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Satan employs the idle

 Looking for a new job, what if that work has already found you?  I’m talking about when times become so desperate we might forfeit our souls for worldly gain. I remember a time in my not so distant past these thoughts did cross my mind, how I might take advantage of another in order to pull myself up and out of the depths of despair. It would be a noble reason, after all I had a wife and toddler daughter to support and with the Christmas holiday looming on the horizon I needed help and fast.

 So at what cost to my soul was I able to recover from this impending doom? I will tell you that I strained my relationship with the LORD, just by not keeping my faith from unwavering, there were also certain explicatives uttered that are not used to glorify God. So what did I do and how is it I might find myself once again tempted by the devil.

 The first thing I did was to talk to my local church officer, as explained to me he offered this explanation “If we help you, we would be taking away funds from our single moms”. Now I am not a callous man, but that statement cut deep into my core, it was just the beginning of a new and tattered relationship with my church at that time; in fact I would call it the beginning of the end with that church. So the next step, rely on family, fortunately for me and hopefully for you this is where you will find help. What if it is not, whose next on our list, friends, and social welfare programs either private or government, absolutely?

 The one thing Satan would love most during these times is for you to feel like a victim and to declare defeat, in this moment he will enable you. If we allow pride to become a bridge we will not cross, then we deny Christ’ authority over Satan and in a sense we hang Him on that cross again. I came awfully close to doing this; I felt time running so short with the creditors baying like hounds and the guilt of not being able to provide for my family.

 Well the first thing I had to do was to reclaim my optimism, with Christ for me, who could be against me. I went to previous employers and inquired as to the availability of my previous job, I was told it was filled and currently there were no other opportunities available. Well that sure felt like an arrow through the heart, but for the love of my family and God, I would endure. I developed a plan that took me to the office of labor (unemployment). I also made known to the office I had been forced to resign my previous job due to medical conditions, a hearing was scheduled at that time. So, should I wait for the hearing and see if I could gain unemployment/workmen’s compensation benefits? NO WAY! I had the LORD on my side; I would never give up hope.

 This is a moment I would like to share part of that plan God has for us, remember from Jeremiah:

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 This plan is not an immediate one; it requires our active participation as well, in the form of prayer and praise. In the case of the Israelites it would take 70 years to be fulfilled. I do not believe we have that long, but I do believe we must be happy with every step forward the LORD gives us and we must be joyous in heart for what we have received already. This seems like a good time as any to recite the Lord’s Prayer so I will post it here, please feel free to recite and then add your own words to this as I am surely doing the same.

Matthew 6:9-13 (New International Version)

 "This, then, is how you should pray:” 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 Oh LORD, please endure my shortcomings; I have had about as much hardship as I can stand. If not for my benefit, please help me to benefit others starting with my family. In you I am placing my trust and may I be refreshed daily with the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 I am certain that I am not alone in thinking I have reached my limit and yet with God by my side, it seems those limits are limitless. I will inform you that what was to follow over the next few months was indeed very insightful as to my character. Goodness and flaws alike, they would surface over this time period and as I pointed out before I would be able to see many of my limitations, yet also my strengths. Somehow, through all of this, I learned to recognize what I should avoid and what I should pursue, not always 100% correct, but a good idea of my own psyche .I believe that God Himself may have helped me in identifying areas in my life that needed reinforcement and currently I feel much stronger because of the hardships I endured.

 Now, back to Satan and idleness, I was surely headed in that wrong direction as it is said “To Hell in a handbasket”, I did not remain idle and in about 7 weeks after I went to my previous employer, they were calling me to tell me I had my old job back, the other fellow quit. I also had that hearing at the labor office with the outcome being somewhat victorious, I would not get my old job back, but I would start receiving workmen’s compensation. Hallelujah, Glory. Glory, the LORD did indeed hear my prayers.

 I indeed know the suffering one feels with the loss of a job and with medical issues as well. It seems to me I was in a state of shock at first and that caused my idleness, which soon thereafter caused my backsliding. I do not know how I would have handled a longer term of unemployment, yet I do still suffer from a medical issue. I believe we must all carry some burden. This is what Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (NIV)

 Even though I am burdened with a physical ailment, for most of the time I choose to ignore it. I willfully do not neglect what I must do to prevent flare-ups, yet I cheerfully endure them when they occur, for I know that this too shall come to pass. I know my Savior lives and one day, (I’m not trying to speed this along though)  He will return for me and I will experience a new life without heartache or hardship and I will endure forever more as one of the LORD’s own.

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