The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. ~Psalm 118:6
“Oh this view is magnificent,” Neal said. “Now I see why you wanted to bring me here for photos today, Michael. So it really was worth getting up at zero-dark-thirty to get shots of the sunrise.”
“You are such a baby, Neal. Truthfully, I am a little surprised you agreed to the early wake-up since you have so little free time to spare. But you must admit it was worth it.”
“More than just worth it, my friend. This view of the river, mountains and colorful trees is breathtaking, to say the least. Now let’s stop talking and capture the moments here.”
After an hour of basking in God’s glorious fall morning, the men settled in to their trailer for a sumptuous breakfast while reliving the special photo opportunities they’d just experienced.
Later, when the final dish had been washed, dried and put away Neal said, “I need to talk, Michael. I’m carrying some problems and I need answers.”
“I’m carrying feelings and attitudes that aren’t right. I get angry, frustrated, sometimes I realize I’m greedy, thinking of ways to get more money instead of sharing. On the outside I seem to be calm, patient, understanding. You know, the perfect Christian who everyone loves to be with. I’m like two people all the time. I am so tired of these feelings. I need help!”
Michael said, “What you are describing, Neal, is how most people live their lives. The problem is, we act as though we don’t have certain selfish angry, petty feelings—but we do. By denying them, we enact a different set of feelings that attempt to disguise our true, base, human feelings. Then we beat ourselves up by saying, Christians don’t have these feelings. So we replace our snarl with a smile and our caustic sarcasm with polite Christian-talk. When someone hurts us, we pretend outwardly that it didn’t happen. Inwardly though, deep inside where no one can see, we are hurt and begin to distance ourselves.
“And guess who is delighted…Satan! Yes, he is dancing with joy at our behavior which he helped create. You are bringing a knife to a gunfight, Neal. God is not only concerned, He is in us with His Holy Spirit, waiting for us to call out to Him. He understands our emotions and attitudes, He created us! We all do it, we try to fight spiritual forces with our own might and get depressed when we fail.
“Let me read Ephesians 6:12 ~For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“Suddenly we remember that God has the power and the victorious battle plans for all our attitude problems. We simply call upon Him and His power is released for Satan’s defeat and our victory. But we must call upon Him. It is impossible for you and I to defeat Satan without calling upon God.”
“The next step is preparing for daily war by putting on the armor of God, explained in Ephesians 6:13 ~Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm.”
“Without God, we are like little kids trying to fight an adult boxer. There is simply no hope without calling out to our Savior. He is the Victor and our Lord. Let’s pray Neal. God wants to change our outlook and attitudes.”