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Private Goats

One of my favorite teachers, Walter Beuttler, told this story that has made a huge impact on my life.

For a time early in his ministerial career, Walter was pastor at a small church, and there was an annoying woman that had been involved at that church forever. Before every service, she would tell Walter how to conduct the service, don’t forget this, make sure you do that, what songs to sing, all kinds of things. This happened every service for months on end, and Walter finally got fed up with it and asked God why He didn’t do something about her — if she had all the ideas on how to run the church, why didn’t He make her the pastor of the church? He was very frustrated and at the end of his rope, and admitted that she was really “getting my goat”. God’s answer was priceless, as usual.

“If you didn’t have a ‘goat’, she couldn’t get it.”

Walter realized, as do we, that God puts us into situations and circumstances to reveal trouble spots within us, whether it is a lie we’re believing, a wound that needs to be healed, or a character flaw that God is working to change.

Thankfully, we serve a loving and gracious God. Just as in Walter’s Goat example, if we let Him, God reveals our goats in private circumstances. He is not out to embarrass us or use public humiliation in order to get us to change.

Instead God Himself makes the change, and reveals our need for change according to His timing. He does not want us ignorant of what He is doing, for this is how we learn His Ways. Odds are good that if He is letting this problem come to the surface, He has already been working to correct it, and He wants our acceptance, cooperation and gratitude as He finishes His work.

This is also one way we can judge how we are doing. I’d bet that over time Walter could see his annoyance with this woman wane, probably giving way to tolerance, then gratitude and even appreciation.

If Walter had resisted this change, God may have had to resort to revealing Walter’s shortcomings on a wider, more public scale.

Let’s be sensitive and responsive to God’s working in our lives even in the smallest of things, before they become big. And let’s be grateful that He first deals with our Goats in Private when we let Him.

Lord, thank you for bringing to my attention the Goats that you’ve removed, things that used to irritate and frustrate me that no longer do. Thank you for your kindness in bringing those things to my attention in private, and even making those changes in private. Are there any other Goats you have removed that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?

Lord, I give you permission to reveal and remove all of my Goats. I don’t want to be vulnerable in any area. Are there any other areas where I still have a Goat that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?

Thank you Daddy!

 

Soulical Warfare

Soulical warfare refers specifically to us humans, and must be fought with weapons more powerful than the field of battle; we can’t use soulical weapons to fight soulical battles. The soulical battles involve overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil in our individual lives. These enemies can only be overcome through spiritual weapons made available through dependence on God.

“Knock, Knock”

There’s this television commercial out now, maybe you’ve seen it, for a pest control company: The lady of the house opens the front door and there’s a 6-ft roach holding a stack of pizzas, asking for entry to the home. Her mind tries to get a grasp on this critter as she responds “I don’t think we ordered any pizzas.” Then, of course, the exterminator shows up (whew!).

Wouldn’t it be great if all of the threats against us were that obvious?! And that easy to deal with?

Because the enemies we contend with daily are much subtler, it really helps to know and be reminded of our individual vulnerabilities. Take the time and energy to know your temperament, your physical limitations (sleep, nutrition, etc.), and how you deal with stress, and be willing to make changes accordingly to prevent the creepy crawlies from getting in the front door.

There are enough points of entry that are challenging; let’s make sure we don’t overlook the obvious.

Prepare for the Week: Stay Emotionally Focused

Don’t let your emotions get the better of you. Remember Dad already has your week planned out for you and will see you through each day.

Our emotions often respond without checking in with our mind or will. Be on the lookout and ready to respond to attacks from the world system, especially things going on at work with people. Be SLOW to respond. It is better to walk away with nothing to say than to respond out of the flesh. Don’t get caught up in ‘office’ politics.

Obtaining and Maintaining Focus is very important for all of us right now, so we know there will be warfare: we know we will be coming up against our flesh, the demonic realm, and the pressures of this world system. But you are WELL ABLE to maintain focus if you stay dependent on Daddy and His resources to get your information and encouragement.

This will be a long-term issue so you will be receiving similar reminders as this, to stay focused, but thi!s is the way we learn new habits, not just by overcoming distractions but by developing new ‘vision’; clear focus and confidence.

Have a great week!

Who’s Your Daddy?

Authors in both the old covenant and new testament used a variety of phrases and names to attempt to translate the diversity of God’s character into terms we could relate to, culturally and socially; Johovah Jireh, God Our Provider. El Elyon, God Most High. Paraclete, Comforter.

But as a spirit being, you already know God fully as He is. As we are healed, and learn to walk in greater understanding and freedom, that spiritual knowledge becomes more and more accessible to our mind, will and emotions and even our natural senses. The more we cooperate with Him, and rest in Him, the more we let Him fill the character needs we rely on others to fill in our lives – lover, planner, truth-teller. We all need as well a good and faithful father, older brother and guidance counselor.

Ask now if there is any area where He is prevented from relating to you as He chooses. If the answer is Yes, test the source (Is that you, Lord). If Yes, ask for specifics, and ask what you need to do or what lies you are believing that need to be addressed so He can be free to present Himself to your entire being any way He chooses. If No, identify the source of the obstruction and deal with it as He directs until He assures you He has freedom in your life. If He responds No, no problems here! Just say Thanks, Dad, and enjoy your day.