January 26, 2019
I went to a local police department the other day to be interviewed for domestic violence victim support training. The interview was with a lady from Providence House and a female detective. Fingerprints and photos were taken in a room where they actually intake prisoners. Through the door was a holding cell. This was an interesting experience and a strange feeling. Thankful, by God’s grace I’ve never been to jail, but my heart burns to proclaim the liberty of Jesus Christ to all captives, including incarcerated ones.
We have an enemy who stops at nothing to see EVERYONE incarcerated. His main goal is to keep as many souls possible imprisoned in a self-focused, Christ-less life, destined for hell.
For those Jesus has called to Himself and freed from this eternal damnation, the enemy crafts chains of darkness and despair, and never ceases to wield them against us. These chains can take any form, and are specifically designed to bind each of us according to our individual frailties. This is why it is so important to be clothed with the complete armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) at all times.
Many chains are external, placed on us by others, or by circumstance. Since experiencing the chains of domestic violence, I am passionate to uplift and encourage others afflicted with the same, and grateful for the opportunity.
Most recently, I’ve become more aware of how chains of our own thoughts can be wielded against us if we are not taking every single thought captive in obedience to Christ. Most of us are aware of the chains of sinful thoughts like lust, envy, greed, pride, discontent, unforgiveness, etc…. but for those in desperate all-out pursuit of Jesus Christ, who by God’s grace and strength are winning the battle against those chains, there are chains of looking back, hurtful memories, past failure, guilt, shame, condemnation, doubt, anxiety, panic, loneliness, depression, despair and pain.
Any of these chains can afflict any of us at any time, so we must be aware, remain watchful, and be diligently armed with God’s Word and prayer in order to fend them off.
This morning when I woke, God allowed me to see this process more clearly. I had a hurtful thought. I started praying, asking the LORD to focus my thoughts on Him instead. A few moments later I realized I was thinking hurtful thoughts again without even noticing the transition. I started praying once more. Suddenly I sensed the LORD urging me to read the Bible. When He tells us to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Romans 12:2), this can only happen through God’s Word.
I can’t defeat hurtful thoughts with my own thoughts. Only His thoughts and His words in HIS WORD can defeat hurtful thoughts of any kind. God’s promises to us in His Word are full of love, mercy, justice and strength. These alone can combat the attacks of darkness that come against us.
I don’t think we can truly fathom how much God loves us. He cares. He knows. When we realize how desperately we need Him and strive after Him with everything in us, He meets us where we are and embraces us with a tender loving care that is mind-boggling.
Last night while driving I was overwhelmed with emotional pain. I cried out to the LORD, pouring everything in my mind and heart out at His feet, with tears and the voice of a wounded animal….. Once again, immediately, He met me right where I was, with assurance of His presence and of His true, one-of-a-kind love. This song I’d never heard before began playing on the radio…….
God ONLY knows…… I want to speak to anyone out there right now who feels alone….. God knows, friend. He cares. He does. Life is really, really hard. You are not alone. God loves you and I love you too. The enemy seeks to divide and conquer. He strives to make us feel as though we are the only ones who have ever experienced what we are going through, but that’s a lie. “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9b), and there are others who understand your specific pain. More importantly, Jesus died to take your pain and suffering on Himself and to free you from it. If you want to know more, please feel free to contact me…. (firstname.lastname@example.org).