Dealing With The Voices Of The Past

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I tripped over a memory today and lost my balance for a while.

You know the type of memory….a voice from the past that comes back around to hurt? It reminded me of a devastating experience. Horrible words, overwhelming circumstances …a flood of tears.

Along with the memory came the voices provoking the details.

Before long, the memory exploded like a glorious Fourth of July fireworks display. Only the emotions accompanying the fireworks are anything but glorious.

The emotions reveal insecurities…feelings of being unworthy, unwanted, unloved.

I entertained the voices. I listened, and since I didn’t shut them down immediately…they continued.

Then suddenly I realized what was happening….and I cried out to JESUS.

I went to the Word of God. Reading three different translations…I grasped my failure. God opened my eyes clearly.

“This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life or death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”   Ephesian 6:12     The Message

life or death fight

We Christians can be guilty of being too casual about the enemy’s intentions.

Our attitude must be that of a soldier tiptoeing through a mine field.

Because we don’t palpably see him….we forget about him.

We must get smarter than the Devil.

soldier tiptoeing

We must watch for the traps…deceptions…the dangers.

When it comes to the Devil and his schemes, we must live on the defensive but pray on the offensive.

We must be wary of our weaknesses before he uses them against us.

We must assert truth to our situations when he whispers lies.

We must affirm the word of GOD when he hurls the accusations of the world.

We must prepare ourselves for the life and death battle to finish well.

We must prepare for the battle…every day.

Any negative thought, past sin or  hurtful memory that comes to us…..is of the Devil. God will not bring up your past, or feed the hurt. Simply refuse to listen or think on it.  Instead replace it with scripture, prayer, worship, and truth.

When the Devil tries to dig up your past, immerse yourself in truth. Believe who you are and take authority over his ploys.

Be a fierce soldier and put on the armor of God before you take your first breath of the morning.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.                                                                                                                                 Ephesians 6:14-18

Suit up soldier and use your battle plan, don’t let the enemy gain any ground.

So I tripped over a memory and lost my balance for a while….and then I remembered who I am.

What have you tripped over today?

devils schemes

“When You Want To Give Up” #RaRaLinkup

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“Ever Want To Just Give Up?”

Do you ever wonder what’s the use? Why keep praying that prayer? Why show up for something that is going to yield the same results?

Why clean a house that will get dirty again? Why cook supper for a thankless crew? Why show up to a dead-end job?

Day in and day out, it’s the same thing, same story, and same old tune.

Progress if any, seems to move like a snail. Of course the Devil wants us to think nothing is ever going to change, but in reality, nothing stays the same.

So what would it look like…..if you walked away from a cause that you know GOD has called you to be faithful to?

Or give up on a people HE has entrusted to you? Or abandon a task HE has given you to do?

What would it look like for you to let go of the dream? Turn your back in bitterness or defeat and strike a new path?

How would your life be better? Or worse?

My husband was abandoned by his mother at the age of 4. Tired of taking care of kids, living in the same place, with the same man, she was over the monotony of daily household chores. She wanted more. She wanted out and that’s exactly what she did. Like a thief in the night, she packed up a two-year old baby and left behind her other child, my husband, moving over 1000 miles away.

My mother-in-law gave up, and the emotional peril to my husband has been life-long.

Letting go of your cause may not be something so damaging….or is it?

Let’s talk about the consequences of walking away.

Chase down the path of giving up. Where will it take you?

Maybe you are a single person thinking about letting go of your purity? Or maybe Bible study is too difficult and you are having trouble comprehending? What about the diet? The one your doctor told you is imperative to good health?

What about the dream that’s stalled for the time being, because you have responsibilities to take care of, or GOD’S timing is not in it?

There are many heroes in the Bible who could have given up, yet didn’t.

Remember Joshua? He knew GOD would deliver the children of Israel from their enemies. He believed and stayed the course when no one else did.  Eventually he received the inheritance promised while the others didn’t.

Then there is Paul…beaten, imprisoned, oppressed, harassed, and hunted…yet he never gave up for the cause of Christ…he was faithful. How many countless souls have come to JESUS because of Paul’s faithfulness?

What about Noah? Can you imagine how hard it would be to build a big, honking, gopher wood, cruise ship, while everyone is making fun of you? Bible scholars say from 55 to 75 years Noah endured the critics, the scoffers, and the naysayers….yet he saw the project through to the first rain drop. I guess you can say he didn’t miss the boat.

Whatever “good” you are doing in life…get ready…the resistance and warfare is coming.

Satan wants us to think the worst about our situations so we will give up. But what is the potential if you stay the course? Close your eyes and imagine step by step what your life could be if you hang in there for the good of Christ?

Who will benefit from your faithfulness? What will your golden years look like as a result of your faithfulness? What child will know JESUS? What generation will be most affected by your contribution of faithfulness? What will you family dynamic be like? Who will you bless? What rewards will you have to lay at JESUS’ feet one day?

The warfare is the bullet to stop you.

The enemy knows faithfulness always wins, but he wants to make the journey hard so you won’t finish.

sunset 1

If you are lost in a fog of monotony or discouragement today, don’t give up.

Maybe you feel GOD has turned his back or is withholding something from you….please don’t give up.

Perhaps life has changed and you can’t imagine normal or happy again….oh child there is too much at stake to give up now…..if you are in a place like this….you faith is on the line.

So why stay the course?

Why show up every day to the task GOD has put in front of you?

Because faithfulness matters.

The Bible says….

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

galatians 6

If we stay the course and be faithful….we will reap a harvest from all our efforts and toil.

Faithfulness affects every aspect of our life and every relationship including our bond with GOD.

Faithfulness means that no matter the valley you are walking in, no matter the hurt you are carrying, no matter the rotten circumstances you are dealing with and no matter what man throws your way…..

Being faithful means you trust GOD for the outcome.

faithfulness matters

Faithfulness tells GOD, you are in this journey with HIM till the end.

Don’t give up friend, don’t run out and don’t let Satan win…..

If you are faithful to GOD…..HE will be faithful to you.

faithful 2

Stay in the fight friends, GOD sees you…HE cares for you….and HE will reward your faithfulness.

I am sending love and prayers to all my readers today who are tired and wanting to give up. Fight for your faithfulness!

Love,

Mel

Here are some scriptures and worship links to encourage you to fight for faithfulness in all areas of your life.

Proverbs 28:20, Habakkuk 2:4, Matthew 25:13-211 Peter 5:8-10, Revelation 2:10

Elevation Worship – Great Things (Worth It All), Your Promises, Fortress

I am so honored to be linking up with my sweet friend, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup…on her blog purposefulfaith.com.

"Rubbing Your Nose In the Past" He wants you to forgive yourself!

Well….I’m having one of those days where satan is absolutely trying to mess with me.  It actually started yesterday.  You ever feel like you are just so sinful….and unworthy…..and a disappointment to GOD?  Unfortunately I have many times.  I loose my temper…..I think a bad thought….I get stubborn and harden my heart.

 Its hard to lay our sin down sometimes…..but even harder to believe that GOD forgives us the first time we ask….so we keep reminding HIM and asking for forgiveness again and again….when really….if we are truly repentant….HE forgave us the first time we asked.

Anybody out there keep asking GOD to forgive you for something you’ve already confessed?

Satan is the one continually rubbing our nose in our failures……NOT GOD! 

Grace is such a beautiful concept that has always been so hard to graft to my heart.  I think insecurities…..child hood experiences…..even church experiences can have something to do with that as well….after all….Christians are hard on each other.  We want to recall or remember when our sisters or brothers wrong us…..yet we don’t want them to remember our offenses.

Feelings are liars……they make us think things not true….they make us believe the worst sometimes….when GOD has only feelings of love for us…..HE thinks only good for us.

I wish there was some kind of magic filter that I could just install in my psyche that automatically screened out all the feelings and thoughts that cause me to beat myself up….over and over.   “I shouldn’t have reacted that way…..I shouldn’t have said that…..I failed again.”

For instance…..when I felt GOD telling me to start a blog…..about three years ago….I kept telling myself….”Who do you think you are…speaking for GOD?”  Many of my friends know that I am a playwright for church…I even struggle with writing plays that are effective for the kingdom….I don’t feel worthy……up to the task…..clean enough……yet HE fills my head with all these beautiful pictures and stories that translate into characters on paper.

I fought the blog thing for a long time…..until GOD spoke to me and said….“Just share your struggles…..as real as you can.”  Relief is finally what I felt…because I no longer feel the burden of speaking for GOD.

  I am just trying to share my heart…..as real as I can….through words.  

Am I perfect?…..HEAVENS NO!!!  Do I struggle with sin?….ABSOLUTELY!!!!  All I can do is share how GOD takes this stubborn heart and prunes….jars…..grieves…..disciplines…. tenderly to the point of submission…. helping me think the way he wants me to think.

You see…..GOD just doesn’t want us to beat ourselves up over and over because of our failures……and as Christians….HE certainly doesn’t want us to keep beating up our brothers and sisters when they fail us….that’s just a tool of satan.

So when I fall in the ditch that satan has dug for me…..somehow GRACE sends just a bit of light….enough for me to stop….and realize…..GOD’S not rubbing my nose in my failures…..satan is. 

I deal with my stinking thinking and ask GOD to help me think his thoughts.  I recall some of my favorite scripture that encourages me…….

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
                                                                                                                                       Psalm 103:12

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  1John 1:9

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they are red like crimson, they shall become as wool. 
                                                                                                                                        Isaiah 1:18

These are just a few of the many verses I love and write out from time to time just to let the words seep deep into my heart.  I encourage you to get alone and look up every scripture where GOD tells us HE forgives us….over and over. 

One of the tools I use to straighten out my stinking thinking is putting those thoughts through the Philippians 4:8 test.

      “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable….if anything is excelling or praiseworthy think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

Put every thought of self loathing…..unworthiness……failure…….absolutely every thought that rubs your nose in your past……ask yourself…is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable?

Remember GOD doesn’t want us wallering in our past failures….but Satan does!

ALWAYS BE ON GUARD OF SATAN’S TACTICS TO MAKE YOU FEEL LESS! HIS MIND GAMES ARE STRAIGHT FROM THE PITTS OF HELL!!!!

I pray that someone …..somewhere out there in the big “blog o sphere” that totally confounds me…..will get the message….HE loves you….HE forgives you…and HE forgets it……and…

HE wants you to forgive yourself!