This morning as I read my morning devotion in Jesus Calling I was struck with the stark realization that my “backpack of life” has been getting very heavy. I have gotten very good at stuffing it full of moments that I will refer to as “Not Being My Best Self.” Those moments consist of poor decisions I have made, memories of the times that I have hurt people both intentionally and unintentionally, times when my vocabulary has been filled with venomous words that were designed to bring people down and not to build them up, times of selfishness, times when I neglected those that I love, things that I should have done and things that I did not do. Each of those moments adding weight to my journey of life. Each of those moments an epic failure in my thinking that “I” can do better. “I” can be better. “I“can think better.
Oh, THAT DEVIL!!! He sure is tricky. Look at how he has encouraged me to fill my backpack with memories and ideas that place focus on me and what I have or haven’t done and distracted me from taking those “”Not Being My Best Self” moments to my Savior and laying my weighted load at His feet and leaving it there, focusing on what He has done.When our sinful nature leads us to focus on ourself instead of our Savior and His forgiveness we are robbed the peace that His grace and forgiveness provide us. Our load is not lite and there is no peace.
How much weight do you carry? Is your “backpack of life” filled with past sins that you can not forgive yourself for? Is it filled with thoughts, looking back and wishing you could undo decisions or actions you wished you could change? How much energy do you spend in the past or worrying about the future? How heavy is your load?
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, because we are sinful humans we will continue to make mistakes. To think that we could live an error-free life is faulty thinking. (In the mental health world we would call that maladaptive thinking) Our God is able to take even our worst mistakes and bring good out of them. Our mistakes, regrets, and poor decisions can be a blessing reminding us of our dependence on our Lord and teaching us how to better love those around us.
Worries, hurts, and regrets are heavy when we try to bear the burden on our own and place our focus on ourself. Trust your Savior. Talk to your Savior. Take your burdens to Him. Let Him carry the load and don’t pick your load back up after giving it to Jesus. Leave your load with Him. He tells us in Mathew 11:28-29, 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Unpack your “backpack of life” lay your heavy worries, regrets, and hurts at Jesus’ feet. Lay in His presence with your lightened load and rest. Feel His peace. Feel His love. Feel His Grace.
Blessings my friends,
God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to.
Winning the war of words inside your mind means learning to defy your inner critic. Charles Spurgeon warns, “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” The internal chatter, those lies that we carry inside ourselves and believe, keep us from accurately and actively hearing God’s voice.
Our most immediate problem isn’t the devil on our shoulders but a deeper reality about the condition of our hearts and minds. Eighty percent of our thoughts are not only devoid of any power to help us but actively work against us. Those thoughts are filled with incoherent, repetitious speech. They are incessant and compulsive in nature, filling our minds with wearisome talkativeness. These thoughts inundate us, they are designed to wear us out until we don’t want to try or until we have no idea what to do or how to answer our growing list of doubts and deficiencies. Most people go through life thinking God never speaks to them when in fact He’s always speaking. To everyone. Always directing. Sometimes warning. Sometimes affirming. But we hear so little of what He says because our consciousness of His voice is obscured by our mental static.
At its worst this static prevents us from becoming what we could be. It leaves deeds that could have been accomplished lying undone. It is the Enemy’s (Satan) goal to lure us into accepting his lies and limitations at face value. Insecurity is a powerful source. When we allow the static of our thoughts to produce insecurity we allow insecurity to override God’s purpose in our lives, implying that God did not get it quite right.
Here is the thing….. The voice you believe will determine the future you experience. God has not chosen us blindly. He has chosen you while totally knowing even the worst parts of you, then you no longer have to live up to anything. Insecurity cloaks itself in the guise of comparison. Nothing can kill contentment and feed insecurity like comparison. Remember: every weakness you know about yourself, God knows in greater detail than you could ever imagine. He knows the defect as well as what causes the defect.
Before you were born-before any of your defects were apparent you-they were absolutely apparent to God. That did not stop Him from calling your name and setting you apart. He placed you on the earth at certain time for a purpose, His purpose. Because in Christ, who you are matters infinitely more than anything you can or cannot do. God has created you, has given His Son for you, has sent His Spirit to live inside you. He restores broken people and gives strength to the weak. You are now empowered though your identity in Him and His strength in you. This is the antidote to insecurity.
God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to. Winning the war or words inside your mind means learning to defy your inner critic. The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.
What is the static inside or your mind telling you?
(Source credit: Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick)