The Scheme of the Evil One

No! Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot!

baby holding

Ok, people. I have been noticing something going on in the churches that is targeting the minds of the leadership. Exactly what I have been seeing became clear this morning after an intense time of spontaneous worship. I’m going to put this out to you very straightforwardly. My hope is that you will share it and, together, we will beseech the Lord to shatter a stronghold that is emerging.

God’s next move will be among the young people. That is not news. I mean what other large group is there that needs rescuing from the kingdom of darkness? The enemy is anticipating this. And he already has implemented a plan to short circuit this upcoming revival.

Let me explain the problem, then I will expose the enemy’s plan. Today’s young people suffer the most from poor parenting within a culture that caters to their carnality. Their parents, teachers and other role models are themselves deeply wounded and immature. When God sweeps these young people into His kingdom they are going to turn to the older believers for parenting.

The church is packed with mature believers who have worked hard to develop good character. They are equipped in many ways to help ground new believers in the great traditions, history and disciplines of the faith. Most of the young people caught in God’s net will have never been churched or exposed to scripture. They will be profoundly dependent upon mature believers until they become solid in Christ.

My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you … Galatians 4:19

Maturing these new believers will be quite a challenge. It is the elders among us who will shepherd this flock. Not the leadership or specially gifted or the fancy ones. But the many men and women in the ranks who are steadfast and who are capable of being the parents, teachers and role models that our young desperately need.

Here is the enemy’s plan. He cannot stop God from rescuing the young people, but he can stop them from becoming mature Christians. He is already setting his plan in motion. Here it is:

1.Leaders in the church are aware of God’s desire to win the young people. They long to partner with God. That’s good.

2.The enemy is twisting that good desire by creating tunnel vision among our leaders. In other words, ALL focus is being shifted to winning young adults.

3.But the enemy has deceived many in leadership about HOW to win young adults. So, methods of winning them borders on pandering to what they like. We will play their music. We will give attention to their gifts. We will give them a platform. We will dress like them and talk like them.

There are two problems with this: First, this current crop of young people has been pandered to all their lives. They are looking for real, safe grownups who will call them to maturity, not more pandering. Second, God will bring them into His kingdom in His time and in His way. We don’t have to make it happen.

4.This pandering is being done at the expense of the many grounded believers in the ranks. Their gifts and wisdom are being ignored. They are being marginalized in the name of winning the young.

5.This means that when God sweeps a bunch of youngsters into the church there will be very few parents, teachers and role models there for them. Those with a good understanding of the faith; those with strong character, and those well-formed in Christ will be gone. They will have left seeking a place where they are treasured.

6.There will be too many new believers for the leadership to shepherd. So, once again, our young will be left to parent themselves. We all know how well that works out. As an aside, the leadership will be bereft of prayer support as well.

That is the enemy’s plan. He is forming a way of thinking among our leaders that seems good, but is not God. This way of thinking, if left unchecked, will develop into a mental stronghold that will completely control the perspective of church leaders.

This is how we pray against it:

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to shatter the mental stronghold that is trying to, or has taken, our leadership captive. I ask You to destroy the evil spirits that live within that stronghold. I ask that You completely destroy this evil plan against the maturing of new believers.

Deliver those leaders who have been attacked by the evil one. Restore their rationality and free will. Adjust their perspective according to Your will.

Strengthen those of Your people who fill the ranks of Your church. Prepare them to parent, teach and guide the children shortly to be born into Your kingdom.

Angels! Go to war on our behalf!

Amen.

Pray this prayer often! God is much, much, much greater than the schemes of the devil.

We are not ignorant of his (Satan’s) schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11

Blessings upon you and those you love,
Susan
205.556.4555 (leave a message)
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thepoolministries.org

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Are You OK?

It’s an Alabama winter day. The temperature has risen dangerously high, and everyone has battened down the hatches in anticipation of the severe weather that often results when cold fronts crash into warm fronts. I am tucked inside, thinking about you, those that read my writings, and wondering if you are ok.

This season is a tough one for many of us. It’s the time of year when the enemy brings up what is missing in our lives. I know that he keeps that “one thing we most want and seem to never get” in our faces all the time, but he pushes extra hard during the holidays. It’s one of his most effective discouragement tools. How do I know this? Because I haven’t gotten what I want the most in the whole world. I want my son free from mental retardation. Such a thing is not too hard for God.

The enemy knows what I want, and he knows that I have been waiting and believing for a long time. I don’t think that I am special in this. I think most of us long for an answer to that one prayer that is the most important of all. And I think we are all subject to despair when the enemy taunts us with reminders of how long we have waited for that answer.

Now, I can’t get your prayers answered. But, I can help with putting the devil back in his place. And that helps with the despair.

First, realize this. The enemy comes in on what we believe. If we believe that we have to have something in order to be ok, then guess what? All the enemy has to do to make us miserable is remind us, and keep reminding us, that we don’t have that one thing. Instant misery.

When we believe that we MUST have something – whatever that something may be – in order to be ok, hasn’t that one thing become our god?

Paul said this in Philippians 4:11. “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.”

Paul suffered. He was rejected by his people, beaten until he was crippled; he was imprisoned, betrayed and abandoned by his friends. And, in the midst of all of that suffering, he somehow learned to be content. He went on to say that the secret lay in being strengthened by Jesus.

Well then. God is no respecter of persons. If He strengthened Paul, He will strengthen us, too. If, in that strengthening, Paul learned to be content, so can we.

I pray for us all right now. Lord, strengthen us so that we can learn to be content!

Here is how I responded to the enemy’s taunts this time around: Lord, You have given me everything I need pertaining to life and godliness, so into Your hands, Father, I commit my spirit. (2 Peter 1:3; Luke 23:46).

No. The devil didn’t go away immediately. There was a struggle with my emotions. But, this time around, when the enemy’s cold front crashed into my warm front, I did not allow him to whip up his usual tornado of weeping and begging until I ended up, soggy and beaten, in the pit of despair. Because Jay’s healing is not my god. Not anymore. I don’t have to have that one thing to be ok. I have everything I need in my beautiful Lord.

Are you ok?

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2

Blessings upon your new year,
Susan
205.556.4555
Send me your emails. I love getting them.

Visit the website to donate.
thepoolministries.org

Transition: Arrived!

This is Part 3 of the series on transition.

showers of blessings

It’s been awhile since I have written because I have been happily nesting in our new home. And, yes, there is a crazy story about finally getting here because we are NOT in the sadly neglected house mentioned in the previous article about transition. So many lessons learned during this amazing (and amazingly stressful) transition that I can’t think of a single title that begins to cover them all.

It has been a year since my mother passed away and my transition into a life without a living parent began. During this year, I managed to survive settling her estate and moving into a much larger house to accommodate my adult son. Jay is intellectually challenged and really needs a space to call his own. Sam and I thought we had found a house that would suit all of us. It was a gorgeous old girl, but it needed lots and lots of expensive work.

Finding a house that would work for us all, that we could afford, wasn’t easy. So we felt really blessed when our bid was accepted. But then things started going crazy. The closing date kept being moved forward because, unbeknownst to us, the sellers were in bankruptcy. I grew more and more anxious as time rolled on until finally, after another night of tossing and turning, I completely disrupted our plans by calling our agent and asking if we could look at some other houses. It was the call she had been waiting for apparently, because she immediately canceled our pending contract (we got our earnest money back) and set up appointments to view other properties.

This all happened without Sam’s knowledge. He had gone birding (shorthand for bird watching) with some of his buddies, leaving me alone long enough to hear from God without interruption. (I live in a busy, noisy house. Even my two cats are noisy … and opinionated). As soon as I made the call to our agent, the peace of God came crashing back and resumed its rightful place. I had missed that peace.

So what was Sam’s reaction to my high-handedness, you ask? He was profoundly relieved one of us had made the call. Because, you see, he thought I had my heart set on that house AND I thought he had his heart set on that house. We wanted to please each other so much that we ignored our anxieties, forgetting that we are supposed to seek the peace of God … not satisfy the whims of our spouse.

Lesson Learned! Seek the peace of God, stupid! I mean really! How could we have forgotten that? It is so very basic. And if you are tempted to correct my confession, please don’t. Just don’t. Nothing is more stupid that a human doing their own thing. Let’s be honest about it. That is why we need the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Lesson Learned! God will yank you back from the ledge if you will show just a little bit of gumption. The day before I cancelled our contract on the grand old lady, I was overcome with the oddest sensation. I felt like a bride conflicted about her upcoming wedding. I really didn’t want to marry my fiancé, but didn’t feel like I could back out because of all the time and money invested in the ceremony. Plus, I couldn’t disappoint everyone or bear the embarrassment! I felt trapped!

God had nailed how I felt about marrying that old house. But I still had to make the call. I had to risk missing out on a wonderful house. I had to risk disappointing and upsetting Sam, Jay, the sellers and our real estate agent. I had to risk following God.

Lesson Learned! Following God is worth the risk. Two days later we found our house! It’s not perfect, because nothing is this side of heaven, but it is near perfect for our needs. The moment we walked through the door, all three of us felt the presence of God and his assurance that this was it! We moved in about three months ago and I have been busily nesting ever since. So fun!

But what if I hadn’t followed God? We would be spending our little bit of money putting on a roof instead of buying an awesome sofa. We would be having a HVAC unit installed instead of kitchen counters. God would be patiently walking us through the challenges of fixing up a sadly neglected house on a budget. In other words, we would be learning our lessons the hard way. And one day, down the road, we would face another risky decision that required us to choose between following God or following what had been set in motion.

Let me pray for you (then I’m going to paint my new – found it on the roadside – coffee table).

I pray that God will give you the gumption to follow Him, no matter the risk. And I pray that He will give you ears to hear clearly when He calls you to those kinds of decisions. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

And remember! Seek his peace!

Hugs and blessings to you all,
Susan

thepool@thepoolministries.org
205.556.4555

(Leave a message when you call. So many spam calls these days, we don’t answer unless we recognize the number. So leave a message).

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Please share this if you found it helpful.

Transition: Are We There Yet?

showers of blessings

I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. Exekiel 34:26

The wife of one of my long-ago pastors told a story about her rude and cranky neighbor. After a run-in with this neighbor, she reported being shocked at what had poured out of her mouth, finishing up her story with these wise words: You don’t know what is in your bucket until someone kicks it over.

Transition is good at bucket kicking. That in-between stage of “one foot in what will be and the other stuck in what was” is a stressful place. Uncertainty, impatience and anxiety spills out of our inside bucket, sometimes in a flood; sometimes in a trickle, but out it comes during times of big change.

My mother passed away in September 2017. Being without a parent has been a difficult emotional transition for me. There is no way to describe it except to say it is a very odd and disconnected feeling.

Settling my mother’s estate has been a long and challenging process, requiring me to meet and interact with relatives, lawyers, stockbrokers, real estate agents, estate sales managers, auction house movers and so on. Then, when her house sold, the closing date kept shifting around. I felt like I was chasing a broken egg across the kitchen floor. All my prayer appointments became maybes. (Thank you to all those I pray with for their patient understanding). My settled, predictable life became very unsettled.

When my mother’s house finally closed, I grieved it, unexpectedly. I had no idea what that house meant to me until I walked through it one last time. This was the house where I had visited my mother for 30 years. The house she loved. The house she died in.

So what did Sam and I do in the midst of this life transition? We bought a house! A big beautiful, sadly neglected house that we could in no way afford unless it had been sadly neglected. And guess what? That closing date is shifting around! AND the sellers are in bankruptcy, which was NOT disclosed at the time we made our offer. So, we don’t know for sure when we will be moving or even if we will be moving. And there is an enormous amount of expensive work to do on our new house. What were we thinking?!?

So here I am suspended in transition, painting the windows of our current house, getting it ready to go on market. And like a tired cranky child riding in the backseat on a too-long road trip, I’m asking the Lord: Are we there yet?

Here is how I’m handling TOO MUCH transition. Heads up: it’s not pretty.

  1. Panda Fun got my take-out order wrong. I cried.
  2. Sam stepped in front of me to use the sink while I was cooking, I bit his head off. (Not as tasty as Panda Fun).
  3. I’m spending too much time on Facebook.
  4. I’m restless, unfocused and sleeping poorly.
  5. I’m worrying about the new house. Did we follow the Lord? Have we made a mistake? What were we thinking?!?
  6. I even caught myself watching a mental movie of the previous day’s social interactions while the devil provided a nasty commentary. I haven’t succumbed to that kind of self-hating nonsense in years.

What’s going on besides transition?

  1. The Devil. The enemy requires negative emotional energy (the dark stuff) in order to have any kind of power. He sees transition as an opportunity to amplify any fear of the new and unknown. Fear is negative emotional energy.
  2. Unresolved Historical Pain. Past issues stored in your bucket (the heart) surface during times of anxiety. That unresolved emotional pain mixes with, flavors and amplifies any present-day uncertainty.
  3. The Fall. We live in a fallen world. This means that we are surrounded by fallen people acting in fallen ways. They are afraid and uncertain, too. We feel their distress and add it to ours. Ugh.

Help! Is there help with transition?

  1. In the midst of my distress, the Lord posed a question. He said: “If you were in heaven and I gave you a challenge, like the one you are facing with your new sadly neglected house, would you be afraid?” I answered, “No. I would not be afraid because I would have all the resources of heaven to call upon to help me.” The Lord responded: “You have all the resources of heaven now. It just doesn’t feel like it because you are in the Fall.” I remind myself of this when I’m scared.
  2. It has helped to read the books of Proverbs and Psalms.
  3. Worship is helpful.
  4. If you have unresolved historical pain, work on it. If not, but the enemy is trying to take you back to resolved pain (what was happening to me), recognize what is going on and tell him to get lost.
  5. Sending my angels to bring in the help I need to accomplish the task at hand.
  6. Reciting the Lord’s attributes in my mind (so that I don’t give in to worry). He is kind; He is willing to help me; He is eager to guide and advise me; He wants to share His wisdom with me and so on.
  7. Remembering to be kind to myself, being my own best friend, the friend I always wished for has been helpful.

Let us pray together as we grow together, that our buckets will contain less and less of the nasty stuff and more and more of the good stuff. Because, while we are in this fallen world, our buckets will get kicked.

This time of big transition has been emotionally upsetting AND beautifully humbling. Any notion that I was a spiritual big shot full of faith and confidence is long gone. I still need a savior. And I have learned that when the challenge is big enough, what is in my bucket is going to spill out.

I bless your journey wherever you may be.

Hugs,
Susan
thepool@thepoolministries.org
205.556.4555
(Leave a message when you call).

Please share this teaching if you found it helpful.

Spiritual Challenge in the USA

Pool Home Page Photo.jpg

Do not let the world pull you into fear. Stay in joy!

Written 2/15/2018

I wish I had shared this with you before the recent shooting in Florida. Here it is now. Please pray as the Lord leads you.

The Lord has been talking with me about three high-level evil spirits that have recently been super empowered to do great harm here in America.

Here they are:
1. The spirit of unexpected, sudden, premature death. (Usually violent).
2. The spirit of extreme division (Remove a person or group of persons at any cost – violently if necessary – and everything will be ok).
3. The spirit of obfuscation. (Intentionally obscuring and making unintelligible the truth. This goes beyond confusion. It makes the truth incomprehensible).

Whenever a group of people agree that certain evil actions are necessary to protect themselves AND when that group of people is willing to do whatever it takes to keep themselves safe, these kinds of high-level spirits become empowered to do great harm.

My intercessors think that this empowerment is coming out of Washington D.C. (and possibly Hollywood) as people scramble to escape the consequences of their actions.

Our first strategy to counter this evil spiritual activity is basic repentance. Pray like this:

Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I repent for myself and my ancestors for ever cooperating with, agreeing with or empowering the above spirits, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive us for ever being willing to do anything, no matter what it is or who it harms, to hide our actions and escape the consequences of our actions. Please forgive us. In Jesus’ name I ask this.

A second strategy appears to be this:
Offering the Lord childlike, joyous praise when asking Him to destroy the plots of these evil spirits.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Stay in joy, dear ones.

Hugs,

Susan
thepool@thepoolministries.org
205.556.4555

Please share so others can know to pray.

Trust and Transition

 

cat hiding

Written January 2018

On September 10th, 2017, I drove my elderly mother through pounding rain to a busy emergency department. She had been scheduled to see a cardiologist on the following day, a Monday, but Hurricane Irma had just slammed into the coast of Florida. My mother’s Alabama city was flooded with refugees, and meteorologists warned that heavy rain and tornadoes were a strong possibility even as far north as Montgomery.

The night before, my mother had slept in her recliner because she couldn’t breathe lying down. I had paced the floor that night, asking the Lord what to do. Her doctor’s appointment had been cancelled. Everything was closing down. When morning arrived, I told her that we needed to go to the hospital emergency department. She rolled her eyes, but agreed.

Eight hours later she was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and admitted to cardiac intensive care. My brother and sister-in-law took over for me and I left to get some rest.

My mother’s home was eerily empty that night. I walked in circles, living room to den, around through the kitchen and dining room, back through the living room. As I wore a path into my mother’s flooring, I asked the Lord, “Why? Why am I so anxious? Why don’t I trust you?”

The days that followed were spent in a shadowed hospital room, watching my mother rally a bit, then slide into silence. My nights were spent alone, walking my path through her desolate house, knowing what was coming. Only a few days into my vigil, the Lord spoke to me, saying “You don’t think that I am kind.”

It’s funny how you know what the Lord means even when its days later that he answers your question. The reason I was struggling with trusting him through this transition was because I didn’t believe (in my heart) that he was kind.

My mother came home on Hospice. Two weeks after our trip through the pouring rain, she passed away. Looking back, I see just how kind the Lord was to her and to me, smoothing her passage into heaven in ways that meant the most to her. She was able to live out her very long life in her own home; she died quickly – all things considered – in her right mind, surrounded by her family. She left all of her financial affairs in order; her funeral arranged and paid for in advance, so that my brother and I had very little to do.

As the days passed, I found myself thinking about the Lord’s words to me. And I began to understand how trust grows. Trust grows in response to the consistent acts of kindness performed by the other person.

The Lord didn’t want me to be upset with myself because I struggled to trust him during that time of transition. He knows that I cannot grow trust by simply deciding to grow it; any more than I can grow sunflowers without first planting sunflower seeds.

No significant person was consistently kind to me during my childhood. As a result, trust was never produced within me. By the time I received the Lord, I was a completely unchurched young adult. When I became involved in a church, I was rigorously taught that I had to trust God. That God would reward my trust with the blessings that I desperately needed. Sort of like a system of exchange. I pay God for his blessings with trust. No trust. No blessing for me!

If you think about it, that kind of doctrine makes God look bad. I try to be kind to everyone all the time. They don’t have to pay me for it.

Now there is a time to choose to trust the Lord. To make the decision to believe his word; to walk his path. And that choice is crucial to our maturity. But there is a deeper trust. One that can only grow through relationship. That kind of trust makes us settle down in green pastures.

Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest … Hebrews 4:11

So here is what I am learning. Kindness – God’s consistent acts of kindness towards me – is the seed that produces trust. I cannot grow it by myself. But I can participate in the process by asking him to make me aware of his kindnesses. In this dark world, it is so easy to focus on all the bad stuff. We need his help to see the good stuff he is doing for us.

(He) raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7

Blessings and hugs,
Susan

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What’s Behind These Gender Issues? (Part 3)

Written August 2017

Looking for Causes and Cures

Part Three of this series exposes the hidden beliefs empowering the spirit of misogyny and misandry.

What is at the Root of Today’s Gender Issues?

When I was a college student a certain number of science courses were mandatory in order for me to graduate even though I was a liberal arts major. So I was required to study evolution and write an essay about that supposed process in order to pass. I recall ending my essay with this comment: “It all began in a Garden.” That Garden is where we will start the third and final part of Gender Issues.

First, I want to take a quick look at a concept explored much more fully by John Sandford in his outstanding book The Renewal of the Mind. We all are aware that we inherit a natural gene set from our parents. We also inherit a spiritual gene set. This spiritual inheritance includes a fallen way of thinking that resulted when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. John Sandford states it this way, “Root systems inherited from Adam and Eve are common to all; no one has escaped having them.”

We can see this principle revealed in Romans 5 which explains that through Adam (one man) ALL were made sinners. Since we are all descendants of Adam and Eve, we all have inherited from our ancient parents certain automatic ways of thinking about gender. Don’t despair! There are ways to overcome these ingrained mental thought patterns because “through the obedience of the One (Jesus) the many will be made righteous.” I will discuss those tools later in the article.

Blame Shifting
Let’s visit what happened in the Garden after Adam and Eve fell for the devil’s scam. When the Lord asked Adam if he had eaten from the forbidden tree, Adam replied, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). Adam blamed Eve for his very own, could-have-chosen differently, choice to eat. He blamed her AND he blamed God.

This very first blame shifting resulted in a mental groove that all of humanity runs along. We automatically shy away from taking responsibility for our own actions, instead we find someone or something to blame for our bad choices. We don’t even have to think about it! It’s automatic.

How does this affect our relationship with the opposite gender? We blame the man or we blame the woman. If he or she would just change then we would be happy and successful! Do you see how this way of thinking causes us to believe that the man or the woman possesses a dangerous power to affect our lives for good or ill?

Let’s stop and pray: Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I repent for myself and for my ancestors for accepting the lie that You have given the opposite gender the power to ruin my life. My life is hidden in You. Forgive me and forgive my people for blaming You and for blaming him or her for the choices I have made. Bring this inherited mental groove of ducking responsibility and blame shifting to death within me. Build into me the mind of Christ. In His name I pray.

Control and Debt Paying
Historically, Adam’s response to believing that the woman ruined everything is to control and subjugate her. This behavior is rooted in fear of what the woman will do if she is left to her own devices. Let’s recall that Satan himself launched an intentional psychological attack against Eve. She didn’t come up with disobeying God on her own. Not only did she have help from a malevolent source, she had never encountered evil intentions before. What woman or man could have stood against the evil one under those same circumstances? I believe the world-wide subjugation of women (and women’s agreement with being subjugated) stems from our inherited ingrained belief that women are not to be trusted because they are dangerous and, thus, must be controlled. God stated it this way in Genesis 3:16: “He (the man) will rule over you.”

Women are inclined to agree that they need, or deserve, to be subjugated since they, too, have inherited the belief that they have ruined everything. Women tend toward believing within themselves that they owe men a debt that can never be paid. I was an amazing sprinter when I was a girl, so much so that a coach at my high school arranged to have me race his best runner. The entire school immediately split into two factions: the girls against the boys with me at the center! What I couldn’t tell my friends was that I was deeply conflicted about the possibility of winning the race. I automatically believed that beating the boy was wrong. I hoped that he was faster than me, but he wasn’t and, as I raced ahead realizing that I could win if I tried, I slowed down and let him win.

Let’s stop and pray: Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I repent for myself and for my ancestors for accepting the lie that women must be subjugated and controlled. That it is not safe to allow them to develop and excel. Forgive us for allowing fear to rule our perceptions of women.

For women to pray: Forgive me and my people for accepting blame wrongly and trying to pay debts that Your beautiful Son paid for us on the cross. I chose to allow Jesus to pay all debts owed by me and my people. He will restore anything we have broken.

For all to pray: Bring this inherited mental groove of accepting that women have committed a sin that cannot be forgiven and owe a debt that cannot be paid to death within me. Build into me the mind of Christ. In His name I pray.

Wrong Priorities and Deafness

“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it …’” Genesis 3:17

I realize that many people use the scripture above to justify marginalizing the input of women, but let me suggest that God was NOT talking about gender issues. He was pointing out that because Adam valued his horizontal relationship with Eve above his vertical relationship with God, lots of bad things had been loosed into the world. It was a priority issue; not a gender issue. One mental groove we have inherited from Adam’s choice is that we value our human relationships inappropriately. We continue to ignore God’s commands when it comes to our relationships, sleeping with each other before marriage and placing the other person’s happiness above pleasing the Lord.

Another expression of this twisting of perception between the genders is the deification of men by women. Women are born turned toward men, longing to be satisfied and fulfilled by men in ways only God can supply. Men, of course, fail at being God which results in generations of deeply disappointed women. God warned us when He said to Eve:
“your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Even though God was NOT talking about gender when He said “because you have listened to the voice of your wife,” we inherit the belief that it is not safe to listen to women. How many women can attest to the fact that men are born with an internal off switch that activates whenever their women offer advice, input or simply want to engage in meaningful conversation? Because Adam blamed Eve, he turned away from receiving advice from her even though she was designed by God to help him. There is no disgrace in being a helper. The Holy Spirit is sent to us as a helper.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26

But because of choices made by our ancient parents, we automatically scorn and fear the help of women and the role of helper is looked down upon with great contempt.

Let’s stop and pray: Dearest Father God, we come before the throne of grace in our time of need, admitting that we have inherited mental grooves along which our minds automatically run. Because of this, we have placed our human relationships above our relationship with You. We have ignored Your commands in order to pursue human companionship at the expense of Your design. Forgive us, Lord. Give us mercy.

To be prayed by men: Lord, we have deafened our ears to the advice and input of women who You specially designed to come alongside to help us. Being a helper does not make women less than us. It is an honorable task not an identity. Holy Spirit is not ashamed to be called our Helper. Forgive us for making women feel ashamed of that role. Forgive us, Lord. Teach us to honor the Godly role of women in our lives. Teach us to receive from them appropriately, while not setting them above You.

Forgive me and my people for deifying men in positions of authority, looking to a leader to provide and protect; to supply legitimacy and identity, instead of seeking those things from You. Forgive us for accepting the lie that we (men) must fill Your shoes, striving for that, then condemning ourselves and other men when we failed. Forgive me and my people for judging men who have failed to live up to our expectations. Teach us to understand and honor our design as men according to Your truth.

To be prayed by women: Father God, forgive us for deifying our men, demanding that they be You, always wise and strong, able to fulfill all our needs, then becoming bitterly disappointed when they have failed. Forgive us, Lord. Teach us to honor our men appropriately, not setting them in Your place.

Forgive us for being ashamed of our role as helper, believing that being called alongside to help makes women less than men. Forgive me and my people for holding ourselves in contempt or using our gender as an excuse to set ungodly limits for ourselves. Forgive us for rejecting or devaluing our insights and advice. Teach us to understand and honor our gender according to the truth embodied in Your design.

To be prayed by all: Bring these inherited mental grooves to death within us and build into us the mind of Christ. In His name we pray.

The Tools
Since none of us escape inheriting these fallen ways of thinking about gender, what can we do to change the way we think? First, be aware that you are predisposed to think in wrong ways. Pray the prayers in this article, or your own version, whenever you catch yourself falling back into the habitual ways of thinking. We were created to love and appreciate each other; not fight and hate. Our warfare isn’t against the man or the woman. What John Sandford calls “flash prayers” should be prayed throughout your day, short prayers asking the Lord to bring your carnal thinking to death, asking Him to build new ways of thinking into you; to activate the mind of Christ within you.

Inner healing that addresses the deep beliefs within your heart must be addressed so that you can sustain healthy and righteous ways of thinking. If you fail to address what you REALLY believe deep down inside of you, then you will fail to sustain righteous thinking. The enemy has too many buttons to push.

Ask the Lord this: What do I really believe about men/women? Then be quiet and listen. Repent as necessary. Break vows to accept that men are bad or women are bad.

When you fail to react from the mind of Christ, simply repent and go on with building a habit of flash prayers and inner healing.

Many blessings to you, my friends. Please share this article with your friends and loved ones. I am looking forward to having our new website up within the next few months.

I’ll be teaching on the heart at First Wesleyan Church in Tuscaloosa. Classes start September 7th at 6:30 pm. Everyone is welcome!

Smiles!
Susan

Susan Bowman