In the movie Office Space from back in 1999 we met a character named Milton Waddams. Milton was a husky fella with coke bottle glasses, and a speech impediment. Milton was an extremely nervous guy who often was drenched with sweat. Being under-appreciated in his job he is asked to move desks 5 times in one year in the attempt to just have him stop showing up for work. Well in one scene his boss is asking him to move for the 5th time from his cubicle to the basement into “storage area B” and as Milton’s boss leaves he walks off with Milton's stapler. To which in his usual passive stammer Milton say “ex excuse…. Excuse me I.I.. b b b believe you have my stapler?”
Can you sympathize with Milton? Have you experienced a similar situation where someone was claiming something that was OBVIOUSLY yours? Maybe it was in elementary school and a classmate took it upon themselves to help themselves to the cookies YOUR mom made? Your favorite chocolate chip cookies she made from scratch, that you watched her as she stood in YOUR kitchen in YOUR home and packed YOUR lunch box so YOU COULD ENJOY THEM WITH YOOOOUUURRR LUNCH!!! Did you stand by passively like Milton? Very quietly and nervously stutter “th th those are m m my cookies…” so unsure of yourself and afraid that you might make an enemy or that they might make a scene and draw unnecessary attention to yourself and in turn find yourself terribly embarrassed?
Well in Joshua chapter 1 we see God Himself give Joshua a pep talk to ensure that he does not fear or doubt the promises that he, along with the whole nation of Israel had been given. That they should
“Be strong and of good courage” (verse 6) and “Only be strong and very courageous.” (verse 7)
The enemy, your enemy, my enemy does not need my life to be spun completely out of control in addiction. He does not need me to be sleeping in my car, under the interstate or behind the dumpster at Burger King. He does not need me to resort to meaningless sexual relationships, trying to find comfort in pleasure or significance in a relationship. None of these things are necessary moves in his playbook to win the fight. He only needs the smallest bit of doubt… but not just any doubt…. I must doubt God.
This is the one play the devil has in his play book and he has been using it since the beginning of time. In the Garden with Eve and said,
“Did God REALLY SAY?”.
If he can get you and me to doubt for a second the TRUTH, that God DOES want the very best for you and me, then he has gotten the ball rolling and walks away. Now leaving the rest to us. Leave the rest to the working of our mind, to turn doubt into fear and fear into helplessness and hopelessness to self-reliant and eventually, self-destructive behavior. And that is where the drugs, alcohol and sex come in.
Or maybe it isn’t THAT drastic?
Maybe it’s that I chose to work 70 to 80 hours a week because that is the answer to the emptiness I feel whenever I go home? Or I sit up and binge watch my favorite TV series for hours every night because that is what it takes to stop the insanity that seems to be constantly running through my head?
Maybe it is fantasizing about a waiter or waitress, or that always friendly smiling face at the gas station on the corner, or at church on Sunday. Fabricating a fairytale in my mind of a life that HAS TO be better than the one I am living? It can be so many things, but you know yours, and I know what mine is. All because he succeeded in making us doubt God.
SO “Be strong and of good courage…….. ONLY be strong and very courageous.”
THAT’S YOUR STAPLER!!!! THAT IS YOUR COOKIE!!!!
THAT IS YOUR PROMISE OF GOD!!!!!
Know the promises of God, cross the Jordan river and take possession of the land that IS YOURS!
Know Jesus and make Jesus known
Mike Andersen is a graduate of Next Step Recovery Ministries. Mike currently serves as a teacher at Next Step and helps with various other activities such as community connections, BLOG posts, and various other activities. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org