Who is your greatest enemy? Is there someone or something in your life or heart that seeks “to injure, overthrow, or confound” you? That beats your heart and mind to a pulp and tosses you onto the “I am worthless” junk pile?
Do you feel degraded, humiliated, and condemned? Take a deep breath and listen to God’s healing balm: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8). There is NO condemnation! When? Now. Why? Because Christ Jesus has already paid the price for all sins. Sins within us. Sins made against us. If we accept His freely-given love offering, there is NO condemnation. No matter how hotly any enemies rage against us and want to bring us down. They can never win, because Jesus already won eternal victory.
I used to think Satan, the father of all lies, is my worst enemy. And truly he is a powerful one. And oh, so dreadfully deceitful. He has no qualms about putting on the mask of a lamb if it will serve to raise himself and make us think less of Jesus. But I’m learning that sometimes my greatest enemy is my own self-condemnation. Sure, Satan has a hand in it and gets a thrill out of exploiting my vulnerable spots. But I can’t always blame him. I have the choice to choose, but I don’t always realize how often I choose against myself. Personalizing the questions towards the end of Romans 8, my default thought patterns answer:
If God is for (me), who can be against (me)?
Who will bring any charge against (you) whom God has chosen?
Who then is the one who condemns (you)?
Who shall separate (you) from the love of Christ?
This realization has deepened since I read God’s Heart for You: Embracing Your True Worth as a Woman. Holley Gerth writes a profound TRUTH:
“God has defeated our enemies, given us the victory, and made us more than conquerors. But because of free will, we can choose to be against ourselves. When we do so, we fight on the enemy’s side – whether we realize it or not.”
“When you wound yourself with words, it’s the same to God as if you were doing it to someone else in your life. Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves. That means all of the “one another” statements in Scripture (i.e., be kind to one another, encourage one another) apply in our relationship with ourselves too.” (You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You also by Holley Gerth)
Do you wound yourself with words? Are you kind to others but not to yourself?
Easier said than done though, right? When past negative voices and actions have hacked into our thought patterns, it takes so much effort to get up and running again. Jesus is the only and all-inclusive Viral Sweep to clean up and free our negative mindset. It’s all free grace, but He has given us a free will. He wants us to plug into His cleansing power.
One way is to replace the lies with TRUTH. To keep reminding ourselves over and over and over again that there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. To let Jesus’ answer to the questions sink and take deep root in our hearts:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
To let this TRUTH uproot all those self-condemning weeds that have overgrown and taken over our minds. To let this TRUTH find permanent soil in our hearts. TRUTH with ever-growing roots downward, stronger and stronger so the negative thoughts have no place to go but out.
Our “I am worthless” needs to be resurrected from that junk pile with an “I am valuable in Jesus.” Through Him we can conquer all enemies, including our “against me” thoughts.
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