Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:1-4
“We have to choose to think and speak positively. It doesn’t come naturally—and it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of practice.” Joyce Meyer
- It’s time to meet with your Jesus! Take a moment to make a cup of something hot and delicious, light a candle, and go again to where you meet with Jesus. Take a moment to pray and ask God to speak truth to you about your thoughts. Ask Him to give you freedom from condemning, tempting, or untrue thoughts, and to teach you what it means to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Read Matthew 4:1-11. Notice how Jesus overcomes the devil with scripture. Ask God to help you to learn to do the same.
Who Are You Listening To? (Part Two)
Yesterday, we talked about thoughts and the fact that we can all be thinking wrong thoughts that God never intends for us to think. It’s important for us to know that our thoughts can come from four places: God, our flesh, the world, and Satan. How on earth can we figure out if what we are thinking is true?
I’m glad you asked!
First of all, the best way to be able to identify if our thoughts are true or not is to know the Truth. Remember, the Bible says that Truth is a person. Jesus is Truth! (John 14:6) It also says that Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1). When you know the Word, you know Jesus. When you know Jesus, you know the Truth! Therefore, when you spend time reading, meditating on, and memorizing the Bible- the Word of God, you are in fact spending time with the Person of Jesus Christ. And, through the Holy Spirit, (John 16:13) He will teach you all truth.
If it’s hard for you to understand this concept about Jesus, don’t worry. Simply spend time with Jesus as much as possible through prayer (talking to Jesus), Bible study, and obedience, and He will teach you what you need to know. Ask Him each day to speak to your heart and help you understand and know Him. He will do this for you.
The better you know the Truth, the less you will believe the lies. Spend time getting to know Jesus and you will be able to think true thoughts. You will be able to identify a lie and train yourself not to believe them. Ask God to help you recognize when a thought is from the devil.
Today’s Questions to Ponder has a great exercise to help you to think true thoughts. I highly recommend doing this exercise to help you to overcome the lies that run through your mind.
Questions to Ponder
Pray and ask God to help you to identify the thoughts that are not from Him and write them in your journal. Thoughts from God are true, noble, right, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts (Philippians 4:8). Everyone is different in the types of thoughts and temptations that affect them. You might be like me, where you hear condemning thoughts that remind you of your past and make you feel inadequate and fearful about your future, or you may hear something like:
- “I am a bad mom,” “I have messed up my kids,” “There is no hope for my family and me.”
- “I’m so fat!” “I hate myself!” “I will never be healthy!” “I may as well give up trying to eat healthily.” “I don’t feel pretty enough to be intimate with my husband.”
- “My husband doesn’t love me.” “Maybe I married the wrong person.” “I wish he was like so and so’s husband.” “He is so grouchy with the kids.” “I wonder if I would be happier with someone else.”
- “Is God real?” “He never answers my prayers.” “I don’t feel like He cares.” “God can never forgive me.” “I have let God down again.” “What if I’m not truly saved?” “I don’t think I should pray anymore.” “Church is not for me.”
Be like Jesus. He overcame the devil with God’s Word! Ask God for a true statement from scripture for you to say out loud and meditate on to overcome the lies. Write these scriptures in your journal under the thoughts that you have identified as not being from God. When those thoughts come, take them captive to Jesus with the Word of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).
For example, if you are discouraged by all of the hard work associated with being a mom you could be hearing the thought, “I want to run away!” or “This is too hard. I don’t want to get out of bed.” Then you could say, “Jesus, I give you this thought and thank you that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13)
Or if you had a bad day and lost it with the kids and you hear the thought, “You blew it! Your kids are going to remember you as a bad mom!” Simply go to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Then say, “Jesus I give this thought to you! Thank you that you are not finished with me yet, that you are always making me more like You! (Philippians 1:6) Thank you that God’s mercies are new every morning and that I have your grace to help me every day!” (Lamentations 3:22-23 and Hebrews 4:16)
Record these scriptures on your phone and listen to them over and over until you have memorized them! Write some of the scriptures on your bathroom mirror in dry erase marker, and also on sticky notes. Place the notes at your kitchen sink and also in your car. Saturate your mind with the truth. Remember, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.
Faith Filled Idea
Speak out loud to Satan like Jesus did ( Matthew 4:10). When you are having thoughts that you know are not from you, tell Satan to leave you alone in the name of Jesus. Remind yourself of the truth that you are a child of God (Galatians 3:6). Speak this out loud, “Satan, in the mighty name of Jesus I command you to leave my family and me alone.” You don’t have to yell. It doesn’t have to be loud. Don’t freak out your kids. You can simply speak in a matter-of-fact way, tell Satan to leave, and go on with your day. Believe that he has to flee, and move on.
Remember “Who’s” you are, and how greatly you are loved! “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1) You are God’s child and have the power in you to overcome Satan. Never forget that! You have God’s power in you!
Jesus came to set us free! As Christ followers, we don’t have to live in bondage to the lies of the enemy. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7.)
Stay close to Jesus. Spend time with him. Obey. Learn the Truth. Give Jesus your thoughts, and you will find yourself getting stronger and stronger in the Lord.
Remember the God who made the sun and the stars makes His home in YOUR heart!! Don’t ever forget that!!
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If there was one thing Deb would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is dearly near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!