Our Battles are Not Our Own
Many who think that they know me really don't know about my early years. From probably around Junior High school until at least spring of 1999 there had been really bothersome and burdensome battles in my heart and mind.
What you are about to read are some recent realizations that only now have come to make sense to me.
I realized yesterday why people joking about my mistakes hurts so much. It's a painful reminder of the years that Satan kept hammering me about not being saved, about how God rejected me, of how I wasn't good enough for Heaven.
The battles came to a head in the spring of 1999 but they had been on-going for many years, as I have shared. Junior High was around 1977-78.
I was in church almost as often as the doors were opened. My family was as involved as we probably could be.
To some who have read or have heard my sermon on parts of my early life this will be a little familiar.
As one of my Wife's fond sayings says: just because you are in McDonald's it doesn't make you a happy meal. As I have also similarly said...being in a garage doesn't make you a car.
Being in and around Christian people doesn't guarantee growth in Christ. That kind of thing is on the outside. Christ changes the inside. My insides were struggling for decades after I came to Christ.
I guess I could say that it wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting support and mentoring into my faith after coming to Christ. Honestly it didn't happen. Right after I made a profession of faith, I can remember being in Elementary school at the time, being heavily ridiculed by my peers over it. That pain ran deep.
We are in a constant situation of choosing and choices. We often don't look at it that way but that's what is reality.
As I said earlier it dawned on me only yesterday why some forms of joking about my mistakes strikes a nerve so easily. It's not by any means the fault of anyone joking with me. It's my mindset that's got the problem learning to not let things get to me in that way.
Satan will always, until either the Rapture of the Church or Jesus calls me home, be trying to discourage and distract me from what it is God's wanting to do in me.
Choices and choosing.
There is no coasting through this life.
We choose to go after the things of this world or we choose to go after what Jesus wants us to.
We choose to degrade our choices into calling them mistakes rather than sins.
We choose to listen to Satan or to God.
Lesson in life is this...Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Means more than you think.
The Spirit isn't speaking loudly...Scripture says that we hear a still small voice. The Spirit isn't yelling or raising His voice.
Satan will mimic that same thing.
Whereas the Spirit works towards our growth in Christ, Satan twists ideas and words to get us to obey but not obey God.
When he thinks he's got us down, he pounces. He will do what Scripture says he will try to do...devour.
PTSD is mostly attributed to horrific events in life. Wars are the most commonly thought of when that is mentioned. You can also get it from forced experiences not in a war. Anything that takes an extreme emotional toll on your mind can cause that same thing.
In all seriousness greater care always should have been shown to our veterans due to what they've been put through in this life.
In Spiritual battles I do believe it's possible to have a form of Spiritual PTSD. Paul writes of all the things that the Lord Jesus had brought him through. It's not hard to see that those indeed were traumatic events in Paul's life.
Learning to cope is the hardest part. Learning to keep putting things at the foot of the cross is something often hard to do. It's been over 20 years since the events of early 1999. My God has brought me through quite a few fires. Quite a few valley's of the shadow of death. Quite a few mountain tops. I might not yet react as I ought to when I don't do things right, but He has always stayed with me. I certainly am ashamed of much of what I delved into in those years between 1977 and 1999. I certainly made choices that pain me to this day. I have made a lot less since Spring of 1999, but they are there. Stupid decisions and wrong turns.
Learning to put my life in the right perspective is sometimes really difficult.
My desire is to live life the way God wants me to be living. To do what He puts before me to do. Dreams? Sure I have those. But I cannot put those before what God's tasked me to be doing. When I put me before He, I get reminded of the times when that didn't work out so well.
You too might get reminded in unintentionally painful moments of your past mistakes, past sins, past choices.
"God help me" is still a full prayer.
"God I need you" is still a full prayer.
"God I can't handle this, please do something" works too.
It's never going to be the fault of those around us as to how we react to things more than it's our choice on how we react to things. We can choose to give those thoughts to Christ to deal with or we choose to try to handle them ourselves and risk doing the wrong thing.
Satan will continue to remind me of my past. As Scripture says...remind him of his future.
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