Breaking free from any stronghold means a major battle will take place. Yes, some of it is physical (addiction to the behavior), but a great deal of it is in the mind. The Bible tells us, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he“. This past week, I found my mind drift to “put-downs” of my appearance. This is a dangerous thought pattern for me because, in the past, it has been accompanied by destructive behavior (starvation). These thoughts crept in, and I allowed them to stay at first because I thought they were only there because I’d been unable to exercise lately (oral surgery, sick kids, & a head injury). I thought I was feeling down because I needed to move my bod (love those endorphins). While this may have been somewhat true, I should never let those thoughts hang around unaddressed. The Husband also noticed the change in attitude.
You see, the enemy is constantly looking for a foothold to take you right back to the pit. Remember my post on “Captivity“? He wants to take us back to the place God has led us out of. From the first sign of a mind-invasion of negativity, I must stop and take those thoughts captive to Christ. If I don’t, those thoughts run the risk of becoming an idol to which I bow. Yes, I can make an idol out of thinking poorly about myself. God perfectly timed my lessons in the Daniel study to coincide with this. This week’s homework was on this exact topic. I don’t want to construct idols in my life any longer, even those in the name of “self-improvement” or “self-loathing”. Nor do I want to bow to idols constructed by others. Not only do they prove destructive and inhibit True power in my life, they rob me of the opportunity to worship the One True God.
So, how do we combat these mind games? It’s simple and difficult all at the same time. It’s simple because it’s merely speaking truth over the negative thoughts. It’s difficult because you must first recognize the thoughts for what they are… destructive. I didn’t realize how often I had negative thinking until I began to ask God to show me immediately when my thoughts were taking me down the wrong path. At first, I probably had 100 attacks on my mind in a single day… no wonder I was such a mess inside. As God revealed to me these destructive thoughts, I began to apply His truth (using scripture) to them like this:
A negative thought about my appearance enters my mind. Rather than consider it, I stop and say aloud, “NO! My God says I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made‘. He is ‘enthralled by my beauty‘”. If the thought comes back immediately I say, “NO! In the name of Jesus Christ, get thee behind me. You have no power here, Satan!”
Or a negative thought enters that has to do with my being weak. I stop and say, “True, in my own strength, I am weak; BUT, My God is ‘able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could ask or think‘. He says that ‘I can do ALL things through Him‘.”
Yes, I had to do this constantly at first. Yes, it was exhausting. However, the more I apply God’s truth, the less my thoughts are over run. I used to believe in victory in Jesus, but I didn’t believe Jesus for victory in my life… let that one sink in for a minute. Satan believes in Jesus (acknowledges His existence), but he doesn’t believe Him. I wondered what living victoriously looked like, and now I know… it looks like fully relying on God (and not myself). Take that, mind games!