Saturday night I dreamed that this poisonous snake had been chasing me for what seemed like forever. I had screamed and ran and asked for help and even shot it with my gun many, many times. But I finally killed it when I picked up a large, sharp knife and got close enough to it to look it in the eyes. I cut off its head and tail and then I ran a slit down its spine with the knife just to be sure it was good and dead. That part of the dream moved in slow motion: I severed its movement. How satisfying.
And then I woke up. And I felt like something had just been finished.
Choosing to Walk with God
Hurts, offenses, attacks and bad circumstances are all just fear manifesting in various ways. It’s the enemy showing us false evidence that our fears are real and that God is not, and that we are truly just hapless victims of our circumstances, our weaknesses and even the malevolence of others. The bottom line is that none of those things can interfere with the path God has us on unless we allow it to. We have to surrender to the fear, to the attacks, to the lies, to gossip, condemnation, laziness and self-absorption. We have to choose it.
I don’t choose it. It doesn’t matter what others have said about me, what matters is what God thinks about me. And He thinks good thoughts about me. He loves me. He has great plans for me, and those plans will come to fruition if I trust in Him and don’t put my trust in people. That doesn’t mean we need to be suspicious and wary of others, quite the contrary. Living like that is surrendering to defeat. It means that the bad actions of one person or even several people don’t define who we are and how we function in the world.
Trusting in God’s Strength
It doesn’t matter if others believe in me, God does. It doesn’t matter if others promote me. God will, in His timing. It doesn’t matter if others support me, get behind me or rally around me, because if what I’m doing is the work of God, He will do all the heavy lifting. Because understand this: If you are doing great things, there are going to be selfish and insecure people who will be threatened by you and who will do what they can to undermine you. And if that doesn’t work, they will try to destroy you. Guess what? They can’t. Unless you let them.
And guess what, dear fellow Christians? Many of the people at the front of the line waiting to tear you down will be your brothers and sisters in Christ. Get used to that. Matthew Barnett, a hyper-kinetic California pastor who has done many great things in the face of opposition posted this on Twitter: “Don’t share your dream with people who will pick it apart in 0.7 seconds.” Good advice.
Better to share your dreams with people who aren’t waiting to kick your teeth in, and better to focus on those who are supporting you, lifting you up, rallying around you and saying, “You can do this!”
The best we can do is live in a state of quiet faith that is strong enough to silence the outside voices so we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit within that says only, “I am here. I love you. You are enough if you trust in Me because I am enough.”
Get back to the honest core of who God created you to be. Get back to what He wants you to focus on. Whatever it is, I promise you it is not yourself. Get back to the job you have to do. Work hard and believe in yourself. Silence the outside voices. Refuse to listen to harsh words, criticism from people who don’t have your best interests at heart (please always heed constructive criticism from people who want the best for you) gossip and destructive talk. If you listen to it long enough to start to believe it and you start to become it. Choose differently.
Asking God for Strength
“Father God, You are enough. You are all I need. Lead me beside your still waters. I want only what You have for me. Let my days on earth be peaceful, quiet, reverent and confident. Remove all fear from my head and my heart. Give me the grace to help others find You as I continue to seek You and find You. Give me everything You have for me and keep my eyes off of everything You don’t intend for me. Help me to never look to other people for the acceptance that comes only from You. Amen.”