Last week, we talked about the Mental Battleground, and this week, we will dig into those places where God led me as I have walked through some of my most challenging mental battle seasons.
One of the struggles in this mental battlefield is that the enemy keeps trying hard to keep our thoughts on the negative, or the lack, of the things we don’t have, just like with Eve in the Garden of Eden. The enemy knows when we do that; it leads to discouragement, despair, hopelessness, and depression. Our thoughts begin to spiral, and we can start to feel like it is all a lost cause or a hopeless case.
We have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), but we also have a Savior who came to give us life, not just any life, but abundant life!Tweet
It is easy for people to tell us to stop thinking about those things or focus on the good stuff and see the blessings. It all sounds good in theory, but how do we learn to live that way?
It is not easy, it is hard, and it is not passive! It has to be very intentional!
God knew this would be a challenge for us.
In His goodness, He has given us His Word and examples of how He has given us reminders of His faithfulness along the way, even all the way back in the Old Testament.
Now when all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Joshua 4:1-5
The Lord had just delivered His people and miraculously brought them through the Jordan River safely. Here, God directs Joshua to take twelve men, one from each tribe, to take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, specifically from where the priests’ feet stand firm. He tells them to bring the stones over to their lodging place.
Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7
These stones were a visual reminder of how God had brought them through and of God’s faithfulness to them and their families. Ones that should be passed on to their children later when they ask about the stones’ meaning.
There is a lot to these scriptures in Joshua, and I encourage you to read more of it and dig deep into it. There is too much to discuss here, but I am highlighting the parts about remembering God’s faithfulness to us.
In dealing with the mental battleground, we must first acknowledge that the battle is happening. When we realize and recognize that our mind is getting stuck on the negative, the lack, or the disappointments and discouragement with ourselves or other people,
We can choose to stay in the downward spiraling position, letting the spiral happen, or we make a different choice. We can choose to let God redirect us and turn us in another direction.Tweet
We can choose to pause, pick up the stone, and remember God’s faithfulness to us.
I have not always made the choice to do this in my battle moments, and it has led to places of depression. It has also led to places of despair and hopelessness.
When I have chosen to pause and remember, God reminds me of who He is to me and who He has been to me. He reminds me of His hand reaching down to me in my deepest pits, the healing He has done in the places of deep hurt in my heart, and the restoration He is still doing in me right now.
When I stop and pause to remember His faithfulness, He helps me make a mental U-Turn.
This has been the first step for me in this mental battleground. It is not a one-time-only step, and we never have to do it again. It is a continual battle. The more we practice this, the less the struggle, the easier it gets to choose to remember, but it is an ongoing fight for our minds.
We can encourage each other by sharing our testimonies of God’s faithfulness, to share our stones of remembrance of who God is and what He has done in our lives. We are encouraged here to share with our children, pass on these stories and testimonies, and not just keep them to ourselves.
I want to encourage you today to pause, think about, and remember God’s faithfulness to you. Share with someone who might need to be reminded of who God is and His faithfulness to them.Tweet
Here is a verse that encourages me and is one I occasionally go to in my pause times.
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.
Surely my soul remembers
And is bowed down within me.
This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:19-24