The word predator immediately brings danger to mind. This past weekend, within just 20 minutes, I saw two child abduction alerts flashing on banners as I drove up the highway. I imagined the frightened children being sped down the highway to some unknown place, probably with strangers at the wheels!
As is procedure, both vehicle’s descriptions were given, including the license plate numbers. Driving a large, 8-cylinder truck, I vowed that if I saw one of the cars I’d run it off the road to perform a citizen’s arrest and save the child! And I meant it.
That’s my personality. A die-hard advocate with a vigilante predisposition. My family legacy is that of serving. I grew up in a household where often the pullout sofa was in use. Having grown up in the church from the age of 5, I had always viewed my home as an extension of our church, open and welcoming to many.
Because my parents had such giving hearts, you can imagine that at times they were taken advantage of. But this I know, they were always blessed. It’s vital to keep in mind that kindnesses are never overlooked by God. He sees every good deed that we do and knows the motives of our hearts. If we focus on the needy, or their lack of appreciation or repayment, we can become hardhearted and ineffective in receiving the joy that comes with being benevolent.
“Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God . . . We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, MSG).
Formerly, I believed that giving was to be done based on God’s expectations and how I felt about them. Being born to serve, I learned the hard way that not everyone means well. There are deceptive people who aim to prey on those of us with big hearts. I often tell people, don’t give based on your emotions due to the person’s request or need, but give only if and as the Spirit leads you to give. Emotional giving is a tool the enemy will use to distract you from your purpose. God knows the motives of all hearts, we don’t. You can fool most of the people some of the time, and some of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time, and you can’t fool God anytime!
Because of allowing myself to be used by people with impure motives, I became confused, angry, and mistrusting of everyone. This shut me down from being able to serve in the capacity that I was intended to—my birthright. After all, you can’t work well with people whom you don’t trust. The issue wasn’t that all the people weren’t trustworthy, the issue was that my personal rule had become “trust no one.” It’s important to discern your own motives. As well, it’s important to rely on God to show you whom you cannot trust.
Have you experienced this type of wounding and stagnancy in your own life? Can you think of the circumstances surrounding the decision you made that changed your trajectory for the worse? If you’re stuck there, God is right there with you—omnipresent—he’s everywhere and willing to help you. Jehovah Shamma means “God is there.” He’s ready; are you?
Finally, the day came when a message was preached that challenged me to trust. My life was “fixed” at the heart level. The prick of conviction that I felt let me know that God was after the dysfunction. The enemy had caused me to forfeit my purpose by distorting my view of humanity. I had thought that I was protecting myself, but I was imprisoning myself and self-destructing. With the wash of freedom and joy that I felt when I asked God to help me to trust, and to give me the gift of discerning, I was delivered of that bondage!
After the euphoria of the moment, caught up in the corporate worship and healing experience with the others that day, I was soon tested. Holy Spirit had highlighted, to me, a woman whom I could trust. Instead of receiving his counsel, I asked a close family member for their opinion. They emphatically denounced the person as untrustworthy, with a lengthy argument following. But I had to resolve to rely on God as the one who knows best—the one who “cannot lie”—rejecting what I’d been told by that trusted family member (Titus 1:2, KJV).
You absolutely must obey what God instructs you to do, whether it’s easy or not: The apostles Peter and John say to their persecutors, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?” Peter and the apostles again say, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 4:19-21; 5:29b).
There are predators who, if given the opportunity, will tempt you to disobey what you know is the truth! This is where you must be discerning of your own motives. There may be a payoff in it for you that makes you want to yield to the temptation. Let me advise you, however; any and every time you go against the wisdom of God, you’re either submitting to the devil, or you’re submitting to your flesh through which the devil works. The negative outcome may be a long time coming, but it’s coming.
Many single women that I know will walk along in victory for an extended period of time then succumb to a love interest that sweeps them off their feet, just to later learn that they’ve been duped. Some of them will see clearly that they made a huge mistake, but as soon as he shows up with crocodile tears, they bend, they bow, they break. Then they call. “Help!” Of course, we’ve all been there and can relate, both women and men. Ergo, we show compassion and grace.
“How do I stay strong,” you may ask? Let me help you. A little trivia about crocodile tears:
“The term may have gained wide popularity as a result of a passage in one book, ‘The Voyage and Travel of Sir John Mandeville,’ first published in 1400 and read widely, they write.“Says the passage, ‘In that country be a general plenty of crocodiles …These serpents slay men and they eat them weeping.’”
Thus, crocodiles cry while feeding on their prey! Let that sink in… Those tears are not tears of sorrow or empathy, rather they’re fake tears, deceiving the non-discerning. A crocodile is a predator by nature and so are some deceitful people. “Stay woke!”
“In 2006, neurologist Malcolm Shaner, assisted by Kent Vliet, a researcher at the University of Florida, decided to test the story that crocodiles or their close relatives alligators and caimans were likely to ‘weep’ while feeding. Studying animals in Florida’s St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Vliet recorded seven caimans feeding. He chose to use caimans rather than crocodiles because at the sanctuary they could be observed feeding on dry land. Five of the seven animals were seen ‘weeping’, leading to the conclusion that the story describes a real phenomenon.”
It is a myth that crocodiles tear up because of sympathy for their victims, rather they weep when they are feasting on their victims! Please don’t be moved by the fake tears of those who are up to no good for you and your life. Listen to that still, small voice inside that is your intuition.
“[T]here is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent” (Job 32:8, NLT).
Staying free from the oppression of predators—those who are sent on assignment to distract you from your intended destiny—takes the discipline of obedience and self-love. It is your protection. It’s not complicated and it’s not impossible; it will spare you setbacks and shame, heartache and pain, guilt and real tears of anguish.
In conclusion, that woman whom God said I could trust? To this day she is one my greatest supporters, with genuine love for me. She has demonstrated her trustworthiness in many, many ways down through the years. And my love for her is reciprocated. God forged an unbreakable bond between us that is lasting, tried and true for almost 16 years now! That family member who condemned her? That person later betrayed me in ways I cannot put into words and God has since taken that person completely out of my life, regardless of their crocodile tears.
Let’s make this a discussion! Comment below, I’d love to hear from you. Don’t miss out! Visit my Contacts page to subscribe to periodic emails of these blog posts. Follow, like, reply! Thanks! MJ