Too often our minds are cluttered with thoughts not of God’s design. Cluttered thinking prevents us from hearing God’s quite voice. Life get’s confused and complicated. Solutions to problems evade us. Our vision becomes clouded and we loose our direction. Thoughts such as these are what I call ‘fiery darts.’ Designed to undermine the work of God in our lives.
If you have ever been plagued with such thoughts, perhaps the following will give you a lift:
Beyond the boundaries of my front porch view, lies a world troubled and confused.
A world full of people who have lost their way.
People who can no longer recognize the beauty of truth.
Peace escapes them, in spite of all their grasping.
Solutions to problems remain unfound.
Life is lived at a fast pace, so, little is heard of God’s voice.
Loosing sight of what’s valuable, is the result.
But here on my front porch, time stands still.
Allowing me to pause and experience His quietness:
A dove cooing in the distance, joins the bird chorus nearby.
Hummingbirds buzzing near my porch feeders.
Silky, gentle breezes offers accent to my reverie.
I feast on the green of the hay fields, and mown lawn laid out before me.
Trees in the spring freshness of their green bordering my view,
Allow me to bask in a morning set at the perfect temperature.
As I gaze upon the scene before me,
Disturbing thoughts of worry and fear give way to thoughts more sublime,
I love being a mother! I love being a grandmother! I have always felt these roles to be more of a calling for me than anything else. My perspective on Motherhood finds its basis within that calling. Motherhood fulfills me like nothing else.
Yet, I raised my four children in a time when Motherhood had begun to loose its splendor! The feminist movement had a lot to do with that, I think. Fortunately, my mother and my maternal grandmother were splendid role models. Their positive influence offset the negative influence of society’s changing perspective on Motherhood for me.
But the most powerful force that shaped my mindset regarding Motherhood was the awareness that God had called me to this role.
His calling on my life, carried me when I felt like a failure as a mom. His calling gave me strength to mother when I felt I had none of my own. His calling motivated me to respect the individuality of my children. His calling influenced me to take a positive approach with my children. His calling impressed upon me the importance of being a godly example to my children. His calling kept me grounded in what was truly important concerning my children. His calling defined the values I wanted to instill in my children. His calling helped me to teach my children how to stand against the world.
I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, made ALL the difference in how I mothered my children. It was His calling that helped me recognize the fiery darts that were set to undermine my role as a mom. His calling empowered me to reject the lies the World declared about Motherhood. His calling implanted His Truth in my mind and replaced those lies.
Too many women have allowed the world’s concept of truth to alter their thinking about Motherhood. Rejecting the role given to them by God, they have given themselves over to lies and manipulation. Removing God’s Truths from their lives and replacing them with the lies prevalent in our society has deadly consequences. For the unbeliever, obviously, but for the believer as well.
Christians, weakened in spirit, will not have the strength to stand against the world. It stands to reason, then, that the weaker Christians are spiritually, the more likely they will succumb to fiery dart attacks, designed to alter their attitude and actions toward what’s going on in the world. p. 48 FD, 3rd Edition
Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5,
Anyone who reads the above verse would identify immediately the wisdom of these words. We know that if we had our anchor in the Truth thought that God will never leave us or forsake us, we would be able to be satisfied with what we have. Right? Then if we know these words are true, then why is it that it’s hard to be someone who is free from the love of money?
I would venture to say that the fiery dart of ‘comparison’ would be at the root of our dissatisfaction. It is just natural to compare ourselves to others who have more than we do. We begin to feel sorry for ourselves. We might even notice jealously creeping into our thoughts.
The nature of these fiery darts is to steal our satisfaction with what we have been given by God. We aren’t able to be content because we always want more. And not being content will lead to a whining and complaining attitude. That’s a miserable way to choose to live!
So when we find ourselves wrestling with comparing ourselves to others who have more and find ourselves becoming discontented with what we have been blessed with, be smart and recognize them immediately for the fiery darts they are. And every single time these fiery darts invade your thinking, reject them and replace this thinking with Hebrews 13:5.
Focusing on the Truth thoughts in this verse will lead to a satisfied and contented attitude towards life. That is a blessed way to choose to live.
Sometimes there is such a controversy going on in our heads between fiery darts and Truth thoughts, that we find we just can’t think straight! Some fiery darts are obvious! So we simply reject them. Some fiery darts make a lot of sense (common sense truth, p.38, 3rd edition FD)! Those are harder to sort through but reject them we must. And each and every time we reject a fiery dart, replacing it with a Truth thought is mandatory. Otherwise, more fiery darts will rush back in (to keep our thinking murky)! (The 3 R’s of FD’s page of this blog)
Clear thinking seems to be beyond our grasp at times like these. But clear thinking is just what is required to gain the peace we long for. If our problematic situation leaves us frustrated, discouraged, disheartened, angry, (all fiery darts, by the way) and our prayers are flavored with these menacing thoughts, then I recommend fasting!
Fasting isn’t a very popular spiritual discipline! We are willing to try praying a little more, counseling with a friend, or reading the Bible more. But fasting? We admit defeat before we even start with that one. Too hard! Can’t do it!
And oh my, what if we make the valiant effort but feel impressed to fast more than once! Fast until the light begins to dawn, and our thinking becomes clear? Until we finally get the answer to that problem we fasted over in the first place? Hold on, we may find ourselves asking. Is that really necessary?
I have a few suggestions. Listen to Christian music during your fast. Reason being, we need to be reminded of the things the fiery darts would have us forget while we are fasting. Do this in addition to pausing now and then to read the Bible. We have to be deliberate about what we focus on. And journaling our thoughts and the whisperings of the Holy Spirit during a fast will prevent forgetfulness.
And remember, one time may not be enough. (Most likely it won’t) Just be open to following God’s lead in this. Pray for God’s strength to persevere until the answer or the peace comes! Keep in mind, the fiery darts would tempt us to quit (though the breakthrough or the turning point may be just steps away)!
It’s the end of the month. You hold your breath as you juggle the figures to see if you are going to be able to keep your head above water. For many this scenario plays out on a monthly basis.
Thoughts (or fiery darts) such as despair, fear, and panic have the potential to sap us of any hope that things will get any better. We avoid looking into the future. It’s just too scary!
All this negativity makes us hard to live with. It’s difficult to focus on anything but our dire financial circumstances. We anger easily, and patience with those we love is in short supply. Worry is our constant companion.
In our personal attempts to find relief, we too often fall flat on our face. Even if we achieve that financial relief we are desperate for, it can too often be at the expense of relationships that depend upon us.
What I’ve just described is how it goes down for those of us who are ruled by fiery dart thinking. This kind of thinking blinds us to what our greatest need is during a financial crises. Which is:
It’s life changing (and not natural) to face a financial crises and say to yourself, “What I need here is more faith!”
Admitting we need more faith in a financial crises, will direct our thoughts to verses like the following:
These are some examples of the Truth thoughts that should be ruling our thinking during financial difficulty. Every time a fiery dart thought attempts to take root, reject it and replace it with Truth thoughts (p. 93, 3rd edition FD’S) like the ones mentioned above.
The result will be to give us a new focus, a hopeful focus. We won’t be afraid to look into the future.
Hey, I know it’s easy to read these words. And I also know that its no easy task to deliberately and persistently reject natural thinking fiery darts with Truth thoughts.
But if we do, God will begin working out His plans for us and our money problems will find their solutions in Him. It’s hard to believe this but it’s true! Our greatest need in a financial crises is to trust God with it.
There’s the person who exhibits anger (last post).
Then there’s the person who gets wounded by such anger (this post).
Okay, someone close to you has a temper and far too often you bear the brunt of it. How do you deal with it? Do you coward down and allow yourself to become victimized and manipulated by their anger? If this is the case, then let’s be clear about where this path will lead.
I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat. And know that by refusing to choose, you actually choose to fall and suffer defeat. p 65, 3rd edition FD
The Bad News!
Living in fear (heavy duty fiery dart) that something you might say or do will incite an angry response from a loved one is like living in a dark dungeon. The darkness hides any route of escape. The longer you remain in that darkness, the more your thoughts will be controlled by that darkness. You will become vulnerable to the lies of one fiery dart thought after another (each one progressively worse). You will become so distracted by this fiery dart thinking that it will begin to rule you. Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) is set in motion.
That’s the bad news! The good news is that we possess the means to undo Satan’s plan to sow the seeds of destruction . . . By becoming a student of God’s Word and communicating with God on a regular basis, we are in possession of everything we need to foil Satan’s plan. It’s that simple! p. 70, 3rd edition FD
The Good News!
The very very first thing you must do is to collect a store of Truth Thoughts (refer to the 3 R’s of FD’s page of this blog) with which to extinguish each and every fiery dart thought that’s aimed at you. I offer the following practical advice on how to do this:
I have also found a simple electronic concordance to be especially helpful when searching for verses to combat fiery darts. Or try doing an Internet search for a verse that relates to a struggle you may be having with a fiery dart/negative thought. p 62, 3rd edition FD
Remember, your loved one isn’t the enemy!
They are being controlled and manipulated just as you were by Satan’s fiery darts. By focusing on the Truth Thoughts God will lead you to, you will learn how to center your thoughts on God. This will have the blessed benefit of shining light into that dark dungeon you were in. And your route of escape to the abundant life God has planned for you (John 10:10b) will be revealed.
This will transform your thinking and how you respond to the anger of your loved one. You will begin to see beyond their anger and will be in a position to lead them to their own freedom and healing.