One of the strongholds that I face in life is looking backward rather then forward. I am often tormented with the "what if's" ... What if I had made different choice's? What if I would have taken another road? What if I would have worked harder in this area? What if I would have just waited? What if I had been more careful about what I said? ... When I get into these ruts I begin to quickly drown in depression and anxiety. It is not a good place to dwell.
I recently started reading The Rules Of Engagement by Cindy Trimm. Cindy showed me that my "what if" problem was much easier to overcome then I thought. "The most precious commodity in the earth realm is the mind. Not only is God vying for our minds, but the enemy is vying for your mind as well" (Trimm, 40). So often we forget that there is a spiritual battle going on around us. Our souls are constantly being fought for.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The enemy is always there whispering lies into our minds. He too knows our weakness, our hurts, our desires and he slithers his way in and feeds on that. He takes advantage of that knowledge and creates thoughts in our heads to make us believe that they are our own and that we should act on them. He plants ideas, strife and confusion and if we are ignorant to his deceitful tools we fall victim and are seduced in. Isn't that a horrible thought?
It sounds so daunting and dark ... how can we escape it? How can we take control of our minds and keep the enemy out? The great news is that God is all powerful and will always prevail and win out in the end. He is all we need and He will conquer. When we immerse ourselves in His Word and stay prayerful in all things, we silence the enemy. Prayer invades darkness. Through prayer and petition we should seek daily protection from God, that He would not only keep us physically safe but also protect our mind and spirit.
Ephesians 6:13-18 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Now when I start to dip into the "what if's" I quickly turn my thoughts to the Lord. He knows every detail of my life ... where I have been, where I am going, my heart and my desires and He has my best interest at heart. I am His precious child and He LOVES me deeply. So, the "what if's" don't matter anymore. They aren't healthy, they aren't me and they don't root from God. I prayerfully submit those thoughts to Him, put Him back in control and breathe a sigh of relief. It is wonderful to feel those burdens lift and have His peace wash over me.
Be adamantly aware of the enemy and his influences. Don't go through life oblivious to his deceitful demise or he will get the best of you. Cover yourself in the Holy Spirit and keep your thoughts centered around the Lord. The difference that it makes is astounding and so freeing!
Can you think of times when you were all of a sudden consumed by depression, regret, anger or anxiety? How do you fight back and surrender mind control to the Lord?
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