I’ve been thinking back to what was going on in my personal life at the time of Billy’s murder.
If I’m being honest with myself, I can see that at that time in my life “the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)
That’s the stage I was in.
Life happens in steps and stages and we all go through stages and seasons as we get where we’re going.
I had studied and actually taught Bible studies on the parable of the sower in Mark chapter 4 multiple times yet I didn’t recognize where I was in my own life.
I had heard the still, small voice tell me one day” the gym is your god.”
I heard, but I didn’t listen.
The enemy is so subtle. He slips in often unnoticed.
What had started out as being fun and challenging and good for my health and wellness became a consuming idol in multiple ways.
One of those ways was food. Counting calories and macros and cooking food for me, my husband and children took over my morning when I would spend time with the Lord.
I mean you have to eat to live, but it became living to eat the right things, the right amounts,at the right times, all day every day.
I also thought I had to have the right workout clothes and I spent way too much time and money on that as well.
Other things were going on in my life, but God spoke to my heart about that one.
Man does not live by bread alone by but every word that comes out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
I can see now, since hindsight is always 20/20, that my prayers for my family were not what they had been.
It was just one more area that subtly suffered as a result.
I made excuses and had reasons but the deceiver, Satan, is a mastermind at deception. Deceived people don’t know they’re deceived because that’s what deception is.
I know I’ve written about this before but for those who don’t know, before my Mom died, we learned how to pray for loved ones to come to know Jesus as their savior.
Mom and I prayed for laborers speaking the truth of God’s Word to go across Billy’s path and they did.
One lady stopped her car in the middle of the street, rolled her window down and told Billy as he was walking down the sidewalk how special he was to God and how much God loved him.
As a result, Billy started going to church and he got saved.
I only found out about that laborer after he died.
I had prayed and fought spiritual battles for my family, daily, for years. I knew God heard my prayers, I had countless answered prayer and yet I started making excuses.
I have had a couple books by Stormie Omartian for years. The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent.
The prayers in those books are packed with the Word of God.
I have hidden many scriptures in my heart over years of praying God’s Word over my family.
I remember a Pastor saying that God’s Word doesn’t return void but accomplishes the purpose He has for it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Thankfully God is the God of 2nd and 3rd chances and beyond.
It’s been over 4 years since the Lord softly revealed truth to me about the gym being my god.
I made many changes and I still go to a gym and workout 4-6 days a week.
The difference is that my priorities changed. Jesus Christ has 1st place. He is the King of my heart.
I recently bought a couple new books from Stormie Omartian.
The Power of a Praying Grandparent and The Power of Praying for your Adult Children.
The Lord has me praying Word filled prayers not only for my own husband and adult children and grandchildren but many other family members and friends and acquaintances as well.
Next time I’ll share a little of my journey as I started really praying specific prayers for my adult children since one of those adult children is no longer here to pray for.
Be blessed. God is absolutely good and He loves you.