Readying for Battle

As a younger adult fresh out of the Word of Faith cult-movement, lingering ideals still prevailed. That religious group even taught at their school that the strongholds we must overcome are rooted and grounded thoughts and ideas. To them, you as an adherent were to replace YOUR thoughts with THEIR thoughts. Any deviance from their doctrine constituted correction.

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In the information age that we live in, we are faced daily with thoughts and ideas that may line up with ideas we have already in our minds or we may be challenged with new ones. As Christians, we should hold absolute only Gods word and the person of Jesus Christ. Not only do we see a war between the flesh and spirit as mentioned in the previous post, but we also see a war of ideas, even daily.

I have learned through time to become independent in my thinking and to speak against things I disagree with especially dealing with religious situations and doctrines. Other instances that warrant my opinions are in business. Being opinionated does have its disadvantages. Often when I expressed opinions I was met with strong resistance immediately. Other times I would get the brunt of lingering emotions held onto for decades. With each confrontation or rebuttal to my words I was faced with this decision FIGHT or FLIGHT. Some situations require a fight. Others require “cooler heads”.

1 Corinthians 6:6-8

King James Version (KJV)

But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

It is a natural reaction to lash out when challenged or confronted about our words or actions. Naturally we do not want to just let something go. Turning the other cheek or walking away is not what justifies us or so we think.

Romans 12:17-19

King James Version (KJV)

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

We must choose our battles.

Coping with Paralysis

At age 35, I made a huge personal discovery. I liken it to the discovery that the Apostle Paul came to as he described a war occurring within his body.

Romans 7

Common English Bible (CEB)

21 So I find that, as a rule, when I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me. 22 I gladly agree with the Law on the inside, 23 but I see a different law at work in my body. It wages a war against the law of my mind and takes me prisoner with the law of sin that is in my body.

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Before I begin to alarm friends with my subject line, I must describe the paralysis I am referencing. This paralysis is a mental one stemming from irrational fear. It paralyses good thoughts and actions both from being given and from being received.

Another blogger, Tim Gallen, of    http://dailygallen.com, writes :

“the ironic thing about living in constant fear is that it’s not really living at all.

when fear rules your heart and mind and soul, you don’t live. you merely exist. i’ve dubbed this existence via fear floating through life. and i have done plenty of floating through my own life, just existing. failing to live.

fear is powerful. this isn’t too surprising, considering it is a tool of satan’s to keep us separated from god’s love and the true life he offers us in jesus.

but even if you’re not a believer, fear still burrows deep inside and establishes a foothold in your heart. fear paralyzes you from living.

i used to believe in fearlessness.

i used to believe that you could get to a point where fear could never touch or affect you again. that you could be fearless.

all you had to do was conquer fear. overcome it. vanquish it like a knight slays a dragon.

i used to believe all that.

but that’s not the way it is.

fear never goes away. ever.

it skulks around your heart and mind, always waiting for an opening to dig inside. and it will. eventually. it always does.

but we can keep it from establishing a foothold. keep it from moving in for good. keep it from paralyzing us. keep it from killing us.

what we must do is play the landlord of our hearts and minds and evict the bum as fast as we can.

but how do we start the eviction process?

by doing exactly that. starting. acting. doing. living.

it is so simple it’s silly. we simply ignore the fear that tries to shake us and proceed with doing what we want to do anyway. proceed with living.

is this easy?

hell no. but it’s possible. i’ve done it. it’s taken several years, but i did it.

so have everybody else who followed their dreams despite that little whisper in their hearts.

fear is powerful. and though we cannot truly overcome or defeat it, we can push past it, ignore it, and succeed in spite of it.”

For myself, fear was produced by or during times that were undesirable. Instances such as when my business venture took a turn for the worse, learning of my ex wife’s infidelity and looming divorce, etc. Other instances were when I was confronted about my opinions, faith, words, or actions.

Early in life somewhere I began to allow myself to fear the worst so I would not be disappointed with life’s situations. If I feared the worst, it likely would not happen that way and I could be happy with whatever came. This rationale seemed good at the time, but has allowed a foothold to fear. It has altered my outlook. Hope seems out-of-touch.

Proverbs 13:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

If i had back all of the years lost in worry and fear, wow. I choose to live , truly live.

Psalm 42:11

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/connortarter/4754231502/”>Connor Tarter</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Soaring with the Crows

As I get older, I find myself fashioning more towards independence. My earlier years were more geared to following the ideas of strong personalities around me. I had plenty of “friends” but clearly could not think freely. To think freely is have opinions and be vocal about them.

 

I love the quote of Dan Collins(http://powip.com/2010/05/why-people-hate-the-opinionated/)

“Most of my friends are “difficult” personalities. In fact, most of the people I like to spend time with are as well.

Of course I find them curious… these difficult people… I love to be around them. I love to argue with them. I love to observe them. These agitators, troublemakers, pot-stirrers… these forceful people who will not suffer the fool. These awful people who won’t just STFU. People who would rather lose everything and retain their dignity than gain everything and lose their independence. I love those that refuse to comply for compliance sake.”

I was once trapped in a dangerous way of thinking called the Word of Faith. As I began to see inconsistencies between the doctrine and the whole of scripture, I spoke out my findings only to be met with resistance. You see it is easier to follow the crows or the geese and get wrapped up in a group mentality.

    It is no wonder that God often referred to his own as eagles and likened our actions to be similar to the most majestic of all birds. We are called to an independence based lifestyle that is both dependent on him and that ultimately spreads peace and love.

Romans 12:18

King James Version (KJV)

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.