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October 8, 2019

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for revealing yet another tactic of the enemy to strip us of our joy and our ability to work with you and for you.

Lord, what would You like to say to us today?

Jesus began, "I liked very much what you were pondering earlier. So please. Go ahead and share that, and afterwards I will speak with you..."

Well, I was struggling today. With that vague feeling of grayness. Or sadness. Or...Guilt. Something. Really struggling with that and feeling disconnected. I always want to feel close to the Lord, or at least know that I'm clean before my God, before I do anything. And when I have that feeling, it just... It's impossible.

I'd been chasing my tail all day long, and I didn't see clearly what was going on until a got a Rhema reading from St. Therese's book, "Mornings with St. Therese", compiled by Patricia Treece. And this is the reason why, dear ones, I have given you a list of books that you can draw rhemas from. Because they are very, very productive. They cover so many different areas. Just sticking with the Bible Promises is not going to do it. You need richness in your readings, from many different good sources. And I've got a few new books I'll tell you about later.

Anyway, I opened to page 98, and it was about a sister who was spinning around on a compulsive, self-examination loop that left her paralyzed and unable to do anything or even look outside of herself.

Dear ones, this is one of Satan's tricks that he uses on those who live to please God. He attacks them with a case of Scruples, where they are constantly questioning what their status is with Jesus. They are looking, looking, looking for what is wrong with them and their relationship with God. And why does He seem so distant??

Well, I have to tell you. It's not 'they'; it's ME. I keep looking, looking, looking for what's wrong! This wheel keeps spinning 'round and 'round, like when my computer freezes and all you get is a spinning rainbow. It is impossible to break out of one of these episodes without help.

Some people live under a cloud of false guilt, constantly examining every little thing and looking back on past sins. And for them, it becomes a lifestyle. They wake up to it every morning. Sound familiar?? I confess, that has been me.

If the enemy cannot cause us to hide from God by committing a sin unto the death of our souls, he will try to paralyze us with false guilt, accusation, and a feeling of being out of synch with Jesus. And that's exactly what I've been fighting today.

Finally, the Lord broke through with this reading from St. Therese. I am SO GLAD I got this book!

It begins when a novice, who was under St. Therese's care, was called upon to bear witness to how she taught her to overcome a fault. This was when they were examining Therese's life, to see if she was worthy of being canonized.

Anyway. The novice relates, "Ah! How many times she spoke these words to me: 'I beg you, be busied a little less with yourself, occupy yourself with loving God and forget about yourself. All your scruples, these are just a lot of self-seeking. Your griefs, your sorrows--all that is centered on yourself. It is like spinning around on the same pivot. Ah! I beg you, forget yourself; think of saving souls."'

And that's what St. Therese said to this novice.

This is a true suffering, dear ones. I'm sure many of you have fallen prey to this deception. I get the feeling that I'm just not right with God, yet I can't find anything in my conscience to accuse me. Still I go 'round and 'round and 'round, looking for something, anything, to repent of.

Some people call that scrupulosity, and it is common with those who fall into this compulsion to be pleasing to God 24/7. I'm not saying don't be concerned about pleasing the Lord 24/7. Yes! Be pleasing to the Lord! Absolutely. But you can fall into compulsion that causes you to get stuck and frozen in time, and you can't get out of it.

The strategy of the enemy is to prevent us from ministering to others, thinking about God, ministering to Him. It is a tactic to paralyze us and keep us from doing any good. How many times have we heard the old expression that, if we are depressed, we should go out of ourselves and start doing things for others? Of course!

That's exactly what we don't want to do when we feel insecure with the Lord. But sometimes we must just force ourselves, because what we are thinking is not conviction from Holy Spirit, but false guilt from demons. They go about lying and accusing the brethren, and unless we catch where these feelings are coming from, we can get stuck in a pit that never seems to end.

So, how do we get out of this? Obedience. Do the next thing set in front of you by the Lord. Pick up where you left off when this cloud of false guilt hit you. Ignore it, and keep going. Pick up and keep on going; fulfill the duties on your plate. You will soon find that you feel much better. And, looking back, will wonder why you delayed, stalled, and waited to do what was given you.

Lord, is it Your turn yet?

"Yes, Beloved, it is My turn. You have really hit the nail on the head. This tactic of the enemy is to paralyze ministry. It often happens at a critical time, when I need you--and it turns your attention inward, when you should be happily doing what I gave you to do. And obedience is the answer. If nothing else, obedience to the sacrament of the moment, which will lead you out and away from this maze of confusion.

"When My Spirit convicts you of sin, you know it. You feel it deeply, and you also feel remorse. There is no question you did something that didn't please Me, and you feel genuine sorrow for it.

"When it is the enemy causing scrupulosity, you just can't quite put your finger on it, but something feels out of kilter. This is why you should check with Me before you do or buy anything, so that it can't be used against you later, calling into question if it was really My will in the first place.

"My dear ones, I wish for you to be filled with joy when you are working for Me. Righteousness, peace, and joy are the fruits of the working of My Spirit in your lives. The enemy seeks to steal your joy. Has it ever happened to you that you had a wonderful, fulfilling day in Me or with My work--and someone comes in at the end of the day with a sucker punch? They say something they never should have said, or they bring bad news?

"You see, Satan cannot stand to see you happy. He envies that state he once enjoyed in Heaven and has determined to destroy everyone who reminds him of what he lost. This is one reason why he attacks musicians so fiercely, aside from the fact that in Heaven he led worship. Now he has determined that music will be used to destroy life, discourage, break up marriages, and lead people into suicide.

"I want you to understand that, when you are happy and peaceful, his demons make it their business to quench the spirit and steal your joy. Therefore, when you feel this cloud of vague gloom hovering or covering you, you should know this is a spiritual attack to steal your joy and productivity.

"This is yet another reason why I command you to rejoice in Me always, and again I say rejoice!"

I think of that song: Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice! And that song is taken from the Scriptures.

"The demons cannot stand the sounds of genuine praise, worship, and thanksgiving, and this very act will send them away. But you must persevere and not allow yourself to give in to discouragement. Call upon Me at that time, and I will help you.

"Stand tall, My dear ones! Worship in spirit and in Truth and be leery of a cloud of condemnation that suddenly overtakes you, and dampens everything around you. You must earnestly declare that you will not bow to such a spirit and insist with your full intention that these demons leave, in My Name, and take their cloud with them.

"I am with you in this. You need only to call upon Me in that moment and persevere. And I will deliver you."