So, I chose a quote to coincide with the Bible Study I've been sharing about this week:
I know at times, more often than I care to disclose, I am tempted to throw in the towel, because all I can see are my failures as a Christian. I resolve to do something...and then I don't follow through...(you know the Gutter Ball illustration). And there goes the spiral...
Kind of like a lawn mower (non-riding, of course), the enemy pulls the cord to get the thoughts going...then I do the rest of the damage running things over and over. I allow him a foothold just by giving him access to the rip cord!
Galatians 6:9 pleads with us:
Do not be weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (ESV).
That is the Spirit cheering us on...throwing us a towel or bottled water from the sidelines as He runs this marathon with us.
If ever you feel or sense that abusive tone of condemnation, of belittling, of gaslighting, of bantering, of accusing...THAT is the enemy's club attacking you in the battlefield of the mind. The Bible calls him the Accuser...I also like to add that he is the Abuser!!!!
How can this be the Spirit who says, "So now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1 - NLT)
And the same One who says:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you." (Isaiah 43:1b-2 - ESV)
So how do I discern between the two influences in my mind and heart? Go into an indepth study of the schemes of the dark side? No...remember Philippians 4:8 that says what we should be embracing and focusing our thoughts on? That which is good, right, pure, reputable, et al.
If I spend my time studying Who God is and His character...I will be able to identify when the voice I hear does not compute with the God I know and love. God persistently, but tenderly, nudges when he convicts one of His own...he loves us too much to not keep His commitment in Philippians 1:6.