There's so, so much to write. I'm sorry I'm all over the place. I pray God opens the eyes of your understanding. I like to talk a lot; typing isn't as fun, but here I am.
Do you know what's funny? Most of my life I kept trying to discover who I was. Each day, I resembled different people. I knew there was more to me that I wasn't aware of and I felt I had to search for myself. But I really never discovered those bits, until I had the need to be someone I wasn't familiar with.
This past two weeks, I have learned who I am. How? It's simple. The answer lies in one question. "What do you believe?". Haha, I'm sure you're like "Ummmm, okaaay? Where's this headed".
Let's go deep!!
If you don't do deep, this is definitely not for you. For so long, I had difficulties spending money. I know it sounds ridiculous. But honestly, whenever I thought of spending money on something for myself, say to watch a movie or get food, I'd literally feel guilty. I couldn't explain it, but it was the same feeling I had when I lied. It wasn't till this month that I
understood what it was. It was a stronghold. You know how the Bible says:
1 Corinthians 2:10
We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
This was one.
"Thinking" was synonymous to worrying. If I ever had something to do, I would ponder on it for eternity. Let's say, I had to wash the dishes. I would jot down my plans to do the dishes in a notebook. Then I would sit down and visualize myself doing the dishes. Eventually, I would still have to do dishes. I had to be in control of everything. It was the same with money. I had to mentally and literally write down everything I was going to use every dime I had for. If I ever spent a cent more, I would be miserable (You know how lousy most normal people feel when they fail a test. Yup, that was it). I didn't trust God enough to handle my tomorrow (even though I thought I did), so I had to plan every minute detail myself.
A stronghold is a mentality developed over time; it's how you are programmed to interpret what you perceive. We all know that one beautiful person that most people are attracted to. Automatically, when someone approaches them, they are optimistic its because the individual is interested in them. Because over time, that's how it's been. A better example, for all my Nigerian grown folks, there's a way your mum looks at you, that without thinking, you know what she wants. Strongholds are formed in our subconscious mind by repetitive thinking.
To be honest, in high school I wasn't attractive. I mean, there were way more beautiful girls in my class. So, I created a wall. Whenever people treated me awfully, I would always say, "It's ok to be the girl that nobody likes.". It was easier for me to hurt myself than let people cause me pain. I got programmed to believe this lie; and because strongholds create auto responses, automatically I always resisted people without knowing it.
What's in your heart
Let me explain. It's odd most of us who assert we are Christians simply had to believe unto salvation. It's not like any of us saw Jesus or personally crucified him. We just accept that once upon a time, the son of God came and died; and in his death, he brought us life.
The Bible says:
Proverbs 23:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Jonn 8:32 New Living Translation (NLT)
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Proverbs 4:23 New Living Translation (NLT)
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
And there's also a popular quote by Henry Ford,
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.”.
We underestimate the power of our thoughts. You are who you believe you are. Most times it gets confusing. We think we are who we say we are. So, we do a lot of 'positive confessions' and 'name it and claim it'. The sad truth is none of these will work if you don't believe in your heart.
The people Jesus healed were those who came to him believing that he could cure them. Because thoughts sculpt realities, they first had to think and accept that they could be healed. I watched a video today that demonstrated how the spiritual world differs from the physical world. Before God moves the natural, he stirs the spiritual world. In Day 1, God said let there be light, and there was light. However, the sun wasn't created until the 4th day. God says we are his righteousness in Christ Jesus, not because we earned it through our actions but because we believed.
Romans 10:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.
For we have to be righteous in him before we can live rightly for him. (Lol, I hope I don't confuse you). It's the same way our thoughts. God told Abraham that he was the father of many nations way before he had a child. Spiritually, Abraham had to take his position as a father to have children. Abraham believed God, and I was counted to him as righteousness. I'm not sure you get this but, I hope you do. Let me rewind a bit.
The good versus the evil
Everybody faces battle; battles we war in our minds. Remember Tom and Jerry, (it was one of my favorite cartoons growing up, by the way) the illustrated red tiny devil versus the cute angel giving Tom or Jerry ideas. It's the same with us.
22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
So there was a day I had an argument with my roommate (I lost my key a while back. And she was kind enough to leave her key where I could find it so I could have access to the house.). When I got home that day, I couldn't find the key. It wasn't where she usually kept it. And the thoughts came: "How could she be so childish?", "I mean is it because we had an argument?", "I'm going to address this". I started feeding the thoughts until I owned them. I even planned my self-righteous "I don't need your keys anymore", "I can survive without you" rhetoric. Then the Holy Spirit spoke, "Don't fight with her". So, I calmed down. I was still exasperated but, I resolved to let it go.
She came home a few minutes after and knocked, she was also looking for the key. In my mind, "I was like God is already fighting for me. She has misplaced the key.". Apparently, she didn't take the key, it had fallen into a hole. Mehn! I was so thankful that I didn't pick a fight, world war 2 would probably have been less fatal if we did.
What we believe about people determines how we see them. Even if they aren't necessarily who we think they are, I found out we selectively ignore everything they do that doesn't align with how we see them. (This is why sometimes we wonder why our friends date certain people. It's because what they believe affects what they choose to see.)
What I perceive feeds my thoughts which in turn creates my mindset. My mindset influences how I see things. (This same mindset forms my habits. These habits shape my attitude, which determines how far I go in life)
The truth and your reality
God's word almost, always contradicts our circumstances. There'll be no need for faith if it didn't. Our fears also aren't real (but we hardly recognize this truth). And we have to choose either: Faith or fear. I want a job that allows me to travel the world. I have two options: I can nurture the idea that I would find it or rationalize that I can't. Either way, I believe in something which is not my reality.
God moves through our faith, and the devil uses our fear. Both, open doors to the spiritual world; because what you believe affects what you see, and how you respond to it. And by reacting you become. If I think my boss dislikes me, I'd see everything he does from the perspective that he doesn't fancy me. Soon, I'll start reacting similarly. I'll probably become suspicious, defensive and hateful; until I sabotage my job. Then I'll blame it on his lack of affection for me.
The devil constantly bombards our minds with thoughts from movies, songs, and even people; but God is always speaking. Somehow, we've attuned our hearts to receive the devil's tales. Doubt, fear, lies are not of God. Some of us have rooms sef. We have created castles for the devil's lies. When they knock, we hurriedly run to the door to attend to them: "No one loves me.", "I've tried too hard, I can't do it.", "I may fail. I'm tired", "I'll never be good enough", "Life is hard", "You only live once". There are so many of them. We've become used to these deceptions that when God speaks, we take forever to believe.
Some women say men can never be faithful, so, they don't mind if their spouse cheats. It's so scary how many lies we buy, rent rooms for, and feed daily. How much of God's truth do we possess? It seems easier to hold on to our reality that God's truth. Don't get me wrong, holding on to the truth doesn't deny the circumstance, in fact, it acknowledges it; but it never questions God's word.
Joshua 13:27 This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!
Joshua 13:30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!”
Joshua 13:33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next, to them, we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
Joshua 14:11 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?
I used to get scared, cause when I read the old testament. I saw so many times the reflection of my thoughts that it took a while for me to understand why God was mad at their report. The difference with Joshua and Caleb's report was they claimed God's truth. God was part of their report. When we take God out of the picture it's natural for everything to crumble into naught: the job seems impossible to get, the illness seems terminal, your future seems bleak.
The question he creates, the questions we ask
How much of God's word do you believe? Not know but, believe. Because the devil puts question marks where God put full stops. With Eve, he asked a simple question, "Did God say you shall not eat of this fruit?". The mistake we always make is that we engage him in a conversation. We've gotten so used to arguing with people that we also try to debate with the devil. I'm not sure if we actually think we can convince him with our points (like he doesn't already know the truth).
Conversing with the devil leads to NO, (ZERO! ZILCH!) good, so why do we even bother? Next time the devil wants to get all cozy in your head, rebuke the devil with God's truth and in Jesus' name. These are the examples we've been given. God said "don't eat", Eve added "don't touch"! I mean, what's the difference right? We question what we don't truly know and believe. Do we even know God's truth? Most times we doubt God's faithfulness, goodness, and love. We always have questions for him because we have unconsciously programmed ourselves to gladly accept whatever lies the devil offers.
To become, you have to believe; to believe you have to know. You can't flush away a solution of milk by simply adding some water. You have to place the mixture under the tap and run it until the water displaces the milk completely. I think it's time to reprogramme our minds by absorbing God's word until the lies are flushed out.
Romans 10:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What d'ya say? What will you choose to believe?
You can listen to an audio bible (Bible.is) or listen to great youtube channels with the sound word (Don't look for inspirational speakers o, look for people who divide God's word. I suggest Hungry Generation).
If you got this far, I love you bunches. Remember that it's by God's grace we are saved. So, ask him to help you change your mind!!!! You can't do it on your own.
"Father thank you because you love us more than we can ever imagine. By the power of your Spirit at work in us transform our minds and lives till we are just like Christ. We love you too, please help us to love you the right way. Amen"