Who Are You Inviting Over For Coffee: The enemy or God?

Enemy: You are so ugly.  No one can stand to look at you.

God:  You are one of my most beautiful and precious creations.

Enemy:  You are nothing.  Why do you even try?  You know you will fail anyway.

God:  Put your complete faith and trust in me, seek my will, and we can accomplish anything.

Enemy:  You know no one likes you.  That is why you are always alone.

God:  I never leave your side.  I’ve known every square inch of you before you were even born.  I will never leave you no matter how many times you try to push me away.  You are never alone.

Enemy:  You know you struggle with temptation because you are weak.  Other people can handle it.  What is wrong with you?

God:  In me you draw your strength.  When burdens overtake you, temptations trap you, and fear surrounds you on all sides, remember who I am.  I created the Earth and the stars.  I’ve caught every one of your tears and witnessed the results of your shame.  I gave you my Son so you wouldn’t have to carry that anymore.  Put your hand in mine and taste the freedom you have been missing.

Whose voice do you listen to on a daily basis?  Which one is your ever-present companion? It is not the circumstances of our lives that need to change. It is the conversations we are allowing to run through our minds.

If the enemy and God were standing right before you, who would you invite to your table for coffee? Whose advice would you like to hear about your worries, fears, aspirations, and future?

When the whisper in your mind derails you, berates you, shames you, isolates you, and creates fear, pay attention, and be on guard.  Ask God to remove the lies and replace them with His truths.  Both God and the enemy can not share the same space for your attention.

One voice is a liar.  The other voice is a life-giver.  Be as cautious as you would when inviting someone into your home. In the same way, be just as cautious as the words you invite into your life.  Words have power.  Let God breathe His truths into your spirit.  He is waiting for you to clear your schedule, hear His knock, and accept your invitation for coffee at your table.

Two Sides of a Fence: Joy and Sorrow in the Psalms

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to the song, “I Can Only Imagine.”  My mom passed away last year and as I listened, I reflected on the beautiful movie depicting how this song came to be.  Next my thoughts slid over to the moment my mom first met Jesus.  In that second,  I realized her first moment after her death was vastly different from mine.

The moment she passed away, I fell to my knees at her lifeless body with my head in her lap sobbing tears of sorrow.  My screams of heartbreak ripped through the room.

At that very same moment, my mom fell to her knees with her head in Jesus’ lap crying tears of joy and singing songs of worship and praise.

I was in disbelief at my loss.

She bathed in relief at her gain.

I was devastated and broken.

She was with the Divine and made new.

Isn’t that the way with our world?  The viewpoint we see is so strikingly different than Jesus’.  If we could glimpse for a microsecond on how Jesus views us, I believe every heart would transform right then and there.  Where we see darkness and despair, He sees light and eternity.

That is why we have faith.  We have faith in His promises, His great love for us, and His claim that He is the Divine Lord and Savior who will wipe away every tear.  Our hurts will not last forever.

Psalm 6:2-3 describes what I felt the moment my mom died:

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?

Psalm 8:1-2 describes what my mom must have felt:

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.

My mom’s world and my world are very different now, and it began the second she stopped breathing in the air of this earth and drank in the sight of her Lord.

We straddle two sides of a fence between anguish and joy, pain and praise, and fear and faith.  Whichever side of the fence we choose to spend our time will determine if we are seeing life with our own eyes or through the eyes of God.

While we are still walking this earth, breathing its air, and watching what we do to each other on the nightly news, we can still cry out to the Lord for His generous mercies and praise His majestic name.

That is what it means to by human, and that is what it means to be His.

Photo by Janick Kern on Unsplash