Back in 2010 I spoke to a good friend (let’s call this friend Frank), who was having a tough time emotionally. Frank texted me about 10:30 because he was having some difficulty from a faith-perspective. But the story starts an hour or two earlier. He was at work and a coworker was having some pain. He thought “I should pray for her.” Then he thought. “But why should I? God wouldn’t answer ME.” Later, he saw a blind man at the train station. Same thoughts. These thoughts got him thinking. “Why am I thinking this? Do I really believe that? I mean, why do I believe that God won’t answer me? Is my faith really that shaky? What is wrong with me” He really started spiraling downward emotionally at that point, and was having a really rough time. That was when he texted me.
We texted back and forth a little, I made a suggestion, and that was about it until he called me about an hour later. We talked, and all ended well. But I’ll share with you all what I told him at that time.
There are times you have thoughts. And there are times that the enemy gives you thoughts. The problem comes only when you think that their thoughts are your thoughts. They’re not your thoughts.
You see, the enemy likes to be tricky. They will put thoughts in your head and then when you start thinking about those things they PUT there, they will accuse you (again, making it sound to you like your own thoughts), of thinking those things. Could be as simple as “I don’t have faith.” “God doesn’t love me”, or something more specific, such as thoughts of anger, rape, abuse, violence, stealing, or some other malevolent idea. It really doesn’t matter what the thought is, because it isn’t yours. When they can get you to believe that YOU thought it, then they will accuse you of being a sinner, dirty, evil, etc. And the thing is, it works. They tend to get you to blame yourself for their ideas.
There is another way. In fact, it’s the way that I texted and then later suggested to Frank. But it all hinges on one point: Any thought that begins with an incorrect premise from a Kingdom perspective is an illegal thought. In Frank’s case, the illegal thought was “God won’t do it for me.” He didn’t need to think ANY further than that, because it is a lie. How do you know it’s a lie? Simply, the Bible SAYS it’s a lie. “God is no respecter of persons”. It’s in there somewhere. I could even look it up for you and tell you where, but that would keep you from having to do it yourself ^_^.
I’m not necessarily known for my copious amounts of Bible-reading. But I do know a lot of what it says, and knowing it comes in handy in times like these. If you know what God is saying about you, then you really don’t need to give the lies of the enemy any further thought. When the enemy plants lies in your head, what you need to do is send the liar away, and choose to focus on something that is true (preferably in opposition to the lie). Satan is a liar and the Father of lies (you can look that verse up too!), so we know that it is a normal part of the enemy’s schemes to do this. We know that God is the Father of Heavenly Lights in whom there is no twisting or turning of shadows. We know that God does not change. We know that in Him there is no darkness, but rather He is Light. With all of this said, there is nothing that God is hiding from you. There is nothing He is keeping from you. That was the lie the enemy told Adam and Eve in the Garden. It’s not a new tactic.
Why am I sharing all this? Not to depress you, and there is no condemnation if this has happened to you (Hint: We have all been there at least once, and I multiples upon multiples of times). Simply learn it and be protected for the next time. If you GIVE IN to the lies, the enemy takes it step further. What does this look like? Well, what happened to Frank? He started wallowing in the lie. He gave in to the lie and took it into his heart and let it become truth to him, if only for an hour or two. What then happened was that his heart sank. His emotions gave way to the lie, and he began to sink. He was struggling for a while before it got dealt with, too. This is why it is important to cut it off early. If you feed the lie, it will take root within you and grow.
But even if it DOES take root and grow, God is always more powerful, and will remove the deception. The easiest way is to choose to rule over your emotions at that moment in time. It’s not an easy thing to do, but anyone can do it if they choose. Hear this: It is a conscious choice to rule over the emotions. Everyone is capable of this. You simply have to choose to do so. You are not incapable; you are not bound. You have the freedom to choose to do it. You just might not want to, and it becomes difficult the more you feed the negative emotions. You must choose at that point to focus on the Truth that you didn’t think about earlier. You must repeat that truth to yourself. Even command your emotions to fall in line with the Truth of God. You must choose that regardless of how you feel, your emotions are based in a lie, and therefore will no longer have power over you. It is a thought, an idea. It’s not a feeling. You must overcome those feelings with your thoughts. It’s a pain, I know. But it’s really the only solution that I’m aware of that you can do that will solve it. I know I’m repeating myself, but I’m belaboring this point for a reason. I want you to get it, and I want you to use it ^_^
Well, after Frank called and we talked, I shared all of this with him, and I declared truth over him. It solved the problem right then and there. Because Frank wasn’t able to fix it himself that time (I think partly because he didn’t know what I’m sharing here until I told him), he had to get help. He did, and he’s fine. But because he couldn’t fix it himself, he had to wait a couple hours, all the while sinking deeper, until he could get set free. One of the things I told him was that I used to always call my friend/mentor Diane when I had a problem or spiritual warfare issue. At some point in time, however, I realized that I couldn’t depend on her to fight my battles for me. I had to be strong enough to do it myself. I had to be able to stand firm when no one else was around, no one else was praying, and the only person I could depend on is the Person of the Holy Spirit. If you are stuck in this sort of thing, there ARE other ways to get out of the rut, and they involve other people. But if there isn’t anyone else… what are you going to do? Stay stuck?
The fact is that you are MORE than a conqueror, you are a overcomer, the SAME SPIRIT that raised Jesus from the dead lives IN you, and he has filled you with POWER by this spirit. You are the head, not the tail, above and not beneath, and you have been seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, who is far above all principalities and powers, and who disarmed them a long time ago and made a public spectacle and display of them by nailing them to the cross. There’s much more I could say, but you can read it in the Bible just as easily as I can type it out for you to read.
This was a good reminder for me too. I got to share something with Frank that will help him in the future, but it also reminded me of this particular tactic of the enemy, which I am sure will be useful for me as well. Demons are liars. Don’t listen to them, don’t feed their lies. Know what the Father says about you, and live by it. Regardless of your circumstances, they don’t dictate God, and they don’t dictate the reality of His children as a result. If HE says it’s true, then it is, and if HE says it’s a lie, then it is. Be strong in the power of His might, stand firm against the schemes of the enemy. And remember: They’re not your thoughts.