Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Did You Ever Have a Good Ole' Pity Party?

Did you ever have a good ole' pity party? Do you ever get those wild and crazy thoughts that maybe you just can't do something for whatever reason? We ALL get them. AND the Devil just LOVES to use them to make us less than God wants us to be!
Insecurity? Some people seem to exude confidence. They don't ever appear to have an insecure thought. That's just not reality. EVERYONE struggles with insecurity; it's just a matter of how much.
Then there are all the "helpers" in our world - like TV preachers, self-help gurus and even friends - who chide us for insecurity and call it a negative emotion. AND we don't want "negative energy" floating around in the air, do we? OR lack of faith - who wants to be known as short on faith? AND on and on it goes ............. until we get gobbled up by our insecurities and slink away to hide or use other defenses so nobody knows!
At A Restoration Church we have been studying the life of Elijah. This past Sunday we looked at Elijah when he ran away from wicked Queen Jezebel, traveled about 100 miles to Beersheba, Israel on the edge of the Negev Desert where he ditched his "only" friend and side-kick. Then Elijah went farther into the desert and plopped down under a broom tree to have a really good pity party! If Elijah could indulge in a pity party, then any of us can fall pray to the "insecurity demon."
Insecurity threatened to defeat Elijah even on the heels of God's great victory at the showdown on Carmel Mountain! From the heights of incredible evidence of God's love, grace, protection and affirmation Elijah plunged into the deepest despair. (You can read this whole incredible story in 1 Kings 18:20 - 19:8.)
Elijah's "trigger point" for insecurity and discouragement might have been as simple as being very hungry, maybe dehydrated and VERY tired. Our insecurities and discouragements may come from such "simple" and easily remedied issues as well. OR some precipitating crisis may plunge you or me into despair and discouragement! That's why we need each other! That's when we need each other!
At the very lowest point of Elijah's life God came to His rescue with angel food cake! God sent an angel to find Elijah in the desert. The angel cooked a little cake for Elijah and woke him up to eat. The angel waited while Elijah took another nap. Then the angel fixed angel food again for Elijah.
Elijah was strengthened and embarked on a really long journey of hundreds of miles - all the way to the Mountain of God Horeb - probably in modern day Saudi Arabia. Elijah didn't have an Arabian stallion to carry him to Mount Horeb. Elijah walked.
When something in life triggers discouragement, disappointment and insecurity we are all doing the same thing. We are focusing inward. That's the problem or at least part of the problem! We need to look at Jesus and let Him do what He does best. He is the One who satisfies all the empty, lonely, insecure, disappointing discouraged places we walk. Like the angel who helped Elijah, Jesus stands ready and waiting to feed us angel food cake for our hearts!
Asking God to change my (or your) focus is a start on the right path. Living in the truth that God literally sings over His discouraged child wherever we are makes all the difference. It IS angel food for our hearts!
The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The bottom line is that our thinking HAS to change; our way of feeling HAS to change and THEN how we live, our heart condition changes.
Good ole' pity parties are a BIG black hole that angel food and the mighty power of God's Gospel alone can shut down. BUT just like we have to eat healthy and drink fluids EVERY day we need the truth of the Gospel EVERY day for our hearts. That's the only effective antidote for pity parties!

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