A Valuable Lesson

I read Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive by John Eldredge 8 years ago.  Reading this book laid a huge memorial stone in my Christian journey and it has had a huge impact on my walk of faith.  It is now 8 years later and I want to share with you one of the valuable lessons that I have taken from this book, applied to my life and seen the truth of it lived out:

The Enemy will always try to get you to do to someone
what he is doing to that person.  Heads up - it's not you, and being aware of it
becomes a very helpful diagnostic. (170)

I would like to take this thought one step further, by adding that the enemy, by getting you to agree with these lies, would like to prevent you from being able to be used as a tool of God for good in this individual's life. This understanding has had a huge influence in my life, especially in my ministry to women. 

If you are willing to admit it, there are some people that just annoy you!  You walk into the room and they are annoying.  Everything they say or do gets under your skin.  The best way to deal with it is to AVOID them, right?  That used to be my solution, but ever since I read this quote the Lord has challenged me to push beyond my initial reactions and learn to love these people through His eyes.  I would like to say that it is easy to do and required a simple prayer, and voila, everything was better.  But in my experience that wasn't always the case.  Often times, it required lots of prayer, denying and fighting against the agreements that my mind and the enemy wanted me to make about those people.

Are you ready for some good news yet?  The good news is that it is worth FIGHTING through the "annoying" attitudes to get to God's perspective on the issues.  I can name at least 4 women (and for all you self-conscious friends of mine out there ~ yes, it was you - just kidding - maybe...:) that used to drive me absolutely crazy, but I applied and fought in this truth - that I cannot settle for what the enemy has to say about them, or over them.  I had to fight for friendship and for Christ's love.  As I look back over the last 8 years, those people whom I fought to love have now become some of my dearest friends and the Lord has bound us together to fight for some very significant areas of freedom.  What I now see, is that the enemy did not want us to become friends because he knew the significant roles we would play for freedom was dependent upon the bond of unity we discovered through God's love.

It is almost humorous to me now when I meet a woman who initially drives me crazy.  I often chuckle to the Lord, "what is it that you have for the three of us together?"  The enemy has also laid off in this area, I believe, because he knows it is not worth his time to try and disrupt this relationship through initial lies and attitudes.

So this post is written to share with you what I believe is one of the most significant, tried and true life lessons that I have faithfully put into practice in my life over the last 8 years.  As you know, I have a passion for the Lord and for people to experience the freedom that only comes through Him.  It is important to put on our spiritual eyes and recognize that not every attitude, emotion and initial response we have to people and situations is correct.  Instead, we need to fight for God's truth and learn to love people the way God loves them, even when it is hard.  Time will prove that it was worth the fight, worth the pain, and worth the denying of yourself to do this.

In Christ,

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