Beliefnet
Simply Fabulous

The devil is also known as the accuser for a reason.

Revelation 12:10 says that he “accuses [believers] day and night.”  Which is why sometimes, it feels like you have a neverending track of criticism playing your head.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  -1 Peter 5:8

The enemy is always on the hunt – looking for ways to bring you down and shame is one of his favorite weapons.

He will fill your head with all sorts of accusations – you are too selfish, too loud, too outspoken, just too… much.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  Why did you say that?  Why did you act like that?  Why can’t you ever get it together?

Sound familiar?

But, we need to remember that shame is not from God.  Your Heavenly Father will never speak to you in a tone that is demeaning and shameful.  He will certainly correct you in areas where you’ve gone astray, convict you of sins and allow you to go through tests.

But, they will all come from a place of love and conviction, not condemnation.  For “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

If you are feeling condemned and ashamed, recognize that it is an attack of the enemy and fight back with God’s truth!  Run to Him for refuge and ask Him to help you weather the storm and correct your ways if necessary.

Just remember that shame is not from God.  And you are His!  So, you don’t need to live in shame for one more moment!

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26

In this verse from the Bible, Jesus tells us about the Holy Spirit – a “helper” that God is going to send, who will literally live inside of us and teach us the ways in which we should go.

It was amazing news to the people at the time, because it meant they would no longer be alone.  From that point onward, we would continually have the guidance of God through the Spirit and be able to call on His help whenever we needed.

I’ll have to admit… being on this side of the picture, I can’t even imagine what it was like in the days before Jesus, when we didn’t have such a direct line to God.  So, I am beyond grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

But, it’s funny, because even though we, as believers, know that we have the help of the Holy Spirit at all times, its easy to forget and try to figure out our way on our own.  Whether it’s what job we should take, where we should live or who we should marry… we often put the weight of the decision on our own shoulders and forget to wait on the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit is not a “Magic 8 Ball” that we can just demand answers from whenever we like.  But, we can (and should!) ask for His help and guidance and wait for His direction before we move.

And this doesn’t only apply to the “big” things in life either.  We can actually follow the direction of the Holy Spirit on things as seemingly-trivial as what gas station to go to or what store to shop at.  Once, after my credit card had been compromised at a gas station pump (I never found out which one), I felt an inner prompting not to go to a particular station when I needed gas.  Of course, I didn’t know 100% sure that was where it happened, but the prompting inside was strong enough that I decided not to take a chance.

And then, there was the day that I needed my car to be inspected.  I had taken it to a familiar service station, only to have the employees “accidentally” knock something out of place on my car, which made a light come on saying the car was not ready to be inspected.  The only way to remedy it was to drive for at least 50-100 miles to clear it.  So, I drove around aimlessly, coming back to the station twice, only to be told it still wasn’t ready.  Frustrated, I went home and decided to try again the next day.  But, the next day didn’t seem to be going any better when the first two stations I tried (that were closer to home) were 1) mysteriously locked up and 2) backed up with over an hour wait.  Feeling frustrated and confused, I sat in my car and said out loud, “Ok, God, you tell me which station YOU want me to go to!”  It was something God had been teaching me to do more and more – wait on His direction and ask for His guidance.  So, I continued on… feeling led down one particular road where my car dealership was.  Only, as I approached it, I felt like I should keep going.  I did and just a short ways past it, I spotted a shop off on the side of the road that I had never realized before.  I immediately felt a prompting to go there, so I did.  After explaining the situation about the “not ready” light to the man behind the counter, he said he’d come out and check it, although it usually wouldn’t clear for at least 2-3 days.  But low and behold, when he checked it, it had miraculously cleared.  So, I told him to go ahead and do the inspection.  Only 10 or 15 minutes later, he said he was done and told me to come outside, bringing my stuff with me.  When I inquired about still having to pay, he said that he had been having a really bad day and that when he sat in my car, a song had come on the radio station that played at his dad’s funeral.  And that just sitting in my car had changed his whole day, so he wasn’t going to charge me.  Interestingly enough, I usually turn down my radio or shut it off, so no one is “offended” by my Christian radio station, but this time I didn’t even think about it!

The way that I was led to his station and the blessings that both he and I got out of it, were just another example of the amazing things God can do when we are still and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Remember, you are never alone.  God is always with you and His Spirit will show you the way.  But, we have to be willing to be still enough to wait on Him.  To listen for His “voice” and to be brave and obedient in following His direction.

It’s not easy and it will take some practice, but once you start to recognize and understand the prompting of the Holy Spirit, your life will be filled with some pretty amazing “God stories” of your own!

_nawkmlp3tvs-samantha-sophia

Little children are virtually fearless.  As long as they are in a safe home and experiencing love, they seem to have little worries or fears.

They don’t worry about what they’ll eat for dinner – they just have faith that there will be food.  They don’t worry about what they look like or what tomorrow will hold.  They live in the present moment, enjoying what they are doing right NOW.  And not thinking about much else.

It’s a trait that we could all stand to have a little more of as adults.  In fact, the Bible says several times that we should have childlike faith.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  -Luke 18:17 ESV

And said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  -Matthew 18:3 ESV

So, what does it mean to have “childlike” faith?  I don’t believe it means we have to be completely fearless.  But rather, that despite any fears we may have, we can have complete and total trust in God to carry us through.  That we can depend on Him fully – like children depend on their Father – and trust that He is in control, so we don’t have to be.

Children don’t worry about the mortgage or the grocery shopping, or try to take it over from their parents.  They just trust that they will take care of it.

And we can do the same with our lives, when we go to God with childlike faith and trust that He is always in control and always faithful.

Speedway tunnel

Have you ever seen the traffic lights above the entrance to a tunnel?  Typically, you see them on the infield tunnels at speedways, but I’m sure they use them other places too.

The point of these lights is to make sure that traffic flows smoothly each way and that no one ends up going the wrong direction.  Since the tunnels can be used to send cars in or out at different times (for instance, both tunnels taking traffic IN to the speedway before a race and both tunnels taking cars OUT of the speedway after a race), it is important to have lights that indicate which direction drivers should be going, instead of relying on them to figure it out for themselves.

They probably prevent numerous accidents and stranded motorists who would otherwise have to figure out how to back all the way up to get out (while staring into the eyes of annoyed motorists coming at them the other way).

But recently, while at one of these speedways, I saw these lights in a whole new way.  They reminded me of how God does the same thing in our lives – holds us back at times with a big ol’ red “X,” even if we’re not sure why at the time.

Just like we wouldn’t want to start driving our car into the tunnel, unable to see if another car is headed toward us, we don’t want to forge ahead carelessly without getting the “go ahead” from God.  He may be able to see something coming that we can’t and is looking out for us when He tells us to wait.

Or it may be that we’re not ready yet.  It may take longer than we expect to go through the “tunnel” in our lives and He wants to make sure that we are prepared for the journey first, before we get in there.

God wants us to stay in His will for our lives – following along with the flow, not going against the traffic.  So, wouldn’t you rather wait until He tells you the coast is clear and it’s time to move, rather than to start forging ahead on your own timing, only to realize that you’ve gone the wrong way and have to back up and start over again?

We trust those little traffic lights without questioning if they’re right or if they know what they’re talking about, so why not try doing the same thing with God?  If you feel Him giving you a red light on something, trust that there’s a reason and wait until He gives you the green light.

He’ll make sure you’re prepared and the path is straight.  So, when He says go, put the pedal to the metal and GO!