I had a stack of phone calls to return today and finally got around to making one to a pastor's wife friend of mine who shall be unnamed for her own privacy. (Since I talk to umpteen pastor's wives in a week's time you'd never figure it out!) When I returned her call she commented about my ezine and blog this week. She said one line stood out to her more than any other and it was in my writing on criticism when I said, "It’s amazing to me how many people criticize others whose own lives are a mess." She said, "Deanna, we've been under a lot of attack here and you are so right, I never stopped to think about it til' you said it but it's amazing that every single person who is attacking my husband and I have lives that are a mess!!!"
This principle is so true. Watch and you'll see exactly what I mean if you haven't already.
If you are on the move for God...
if you have forsaken the pull of mediocrity...
if you absolutely ooze with creativity and you aren't content for the same old same old...
if you are charting new territory for God ...
usually the person rising up to criticize you has made a serious mess of themselves or their family in some way!
There are exceptions but more often than not, this is the case. Why? A tension of sorts exists in their lives because of decisions/mistakes they have made, or things done to them which they haven't handled well, and instead of taking it to Jesus or simply putting energies into making their own life better, you are the punching bag they have found to take it out on. Realize this - you aren't the issue. They are wrestling with themselves.
It's always best to focus on what God has called you to do and don't enter the wrestling match. A friend of mine recently gave me some advice. She said, "don't wrestle with a pig, Deanna. You just get dirty, and the pig likes it." (I almost fell off my chair laughing on that one.)
I find that the more God does in my life...the more He blesses me for my obedience, the more He enlarges my territory, the more He prospers my marriage and my children, the more His creativity flows through my veins, the more people who had made a mess of their lives in some way really don't like it. If you're a mover and shaker I'm sure you've experienced this. If you are not content with status quo, others who are okay with it will try to bring you to whatever level they've decided to stay at. If you have obeyed God in the hard times, and now you've prospered, those who didn't obey God and faced the ramifications will want to try to steal your victory.
Remember my friends, the road to the next level is always...UPHILL. Everybody's not willing to take that uphill road. Some people want to sit in their spiritual la-zy-boy chair. Then they want to criticize those people who took the uphill road and are reaping the benefits.
Let's talk about how this relates to spiritual warfare for a moment. Satan is the father of lies, and he comes only to steal, kill and destroy. We often forget we are in a battle. It's war out there. So what happens?
Somebody tells a lie about us. Okay, so what's surprising? Are we surprised when a liar lies? We shouldn't be.
Someone tries to steal the joy of how God has blessed us. Are we surprised when a thief tries to steal? We shouldn't be!
Someone tries to kill our dreams, our reputation, our joy, our destiny. Of course they can't - but they try. Are we surprised when a killer tries to kill? We shouldn't be.
Someone tries to destroy the anointing of God that is working through us. They try to destroy the momentum of God working in and through our life. They try to destroy the call of God upon our lives. They criticize our creativity when the biggest thing they've created is one big fat mess after another. But try as they may they can't destroy the work of God in your life or even tarnish it, yet still they try like a rat that keeps going back for cheese in the same trap. Are we surprised when a destroyer tries to destroy? We shouldn't be!
Why are we so surprised when the enemy just fills his job description and does it well? Does it feel like we're in a battle? Well, that's because we are. The Christian life is not a playground. It's a battlefield.
Does it feel like your commitment to the call of God upon your life and following the purpose He has given you is being opposed? THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS.
Pastor Tara said something to me today to ponder and I just love it. She said, "Deanna, ministry is whenever you make someone's life better."
A lot of you are out there making people's lives better. Yes, we do it by leading people to Jesus at altars, and laying hands on people and seeing them delivered. But we also do it just as much by stopping to give a hug in the hallway, giving our wisdom to someone having a marriage problem, or writing an article or blog post that changes a life in some way. We do it by resolutely declaring what God has spoken in His Word. We do it when we open up His Word and get fresh revelations and insight and we are not afraid to boldly declare it. My Lord, I'm about to run around my room right now, somebody help me...........!!!!!!!!!!!
Watch out for the speckchashers! This is why Larry calls them. Speckchasers are after God's movers and shakers like white on rice. Speckchasers are those who want to call you on the carpet for something they see in your life (a speck in the eye) when there's a huge plank in theirs! Again, speckchasers have various areas of their life that are just one big honkin' mess and then they try to put your speck on display.
Refuse to go there.
Time is of the essence, and remember, you're ministering to people who are actually wanting to receive it. You're making a difference in somebody's life. So get back to it and stop being surprised when the enemy is just being his same sorry self.