The Kingdom – Beware of wolves

The man I was in an abusive relationship with upped his efforts at control, and got religion.  There is a proverb that asks; Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  Proverbs 20:6

This man was not faithful. 

The King warned;

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit,      but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:15-17

By their fruit you shall know them.

A chapter of the Kingdom, The Warning, details what happened and the warning I received in a dream.

The Shield of Faith

Of the six pieces of armour the believer is given, the shield has substance.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

When I first used the shield, I was in a battle for the mind. I didn’t know what it was or what I was doing. I just followed the King’s advice, and in a mixture of desperation and blind faith did what He said.

The shield is designed to stop burning arrows fired at us by the evil one.

At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. Ephesians 6:16

Burning arrows can be thoughts. We think they’re our own thoughts, and we entertain them.

I’d developed a severe worry habit, which I was trying overcome in different ways. I tried meditating on the word of God, which worked great over time, but its not a quick fix.

Norman Vincent Peale suggested in his book “The Power of Positive Thinking” that immediately I got a negative thought, drop it from my mind and voice a positive thought.  No, that didn’t work.

I hollowed out a tissue box, wrote ‘God’ on it, wrote out my thoughts on bits of paper and ‘posted’ them in the slot. The ‘God Box’ also worked great, over time. My 5 and 6 year old kids saw me doing it, copied me, and prayers got answered!  But again, it wasn’t a quick fix.

The trouble was I felt like I was in a war. I was desperate and in need of immediate emotional and mental relief.  I didn’t want pills as I wanted to fix the problem, not mask it.

Words have power, and the narcissist I was in an abusive relationship with seemed to know it. He said horrible things to get control of me. I’d just lost my father the month before and the abuser didn’t intend to let up or give me space to grieve.

My mind was running constant re-runs of the narcissist’s words and actions, without letup. I couldn’t stop it and it only got worse. It seemed like a sick and twisted rendition of a soap opera called “Daze of my life”, with characters I hated.  The devil set the scene, wrote the script, then joined the gossips in the audience to laugh at me maliciously.

The only thing keeping me sane was my desire to be there for my young children who loved me and needed me.

The King taught me how to shield my mind by handing all the evil thoughts to him. Its called “taking every thought captive”.

… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 

After three days of handing over every bad thought to the Lord, I met Jesus in a dream. I tell you, He is very much alive, He’s just in a different room from us right now. He healed me, getting rid of a cough I’d had for 10 months, and He gave me peace of mind that goes beyond all understanding.  Chapter 2 of the Kingdom tells the story.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

May His peace guard your heart and your mind.

The Kingdom – Here be Dragons

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.  Timothy 3:1-9

I read this and went ouch!  I had been one of those gullible women.  I will point out that the ones who are always learning without arriving at the truth are the narcissists, people who are lovers of themselves.

The King told me that in the centuries that He gave His words through men, He could not always do much about the tone or delivery.  His servant, the apostle Paul did not mince his words.  He was a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee.  

He told me to take hold of His words with all of my heart, not just the bits of the Bible I liked.

Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have,get understanding.  Proverbs 4

Here’s the truth from my own life.  My parents were not there for me in my childhood, and I had unmet needs.  I learned to ignore them, until the feeling of loss became too great.  Years later a friend who became my mentor taught me that if you bury your feelings, you bury them alive.  There are those who with great care will discern where you are vulnerable, to gain your trust so they can manipulate and exploit you. I ended up with a narcissist.

I believe we all have a desire to be loved, respected and cherished.  Its who and what we attract with that need.  Guard your heart.

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 4

The Pits

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.  Proverbs 27:6

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.  Timothy 3:1-9

Joanna was caught in a trap with Hugh, the man she named “Silver-Tongue”.  He was a ferocious wolf who wormed his way into her home disguised as a handsome, charming man. 

Naive and trusting, Joanna fell for him, without realising the nastiness that lurked just under the charm.  Her desire was for a man who would put her first in his life.  This did not seem to be an evil desire, but without wisdom it would prove to be her downfall.

A violent man entices his neighbour, and leads him in a way that is not good. Proverbs 16:29. 

As time went on, she knew something was wrong.  In the outside world, Silver-Tongue ate with his family, visited her at night, and slept at his parent’s house.  He’d created a triangle for himself that she hated being part of.  She couldn’t figure out when and how she had even agreed to it.

She tried counseling, but was no match for Silver-Tongue, who could bend and twist things out of shape. He could alter a word, a sentence, or an entire phrase, so that the original meaning was lost or changed in his favour.  He would throw words back at her to challenge her.  He altered agreements, conversations, and events, to make her appear wrong, or stupid, or crazy.  “I never said that” was a favourite statement of his.  She would end up in tears. Forced to defend herself, nothing got resolved.

The counselor did not see the contempt on his face, the curl of his lip, or the sneering look. She saw a caring, understanding, reasonable man who cared deeply for an angry, tearful woman who wasn’t making any sense.

Joanna could see she wasn’t being listened to. In a final appeal, she angrily drew the triangle she had been manipulated into on the whiteboard. “Is this reasonable, sane or normal? What woman would put up with this? I need to know!” She gave up on being heard after the counselor dismissed her, telling her to “swap seats with him.”

Joanna could not understand it. When she had first seen the counselor alone, the woman had been on her side!  She had been shown a circle that showed domestic violence, and given some sound advice. Relieved at being heard at last, she believed there would be a way out.  Her relief had been short lived. After meeting Silver-Tongue alone, the counselor’s attitude towards her changed in his favour.  What on earth had he said?

Joanna gave up, after telling Silver-Tongue to go away. After waiting for a few days, Silver-Tongue manipulated her into trying a different counselor, with promises he would change.  She did not know the counselor he found was from a mental health agency. Silver-Tongue used the grief from her father’s illness and death to convince the first counselor she was mentally ill.

The counselor believed him and without her knowledge or consent, conspired with Silver-Tongue to recommend the mental health agency behind her back.  The counselor sided with the abuser, becoming her judge, never seeing how they had been lied to, conned, manipulated and tricked.  Silver-Tongue was pleased.  He had won.

Silver-tongue earned his name from the phrase “Silver-Tongued Devil”. His silvery words were wrapped in deceit and broken promises.

Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross.” Proverbs 26:23

Silver-Tongue was an excellent player of the blame game.  He tried very hard to get Joanna to accept that she was the source of the problems, and for a while he succeeded, because she had not been heard or believed by the first counselor. It made her doubt herself.  Perhaps she was wrong.

Should she have put herself in his place?  What if he was right and he really was God’s gift to her?   Not realising how she had been knifed in the back and abused by both Silver-tongue and their former counselor, she carried on in a futile quest to try and win back his approval.  She tried to change.  To begin with she moved from the two storied house to a cottage in a much quieter area.  Perhaps life would get better there.

Joanna dubbed the new counselor “the Riddler” as he spoke in riddles.  When she told the Riddler she wasn’t being heard, he encouraged her to “tell a story, and then explain.”

In the telling of her first story about a dragon, a Prince, and a King, she had suddenly found herself in another world. She had come into it after writing about going through a dragon’s cave.  Looking around her, she could not see very far. It was foggy, the land shrouded in mist.

Remembering that the King had told her to put up road signs and guideposts, and take note of the highway, she decided to continue with the story. It would be useful for recording the signs and guideposts, and she could use it as a map to follow the road.

This is her story.

Seek ye first; The Kingdom of God, and His righteousness… Matthew 6:33