I had slippery thoughts this morning. Not ones that I wanted to keep hold of to remember but couldn’t grasp, the other ones. You know the ones: no matter how hard you try to keep hold of them and stop them they slither and squirm through your fingers. I had a picture – in fact, I actually had my hand lifted in a fist as I tried to stop them – of me trying to keep hold of them but they were like slippery silver fish squeezing through the gaps and nothing I could do to stop them.
There were two thought streams actually. One was the thought of some offense I was refusing to take and the other was trying to lead me down a path of how great I am. You know as well as I do that I don’t have the right to take offense any longer. I was only talking about that on Thursday so I was trying to put it aside, ask God to help me deal with it. I was quoting all the scriptures I know to put the thought in its place. But it was like trying to take hold of smoke. The other thoughts, about how great everyone was going to see I am, went in the same way. The slippery fish changed into smoke spirals that were impossible for me to stop.
I was trying to do this:
2 Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.
as well as this:
5 We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.
Those are some things we all work on (I hope) and God is good and gracious and I have had successes in the past. So this morning’s slippery thoughts should have been manageable but somehow they weren’t. As I persevered – cos that’s the way to go, don’t give up – I had this image of little flames shooting out through my fist, of the smoke and flames like a spreading fire and I thought “I need a fire blanket.” So I asked God to cover them, douse them, contain them.
You know what happened? He did. I felt this thick blanket come down and contain them, cover them, squash them, douse them. I don’t know why these were more difficult to deal with than my normal wayward thoughts. Maybe it was the combination of two lots. Maybe it’s because I have many situations around me that I am praying for. Maybe I am doing something right and temptation comes harder. Maybe I need to pray more (doh! that’s a given). I don’t know for sure, I do know one thing – He is faithful and good.
I don’t have a scripture for a ‘fire blanket’ unless this one counts:
13 Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.
Don’t forget to raise the shield of faith above all else, so you will be able to extinguish flaming spears hurled at you from the wicked one. 17 Take also the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed.
The thoughts haven’t vanished, I still feel them lurking but are they out of control, overwhelming me? Nope because God is good, always, every single time. I mustn’t give up because He has promised and I stand on that.