Hello everyone, I thought I would share a few thoughts this evening. I love to write, good or bad grammar. I just like to pen my thoughts. I haven’t had too much time to blog, or write at all. I’ve been working on this post for a few days, so I just want to finish it today. Glean what you can from this post and throw the rest away.
Some of you may be familiar with the movie Gaslight, a 1944 movie starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten. It is one of my favorite classic movies. I won’t give too much info in case someone wants to watch it. In the movie, Ingrid Bergman’s character is being driven mad by her new husband, who happens to be a devil in disguise. Throughout the movie Charles Boyer’s character does everything he can to convince his wife that she is losing her mind. He almost manages to drive her mad, except for – there is a hero – played by Joseph Cotten. He steps in to save the day and save the girl. It’s an easy enough to watch thriller. Watch it!
As I mentioned this has always been a favorite movie of mine. Well, a few years ago my younger sister was working at the domestic violence hotline and she and I started talking about different forms of abuse. She starts going on and on about something they call gaslighting. As she starts to describe this form of abuse, I remembered the movie. I interrupted her to mention that it’s like in the movie with Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight. She gets all excited because that’s where they came up with this notion. She said in her training they referred to the movie, but she had never heard of it, much less seen it. Well, I was quite intrigued. I could see how gaslighting could be a form of abuse. One person wants to get something out of another, at any cost.
So, gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs. I took this definition from wikipedia.
And I thought, seriously – that’s what happened in the Garden of Eden.
Satan: “God did not say that! You’re making things up again.”
“Are you sure? You tend to have a bad memory.”
Woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden – But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (God did not say anything about touching the fruit.)
Satan: Ye shall not surely die – God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil, he said defiantly.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. Genesis 3: 1-8″
A few years ago, the Lord started to show me how the enemy gets into our head through our thoughts, beliefs, worries, and all things carnal, that’s when I finally realized that most of my battles were not against another human, but against spiritual forces. The whole idea was not surprising as I’ve read that scripture numerous times, but one day it became real.
Ephesians 6:12 ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The enemy desires to rule at ground zero. So who’s my enemy? It is anyone or anything that wants to take a position in my life – above God. As a believer, I had to learn to recognize my enemy.
What is Ground Zero? The mind. This is where the battle is – in the mind – our thoughts. If the enemy can get me to question the things of God, that seed of doubt can take root and it will grow and spread far and wide, affecting not only me, but everyone close to me.
And the more I read God’s word, the more I learn that it’s more than just evil thoughts that I must take captive. The things of the world are forever drawing my attention away from the things of God. Colossians 3:2 instructs us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things. As long as we are in this world we will be confronted with such battles. So what else could affect my relationship with the Lord?
When I started searching online for interpretations of Scripture I had no idea the breadth of interpretations by hundreds of, maybe thousands of men and women who claim to have received revelation from God. There really is a flavor of religion for everybody. What must God Almighty think of His people? I had to glean through the mock and mire to find truth. Well, this past Sunday, I found myself feeling rather vulnerable. I research every church before I decide to visit any one, and I did that for the one we currently attend, except for one thing. In my research, I didn’t find anything way out there. My husband and I went because a couple friend were members there and they really liked it. So my husband and I started going and we both felt right at home, so we continued to go.
Well, this past Sunday, the message was a bit messy. And I mean it was a mess of contradictions. My husband and I started to look at each other. We both start flipping pages in our bibles looking for the scriptures the pastor was spewing out. We couldn’t keep up. We both knew the scriptures were a bit exaggerated. My husband was surprised, but in talking about it later, he accepted that every pastor puts his own spin on scripture. For me, it was very disheartening. Does any pastor preach truth? Does anyone just present the Gospel? The pastor went as far as to say that he doesn’t get into too much doctrine, because that’s not what people want to hear. People want to hear stuff that’s relevant. “How am I going to pay my bills? “Put your faith in God! Lift up your hands! Raise your voice! He cried out. And God will supply all your financial needs! He made God sound like the God of reciprocity. Not to say that God doesn’t reciprocate, but that wasn’t the point. I’m like what if He doesn’t? Then what?
The Lord reminded me of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in Daniel chapter 3:13-18.
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
The times have always been perilous. The churches were infiltrated by false teachers, preachers, from the beginning. As believers, we must be discerning when listening to the theologies of teachers, evangelists and preachers, men and women, some have and are twining their heresy with the word of God. The question I always ask, “Will believers be able to discern the truth? Because the only way to recognize manipulation is to know God’s word. And how does anyone learn God’s word?
“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24”
It’s seems to be ever more critical to be watchful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are in the churches. They’ve been there long enough; they’ve grown roots. They lead in prayer, in praise and worship but honestly, where are they leading their congregations?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15″
We may be living in the last days. I don’t know. The signs are there. It certainly feels like it every time I turn on the news, or open my news app. This world is crazy, spinning out of control, time passing like a movie on fast forward. We are building with more concrete and steel, higher and higher. We seem to be getting more sophisticated, yet we are becoming less compassionate. We seem to have lost our way. We have no moral compass and as NIKE says, we just do it!
“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Psalm 2:4″