Practicing Joy and Peace

In marriage, you have a lot of time to practice joy and peace. Happiness is direct reaction to circumstances so joy and peace are quite different as they are deep enough to keep you soundly whether or not your circumstances are favorable or heavy. And marriage is the constant bending of my will and bowing of my head in compromise. Ideally both are doing so but my responsibility is what I am doing. So bad day for spouse often would be bad day for me but as my relationship with God has deepened and grown and ripened, my joy and peace have sunk in to depths impenetrable by surface tremors. It is tested though some days, like today. It seems like the happier I come in from my devotion walk, the more the enemy will try through my husband to discourage me. And I have to remember that my fight is not against flesh and blood and certainly not against my husband who I am bonded with. And the more the attacks, the greater the joy and peace. And that boggles the mind but is because Jesus endured so much for us, for me too, out of His sheer love for us, so amazingly. And to have difficulty and yet not sin in it and go to Him with it and pray and give it to Him who is capable of understanding and powerful enough to dissolve it is to honor Him. And I want everything I do and say you honor Him. He is everything. So I practice my joy and peace and feel exceedingly blessed to be so greatly loved by my Heavenly Father, who happens to be the Creator of the universe and me and you.❤❤❤

Temptation Tests

Every day we are hit by little tests of character and goodness and Godly purity. These little biters can range from the seemingly small (grabbing a few envelopes from the office to save you a trip to the store) to very large (porn watching, cheating, rage). However, I contend that there is no “small” temptation or “large” temptation,… there is only temptation. The small leads to the big (the gradual sin decline- mastered by the enemy to lure you into sin in a way that seems good or moral or not dangerous). However the small is also big. Sin is missing the mark, not being holy. A small drop of red wine will show up just as clearly as a large spill does on a white linen napkin. Temptations are all based on lies. You being told a lie is the temptation. For example, “It’s just one time. You deserve it.” Or “You are so good most of the time and this one time is not going to hurt anyone.” Or “As long as no one gets hurt or finds out, it is fine.” Or the classic “No one will ever know”. These lies are the temptation. You hearing these lies in your head is just good hearing, no sin involved. Unless. Unless you buy the lie and agree with the lie and act. Then, you have sinned. Lie and usually pride (how could I leave that out?) Are the basis for every temptation because of the simple fact that the king of evil fell because of these and hence became the father of lies. So, how can this help us as Christ followers? Let me tell you now. Knowing how the enemy works and where he will attack gives away the element of surprise and allows you to arm yourself for battle before he strikes another blow. If you want to be free and saved, that is. And how we do this is through much prayer (He who is in us is greater than He who is in the world- see yesterday’s blog) and Bible reading (filling with truth from Truth) and self talk (personalizing these components). We can win victories every day, one resistance at a time. And if giving into certain temptations has become a habit and lies are etched into the mind to look like truth, remember that you break a bad habit with a good habit and you do it one good decision at a time until all the practice becomes a habit and God purifies you again with love and truth. He wants us to freely love Him and have joy and peace and life, whereas the enemy wants us in bondage and without joy to the point of death. We choose our “fate” one decision at a time and we all choose for ourselves right now who we will serve.