You've been there...you are in the dark movie theatre slurping your $5 coke and shoving handfuls of your $8 popcorn into your mouth. The ominous music starts playing in this action-thriller movie. There's a knock at the door and the young, beautiful, innocent woman goes to the door - which of course has one of those chain locks that lets you open it 5 inches and peer outside.
Everything in you screams, "Don't open the door!!!" Yet, what does she do...she cracks the door open....and then it happens...the bad guy shoves his black boot into the 5 inch space...he has a foothold....you know it's going to go down hill from here.
Why did she open the door you wonder to yourself. Didn't she know it would be dangerous?
Now the bad guy is inside. He's wielding a knife. He's come to kill and destroy.
Are you ever like the young woman in the movie? I am. A negative thought will come into my head. Instead of keeping the door slammed shut, I start rolling it around in my head. I ponder it. I engage it. I want to analyze it or argue with it.
Instead of dropping the negative thought like the hot potato that it is, I, in essence, crack the door open...just enough...that the enemy is able to get his foot inside the door.
Once he gets his foot inside the door, you know he's going to come after me with a vengeance.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (Jesus speaking in John 10:10)
When I am weighing whether or not to open the door to a thought, I often use this verse and mentally make two columns and I ask:
Does this thought...
Steal and kill and destroy? or does it Give life abundantly?
If the thought falls under the first column, I know it's a lie from the enemy. One I need to avoid like the plague and drop like that hot potato. I need to not so much as crack the door open an inch or I know what's going to happen next.
What are some of the "red flags" that these thoughts come under that first heading?
* Do they make you anxious?
* Are they condemning?
* Do they say negative things about you like "You're a failure...you're disappointing God...you're not enough or good enough..."
* Do they tear you down instead of building you up?
* Do they isolate you by telling you you're all alone; God doesn't care?
* Do they have you comparing yourself to others?
**If you loved someone, would these be words that would come out of your mouth?
For me, recognizing and discerning whether these are lies from the enemy or are these truths from God has been the first big step.
I rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus Christ
I used to think that rebuking Satan out loud was only for the crazy preachers on tv. Not so. Satan, unlike God, cannot read our thoughts, therefore I command him (out loud) saying, "By the power given to me by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I command you Satan to flee from me - to get behind me, to be gone and leave me alone."
The Bible tells us that at the very name of Jesus Christ, Satan must flee. The name of Jesus is powerful.
If I'm able, I replace Satan's lies with God's truth
For example, if the thoughts are really condemning and causing me to feel guilt and shame, I replace the lie with a truth like:
Romans 8:1: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (emphasis mine)
I weigh the thought by passing it through the lens of scripture. And, if a scripture doesn't immediately pop to mind, I ask myself, "Is this thought in keeping with what I know to be the nature of God and Christ Jesus?" If not then I know I need to trash it.
Drop it like the hot potato lie that it is and pray!
Sometimes I find, that even trying to replace lies with truth, I am engaging the thought. I am arguing with the enemy. I'm being baited into a fight. Often the best thing to do is drop it; walk away; distract myself with something uplifting and turn the battle over to the Lord in prayer.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
On our own, we are no match for the enemy...but, here's the hope. God does not leave us to fight our battles alone.
The Lord will fight for you (me), you (I) need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
If God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Lately, I have been under attack by the enemy. Why? you might ask. Working with Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. which supports Biblically based, Christian schools right in the epicenter of evil which is the Middle East, we welcome orphaned, impoverished, hopeless children into our doors where they receive the love of Christ and the hope that comes with an education.
When they come through our doors, they are not entering jihad seminaries that fill their lost and seeking souls with grandiose thoughts of waging war and perpetuating hate.
We are infringing on Satan's territory and he is hopping mad.
He would like nothing more than to render me defeated, hopeless, helpless, weak, and impotent.
If you are doing God's work and walking in His way, Satan has you in his crosshairs.
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. If I am a soldier preparing for battle. My best game plan is not to feed my body Cheetos and Mountain Dew and stay up all night listening to raunchy music.
No, my best defense is to get my rest; take good care of my body; fill my mind with what is pure, noble, and true so that I can fully put on the armor of God.
The battle is spiritual and must be fought in God's strength, depending on the Word and on God through prayer.
I say all this like I have it mastered...I don't! In fact, my writing this is, in essence, my pep-talk reminder to myself of God's truth. I'm putting these thoughts that God is giving me down in words so that when the enemy comes after me...and I know he will...I will have something powerful to refer back to.
I hope and pray that your reading along with my pep-talk from God will also give you strength, peace, hope, and grace for the times when you are under attack.
God has also reminded me to keep filling my mind with His Word during the calm periods in life, so that when the battle draws near I will have my quiver of scriptural arrows to pull from.
What about you? What do you do when you're under attack? What preparations do you make for battle? Any encouragement you can offer those who are battling right now?
Dear Heavenly Father, I think you so much that You are Love and You are Good and you have given me your Son so that I may have life and have it abundantly. Help me to discern whether the thoughts I have are life giving from You or lies that seek to destroy from the enemy. Enable me to line up my thoughts with what I KNOW of your character and give me the strength to trash thoughts that don't come from you. Thank you that you never leave me to fight my battles alone. I praise you that you are Jehovah Nissi - my battle fighter. I know you will fight for me, I need only to be still. Thank you for the armor of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Spirit. And, if I can do nothing else, enable me to stand firm in You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Be blessed...ps. Remember that I pray for everyone (morning and evening) who reads my blog. You are in my prayers!
We need your help to grow up the orphaned, the lost, and the impoverished into the love of Jesus in the Middle East. We need your support now for school supplies, desks, tables, chairs, additional teachers, text books, Bibles, rent, food, clothing, a security guard, etc.
Every gift matters and goes directly to helping the children. Will you join Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. in our battle for precious lives? If your answer is "Yes!", send your contribution to:
Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC 27513
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