If This, Then That

Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

I had an interesting experience at a store this weekend and I want to share what God showed me through it. I was taking a solo trip to a local grocery store to get some quick things for dinner. I often use self checkout, but that day there was a line so I went to the assisted checkout. When I got up to the clerk I asked how their day was going to which I got back, “Terrible, everything is terrible.” I quickly commented on how important it is to speak positive things over our lives. They responded, “How can your parents pay for three out of four years of your college and then tell you they won’t pay for the fourth? That’s terrible.” At this point I could tell the clerk was quite serious and starting to get borderline angry. My spirit was looking for the words to say. Was I supposed to pray? Was I supposed to say something encouraging? The next thing that came to my mind was a question, so I asked it, “Did your parents say why they are not paying for your last year of college?” Their demeanor and tone shifted and all I got was, “I don’t know” and my receipt handed to me. I was praying as I was walking out the door and I felt God tell me that this person was not honoring their parents and that was why they were not paying for the last year.

Interestingly enough this was the same exact conversation I had been having with God earlier in the day. There are a few things in my life that I am waiting for from God, one of which is being fully delivered from fear and anxiety. While God is fully capable of delivering me in an instant, my journey has been more of a process. The miraculous would be wonderful, but God has instead been teaching me the step-by-step tools needed to reach and maintain freedom in this area. For me, the battleground has been and probably always will be in my mind. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says it like this:

casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

If I am quenching all of the lies that the enemy is slinging at me, there is little that can bring me to a place of fear or anxiety. However, as soon as I give him one piece of my mind it feels as though he is quickly steering all of it.

So, as I was walking out of that grocery store, God quickly said to me, “You want to be free from fear and anxiety, but are you honoring Me by taking EVERY thought captive?” Ouch, right? Sometimes we feel so dense. We want the blessings and the promises, but it would be great if we could get them without too many conditions. I have known this scripture for years of my life, but I will admit that I don’t always live it out like I should.

Recently, I was reading in Deuteronomy 28. Verses 1-14 are all about the blessings we will receive if we follow all the commandments of God. Verses 15-68 are about all the curses that will come on us if we do not. One of the sets of opposing scriptures from these two sections that I find most interesting are verses 7 and 25:

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.

If we are following God’s commands, we will see our enemies defeated. They will come at us from one direction and flee from us in seven directions. If however, we are not following God’s commands, we will be defeated by our enemies. We will go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. I was starting to feel like the latter, which was showing me I was not following the commandments of God. In my case, it was not taking thoughts captive.

Final Thoughts…

Take some time to read through Deuteronomy 28. We all desire those blessings. If we feel we are not there yet, perhaps it’s worth asking God if there are any commandments or requests of His that we are not following. If we are feeling any of those curses over our lives, again, it’s worth a dialogue with God to see where we may not be providing our full obedience. It could also be something in our generational line that we need to be released from. God is all about sowing and reaping. If we are not reaping what we could be, we either didn’t sow what we should have or we sowed something we shouldn’t have. God knows and He desires that we seek Him first and trust in His revelation and timing.