Devotional: Day 124 min read
One deadly aspect of hypothermia is that, like an arrow, it’s a silent stalker. Its prey never sees it coming.
In 1985, I was back in Alaska for my second time. I was working on a commercial fishing boat out of Bristol Bay using gill nets to catch salmon. Gill nets are designed so that when the fish swims into its webbing, its head gets lodged and it can’t pull out. When we’d pull the gill nets over the side, we would use something called a fish pick that resembled a curved ice pick to pull the net from around their gills. This freed the fish as not every fish was a keeper, otherwise the fish would stay trapped in the net.
Quality rain gear is created to keep you dry and warm. If your rain gear is faulty or springs a leak, you run the risk of getting hypothermia and making poor decisions. What happened to me was I had accidentally torn a hole in my rain suit with my fish pick. The icy cold water trapped in my boot leg soaked my pants, long johns and wool socks and caused my body temperature lower dramatically as I’d been working with the icy water trapped in my boot leg for the previous six hours. Combine that with sweating profusely underneath my rubber raingear that left my hoodie and skull cap soaked and it’s a cocktail for disaster.
Hypothermia happens when our body core drops below 95 degrees. As symptoms set in, the person usually isn’t aware of their condition as the symptoms begin slowly. Some of the telltale signs of hypothermia are:
• Confusion or difficulty thinking
• Poor decision making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
• Progressive loss of consciousness
• Slurred speech or mumbling
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination
• Drowsiness or very low energy
• Apathy or lack of concern about one’s condition
• Weak pulse
• Slow, shallow breathing
One deadly aspect of hypothermia is that, like an arrow, it’s a silent stalker. Its prey never sees it coming. It confuses your thinking and leads to poor decision making. That’s what gets the victim in real trouble.
Cold can be a relentless killer. So are the flaming arrows, or lies that Satan shoots at us. The targeted victim isn’t aware they’ve been struck by the arrows at first because the hole is small, like the hole in my rain suit. If those holes aren’t detected and patched quickly, the holes can grow larger and fill up with water quicker. Likewise, if lies are not detected quickly, they grow larger and the lies are able to do more damage. We call this process, “Falling into Spiritual Hypothermia.”
Lust has knocked a lot of good men down and washed them out of the ministry. David, when tempted with Bathsheba, left himself unguarded. He let lies take root. “She should be mine”. This is one of the oldest lies in the Book! “The Coveting Lie” is when we want what we don’t have, thinking incorrectly, that somehow if we can just get “it’ then life will have meaning, and we’ll feel more valuable or better about ourselves.
Those few moments David spent gazing from his rooftop flooded his mind with unhealthy thoughts creating unhealthy waves of emotion knocking him off of his feet, David stopped swimming and sank into the cold arms of adultery.
Satan lights his arrows with the intent to see the fire spread. He doesn’t merely lie to deceive us; he plans for the flames to overtake not only our feelings but our actions as well.
(1) First the thought – I’d be happier with someone else. I deserve better.
(2) Then the emotion – Lust – Anger
(3) Finally the action if not reversed – An Affair (even if just mental)
It can be a vicious cycle set in motion by a heartless deceiver who doesn’t care about vows, families, or you. He wants nothing more than to see you and those closest to you destroyed. When you succumb to those arrows, you will slip into spiritual hypothermia faster than you thought was possible.
When we are living from the inside-out, Christ’s Spirit in us is our Spiritual GPS. His fruits are healthy fruits. When we are thinking correctly because our belief system is grounded in Him, our emotions line up with the fruit of the Spirit; love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and our healthy actions follow. If I think something like; “My wife’s depression doesn’t have the power over me to make me get angry, and I don’t need to have an affair because I am already 100% complete in Christ”, I am then free to choose not to be tyrannized by the lies of the enemy and can actually move towards my wife rather than disappearing to the garage, the golf course, run to porn, or lash out in anger. This only happens when I’ve renewed my mind and have sucked down a big ‘ol gulp of God’s transformational Truth. I’m confronting my emotions openly and tackling them faster than a 300 pound defensive end at the Superbowl.
Where in my life are these verses connecting right now, and what revelations in my life is the Holy Spirit showing me through these verses?
. . . “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
. . . “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16, NIV)
. . . “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)