I have been feeling and expressing all kinds of frustration and anger over the past few days because my Gmail accounts were hacked…as well as all of the accounts which my Google browser held passwords for. I was not thinking about the truth of what I said in How to Win the War. In fact, it took anger at my blessed neighbor to come to grips; she has been doing very poorly lately but got herself out of her chair to yell out her front door at me that my dog was “doing dookie” in the yard. Really?
I struggled with my reaction to that…and everything else…last night. (I have had 3 credit card companies reduce my credit limit to at or BELOW my credit balance because of a credit report pulled last December…when I couldn’t make house payments, moved here, and put the house up for sale. One card had this month’s minimum payment set at $792.00…the minimum due… and reported my status as OVER LIMIT. My credit score is now 551 primarily because of my credit allowance to credit balance ratio.)
Okay, I got that out.
Time for my sailing analogy. It is time for me to make a course adjustment. I have been sailing off-course for about a week. I have been focusing on spiritual battles and race-war distractions. (I am not implying that inequities in the laws governing the treatment of blacks is not an issue. It is. These laws must be changed…NOW.) But, the REAL enemy is drawing us off course and is pitting blacks against whites and blacks against police and protesters against military and protesters against police and …. We are distracted by these confrontations and the evil one and his minions and those who believe his propaganda are the ones perpetrating these evil deeds and as long as we don’t recognize this as a distraction from the real war, it appears to the world that they are winning…but they do not…have not…and won’t. Remember who the enemy is. Remember Who has won.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” That is from Isaiah.
Back to my sailing analogy. The appropriate action which one should take to make a course adjustment, depends on how far off-course you are. Sometimes you just move the tiller a bit to the left or right. The tiller (your mind or the thoughts you focus on) moves the rudder…which is underwater, therefore hidden. The rudder would equate to your sub-conscious or perhaps your spirit or soul. You can make subtle adjustments to your tiller (thoughts or focus) by reading scripture that refers to God’ goodness, Jesus’s commandments, and the strength and protection of the Holy Spirit.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” That is from Philippians.
If it is not enough to just change your focus or thinking, then you may need to ‘come about.’ Tacking is another word for ‘coming about;’ what you must do is switch which side of the boat your sail is leaning toward. It requires a major shift of the tiller (and, therefore, the rudder) and causes a change in how the wind affects the sail. What may be required is a major change in what you are focusing on.
Think of the wind as everything that affects you emotionally or spiritually. That would include the news, events around the world, what’s going on in your family, your city, your country. That also includes the Holy Spirit, prayer, and scripture.
Your sail, responding to the wind, is what propels you and gets you where you are going. If your sail is picking up ‘bad’ or ‘foul’ wind, which means it is wind influenced by something (like another boat or bad teaching that you are following or ‘bad’ news, or fear, or hate,….), then coming about and making a major course change can move you into better wind and will greatly improve your journey. The best wind is the Holy Spirit.
To get out of a ‘foul’ wind, pray: present to Jesus all of those issues fouling your life (hates, grievances, injuries, resentments, abuses, fear, guilt, …) and ask to have your sails filled back up with the good pure wind of His Spirit.
(Aside on how to present those issues to Jesus: imagine a hamper or a bucket….like one you would bail with. Imagine or list all the crap that you can think of and a few you aren’t aware of …Jesus will know…imagine putting all that stuff in the hamper or bucket and laying it at the feet of Jesus. Imagine putting it at the base of the tree from which He was crucified, if that helps. Then back away. Do Not pick it back up. Then pray that the space opened up by the releasing all of that junk…that that space be filled up with good, clean, pure Spirit from God.)
When you are sailing under a good wind, you can make progress in your journey and do constructive things to improve the world, as well as your own life and your eternity. Good wind comes from your own relationship with God…your creator. Good wind does not come through your church membership. Good wind does not come from just reading the Bible. Good wind is the Spirit of the Lord which comes to you Directly…not filtered…not translated…not through association with others. It is directly to you…directly from God.
If you are unable to connect directly with God, your creator, ask for His help. He will give it. He will bring to mind those things which are fouling your wind, and when He does, immediately put them at Jesus’ feet; do not dwell on them or relive old injuries. Give them immediately to Jesus. And when residual stuff comes up, and it will, give that to Him, too…over and over.
You are not fouled….your wind is. You are a sturdy, well-built, little craft. Get out of the foul wind and sail on.
I’m heading next door to apologize for my dog’s having gone “dookie” in my neighbor’s yard and to see how she is doing.
(Thank you, God, for this deliverance. To You be the Glory.)
(Yes, that is a picture of me hoisting a sail …many years ago. I have stopped stealing images from the internet and that photo is the only one of my own that I could find quickly that had anything to do with sailing, sails, and wind.)