Know when to run

How do you know when to stay in a difficult situation, or when to walk away, or even run?

You ask God.

Kenny Rogers, The Gambler Photo source: Google
Kenny Rogers, The Gambler
Photo source: Google

 

Kenny Rogers is one of my husband Ray’s favorite country music artists. I saw him years ago in a little restaurant-bar in California, but didn’t know who he was then. I really like one of the songs he sings, The Gambler. It is very prophetic about life and has wise advice. Some of the refrain’s lyrics are:

“He said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run.”

I believe there’s 4 spiritual principles to these lyrics, that I’d like to share with you today:

  • Hold ’em. That we as believers in Christ are in a spiritual battle every day is a given. Ephesians 6:12, NASB, says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” There is a raging, unseen war around you and me every day. Sometimes we get tired and worn out, but we must never give up or give in to our enemy Satan, as Christ has the victory. Ephesians 6:13, New Heart English Bible, says, “Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.” This is what “hold ’em” means when you’re fighting a battle , to stand your ground and not let the enemy advance or conquer you, despite being fired at by guns, tanks, and helicopters, a blockade cutting off food, water, and supplies, guerrilla attacks,, walking through mine fields, or more : in military terms, stand fast.
  • Fold ’em.  In a card game, you fold by laying down your hands and stop playing the hand. You give it up and are out for that hand. You don’t place any more bets. In life, we fold ’em by surrendering. Not, and never, surrendering to the devil, but to God. You learn to let go of all control, let Jesus take the wheel, and allow God to have His way in and through your life. You die to self. You allow Christ to increase and you decrease for His glory. You trust God knows best for your life in this hard situation, and take it one step at a time, day by day (John 3:30)
  • Walk away.  If you were on Facebook at all since last year, you saw how the presidential election caused a storm of controversy, even dividing Christian family and friends. It was a shame, and grieved God’s heart to see so many of His children attacking each other, when the real enemy in this world is Satan. Titus 3:9, NASB, says, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Sometimes we just need to walk away from a situation, and not engage in strife or drama because it will just result in division, hurt feelings, offenses, and more. Be wise and walk; walk toward God!
  • Run. In boot camp, soldiers are trained to follow orders, be tough, and the long term strategy is to defeat the enemy, not to run away in fear and hide. However, there is a concept in battle called “withdrawal,” which is retreating forces back while maintaining contact with the enemy or totally disengaging for a moment.  A withdrawal may be used as part of a general retreat, to consolidate forces, to occupy ground that is more easily defended, or to lead the enemy into an ambush. It’s risky, requiring discipline to keep from turning into a disorganized rout (a chaotic, disorganized retreat resulting in the enemy’s victory) or at the very least doing severe damage to the military’s morale. (Source: Wikipedia) There IS a perfect Biblical example for running from the enemy, though: Joseph, who ran from Potiphar’s wife who was seducing him to come to bed with her. (Genesis 39:12). Instead, Joseph did what was right and winded up going to prison for his faith, later being raised up by God to be second in command in the land. At times we need to run from temptation or a situation that is not good for us or our loved ones.

Pray to God and ask for discernment and His wisdom in your specific situation and what you should do. No matter what the hard circumstances are that you’re facing right now, remember that you are more than a conquer through Christ.

The Hands of a Woman
Buy it now at Amazon:
http://hyperurl.co/coqmyz

You can read my book on spiritual warfare, eight women’s stories of their greatest spiritual battles through faith in Christ, The Hands of a Woman: Everyday Women in Everyday Battles, by clicking on the link below:

http://hyperurl.co/coqmyz

You can hear Kenny Roger’s song The Gambler by clicking on the video below:

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Your Memorial Day

Memorial Day Vets thank you. Image source: Pinterest
Image source: Pinterest

Today is Memorial Day, the day we commemorate veterans and all those serving in the US military.

Thank you to my husband Ray Jones who served 14 years in the U.S. Navy, his father Charles Jones, his stepdad Leonard Smyth, and all those who have made sacrifices for our nation.

You are truly our nation’s heroes.

my husband Ray Jones, who served in the U.S. Navy over 14 years as a combat medic
my husband Ray Jones, who served in the U.S. Navy over 14 years as a combat medic

Today has me thinking: what is your (and my) Memorial Day going to look like?

  • What legacy will you leave when you die?
  • What sacrifices have you made for God and others?
  • What will others remember about you?
  • What impact are you leaving?
  • What are you bringing to the world–your gifts, talents, skills, difference in others’ lives, and contribution to leave this world a better place?

This past week there was a terrible tragedy in our small community. Twelve year old Kalee Chandler was tragically and suddenly killed at the end of a barrel racing run, when her horse Sarrley had a heart attack, slammed into the fence, rolled on top of Kalee, pinning her underneath him. 

“If we were dilly-dallying, she’d sure tell you, ‘Focus and get back on task.’”–Morgan Bradley, friend of Kalee Chandler

When I went to church on Sunday, Pastor Jeff’s sermon, drawn in part by Kalee’s death, was simply entitled, “Why?” Why do bad things like this happen?

His answer: he doesn’t know. No one does. What we do know is that we can make a difference in others’ lives and that Kalee’s life and death definitely left an impact on this rural community.

At the candlelight vigil for her at the Butler, MO fair grounds, there were hundreds–with estimates to over 1,000-people who came, according to the Kansas City Star.

Kalee Chandler
Kalee Chandler

Three quotes about Kalee in the paper stood out to me:

“She was given that gift from God to ride, And she’d go so fast and furious. She wasn’t there to take second.”–Tracy Murray, who took on Kalee as a barrel racing student when she was 7.

She was small but mighty. Always a smile on her face and not afraid of anything.”–Tracey Rapp, who went through school in Butler with Kalee’s parents and had known her since she was a baby.

“…she was a true cowgirl. I mean, she didn’t sit around the house and play video games. … She was a goer.”– auctioneer Jim Hertzog

woman stretching arms

I believe we’re all given gifts by God—spiritual gifts and natural talents, like Kalee’s on a horse.

I believe that as believers, we’re to have a smile on our faces–showing the world that even in the face of trials and hard times, the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) He wants us to love Him, love others, and love our lives and what we do every day.

I also believe that we’re to be “goers,” making disciples of all nations as Jesus commanded us (Matthew 28:19)–fulfilling our purpose from God, doing what He’s called us to do.

To live fully, no holding back, no excuses, no fears. 

To leave a godly legacy for God and others, to make an impact on others in the limited time we have here.

What will others say about you on your own Memorial Day–your funeral? 

Rest in peace, veterans and Kalee. 

 

 

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