Friday, June 19, 2009

Decoys & fishing tackle - creation & imitation

I looked up the meaning of the word ‘decoy’. It means “distracter” (somebody or something used to deceive or divert attention, especially in order to lure somebody into a trap) or “lure to attract animal” (used by hunters to attract wildlife to a place for trapping or shooting).

I was just reminded today what a sneaky cheat the devil is. I particularly thought back on two rather important points in my life. One relates to relationships/romance, and the other to destiny.

When I was younger all I wanted to do was marry and have a family. This desire has always seemed to be a target for attack in my life. Whenever the enemy wanted to serve me a low blow, he would send a guy along, I would loose my heart, and while I’m still contemplating whether something might come of it, they’ve moved on to greener pastures, leaving a shattered heart in their wake. Initially, it took me a long time to get over these rejections, but by grace, I’m grateful that it did become easier with time. However, I still felt some anger for being so stupid and having to waste valuable time to heal.

My last experience had a few significant aspects. I realized afterwards just how the enemy used elements that are really important in my life to deceive me with. My sister, whom I am very close with, was moving to Cape Town for her husband having had accepted a job there. Her leaving was hard for me, and Cape Town is not exactly just around the next bend. The night she left I went out with some friends as to not sit at home alone, feeling sad. I met someone there who thought she was giving me a ‘prophetic word’ for my life about a husband. She said that he would be arriving soon (as in roughly a year from then), and a few things about how great he would be and how God was going to bless me. I do believe in prophetic words and have some come true for my life, but not everything everyone says is necessarily from God.

I felt blessed at the time. I thought that God was really seeing me and encouraging me that something new is on its way even though I felt a loss right then. I would never have expected that from a night out. However, a few people have told me about meeting my husband, and none of that came to pass. So having grown wiser with time, I was wise this time. I would put it in my back pocket, pray about it, and if it was God, it had to happen, right?

So, eleven months down the line a guy approaches me – dark, like she said he would be – and I wondered: “God, is this the guy?” I wasn’t looking for someone, just waiting to see what would happen. I liked him, and started to slowly get to know him better. It turned out this guy was involved with a woman at the time of approaching me (I was the ‘other woman’ and didn’t know it). After about three weeks, he started avoiding me, lying and standing me up. I asked God for a sign, and He gave it to me. I caught them out and then the truth dawned on me. I knew then that he was not ‘the one’. I didn’t meet anyone else at the time or since. I cannot say, though, that I did not feel disappointed. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe this would be the end of the search for me.

I realized that the devil also heard the ‘prophecy’. He also knows our heart desires, and uses it against us. If he can keep us broken, disappointed and hopeless we cannot live victoriously as God intends for us. He ‘sent’ a man that looked, smelt and felt like ‘the one’, and because I was expecting something, I got caught for a sucker, and didn’t discern properly. He certainly had me distracted, and then left me broken again. I can only conclude that I was most certainly set up.

Now, in this defining season of my life – having resigned from my job, believing that it is how God lead me to do – another interesting experience came along.

I’ve been feeling very strongly in my heart since December 2008 that something big was going to change in my life around July 2009. I don’t know where the ‘idea’ comes from, but I’ve been praying about it and keeping an eye on the calendar as the days passed, expectant of what is going to happen, if anything. After all, if it is from God something should happen, right?

Then, as if on cue, something happened in my family, and I thought: “God, is this it?” I don’t believe that everything that just naturally happens is from God (e.g. David had two opportunities to kill Saul, but he knew those were not of God). When opportunities arise I normally talk to God about it, and ask Him to guide me with wisdom in my decision, and that He will give me peace if I must go ahead. In Colossians 3 God says that we must let His peace be the empire in our hearts when we have to make decisions. So I started praying about the opportunity that this illness has presented.

However, three months later, I still have no peace about this opportunity. I do not believe in my heart that this opportunity is God’s plan for my life. It looked, smelt and felt like it could be it, but I have no peace. For that reason I would not move forward. I believe that God spoke to my heart a few months ago and said that it is very important to have a strong discerning awareness of the next step before proceeding, and that timing is everything. I do not have it, so I’ve decided “no peace, no go”.

I think that is so important that we stay in a strong relationship with God, and that we keep our hearts tuned in to His voice. I believe that God wants us to have an amazing life, but I think sometimes we make choices because they are all that we can see, even if we don’t have peace about them. I think we let fear be the empire rather than peace. We will never know what God might have done for us if we trusted Him to be led by His peace. One thing I’ve learnt is that God is never in a hurry. He is not an instant God. Often he teaches us patience, stronger faith and intimacy with Him while waiting for the right time and the right opportunities. This is not easy, but when I look back over the hard times of my life, when all I had was God to cling to for life and death, I know that I wouldn’t want to be in any other place than what I share with God as a result of trusting Him on those journeys.

The devil cannot create. He can only imitate. He would take any good thing that God created and pervert it for his purpose of destruction. He cannot be trusted. I can understand why God stresses the importance of praying and watching. Satan puts bait on his hooks, setting a trap for us to be hurt or destroyed. If we don’t pray, watch and discern we could find ourselves taking a bite and before we know it, we are hooked. The moment the hook pierces the skin, is usually the moment that we realize that it is too late, and that the devil shows himself for who and what he really is. He never sticks around for the consequence. He is too busy baiting his hook for the next victim...

Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; know Him in all your ways and He will direct your path. This way you will be best able to recognize the real McCoy; the only one really worth having!

No comments: