Consider the source

I’ve been listening to youtube alot lately. I haven’t taken much time to read the bible, so I’ve been trying to listen to it. I’ve not taken in my daily bread and you can tell it in my life. I always struggle when I don’t keep my focus on God.

What is my greatest struggle? My mind. My thoughts. I’ve always been hard on myself, and with age, that hardness has turned into condemnation, self-pity, and depression. This is what happens to me when I don’t stay in my bible. When I step out in my own strength. It happens every time, but here lately, it’s been becoming detrimental more quickly. What I mean to say is that, the more I rely on my bible, the more I need God. So when I step out of that, things go to hell. Fast.

adult alone backlit dark
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I’ve decided I can look at this as a good thing or a bad thing. I think that its a good thing because I want to live God’s will. If I didn’t want to live in God’s will, it would not be a good thing.

Do you know what I’m choosing to do with myself when I step out of my focus on God? It’s nothing spectacular. It isn’t exciting. It’s self-pity. I’m whining and complaining about my circumstances. Feeling sorry for myself. Choosing unbelief. Ask me how self-pity is unbelief. Well, my mind on self-pity tells me what God is currently doing for me is not good enough. My mind on self-pity tells me God hasn’t looked closely enough at my circumstances. It tells me that he missed something and that I don’t trust him enough to wait on him, and not be anxious.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Can you relate? Going through this in real time, helps me to realize I can’t stay in this place. Stepping out in my own strength is not what God wants from me. When I’m going through these hard times, is when I need his help. It’s also when it’s hardest to ask for help.

In that self-pity cycle, I’m over on one side of the room and God’s on the other. Instead of reaching out to him and asking for his comfort, I’m over here, hugging myself, saying terrible things in my thoughts. I don’t feel worthy of his comfort. I believe those lies Satan whispers ever so lovingly in my ear. Those enticing words of self-hate and rejection. I don’t know why it’s so easy to cling to those thoughts. I suppose we will find out one day. But not while we are here on this earth. But in those deep moments, where I’m filled with with FEELINGS of dread, disdain, envy, self-hatred, in those moments, I’m in unbelief. I’m choosing to disagree with my loving God. I’m choosing to believe a liar, a thief, an accuser.

Say Sally No-name comes up to you one day. You know her as the town gossip, an adulterer, she’s stolen money from the local high school and gotten away with it because it’s a small town and her dad owns half of it. She thrives off negative gossip whether it’s true or not. She wants to tell everything bad she hears about everyone. If she told you, you are worthless, would you internalize that, or would you consider the source and walk away. Now, it may hurt your feelings initially, because no one enjoys being called names, but I don’t think you’d loose any sleep over it. I think you would eventually realize the type of person she is negates anything she says.

Satan is much like this. More than likely, he is the leader of Sally No-names internal thought monologue. Probably without her even realizing. But if you know Sally is a liar, and you can disregard her conversation, then come to the point where you realize those thoughts in YOUR mind are also a conversation. AN INFLUENCE. And occasionally, a bunch of lies. And where else do those lies come from, but the ultimate liar. When you realize the source, you can make that conscious choice to refuse the thought. Don’t accept it. Don’t let it come into your heart and fill you with grief.  Believe what your father tells you, you are perfectly and wonderfully made. Keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the Lord.  (Romans 5:1). You are utterly secure in me; nothing will be able to separate you from my love in Christ Jesus, You are now part of the people of God (1 Peter 2:9). And together the life you now live is by faith in my Son (Galatians 2:20). Don’t live by your own power or understanding. No, live by my Spirit within you (Zechariah 4:6; Proverbs 3:5). Remember, I have given you the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you (Romans 5:5; John 14:17). The Spirit will guide you into all truth, help you to obey me, and empower you to do my work (John 16:7, 13; Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:16).

Look at all these things he tells us. He’s trying to help us see. He loves us. He knows the numbers of hairs on our heads and stitched  us together in our mother’s wombs. We are precious to him after the sacrifice of Jesus. You are no longer darkness, but light in my Son. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). You have a glorious future (Romans 8:18). You are a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).

If you fell from Heaven and could never get back in, would you keep as many people out as you could. Consider the source.


Staying in the word

Daily bread. Living water. What does that even mean? Does it mean food? Does it mean praying every day and going about our lives? It meant these things to me for a long time. Keep in mind I’m not convicting anyone. I’m telling you the ways I’ve been convicted in my life. Ways that I’ve felt pulled to a change in how I approach the word. And many, many ways I’ve failed.

Do you want to know what happens when I step out of the word? What happens when I don’t fill up on my Jesus for the day….yes that is a real thing. I need to hear from Him every day, to refocus my heart and help make my decisions throughout my day. I haven’t read much in the last few days, which inspired this post.

Last week, I reacquainted with a cousin I hadn’t seen in years due to our parents hating strongly disliking each other. It was awesome. We were both so happy to see each other and hang out. I had been running back and forth to VBS in the evenings and hadn’t had a lot of time to clean up, so I’d left some things for the next morning, and the next morning, and the next morning. So I ran myself out of time because I had so much to do before we left the house to go to these VBS’s. Well on the last day I started to second guess my reacquaintance with her. She was talking about our grandma, and had mentioned that she had bought her kids several pieces of clothing. In my mind, I interpreted this as, she got me something and not you. This is my effect from not staying in the word.

I suffer from overthinking. Tremendous overthinking. The kind of overthinking that ruins my relationships and keeps me from going and visiting family because in my mind, I assume I already know what they are thinking and saying about me behind my back. (my family does this often, they like to say bad things about each other, I’m sure i’m not the only one)

The only time I can really deal with this is when I stop trying to predict what other people are doing or not doing.  The only way I can do this is when I have a close relationship with Jesus. Why? Because my relationship with him matters more to me than anything on this earth. He calls me to love my neighbor. My very difficult neighbor, my neighbor who sometimes criticizes me without my being present and I find out about it through the family grapevine. Despite this, He tells me that it is to my glory to overlook an offense, and that he will deal with any paybacks that need dealt out. Guess what, if I didn’t read that, and meditate over it day and night (when I needed to stop feeling negative towards someone who hurt me) I would probably stop talking to everyone in my family, and many people in my small town. But can you imagine if everyone did that to each other? No one would talk. No one would be there to comfort you.

God’s wisdom is far greater than we can ever imagine, and in staying in the word, I can live in that spirit. I can make choices that perhaps the only one who knows I struggle is my father in heaven, and that’s ok. because he promises me he sees it. He promises me that he will always be there for me and I will never be alone. He promises me he will be the one to seek justice. I’m on this earth to love my neighbor, not to take vengeance. I was created to do Gods good works, and that’s what I need to do while I’m here.