Funny how the worst battles you’ll ever face, can be inside your head. This week was rough. It was the anniversary of my dad’s death, but of course, not a lot of people know that. So, life just keeps moving along. It’s weird how those can be some of the most supernatural and other-worldly days of your life. Because inside your head, you’re like, How can everybody just be doing life? How can everyone just be walking around like everything’s ok? But in retrospect, how often do I just walk around, doing life, on days like this for other people? Because we have no idea. And because on the outside, I still look like me. I still look like it’s just another day in life, and so no one knows. And, really, it is just another day. It’s just your brain that says that it’s not. I used my techniques of quoting scripture on Thursday, and a couple other days this week, when I was completely freaking out, on the brink of an anxiety attack. It’s incredible how calming that can be. And, how the Bible helps us to wage this war, inside our mind.
As Ephesians 6:10-18 states,
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Today, I’m just focusing on the helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. The helmet of Salvation to protect your mind. As I discussed weeks ago, we are continually “Working out our Salvation”. Yes, we acknowledge that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and died for our sins. But that’s not where our Salvation is supposed to end. In order to become a new creation in Christ, we are supposed to be working out our Salvation. And part of that, is learning to “think right.” Thinking with the mind of Christ. So, on weeks or days or months like this, we have the ability to grow A LOT, if we just take advantage of it. We have to replace our habits of worry, anxiety, and foul thoughts, with “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–” Philippians 4:8 These are the thoughts we are supposed to be having. God doesn’t want you to feel tormented or anguished or grieved, he wants you to have the mind of Christ. To think about the good things. And, I kept telling myself, that my Dad would not want this day to ruin my life. I just needed to think about good things. I still got caught up, I still had moments where I was completely in my feelings, but I just remind myself of the best quote I’ve ever heard:
And, although, this week, it was mainly grief that I was struggling with, this applies to everything that scours your mind. It applies to all the moments gripped in fear, and turmoil, and angst. Memorize a scripture, recite it to yourself, start singing praise music, push the devil out of your mind. 2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. We learn to wield these tools, by using them. We have to actively work out our salvation. We put on the helmet of Salvation, we take up the Sword of the Spirit. See how both of those – call you to action? You have to actively pursue your Salvation.
I sat down to write this morning, and absolutely could not. I had something on my heart that was plaguing my mind, and I was trying to push it away, but I just couldn’t shake it. I had to make a phone call, to talk to someone, because my mind was eating me and I was afraid that something was going horribly wrong, because of course, it’s not just my dad that died. And, I needed to touch base with someone who had also suffered this loss. And, I had missed their calls on the day of, and I had tried to call back yesterday repeatedly, with no success, and I needed to know, everything was ok. So, first I made this phone call. And, everything was fine. It was all in my head. I had tried to battle this spirit of fear, but it was still creeping in there, and with this phone call, everything was washed away. Yep, Saturday morning, living life, no worries here. And, low and behold, here was what I needed to be talking about this morning. God always knows what we need, and he is the good, good Father who provides. He has given us all the tools, we need to simply use them. We have an entire Bible of scripture and the Word, to help us with this battle. He sent his Son to save us, and to give us a way to receive the Holy Spirit, who is our greatest battle-mate. He’s like our General. We need only to turn to him, and he will direct our path. He stands at the top of the hill, and surveys the whole battlefield, to tell us where to go and what to do. We need to trust him – with our lives. “26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27. We put on the armor of our Salvation, to help protect us against the spirits of fear – because they are never from God. Our armor is built to battle the other-worldly things that are happening all around us and to us. But, God has given us everything we need to win in this battlefield, out here and in our heads.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you!!! Thank you for all that you are, and all that you would have us be. Thank you for the tools of our Salvation. Thank you for sending your Son, and your Holy Spirit. Thank you for the opportunities to work out my Salvation. To continue to make me a better creation, to be more like your Son every day. To help me hide your word in my heart that I may win life. Thank you for all that you are, and all that you would have me be. Thank you for saving me, on the day of my repentance, and every day for the rest of my life. I pray today Father, that you help everyone reading this to know of your deep love for us, and that you wish to save us from the world, and from ourselves, from the spirits of fear – because they are not from You, Father, and we only want the good, good things that come from You. Thank you for this day, and all the days of the rest of my life. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!!
What an appropriate ministry again, Teen Challenge. A ministry that helps people overcome addiction and all the spirits of this world. Who gives people the tools, to win life. This is a ministry program that helps people learn about and utilize the tools that the Bible and our Father gives us to come back into the fold. To fight off the devil’s hold on their lives, and learn that God only wants good things for us. Please take some time to read about them here.
And donate here.