“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)
These wonderful words speak of God’s very personal and deep love for each one of us. As I read them, I realize how often I have not translated these verses and made them personal in my everyday experience.
There are times I find myself stepping on the slippery slope of chastisement when I make a simple mistake such as drop an egg on the floor or spill water all over the counter. Statements like I am never going to get it right. I’m so stupid. What’s wrong with me?
Such remarks are way over the top for such minor things.
Most importantly, this is not how our heavenly Father speaks to us. He would not chastise us for such simple, common errors.
But, we do!
Hammering ourselves with harsh words breaks the heart of our Heavenly Father. Clearly we are not perceiving ourselves in the light of God’s love. Instead, we choose to skewer God’s perfect love for us by believing these lies.
When our feelings rule our responses and attitudes, they become a stronghold and have the upper hand and final say in everything we do. Our families, friends and the world are left to deal with the unstable winds of our emotions.
These are the lies the enemy of our soul throws on us — you are not smart enough, good enough or pretty enough and we are reminded of past failures and mistakes.
These words and thoughts wrap us up in intimidation until they become strongholds in our mind.
Accusation and intimidation are Satan’s main tactics in this mental and spiritual war.
I like how Rebecca Greenwood of Charisma Magazine refers to Satan’s lies as a native language that should be unrecognizable and unfamiliar to Christians. She writes:
“A stronghold of the mind is a lie that Satan establishes in our thinking, it is a statement that we count as true but that it is false. Jesus said we have an evil, deceptive, lying enemy. There is no truth in him, when he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44)”
Only the voice of our Beloved should matter. The One who speaks words of life, love and affirmation over us:
- You are my beloved, redeemed.
- I bought you with a price, you are mine.
- You are worthy of love.
- You are more than enough.
- There is nothing you can do to earn my approval.
We must wrap ourselves in the truth of who God says we are. I visualize myself cocooned safely in the truth of God’s love and Word as He speaks and sings over me.
There is no condemnation in this cocoon!
“So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit-and this power is mine through Christ Jesus-has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.” (Romans 8: 1-2 TLB)
When tormenting thoughts come as they have these past weeks — remember when you said that or did that? — I have learned these are not from my Father. These thoughts are the voice of the enemy who wants to bring me into despair and defeat.
I know only one language and that is the voice of my Beloved, the lover of my soul!
“I love you God – you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
The castle in which I live,
My rescuing knight,
My God- the high crag
Where I run for dear life,
Hiding behind the boulders,
Safe in the granite hideout.
I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
And find myself safe and saved.” (Psalm 18: 1-3 MSG)