Most times I have to encourage myself in the Lord because my mind goes on trips that I have to reel it back from, constantly. I have a past of struggles with depression and self-esteem issues- if you notice I said past, because I’ve decided to walk in the newness of my mind daily in Jesus. I have the mind of Christ and daily it is manifesting no matter how I feel, what I hear or see.
Some of these trips lead me to self blame and feeling guilty and whenever I engage in them, things head downhill from there. I’d throw pity parties, feel like a victim and eventually I’d feel defeated. Now there are times when we will be victims- take Job’s story for example- and times when we’ll have weak moments and have to cry because tears heal, but we have to be careful.
The enemy move around looking for who he can attack, during these times we are vulnerable and he is just right there ready to hold our hands and lead us down dark paths. One weak moment is all it takes to slowly break the door open to feeling unloved, unwanted, unappreciated, and become pessimistic. The bible tells us to guard our hearts.
Now, I’m all for acknowledging our emotions, dealing with them and putting them in a better light instead of ignoring them! I mean, they are apart of us. However, we are not to be lead by them! We cannot allow our emotions to dictate to us. During times when I’m moody or just having a bad day, I call on Jesus to guard my heart. Or, I’ll go for a walk and connect with nature.
A short prayer during these times, “Lord, I’m moody (whatever emotions you’re feeling) I don’t want to ignore the way I am feeling so I invite you here with me. I know by you being here, you will comfort me, dry my tears, heal me, love and lead me out whenever it’s time. Thank you for being here with me during this hard time.”
I wholeheartedly believe in inviting Jesus in every area of our lives. The good, the bad and the times when we make unwise decisions. You know, those times when you get yourself into a relationship you shouldn’t be in, out of need for comfort, or that job you took out of desperation, or when God says be humble and stay quiet but ‘nuh-uh, they don’t know who they dealing with, I’m bout to show who I am’… yeah girl, those foolishness we engage in when we didn’t want to wait. Now we are unhappy in this relationship, heart broken or miserable on that job. BUT GOD!
I personally view Jesus running toward us when we mess up, especially when we get ourselves into trouble. I have 2 young nieces that I adore, omgosh! The youngest is almost 2, she like the sour patch candy, she will give you gray hair before your time, okay. But she’s her own little person, with a very sweet side. My other niece, 6, I’ll just say we get along better lol. Whenever they cry, say, because they didn’t listen and end up getting hurt, the minute they rush to me with tears streaming down their little cheeks I can’t turn away as much as I’m tempted to say “you should’ve listened.” … okay, I say it sometimes. But, I immediately open my arms, pick them up and comfort them with hugs and kisses. That’s how I view Jesus with me whenever I mess up. I run to him, jump in his arms as he comforts me with hugs, kisses and words of affirmation. This view leads me to feeling closer to him in my own special way instead of further away from him.
But, it’s during the dry seasons, the weak moments, the lonely times, that we should be vigilant. It’s these times that pull the authentic us, who we truly are to the surface. They test and stretch us, and we either break, get stronger, or be molded into our true selves. When we focus on our situations and feelings instead of Jesus, our thoughts stray, and that’s what I want to talk about.
Condemning thoughts and feeling inadequate plagues the mind and drains us. We fight these by encouraging ourselves in the Lord, speaking what the word says about us. Remember, We are not fighting against flesh (self)-and-blood (others) enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12 NLT
I used to fight by “doing” something to FEEL approved and accepted by God. I’d hear “I’m not doing enough, I’m not good enough, God is not pleased with me.” These thoughts weighed me down and sometimes hindered me from praising, and giving thanks, and quiet time. I would feel guilty or self-convicted when I open my bible to the point where days would pass without really studying. Instead, I would focus more on blogging doing “good works” to fill the emptiness -to feel approved and ‘enough.’
– The truth is, I am not good enough, but I had to fight those thought with God’s Grace! His grace caused Jesus to die for me so that I can be enough through his spirit that lives inside of me and because of that God is pleased with me. Eph 2:8
– I will never do enough in my own efforts because it is God that is working within me giving me desires to do what pleases him then helping me to obey these desires. I will do good works through him. Phil 2:13. Eph 2:10
I don’t have to lean on me anymore and I’m glad because I’m too heavy! My own burdens are too heavy for me to carry. The thoughts of the old me, my past are too heavy and can become discouraging without Jesus.
Whenever these thoughts come (and they will) I throw them off because it’s not about how I feel anymore but what I know and I know that It’s not by might nor by power but it is by God’s Holy Spirit that lives in me and leads me. Zech 4:6 I don’t focus on what is behind but what is before me. Phil 3:13
Whatever area I need help in, I can pray and wait patiently and confidently for God to deliver. Rom 8:24-25 I know that the good work (of obedience and living for him) that he has started in me, he will complete it. So, I can be still knowing that he alone is God. I don’t have to strive and rush in my own efforts I can rest in him and obey his leading. I know that He is in love with me like crazy and absolutely nothing can separate this love. My walk isn’t perfect but I can rejoice every single day I wake up, because it is a day that my God, the lover of my soul, planned for me and I will be glad in it walking with him holding my hands. You are enough! The grace of God and the blood of Jesus makes us enough!
Meditate on what God says and encourage yourself: Isaiah 43:1-4; 55:8-9. Phil 4:8