over us to ultimately kill us....no way around it. When we ALLOW to be bound by thse chains we are being deprived of God's fullness, of His joy, of the many blessings He wants to give us. We are unable to honor God, we fail to become the man/woman of God we were intended to be. Notice I said "allow" because satan has no power over us really....we are the ones who give him the power to destroy us. Remember.....God always give us a way out. You may be asking.."what do these chains or fatal attractions look like?"
They may come in the form of APPROVAL:
- Most women struggle with self worth, inferiority, insecurities yet God says He has created us in His image with His very own hands. Remember....God doesn't make mistakes.
- Most men struggle with pride....God calls us to be humble
- Most women are pleasers and feel that they are suppose to fix everything..God says the we can come to Him when we are burdened.
- We notice how life has become a competition. Our children have to be the best atheletes, best behaved, we have to have the best marriage, be the best dressed, all because of what it says about us, we even compare ourselves with others only to find out that the person next to you has it made way better then you. You might as well run into a brick wall because you are bound to be disillusioned. Now God wants us to strive to have a good marriage, to have well behaved kids, to look take care of ourselves..the problem is when we pretend to be perfect and want to impress or even compete. You are running the wrong race my friend..you should be running the race to eternity instead. If we continue to do this to ourselves we are going to be miserable our whole lives and miss out on eternity.
They may come in the APPEARANCE
- Magazines try to define real beauty as if someone in NY is going to tell us how we should look...God says that true beauty is inward, a quiet spirit, the Proverbs 31!!!
- The world says that we need to keep up. Honestly is it more like they want us to work hard to obtain that which is unrealistic and you will never be fully satisfied...it's a trap. Notice the pictures above....see the BIG difference??? Yep, arisbrush is what they use and sadly many people spend their whole lives seeking this kind of beauty,again at rap from satan. God says to seek His Kingdom first and everything else will be added! Our eyes have been fixed on the wrong place.
They also come in the form of MATERIALISM
- I'm pretty sure you've heard the word "Shopohilocs"......thy come in all ages now my friends...children are picking up on our bad habbits. The other day I was at the store and a mom with her two daughters right in front of me getting ready to pay. The little girls had picked out a stroller and a baby doll to go in it. The mom quickly realized and took out the dolls. The little girls immediately knew what do to...they threw a fit and loudly yelled, "I want this toooooo". Yes, mom did give in probably filled with embarrasement...this is a whole new topic.... but my point is that 5 yrs old and that 3 yrs old WANTED their dolls at any cost...no matter what:(
- It's never going to be enough....the more we have..the more we want. Our desire is to have things...the latest fashion, the newest car, that piece of jewelry, those bran new couches, that very funny DVD, those so desired video games, the best baby clothes, pretty cool gadgets, one of a kind purse, that awesome trip, money, money and more money, you can proboably fill in many blanks.
- There is nothing wrong with having nice things the danger is when we try to find satisfaction on those things, we try to fill a void, replace true joy...let me tell you...you're going to keep looking cause you'll never find what you really need in these.
They come in the form of RELATIONSHIPS
- Now days is so common to find people who have been through several marriages mainly because "they haven't found the right person to spend life with"...when God has created a soulmate for them. If you really think about.....God wants to do the searching for us..we are suppose be still, He already knew your soulmate before He even conceived the thought of creating you...so...why try to do the job ourselves and go through so much turmoil?
- We also see more and more people living together without being married. People go a long way to find "love"...when marriage is so sacred to God. Marriage has been twisted, ridiculed, understimated, it's now a joke:(
- We seek approval in friendships....yes, they are of great importance and vital but they will never fully satisfy us. Friends will fail us, hurt us and dissapoint us. They can even decieve us and actually have the wrong motives when wanting to be in our life BUT God is transparent, true to His word and His number one goal is to love us and to bring us home. He has our best interest in mind!!!
There's a song that says, "His grace is more than enough"... this is exactly what we need to remind ourselves every day! If you can remember the story about the lady by the well and Jesus having a word with her. She had been married 5 times and was living with her 6th mate. Notice that marriage was already loosing credibility. You know what's beautiful though???
She found what she was really looking for all along in man #7...JESUS CHRIST!!!!
Honestly, when we really fix our eyes on Jesus...we feel the pressure coming right off our shoulders. Life becomes more enjoyable, simpler because we are not running around "trying" to find happiness.
You have to remember....GOD doesn't think less of you. His approval is not based on all those things I spoke of..He simply loves you and wants the best for you. Our biggest problem is that we are looking in the wrong places for joy, for happiness. God is patiently waiting for YOU to make a choice...we have more power over this than we think. Are you going to continue to see yourself like the kitten and let satan tel you what to do or are you going to surrender everything you have to God and allow Him to take control? He sees you like a lion....able to conquer the world. He sees potential in you, He believes in you and wants to help you move mountains!!!
Peace, comfort and joy are not found in achievements or the perfect family but in Jesus Christ!!!
**** I wanted to share this video I found that really spoke to my heart. I pray it speaks to you too! I challenge you to join me in taking up our cross, taking our spiritual walk seriouly and to find true joy in HIM! I am ready to give up my chains and let God take control over me!
God bless you....Susan