October, 1978 – Belo Horizonte MG Brazil
I’m sitting on a small bench. A slight breeze moves the leaves of the tree that is creating a moving shadow over my head and parts of my body. I sip cold water from a small bottle I brought from my oldest daughter’s apartment. It is close -just one block down the steep street. I’m sitting at a small circular plaza at the top of the hill: just big enough for a car to go around a small circle to head down another street.
Other than an occasional car, the little plaza is quiet.
My mind is not quiet. It is opening memory’s doors, trying to comprehend the reality of what I am facing. I’m quite sure my husband of 30 some years of our marriage, is living part of the time with another woman, a woman whom I know well. My heart is in turmoil.
Unexpectedly, a strange thing happens. I can no longer see! Everything is black. My body feels heavy. And I can’t speak. But I can hear a voice repeatedly saying: “kill yourself… you have no hope.”
I am unable to think logically. Somehow, a memory comes into my mind. Joy Dawson from YWAM teaching about people being tortured. The one defensive tool we have is the power in the name of Jesus Christ. We may not be capable of praying, nor of speaking His name verbally, but we can say His name, over and over, in our minds.
I begin doing that. Very slowly the blackness and heaviness lift, as the other voice in my mind fades. I am able to speak His name aloud and the blackness disappears. I can see, think, and feel!
I sit in the spackled sunshine and shade, thanking God! Eventually I stand and trace my steps back to the apartment one block down the hill.
i am full of praise to God; I know exactly what happened. My husband had told me that the mother of his lover is a spiritualist medium and, obviously, a strong one. But I am protected as the Holy Spirit brought into my mind what I learned years before, so I can now use it.
I have never forgotten that day! What I learned from that gives me courage. What Salomon wrote in Proverbs is something you and I can hang onto –
a solid rock for our feet to stand upon,
Like the sparrow in her wandering, like the swallow in her flying, So the curse without cause does not come and alight [on the undeserving].
Amplified Bible (AMP)
You and I may receive many curses during our lives, from those who hate God’s light within us. We need to be aware of this for it is a reality as we live in today’s world. Sometimes people talk about the “evil eye.” I have experienced it. Have you ever seen someone look at you in hatred, or turn on you with anger in their eyes? Or you are in a large group of people and you see someone looking at you with evil in their eyes that send a shiver down your spine?
I’m not writing this to frighten anyone, but to simply make you aware of fact we are in a spiritual warfare… we may not see it, but we feel the effects of it.
However, we do not need to walk in fear. When these things happen, we need to concentrate on our God – Father, Lord Jesus Christ, and Helper the Holy Spirit. Ask Him for wisdom and protection, keep the focus of our lives on Him, knowing that even though we make mistakes , we walk under the wings of His protection and love. (Psa 91)
Remember, hang onto God’s promises for they are truth!
His promises and commands many times go against what we call “reality” in our day-to-day world, but “in reality God’s promises are the real reality!”
So, whose voice to I want to listen to?
Whose hand do I want to hold?
New Living Translation
For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
How about you?
Does this help you to understand and walk without fear, knowing as we follow Him, His promises are true?
Only this time we will talk about good words.
Words of comfort, consolation, happy, joyful -words full of love, kindness and encouragement.
Words when we write, speak or hear them they cause warm feelings deep inside… it’s interesting how we can actually feel them.
However, many times, these words are within the midst of other words that express doubt or fear and we hear them fleetingly fly by, longing to hear more.
We need these words.
But, where will I find them? What are my sources to hear the words I need?
1/ One source, from people around me.
If one takes a motivational course, there is always an emphasis on being around those who encourage, but to avoid being around negative people. The attitudes of those around me affect me. My emotions and determination are affected by what people say to me. I don’t believe I am to look for those words from people. I am always surprised and thankful when I hear encouraging words from others.
However, those words can disappear.
- Some questions I ask myself.
Who is part of my “inner circle?”
Spouse, family, close friends, best friend (male or female), people at work, my “coffee chat friends”, friends on social media, friends at church. . . who do I enjoy exchanging ideas with? What is their attitude towards life and others? Do I have a choice of who I am with? Have I even thought about this?
Can I avoid being with negative people?
1 Corinthians 5:9–10
“9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning all the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.”
Looks to me like Paul had a pretty good idea of normal life around him.
2/ A second source, from God’s Word.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psa 23
God’s Word is filled with motivation, instruction, promises and help!
This is where I go to find my answers – and the firmness of God’s promises. I can depend upon God’s Word – always.
Here is where I learn to choose my priorities.
As a light in the midst of darkness, joy in the midst of evil and frustration, we choose our priorities, whom we will believe and desire to be like.
Something interesting to me – Paul’s instructions on how to avoid negative influences are based upon what we concentrate on: what is the central point of our lives.
Wicked people surrounded Jesus from many backgrounds.
Those who wanted to destroy him and those who desired the peace, joy and love emanating from Him.
I want those qualities to emanate from me also.
An interesting concept I found: two scriptures that warn against different things, but the solutions for solving the problems are almost the same. Check them out.
A) What should my attitude be towards money which creates greed, etc.?
1 Timothy 6:10–11
10” For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.
It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 11But as for you, O man (or woman) of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
NOTE: It is the LOVE of the money Paul is writing about. And that love for money is a subtle and powerful emotion… to love money more than love people.
This does not mean we ignore the necessity of money in our lives. But Paul tells us to fill our minds and lives with good things – righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. If these are our priorities, as we work with money we will not have time for the love of money or other negative influences to take over our lives. Remember, gratitude for things money makes possible is not loving the money.
- What should my attitude be about my own impulsiveness and wants? Do I get angry when things don’t go my way?
In 2 Timothy 2:22, Paul writes:.
“But keep away from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace, in company with others who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (NET)
Totally different subject, but pretty much the same solution.
Pursue certain qualities. Go after them with a deep desire and passion. When we do this, we will be amazed at the difference in our life priorities, our attitudes, and our words.
- C) What should be my attitude about speaking in love to others?
Amplified Bible (AMP). 1
1 5“But speaking the truth in love
[in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth],
let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ.”
For me, it is a challenge and a joy to speak the truth with loving words.
The concepts above are some of the ways I use to check my attitudes and my words. This is a constant challenge in my life.
How about you? Do you have the same challenges in your life?
Next post: what about curses?