Fish and I were enjoying a beautiful Saturday morning. We had an awesome date night the evening before; we planned the list of errands to run the following morning; and most importantly, we planned how we were going to finish relaxing and enjoying one another’s company the remainder of the weekend. Simple, right? But I forgot one thing. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be well balanced (temperate, sober minded), be vigilant and cautious at all times: for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour. (Amplified Bible) Let me put it this way. “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.” (Msg Bible) Well, he caught me.
A nice day out grocery shopping went south fast right at the register. WE had discussed a budget, and in no uncertain terms were going to stray from it. Let me interject this. The reason why it became such an issue was because we had decided to tighten our belts as better stewards, and begin to work towards some other budgetary goals. Notice I keep saying “we”. Well as the thriftiest member of the team as well as the main grocery shopper, I noticed how quickly we had reached our agreed target. As more items began to go into the basket I could feel a nausea coming over me, literally. I cautioned my husband a few times. However, each time his response was, “We’re fine. It’s okay.” It couldn’t be! We’re over the limit! Upon loading up the conveyor belt to the register I clearly heard not the Holy Spirit, but God Himself say, “Go stand away from the register.” Apparently I did not go far enough because I almost passed out when I heard the total. It took everything for me not to look up from my phone. (Sometimes we have to be thankful for social media distractions. It can save lives!)
As we were exiting the store, my husband was all smiles. Still giddy from all the Christmas and birthday gifts we just purchased for the next two years, he attempted to talk to me. However, I could only say, “We need to hurry up and get outside so I do not fall out in this store.” Inside, I’m feeling like we have just let God down. We agreed to do better, and at our first opportunity we failed. Just like that, we failed. How is He going to trust us with anything else? Oh I’m just grieved. No. Me and the Holy Spirit are in sack cloth and ashes on the way to car.
Almost to the car, I attempt to discuss the issue by asking the right questions, but with hindsight there were no right questions. I was upset! Not only did we not keep a commitment, but how come I was not aware of how “okay” we were? Why wasn’t I privy to this knowledge prior to shopping? Wait! He doesn’t trust me?! After all we’ve been through (like it’s been 20 years), he doesn’t trust me? I was managing my own house and family for over 20 years before we met. How dare he treat me like an irresponsible airhead wife! When I tell you the devil found me… He FOUND me.
Thank God Pastor Watson has been doing a teaching on Conflict in The Church. He used three categories to demonstrate. Conflict with the unsaved, carnal, and spiritual people. Well, as God would have it, we went back over conflict with spiritual people a few days before this main event took place. As God would have it, both pastors constantly remind us and teach us how to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit. As God would have it, areas I have struggled with the most have been the topics between Sunday services and Bible study. Won’t He do it?! I shut my mouth. I heard the Holy Spirit telling me to be quiet or I will destroy something that doesn’t need to be destroyed just with my words. After personally making a commitment to no longer speak death to my situations, I obeyed. It was not easy. It was the longest ride (12 minutes) home, ever! But He didn’t stop there.
I had to be quiet, but I had to keep doing my job. I still organized and put the groceries away. I still cleaned the kitchen and prepared dinner. I still remained a part of what was going on in the house; quietly. Finally, my husband asked about the final errand that we never got to. I felt the hovering over my shoulder and answered, “You can go ahead if you like. It’s fine.” He replied, “Well I thought we decided we were going to do that?” Did he just say WE?! Did he just suggest that we made a decision together and NOW WE need to keep it?! (I guess the devil was not done consuming me yet.) With every fiber in me I quietly replied, “We did. But I’m a little confused at the moment. So you can go. It’s fine.” I think I can safely say that we have been married long enough for my husband to recognize a certain tone when we know things are “off”. So he went on to the store.
While he was gone Holy Spirit and I talked. He told me to vent to Him. I can say what I needed to say to Him because He could take it. Meaning, He is built to handle my level of frustration when man may not be able to. Had I attempted to resolve the issue as I so desperately wanted to, I probably would have ended up “throwing the baby out with the bath water”. Our wills were war. I had discerned properly that flesh had gotten in the way, and the enemy was afoot. However, I would have murder the human going after the spirit that I had detected. The intended target is not necessarily the one being used. Sometimes it’s the one receiving the attack. The other party can be completely unaware of what’s happening.
Here is a side note. As we grow in Christ, we are made aware of our “buttons” and “triggers”. We are then responsible for guarding them carefully against wrongful use. In other words, we know what hacks us off better than anyone else. So why are we making it someone else's responsibility to not put us in the position to get upset? Guard yourself! That’s why God reveals it to YOU. We have to stop passing the buck to our loved ones and associates as if they were put here to “guard our switchboard”. An important part of following Holy Spirit is monitoring our own switches. We follow by allowing Him to navigate us through the lion’s attempt to devour us. So what happens if you’re caught napping? YOU’RE NOT PREPARED TO HEAR OR FOLLOW. YOU’RE IN SHOCK MODE.
As I talked to Holy Spirit, He was able to get through to me without further hitting any additional “buttons”. Because of this I was able to speak through the Word. “Lord, the truth is we only want to please You. If I’m wrong in my discerning, then help me to cast down these imaginations and move forward. However, if I am correct, please speak to him or let him call on a mentor to help his perception. Either way, I am not willing to continue to carry this friction any longer in our home. That is not what You called us to do. I will not let the sun go down on my wrath.” I finally felt the release to talk to him, but I did not right away. First, I had to sow seeds of peace. We watched a movie together. As we prepared for bed I then felt Holy Spirit nudging me to start the conversation. We resolved it in 30 minutes. The rest of the time was spent reflecting on our behavior in the situation, bringing all of our thoughts unto the obedience of Christ. #WinkWink
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.