What do you speak to yourself...in good times? In bad times? Do you speak words of love, life, and encouragement? Or do you speak words of doubt, fear, and self-destructive things?
I learned a huge lesson....or at least had my eyes opened to this very thing over the past week or two. We've been having some behavior issues out of our boys. So, we've been talking about character, and how God is merciful, and how discipline isn't pleasant for us or them, but it's necessary to help form them into godly men. We have also reassured them that they are good boys and that we believe in them and know that their desire is to be obedient, but our sin nature gets in the way and how God gives us His word to help us CHOOSE not to sin AND to arm us against the negative that the Enemy would rather us believe.
And......a lesson was learned. By me. I have encountered some troublesome times with some extended family over the past 6-9 months. I've been hurt deeply, used, felt anger, had to work on forgiving, etc. However, in the midst of these trials, when the tears are flowing, am I using the Word? No. I'm ashamed to admit. I'm not.
I've been so guilty of hearing the doubts and lies of the enemy and feeding off of anger to multiply my moment into something far bigger than it was, and I feel justified....in the moment. AND, let me tell you, carrying these things, rather than standing on Truth, doesn't make me the best mommy, wife, homemaker, etc., that I can be! And, surprise!!! I'm not satisfied. Actually, I feel worse. I sulk, and cry, and while these feelings and emotions are ok, for a moment, they aren't where we are intended to reside.
As we've talked to our boys, I have used two main verses:
"Your word I have treasured in my heart,That I may not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11)
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
I, as a Child of the King, have access to the most powerful weapon against sin, the Enemy, and all other perils. And, if I'm hiding (treasuring) His word in my heart, as the Psalms say, I'm armed when these attacks come my way. We read throughout the Psalms where David cried out in anguish (hence my statement about the feelings and emotions being ok, but only for a moment) to God....however, ultimately, he trusted God, dug out of his pit and moved on. If I preach "hiding His word" in their hearts, what am I modeling, when I am so deeply offended, and feeling angry? Now, that said, I don't go into details, but kids are intuitive. They know when we aren't at our best.
The verse from Hebrews is HUGE to me. It explains the magnitude of His word. It is LIVING and ACTIVE. If then, this word is hidden in my heart, it is working, digging, cutting, shaping....ALWAYS. Unless, that is, I choose to work against it, relying on my own power (flesh) to resolve whatever I face. In the message, it says the Word is “cutting through everything whether doubt or defense.” His word cuts through ANY of the lies that attack us and draw us away from Him. We have doubts and hear lies from sources all around us every day. Some are from within us, others are from news sources, people, and other battles we face, but ALL are from Satan. When we are so deeply woven with the Word (hidden in our hearts AND seeking it daily) that we can stand on the knowledge of Truth, we can stand up for what we believe, and against the lies of the world, our own mind, and other forces...which ultimately come from Satan. His plan is to draw us into the lies, and often uses areas of us that are weak. His motive is to suck the joy out of us and our lives until we are just a shell of defeat and there is no more evidence of who God says we are.
I don't expect to achieve perfection, this side of Heaven. But I do know that, personally, I want to be like Jesus. He was tempted, and rebuked Satan’s lies with the Truth of the Word. We have access to this Word, and I believe it’s the single most powerful tool we have access to, on Earth. It is powerful enough to pull down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4-5 – "For the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world, they have divine power to break down strongholds, demolish arguments, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."), raise the dead, heal the sick, make the deaf hear, the blind see, to destroy Satan’s kingdom, and set up Christ’s kingdom on the ruins!!! That's the power I (and YOU) hold within us. We simply have to tap into it.
So, as I teach my children, to arm themselves with the Word, this LIVING and ACTIVE Word, that completely guts us (our inner selves, thoughts, and motives exposed)....I think He really intends this lesson for Dee. Yet, in all His ways, this was the way I have had to learn. He's not through with me yet, thankfully!
What about you? How do you choose to speak to yourself? Do you speak Truth or allow the Enemy to attack you with lies?