The Battle Raging Inside

Worthless. A failure. Incompetent. Stupid.

Maybe these are words someone has called you. You know people don’t have to use those exact words; it can be implied in the tone of voice they use, and the way they look at you.

What makes them even worse is when they are reinforced over time. Months and years can pass, with these painful things being burned into your conscience.

But they are all lies.

This is the spiritual battle we face every day, inside of ourselves. This is the fortress, the stronghold that the devil has built up in our minds. And he likes to make his home there, inside that fortress. He doesn’t plan on leaving. He feeds you those lies; that you’re worthless and incompetent. But they can seem so true when they are coming from inside you.

We are given amazing weapons of God that are mighty. We use them to stand against the evil one, defeat his lies, and force him to submit to the Holy Spirit.

The Armor of God; Ephesians 6:10-18

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

We should cover the battlefield with prayer. If we don’t, we’ll soon fall behind in the spiritual war. Jesus is our example, and He always found time to pray.

Remember when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before He was betrayed? He told His disciples to watch and pray, while He went off by Himself to pray fervently.

And they fell asleep. That same night, Peter denied the Lord 3 times. I’d like to think, had he been awake praying, he would’ve been ready for that spiritual battle. He would have proclaimed that he did know Jesus. He didn’t know the power of prayer.

God wants us to surrender the keys to the fortress to Him. Not only that, He will will empower the Holy Spirit in us, so we can demolish the stronghold. Then we can take those lies and compare them with the infallible truth of scripture.

Because you are worth God sacrificing His son to save you. You are not a failure, you are serving the Lord with joy. You are not incompetent or stupid, you read the word and practice wisdom. You are a chosen child of the King, that has a unique testimony that is priceless.

Don’t let hate, pain, or sorrow become the stronghold you keep inside. Be firmly founded on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.

Love in Christ,

Ariel

Check out my inspiration:

5/22/16 Sermon by Pastor John Nunnally

 

 

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2015: Year of Confidence

I think confidence is contagious.

Think about it; whenever you are around a person that exudes confidence (not arrogance), you gain some of their strength. When they leave, you wonder what they have that you don’t. What makes them so free, so sure of who they are?

They know everything happens for a reason. They aren’t always striving for control, because they realize they have none. It can be scary to look out into the future, and not know what’s around the bend. But I serve God and believe He has great plans for my life, and I trust Him to work through all the trials to bring about something beautiful and more creative than I could’ve done on my own.

When I start to see all the obstacles and problems piling up around me, I get overwhelmed. How can I handle all these things? Why do I need to face this? It’s then that I stop myself. It’s not about the how and why. It’s about WHO. Who is with me? Who gives grace abundantly? Who has never left my side?

The same God that tells me I belong to Him. That His perfect love casts out my fear. The God that showed me exactly who I was, at a critical time in my life.

He continues to show me who I am; the Christian woman He has designed me to be. I just shake my head in disbelief at how far I still need to go. But then I smile when I look back, and see how far God has already brought me! It makes me excited for 2015-because God is going to do great things!

Be bold in prayer. Ask God to instill deep confidence and joy in you. Listen to His guidance and follow, because He knows the way. Keep your eyes open. Then be amazed at the work He does in and through you! I will be praying that God makes 2015 your year of growing in confidence, and embracing the person He designed you to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
6    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Bible reference: http://www.biblegateway.com

 

The Art of Authenticity

au·then·tic

adjective

: real or genuine : not copied or false

: true and accurate

: made to be or look just like an original

The world is full of people trying to be someone they are not. Trying to force themselves into a mold that people around them have designed for them. Caving to what the media says is true.

But who are you, really? What makes you, you? Are you the outgoing, social, upbeat one in the group? Or are you quiet and reflective? I’m a mixture of both; I love being outgoing, but I’m still an introvert because I need alone time regularly.

A friend told me the other day that I’m very genuine. I’m not worried about what others think of me, for the most part. I like being myself, and I have nothing to hide. I love Jesus, and am not afraid to live it out. I don’t apologize for being me, though I am quick to apologize when I’ve hurt someone.

Authenticity is an art form; completely unique to you. There is only one of you, you are God’s original masterpiece. When you have a child, he or she may look just like you, but you quickly realize they have a mind all their own. Their own personality and qualities shape their outlook.

We change over time. We become more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more unique. Our experiences and upbringing shape how we see the world around us.

Don’t try to shove yourself into a mold made for someone else. Ask God what qualities He wants to grow in you, and try not to be surprised when He sends challenges your way. When you seek God in and through the challenges, He will develop your character… and your authentic self will become one that pleases God, loves others, and is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Be real. Be genuine. Be you.

Definition from:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/authentic

A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart

Thanks Snoopy

We all have things to be thankful for.

Since I’m a curious person, I have to ask… do you thank anyone? If a stranger opens the door for you, if you get the job you’ve been hoping for, or get a new car, or even if you got green lights on the way to your friend’s house, do you stop to give thanks? Do you desire to express gratitude somehow?

I often hear people complain. I try to counter their complaint by putting a positive spin on it. For example, if you come to me upset because you had an awful drive in to work, I will say at least it wasn’t in a blizzard (unless it was… then I will join you in your misery ;)! Either way, you got here safely, so all is well.

Blind to the Blessings

How recently have you talked to someone who refused to be positive? Not just a glass half empty, but bone dry? To hear them talk, you’d think that their lives are miserable… but most of the time, it’s actually their attitude and focus that keeps them from seeing the blessings all around them.

It’s Your Choice

When we choose to focus on all the things that are going wrong (aka not going according to plan), of course we’ll be miserable. Whatever you allow to dwell in your heart will grow. This can cause you to be joyful and thankful, or bitter and selfish. Why not try replacing negative thoughts with positive ones? Not only will this make you a more positive person, but it will encourage the people around you.

Now is a perfect time to reflect on all your blessings! A thankful heart is a happy heart. Think I’m wrong? Try it and find out ;).

I always love making lists of blessings. It always returns my focus to the One who gave me this life, and the people and blessings that make it beautiful.

Here’s my list:

1. Thanksgiving with friends and family

2. A new job

3. A reliable car

4. Sunny days that melt the blues away

5. God’s grace

There are many more that I haven’t listed! Whenever I start to feel down, I add to the list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

When will you believe you are wonderfully made?

Hi Friends,

I am excited to tell you that I have been featured as a guest blogger on Blogs by Christian Women! My post is about self-esteem and where we should find our true value. This post was written with women in mind, but men can also find encouragement from Psalm 139, my inspiration for the post.

Comparison is a good self-esteem’s worst enemy. In our perspective, we think that woman is prettier, smarter, thinner, and more graceful than we’ll ever be. She gets so much attention and everyone wants to be her friend. How can I be more like her?

Those thoughts will destroy you…

Please read more at: http://blogsbychristianwomen.com/2014/11/believe-wonderfully-made/

Thank you! Hope you have a lovely week. 🙂