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“When Snatching Becomes Appropriate”
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
Have you ever snatched papers out of someone’s hand? How about snatching your purse out of someone’s hand? Better yet, have you ever snatched your arm out of someone’s hand? I have done all three (and some) and in most cases, I snatched it with force!
I snatched it with force because I was angry that the person either had my possession without permission or had the audacity to grab it without permission. Have you ever been there? It makes you feel violated and disrespected, and before you know it, you’ve snatched your possession back! We don’t second guess ourselves, we don’t think twice about it, we don’t come up with a strategic plan, we just SNATCH our possessions BACK!
We should have those same feelings towards Satan when he fills our minds with thoughts, ideas, plans, and schemes that go against the Word of God! Satan does not have the permission to snatch anything from you; yet he does on a daily bases!
I dare you to snatch back your:
Paul encourages us to knock down and destroy every disagreement and high thinking that bluntly blocks our view of God’s blessings. His blessing is knowing what He’s Word says about us, our family, and situations. We must snatch every negative thought and hold it captive to God’s Word because there is an appropriate time to snatch!
“A New Way of Fighting”
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."
Swinging. Stretching. Straining.Sweating. These were the things I would do, when play fighting my dad as a child. The fight for him was fixed. He would simply stretch out his arm, place his hand on my head and watch me attempt the impossible –beat him up!
No matter how many times my Dad would say, “Back, you can not win; just give up”, I would keep going. I would try to jump up and hit him, kick him, take a deep breath and try again, but all my attempts would end the same…WIPED OUT!
Sadly, the same is still true today. We are swinging, stretching, straining, and sweating over situations our Father have told us we don’t have to fight. Like Jahaziel told King Jehoshaphat, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you." our Father says the same to us.
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
I can’t help but to chuckle at my adolescent days when I would say, “Now those are fighting words!”. Those fighting words were words like: “Yo momma, Yo daddy, Yo bald headed granny”, witch with a b, and Nigeria and I’m not talking about the Country - LOL!
When someone said those words to me, I took it personal, but what a difference a day makes. God continues to show us through His word that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Our fight is against Satan’s demons not one another – just don’t talk about my momma – LOL!
The Psalmist in Psalms 118:24 caught this teaching and states, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it". Let’s look at this Scripture in a little more detail:
This IS the day: Yesterday, he was a little weary; nations surrounded him on every side like bees to a honeycomb, he was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped him. He had an “Ahh Haa Moment” and said, “I will not die but live and proclaim what the Lord has done.” He is now confident that his today “IS” better than his yesterday.
The Lord has made: He now
knew the Lord as Jehovah-Nissi –he was not in his
battles alone. He witnessed the Lord as
Jehovah-Shammah – as He was present in his darkest hours. He saw the Lord as El-Shaddai – all
sufficient as he abided under the shadow of the ALMIGHTY! So he was confident in the One who made today!
We will REJOICE and be GLAD in it: Here we see the psalmist boldly proclaim, come what may, he would not only celebrate, but he would also be cheerful in whatever the day would bring; be it good, bad, ugly, indifferent, yes or no.
What about you? Will you accept these new set of fighting words? Will you confidently proclaim that today is the day that the Lord has made, so you will rejoice and be glad in it? Or will you allow the referee to count you out the fight because you won’t get up out of the bed, open your blinds and turn your cell phone back ON?!?!
“Maintaining Our Focus”
The last few weeks we’ve talked about regaining our focus and the benefits of such! But, how do we maintain that focus once we’ve got it back? How do we stay focused on JESUS when were constantly faced with good and bad distractions?
It’s very simple. We maintain our focus by seeking first the Kingdom of GOD. The choice is ours. We must make a daily effort to seek the things of GOD through daily bible reading, prayer, worship, and obedience. We communicate to HIM in prayer, HE communicates to us through HIS Word; and we respond in obedience, willing to do whatever HE asks of us in the bible.
Trusting in HIM is also key in maintaining our focus. Regardless of how things may appear to us on the outside (optical illusions); we must trust HIM. Trusting in the LORD means that when things seem to be falling apart around us (and they will); we will remain confident that HE will work all things together for HIS good.Keeping Christ first in our life can be difficult, but if we continue to seek HIM first in all that we do; maintaining our focus will eventually become easier.
We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT
Many people tend to surrender to feelings of rejection, suffering and negative thoughts when they experience problems. Primarily because they are focusing more attention on what they do not have rather than on what they possess in Christ. If we are going to live victorious, we have to learn to avoid focusing on the negative and concentrate on the positive resources we have in JESUS; our Helper. The Holy Spirit helps us consciously and subconsciously to turn our focus away from pain and on to God’s promises for deliverance. All we have to do is ask Him. PRAY!
The Holy Spirit has a gentle way of helping us direct our thinking toward Christ and His Kingdom’s purposes. Paul wrote, “We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.” Ask the Lord to help you be filled with the power of the Spirit, so you can consistently refocus your thoughts away from the negative and on to God’s positive promises, wisdom, and truths.
“Forget the Pain…Go for the Gold!”
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
Last week our hearts were captivated, as we watched Gabby Douglas make history by becoming the first African American to win Gold in the Olympics all around gymnastics competition. Shortly after receiving her Gold medal, Gabby blogged and discussed the practical steps that helped her achieve this memorable accomplishment. She writes:“…When I first got here to London, I was in some pain from a tweaked muscle. I was feeling a little down. But Chow (coach) reminded me that everyone has pain. He said, “Don’t focus on that, you’re at the Olympics! If you don’t push it now, you’ll regret it. He got me refocused, and of course he was right. When I got to the competition and all the nerves kicked in, I didn’t feel a thing. Tonight, I didn’t think about avoiding mistakes – that’s what gets you into trouble. Instead I just thought about going out there and representing TEAM USA,…” (ESPN)
In reading her blog, I was reminded of the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians (Phil 3:12-14). Paul, had suffered imprisonment and an uncertain future for the cause of Christ, but he didn’t allow his current circumstance to distract him from what GOD was going to accomplish through him; he encouraged the Philippians in spite of.
We may never be able to totally obliterate circumstances and situations from our memory or make them go away, but we can refuse to let them interfere with our future by keeping our eye on the Prize (JESUS)! It doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it a one-time thing. Keeping your focus on Jesus is an ongoing process that requires strong desire and effort. Gabby trained for years to make it to the Olympics, but it was the practical steps that she took in forgetting the pain and pressing forward towards the Gold that made her a champion.
We have a divine Coach, Christ Jesus, who is constantly encouraging us to stay focused on HIM! So, don’t fret, worry, or complain, “Forget the Pain and Go for the Gold” and focus on representing TEAM JESUS!
The image above is my favorite optical illusion. An optical illusion is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. Basically what you think you see, is not really what you see. If you are familiar with this image, I’m quite sure your perception of it from the first time you seen it compared to every time after, has never and will never be the same. And, if this is the first time you’ve seen this image, I can guarantee you that every time you see it from now on, your perception will never be the same. Take a few seconds and observe the image in its entirety, what do you see?
Okay! Now take another look at the image and focus (stare) at the four black dots in the center of the image for 45-60 seconds (count in your head), then quickly close your eyes and look at something bright (like a lamp or a window with sunlight coming through it). You should see a white circle with a blessing in it J!
As I think about this optical illusion, I can’t help but to compare it to the times that we allow our situations to distract us and create optical illusions of doubt, fear, and hopelessness. It may be situations of sickness, death, finances, relationships, addiction, peer pressure, depression, etc. Whatever the situation, the moment we take our eyes off of our Savior and began focusing on other things; an optical illusion is created. We quickly become over whelmed and victimized by the situation, and if we’re not careful, we’ll began to see things that are not GOD’s reality. We began to see defeat, failure, and no way out; when in fact GOD’s salvation, deliverance, healing, and blessing have been there all along.
The next time you face a trying situation, keep your focus on JESUS; and just like the optical illusion above, you’ll never view trials the same. You will be able to count it all joy when a trial comes your way (James 1:2). Not joy in the trial, but confidence and joy in what GOD is doing through the trial. It is my prayer that every time you face a difficult circumstance that you will be reminded of this image of JESUS, and began to maximize our focus on HIM and not your situation.
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