“He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.”
—Psalm 23: 2-3
Back in Week 8 “Temptations” I mentioned that I’d hope to write more about falling into the ditch of being too vague and overly discreet. Explaining that it’s the complete opposite ditch from where almost all of us used to hang out—the ditch of exhibiting a lack of discretion.
Discretion is an action that is based upon caution. Let’s look at other words that we may be more familiar with. Then we can get a better understanding about discretion and being discreet. Discreet in the thesaurus is defined as: attentive, careful, considerate, discerning, prudent, sensible, thoughtful, wise, separate, distinct, prudent, cautious, especially in speech.
That same week I told you simply that if the enemy can’t keep you in the left ditch where most believers live with a lack of discretion, he most certainly won’t let you just happily travel along the narrow road once you’ve learned and applied the principle to your life.
Instead, he will falsely accuse you of not being discreet enough until you back up and back up—getting closer and closer to the other edge until with one tiny push, you’ll slip down into the opposite ditch.
The ditch where what you say or write is so “discreet” it has become secretive or so heavily concealed that it's frustrating to read. Thus what you have to say is rendered useless and irritating to the reader.
Recently I wrote to one of our awesome ministers who submitted a Praise Report that was so vague, it actually made me think that something more spiritually dangerous was happening that she was trying to discreetly share. It actually took more than one attempt to get her to crawl out of the clothed secret ditch long enough to share what was really going on. It was nothing that her overly discreet praise report implied, which is why it lost its ability to be encouraging.
Since this particular false accusation is a scheme the enemy often uses, let’s discuss when you may feel you’re being tempted, but with the kind of temptation we ultimately discussed on Week 8 “Temptations."
Remember, when the enemy is tempting you, doing his best to get your attention but you are ignoring his attempts, not entertaining what’s being flaunted in front of you? Here is what I finally got back after asking, then thankfully after I read what she had to say I was relieved.
For you to fully understand and maybe answer some of your questions I should give you details as there really is no other way. The enemy was telling me to move on, give up and give in. Then he spoke to me how there was another person out there for me and things would be easier, he even helped a friend plant the seed of there being “someone” interested in me. I knew and still know those are all lies, sometimes I do not get that they are lies in time and they get past my defenses but each time I take it to Him and I hear the same thing, this is my “test”. In the beginning, I would try to fight it on my own but submitting the PR was the moment I surrendered the whole situation to Him, knowing I was getting myself nowhere and since then I have come a long way.
This “someone” I see twice a week and sometimes not at all depending on the week. I know God has plans to remove me from my current work position so that I no longer have to see this persona on a regular basis. I have tried being rude, ignoring this person and even tried skipping out (when I should have been there) so I would not have to be around this person, but to no avail, which I know means GOD will be the one to do it. The pain in the PR was the pain of me wanting to run away, literally, I considered moving to another state, but then I heard Him telling me to stay and that I had to endure it. The good news is, this particular test has thrown me so deep in Him and really allowed me not only to seek Him in a whole new way but also rely on Him more than ever because I know any chance of me doing this on my own or thinking “I got this” means I will fall and the fall will not only hurt me but Him, which is not what I want!!
I am not interested in this person, or in restoring my own marriage. I just want Him and more of Him than I have ever had before. I am sorry but I need to be honest with you and if this hurts you in any way I am truly sorry. I understand that you will have to speak to Him about dismissing me and whatever He leads you to do, I accept, I only want His will, thanks for asking as I know it was Him wanting you to know.
If you haven’t faced this situation, trust me, you will. The enemy isn’t all that clever, he uses the same bait that gets most Believers. Wanting to be loved by someone even when you’ve found the Lord Who becomes your everything!
The enemy tempts us all in the same way, but when you don’t take the bait and entertain it, the enemy will make you feel ashamed, convincing you that you caused it to happen due to something you did or didn’t do. Though that could be true, very often (if you’re far enough along your restoration journey and experienced His love), entertaining the idea of another person (other than your spouse) won’t happen.
You see in the example email (above) how, in the end, He used it for good, but only because this minister was willing to press into the Lord rather than running away from Him.
Let me also say that when I replied I also reminded this minister that the desire to run was also not bad, and something to continue to Seek God about. Because there is only ONE situation that the Bible tells us to flee—flee immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18. I’d encourage you to read the different versions, for greater and lasting insight. Especially the last version from the Message Bible that could be used to share with those whom you have expressed love and are open to hearing the truth. More about this next week).
Hopefully, you’re beginning to notice that this weekly message and all the others have one common thread running through it. That everything that ails you, ever trouble, affliction, pain, distress, worry, and every struggle you find yourself in, can be relieved and cured by simply going to Him: talking to Him and then listening to Him.
Secondly, you’ve realized that the enemy is not going to simply leave you on the narrow road once you climb out of any ditch. Instead, he will falsely accuse you until you back away from the familiar ditch you’re afraid you’ll fall back into. Then, edging you closer and closer until you fall into the opposite ditch. Remember, the narrow road is where you will make progress and the only One who can help you navigate this narrow road is the One who will also keep you headed in the right direction.
Whether it’s a mundane, everyday task or a difficult valley you find yourself trying to maneuver in the dark, not only will you be able to accomplish what you hope to do if you follow closely behind Him, but in the process you will feel and experience His love, which I plan to also discuss in next week’s lesson.
In the meantime, please STOP now (or make a date later) to selah what you’ve learned, in other words, meditate on everything. AND be sure that you just don’t think about what you’ve learned, but you set up a date with your Father to be alone with Him and ASK Him to share with you how this message applies to you and anything else you can ASK Him. Then sit quietly and listen 😉 And keep your love alive by living like this daily.