Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
I woke up in a complete sweat. My mind was racing about many things. I was getting nauseous and feeling as if I was going to pass out at any moment…
If anyone has ever had a panic attack, you understand, it’s no joke. I have had a few in my life. They happen mostly when I’m anxious and overwhelmed about a thought or situation. This particular attack was my longest one yet, almost thirty minutes.
I remember saying to Jared, “I think I’m having another attack.” He woke up immediately and went to the kitchen to get me a glass of water as I was pulling off all my sweaty clothes. I was drenched and feeling as if I might be passing a kidney stone and having a stroke at the same time. As I was about to pass out I managed to ask Jared to distract me.
As long as I’ve known Jared, he sings anywhere and everywhere he can, and unfortunately these moments are created in the car, especially long car rides. My response is always, “please stop,” or “I really need just peace and quiet right now.” Bless his heart, he stops, but only for a moment until I hear another rendition of “Lady” by Styx.
This evening was no different. To distract me he asked if I could sing some of my favorite songs. That wasn’t going to happen, so I said, “ask me something else….” That’s when he started singing ‘song one’ off the CD of Patsy Cline’s greatest hits. I didn’t mind it either which proved I was violently ill. While Jared was singing, I happened to look down and saw our dogs bewildered, looking at us like, “why are the lights on?” Then “Max” our Boxane, (Boxer and Great Dane mix) started wagging his tail to Jared’s exact beat of “Walking After Midnight.”
This episode I had a few days ago still bothers me. It’s scary to see how powerful our thoughts really are. They were so controlling, that it affected my entire body, mind, and actions. Crazy as it sounds, I was at the mercy of a thought….and letting it go was difficult.
Not only was I struggling physically and emotionally, but also spiritually. It was crippling, to say the least. This leads me to think about all the times I have allowed a thought or situation to control me and I didn’t even realize its power to do so. That in itself is terrifying.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV), says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
When reading verse six of 2 Corinthians, chapter ten, the words’ “being ready“ jumps off the page at me. It implies that we as believers already know that we have the weapons to defeat our enemy, which possess divine powers. Not merely weapons that defeat flesh and blood, but weapons that defeat any thought, any motive, any word, any action, any stronghold, any knowledge, any opinion or any argument that tries to rise above the knowledge of God. God is doing this work in us and we have the ultimate conqueror on our side! Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) says, "NO Weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord." Wow, what hope we have when confronted with thoughts that try to devour us, again “try” to devour us.
So what are our weapons? As believers we have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide, correct and protect us. We have the ability to have 24/7 access to the King of Kings by communication, which is prayer. Many times through prayer we find a more thankful reaction and praise in our circumstances which brings a worshipful heart. At any time we can read God's Word for direction and peace during any moment we face. Our obedience is key to fighting our enemy and our battle gear is listed in Ephesians 6. By living out all the things above, our testimony speaks louder in our warfare, knowing that God is true to His promises, He will deliver us at any cost and others around us can see His Power working through us.
Another scripture to direct us on the topic of our thoughts is found in Colossians 3:2 (ESV), which says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” That is the key here, to set or (place with care or deliberate purpose) our mind on “whatever is true, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise…(Philippians 4:8, ESV. God is telling us what to set our minds on, HIM and all His benefits.
When I was little, I attended many Vacation Bible School programs. One had a theme song that has been stuck in my head for years, the “Input, Output” song. What we think about (input), dwell on, goes in to our minds and later comes out through our words and actions (output). It is so important to take those thoughts that are opposing Christ and make them obedient by claiming God’s promises, replacing them with truth, and yet remembering God’s power to demolish anything that tries to stand against us.
As always, I’m learning right there with ya,
Thankful For His Grace,