Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You can't take my joy

This is a post I have wanted to do for a while. These are my thoughts and feelings--I am not trying to teach doctrine.

Several years ago I began to hear about the persecution of the church in other areas of the world. People would talk about about the persecution that was coming to the church here. Some would say, you better get ready for it-- it's coming. And I agree, it will come because the book of Revelations teaches it.

But something about the fact that God promised we would face it if we were His--and yet people did not seem to be experiencing it today in America--that bothered me.
Then God took me on a little journey.

My life and walk with God began to change. I became the odd one in my circle of Christian friends. They thought I was a little too serious about the whole letting God change your life thing. We soon began to realize that we were being left out of things that were taking place. Parties would happen where everyone was invited--we'd find out afterwards that we had not been invited for a reason. A few said it was because they did not want us to ruin their good time.
I was also teaching in a womens group at this time. I was teaching what God was teaching me. God was drawing the line in my life and asking me if I wanted to be on His side or Satan's. I chose God's. Some of the women thought I was pointing fingers at their life with my teaching. If only they had known.

We were pushed outside of the group and not let back in.
At the time I could not believe that Christian's were acting like this. How could they be so mean?
My guts felt like they had been ripped from my body. I sank into a time of major discouragement. I carried anger in my heart for quite a while.
Then one day God showed me that I could not harbor hard feelings toward these people. They had been a tool of the devil. He had seen the growth in my life and where God was taking me and he was trying to shut me down. That is his job.

Most of us would not label this as persecution because it had come from people who were Christians. But it was.
Persecution comes in various forms. People, events, weather............whatever tool God allows him to use. That's right-- God has to give Satan permission before he can do anything.

Those events in my life made me strong in my God. They shook me up and flopped me upside down but when my feet hit the ground they landed on the solid rock. That is how God can promise us hope and a future. He promises to take what Satan tried to use for our destruction and flip it for our good.

So let Satan have his time of playing games.
We are the ones with the "get out of hell free card".
One day the powers he thinks are his will be yanked from his hands. And shackles will be placed on his hands and feet and he will be thrown into a pit from which he will never be allowed out again. Then our Savior will wipe away every tear and hard times will be forgotten as we step into the glorious eternity that awaits those called by His name.
Does that just make your heart speed up just a tad?
It does mine!

So ---recognize Satan's games for what they are----distractions that will steal our joy if we let them. But-----remember..............he did not give it and he can not take it away unless you give it up. Don't let satan steal your joy.
He'll try using circumstances (like termites), people, weather anything that means something to you---don't give in....FIGHT!
Our weapons and power are mighty to pull down anything that raises itself above our God.
OUR God--how cool is that?


Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Amen girlfriend, preach it!

I agree and have experienced some of the same type of heartache.
I beleive that the circumstances that happen to us should not dictate who we are. Although I have let them, I strive not to.


CrownLaidDown said...

I'll invite ya'll to our parties anytime!

I love how God has taken this hard story in your life and like Joseph, allowed it for GOOD.

May this word bring some healing to someone like you who was hurting.
Love you much,

Debbie said...

I just tagged you. Hope you will participate.

Blessings to you!

Patty H. said...

Amen! Love that song.

Patty H

Nicki said...

Oh I hope no one in my family ever reads this comment....because I have experienced this same issue not with friends, with my own family. My heart heart as I read your words because I have been there. I remember in high school, I was the "christian girl" I was the one who went the library and read her bible during lunch...and even though I got way off that path, I've seen God showing me over and over again to choose Him, these friends that we just gotta have and have to be apart of...they will all fade away, but all that will matter in the end is me and Him. WOW, I hope we can meet one day my friend, we share a very similar heart!! Have a great night!!

Kim said...

WOW Sharon~
You certainly hit the nail right on the head. In fact, part of the season I'm currently going through is similar to what you've shared!!!

It's very hurtful when those you thought were your friends...leave you......and exclude you. And I like you went through a dark time of great heart.

But...I finally gave it God....received amazing healing!!

Church can be SO hard...and God never intended it to be that way!!!

Thanks for your willingness to be open and honest....I believe that your post will provide a source of healing to your heart and soul!!

Karen said...

There is a wave of people going through similar stuff, similar seasons. God is going so deep with issues and lukewarm just isn't enough. Might sound strong, but that is what came out when I read your posting. Awesome. Oh - do check out MizPam's blog, she was/is one of my Mentor's and an amazing woman of God. She is mentioned a fair bit in my story :-)

Dee said...

Amen! Been there, felt that (unfortunately). I used to get angry also and then I had an attitude about it, but then I thought that having an attitude or anger towards these people would not help them at all. It's much better to just do it all for the glory of God, stand on His promises and hope that your life is an example of Him. I am reminded of the verses in the bible which talk about how surprised we'll be on the last day with who really did love the Lord and serve Him and who didn't. Sobering. D

Jenny said...

Sorry it took me so long to come on by. Along with the termites, we started school last week. Thomas got sick and I had migraines for 5 of the 7 days last week. I am heavily under battle here but still my joy is here. I love the song you posted. My toes are tapping! I am going to check out some more of David's music. Thanks for sharing!