On Guard

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.I Cor. 16_13

I almost believed a lie today.  Almost.  Those voices in my head are so dang sneaky, but I’ve learned something in this journey.  I’ve learned that I have to be intentional and conscientious about where my thoughts are coming from.  I spend a lot of time evaluating and assessing what is going on in my head.  I’ve learned that I can’t simply take my thoughts at face value and assume because those thoughts are in my actual head that they are my actual thoughts.  Because those voices, the sneaky ones, they don’t play by the rules.  They invade what doesn’t belong to them and try to pitch their tent and make themselves at home.  So unless I’m staying cognizant of the dialogue in my brain, then I could definitely believe the lies those voices whisper in my ear.

ED is dethroned.  His lies don’t work on me anymore because I’ve wielded my sword of logic at him and proven him to be completely stupid and useless.  I mean, seriously, eating chicken at lunch will make me fat?  Exercising 4 hours a day is necessary to my eternal happiness?  I’ll be a better mother if I get through this workout video?  ED is so illogical.  I see that now, but it’s almost impossible to see that when he’s controlling the playing field.  I praise God everyday for putting the people in my path who gifted me with my sword of logic and then taught me how to be a master wielder.  Those people are my heroes.  Each technique enabled me to fight ED’s lies with truth, and now I can do it without even drawing my sword.  I can just glare at ED with my intensely logical stare and he cowers back into his hole and even pulls the dirt back down over top of himself.  ED is done and he knows it.

But, those doggone Sneaky Voices are everywhere. They know my weak spots and play on them constantly.  It’s like one of those rodent-sized dogs that yips incessantly at your heals and refuses to go back home.  I used to try to be polite, like the owner is watching and you don’t want him to see you kick his dog halfway across the street.  But with the Sneaky Voices, those societal polite rules don’t apply.  Sneaky Voices don’t play fair, so I don’t either.

Like today, Sneaky Voices told me every other teacher in the building is doing a better job of teaching than I am.  I fall for that one a lot.  Now, if I was failing to plan lessons, letting my students have a block party in my classroom everyday, giving them all A’s without even looking at their work, then yeah, I could probably believe Sneaky Voices. But let’s use the sword of logic instead.  Sneaky Voices lied to me on a day that my lesson didn’t go very well.  It didn’t go like I had planned.  One lesson in which I had decided to try something new flopped.  Does that mean I’m ruining my students for the rest of their lives?  No. It means I need to reassess and replan the next time.  It means I may have to reteach something.  It means I may have to ask for advice.  It means I’m human and I make mistakes.  Ooooh, right.  I make mistakes.  I’m not perfect.

Sneaky Voices play on that little fact that I’m not perfect because I would in fact like to be perfect.  Being perfect would make life so much easier, wouldn’t it?  I wouldn’t have to learn lessons from my mistakes, I wouldn’t have to apologize for messing up.  I wouldn’t have to backtrack and make changes.  I wouldn’t have to feel bad for not being . . . perfect.

Hand me my sword. Logic needs a word.

I am not perfect.  I yell at my boys.  I ignore Benj’s extremely sound advice.  I forget to grade a stack of papers.  I make my friend feel bad with some offhand comment.  I snap at my students.  I suck up a long string with the vacuum and break the darn turn-y thing. I make a sarcastic remark on social media that is taken the wrong way.  I don’t write birthday cards to my relatives.  My list could continue, but I am holding the sword of logic so I have to wield it here.  I make mistakes, but I also learn from my mistakes, and I apologize for my mistakes, and sometimes, those mistakes don’t even get noticed except by me and Sneaky Voices.  When they start lying to me, it’s because they want to fool me into believing I’m not good enough.  They want me to believe that I’ve fallen back into old patterns and bad routines and that I’ll never change.  They want me to believe that I’m a hopeless cause.  They lie where it hurts me the most because they don’t want me to be able to pick myself up and draw my sword at the ready.

When my sword of logic is in hand, the power flows.

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10

“Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘the God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:13-14)

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.  He is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2: 9-10)

Boom.

He is the head over every power and authority.  Jesus, God’s Son, is the head over every power and authority.  Soooo. Tiny, weak, impotent little Sneaky Voices, now what do you have to say to me?  Now what lie would you like to try and spill in my brain?  Now, how would you like to try to destroy my heart?

Those Sneaky Voices cannot have power because they were never given power except by what we hand over.  They are based in what isn’t true, what isn’t logical, what is NOT reality.  We cannot give them power that they don’t rightfully possess.  I’ve learned from my fight with ED that truth triumphs every time, but only when I wield it like a flaming sword with Jesus standing in front, behind, beside, over, and under me all at the same time.  He gave me my sword as a tool of war to fight with, not as a decoration.  It can’t do its job still sheathed at my side.  Yes, I can give ED the evil eye and make him scurry away, but he’s already defeated.  If he tries to make a comeback, I won’t hesitate to draw my sword again.  Too many enemies roam out on the loose.  We need our swords ready.  The more we practice and the more techniques we learn and the more skills we acquire, the easier it will be to shut down every last Sneaky Voice trying to invade our minds.

Fight like the warrior you are, friends!  God did not make us timid or incompetent or useless.  He made us his children, his heirs, his adopted sons and daughters.  And then he gave us his sword with which to fight.  Not to stand in a corner and tremble and whine.  He gave us his sword to fight with it.  Don’t accept defeat on a daily basis because of some Sneaky Voices that are more like yippy puppies in need of a swift kick over the fence.  Live like the children of the King that we are!

On guard!  Always.

 

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