What’s Your Handle?

by Andy Wood on April 20, 2010

in Ability, Five LV Laws, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Freedom, Protecting Your Investment

It all started with that 55-mph speed limit.   In the mid-1970s, Americans traded in their muscle cars for Toyotas and slowed down.

But a certain segment of the population balked.  These people were paid to transport goods to their destinations in a timely manner, and felt that the new speed limits were doing considerable harm to their livelihood.  So they started working together to cover each other’s back.

This created a fad that spawned a counterculture, complete with its own lingo, music, and personal identities.  Everybody, it seemed, rushed out to get a CB radio.

Once the stuff of rescue workers, hobbyists, and the like, citizens-band radios became standard equipment in many vehicles.  Gone were the official call-letters used by the “legal eagles” who actually paid for a license to use the things (KFN 0508, if you even remotely care what ours was).  Everybody used a “handle.”

A handle was a nickname you gave yourself so that people could “grab hold” of you by saying something along the lines of, “Break, one-nine.  How ‘bout that Blue Goose?  You got your ears on”?  And you, assuming that was your handle, would reply something like, “Ten-four, good buddy.”

No, children, I’m not making this up.

CBs, for the most part, have gone the way of the 55-mph speed limit, though our trucker friends still use them.  But you still have a handle – a unique identity by which you can be “grabbed.” 

But it ain’t by a “smokey bear” or your good buddy.

Satan is Boring

The devil is smart, but he isn’t creative.  Have you ever noticed that he usually doesn’t nail you with a lot of new and interesting temptations?  That you repeatedly fall for the same old stuff?  Ever wonder why he doesn’t try something new?

He doesn’t have to.  The old one works just fine, thank you.

He found your handle.

Through thousands of decisions and actions, large and small, we’ve formed certain ways of responding to various needs and situations.  This is especially true during those times we try to define life and freedom in our own terms.  Those habits become as natural as breathing when you’re not depending on the Lord as your strength.  So when you drop your guard, when you think you can handle this one yourself, when you start leaning on your own understanding, out come those invisible handles.  You’re an easy target – a sucker for a tempter.

Plugging Your Spiritual Leaks

If I was your financial advisor (okay, who laughed?), we would eventually talk about finding your financial leaks and plugging them.  You can never be financially free without it.  But that’s true in other areas as well.  If you’re going to invest in a future that serves you rather than vice-versa, it’s important to identify the places where you have a tendency to go swirling down the proverbial drain.

You need to know your handle.

Handles form when we go about trying to fulfill God-given needs in self-pleasing ways.  Everybody had a need for love, security, and acceptance – all of which are found in a relationship with Jesus.  But how do you respond when you try to satisfy those needs all by yourself?

More than likely it will fall into one of three behavioral patterns.  John refers to them as “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

  • The pursuit of pleasure is an attempt to meet the need for love or to medicate the pain that life offers.
  • Materialism seeks vainly to find security and safety.
  • Pride seeks to meet a need for acceptance.

These handles are as old as Satan’s first lie

A Trip to the Desert

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit… was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2).

Three things were continuously happening here – Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit, and tempted by the devil.  His temptations weren’t just three curveballs that Satan hurled.  This was a 40-day season of massive displays of power, both temptation and resistance.  Jesus emerged victorious.

Much is made of the fact that Jesus resisted his temptations by quoting Scripture, and that’s valid.  But I see a broader picture than that.

Underlying all your actions and reactions is a force that is leading you – either the Holy Spirit or the patterns of your self-driven life – your “flesh.”  And what you set your heart and mind on determines who or what is leading you.

Consistent with John’s three behavioral patterns, the devil introduced three types of “Spirit interruptions” to Jesus:  physical desire (lust), material desires, and pride.

But there are more subtle attempts at interrupting the Spirit’s leadership, too.  What about the attempt to prove who you are?  “If you’re really the Son of God,” he kept repeating.

What do you feel compelled to prove?  That you’re still attractive?  That you can buy the same car as your neighbor?

How about ambition?  Maybe the temptation isn’t just about material things, but about power or a desirable future.  How many times have you been led by a fascination with “success” or control?  How many times has the enemy tricked you out of being led by the Spirit by a reaction that begins with the words, “I’m sick of this”?  When Scarlet O’Hara vowed, “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again,” I doubt she was walking in the Spirit.

What about adrenaline?  The desire for excitement.  A passion for speed, for hurrying things up.  Not just get rich, but get rich QUICK.  Not just action, but impulsive action.  Hurry up.  Do it now.  Forgiveness is easier to get than permission.

Any of these six things – physical desire, material desires, pride, proof-of-identity, ambition, the desire for excitement – and surely others, can be weapons in the hands of the enemy to change the force that leads you.

Renewing Your Mind

Part of the victory in all this is in recognizing your own unique handle, or flesh pattern.  Another part of the victory is setting your spiritual thermostat by renewing your mind.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).

What renews your mind?  I have discovered that what I focus on in terms of reading, study, journaling, and prayer literally sets my mind and attitude in a certain direction.

I’ve also noticed that my mind gets set at times by my reaction to an event or some wake-up call that can yank me in one direction or another.  The Holy Spirit often does this, but the enemy can do it, too.

Temptation isn’t just about getting you to commit an act.  It’s about changing the force that’s leading you.

The devil’s temptations of Jesus weren’t just about leaping off buildings or eating rocks.  They were about disconnecting from the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  When you become led by someone or something other than the Spirit, the sin is rather automatic.  But the opposite is also true.  “Walk in the Spirit,” Paul said, “and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16).

Jesus recognized what was happening.  He continually followed the leading of Holy Spirit, not just when he was tempted, but moment-by-moment.  If the Spirit is leading you in your daily life decisions and direction, you stand a better chance of being led by the Spirit in the face of temptation as well.

If you’re not walking in the Spirit daily, you are defeated before you even start.  Your handles are showing.  And you’re up for grabs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sishir Mitray November 3, 2017 at 12:53 am

I’m a regular user of cb and Ham both of radios. You article is very informative.
Thanks for sharing.
Sishir Mitray´s last blog post ..Review: Midland 75-822 HandHeld CB Radio

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