John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
Every Wednesday, as 3:30 approaches, I start thinking…”ugg I am really not that prepared for class tonight…what if they are wild…I am so tired…I do not have the energy to deal with all that…maybe I should just stay home tonight because I really need the rest…oh I need to hear the sermon tonight…maybe I can just make the kids stay in there and that way I can listen to what God wants to tell me…” Pretty soon, 6:00 pm rolls around and my kids (York kids) start saying, “its time to go, its time to go” and I say OK lets go and we get in the car and we drive the 20 miles to church! Sometimes I can feel the weight of my thoughts on my chest as we drive. We get closer and closer and I hear that negative talk in my head getting louder and louder and more persistent as we approach the driveway…and then we pull in, I get out of the car…wrangle my kids and my food for the potluck up to the door….I TAKE A DEEP CLEANSING BREATH…..AND BAM!!!!!!
I walk through the doors and I physically feel the weight lift, the fog of my brain clears, and those voices IMMEDIATELY subside as I am bombarded with those that I love the most….MY CLASS KIDDOS! They run up and hug me and smile at me and they are asking “what are we doing tonight” with this look of excitement on their sweet, precious, sometimes dirty little faces that would surely bring tears to the hardest of hearts and I am OVERJOYED, IMMEDIATELY REFRESHED AND FULLY PREPARED TO SPEND MY EVENING BASKING IN THEIR PRESENCE…AND IN THE GLORY OF THE LORD! The love doesn’t stop with my kids, it comes in waves and smiles from the wonderful men and women that I am blessed to call my church family and my heart is SOOO full I feel like it could burst. Even as I type that feeling in my heart comes back as I think of this collection of earthly people who truly represent to body of Christ. The most loving, caring, prayer warriors on earth I do believe are members and regular attenders at Heritage Trail Cowboy Church in Ben Wheeler TX.
But what about the voices? Wasn’t I just the tired, ill prepared, slacker who did not want to get up and go just 20 seconds ago? YES, YES I WAS! Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy….remember! Satan gets in our thoughts, he will attack and twist our flesh into believing his lies if we are willing to succumb! Satan tries almost EVERY WEDNESDAY…WITHOUT FAIL…to convince me to NOT do what God has so obviously designed and assigned me to do! I am a teacher…I am restored by kids, when I am tired, they are the refueling that I need to keep going. Their love is the juice that I need to refresh and refill my heart! THEIR words are the words God sends for me to hear. As they begin to offer their prayers and praises as we do every week, God whispers to me, “look into their eyes as they say these things and see they sincerity of their hearts. This is the heart that I want you to have…that I want EVERYONE to have! You need not worry about preparedness, energy, or any other detail Erin, I am the one who is in charge here!”
If I had listened to my head, I would have let satan win…He would have stopped God’s purpose for me, he would have prevented me from recharging and feeling the love of my family, from feeling God’s love surround me and comfort me just when I needed it!
Satan’s deepest desire is to separate you from God. He will attack your purpose, your happiness, your marriage, your future, your gifts, your desire, your vision, your EVERYTHING and he will do it by getting in your head. He will twist and confuse your feelings and emotions. He will turn your flesh against you and convince you that whatever blessings God has put in your life are not good enough, and if you could just have this other thing, then your heart would be happy and full, and you would find contentment. Our body…our flesh…will betray us EVERY TIME if we let it!
How do we stop it? Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(Matt 11:28). We seek God, we carry Jesus in our hearts and HE will set us free! We have the power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God in our hearts to do battle with ANY attack from satan. We need only to ask! When I am tired I run to HIM and HE will give me rest. When I am frustrated with a person, I pray about it, I ask God to reveal the truth to me and to put aside my flesh and speak to my heart. You see whatever it is that God has called you to do, be a parent, a pastor, a wife, a husband, a teacher, a singer, a farmer, a sign holder…Satan wants to separate you from that calling. He tells us, “you can’t teach…you do not know the bible enough” ” you can’t be a mom, you had a bad home life” or “you can’t serve God’s people, you sin everyday” (as well ALL DO). I am here to tell you that God WILL provide if you seek HIM as you serve.
Obedience is all He really wants from us…He will fill in the gaps! HE wants to be first in our lives….first in our homes, first in our marriage, first in our work, first in our play, first in our LIVES! As soon as I started putting him first, before myself, I found a PURE JOY like I have never felt. He is the beginning of my day, the first thought I have and a constant companion as I go through my day! And now that I KNOW where my JOY is…when I feel satan begin to twist on me and try to steal my joy….I say “get behind me satan” I am going to do what God has called me to do and you will NOT distract me from my purpose!
Jesus says in the final sentence of John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Are you living your life abundantly, full of Jesus, in the arms of God? Jesus came to free us from the bonds of sin…what a gift of salvation, what a sacrifice, what an act of true LOVE, that Godwould send His son to a horrible death on the cross to pay for our sins, so that we might LIVE.