Thursday, April 16, 2009

Protection Made Perfect: The Belt of Truth

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with the truth

Thank you Lord for Your truth as described in your Bible. You are truth and You alone set me free from sin and lies. Today, I choose to believe Your truth and about who You are and who I am as Your child. Holy Spirit, lead and guide my thoughts in Your path of truth. Help me to make wise decisions today based on Your Word. Help me to speak the truth in love to myself and others. Let Your truth prevail in all things. Jamee Rae, sharefaith writer

So the belt goes first? Why?

I've discovered that God provides clear directions, including the order of the armor. Putting on the Belt of Truth must come first because all the other pieces are quite useless if we don't believe The Truth. Should we doubt, for any reason, who God is and in what He says, why would we choose to put our faith in Him? Would we dare to raise the Sword of the Spirit without understanding the power of truth?

God's Truth is foundational to our walk as Christian women. The Bible clearly defines our enemy, satan, as the father of lies. Being the exact opposite of God, satan represents everything we must turn from.

Lately, God has been challenging me (again) about the importance of absolute truth. Meaning I can't simply ignore the fact that there are times when I lie by ommission, and other situations where I've been known to fib. See how I want to minimize by using fib rather than lie? Maybe you can relate.

Picture our dear sister in Christ, Maria (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent) who is terrified of hurting other people's feelings. That belief seems noble enough. She doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She cares about people and wants them to feel good about themselves. But is that the whole truth? Actually, Maria really wants people to feel good about her. She's deeply uncomfortable with the idea of others not approving of her. (We've all been Maria a time or two) Her friend continually asks her to babysit. She really wants to attend a weekly Bible study and believes that God has called her to join this particular group. Her husband has encouraged her to take time to fill up on God's Word with other supportive women.

You can probably see where this is going. If Maria tells her friend she needs a day off from babysitting she might inconvenience her friend and earn her disaproval. So rather than being faithful to God, herself, and honoring her husband's wishes, she continues to lie (yes, lie) when her friend asks if she can babysit. The conversation goes something like this.

"Hey, Maria. I really appreciate you babysitting. I've got a ton of errands this week, do you mind keeping the kids again?"

Maria's guts are churning. She is becoming resentful by her friend's ongoing requests and mad at herself for choosing "man" over God and His plan for her. She replies dutifully, "Of course, I'll do it. I love babysitting your children." Lie. Lie. Lie. Maria is completely disnhonest about her feelings and desires.

Next time her friend asks the same question, still to scared to speak the truth, she tries another dishonest route. "I'm so sorry. I can't do it this week, my mom's coming to stay with us and I have so much to do." Lie. Lie. Lie. She makes up an excuse rather than letting her yes's be yes and her no's be no.

Let's rewind the clock and watch Maria stand on the Truth with love.

"I'm not going to be able to babysit on Tuesdays anymore. I'm starting a new Bible study."

That's it. Plain and simple.

I'm so blessed be in a friendship where we don't feel the need to explain ourselves. What freedom! I can call her and she can say, "Can't talk now. Can I call you back?" No explanation or drawn out reason. Simply: I can't talk now. The even better part -- I can do the same with her. We have faith in God and in each other. There is no need to seek approval from each other by being dishonest. We can rest in Christ and the truth that we love and care for each other no matter what.

The reason I'm focussing on these seemingly "little untruths" is that I've heard countless women share their fears in relation to simple truth telling. My concern is how can we possibly stand against the BIG BIG lies of this world, if we are unable to tell the truth in basic daily life with family, friends, coworkers, and even other Christians?

Ladies, as princess warriors, we're not in a popularity contest. Granted we want to be grace-filled, loving, kind, and encouraging, but if we're tossing the Belt of Truth aside so we can lie, we're missing the mark.

Today, when you put on the Belt of Truth, take a minute to focuss on God's amazing truths found in His Word. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you (in my case maybe shove) when you start to speak an untruth. Ask God to fill you with His truth in every situation and relationship. Ask Him for the courage to seek His approval before the approval of others. After all, it's His approval that truly matters.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Angels in Action

Hello precious princess warriors! It's been far too long. Once again, my life has taken on a life of its own, and I've been beyond busy. Not good -- at all. It's time to slow down, reevaluate my schedule, confirming that what I'm doing is in line what God wants me doing. Although, this time of year, every year, tends to take off at a very rapid pace due to my son's extensive baseball schedule. His games add three evenings of "baseball watching" to my already over-stuffed schedule. But I can't tear myself away from his games. Win or lose, they're always worth watching. And, yes, I like baseball.

Be assured, my Armor of God series will start soon. I promise. Tonight, however, I wanted to tell you about what I believe just might have been an angelic encounter. Really.

First, consider this fascinating scripture -- Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Heb. 13:2

I've always been awed by the possibility of an angel in my midst. Knowing that God cares enough about us to send supernatural helpers from heaven is more than a little exciting, and definitely thought provoking.

Anyway ... here's just a little background explaining why this encounter was so perfectly timed.

My daughter has been in the middle of a very uncomfortable situation with a friendship turned sour. The mother of the other girl has exhibited some frightening and erratic behavior, now focused on yet another mother who chose to stand for truth rather than being manipulated by an evil, cruel agenda. Of course, the ones suffering the most from the situation are the girls. They want to be friends and work things out, but, unfortunately, this one particular mom is not open to that possibility. Needless to say, it has been difficult for everyone involved. My daughter's dear friend, who is celebrating her birthday today, was extremely upset by some very hurtful comments this other mom made to her mother. She was tearful, confused, and unhappy. I don't blame her. The situation has been hard for me to deal with in a godly manner. Believe me, I'm praying -- a lot. More details aren't important, what's important is that God cares about our children. He cares about us.

I took my daughter and the birthday girl to a movie this evening. They were thrilled to go; yet a thin layer of grief, for changing friendships, seemed to cover the joy, diminishing its glow. As we took our seats, I noticed that my daughter's friend was carrying a large, rolled up, movie poster. It was one of those super fancy ones. You know, the actual movie poster, with glittered lettering to boot. Photographs covered both the front and back side making it an obvious collector's item.

This little girl was beaming. She said, "Some guy came up to me when we were walking in and said happy birthday, and then handed the poster to me." My daughter confirmed this brief encounter. We hurried to thank the kind man. He had vanished -- completely.

We hadn't told anyone at the theater about her birthday. No one but my family and hers knew where we would be (they didn't do it; I checked). No one else there had a poster. The whole thing was just plain strange.

Suddenly, a light (finally) came on and I blurted out what I believe still to be true. "Girls, do you know that God just sent an angel to bless you. You've had a really hard day. You're mom is standing against unkind behavior and feeling attacked. God cares. He knows you're suffering. He knows it's your birthday and that you would love this poster. So, I think He sent an angel to deliver it to you." The moistness in my eyes must have been contagious because they looked teary, too. I quickly called her mom and shared the experience. She, too, cried, believing the gift to be a very tangible gesture of His love for her hurting girl. Wow! Wow! Praise God!

For a just-turned eleven year old this was the perfect gift. God's love touches each one of us in a very unique way that is perfect for our needs. He knows. He cares. He loves.

So, have you ever suspected angelic intervention? If so, please, share your story. I'd love to hear it and share it with my readers. And remember, that there are angels among us. We should be careful to treat each person with dignity and love. God bless you.