So, this past Monday, March 12, 2018, National Napping Day was celebrated in the United States. This was the day after most of us reluctantly moved our clocks forward one hour.
I hadn’t heard of this national day, but since I was feeling particularly sleep-deprived that morning, I decided to join the celebration.
And I did that by doing what any serious tweeter would do: I tweeted about it.
I honored the best napper I know, our beagle, Little Joe Jack Carson. But we just call him “Joe.”
Funny thing about this particular tweet.
It hands-down got more activity than any of my other tweets.
To date, I have 500 tweets, most of which pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can enjoy greater intimacy with Him through understanding our one-and-only flawless identity in Him.
Now, I’m sure that Jesus isn’t offended, so I shouldn’t be offended for Him, right?
Because without Jesus creating this world, Joe wouldn’t have even been a glimmer in his parents’ eye.
And besides that, you have to admit that Joe is the most handsome beagle of all time and eternity! (Thank you, big brother Bobby, for giving him to us!)
As you can tell, I love our dog. And it’s amazing how much I’ve learned just watching him.
For instance, if there is only one tiny spot in our big backyard with the sun shining on it, that’s where you will find Joe, basking in all his beagle glory. (Smile.)
Whether he is just sitting there being his regal self, catching rays or sprawled out in a full-fledged nap without a care in the world, Joe knows how to savor life.
Even though Jesus has been showing me how to consistently enjoy Him and life in general, I sometimes envy a dog’s world.
You know—how easy it is for a dog to relax, take several naps a day, and dream whatever it is dogs dream about.
No, I wouldn’t rather be a dog. But, at times, I have a tendency to be super-serious about life, so I have to be intentional about relaxing and taking a nap when I need one.
Since Joe spends most days just mindin’ his own beagle business—without a care in the world—you can imagine how my ears perked up this past Saturday morning when I heard him going ballistic right outside my library window.
I was just sitting there quietly, reading Day 3 from Week 6 of the Bible study I wrote on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, when all the commotion started.
The subject of that day’s study is taking enemy thoughts captive that pop up in our minds.
Jarred from my peaceful contemplation, I bolted out of my chair, looked out the window, and saw the three little culprits that were rocking Joe’s world.
One was mostly white, another mostly black, and the third, a black-and-white mix.
You would have thought they were planning to eat Joe alive by the way they sounded.
So, I started banging on the window. Their combined canine courage quickly dissolved and they took off like a bat out of … well, you know.
One of them—the black one—mustered up enough gumption to stop and look back.
So, I banged on the window again and told him to vamoose! It didn’t take him long to catch up with his partners in crime.
And they haven’t been back to our house since.
I did, however, catch a glimpse of this trouble-making trio roaming around the neighborhood the other day as I was driving home from the grocery store.
No doubt trying to rock another canine, feline, or squirrel’s peaceful world with their all-bark-and-no-bite dogsanas.
Right after that brief interruption in our otherwise uneventful morning, Joe got settled into his backyard utopia and I dug back into my study.
That’s when God started talking to me about what just happened.
It was no coincidence that I was just reading about how the enemy works in our thought lives, stealing our peace, joy, and contentment.
One of the main reasons I wrote this book was to expose Satan’s clandestine schemes. The fifth bullet point on my back cover reads:
- You have a real, invisible enemy who is trying everything within his limited power to hoodwink you into accepting his lies about who you are. Once you learn his most effective strategy, you will be armed and dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.
There is a daily battle going on in the mind of every believer in Christ. And it’s called a battle because there are opposing forces in there.
Some of you may be shouting a loud Amen right now to this statement.
The apostle Paul wrote about these skirmishes in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Cor. 10:3-5 MSG).
I laughed out loud when I read the second sentence of this passage in The Message paraphrase of the Bible—given the subject matter of this post!
God has a wonderful sense of humor, don’t you agree?
Now, let’s zero in on the phrase fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.
Please notice that our mind trouble comes from loose thoughts, emotions, and impulses.
Thoughts drive emotions, emotions drive impulses, and impulses drive actions.
In the negative sense, the genesis of all of our mental trouble are thoughts that don’t line up with truth—loose thoughts.
And we all know what those loose thoughts are called—LIES! And where do lies originate?
We need look no further than the John’s Gospel to find out. Here, Jesus is addressing the Jewish people:
“If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side” (John 8:42-47).
Jesus makes it clear: all lies originate with the Devil (Liar, killer).
Whether you realize it or not, the lies you hear in your mind are not coming from you.
They are coming from an outside enemy. And you are not it!
[shareable]Christian, the lies you hear in your mind are not coming from you, but an outside enemy. And you are not it! [/shareable]
I purposely left out one very important detail of Joe’s story.
The entire time, those hairy little harassers were on the other side of the fence!
They weren’t in the backyard with Joe but they were raising enough ruckus, they might as well have been.
It’s the same with ungodly thoughts that seemed to pop into our minds out of nowhere, stealing our peace and joy.
And before you know it, we’re acting contrary to who we really are!
Satan, “the one who deceives the whole world,” would love nothing more than for you to believe that those ungodly thoughts are coming from you (Rev. 12:9).
And if he can get you to believe this, you won’t believe that you are the new creation in Christ that God’s Word unquestionably declares you to be!
And then there you are, duped, acting like the devil! Because people act like who they think they are.
This one truth—if the body of Christ could get a revelation of it—would turn their world right-side up! It did mine.
And no, I don’t always catch the lying thoughts the enemy sometimes serves up to my mind.
But I experience a lot more peace and joy now that I know that junk isn’t coming from me!
Through dependence on Christ’s power within me, I am on a mission to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.
What do you say, dear reader?
Want to join me in this God-honoring mandate, now that you know where those enemy thoughts are coming from?
I hope you will!
If you enjoyed this post, then I believe you would savor my debut Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.
This is an intimate, interactive study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs, dynamically designed to help believers in Christ—both men and women—enjoy wondrous delight in intimacy with Him.
If you want to learn more, check out my book page.
Until next time,
Live Christ—Live Happy!
P.S. If you want to know more about me and the types of content I post, go here.
Subscribe to my blog and receive a FREE PDF Download of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!”
Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070