The last several posts have dealt with the various, sundry tricks the devil is allowed to play. Yes, it amounts to not much more than "playing" with us. And we have to come to a decision, ultimately, if we are game for playing with the devil, in falling for his tricks time and again. Then we have to decide if we are willing--and how to--put our foot down and simply determine: No more!
It is not that the devil will stop harassing and attempting to derail us with (what to the devil are) entertaining-yet-soul-deadly tricks. He will not cease his fun in this lifetime that is ours to live. But we can stop the effects of his trickery that creates obstacles, hindrances, distraction, chaos, upset, division, and confusion.
How? We simply do not react.
And most important of all--here it comes--we learn to do the God-pivot.
But first, I wish to share a couple more points on the devil's antics in every day life. I give my own ridiculous experiences. If you have read the last few posts, you realize that I wrote of how the devil was allowed entrance into my dreams, Thursday night last. I awoke in a state of upset; the dream was of my doctor becoming caustic and not helpful, not refilling prescriptions. I quickly realized who was behind such a dream and his desired effect on me: the devil. I immediately laughed it off and said, "That won't work, either."
However, yesterday when I went to the doctor's, the doctor was indeed rather caustic, not so empathic, and reduced the number of refills, causing me to have to return sooner. There was no sensitivity nor increasing the amount even a tiny bit when I explained I have to take an extra dose at times when I wake in the middle of the night with break-through pain. The doctor remained a bulwark of obduracy.
By the time I got to my truck, my mind was reacting. I had thoughts the devil has long-since counted on creating in me when it comes to the intractable pain, constant, and very little help for it. Absolutely horrible to be in a position of not knowing if help will be given, or withheld, not that it is overwhelming help to begin with. I wondered what was the point? I thought of the millions of people like me with genuine and high levels of pain, and the hassles we go through for even the lowest levels of medical help and support.
I got a grip on my thoughts and laughed. Ah, the devil was really working it this time, using the doctor as a means, altering the doctor's attitude, bringing a high level of coldness to what ought to be a professional yet compassionate encounter. Nope! That was not going to work, either. Not falling for that trick.
What came next, however, is the God-pivot point. I realized that in every situation in our lives, of course, there is God. We are in Him, with Him; He is in us, with us, through us. The Holy Trinity makes their abode in us, as One God living and vibrant--our Creator and Source of all energy and beingness!
And, in every allowance by God for the tricks of the devil, He desires for us to learn. We must learn to deal with the negatives, the hindrances, the obstacles. I recently listened to a news clip of a presidential nominee in this country. He was being asked how he handled the political wrangling amid negative assaults by his opponents. He said he "just powers through."
The Lord expects no less and a lot more from us in our everyday lives--His beloved children who are supposed to be progressing into soul adulthood via the spiritual lives we are to be learning to lead.
So here we have the tricks of the devil going on, yet we have God right there, supervising, observing, thinking with His Mind and Wisdom. He is our armor and protection, our strength and power.
While the devil had been allowed to enter my night rest and create an upsetting dream, there was some reality to that dream, as well. The Lord was testing if I would wake up and fall for the trick, be upset, mull over it, think of past ordeals of pain, worry and fret. But also, as it turned out in real time, the Lord was giving me a "head's up" that the doctor would not be so kindly nor cooperative. This type of phenomenon, when we are shown something in the future, is called a "forewarning" or a "prescience."
Thus, the Lord is always with us in every detail in every present moment of our lives. We are not alone. It may seem like it, but we must always make the God-pivot in each and every thought, word, situation. Yes, we can discern the evil one's tricks; and we can also be fooled time and again while we are learning. (I suppose we can stumble at times to the tricks of the devil all our lives on earth--even after we become adept at discernment and in not reacting.)
The important and all-embracing effort must be, however, in making the God-pivot. That is, we must always turn the thoughts, words, and situations to God. We must make the pivot in every present moment, hour, day, night, week, month, year. Over and over, we must pivot all toward God. As the church-camp song refrains, "Give God the glory, glory...children of the Lord!"
So I pivoted yesterday, while in my pick up truck, Precious Blood, and gave God the glory, glory! I praised Him for tipping me off so that how the doctor acted was not that horribly raw. I got a grip of my emotions and thoughts, and I turned over that situation to the Lord. He will deal with it. Faith, hope, love!
There are several other new assaults and tricks in the past couple of days. One includes someone emailing about a bullying spouse, and I gave input mostly based upon what I am learning of the spiritual combat and how to not react yet how to do the God-pivot. I did not emphasize enough, I don't think, the God-pivot. But I tried, and I also realized that my mission is not to keep repeating counsel especially on temporal issues other than stating once or twice. Then the person needs to decide for him- or herself, as I have to decide with each situation: How are we going to react?
Are we going to react with our old, habitual reactions of which the devil knows all too well what gets to us, what are our weak points? Or are we going to stop reacting in the same ways, same thoughts, same emotions? Are we going to repeatedly let the devil sling us about by the tail, or will we grab the devil by his tail and fling him out of sight, out of reach, out of mind?
And then, will we just leave it at that, such as if we do put a stop to the devil? Or will we enact the most critical and important part of our existence and life: Will we do the God-pivot?
Will we set aside the devil and his tricks and all thoughts of what he tried to pull on us and how we did not react at all as the devil desired, and will we then give God the glory? Put all the praise and power and victory that we think is now ours--will we pour it all out like precious oil upon the Lord--will we do that?
And will we pivot it to God each and every time we have spiritual combat in thoughts, words, deeds? It does happen more often daily and nightly than our conscious awareness can track! But when we have the victories against temptation, victories against the tricks of the devil and all the obstacles he derives--in the multitudinous aspects of spiritual combat--will we then God-pivot?
If so, we have learned how to properly celebrate life in His Real Presence in our every day lives. When we do the God-pivot, we are facing East always. And I tell you this, too, that ever since I've been putting my foot down on the devil, not reacting, using the great gift of even the silence of solitude inner laugh--the Lord has filled me with far more grace in the security of His power and strength.
There is more peace and assurance, as well. What used to seem onslaughts, now are silliness. Just have to step back from situations sometimes, and see them a bit more as God sees them--not such a big deal, the tricks of the devil. Just silliness, the bulk of it. Makes me laugh at the humor of it all! Makes me praise God all the more!
And in all that, too, I give God the glory, glory.
"O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold, my merciful God!" (Ps. 59: 18)
We are children of the Lord, children of the Cross. Pick it up! And God-pivot.