The Battle Within….

We are in a battle……….a battle of the mind. So many in our world today struggle daily with thoughts of are they good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Many of our young kids and teens are already struggling much more than you realize with trying to determine who they are and not feeling like they are “enough”. The voices of self- doubt are loud. They are distracting, frustrating, discouraging.

I grew up walking on egg shells. It was my job to make things better when things were not okay. It was my job to hide what was really going on in my house to protect my family. My mistakes were looked upon as huge disappointments. It was my job to act like everything was okay when it was not. That is what I thought a good Christian girl did. I had learned rules, but I had not learned God’s promises. I knew the books of the Bible but I did not have a relationship with the Lord. I had not learned that as Christians we needed transparency and community.

I desired control, perfection and love although I did not know about the love part at the time. I had a very low self-esteem but you probably would not have known it. The one who did know it was Satan. He latched onto those feelings and he decided that by telling me from time to time that I was not good enough, smart enough or pretty enough that I might fall. Thanks to my Aunt Sheila and Uncle Jimmy (who took me to church) I was able to hear other voices and I was able to hear the Word of God.

In my Bible study group that meets weekly we were talking about Jesus being tempted in the dessert after His baptism. Right after Jesus was baptized, the Spirit led him into the wilderness and He was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights by Satan. The evil one was relentless and continued to try to make Jesus doubt himself. He wanted Jesus to sin because He knew that a sinful man could not be a worthy sacrifice for mankind.

As I thought of how annoying and frustrating the voice of Satan must have been to Jesus I started reflecting upon how often I let the evil one’s words set camp in my mind in the past and how often I allow it today. Why do so many of us measure our worth on what the world tells us when God’s Word has been presented to us? Why can’t we truly embrace His promises?

How do we battle those voices within? How do we battle that annoying voice that wants nothing more than to take us down! Here are a few things I decided I want to embrace in my mind when those doubts or trials start to rise:

  1. I need to remember that I am not going to face any trial or temptation that Jesus will not understand.

The verse below reminds me of this promise. We are told that the Spirit lead Jesus into the desert. He will not lead me to any place He cannot conquer. He was with me in my childhood and He is with me today. He will not lead me to a place and not equip me.

“So He had to be made like His brothers in every way, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, in order to make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18 

  1. We are equipped by His Word

Each time that Jesus was tempted he answered in scripture. He knew the truth and embraced it. Each time I feel the world telling me I am one thing, I need to look to the scriptures to see what God says about me. My identity is in Him, not what the world’s expectations are of me. Each time I feel that things are hopeless, I need to find my hope in the Lord.

I cannot battle the darts that Satan will throw at me without knowing the Word. Scripture is what got Jesus through the wilderness. I can’t fight without my sword of the Spirit. I need to be in the Word.

  1. The trials we go through make us stronger.

We all have our “wildernesses”. We have to acknowledge that God is still in control during these times. If we stay faithful to Him, we will come out stronger. When Jesus came out of the wilderness Luke 4:14 says… Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit, and stories about him spread all through the area. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 

I love how that verse says that when Jesus came out, He was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. He came out stronger because of his obedience and faithfulness.

I know that may past made me stronger. I know that my family was chosen for me and I was chosen for them. Without knowing that God is in full control I could have easily spiraled out of control and gone a whole different direction. Even when I was not able to fully embrace His truths, He embraced me.