Thursday, June 7, 2012

Offense and Defense

For as long as I can remember, any time anyone questioned something I said or did, I became defensive. It didn't matter what it was. If I was questioned, I immediately got defensive. Not only that but after the "confrontation" I would sit and analyze what had just happened. I would run through the scenario again and again...and again, imagining what I could have said or done differently.


"When she said this, I should have said that," I would tell myself. Then I would go through the scene another time, imagining it differently. I would do this until I became so mad (offended) that I couldn't think at all. I was in a constant state of turmoil, stress, tension and angst. But I covered it and hid it behind Scripture and my pitiful attempts at prayer. I would sit down to do my prayer journal and begin by asking God to watch over this one and that one, and then I would ask Him to forgive me for the things I say and do. Before long, I had no idea where I was going with the prayer. I just had mindless wandering. I wanted to pray for those who had offended me, but I didn't know what exactly I should pray FOR. I would read about forgiveness in the Bible, but I didn't know how to forgive others as Christ had forgiven me. 

               "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." ~Matthew 6:12 (NKJV)


This is how the enemy uses people to cause you to take your eyes off of Christ. Someone will say something to you, you become defensive, then you become offended. I talked in part 2 about Breaking the Chains. Once those chains are broken, we need to get rid of them so that the remaining pieces don't collect to form another way to keep us in bondage (slavery). And they will! The enemy will use what's left to remind you of past hurts. He will bring up old stuff in your mind to remind you of how you handled it before....before what? Before the Lord broke your chains of bondage (slavery)! So don't get defensive, and definitely don't get offended! 

"Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery." 
~Galatians 5:1 (HCSB)


How do you do that? Get in God's Word. Read. Pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to "pray without ceasing." But how do we pray without stopping? It's very simple. I used to get so confused when trying to figure out how to continually pray. My worst time with having negative, oppressive thoughts pop into my head are when I'm doing dishes, laundry, or when I lay down in bed at night. Those are the times when little things pop in there. I'm not even going to write them because once they start it's like a snowball effect and they keep growing and growing. It's best to stay away from them and not make them a rerun in your head. So what I'm going to tell you instead is, THIS is when you have to put a stop to it. If you have to, say out loud, "NO!"

"Resist the devil and he will flee from you." ~James 4:7 (NKJV)


The enemy only has the power that you give to him. So...DON'T GIVE IT TO HIM! We have been beat down so much that we think God can't fix our problem, or that He doesn't care, or that our problems are too many and God can't take care of all of them at once. That is a LIE. You and I have more power in the tips of our little finger than the devil does in his whole body! Yes, we do! You do NOT have to be oppressed anymore! You do NOT have to listen to the lies the enemy tells you! When you begin to have those crippling thoughts, say out loud, NO! Shake your head no. And start calling out to God. This is praying without ceasing! This is what I mean by it. Every time the negativity starts, YOU start talking to God. Whether you have to speak out loud, or pray in your thoughts, God can hear you no matter what. When my mind was so full of junk that I couldn't concentrate on praying silently, I prayed out loud. I would whisper, or talk normal, or sometimes even cry out with a loud voice. But you have to stand up for yourself both in the flesh and in the spirit. Take back your life and hand it over to God. He can do so much more with it than we can!

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." ~Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV - emphasis mine)


A lifetime of oppression, hurt, anger, depression, and all those nit-picky little things that go with it will not necessarily leave you all at once. But one by one, they will begin to dissipate. When they do, replace them with the Word of God. Hide it (memorize) in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Because the enemy will try to dredge it back up. It may come in the form of thoughts. It may come through people, family members and "friends" who try to say, "Well I know what you're REALLY like!" No, they don't. You know that. God knows that. And so does the enemy. Don't give him a toe-hold. Don't let him drag you back into the trenches. You've been liberated by the Living God! Stand! And when you've done all you can do....STAND! Let HIM be your defense, and never be offended again!


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