I am in the midst of a battle. I can chose to fill my head and heart with God’s Word and the things He has taught me in the posts I have written below. Or, I can ignore His truth and believe lies---lies like:
“You are obsolete, irrelevant, hopeless….”
“Children are a blessing. You haven’t received this blessing because you are not good enough.”
“You gave up a fulfilling career to serve your family. This was the wrong decision, and it is confirmed by the fact that you still don’t have children. You are wasting your life.”
“Your family and friends will leave. They always do—this is especially true once everyone else starts having kids. They will move on with their busy lives. You will be forgotten.”
“You will never change. You face the same battles over and over and you never win. What is wrong with you?!”
“You are a mess. You don’t have what it takes to be loved, and you just don’t fit in. Why bother with people?”
“You are missing out.”
At the moment, these lies are truly tempting me. Rather than seeking to be filled with the TRUTH in the past couple days, I have given in to these lies. I use these lies to justify APATHY, INDULGENCE, and SELFISHNESS. They are distracting me from the beauty of Jesus and the unbelievable hope, peace, and fulfillment I have experienced with Him.
It is funny how Satan just recycles his old tricks.
In Genesis 3, he says to Eve, “You’re missing out! God doesn’t love you--He has withheld goodness from you. He is not for you—He is against you! You can’t trust His instructions.”
He says to David in 1 Chronicles 21, “You can’t trust God. You are competent and powerful—you can do this… in fact, you must do this. You have got to take matters into your own hands. We all know that success is all about the numbers.”
He says to Joshua in Zechariah 3, “You are beyond anyone’s hope…even God’s. God couldn’t love you—no one could. Just look yourself! Look at the things you have done! You are a failure. You’re a mess.”
He says to Jesus, “You don’t have to suffer! Why should you give yourself up for this disloyal and ungrateful people? Stick with the ones who make you feel good about yourself, because that’s what it is all about—feeling good.” (Matthew 16:23)… “Come on, indulge yourself—you deserve it and it will satisfy you!” Matthew 4:3)….”Flex your power—assert your rights! Show them who is boss.” (Matthew 4:5)…. “Righteousness is just not worth the cost….give it up and I’ll give you everything you ever dreamed of.” (Matthew 4:9)
To echo the words of Jesus, ““Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (!!!!)
I need to fight!
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
1) First of all, it is not all about me, it is all about Him!
Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
2) God loves me and is for me.
Romans 8:31-39 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
3) God’s love truly satisfies and I have all I need in Him! He is more than enough.
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
4) Out of His satisfying love, God calls me and empowers me to love Him and others. This is the most important thing for me to do.
Matthew 22:35-40 "And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 'Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?' And he said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'”
5) One of the ways I love God is by loving others. He calls me to love others as He has loved me…sacrificially, sincerely, whole-heartedly, graciously, mercifully, compassionately, prayerfully, scandalously, and with pursuit.
John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Philippians 2:1-11 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
1 Cor 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
6) Relationship with the Living God is worth losing everything else. The successes and pleasures of this world are nothing without Him.
Matthew 10:39 “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
2 Cor 4:7-18 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Dear Heavenly Father, Forgive me for ignoring you and your truth. Forgive me for sinking into despair and lies and for indulging my sinful desires. Thank you for fighting for my heart. Even as I sat in church yesterday, I could hear you speaking to me through a simple phrase—“At the foot of the cross we are on a level playing field”. We all come as sinners in need of your grace. Though I want to be successful and productive, not one of my actions can make you love me more or less. Forgive me for buying what the world wants to sell me—that success and happiness could be in anything but you. Forgive me for seeking my own glory. Glorious God, please don’t leave me to myself. I need you. I need your strength. I need you to give me the power to will and to do what you have asked of me. I need your love to fill me so that I might pour it out on others. Help me to love like you do—as a servant, sacrificially, sincerely, scandalously. I am embarrassed by the places my heart takes me—thank you that you take away my shame. Please let me hear your voice and know your presence again. May the truths articulated in the Scriptures above penetrate my heart and soul by your Spirit with you power. In Jesus Name, Amen
My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!