“For the weapons of our warfare are not merely human but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” –1 Corinthians 10:4-5, NRSV)
Today started out rough. My morning routine passed by easily, but I’ve felt out out-of-sorts since waking up today. Depressed. My husband, too, is grumpy. I can’t slow down long enough to feel sorry for myself though… I have work to do.
I continue trying to “bring my thoughts captive into the obedience of Christ,” and as I do so, I notice more and more when my morning thoughts are off or the people around me are acting strange. When my daughter called today, I voiced the hurt I’m feeling. I feel hurt, neglected, unwanted and unloved by God and those close to me, and I don’t know why this is surfacing now. “I don’t know why I’m feeling this way,” I said to her.
Of course, these feelings and thoughts can’t be from God.
In the past, the hurt that this morning’s thoughts and feelings bring to the surface within me would immobilize me for a whole day, maybe longer. But thank God I’ve learned to tell God quickly how I truly feel. (My sweet aunt says, “Lay it down at the cross.”) To me, that means to be honest–frank–with God, and ask for His help. A problem must be named before it can be corrected.
Then I ask Jesus for forgiveness for my own sins ( of thoughts, words, and deeds done through my own fault), and I ask for His mercy and give Him praise, remembering special times He has been at my side.
I don’t stop there. I ask Jesus for deliverance from the evil stronghold attempting to prevent me from prayer and moving forward in Christ, and by the authority I have as His disciple, in His name, in the name of Jesus, I pull down the stronghold attempting to imprison me through thoughts. Explained another way, while in prayer, I separate myself from the lie (unloved, unwanted, stupid…) attempting to take root in my mind through thoughts, and instead of focusing on the thoughts or the hurt, I offer God praise. I change the channel, so to speak. I bring my thoughts captive to God’s truth that is found int he Bible. God loves me. I am wanted.
Our battle is not with men. Our battle is not against one another. Though men may do Satan’s work, we war against evil.
It’s good to ask for help from St. Michael, too, in times of spiritual battle!
SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..