They say the best messages a preacher can write are the ones that they are currently in mid-struggle. So here I am sharing what my current battle is: Negative self talk.
My favorite song that we sing at Elevate People is “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong. Such a powerful song, but it had me thinking. I am who He says I am, but I am also who I say I am. Confusing I know, but bare with me.
Here’s where it all started…
One day I was at home doing my usual cleaning and tidying up the house before Jesse gets home from work, when I heard Sofia at the table trying to fix something and was having trouble doing it. She started saying “I can’t do it. I’ll never be able to do it.” And it broke my heart that she had negative thoughts about herself. I immediately began to encourage her and tell her she is able to do hard things and showed her what to do.
Then, there was another time while getting ready she was looking at herself in the mirror and said her hair was ugly. Again, my heart broke and I was quick to respond to her with words of affirmation and reminded her to think only good things about herself. So I began to evaluate what I say around her as to be sure she only hears me say positive things about myself so she could mirror it. Although, I was quick to not say it in front of her, it didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking it. I often think “I can’t do that I am so not qualified” or “I don’t deserve to be here and soon they will all figure that out”. Honestly that’s horrible to even write, but it’s the truth. God was quick to remind me that just as I am broken hearted that my child would think negatively about herself that He feels the same way when I say these things in my head to myself and believe these horrible lies.
Ironically, I love to encourage people. The minute I hear them say what their struggle is about themselves, I am like “No way! I know you can do it! You were made for this!” On and on I’ll go to make sure that they know that they are most definitely able to do whatever that “thing” is that they think they can’t do. I genuinely mean it. The funny (and not funny at all) thing is I am so much harder on myself.
Now why would I not allow a friend or even an acquaintance say something in my presence so negative, but too many times I have allowed myself to believe what I say to myself in my own head? Do you deal with this too?
God has a purpose and plan for each of us and as we push to do more for His kingdom, the enemy is scheming ways to get us off course. He knows if he can’t destroy you, he can try to distract you. So the moment I began to pursue all that God has for me these lies began to pop in my head and I chose to believe them. You can’t believe the lie and believe the truth at the same time. You have to choose one. Satan’s profession is a liar and so by nature he plants thoughts to derail you from doing God’s will.
So if you find yourself here this is what I would aim to do:
You fight back!
You take every thought captive!
You don’t give it an inch of space in your mind.
I love what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ.” It sounds like a battle right? That’s because it is, but not to worry you already have victory, you just need to act like it.
It starts with a mind shift and that can only happen when you know and BELIEVE all that God says you are. You have to feed your mind with the Word of God daily. How can I know what He says I am if I am not reading His word that says who I am?
I am reading a book about the power of our thoughts, words, and actions. In the book, it talks about how God brought each animal to Adam and whatever he called the animal, that was its name was. We have that same authority when we use our thoughts and words. Whatever you say over what you see that is what it’s called. When I read this comparison, it was eye opening! I have let my thoughts run wild for too long! We can alter how we feel through changing the way we speak!
In Philippians 4:8, it talks about thinking on things that are pure, lovely, and that bring peace that we are to center our mind and implant them in our heart. When I flip the switch and say what I know and believe what God says about me it centers my mind, brings me peace, and gives me confidence, not in myself, but in my God. Truth is I may not know how to do it, but God will show me and give me grace to do it.
One way I put this into practice is by putting up words of affirmation where ever I pass often. I need to be quick to fill my mind before I allow my feelings to overtake me. Even say it out loud if necessary. Don’t just go through the motions. Be intentional knowing God has you right where you belong and you are qualified because He positioned you there. And whatever I believe for others that same truth applies to me! I am capable. I do belong here. I can do things that I am afraid of and God will give me the strength to do them.
And lastly, put yourself in position to do the things that challenge you. I firmly believe if there is something on your mind that you are afraid of and think no way you could ever do, this may be something the devil is lying to you about. So using the phrase “Speak the truth and Shame the devil” run towards your fears. Don’t retreat! Victory comes when you run towards that thing that scares you! Have you been wanting real Godly friendships, but afraid of rejection? Don’t believe that lie, reach out to someone and meet up for coffee. Start that flow group that God’s placed on your heart, but you’ve been putting off for fear that no one will attend. God always comes through! Maybe you have a groaning in your heart for more, but don’t even know how to achieve that. Start at Connect class and we can help guide you in the right direction. Whatever you do, don’t stay idle. The enemy gets great satisfaction, when he can delay us from all that God has in store for us!
So next time your negative thoughts enters your mind, get your scriptures ready. Don’t just quote it, believe it. Stop believing the lies and start walking in confidence of God’s truth!
By Marina Pulido