Have you ever had one of those days where you felt discouraged?
I have. I have found that we will have both discouraging days and good days. On those discouraging days, is the Kingdom still at hand?
The question we have to ask ourselves is this: Is this discouragement (or whatever we are facing, whether an internal or external situation) bigger than the present reality of the Kingdom?
It may feel as though the things we face are bigger, but the truth is that the Kingdom is always at hand. Our job is simply to look, listen and respond to the reality of God’s Kingdom, Kingdom, meaning His rule and reign.
We have to remember that we are all in the process of renewing our minds, and we are also at war with an enemy who will always try to distort both the image of the Father and our image.
When we find ourselves entangled in the foggy gloom of discouragement, we need to look, listen and respond to the good news of the Gospel. I can tell you from experience that when you are in a funk, looking, listening and responding will feel like a battle, because it is.
The voice of discouragement often comes packing with its buddies of condemnation and accusation. They come like charging pit bulls, trying to sink their teeth of hopelessness into your mind and emotions.
When they bite down, their crushing jaws take hold, and like pit bulls, they don’t want to let go. The “what-ifs,” the “I should haves” or “I could haves” sink you deeper into despair.
Their one job is to suffocate, mutilate and kill. These pit bulls of doubt are what the Bible calls vain imaginations or fiery darts of the evil one.
They are doing their best to exalt themselves above the knowledge of God and convince you that you have no power.
They puff themselves up, trying to make their image bigger than a good God, and they tell you that you have no choice but to bow in defeat and be conformed to their image.
The truth is that we are in Christ and Christ is in us—even on bad days. So when these vain imaginations come, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we are to cast them down and make them obedient to Christ.
If we are told to cast them down, that means we have the power to do so in Christ. James 4:7 instructs us to submit to God and resist the enemy, and he will flee. Submit means to give over, or yield, to the power or authority of another. Instead of submitting to a lie that appears greater than the truth, we are to yield to the power and truth of the Gospel—Christ in us, the hope of glory (see Colossians 1:27).
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (see John 8:36). No longer do I live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live, I live by faith (trust) in the Son of God (see Galatians 2:20). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). We put our confidence in God’s Word and Spirit.
I once heard the Lord say to me, When you’re in the octagon of battle, just stop. I saw a stop sign in my mind in the form of an octagon.
Then the letters S-T-O-P popped out, and these words came:
So S-T-O-P giving attention to the lies, and Start Thinking On Papa. This is what Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert. In the thick of battle He set His thoughts on, and entrusted Himself to, the Father.
I have found that the Lord often whispers to us in those moments of battle, and our job is simply to look to Him, listen for His whisper and respond, no matter how we think and feel. In those moments, we must refuse to allow the bullying voice of the enemy to beat us down. Instead, we must focus on submitting and yielding to the voice of God.