My favourite childhood memories are of my Mum reading us stories from a variety of books. Mum retired early as a teacher and in teaching her children, she made learning so much fun. She turns 70 next month and we really want to make it a very special celebration. Mum kept us principled largely because of her lovely mission town upbringing. Her stories keep me smiling and every once in a while, God gives me a memory to treasure. This is my blueprint for our sweet daughter, only that she is now a tween. Family life is such a treasure! I thank God for this blessing and being able to share so much as a family.
It is funny how things go so well until you have to deal with a disturbance in the flesh. I wonder if this is what the New Testament Paul referred to as a thorn in the flesh? Well a few years ago, I took up an opportunity to help out some good people. As soon as the challenge began, I noticed that one of the people we had to interact with appeared to be unbelievably charming and polite. The group were all enthused by her wit and clear kindness. Within days, she began to whisper about her issues with various people, particularly if she noticed you worked well together. Within weeks, she managed to put people in different divides. The hijack well-orchestrated, the group came undone.
Each one retreated into their own corner, unsure how the game played out in the way it did. Scattered sheep, herded into a corner , bewildered like deer caught in headlights! God’s Word speaks of sheep! Was I finally one of them?! Any farmer will tell you that sheep are dependent and cannot right themselves if they fall onto their backs! How awful!
Matthew 7:15 A Tree and Its Fruit – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 10:16 Persecution Will Come – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
All settled now – I am a happy sheep and one of His flock!
Anger, humiliation, personal suffering and disappointment. We encouraged one another to pray about it. We gathered the courage to pray. Once confronted, the woman behind the disturbance feigned victimization. Awash with tears and false alarm, she talked her way out of it, convincing a few. The manipulative spirit clearly evident on her, for the rest of us. We prayed in tongues and she squirmed and eventually fled from the room, fearing full discovery and further arrest.
We continued praying over the next few weeks and the last time I saw her, she was delivered and free. She apologized to each one and her life took a positive turn. The group forgave her and learned from the experience. A manipulative spirit is a muddy mess of bondage. We can live with lots of rain and even floods, but a manipulative spirit brings dissension, steals your dignity, focus and joy. We serve the Great Victor and Saviour, who redeemed us from all bondage and sin. We are called to a life for the living and not perfection. God uses broken pottery and I am broken in so may ways, it should hurt, His Healing and Grace abound! So let go and let God in!
Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.