I let him have a voice in how my day goes.
… You, too?
How many times have you walked out of Bible study where you just had 2 hours of God’s love and truth poured into your thirsty hearts and spirits… and you started feeling oogie about the comment you shared in group.
Or when was the last time you were jammin’ to some Christian tunes… and an ugly thought popped into your head about the fight you had that morning and suddenly… you’re angry again.
What about when you walked to your car after a great church service… and noticed the woman in front of you looked 10x better than you in jeans… and suddenly you feel ugly and unlovable.
Dang it, dang it, dang it!
I know better, but some days my joy can be so easily wiped away.
I’m an easy target.
To be honest… I’m tired of entertaining those life-draining messages that remind me I’m not good enough. The ones that tell me life isn’t fair. Messages that make me doubt my worth.
And sometimes it takes all I have to hold on to my joy.
Hagar felt the same way. I’m encouraged by her story as she encountered God in the midst of a terrible, joy-draining day.
Probably the worst day of her life.
According to Genesis 16, she fled the home of Sarai who treated her harshly for giving Abram a son… even though Sarai had arranged it.
Hopeless in the wilderness, Hagar, encountered the angel of the Lord. He gives her new hope. New vision. New direction.
Hagar felt… seen. Like she mattered. And so she gives God a name – EL ROI, the God Who Sees.
You know what?
God sees you, too.
He knows when you’re struggling through the day. He sees those thoughts that threaten to pull you under. He knows when the world has your attention.
And God offers a solution.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)
We look back at Him.
We fix our attention on God.
We let God bring out our best.
We allow Him to mature us.
And when we do, our joy remains and we find strength.
- When those self-loathing thoughts try to land, speak out loud who you are in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
- When you are bombarded by messages that you are not valuable, remind yourself you’re established by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
- When you feel unaccepted, remember that you are God’s child. (John 1:12)
- When your friends seem few and far between and you are lonely, know that you’re a friend of Jesus. (John 15:15)
- When you believe you can’t do it, know that with Him you can do anything. (Philippians 4:13)
The biggest battlefield is our mind. And when we allow our thought-life to spiral out of control… when we entertain the Enemy’s lies about who we are… we are setting ourselves up for certain disaster.
We need to fight back with the truth.
I am significant, valuable and important.
What I think, need and want matters.
I am loved and accepted.
Listen… don’t allow the author of lies to steal your joy another day.
When his fiery arrows fly your direction, counterattack by speaking these truths out loud. Recite Scripture. Pray for perspective.
When you do… the Enemy will fail and you will prevail.
But sister… you gotta fight for it.
REALITY CHECK: Protect your thought-life from the lies of the Enemy. He’s out to destroy your joy.
©2013 Carey Scott
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