For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Yesterday we’d talked about waking up on the right side of breakfast. We discussed the importance of acknowledging God’s presence and seeking Him first, we discussed getting into position and making sure our hearts are right, and we discussed finding your meal and how you can please God everyday. Now we’re going to discuss the wrong way to wake up, or the dark side of breakfast.
I’m talking about the days when you wake up and you’re thinking, “If I hit this alarm one more time, I’m going to blow my head off!” It’s graphic but it’s true. I’m talking about days when you feel so groggy that you wonder if you even went to sleep. Those days when no matter how bright the sun shines you still feel like you’re under a dark cloud. The days when even if you had a whole new wardrobe you still wouldn’t have anything to wear. The days when no matter how many times you open the fridge there’s nothing to eat. The days when you have to drag yourself to get where you’re going and even though you’ve been there a thousand times, you still feel like you don’t know how to get there. And then at the end of the day you find a little comfort in knowing you can FINALLY go home and get in bed just to become stressed that you have to do this all over again…and again…and again…
Then to partner with that is the overwhelming feeling of not feeling like you’ve accomplished anything. You’re constantly asking yourself, “is something missing” and “was I supposed to do something today?” Sometimes it feels like your days are never complete. You always feel like you could’ve done more or you should’ve done more. You feel like your work is never ending and there’s always more to be done. You devote your days to everything and everyone just to make sure this invisible checklist is complete and this unattainable standard is met: P E R F E C T I O N. A word that you know isn’t humanly feasible but you’re going to reach for it anyways. Some think you’re commendable for trying so hard and others think you’re out of your mind.
So, for you this might just be a bad day or couple of days, for me it’s called the spirit of depression and anxiety. I can see it coming from a mile away but when it hits, it hits hard. I can function in it, smile it, take cute pictures on Instagram in it, and on the inside be waiting on the Lord to call me home. But though I am hard-pressed on every side, I am not crushed. Though I am struck down, I am not destroyed. I struggle AGAINST depression and anxiety but I don’t struggle WITH it. What that means is, I’m not doing the tango with mental illness. I’m not going to treat it like my partner and go in circles with it for the rest of my life. No. I’m not okay with it. We are enemies. We will always be enemies. Depression and anxiety are not MINE to have because God didn’t give them to me.
We have to understand that though we struggle in areas of lives be it physically, mentally, financially, or emotionally, we as Christians do not claim the struggles. Christ claimed them all on the cross. If you’re not a believer and you’re struggling, this is a good time for you to get free from those things. What Jesus Christ did for you made it so that when struggles come, and they will come, you don’t have to fight them alone. You don’t have to feel like, “I’ll always have this forever” because God says by His stripes, you’ve been healed. And yes, you may feel symptoms. Yes, you may see things happening in your life that you don’t like but we operate by faith and not by sight. And even if you never physically witness your freedom, you believe by faith that it’s already done for you.
I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist by any means but I will share with you my personal triggers and how I fight against them with the word of God.
- Rejection: This is the biggest trigger for me. The feeling of being pushed away or not accepted is like a dagger in my heart. I physically feel the knife penetrating my chest and my heart fluttering. My thoughts race at a thousand miles a minute and I’m thinking, “What did I do wrong? What did I say? Why don’t they like me? What if I can’t do this?” Lie after life after lie. But my Bible says cast all your cares on Him, Jesus, because He cares for you. The problem is I care WAY too much about what everyone else thinks instead of giving those cares to Him. But when I lay them at His feet through prayer and speaking the word out loud over myself, I feel the burden coming off of me.
- Fear: Fear is a byproduct of rejection. Maybe you’ve been hurt or rejected before in the past and now you’re afraid to try anything at all. Everything is a risk to you. When a good idea pops in your head, fear automatically shuts it down and says, “What if something goes wrong?” But my Bible says I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. It also says that all things work together for good to those who love God. ALL THINGS. Even the things that “go wrong.” When you belong to Christ nothing truly goes wrong, things just go unexpected. But one thing that you can expect is God is on your side and He will be with you even until the end of the age. He will never leave you nor forsake you, and you do not have to be afraid.
- Insecurity: Insecurity is another byproduct of both fear and rejection. Because you’ve been rejected in the past which causes you feel afraid, now you feel insecure of yourself, your capabilities, and the power of God in your life. Insecurity literally means security from within. The only thing you have inside of you is more of yourself which is just a host of imperfection. But when Christ is living in you, He is your hope of glory. He is the greater one in you and you can look within yourself to find Him. If you believe, God is within you right now. You are secure once you understand that truth. You don’t have to be secure in yourself, you only need to be secure in Him. And through security and confidence in what He is more than able to do for you and through you, find that you are more than a conqueror because of Him. You are stronger than you think because of Him. You are worth more than you know because of Him.
I pray that you’ve been blessed reading this as much as I was blessed writing this. I pray that, like me, by the time you’ve read to the end of this post you feel encouraged and empowered to no longer do the tango with your struggles. I pray that you learn to acknowledge your own invisible triggers and acknowledge the Lord in those triggers. Find scriptures that you can pull out of your pocket to use whenever you feel that dark cloud coming. You can do this through Christ!