Everything was so serene and peaceful. I was washing my dishes after a delicious meal. In addition, I was glancing out our back window and enjoying the beautiful scenery of our backyard. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a brown head popped up and all I could see was a bunch of my flowers in his mouth as he munched them down with such delight. Within a millisecond, I was out the door chasing him away with such anger and indignation. With one gulp after the other, he had snatched away the fruit of my labor for months. All the hard work and nurturing of those plants were not to be seen again until next year as some were perennials that only bloom once.
I was sadly walking back to the house, when I thought, “Why are you allowing these deer to steal your peace and joy?” I realized that I had begun this year to obsess over how sneaky and successful they were in wiping out my flowers at night or when I was not present in the yard. I have talked about the deer that invade our yard before. But this year it seeped into an obsession in trying to stop them from wiping out our plants. My research, time, purchases, and preparation proved defenseless in light of their constant intrusions. Romans 14:17 states, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” By furiously chasing the deer I was not displaying righteousness. By being aggravated and stressed, I was not displaying peace. By being angry and irritated, I was not displaying joy. I thought to myself, “Are you serious? Why allow a group of deer to rob you of the kingdom blessings of righteousness, peace and joy that flow from God’s Spirit?
What Can You Do?
So, once I was back in the house, I prayed fervently over this frustration. I have purposed to not let these deer cause me to have a conniption again. My own efforts have failed in not becoming obsessed with the damage they cause, so I solicited help from the Holy Spirit. I asked Him to restore His kingdom blessings within me of righteousness, peace, and joy when it came to the deer.
You may be thinking, “Yes, Paula, get a grip on yourself.” Yet is this not what the enemy does? 1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Do you think you are an exemption to this? For me it was the deer (and I am not calling the deer the devil). Maybe for you it’s politics, family, finances, health, a conversation, news, a goal, etc.? It can be anything in this fallen world. What has caused you to unwillingly obsess over its entrance in your life? Whether gigantic or insignificant, did it cause emotions to erupt where righteousness, peace or joy took a back seat? I am sharing this so it will be a wakeup call for all of us. Why let something external rob us of our internal Kingdom blessings?
So Here are a Few Suggestions:
1. Be Honest: Acknowledge and repent of what is robbing you of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Purpose to not obsess any longer. You do this by surrendering all to Jesus through His indwelling Spirit, knowing only He can bring the victory. (see 1 John 4:4)
2. Be Alert: Invite the Holy Spirit to reign consistently in all areas so these external intrusions do not sneak or blast their way in your soul. Be alert and be vigilant in this. (see 1 Peter 5:8)
3. Be Steadfast: Some of these intrusions by the world are not going to stop. Ask for wisdom for any practical steps you can take in conjunction with yielding control fully to our Righteous King. Then let Him order your steps. (Read Psalm 32:8 & 37:23, Isaiah 30:21, and Proverbs 3:5-6.) Then be intentional by trusting what is said and by putting into practice the advice from these Scriptures.
Obsessing over what? Join me in letting it be righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Amen! Yes, Amen!