Run from the Wrong Battle

by mandyade

Boxer of Quirinal via Wikimedia Commons

Boxer of Quirinal via Wikimedia Commons

His sheep follow Him because they know His voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. John 10:4b-5

Do you receive criticism from your own head? We have a Good Shepard who feeds us life with His own hand; anything that comes from His hand is good for us to receive. But there is a stranger who tries to feed us with junk; if we receive his lies they will poison us.

As a minister I would often experience accusations in my mind after ministry. At first I would think about them and try to take them apart to figure them out. I would get into a spiral dive with my thinking and my attempts to free myself would entangle me more. What I was doing was engaging in a fight that I wasn’t called to fight. As I grow I am learning to run from the wrong battle.

Not every enemy that comes looking for a fight is worthy of our time and attention. There are many battles not intended for us to engage in. We don’t have to dissect the enemy’s weapons to win; all we need to do is resist him. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

“Resist” means push back and say “NO.” We say “NO” by:

  1. Ignoring and not giving time or attention to lies.
  2. Intentionally receiving truth from Jesus hand.

My friend had a mysterious dream: She dreamt that she was innocently drawn to look into some shadows, out of these shadows came ugly creatures to harass her. A dark table appeared with food and the host invited her to come to the table. He said, “Now that I’ve whet your appetite…”

The mystery of the dream was that she did not have an appetite for the creatures or the meal. God used the dream to show her that her constant introspection was harassing her and the more she engaged in “innocent” thinking the more she was compelled to go deeper. Though she didn’t like the thoughts, she had an appetite to go there with her mind. Her attention to lies created an appetite for them. She realized she needed to leave the battle and start receiving only what the Shepherd says. The Shepherd’s truth would win the battle for her.

The food that the Shepherd feeds us with is the most potent weapon against lies or bad thinking. When we receive truth from Him our battles are won without the big fight that we expect.

It’s important where we feed:

  1. Feed on the truth that God says about you. His truth is always encouraging and full of hope. Worldly sorrow will lead to hopelessness and death (2 Corinthians 7:10).
  2. Spit out self-consciousness. Under the Law of Moses the people were constantly sin-conscious, under the new law we are intended to be conscious of God’s gift of righteousness to us. We mirror the image we focus on.
  3. Spit out devil-consciousness. We win when we are feeding on what Jesus is saying and doing- not when we are feeding on what the enemy is saying or doing. Resist the enemy by ignoring lies (not giving them time and attention) and focusing on truth (giving time and attention to what God says).

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