Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.” Psalm 42:11 (MSG)
I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat down with Jesus, allowed him to fill me up-just to go back to that dark place of negativity? I’ll be honest, positive thought and life-filled words don’t come easy to me-never have. If asked what I feel is my greatness weakness, I would without hesitation tell you-negative thinking followed by negative talk. And if you asked someone closest to me (mom), she’d interrupt the question with a resounding echo of the word negative.
Let me tell you a little bit about my mom. She’s the most kind-hearted, gentle spirited (when I think she should punch something at times) person I know. She has the patience of Mother Teresa (she had me didn’t she)-and if asked of her greatest strength I’d have to say her positive outlook on life. She spent the majority of her life (and most of mine) reminding me that I have a choice of how I look at things, and a choice of what I say about those things. When I was younger she came up with the phrase “you can get happy in those same pants you got mad in.” As a teenager, I don’t have to tell you those words did not make me all toasty inside-they did quite the opposite. They made me want to stay mad! Not because those words weren’t the absolute truth, but because there was something inside of me-negativity that chose to stay mad in those same pants.
And since I’m confessing, I’ll tell you that even now as an adult with teenage kids of my own, I still struggle more than I’d like to admit with negative thinking and negative talk. I find the glass half empty instead of half full. But what I’m learning more and more each day, and am finding to be absolute truth, are those words found in Proverbs 18:21. “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)
Lately my thoughts and words have been killing me. They have taken me to dark places that God never intended for me to go-moving me further from God’s truth and closer to enemy lines.
As I sat with Jesus with the all too familiar, empty feeling (that I myself had filled up with negativity-telling myself that this will never change), he spoke these words to my heart, “you are focused on earthly things.” I’ve read the verse in Philippians that tells us what we are to focus upon, but lately found myself skimming the words on the page-not because I don’t believe them, but because something took root in my heart that was dismissing them as my truth-the lies of the enemy.
When I focus on earthly things (my marriage, my husbands flaws as I see them to be, my son’s giving up a college baseball scholarship we’d all pray he’d receive to do something I didn’t choose for him, my appearance, my weight, the waiting I’ve done to see those things around me change)- I feel an overwhelming heaviness, and an emptiness that I begin to fill with worry and control. Depression overpowers my thoughts. Comparison fuels my insecurity and feeds that dark cloud of depression. I begin to feel invisible, like I’m waving my hands in the air and shouting, “pick me!” NO one sees or hears me. A buried performance drive awakens in my heart to work harder, look better, act better, all the while never arriving at enough.
Enough signifies I have all I need. Enough is contentment with where I am now. Enough is the catalyst that pulls out the weeds of insecurity planted deep in my heart, and replaces it with a confidence that’s rooted in Christ.
I’ve had enough of the enemy’s lies and his all too familiar schemes that I tend to fall for way too many times! The truth is-in this world I’ll never be pretty enough, smart enough, accomplish enough, or be important enough to make it on to the front page news.
So, it’s time to declare to the enemy of my soul once and for all that I’ve already made it into The Book of the most important people-“The Book of Life.” Maybe you’ve heard of it? The author is highly known to many, and He only includes those he holds very dear to his heart-that’s you and me.
So, farewell devil-you’ve stolen far too many of my days. I’m sure I’ll see you around-but from now on when I do, I’ll let it remind me that I’m more than enough-signed, sealed, and delivered from this world to a new heaven and earth that awaits. I’ll remind myself of who I am, who HE is and who you’re not-devil! I’ll throw off the old rags I’ve worn that are tattered with holes and stains, and slip into that warm robe of righteousness that’s been made custom for me. I’ll exchange that lie you gave me for something that fits better-the truth, and one day at just the right time I’ll exchange this world for a crown.
I’m thankful for a God that’s gracious enough to allow me to rewind back to the truth as many times as necessary. Apart from Him, I’m left to my own negative thoughts, but with HIM I can do all things and that includes allowing His truth to invade those dark places-exchanging all the lies for the truth. It’s only the truth of God’s word that reminds me I am enough, I don’t have to do enough, and He is enough to sustain me from whatever this world throws my way.
Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 20:12; 21:27 Philippians 4:3; James 1:12; John 10:10; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 61:10