Yes, four questions.
You see, the enemy of the soul is crafty. Isn't he?
His main objective is to grip me in the web of fear.
Imprison me in the stronghold of self-doubt.
Enmesh me in the bondage of emotional torment.
He undoubtedly spends his time, energy and resources on keeping us from experiencing, at all costs, the joy, peace and rest of operating out of the Fathers love- A love, that once has been tasted, immediate inner transformation begins to manifest in every dark corner of our being.
And so, through the darkness of his slithering, crafty, deceitful presence, he whispers fear and lies into the hearts of God's children.
Yes, the same children who have direct access to every divine resource and power needed to live a life of freedom and victory. Who contain every piece of armor of protection from the enemies decoys and weapons. And who reside in the safety and security of God's shadow of unspeakable love.
And yet because the enemy is CRAFTY and his only objective is to kill, steal and destroy, he will be relentless in his pursuit for my, your, their *peace *joy *worth *value *security *significance.
Instead, he will sow seeds of fear. Self-doubt. Shame. Regret. Anxiety-over-the-unknown. Insecurity. Which, unmistakably, naturally grow a harvest of that which will inflict harm to myself and those I love.
And so, these four questions are not just questions. No, they're a powerful weapon of defense and a radical flood-light exposing any and all tactics, craftiness, deceit and depiction the enemy may have waged war on the soul.
1. WHERE IS MY AFFECTION?
(What do I wake up and go to sleep thinking about? A fear? An emotion? A person? A worry? A place? A thing? An object? A desire? A want? A need?)
2. WHERE IS MY ATTENTION?
(Who and what have my continual attention of the heart?)
3. WHERE IS MY IMAGINATION?
(What and where does my mind drift when there is down time?)
4. WHERE IS MY FOCUS?
(Work, money, family, self, others, ministry...)
And then it occurred to me...
Wherever and whomever I run to during moments of insecurity, IS MY SECURITY.
Is Jesus my security?
Is He the One I run to when my heart is grieving over a deep loss?
Is He the One I turn to when fear-of-the-unknown has presented itself into my life's circumstances?
Is He the One I cling to when the presidential candidates threaten to resurrect fear on the throne of my heart?
Is He the One I look at when Target changes bathroom policies?
Oh yes, the enemy is crafty alright and will stop at nothing to water down the power and the testimony of our lives by carefully and craftfully (No, that's not a real word) fixing our attention, affection, imagination and focus on the problem instead of the Solution.
How generationally impactful of a testimony I would have if I used the power of prayer BEFORE the counterfeit power of my voice. And yet, It's never counterfeit if the words which flow from my lips are first from the purified fruits of a heart that was first devoted to prayer.
I'm more and more convinced order is everything- It is the difference between life and death. Of blessing and curse. Of beauty and ashes.
May my words always first be ones that have been brought to the cross, coated in His presence and purified in His unfathomable, unequaled love. It's then and only then will each letter of my words provide life, blessing and a future for all those who receive it.
This world needs more of you and so much less of me. Humble me, Jesus, and enable my life to represent that which brings you glory and honor. Please infuse us all with Your power to refuse to live a life that lives, operates, thinks and is founded on fear. Mold us into a community, a remnant of people, who love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength- enabling You to be our source of affection, attention, imagination and focus-- where our lives will stand as a powerful testimony of Your goodness and the fruits of Your presence manifest themselves in our hearts, overflowing onto each and every hurting person in this deeply fallen world.
You are The Solution. You Are The Answer-- in every world problem, in every life circumstance, in every grip of fear, in every entanglement of sin, in every grief of the heart, in every bondage of addiction, in every unfair injustice, in every depressed and oppressed soul, in every chaos and confusion. Yes, Lord, You are THE ANSWER. THE HOPE. THE KEY. THE REMEDY. THE WAY. THE TRUTH. The One that can take a selfish, prideful, confused, hurting, wounded and out-of-order heart like my own, and use it to reflect the beauty of who you are and the power of what only You can do. Please give me the wisdom, discernment, courage and strength to wait on you- in words, deeds, decisions, opinions, and ways. Everything must first be brought before you, so that you can eradicate any and all darkness, wrongful motive, fear, anxiousness and impurities in all I believe, think, feel, do and say.