Yesterday one of my PE students came into my office with a Bible I had given her and said "I have a question, this does not make any sense". She opens up to the following passage: 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I began to explain the passage to her and she stops me and says "no no no, I understand what he's saying, I don't get why he doesn't just do the right thing"
I honestly wanted to jump out of my desk throw my arms around her, give her a big hug, and cry. Amazing how children see things so simply. Simply and clearly.
For the past few days I've struggled mentally and emotionally. After we become Christians and begin to grow in maturity, a large portion of our battle becomes the battle of the mind. (Yes I'm a big supporter of Joyce Meyer's book The Battlefield of the Mind, despite whatever issues you may have with her or her ministry, get that book, it will open your eyes)
When I became a Christian God first dealt with my outward and evident unChristlike lifestyle; cussing, drinking alcohol, rage etc. Then He began to deal with some evident heart issues; unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, insecurity, etc. As I continued to grow closer to Him, He began to heal some broken pieces of my heart and reveal to me mindsets and insecurity that I never even realized I had. There's one particular area that I remember so clearly that He dealt with 3 years ago.
Though God worked in me in this area 3 years ago, this past week, those hurts, those insecurities, those mindsets that I had battled, been beat down with, had carried for years, those same feelings and thoughts came rushing on me. I can empathize with Paul: For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
The enemy works this way. He'll jump at any opportunity to plant something in your mind that will have you feeling like you're plunging face first down into a never ending hole. A little less than a week ago on Wednesday night church I got up in front of the church and shared a testimony and exhorted the church that we need to FIGHT... not just give the enemy place in our life, but rather FIGHT the fight of faith and when it came time for me to fight this week, I laid down.
As the enemy brought old mindsets, feelings, and hurts, I didn't rise up and place the Word on them, but rather chose to give them authority, power, and credence. Perhaps I should have taken my own advice that I've given countless times:
2 Cor. 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When the enemy comes in with lies, we have to take them to the Word of God, and set our mindset straight in accordance with the Word. We have to take our cares and anxieties straight to the cross, where Christ's blood was spilled for us. It's a choice that we have to make.
As Paul said "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead..."
Are you battling your mind, your past, are you doing those things which you hate? Run to His Word and run to Him. He will show you truth in the Word and as you come to Him in prayer, He will take your anxieties, pains, insecurities, your hurt, your past, and He will return it for peace, for mercy, for joy, for unconditional love, and for rest.
Be Blessed, J. Tate