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The Secret of Survival

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   My summer has been jam packed with mountain top experiences. As much as I could, I lived in the celebration of every moment. Yet, I knew that come the end of August, it would all come to a screeching halt. Then would come the valley.

   I think one of the most troubling aspects of my valleys is that I am tempted to forget what I know to be true about God.  The reason being is that Satan never lets up with those fiery darts. With all those fiery darts swirling around in my thoughts, it’s hard to sort through all that mess and find those Truth Thoughts.

   And I know that if my low times become severe enough, depression can set in. Depression is a wicked thing! One of the most deadly tactics used by Satan in depression is to drain our thoughts of hope. He will shoot one lie after another, clothe them with common sense truths, and if we fall for it… Yep, depression!

Because of that common sense truth, we will entertain the thought, and the poison of the lie will permeate our thinking. It is the lie that will motivate our actions, which is contrary to God’s will. p. 38, 3rd Edition FD

  In a previous blog, I wrote about my summer of extreme highs and lows. I had a future to face that looked bleak to me. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to face it or handle it. Then one night as I was reading my bible, I came upon the following verse: Proverbs 23:18

   The key words for me in this verse were ‘future’ and ‘hope’. As I meditated upon this Truth thought, the darkness began to recede. I’m still in the valley, but I’m not in despair. It’s still hard, but it’s not hopeless. 

   Then just yesterday, a friend shared another verse with me: Jeremiah 31:25

   I have been languishing, for sure. And I certainly am weary. Yet, I know that it is vital for me to ‘receive’ those Truth’s. That’s the secret of my survival.

  Therefore, I take one day at a time (that’s scriptural) and proceed forward. Perhaps with caution, but nevertheless forward. 

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The benefits of a valley experience!

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   If you’ve noticed you haven’t heard from me in awhile, you would be correct. It seems I am, and have been for quite some time, in a valley. A valley that just stretches out before me with no exits or mountain tops in sight.

   Being the author of a book about negative thinking, I have a working knowledge of how to fight the negative thoughts (my constant companions in this valley). Therefore, I know that God’s Truth thoughts are the key to finding my way out. And for brief periods of time, those Truth thoughts lit up a possible exit. But alas, it was only short lived.

   At this point, I still find myself in the valley. And I don’t have much hope of  leaving this place any time soon. So, what should I do? 

   May I insert here that while I am living in the valley at the moment, it is NOT a dark valley. God’s Truth thoughts which I focus on prevent such darkness. It is not a valley without hope of finding a way out. While the negative thoughts of despair, discouragement, and thoughts of giving up do tempt me, they do not rule my thinking. They do not prevail! 

   Also, I find that in this valley, I am tempted with thoughts of self-condemnation. This judgmental attitude towards myself and others (especially those I have complaints against) keep my vision clouded. And yes, I am weary of the fight against feeling sad, disheartened, and discouraged.

So what’s the answer here?

   Giving into these fiery darts will only plant me permanently in this desolate valley. I DO NOT DESIRE THAT! Nor does God! 

   Here’s a thought! Why not just accept this valley time? I ask myself, “Why on earth would I do that?” To which I believe God gave me this reply:

Isaiah 48:17, This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel says, I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit who leads you in the way you should go.

   If I cooperate with the LORD, and instead of asking Him to lift me out of this valley (because really, it’s unpleasant and I don’t like being here), then my time in this valley will produce benefits for me.

   So! I should quite spinning my wheels trying to escape this valley I’m stuck in! Instead, I should turn my energies towards cooperating with God in order to learn the lessons He has for me here. Keeping in mind that it is for my benefit.

To Which I reply!

“Okay, not the answer I was striving for! My flesh would much rather You would just lift me out of this valley. Make things easier, you know! But I recognize those fiery darts for what they are. There’s only one way out. That’s Your way, not my way!”

 

Loosing the Civil War?

Who tells the Truth?

   Recently, in my research about the battle that goes on between our old nature and our new nature as a Christian(1), I came across a reference that described this battle as a civil war. I think that is an apt description.

   You see, it’s like this. We have this old nature, by means of our physical birth, which is predisposed to sin. It is what rules us until we experience a new birth, that is salvation, which seeks to please God. After the new nature moves in, the old nature is no longer in charge and self gets dethroned. Now the battle royal begins!(2) And this is where our will (you know that part of us that makes choices) must be understood. Upon becoming a Christian, our will seeks to please God and willingly forsakes the throne to give it up to Christ. However, our old nature was quite attached to that throne and will make repeated attempts to persuade our will to again choose in its favor. So, what do you think? Are our wills making some bad choices? Why? Consider the following:

     Unsurprisingly, if you aren’t even aware of the existence of this civil war within yourself, or if you only know of it vaguely and aren’t consciously engaged in fighting it, then you will inevitably be defeated. You can’t possibly win this battle against your flesh unless you know what is going on and are determined to fight. Once you realise that you can then start to make decisions, with your will, so as to take the side of your new man in opposing and resisting the old man. – See more at: http://www.realchristianity.com/world-flesh-devil/introduction.html#sthash.1h2HgYZZ.dpuf

   How do we fight this battle and win?

   First, we must accept the fact that our winning is not just a one time event. Every day, for the rest of our lives, we must be ready to  go at it again refreshed by our time spent in God’s Word and in communication with Him. A little here and a little there won’t cut it for this battle. There is too much at stake.

Again I must emphasize the necessity to persevere in prayer and Bible study! We must grasp the fact that there is no other substitute. As we fellowship and worship in these two disciplines, everything we experience in life will be filtered through what we learn there. FD p. 76

   A spirit weakened by too little nourishment cannot stand against the constant onslaught of the enemy’s fiery darts. And pay attention to the word ‘constant’. For constantly we must seek the nourishment available to us as we pray and seek God’s Truths. Thereby strengthening our will to choose for Christ and against our old nature (replacing those fiery dart thoughts with God’s Truth thoughts).  

(1) John 3:6
(2) Romans 8

God Alone is Enough!

   Fiery darts can be defeated. If you have followed my blog, you know this to be True. Yet, some attacks take longer to defeat than others. And if you’ve noticed, the fiery darts that attack us within the realm of personal relationships, are the deadliest–especially if you have struggled with these attacks for years on end.

   Fiery dart attacks that we are still wrestling with after years of seeming defeat, push us to the brink of despair, frustration, and hopelessness. During such an ongoing battle we are tempted to loose our focus and like Peter we can feel ourselves sinking beneath the waves of the storm. But even as we feel ourselves sinking, like Peter, we must remember to cry out, “Lord, save me!”

And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”… Matthew 14:29-30

   These ongoing attacks require a strong & singular faith. A faith that is based on God and God alone; even when our prayers have proven fruitless. In these situations, when things don’t turn out  as we had planned and don’t look like they ever will, God has to be enough. Even in the midst of seeming defeat, God assures us that we can know victory!

Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! Habakkuk 3:17-19

   Just remember, the enemy’s plan is to control our focus and lock it onto the things we think we lack instead of the all consuming presence of God where we discover we lack nothing! For in this state we wake up to the Truth that when we have God in Christ we have everything we need! 

 

 

Fiery dart: If you are unhappy in your marriage, bail out!

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   My heart is breaking as I hear of young couples, so dear to me and at one time so close to God, giving up on their marriage. I can understand and even relate to the temptation to bail out of a marriage that is slowly becoming depleted of the happiness and contentment with which it began.  But succumbing to this temptation only sets in play Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) the very happiness and contentment they are seeking. 

   We live in a world that defines happiness from a self-centered perspective. But according to God’s definition, genuine happiness is found by delighting ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4)   When we reject this Truth, Satan stands ready to fire at us a volley of fiery darts designed to convince us that the only solution to unhappiness or discontentment in our marriage is to bail out of it. Then slowly we become blind and deaf to God’s plan that He has come to give us life in abundance (John 10:10b) even in our marriage. 

   When we become more focused on what we desire than on what God desires,then happiness and contentment in our marriages (and life) will always elude us. Satan’s fiery darts make sure of that. My prayer is that their sight will be restored and their enemy will be exposed. And in every situation they will take up their shield of faith in God’s Word and extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)

Then the Truth below will become their new reality!

   If our marriage is built upon the foundation of God’s design, we will understand that there will be times when we will be unhappy in our marriage and/or with our spouse. This is a reality that will be dealt with in a godly manner so that it does not become an excuse to bail out but an instrument of God’s will in conforming us into His image. This is what centering your marriage on Christ means……“Frustration, hardship, loss is rooted in the gospel. In that context (centering your marriage on Christ) your faith may be shaken but your marriage will remain rooted.” (words in quote from a dear friend who is a mighty teacher of God’s Truth)

         You see, the type of suffering or problems that we encounter in our marriages will often reflect something that is lacking therein. It stands to reason then, that if we cooperate with the sanctification process in order to provide what is lacking in the marriage, then we aren’t likely to see breaking up the marriage as the solution.

James 1:2-4 makes this quite clear: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

Excerpt taken from p. 71-72, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

I need your input!

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 I have a special favor to ask of my Fiery Dart blog followers. If you would be willing, I need you to send me an email describing how the message of fiery darts and how to fight them is setting you free of the manipulation of fiery dart thinking (or negative thinking). I will be selecting a few to post on my blog. So when you send them, keep in mind they may wind up being included in my Fiery Dart blog. (I will not use your name or identifying information if I use your email. I will send you a copy of the post before I post it.)
   I write from my observations and personal experience, but I feel in order for this message to have a broader appeal, people other than myself need to share how their lives are being transformed by this message.
    I believe God prompted me to do this, so, please, prayerfully consider sending me your email responses.

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Send your responses to: janetwarrenlane@gmail.com

 

How to spoil the enemy’s plan!

   Recently, I encountered a major fiery dart attack. It was the type of attack that previously had defeated me (before I became schooled in how to successfully fight fiery darts). The attack tempted me to become angry. I was tempted with feelings of worthlessness  and feeling another did not think well of me. In the past this kind of attack sent me spiraling into depression.

BUT THIS TIME

I refused to open the door and allow the poison to infiltrate my thinking.

“Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.” p. 46 FD

I brought the 3 R’s of fighting fiery darts into play.

First, I recognized the negative thoughts for the fiery darts they were.

Second, I resisted the fiery darts

Third, I replaced the fiery darts with God’s Truth thoughts:

Thoughts of anger were replaced with:

1 Corinthians 13:5, Love. . .is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong.

Thoughts of worthlessness were replaced with:

Philippines 3:9, . . . not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (My worth is defined by my relationship with Christ. No earthly relationship was designed to give me that)

Thoughts that another did not think well of me:

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Knowing God loves me and rejoices over me, trumps and destroys any negative thought that another does not think well of me. And, please understand that the thought that another did not think well of me was a fiery dart itself. One that in the past nailed me, but not now!)

   God’s Truth spoiled the plans Satan’s fiery darts had for me. God protected me from being victimized by the lies the fiery darts would have poisoned my mind with by opening my understanding to the enemies tactics and how I could fight successfully against them. 

   This can happen for you. My book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, will show you how!

*Click on the image of my book in the sidebar to order