When settlers came to America and started traveling West looking for gold many people were “fooled” by this mineral. Pyrite looks a lot like real gold but it isn’t the actual thing and is basically worthless. So it was named “fools gold”.
Sometimes, when things look all nice and shiny on the outside of my life, I start to get lazy in the things that are important.
One of those things is time in God’s Word.
I have been participating in the Hello Mornings challenge and we recently just finished a 13 week study. The past few weeks have been really busy here as we prepared for our vacation away and while I was reading the verses I was only doing it half-heartedly.
While we were on vacation I didn’t do a lot of praying and I basically skipped 4 mornings and didn’t even do my readings at all. I justified it because things were going really well. Dominic and I were getting along and having fun. I had this thing right??
But the condition of my heart, while maybe looking like the “real thing”, was really dark inside.
When things feel good on the surface I get a little self-righteous. I start to feel like I don’t desperately need God like I have, I put my needs before God’s needs, I put down my armor because I feel like I have the enemy beat and I am safe.
Funny how this past week we read these verses in Ephesians. Sad that I read them, but didn’t apply them to my own life.
Ephesians 6: 10-18
10 Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. 11 Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes. 12 We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places.
13 And this is why you need to be head-to-toe in the full armor of God: so you can resist during these evil days and be fully prepared to hold your ground. 14 Yes, stand—truth banded around your waist, righteousness as your chest plate, 15 and feet protected in preparation to proclaim the good news of peace. 16 Don’t forget to raise the shield of faith above all else, so you will be able to extinguish flaming spears hurled at you from the wicked one. 17 Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed.
I believe in the presence of the enemy in this world. I have seen in my own life the times we have been under attack. When we are doing well, when we are making right choices and putting others needs before our own…we are a threat and the enemy will attack with full on vengeance.
And he attacks me at where he knows I am the most weak.
So here I am, after a week of fun with Dominic, and when we find ourselves back in the “reality” of work and family life, I start to let the little things annoy me.
We all have things that irritate us and most of the time I can let it go. When the condition of my heart is well, it is easy.
When I have stopped reading the Bible, stopped praying continuously, I start to hear those things that bother me louder and louder and my response to them changes.
So I found myself seeing only negative when my entire life is surrounded with the evidence of the positive.
And for a day I engaged in the enemy’s attack, allowing myself to behave in a self righteous way and I turned on Dominic. And in a way that is most damaging……with my words. I said hurtful things to him because I was angry with myself and a mistake I had made. I wanted someone else to blame because I don’t own up to responsibility well. He was an easy target and he was the victim of my darts.
Words have a lasting impact.
I say things in “the moment” and don’t consider the long lasting impact or cost.
Have you found yourself there as well??
I messaged a few of my girlfriends and shared how ugly I had let myself be and that it hurt him….and now in a day of silence, because I wasn’t willing to own up to my part, we had gone from happy to hurting.
The disconect was real and it isn’t a fun place to be.
And I had caused it.
In my selfishness, I had placed a ugly strain on our marriage.
One of my girlfriends responded about having been there…and how these situations can reveal the condition of our hearts.
Yes that was it…..the condition of my heart was not that of gold. It isn’t easy to admit that I allowed myself to get to that point…again. But here I was.
I had not put on the full armor of God, not stayed alert and the enemy had attacked and I was an easy target. Oh me who has it all together who wants to look pretty on the outside, this Christian example! Ha!
So I do the only thing I know how to do….I run back to the Word. I place those truths in my heart and I pray. I ask for forgiveness and I pray for healing of the hurts I have caused with my words.
I don’t know where you find yourself this morning. Maybe you have hurt someone with your words, maybe you have felt the enemy’s attacks and have justified your behavior like I did. There is One thing that will get the condition of your heart back into the right place.
That is Jesus.
Run to Him, read God’s Word and put on that armor because the attacks are real and they are many. Be fully prepared to stand your ground and know that if you are in the Word and praying – God IS with you.
I am standing with you there today friends….