Sunday, February 22, 2015

Captured by Love, His for us and ours for other things.

I talked to a couple of friends and they said these horrible thoughts are not from the Lord, or Deborah Ford in Christ, that I am a new creation, and they are from the world, the flesh and the devil, Eph 2:1-10.We have all kinds of thoughts in our head and we have to test the Spirits and decide where they come from.  I have a new heart of flesh that replaced my heart of stone and the mind of Christ when I accepted Christ and was adopted by God. The very Spirit of God lives in me. My friend mention Eph. 6:10-20 also and said to rebuke the thoughts and rely on the Spirit and love of Christ. I will always battle with choosing to lean into Christ way and not my way, my old man or flesh, on this earth. But I have the righteousness of Christ and I can choose to live out of that righteousness or the old man, my sinful nature. My identity before Christ in me, who saved me and is helping me live out of the rescue of slavery.  I must repent of the old man and my self reliance, depending on me and trust and depend on Christ and His righteousness and live out of that, who I now am.  The old man has died with Christ and the new creation is alive to Jesus as He lives through us.
Cling to God and resist the devil. We all are in a battle and it is not against flesh and blood. All my old things that had happen, hit me, some unknowingly and some through things that I had done through the mental illness, like attempts from the demands of the voices and how I lived in a different world, removed from life and my family who needed me.  The thoughts were so real to me for many, many years. But not now.  By Gods grace I am able to catch them sooner and i guess my mind is healthier and my beliefs are clearer.  I have a full life with hope and love and joy.  Yes, sometimes still I struggle, but when you have been swept up by the love and joy of God and begin to see it all as a gift, people and situations and you change.  But there are times when the things of this world has captured your heart instead of God.  When you see the waves that capture you one minute, drown you with selfishness the next.
It was so clear…I said, this is all paid for by the Cross of Christ. My sins are forgiven. It was like the chains seemed to fall off as my guilt and shame and fears left me.
I thought, I don’t hate me any more. Sounds strong, but when you continually have to prove your worth by pleasing people and getting their approval, you don't know who you really are.  You don't like yourself.  You are looking for it through others, instead of God, who loves you beyond measure, radically loved. When you feel guilty about sins that are forgiven... I know who I really am more today than ever before.  I thought of the commandment love others as you love yourself. I didn’t love me? I felt insecure even about Gods love for me. I saw when you do not love yourself, you need the approval, acceptance and affirmation from others to feel valuable. When you know Gods love in such a deep way and it has captured your heart, it transforms you and you over flow like waves in an ocean with love to Him and to others. You are free to be led by the Spirit and to give and enjoy love and blessings to others and are blessed by it. Perfect love cast out all fear.
I don’t know what all this means, but I never realized what a battle we all are in and how to fight and keep my eyes on Christ. I am still on my meds and don't think the only problem in my life is warfare and a guilty conscience.  My mind is weak and sick.  But God has used it all to set me free.  To show me His love and how to love myself and others.  It has been a learning experience from several friends, who I ask to pray for me. I was so overjoyed, as my friends talked about how they fight the battle but the battle has been won, and how the Lord fights for us, living in the gospel and relying on the Spirit and the love of God. How the sin and the old man died as they chose Gods way, with the power of the Spirit, brought the change and the power.  We put off our old selfish, self centered ways and chose to love God and others more than ourselves.  It just comes when you have been transformed by the gospel.  But it is not always that easy.  Sometimes it is a battle because of pride and the habit of looking out for our ways and ourselves instead of letting God do that.  It is a matter of, do I trust Him with even the things I don't understand.
A friend reminded me not to give attention to the devil but to keep my eyes on Christ and my relationship and dependence on Him. I so agree with this.
 I am new to warfare but oh so thankful, the battle has been won for us in Christ.  We can live the abundant live to the joy and glory and praise to the Lord.  We can know contentment in all circumstances, even the really hard things that come to us in this fallen world, when we are captured by His love and see His faithfulness to His children.