This World Wants to Prey on My Children

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Back in May we traveled to Florida.  Leaving at 1 am with 4 children in a rental minivan we set off on our adventure.  We made great time until  we were close to our destination. All the holiday travelers with the same idea seemed to converge onto the same interstate.  Once we arrived the goal was to unload, go get groceries for the week, get some take out Chic-Fil-A,  take a night walk on the beach, then get some rest.  The grocery store was a mad house as others had the same goals in mind.  Once we reached the check out and started putting items on the counter the older gentleman checker started conversing with me.  Our sixteen year old daughter had come along to help.  What started as pleasantries about where we are from quickly soured for me.  The checker turned my answers about our local floods to political.  Bashing our standing President and then telling me who to vote for in the next election.  The response I chose was simply to remain silent at that point.  My look I am sure said “really dude?”.    At that point he turned to my daughter and said “ahh you are the one I need to talk to”.   He had hoped she was 18 and able to vote. Even after he found out her true age he still continued to push his opinions on her as her mother stood right there.  Paying customers from another state simply trapped having to have this stranger’s opinion forced on our tired ears.  We both remained silent in our own political and faith beliefs.  At one point when he told her what party to vote for when she is 18 I did simply say “Well she does have two very conservative parents.”  That was all and the conversation went back to pleasantries.  The Holy Spirit definitely gives my heart a lot of discernment in what words truly matter and when silence is much more golden!

It was interesting as a mom to have to sit back and watch “the world” prey on my child forcing opinions without truth.   It was politics on the surface, but so much of what is happening is actually a spiritual battle within our country and around the world.  It always has been a spiritual battle more than physical.

Later that week just the 16 year old and I were on the beach one afternoon.  I had gone down to the water for a while to cool off.  As I came back to our chairs I found two young girls sitting with my 16 year old.  As they introduced themselves to me and spoke of their intentions my heart went from worry to hope.  These brave young college girls were sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ right there on the beach.  They didn’t force, they asked questions, shared personal testimony and had scripture to back up all that they said.  They shared  Jesus as a choice that we have in our life to make him Lord.  God gave us free will. It was a blessing to share what Jesus has done in my life and to pray for them before they left us.  As they left I had a renewed hope that for all the false messages God will bring true messages along for my children.

Today in our Life group my one student and I ended up going into the other middle school class with it being just us.  The lesson was on 1 Timothy the first chapter.  Paul was urging young Timothy to stay in Ephesus to combat against all the false teaching happening with the TRUE Gospel.  My friend and co teacher shared that she loves teaching middle school girls because that is the age when all the false teachings start to bombard us.  She wants to help the girls go into this battle armed with the truth.  We explained to the girls middle school through college they will be bombarded with a lot of teachings and opinions that are false.

As a Jesus following mom who made plenty of her own mistakes in those young years, it is so hard to sit back and watch the world try to devour her own kids.  As one child already has turned against the faith it has been painful to see and hear the false messages come from her.  Our relationship with Jesus has to be just that, a relationship.  It can not be forced and must be chosen.  This momma’s prayer for her children is that they will love Jesus with all their heart and want to share that love with others.

This world is tough and grows more brutal by the day.  Our children our constantly preyed upon with so much falseness.  Lies that only brings destruction when we fall victim to them  My advice to other Christian parents is that I have none really.  Not of my own.  Prayer, scripture and completely submitting my children to the Lord are my weapons.    “God they are yours and you love them even more than I do.” “Whatever it takes to keep them in your loving arms or to draw them back to your loving arms is what I ask.”  That is a tough prayer.  Otherwise I watch and listen hoping that the truth will protect them.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

For my young friends on the beach.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12

The Truth Truly Sets us Free

I have witnessed truth freeing moments my whole life!  I know what the truth has done for my own heart and life.  The weight of the burdens of this world are unbearably heavy.  We carry the weight of sins made against us leaving scars, grudges, unforgiveness, emotional pain, mental pain, and sometimes physical.  We carry the burden of regret from our own selfish, self-seeking sin.  Our own sins bring along with them shame, guilt, emotional anguish, mental anguish, and often physical consequences.  The weight that weighs the world down causes the world to want to drag everyone and everything down.  Misery loves company.

In a world that is so full of lies it is hard to know what is true.  Even amongst those that should be speaking the truth and setting truthful examples.  Within my own life the only true TRUTH and FREEDOM has been found within the pages of God’s word.  Everyday God speaks more truth into my heart making the lies of the world more and more clear.

The moments that I have seen God’s light of truth lift burdens off of others and my own life are what I live for and long for these days.   What I am learning is that speaking truth is the only way.  It is very hard and meets resistance, challenge, and sometimes rejection.  In the end it is worth it as truth and love chips away at the scars left by a deceitful world.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

How Should a Christian React?

Now more than ever I have been praying and asking God what He needs me to say and do in the times we are living in.  My life’s perspective comes from growing up under the love and care of a Bible believing God fearing Preacher and his wife.  I chose to follow Jesus at the age of five.  Through my mid teens to mid twenties I definitely tested the boundaries and truth of God’s word only to come to the realization that I am so weak, God truly loves me, the Bible is 100% truth, and God wants the best for me. My career for the last twenty years has been that of a non-judgmental nurse.  During my career I have cared for convicts in shackles that have committed rape and murder.  There have been people under my care from every lifestyle, skin color, ethnicity, and religion.  There have been multiple infectious diseases and horrific smells I have been exposed to.  People have hit me, spit at me, cursed me, and harassed me.  I have cleaned every nook and cranny of the human body of complete strangers.  My co-workers that I work and have worked alongside as a team are from many lifestyles, beliefs, and back grounds.

With new man-made laws and people shutting out God and His Word more than ever I feel at such a loss as to what to say and do.

There are people I love with all sorts of life styles.  I don’t always agree with the choices of people I truly love.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but I feel a strong conviction to never say sin is ok or to encourage it.  When I have a patient that is diabetic I discourage them from eating a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates.  When I have a patient who smokes I encourage them to quit for their well being.  When I have a patient dying from alcoholism I am not going to encourage them to go to a bar. You get the picture I hope.

Even the meanest patients I have cared for had a story.  There is always a reason behind behaviors and choices.   Only by praying for God to help me look at others with His love can I make it through the day.  There are ways to speak kindly and in a non judgmental manner, but I have to rely completely on God providing the right words and tone of voice.   As soon as I don’t look to God and His word for guidance I mess up, say things the wrong way, and react in ways that I really don’t want to.

There are two specific examples of the life of Jesus from scripture that keep coming to mind as I wonder how I should react in a world that clearly hates the faith every last ounce of me fully believes in and knows to be true.  Jesus stood up for His Father’s house that was being misused.  The sacred house of worship and prayer had been turned into a place for money making and thieving.  Matthew 21:12-13 “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘ my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.’ ” (John 2:15 and Mark 11:15-17 are further references)  There will be times when God and His word are clearly being disgraced and I pray that God will give me the courage to stand up and stand firm.

When the time came for Jesus to be arrested, tried (unfairly), beaten and crucified he was silent.  The few words He spoke were very purposeful and not defensive. He knew the greater plan God had and silently allowed what was happening because He knew it was for the greater good of those who would chose Him.   Matthew 26:62-67 “Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?’ But Jesus remained silent.  The high priest said to him, ‘I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. ‘  ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied.  ‘ But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’  Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy!  Why do we need any more witnesses?  Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.  What do you think?’  ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered.  Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists.  Others slapped him.”

Isaiah 53:7 prophesied “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

There are times the Holy Spirit tells me to be silent.  The bible tells us that Christians will be persecuted and that the world will hate followers of Christ as much as it hates Jesus Christ.  My prayer is for God to show me the times to stand up and stand firm and for Him to show me when to be silent and allow His plan to unfold.