Tag Archives: Captive

The Important Stuff

chick stuff

It’s the day after Christmas, all the goodies have been unwrapped, our bellies are full and our eyes are glazed over from sugar and caffeine overload, or at least that’s the case in my world. My family is so blessed… and as my evergreen tree now stands bare on my porch it is the reality of the day that this year is nigh on gone and it’s time to put aside the stuff, and get busy; refocused and prepared to step it up in 2016. It’s been on my heart for weeks, I need to make some tracks in the coming year that not only leave an impression on the ground I trod but leave an impression on souls for God.

In the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 12, verse 7, we find Ezekiel preparing to give a prophetic shout out the children of Israel about what was to come.

And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought it forth in the twilight, and I bare it upon my shoulder in their sight.

Command Ready

Ezekiel cheerfully did as he was told. He’s not complaining or offering excuses, clearly he’s not a Baptist! He just gather’s his stuff and does what he’s told. That is a command ready child of God. I have to wonder if God told me to gather my stuff and hit the road… walking… what I would gather. Would I even go? Where would I plug in my new electric pressure cooker? We really do load ourselves down with “stuff” don’t we? So much so that we’re nowhere close command ready! How can we go with all this stuff?

Captive Already

We are indeed a nation held captive by stuff and I am for certain a Shari held captive by stuff. iStuff. iPhones, iPads, gadgets galore and great tools of my trade as a minister of the Gospel, but I’m often held  captive by it. Even now my iPhone lays on the arm of my chair, an easy distraction if it buzzes or whistles like a dog’s owner calling it to the house for dinner. I’m held captive by electronics. Over the past month I’ve weened myself away from social media in hopes of regrouping my thoughts and preparing for 2016. I want a presence on social media, but I want it to be with purpose and vision.

Ezekiel brought forth his stuff as stuff for captivity. Only the essentials. Because of his captivity he couldn’t go out the gate… the easy way, he had to dig his way out through the wall. Even though I’m often held captive by the world I live in I want to spend my time digging in the Word of God and using my hands as tools for the ministry. Whether that’s on the keyboard on the mission field working to help another soul out. I want to be ready.

Compel Rally

Ezekiel was out to prove a point to the captive Nation of Israel. His prophetic act would foretell that the leader they’d relied upon was about to become captive himself. There is but One who we should depend. God Himself will bring us forth from captivity but as leadership we need to compel the soldiers of God to move forward. This world is not our home!

Are you ready to make a move in 2016? I am. I want to be command ready, so that when God says go, I’m gone.

So what’s the important stuff?

  1. The Word of God
  2. The Ways of God
  3. The Will of God

The tools may vary. Just  don’t  get too attached.

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Being the Captor not the Captive

the cross

From the time our eyes first fly open in the morning we’re in a battle with the enemy, or at least I am. My mind starts rolling with to do lists, my iPhone buzzes with received messages, social media is calling my name and the covers are oh so warm… let’s wait a while… and Izidora the Chihuahua agrees that under the covers is a better place to be. Why move?

I love places of comfort! The church is that to me (meaning my home church building). I love walking into the vestibule where it feels like I’ve just arrived at the home of my best friend; I guess technically I have. Be it a Sunday Service or when I’ve forgotten my computer cord in my classroom and have to go back and fetch it at 9:30 at night, I feel at home. My thoughts are much easier focused on the things of God when I’m in that place, not so when I walk out the door. So many things are vying for my attention and my thoughts are not always godly. As a matter of fact sometimes they scare even me. Why do such thoughts and images pop into our minds? I won’t share them with you for fear you’d know how warped I am… but perhaps you have your own warped mind to deal with. A Word from God for me this morning:

2 Corinthians 10:5 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

The Captive

I usually have a flee mentality when I get into one of those scary thought moments. I just want to get my mind as far away from that idea as possible by getting into another area of thinking. You know the mode…. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts! But sure enough it won’t be long until those thoughts catch back up to me and I’m in the same boat causing me to wonder if somewhere deep down in the recesses of my mind an evil Shari is waiting to come out. Crazy right? Please tell me I’m not alone.

Satan. He loves exalting himself and having control. Being that I was not raised in a Friday the 13th movie world and I still close my eyes on the commercial for a horror movie I know that these images and ideas have to be fabricated in some other realm for the purpose of getting my eyes off Jesus and causing fear and anxiety with in me. In that condition I’m of little use to God. So how do I become the captor not the captive?

The Captor

To “cast down” is to utterly destroy those imaginations and things that try to get between you and the mind of God. So how can you destroy a thought that you have no control over?

2 Corinthians 10:6

 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Obedience to the Savior trumps Satan every time! Satan may be able to cause those crazy thoughts to enter our mind, but within us is the Holy Spirit! Rather than fleeing, stand your ground. The Holy Spirit stands ready for us to call upon Him and rescue us out of Satan’s little shop of horrors. SPEAK JESUS! You’re not alone. Don’t just shake that thought off and go on with life, it needs to be taken captive. Take the thought and destroy it through the Word of God by dismantling it one word, one image at a time. Is it true to who you are? No. Is it honest? No, it’s a lie out of the pits of Hell. Is it just, unprejudiced? No, it’s fabricated by Satan. Is it lovely, a good report, worthy of Praise? No? So envision the Holy Spirit locking that up behind bars and refocus your mind on Christ!

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

My mind needed rescued this morning. The Holy Spirit… my Hero!