Don't be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith request before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life. Phillipians 4:6 TPT This month marks my 25th anniversary of coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Messiah. And in the past several years I have become increasingly more confused and challenged in decision making than ever. The ever-present covid business does not help, because the theys, others and somes certainly know exactly what we are all to think and do, correct? They say fix your eyes on Jesus. They say He can sympathize with our weakness. They say He loves us so much He died for our sins. They say not only that, but we have an untold amount of blessings, here on earth. Other theys say that we should be grateful for salvation- what Jesus did was absolutely enough. They say don't ask for more- you didn't even deserve salvation. (Romans 8:32 would say the very opposite, but hey, who am I to contradict the other theys) They say if I don't see these blessings flowing then- I lack faith. There's a curse on me. (thought that was broken at the cross but whatever) I did something wrong. I don't pray in tongues. I don't pray enough in tongues. I don't believe like I should. I need to give more money, more time, get up earlier to pray. I probably still have unforgiveness. I probably have the wrong motive, it's selfish. The "timing" is off. God's wants to teach me patience. (ummm Galatians 5 says I already have patience...) Other theys say I'll be blessed when I die. Heaven is where you get the Jesus goodies, not here. I shouldn't want things here on earth. 1 John counters that very thing. It's selfish to desire success in a business. Be content. They say I need to work really hard, give 110% effort. Stay up late, get up early, hustle hustle hustle. Make one last phone call, teach one more class- whatever you do don't back down. Maybe work three jobs if you have to until your business is up and running. Toiling and staying up in vain leap to mind. Some say my duty is to my husband first. He's the head of our home. let him lead in everything. He has the final say. I'm out of line if I make decisions for the family- even if it means the children have to suffer- he's the one in charge. Don't expect too much from him, he works hard, you know. Other somes say, NO! We are equal, co-heirs with Christ. I have as much right to work as he, in fact, the job share is equal. I'm just as responsible to provide as he is. If he won't teach the children about God then I must do it. Some other ones say the kids should be sheltered from the world. Don't allow them to see so much ungoldy behavior. Guard them. You're the gatekeeper of your home. Guard their hearts, eyes, ears and minds. Scrutinize every movie, every book, every song. Read the bible everyday but don't shove it down their throats. Oh wait- almost forgot to tell you- that last one is the husband's job so don't you dare pick up the bible and read it as a family. Reading it individually to them is fine- just not in a group. Just pray your husband steps up someday to lead you all. Because if you do it- you'll be charged with leading your family and overstepping your bounds- a huge no no with the somes of the church. Above all- home school! But make sure they're in a good godly home school community- you wouldn't want them to get bored looking at you all day, would you? Other some other ones say exposure to the world is key! Especially while in your safe home, with the safety of mom and dad. Get them in public school, but make sure it's a good one where they will have every opportunity to get good grades, get into a good college, get a high paying job so they can life a good life! Let them watch all the shows and movies their peers see- you wouldn't want them to be weird and different right? Rated R is fine, as long as no nudity because all the theys, somes and others agree- porn is bad. Violence, soft romance, totally cool because after all- that's in the bible. Let them listen to all the music they desire, it's such a great way for them to express themselves. Who knows? They may become inspired to lead worship for their church one day! You do take them to church right? Because all the theys, somes and other ones unanimously agree on that point- youth group is the very life of a young teen growing in their faith. No one ever ponders the possibility that it may actually be a classic case of Lord of the Flies, but again, whatever. Inexperienced youth, leading other inexperienced youth- solid biblically sound idea. They say you're not christian enough if you don't say Merry Christmas. Other theys say that's a pagan holiday and it's evil to celebrate anything other than biblical feast. They say you don't have to celebrate those because that's a law thing... I wonder what forever means to the theys... They say you don't have to rest once a week anymore, Sabbath is OT. Everyday is the same. Other theys say it's one of the reasons the children of Israel were exiled, because they didn't let the ground rest. You're in complete disobedience if you do not in fact, keep all the top ten, everyday. The theys, the others, the somes in my life have been so incredibly loud I find it difficult to hear truth anymore. I have raised children with the looming voices of the theys, somes and others in my life and finally, when fear gripped me so much I had zero clue of what to do next- a precious they told me something to the effect of it being a sacrifice of my children on the alter of ministry if I stayed in Massachusetts during such a tumultuous time. Another friend said that I needed to move somewhere that my people could have friends, community and I could wage war in that area. In other words, if I stayed put and fought it out- my children would suffer- irreparably so. If I go, it's clearly the best choice. Every decision I make tends to be counter to the entire culture I live in. To the world, to the church- yet, rarely to the word of God. With every decision I make, I hold my breath to see if it works because if it doesn't, I know somes, theys and others will say "yea it's because you didn't do xy or z, likely all of the above". When it works, no one sees how amazing the Lord is. Few believe the hand of God was in the decision, least of all those I share a home with. I followed the theys at times, other times the somes' advice. Still, things didn't go as they had said it would if I followed the advice... Assumptions are made, looks and glances are given. And the theys, somes and others tick off their lists in their heads of what they all see was amiss. Can I tell you- it's a little hard to keep track of an arbitrary to do list. Today in church I heard the speaker say my problem (he was addressing everyone actually) was that I haven't let the Father see me, have compassion on me, run to me, fall on me, kiss me. All from the story of the Prodigal son. Oh I see, there it is- my fault once again. Yea well, I suppose it always is according ot the theys, somes and others. But what I read in the Word of God is this. The real contender in anyone having a challenge in life is the enemy of their soul and the lies he spews, the lies steeped in fear. The fear of what if I make the wrong choice and lose my family? Or they get hurt, or worse? Maybe if I ask a few trusted advisors I can make sure I know that I am listening to God... I don't know, maybe you don't pray enough, maybe too much. Maybe you don't fast enough, or, again- too much. All I know is that all Jesus asks is for people to believe Him, in His words and have faith in Him. But you have all these voices clamoring and it gets real hard to hear His voice saying "this is the way, walk in it". When we hear His voice so clearly, we don't fail-ever. The Father doesn't know failure. He sees it in a fallen world, but in Him, no, not a thing. And when He calls us to something- we literally cannot lose. Failure only occurs when we second guess and begin to listen to the ever present loud mouths of the faith grasping and clawing for our attention. These are those who are uncomfortable with the possibility that you may be called to a different path than they. It reminds me of when people find out that I home schooled my children, immediately they would say "oh I could NEVER do that!" I wish they had heard themselves, to my ears it sounded so defensive of why they wouldn't want to spend a whole day with the very children they birthed. But I knew better. What they were really saying is how inadequate they felt to teach their own children. Their insecurities were showing and they didn't know it, much worse than a slip or toilet paper showing. There is a point to all of this, and it is that in every area there is a they, a some, an other. And what is said from their mouths is rarely steeped in truth but from a position of pain and regret, clothed in a bible verse here and there. Rarely anymore can we find a true trusted counselor, one who has zero agenda and only God's best in mind for you. The truth is there is only One who knows the exact reason this or that has or has not worked out in your life, in my life. Only by seeking His face can you truly know. If you are a they, some or other, be cautious of your words to a dear brother or sister. Be cautious of jokes you make, assumptions you have and things you perceive to be right or wrong. I can assure you, what you see in not always truth. If you have been counseled by a they, other or some, seek God in everything. Trust that He speaks to you, very clearly, not through shadows or "signs", but in words, dreams and visions. If it is abundant, then it is the Life that Jesus promised.