Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Battle // A Devotional

At some point after our miscarriage two years ago, a battle began in my mind. A war started that has thrown me into ugly moments of stress, anxiety, self doubt and sometimes even a mild depression. All things that I had truly never dealt with before in my life.

But, y'all. Why am I surprised about this battle? Satan saw a moment that I was incredibly weak & vulnerable - a moment that was horrid and left me emotionally and physically raw - and he seized it. We know from scripture that he does this. But the worst part?

I let him.

You're probably asking yourself right now, "why would she let Satan into her mind like that?", but the question shouldn't be why, it should be how. It's one of the many questions I ask, through tears, constantly.

"How did I let Satan get such a foothold in my mind? How can I fight him off? How can I get on the other side of this?"

You might look at me and think, "I would never let Satan in like that" but let me ask you this. Is there something that God's asked you to do but you continually put off? It's Satan. Is there someone that you've been avoiding because you're feeling a nudging to talk with them, but it's uncomfortable and hard? That's Satan. Is there a relationship that you need to salvage but won't? That's Satan. Are there thoughts running through your head on a daily basis that tell you that you're not enough, no one cares and God will never use you? That is Satan.

It's tragic, really, when we let Satan in like this, because he doesn't take it all at once. He takes it one thought at a time. One word at a time. One action at a time. And pretty soon, moment by moment, we've lost all sight of the power that the Almighty has given us. We let Satan come in and destroy our confidence in God, self-esteem and especially our thought life when we aren't arming ourselves with His Truth.

I know what's True. I know what I believe about God. He is trustworthy, faithful, gracious and a Giver of peace. He is loving, kind, protector, comforter, healer. He is redeemer, strong tower, warrior, and victor. I know that I have the power of the Holy Spirit within me to wage this war on my behalf. Scripture tells me that I only need to be still. He will fight for me.

I know that I am not in a position to live in stress, but in peace. I know that my confidence should be placed in God alone so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says about me. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I know that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I know that He has a greater plan and purpose for my life that I will never be able to fully comprehend or understand this side of Heaven. I know that He can take this wretched soul and weary mind of mine and renew it through His Word and His Spirit. I know that He walks with me throughout the day and that I'm never alone. I know, I know, I know.

But I've come to this point - since Satan has torn every shred of what I knew about myself down - where I cannot get my head and my heart to meet. I know - and believe, I might add - all of those things to be capital T True. But it's H A R D to get my head to recognize the same thing that my heart does. That make sense?

A few days ago I met with our If Table and one of the girls who used to teach said that it's kind of like complicating a science question. I'm not a science girl, so when I went home I thought about it like this.

Let's say I was giving Brady a test at home and one of the questions was this: "Laura has two apples and Bart has two oranges. How many pieces of fruit do they have all together?" He's nearing the end of second grade now and is currently learning about fractions, so 2 + 2 should be E A S Y. But instead of solving it like he knows how, he comes to me and says "what kind of apples does Laura have? And is an orange a fruit or a vegetable? And what color apple is it? Did they eat them together or were they trading fruit?"

Don't you see?

It's so silly. Those questions don't even matter! None of that information is necessary to solve the problem!

That's how this game in my head is all the time. I don't need all the answers. I don't need to see where He is taking me in six years. I don't need to see what God has for me next week! I don't even need to think about tomorrow (excessively). He's given me TODAY and responsibilities for TODAY and that's it.

Satan, however, has come in and whispered lies to me that today is not enough for me to think about. And also that it's too much and I could never do today - or any day - well.

But God has given me all the tools that I need for today. This doesn't negate the necessitiy to plan for tomorrow or next week, but it does negate the desire to stress about it. He's placed people in my life today that have needs to be met and places in the hearts that need encouragement. When I get all up in my head asking the extraneous questions about "what does this mean" or "but how shall I do it, Lord?" I need to remind myself that He plans my steps, not me.

Along the way, I've begun to hear gentle whispers in my ear throughout the day. It's turned from the accusatory "you'll never trust God enough" to "Becky, trust Me." I've slowly been pushing Satan out and drawing God in. And you can do the same.


Renew your mind.

Preferably first thing in the morning. That's right, I said it. The best thing you can do to fight Satan off is to get up early in the morninig and have a "quiet time".  I'll talk more about what this looks like for me tomorrow.

One of my favorite scriptures of all time is this: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 We can renew our minds with the Truth of His Word, y'all. That is the answer. It's not easy, especially in the morning, but when I truly let the Truth soak down into my soul, it stays there throughout the day. Memorizing scripture is one of the hardest things for me to do. I've never really been good at it, but when I do it, it makes a huge difference.

Be on alert. 

Ask the Holy Spirit to alert you the instant that a thought or a temptation enters your mind. This is a new tactic that I've found to be helpful. When I earnestly pray and ask Him to help me, He does. Imagine that? The Holy Spirit doing what God says He will. The Holy Spirit is always there, active in our lives, but when we ask Him for help, that action alone allows us to be more aware of His movement and conviction in our lives.

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth..." John 15:13

Pray without ceasing.

I have this problem in my life. I talk to myself. What? That's crazy, you say, but I bet you do it too! I find myself all day long telling myself what I should have said, I would say or what I will say. I find myself recounting things that bugged me to... you guessed it... myself. I'm gossiping, y'all! (And I wonder why Charlotte talks to her imaginary friend all day long.)

Recently, I've tried to turn this around and instead of talking to myself, talking to God. Turning that all day conversation into a conversation with Him. This has been a game changer. It takes discipline and re-training my brain, but I'd say this has been the thing that has made the most difference in the personal battle over my mind. Not because the other two things aren't important, because I was already doing versions of those things.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

We must keep in mind that we are the victors, but too often we act like the victims.  As believers, God has equipped us to fight this battle from a place of triumph, but when we don't tap into His power we feel defeated. The battle isn't easy, but the war has already been won. When we keep that in the forefront of our mind, our battles with Satan can be fought differently. Victoriously.

No comments:

Post a Comment


blog development by fabulous k