I had had negative thoughts all day. Feelings of inadequacy. Feelings of discontent. Just not happy with the way anything went that day. I was driving home and it suddenly dawned on me. I had a choice. I could choose to remain negative. Or. I could choose joy. So I had a conversation with someone. The initiator of all negativity. The distorter of all truth. So I spoke the words aloud. I wanted him to hear me. Loud. And. Clear.
In Jesus name, get behind me, Satan. Stop filling my mind with negative thoughts.
Immediately my mind cleared. Then the words of a song appeared.
Jesus is the joy of living. He’s the king of life to me. Unto him my all I’m giving. His forevermore to be. I will do what he commands me. Anywhere he leads, I’ll go. Jesus is the joy of living. He’s the dearest friend I know.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Is it possible to capture every rebellious thought and turn it into a Christ honoring thought? Is it possible to stop Satan’s twisting of truth and manipulation of thoughts and feelings? Not in my own power. Because there will be that driver who pulls out in front of me at the last minute. There will be that coworker who never uses her indoor voice. There will be that neighbor who doesn’t keep their lawn mowed. There will be that food server who doesn’t refill my water glass when I desperately need more water. There will be that controlling boss who has to have his way. There will be that unbeliever who challenges your beliefs.
It’s so easy to get distracted by life. The tight budget that keeps getting tighter. The deadly flu virus that’s sweeping the nation. The organizational changes at work. The looming tax filing deadline. The deadly school shootings. The community devastated by 2 fallen police officers. The list could go on endlessly.
Negativity is everywhere. Submission to the gospel of Jesus Christ is crowded out by pride. Obedience to Christ is trampled by rebelliousness. Peace is shadowed by fear.
The thing is. This isn’t a physical battle we’re fighting. Oh. We’re fighting a battle all right. But it’s a spiritual battle.
Satan is working to keep people from believing in Christ. He’s also working to keep Christians from growing and maturing in Christ. Oh. Satan isn’t God’s equal. But there are demonic forces working to distort truth, to deceive and to disrupt God’s work in our lives.
This Christian life is a battle. We must fight this battle to the death. We can resist temptation. We can push Satan away. We have a stronghold. God is the Victor.
Another old hymn comes to mind to help remove the negative thoughts.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.