For the last couple of days, I have been reflecting on how all the negative thoughts, feelings, emotions, and premonitions which overran my mind were not really mine. For decades, I have believed that I had to respond to every negative thought, every perverse persuasion which told me that I had to respond to those thoughts, those feelings.
I could not give myself the rest, the permisssion to ignore those noisy, painful thoughts and feelings.
Today, I recognize the great freedom which God has already granted me, and today I can walk in the freedom, the newness of His Spirit.
I do not have to fight with every negative thought or feeling strays across my mind. Every "what if" and "what about" is not my problem, and does not originate with me. They are fiery darts, but they have neither effect nor impact on my life.
One of the biggest battles that I often faced in my life was the shame and recrimination I often endured from others, whether I was a kid on the playground, an employee in a work setting, or an activist in the field.
It seemed to me that people were getting away with the great evil that they had perpetrated against me. Yet that assumption was rather a lie from the Enemy, a set of negative thoughts that were assaulting me.
All this time,
I took this unkind assumptions for real, as though I had to respond to them, to own them as my own.
Over the last two days, I have learned more and more that I do not have to heed the negatives in my mind.
One of the biggest negatives, one of the most salient, or rather vociferous fiery darts was "Why didn't God help you?" and "Where is your God?" and "You know that you have to take care of yourself, because God did not take care of you ..."
That is a very trying, demanding, painful set of lies. It is quite pernicious.
Only recently have I begun to learn how present, how available, how committed He is -- He has been! -- to caring for me, to watching out for me.
I started meditating on this verse again:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." (Psalm 23:1)
The Lord is my shepherd. He is dedicated to watching out for me. He is not out to get me. He is not out to play me out or to take advantage of me for the worse. He is on my side. He is for me, not against me (Romans 8:31).
I don't have to fight with those lies, either. Just because there are bad circumstances does not mean that God is not watching out for me, or that God has not been protecting me.
It is a lie that God is not taking care of me. In fact, I accept what many good preachers point out, which is that God is severly UNDER-praised. He protects us so much throughout the day.
He has safeguarded us from so many happenstances. We just don't realize it.
How important it is for all of us to walk by faith, not by sight.
Indeed, the LORD is my Shepherd. I shall not want -- nor shall I fear!
This is not a joke. This is not a game. He is watching out for us. He cares for us. He is not on subtle or lazy stand-by. He is here for us every step of the way, and we do not have to give heed to the lies or deceitful distractions of the Enemy!