Week 1: DAY 3
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
Life is Out of Control
Ponder: Christ has already set us/you free! We have a responsibility to not let ourselves be enslaved again. There is so much in our sinful flesh, the world around us and the enemy (satan) that pulls us towards slavery and a life that is very much out of control; at least one that "feels" that way. Today we are pondering our thought life and how our thoughts can spiral out of control and lead to a life being very much out of control.
Action: The Bible talks about the possibility of thoughts being "transformed" (Romans 12: 2) and "captured" (2 Corinthians 10:5). So what can you do when your thoughts become really negative and are leading you to act out in a detrimental manner (maybe using or self-harm)? At this stage you simply want to "feel" better.
Cry out to God, your will and feelings are strongly pulling you in a negative direction, and you need His help first of all.
Call someone to pray with you, someone you can talk to. Isolation is not a good place, reach out.
Remember the Lord's protection; "But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3. You may need to say aloud, "The Lord rebuke you in the name of Jesus."
Begin to place a regular habit of Bible reading in your life. Transformation of thought life.
Start to learn gratitude. It doesn't matter how negative life's circumstances seem, learn to be thankful for the small things in life; what you do have not what you don't have. Capture your thoughts
No matter what you are feeling find it in your heart to praise God; For example; "you are holy, you are worthy, I life your name high, you are my God." Capture your thoughts
This is a beginning of hopefully life-long habits. You may also need help to work out your thought life and where your negativity originates. The next few days we are going to continue this conversation, especially concerning desires and expectations; often catalysts to life being out of control.
Remember, although God can change you immediately, it will usually mean repeating these everyday, many times, until this way of thinking becomes a life-time habit.
Prayer: Lord, I am tired of having these negative thought patterns. Please give me the courage to place new habits in my life and the patience to keep going when I feel discouraged. Help me to remember that my thought life is a circumstance of life and I can still make good choices to create new habits. I cannot do this alone. Teach me the joy of knowing you in the middle of the challenge of life at the moment.
Challenge: Memorize a verse this week: 2 Timothy 1:7: " for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." This was a verse that really helped me (Sally) begin to overcome my own thought life in depression and anxiety. I spoke it aloud over and over during the day until it took root.