The Attack Is Proof of the Promise

VAULT

Scammers intrigue me, and here’s why: two things, first, nobody runs scams on people with nothing worth taking. Maybe you’ve heard it said before that thieves don’t rob an empty vault, but truly, if someone is running a scam on you, then you must have something worth their effort. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… {Jhn. 10:10, NIV}. That means there’s SOMETHING you have that’s worth stealing, something yet alive he wants to kill, and some hope you’ve clung to that hasn’t been destroyed.

Secondly, scammers aren’t committing robberies or burglaries, even. The scammer’s goal, your enemy’s goal, is to get you to give up by CHOICE, something he CANNOT take by force! He cannot wrestle the victory from your hands, but he CAN deceive you into releasing your grasp on everything God’s promised you.

For example, one of the ways God uses me is to bring healing to others, and any time He’s up to something new or what seems big to me, my health and personal healing is attacked. I believe the enemy attacks us in the areas God most intends to use us for His glory, so if you’re feeling attacked in any area, know there is a correlating promise the enemy wants you to give up on because he cannot take it from you; he can only get you to release your grasp.

So, my encouragement to you is this: anchor yourself in the Word. Resolve that your faith will be unmoved by the winds that blow, because the winds will blow. The enemy wants you to believe God’s promises are not for you, but instead of believing that, repeat God’s promises aloud, make your mouth tell your mind that every thought will now be captive to the obedience of Christ! Boss your feelings around and show the facts who’s boss in your life. Your enemy’s attack is proof of God’s promises for you; don’t forfeit the victory that’s already yours!

1.5 minute Video: https://www.facebook.com/DrDeeKnight/posts/10154813778356492

Advertisements

A Box Full of Darkness

box full of darkness

There’s a gift in the box.

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
~Mary Oliver, The Uses of Sorrow

I hate having to admit how long I tightly clutched my box, opening it several times, somehow wishing its contents would change. Are you stuck? Are you still peering deeply into your box, wishing the past were different, unable to make progress because you refuse to accept what life has sent your way? The writer of Jimmy Needham’s “Clear the Stage” said, “Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol.” Pain, too, can be an idol; the darkness can consume you if you let it. Have you given the box its own pedestal in your life, allowing yourself to act and react out of anger, hatred, or fear? Will you wrestle with God in the dark? Will you praise Him in it? Will you place your hope in Him despite the darkness? Will you so deeply desire He change your box that you miss God changing you? Have you let God open the box with you? Have you immersed yourself more with the contents of the box than you have with Him? Have you passed the darkness on to others because you’ve failed to let God in, to let Him handle your darkness, or let Him handle you? For years I handed out boxes of my own unresolved trauma, boxes of rage, of unrepentant disdain, of bitter criticism that crushed, and scorched, and scathed. To whom have you dealt your unresolved darkness? Have you discarded it, never learning the gifts that it held? What have you done with your box? [Click Here to READ MORE]

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to find me on:

facebook sign  old gram.png  youtube 2 twitter t

The Pain to Push

godly sorrowI’m not a fan of pain. It’s not even that I’m unable to manage the pain, so much as I’ve nurtured a fear of experiencing pain more than I’ve nurtured the fact that I’ve overcome pain. In a brief lapse of judgment, I attempted to birth my oldest son without pain medications. Please note this is not at all to divide those who opt for pain meds and those who do not, but considering my fear of experiencing  such intense pain, it wasn’t wise for me. In fact, for our next child, I asked when the epidural would arrive, and I wasn’t even in labor yet! I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page.

The most refreshing aspect for me was that I could actually fall asleep and not have to worry about contractions or, you guessed it, pain. The nurses asked me not to push, and I gladly took a nap until the doctor arrived. On the other hand, I’ve heard many women share their “natural” birth stories, and once the baby is in position and that pain to push hits, there IS no holding back! You see, while I was numb, while the pain had been taken away, I could make the choice not to give birth to the child I’d dreamed about holding in my arms. Oh, but when there’s pain there’s a persistent pressure to give birth to your dreams! Thank God for the pain!

As noted in the scripture above, Godly sorrow produces something. God’s pathway to peace often goes through a valley of pain. Make a commitment to stop looking for the easy way out, stop looking for the smooth, easy road where you can be lulled to sleep instead of birthing your dream. Your path will be filled with pain, but once you’re in position, the pain will get you to push! The pain will actually lead to your deliverance, it’ll lead to you birthing the dream! As the enemy sends fire your way, let it cause your purpose to burn within you even more. Below, I’ll share a relevant vlog on exactly that. Also, visit and follow the uplifting new blog of my friend ((You Can Shout Now)) who inspired this post by reminding me that some things are so pressing you just have to get it out!

For more encouraging videos or blurbs from me, click these links/icons to follow me on

YouTubeyoutube 2 or Twitter twitter t

Life Soundtrack

Find Me:life soundtrack

facebook sign  old gram.png  youtube 2 twitter t

Many of our most powerful life experiences are inextricably tied to healing melodies that have both stirred our souls and lifted our spirits, music that will forever have an emotional impact on us and be indelibly etched into the fabric of our lives. Here’s a compilation of what was shared with me along with my own #lifesoundtrack. I thank each of you for sharing and blessing my life!

#ThisSongWasOnRepeat when I wanted to give up on any hopes of healing…but God…TUH #butGod

“When [my sister] Lystra died. “I’m going to be ready” by Yolanda Adams was on Serious REPEAT!”

#ThisSongWasOnRepeat for much of my senior year of high school when the pain of my past threatened to eclipse God’s plan for my life.”

[FOR THE SAME SONG, DIFFERENT TESTIMONY BELOW:]

“I sang this song outside the office of the professor that took my full scholarship away because I couldn’t sign up for a class she wanted me to take. I was sitting in a desk in the hallway outside her office, singing, when SWAT showed up. She called them because I “intimidated” her. Well, maybe but, I got my scholarship back. #goodtimes

“After my abortion. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.”

“When I was pregnant and terribly anxious because of my heart condition I would listen to “He Has His Hands On You”. I also continually return to Keeping My Mind, Promise Keeper, Draw Nigh, and Breathe Into Me O Lord, from the Spirit of David album.”

 

#ThisSongWasOnRepeat for a number of days my freshman year in college. Some days I couldn’t even muster a prayer. What. a. GOD!”

“Speechless by Israel. Mannnnn”

#ThisSongWasOnRepeat when my water broke after just 25 weeks of pregnancy with the twins and the neonatologist came by to tell me what I can expect for them (bleeding on the brain, seizures, death, nothing good!) [they’re 4, now, btw, alive and completely healthy].”

“When I was tied up and gang raped, not supported, feeling worthless.”

“When reflecting on the miscarriage of my first child…”

#ThisSongWasOnRepeat for the four days between my doctor finding a lump and the negative mammogram results.”

“…this was on repeat when my life was completely broken…spiritually, mentally and emotionally and I just couldn’t turn anywhere else.” [1/3]

“But…AFTER THIS….” [2/3]

“And my favorite Andrae Crouch” [3/3]

This I’ve been meditating on for the last month. It’s completely repetitive (lol) but it was exactly what I needed.” [below is the version sent to me and a shorter version; both are great!]

“When I started to fight back against depression on a spiritual&practical aspect when the enemy tried to convince me it was too dark to pray Already Getting Better by William Murphy got me through those rough counseling sessions”

“When God gave me the strength to let go of the guilt of my past Daryl Coley “He’s Preparing Me” helped me understand that the assignment never changed ! God was preparing me the entire time”

“When I thought that because of my depression God finally gave up on me and stop speaking to me Marvin Sapp’s Speak to my heart and his rendition of “I Come to the Garden Alone” became my daily prayers”

“Reflecting on my last suicide attempt, i look back and remember the pain that had brought me to that point. now diminished greatly on most days, that pain almost rendered me unavailable, incapable, feeling unworthy to worship my creator. i truly could see no other way, no hope, no love, rejection , scorn, contempt, guilt……..i just simply could not have morning come one more day. And as my body fell to the ground, i looked into my husband’s eyes. he was afraid. i’ve never seen that look on his face again and i pray i never will. the vomiting, the ambulance ride, the hospital band that read my name but reminded me that i failed yet again. the anger for having to pick myself up and try to live one more time. i didn’t have a song then. didn’t have much of anything come to think of it. But i did have God’s love. Today, i am still amazed by just how much he loves ME.”

“‘Withholding nothing Melody’ more recently has been blessing me EARLY in the morning”

[FOR THE SAME SONG, DIFFERENT TESTIMONY BELOW:]

“The day before I was to share a very personal testimony, I had the thought, ‘I feel that urge to withhold some things,’ and within a few seconds, I saw a friend tweet, ‘Withholding Nothing.’ I felt God’s peace as I honored Him by speaking truth.”

“Can this be on the life soundtrack list? It’s just… so…relevant. to like, everything.”

I was truly, truly honored to share this day reflecting and worshiping with those who shared. I heard familiar echoes of overwhelming Love telling of a God who reaches into impossibly bleak situations and makes all things new. I hope you’re blessed by this playlist! All of the songs are compiled into a single Youtube playlist HERE.

Find Me:

facebook signyoutube 2 old gram.pngtwitter t

The Two Halves of Life

Find Me:

facebook signImage result for instagram logoyoutube 2 twitter t

I’m greatly enjoying a book by Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, which holds the premise that life’s “necessary suffering” is not an obstacle to be surmounted, but a pathway to be journeyed, a pathway to the second half of life. In the first half of life, we are driven by our ego, our need to achieve, to build something for ourselves, to discover and be discovered. I would summarize, however, that in the second half, we are more propelled by empathy because we have tasted defeat. In the second half, we embrace a deep desire to join others in their joys and sufferings, a desire to see justice, but only through a lens of grace, a desire to be certain of less, tentative of more, and ever decreasing in our resistance to change.

As I absorb the many delineations of first vs. second-half-of-life relating, I see my old self as having operated out of many of the first-half-of-life issues, such as searching for and finding my identity. It’s with some apprehension that I proclaim I’m now fully embracing the second half of life, only because I know my ego would love nothing more than to convince me I’m better than “those people,” those still journeying through the first half of life. But, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the first half of life. In fact, we need the first half of life if the second half will ever be sustainable. We need the roots of our tree; we need motivation, achievements, suffering, winning, and especially failing. So, I haven’t become too entangled in the notion that I’m not right where I believe I am and right where I believe I should be. The second half of life has also come with a firm sense of acceptance, both of self and others, of our individual and collective experiences, a sense of belief in that thing called intuition, which the first half of life threatened to consume. I see second-half-of-life indicators in my life and the lives of some around me. I see it when a friend questions why she’s okay with the fact that human beings will sleep outside tonight, or when I question why I allowed the slightest bit of my initial outrage to wane after seeing impoverished children eating dirt cookies for sustenance. I see the second half of life emerging when a friend said that for her, getting older has meant accepting the parts of her that have been beneficial to others but detrimental to her and acknowledging that without being bitter about it. I see it in my life when I realize I still have anger for some of my first-half-of-life experiences, for the loss, for what was willfully destroyed and stolen, but that my anger isn’t vindictive; it’s redemptive. I see second-half-of-life living in a friend who recently prayed to become like a child, not for the purpose of shirking adult responsibilities, but for the purpose of loving with reckless abandon, for the purpose of wholeheartedly living out the beliefs we’ve collected throughout the first half of life.

I believe that in this second half of life, we begin to feel a righteous indignation for societal wrongs that we know we may never completely correct or even address in our lifetime, but we find it worth our tears, our anger, our voice, anyhow. In this half of life, I’d rather regret standing up at the wrong time than regret not standing up at all. I think it’s an impossible ideal to live life without regrets, but I’m rather determined to pursue life with such purpose that I prefer my regrets. All of these issues are merely foundational, though, merely questioning whether one is living from the first or second half of life. The book further discusses the unintentional, upward fall into the second half, and I look forward to the other directions it will carry my mind.
falling upward

The Two Halves of Life

Find Me:

facebook signyoutube 2 Image result for instagram logotwitter t

 

The Usual Suspects

devil's lies

The Usual Suspects

At the end of the movie, “The Usual Suspects,” Kevin Spacey’s character states, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” I think that just as insidious, though, are the tricks he still pulls on those who do believe he exists. This post isn’t to give credit to the devil, but it is to address the common tactics he employs against us. We’re engaged in spiritual warfare, not wrestling against flesh and blood, and our enemy is not being passive; he’s like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8). That’s why we have to put on the whole armor of God to withstand the enemy’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11).

We are in battle and we can’t afford to listen to our enemy’s intel. He won’t give us accurate information; he’ll craft lies to combat every truth that would otherwise set us free (John 8:44) When I examine the common voices vying for attention, I can come up with a few “usual suspects,” a few common lies used to attack our faith. I believe the most common lie is that God’s promises are not for you. This lie comes in many forms and threatens to eclipse the many truths found in God’s Word ― that His grace is not for you, that you’ve gone too far, done too much, strayed too long, that you’re too broken, too damaged, too dirty, that too much has happened, you’ll never be okay, you’ll never recover, never fully be restored. Your enemy knows that if you instead believe the precious promises in God’s Word, you’ll know the Truth, you’ll be completely devoted to the cause of Christ, completely set free (John 8:32; John 17:17).

Another “usual suspect” is when the enemy tells you to look at yourself, look at your situation, look at how long you’ve been waiting for change. All of these ideas are antithetical to the Word of God and the exact opposite of where we find victory. We’re constantly reminded to look to God, look to the completed work of Jesus Christ, crucified, never to look to ourselves. Our enemy wants to keep us from looking to the God from where our help comes, keep us focused on our trials, not on the Truth. Recognize the usual, suspect voice that tells you you’re alone, tells you it’s useless to keep trying, or any of the other usual lies. Partner with a friend and confront each lie with God’s Word of Truth; lies have no power where Truth is spoken and embraced.

lies we believe

by all means paint

Truth will silence the loudest lies.

Follow Me:

facebook sign

youtube 2 twitter t

What a Mess!

bloody cross

The Messy Foot of the Cross

“This place is a mess!” My mother pointed that out to us when we were kids, and now that I have four active children ranging from preschool to teen years, I frequently point it out, as well. But the messy place I’m referencing today isn’t my home. I’m continually struck by the messiness of another place, a place called grace. Grace refuses to be bound, refuses to be neatly packaged, refuses to land on just me or just you. It’s messy, overflowing onto everyone, getting all over everything. The same grace that is enough for you and me is sufficient for the most heinous of criminals, the most wretched of souls.

No matter what you’ve done and no matter what’s been done to you, God’s grace covers you, the ones you’ve harmed and the ones who’ve harmed you most. This comment is not at all to diminish the reality of suffering you may have experienced or the scars you may still bear. I’m simply sharing what I’ve come to believe, which is that those who’ve wounded me the deepest are living under the same grace by which I stand.

The most concise description of grace is: unmerited favor. We don’t deserve it. There’s nothing we can do to earn grace, and bless God, nothing we can do to be unworthy of it. Grace refuses to have an exclusive target, yet is determined to never miss its intended mark. A friend recently wrote a blog post, Grace Like Snow, and I had the thought, “Indeed, grace is like snow.” It’s not neat; it flutters on down, falling on everything around.

After revisiting a detailed description of the physical death of Jesus Christ, I remain convinced that Golgotha was a terribly messy place and that anyone physically involved in the death of Christ left covered in the same blood that paid their price. Those committing the worst crime against Jesus were the most covered in His precious blood. It’s amazing how the worst circumstances and worst offenses make grace all the more incomprehensible and all the more invaluable. As Christ hung on the cross, He begged for forgiveness of those same, unrepentant sinners who were yet causing His death. They were covered and didn’t even know it, covered by His blood, covered by His grace. What a mess the cross surely was. What a mess His grace surely is. It gets everywhere!

There’s a place exhuming every depth

Climbing every height, spanning every breadth

And this place has covered every cost

Still covers the saved, still saves the lost

Messy grace moves us to love the unlovable.

Follow Me:

facebook sign

youtube 2 twitter t