Wanna Pick a Fight?

Whoever said “If looks could kill” must have seen the elderly woman who accused me of cutting in front of her in the post office line.

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For being petite, her voice was like a boom box. “EXCUSE ME!”

I spun around, holding my large package. “I’m sorry. Were you in line?”

“What do you think?”

Everyone else in line turned around. They stared at me like I was a monster. After all, what kind of person picks on little old ladies?

“I’m…I’m sorry. I thought that woman was the end of the line.”

“And why would I be standing here?”

I waved an imaginary white flag and walked behind her.  “I thought you were waiting in line for that other window.”

I pointed to a window in the lobby.

The woman glared at the window. Then at me. “What’s that window?”

“It’s for people who only need to pick up packages.”

She waved a pink slip in my face. “You mean this?”

I nodded, hoping I’d redeemed myself.

“Well, I’ve been standing here forever! I hope they can help me.”

She stepped out of line and went to the other window to wait. While I snuck out of  the post office…..without mailing my package.

I HATE conflict.

That’s how I’m wired. I’d rather be a peacemaker than a warrior. I don’t want to get injured. I don’t want people to think unkindly of me. And yet—

Does that passive mindset creep into my spiritual walk? Am I afraid to confront Satan? 

My mentor, Loretta, told me, “We need to be willing to fight when it comes to spiritual intimacy with God.”

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  • Fight the Enemy who loves to distract us from spending time with God.
  • Fight spiritual indifference when it creeps into our life and makes us settle for second best instead of God’s best.

When we’re indifferent about our spiritual growth and relationship with the Lord, we tend to neglect the things of God. We lack motivation.

Other times, we make ourselves attend church, read our Bible, and pray. Try as we might, we’re just going through the motions.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, but pursuing intimacy with Him is our choice.

If our relationship with God is important, we’ll sound the battle cry and:

  • Put on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Worship God in song regardless of our feelings.
  • Rebuke Satan with scripture and prayer.
  • Claim God’s promises.

That woman in the post office didn’t need to pick a fight with me. I wasn’t the enemy. A soft word would have sufficed.

And yet, that’s how I want to react when busyness or apathy steals my rightful place near God. I want to look the Enemy in the eye and shout, “Get thee behind me!”

When Spirits are Bone-dry

This is my yard in the summer.

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And this is my yard.

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Both patches of earth are inches apart, and have access to the same water running beneath the ground. Why the difference?

Part of my yard is tapped into the underground irrigation system; the other is not.

Duh, tell me something, I don’t know, Karen.

Tell me what to do when my spirit is bone-dry.

  • How do I smile and pretend life is great when one dog-day somersaults into the next, and the horizon seems to flat line into nothingness?
  • How do I avoid feeling jaded when I strive to live right while the other guy reaps the rewards?
  • What if this is good as life gets?

Daunting questions when the spirit is dry on an August day.

By 8:00 a.m., the air is already thick as a wool blanket.

I’m parched as the squirrels that guzzle water from my birdbaths. Plants droop despite the drip lines that watered them a few hours earlier. My cat is stretched out on the warm grass, her lids half closed.

My motivation to pull weeds evaporates like the water drops clinging to my ivy. I plop on the bench swing. I need more than a glass of water or the hum of an air conditioner to chill my mood.

Stuck on Self, I need to tap into the Living Water. Lord, please evict the melancholy from the tenant.   

I know, same old Christian song and dance, right? But some things never change.

Meeting with the good Lord is the surest fix for a bone-dry spirit.

  • Not talking about flipping through Bible pages like I’m hunting for coupons.
  • Not talking about randomly pulling a verse out of context to choke down like a vitamin pill; hoping I’ll have a feel-good day.

I’m talking about camping on one passage. Laying down my burdens, and allowing God to to excavate my heart.      

Lord, you want me to become more like you and bring you praise? Then use even this…

Use my melancholy and the dog-days of life to teach me how to smile, and truly be glad in this day.

Rid me of spiritual indifference that blinds me to the Light or makes me lukewarm.

Abide/Vines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift my chin heavenward like the ivy vines that stretch up my pine trees towards the sunlight.

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Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4)

  • Whenever the spirit is bone-dry: “Come and drink.”
  • Whenever life appears hopeless: “Come and drink.”
  • Whenever we’re sweating the small stuff: “Come and drink.”

Drink until your thirst is quenched, then drink some more.

Drink until the Living Water springs up and bubbles over into the lives around us. 

Have you come to Jesus?

Are you drinking regularly?