Oh no you don’t!!!

It was the end of a long, hot day at the Dude Ranch and we were all eager to be done in the barn and hit the pool.  One of us was more eager than the other.  You see, she had her sights laser focused on one of the ranch hands.

He looked like Little Joe, he was funny, he was short and he was probably 10 years her senior, but she didn’t care.  She liked that guy.  I was finishing up in the cabana when she came in to change into her bikini.  Her entire attitude was one of confidence, certain that she would have his full attention that evening.  (She had been flirting with him all day long, so it wasn’t really a surprise that she felt sure he would be very attentive that evening.)

By the time she was done primping and finally came out to the pool, I was already there, in conversation with a few of the other girls, discussing of all things….horses.  🙂   (I was only 12.  I was too “young” to participate in the aggressive hormonal stalking quest that was about to take place.)  All of us horsey type girls watched as she came out of the cabana, with conquest in her eyes.

You know how movies slip into slow-mo when the girl comes into the frame?  This is kind of what it seemed like to me, at the time.  She came out with her sunglasses on (hello?!!  to go swimming??!!  My naivete’ very apparent.)   😀 and her long blond hair hanging free, swinging as she walked.  She looked cool.  (Sorry, for you younger readers this meant hot.)   😉   She was walking right up to him – intent written all over her face – she placed her hand on his shoulder and said rather breathlessly, “Hi.”  (Our little horse cluster started giggling.  I don’t know if it was in amazement that she might actually end up with the cutest ranch hand there or if it was because she looked ridiculous to us.  I think it was likely a blend of the two.)

Bobby Jack was gracious and spoke kindly to her, asking if she wasn’t planning on swimming that day.  He even went so far as to suggest that perhaps her suit wasn’t really suited (no pun intended, I’m sure.  The man breathed in hay crumbs all day long and dealt with citified pre and young teens – no brain left to pass out puns!)  😀  for the normal horseplay (see above qualifier) that took place at the end of a long riding day.  She smiled and said, “Well, I wasn’t certain swimming was in my plans for this evening.” Bobby Jack took another step away, politely, but obvious, none the less.  (We, the chorus, sniggered.)

“Well,” he said, “that’s a shame, because I’m out here to… win at a cannon ball contest!!!”  With that, he took a running leap and performed the most incredible cannon ball we’d ever seen!  Applause came from all sides of the pool.  And there, in his wake stood a slightly damp and rather forlorn looking teenager.

That was all it took, there were enough other young men there (meaning those who were “too young” for the femme fatale) and just enough testosterone, that the place erupted in screams and flying bodies and waves of water crashing against the side of the pool.  Everyone had a great time that night – everyone except  the bathing beauty.  Sometime during the fun, she slunk back to her room and found her normal pool-time attire – a serviceable one piece (which we were required to bring, by the way) and came back to play too.  But, it was obvious all night long, that her heart wasn’t in it.  But, regardless the state of her heart, her pride would not let her end up being left to look like a fool.  (Good for her, I say!)

While I’m certainly not advocating allowing pride to be our reason, I want to encourage you to take a leaf from her book.  You see, when we are learning to walk by faith there are going to be times that we think that we know how the “evening is going to go.”  And if it doesn’t, we can not – we DARE NOT – allow ourselves to be ruled by our emotions.  Just like this young lady chose to slip out, get her suit on and come back and participate that evening, despite what she thought should have happened, we too must choose to not let our thoughts keep us from standing on the Word.

Scripture is SO clear that the righteous will live by faith.  (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17 (reprise), Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 10:38 (if you read no other one, read this one!))  So, despite how we may feel about something, if our desire is to please our Lord and live righteous lives, then our only option is to choose to believe what the Word of God says and act on it.

I am certain that despite coming back to swim, the only thing that that young lady wanted to do was hide in her room.  But she didn’t.  Instead, she pressed in.

Yesterday was one of those kinds of days for me.  I was woken in the middle of the night with this huge wave of fear washing over me.  There was nothing that would have caused that, just plain old fashioned enemy attack.  (Ever notice how he loves to nail us when we’re at our weakest?!  Not too surprising when you’re talking about a snake, huh?)  I then spent the remainder of the day doing battle with my mind.  I too pressed in.

One fearful thought after another tried to take over my mind.  I dealt with each one with a Scripture to counteract the lie that the enemy was trying to make me believe.  You know what?  That makes for an exhausting day.  🙂  You know what else?  Exhausting or not, I did not dare stop standing.  (“Having done all else S.T.A.N.D.”) I have come too far in the process to let a little exhaustion keep me from standing.

Side note:  Having come this far, I would tell you that when you have a day when your mind is under full frontal assault like that, the WISEST thing for you to do is stop your normal routine and go soak in the Word.  If someone were attacking you physically, you’d have no hesitation to protect yourself – don’t be deceived into thinking that you need to keep on “working” when you’re being attacked like that.  Remember, we’re Kingdom people, not world people.  The world would never understand that, but your mind is very important – you’re called to love the Lord with it.  Therefore, in order to keep it prepared for the Most High God, you must defend it!

About 8 pm the assault began to abate.  As I was sitting in my “prayer chair” sipping some hot vanilla tea, Jeff began to read from his Bible to me.  After a few minutes he read, “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us our peace….”  HOLD IT!!!  HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!!!  You know what that means?  It means that the garbage I endured all stinking day long was “illegal”.

As Jeff read, I just realized that the peace of our minds is another Kingdom right that our Lord and Savior purchased for us on the Cross.  He already paid for my peace.  He paid with His Blood.  I didn’t have to endure the kind of garbage I’d been through.  Jesus had already dealt with it – and I needed to stand in all that He has done.  That Blood is too precious to me for me to not expect that right to be given to me.  I am not willing to have Jeff pay for things that I don’t take receipt of.  I’m CERTAINLY not willing to have my Lord pay for things that I don’t take receipt of.

My precious Siblings, I beseech you, do not allow yourself to be used to defraud the Cross.  I can assure you the enemy of our souls loves to get us to endure and accept “as normal” things that Christ has already paid for.  I can just hear him, “See, they don’t even appreciate what You did for them!”  My prayer is that the Body of Christ would KNOW what has been paid for, for them, then stand in faith and say, “OH NO YOU DON’T!”

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”

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