Have you ever experienced a moment where all of your senses are heightened, as if there’s a supernatural awareness or panoramic perspective of all that’s going on around you?
I’m in a moment like that now. After several days of hard rain, I’m curled up on the sofa, and the Spirit of Jesus is all around. Through the second story window, being pressed by a gusty morning wind, I see trees of the purest Spring green, heavy with moisture from the drenching rains of the night. My attention turns to a few curious little cardinals perched on our bird feeder, determined to take the last of the sunflower seeds wedged within the splintered wood. Suddenly, two little cats spring to their feet to take a peek, their tails curved in attention. I’m clutching a fresh cup of coffee: the steam touches my face, and my glasses turn foggy at the first sip. It’s quiet here, except for the squall of thoughts determined to cut through the silence.
It’s a gift really…to have all of your thoughts seemingly gathered into one room. But don’t get me wrong. On any given day, there’s a team of feelings and emotions, perceptions, ideas, dreams, and scenarios that swell up against me.
Today, it’s the comfort of God’s creation and the awakening of my senses that carries these thoughts into new light. In 2 Corinthians 10, verses 5 and 6, Paul encourages the church to
“demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” [NIV].
The Message puts it this way…
“…to fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ…”
What I’m realizing is that there are certain thoughts that have become hidden in familiar patterns of thinking: so much so, I cannot distinguish them at all. Yet, there are other mistruths that I am able to identify, and I continue to tolerate them. It’s not a conscious decision to do so. It’s more like an impulse.
Francis Frangipane explains that before we were saved, we were “undisturbed” possessions of the devil. Satan, in full armor, guarded our souls. But, on the day that we accepted Jesus Christ, Satan was stripped of this armor. The war was waged and won for us at that very moment. We must know that the armor is the enemy’s first line of defense in keeping us in the dark, and the material of this armor is composed of the thoughts, attitudes, and opinions that remain in agreement with him.
Yes…the enemy’s armor was destroyed on the day of our salvation, but similar strongholds will maintain some traction in our perceptions and behavior until we are walking in complete freedom with Jesus in paradise. So, why does Paul even challenge us (the church) to capture these thoughts, to confront them, to seek deliverance?
The enemy sets out to kill, to steal, and to destroy. But, this is not a boots on the ground type of battle. Our weapons are divine. As Satan’s armor fell in defeat, we were granted authority to tear down the conspicuous, the exaggerated proud things, and every argument challenging the truth of Jesus.
Friends, if we have this God-given authority, why do we walk with a posture of disappointment? Why do we feel like we’re losing?
Though I continue to struggle in the inner realm of my thoughts, God has moved in undeniable ways. As I learned to abide in Him (an ongoing process), I noticed that truth would come quickly to me when I heard lies like these…
No one likes you.
You should keep opinions to yourself, because others will resent you if you share them.
You’ll never be as productive, beautiful, organized, or successful as her.
You’re a good friend, but you are nobody’s preferred friend.
You’re going to disappoint them.
You’re way too much for your husband to handle. He probably wishes that he married someone else.
You shouldn’t tell anyone that you take medication for anxiety, because they will think that you are weak.
You can’t help anyone else, because you’re too much of a mess.
You are a good mom, but you’re not a great mom.
Maybe you have had these same thoughts. Perhaps you’re hearing them now. We need to be reminded that it’s the enemy that was conquered…not you, and not me.
We must “break the agreement with the foe who will fight to remain in our lives” [Frangipane].
Jesus, we humble ourselves in your presence, which is always near. We need help. Let our repentance become a catalyst for deliverance, as we recognize and acknowledge thoughts that aim to destroy us and crush our spirit. We do not want to tolerate these lies. We want to be free!
Let us re-dress in the truth of your word, which says…
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]” – John 10:10 AMP
And, what do we say to the works of the enemy, to the thoughts that have pinned themselves against the truth of Jesus?
If God is for us, who will be [successful] against us? Who will bring a charge against us [God’s chosen ones]? Who is the one that condemns us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword?
In all things, we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us and loves us still. [Romans 8 AMP]