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

"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!

 



  

"Rainy Days and Monday’s Always Get Me Down" A battle for the mind and how to win!!!

Disappointment looms in the air today…….someone I love very much is struggling ……….I have friends that are down……..there is sickness…..aggravations…..regret……debt…….a heavy fog of grief.   Heck…..there’s a bunch of adult men that get paid millions to chase a ball around that are pretty blue today.

Monday’s are notorious for being bad days but I really hate to blame Mondays.  Mondays get a bad rap.  I think we are all just snapped back to reality after a two day euphoric reprieve.   Having the weekend to relax and forget our troubles is a welcome relief  until the clock goes off at 6:30 A.M. Monday morning and you’re catapulted back to the real world……it’s even worse when the rains coming down in buckets outside your window.

Days like today make me think of my daddy that’s in Heaven……my little boys that are big boys now.  I think about sunny days playing at the pool……..friday night movies……..cooking pasta so they could have a food fight outside.   I think of my mamaw Millsey in heaven as well……. she was my prayer warrior and understood my heart and my hurts growing up.  I’m tempted to mourne for the past when in reality….I wouldn’t want to bring my daddy or mamaw Millsey back from Heaven….they certainly wouldn’t want to come back……and while I miss the little boys that I so relished….this period where my nest is emptying is really a sweet place….and a divine appointment from God. 

In the past I have wallowed in my melancholy……sometimes the mindset would set in for a few days.  While it’s sweet to remember in order to escape……the LORD doesn’t want me to linger there to the point I loose sight of the future or it causes me to sin.  But gosh dang it…..when I think about the future…..it’s so overwhelming at times.  Fretting over worrisome problems, disappointments or things unsettled doesn’t help my state of mind.

So how do I handle these vulnerable…..worrisome…..nerve wracking….anxious…..melancholy……and dreadful days?

         You know…..that day where your heart is just raw…..unsettled…..aching in a sense?

We all have them for whatever reasons our lives warrant.  Concern for a child….worry for the future…..anxiousness for a problem…..health issues…..deadlines…. consequences from sin…..job pressures…..and the list goes on and on and on. 

            The important thing to ask when our emotions are tender…..where do we turn?

 Do we open the fridge?  Do we turn on the TV and let the noise drown out our thoughts? Do we hop in the car and go for a little retail therapy? Do we shut ourselves off emotionally from friends….church or family?  What do you do?  I have to confess that I have done all of the above in the past…….but finally…..I started to face those fragile times in my spirit because I wanted to deal with them…not push them back where they kept popping up…..causing me to digress to “stinking thinking.” 

 One day I finally talked to God about it…..”Okay Lord….I’m here at this uncomfortable place with this thing that I can’t change or fix…..what do you want me to learn from it?……what about this situation is causing me not to have truthful thoughts about everything and everyone involved…..including you Lord?”

When we get in these melancholy moods…..or mental states of depression or  negativity….it’s usually because we have allowed satan to use our problems against us.

I’ve always been a fixer….but it seems GOD has given me things in the last few years that I can’t fix in my human flawed state.  Have you got some problems that only God can handle or fix?  I used to pray for relief from things blatantly out of my ability to make better…….but now I do these little steps to get my mind in tune with the LORD’S.  I have found that I can face my problems a lot better when I have a GODLY mindset.

Step 1 I make myself write down a simple list of all the good things in my life that I am grateful for.  You will not believe how much better you will feel afterwards.  Seeing in black and white the good things I have to be thankful for….raises my spirits to another level.   Once I get to this point….my “stinking thinking” starts aligning with the “voice of truth.

Step 2 I rebuke satan and all the “stinking thinking”….. lies…..discouragement and negative things he tries to whisper.   You see….if you have accepted JESUS as your saviour….you have been bought with the blood that he sacrificed for your sin.  That blood gives you authority over satan and any devices, lies or problems he can throw into your life.  Claim the blood of JESUS and tell satan to go back to pit of lies and stay……he has no authority over you if you have been been redeemed by JESUS 

Remember satan is cunning….he comes to kill, steal and destroy your life (John 10:10) and your loved ones…..and the place he starts……. is by seeking to control your mind.

  Don’t let satan control your mind or thoughts through the problems you face on a daily basis!!!

Make a point to get rid of your “stinking thinking” because it’s from satan…..it will never be from GOD!  Any negative thought that comes into your mind is from the pits of hell!  

GOD will never give you negative …..condemning thoughts!

 THIS IS CRITICAL TO REMEMBER IN HAVING VICTORY IN YOUR THOUGHT LIFE!!!

 Step 3 The next step…… give it all to JESUS……every hurt…..problem……weakness….inadequacy… …..negativity……every burden……desperation…..past joys…..past sins….Give it all to HIM……pour your heart out to JESUS in honesty and humbleness.  

If you have a problem concentrating in prayer……that’s a ploy of satan’s as well so I suggest you sit down and write your prayers…… emptying your heart out to God.  Sometimes it hardest to pray and focus when satan has compounded your problems or hurts to a state of overwhelming thoughts.  

I have written my prayers so many times…..but it helps me focus and zero in on what the real problem is……which is usually my “stinking thinking.”  Oh the sweet relief when I give it to HIM…….it’s that very delicate vacuum of time…..where I have just confessed sin……given HIM my problems….and I am perfectly clean…..at least until I fall again…..but gosh….that sweet little space of time….where all is right between me and JESUS…..oh it’s priceless.

Finally sweet friends…..remember this……

                    “GOD IS FOR YOU!”

GOD is on your side!!! Though John 10:10 tells us that satan comes to kill, steal and destroy our lives….the rest of the verse says that HE came to give us abundant life!

      “The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

HE has come to free us of all our burdens……set the captives free……heal the hurts……break the chains of bondage…….we weren’t meant to carry all this baggage……..that’s why HE died for us.  

When we become entangled in our “stinking thinking” because of our problems…..friends….that is NOT ABUNDANT LIVING!!!

Oh how I am so thankful to have a saviour to run to when the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

The next time you fall into one of those ditch’s that satan dug for you….just give these simple steps a try…..I promise you…..JESUS will pull you from the plunder.


I pray that this message…..goes out to those struggling with burdens that entangle to the point of “stinking thinking”…….oh how I pray that you find relief in that sweet delicate place…..where JESUS meets you one on one….and all is made right between you and your precious saviour.

Remember………

            GOD IS FOR YOU!


                                             “I know that you are for me”  by Kari Jobe