Friday, July 17, 2015

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh 
but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments 
and every lofty opinion raise against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ." 
2 Cor. 10:4-5

So, I am into week 4 of the Bible study I have been participating in on how to mend a wounded heart. This week's challenges have been a huge challenge for me. Its definitely ironic how, when God wants to teach you something specific, He tends to send specific issues to challenge what you thought you had learned:-)
This week, the author, Suzanne Eller, challenged us to evaluate the playground of the mind. What do I spend my time thinking about? What painful situations do I tend to replay in the playground of my mind? Yes, there is a time to work thru the issues of painful situations in our lives but we can't live in those situations day after day. That is the playground Satan loves us to be in because it's there we turn into ungrateful, unsatisfied, embittered, and selfish people. God wants to clean out every area of our lives that doesn't line up with what He knows is best for us.
Neil Anderson in his book, Freedom from Fear, gives an excellent definition of what a stronghold looks like. "Strongholds are habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that are deeply ingrained in a person's personality. They are similar in concept to what psychologist call "defense mechanisms," which are unhealthy ways of coping with life." Ouch! After reading that, I definitely don't want to live that painful lifestyle and want God to clean out the strongholds in my life.
Another strong statement I read was by a wise woman, Margaret Thatcher. She advises us this way, "Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits, Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."
Our thoughts are very powerful weapons. God promises DIVINE power to break down the wrong thought patterns in our lives...but we must use it! He won't force us to tap into His divine power but is more than willing to give us the power we need to break down those areas in our thought life that need to be replaced with His truth and grace. God never promised that His way would be easy. But He promised to be with us each step of the way. He doesn't promise that every situation in our lives will be mended and healed but He does promise to be the Healer and the Gracegiver.
One of the biggest things I am learning right now thru this study is this....I cannot take someone else's brokenness personally. That's very difficult! But if I can with God's help, see that in ALL things God has my good and His glory in it all, I can then partner up with God and instead of allowing the hurt someone else's actions toward me to define who I am, I can be a tool God uses to help reach out to that hurting person. Yes, there are times healthy boundaries need to be set in place and that needs to be done but even in that, let God define who you are to Him and don't let the hurt of another define who you are in your own eyes.
Thru my teen years, one of the songs that I wrote out and placed on the back side of my door to my room had these words...
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love...

Like the rainbow of promise, God promises strength for every day...
His rest is sweet...and His grace and kindness and love are unending. 

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