When The Enemy Attacks Our Mind, And Why?

(the attack)

It always gets me how you can be walking the path that feels right by God. Doing all the things that point to His Kingdom. You can feel so passionately infused with the love of God, the kind that makes you want to get up and shout to the world about His goodness and love for us. Then out of nowhere, it happens.

This heavy feeling of loneliness, fear just begins to overwhelm your mind like a tsunami rushing in but you’re too close to the shore to save yourself. You start to feel completely alone and almost forget, in a way, that God is with you. At that moment He seems so far, so quiet. You begin to rethink your entire position in life.

You wonder if you’re really making a difference in your family. You wonder if anyone would really even notice if you stop showing up to things. You wonder if your ideas and contributions really are appreciated or is everyone against you. You begin to question your existence.
Maybe God got it wrong with me..?
Maybe there really isn’t any real reason I’m here today..?
Maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal if I weren’t around anymore..?

You know these thoughts sound drastic. You know these thoughts should not be coming from your mind. You know these are not feelings you wish to have. You’ve heard over and over again about changing the way you think. Thinking on purpose and deep within you, you know it can be true. But somehow things seem to be falling apart.

Somehow it feels hard to not notice the atmosphere in the room. Somehow it seems too obvious that no one sees you today. You can’t help but wonder… was it this way all along and I just optimistically looked away from it? Am I finally seeing it for what it is? Am I making this all up, and if so, then why do their actions confirm my thoughts so accurately?

We all know as children of God that these feelings are not ones that come from the Lord. We know we shouldn’t feel them and therefore we don’t voice them in fear of sounding “unsaved”.

(the why)

Something I am realizing is if you’re feeling “under attack”, it’s because [you are!]
There is nothing in the world the devil knows better than your weaknesses.

Something I’ve heard myself say was [[“it feels like my mind is attacking itself”. ]]
The truth? It is.

We don’t have to be in the wrong or living in sin to be attacked by the enemy. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
When we find ourselves under attack and we feel at a loss as to why. It could very well be because you are ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

I think our religious mind fools us into believing that if someone is showing signs of depression, or {{negativity}} and they are saved then they are obviously living wrong. But if we read the Word we see that Jesus was tempted by the devil in a physically weak moment. And scripture even said that the devil left but would return at a more opportune time aka he’ll be back. [[And that was Jesus!]]

As a writer and book nerd, I love when authors describe what the character is thinking in certain moments. This is why some movies turn me off because the actor’s face, most times, does not convey the emotion we should be feeling about the scene.

So as I read the Bible, I would often wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind on that long walk to the hill with the cross on His back?
I wonder, was the devil laughing in His face?
Was he whispering words of discouragement about the Father to Jesus?
Was he trying to get Jesus to stay down every time He fell?

The Bible doesn’t let us into the mind of Jesus in those moments but I don’t doubt that He heard some faint whispers of hopelessness.

Obviously, the big difference here is that He is Jesus and we are us but the Word says that when we step into faith we inhabit the spirit of Jesus. In other words, He lives in us.

But just like Simba forgot the power and authority he inherited from his father Mufasa, in the movie The Lion King, we too tend to forget from time to time the same.

That’s his goal, the devil. To distract us from the plans the Lord has set out for us. The devil wishes to steal the vision and passion the Lord has placed within us because he knows the power of the Lord better than we do. And he knows that if we come to fully believe and operate in it he will no longer stand a chance in deterring us.

See, when Jesus got tempted, He prevailed. Why? Not because He was Jesus but because He [[knew]] the Father. He knew the power that was within Him. He knew the possibilities with the Lord were far greater than anything the devil tried to trick Him into.
His moment of temptation was also a moment of teaching, meaning there was purpose even in the trial.
Jesus set an example to us about the tools we have to defeat the enemy; the Word.
He didn’t do anything we couldn’t do here today. And He showed us that.

But I’m sure there are still questions in the air. Such as, why do some people feel attacked more than others?
I know I ask myself that a lot. How I feel that has been answered in my life are…

One, not everyone is vulnerable and open about their struggles. Some people go to church pretending to be okay.

Two, everyone’s purpose is different. Meaning, what you are going through now falls in line with what God has planned for you later. The people you’ll meet, the experiences you’ll be able to share. The wisdom and lessons you are learning now will not go to waste in the plans the Lord has for your future.

Finally, maybe their surrender is quicker than yours. YIKES, I know.
This is a big one for me because I like to hold on to things, it gives me a sense of control. Obviously, that’s not true because I end up feeling completely out of control and everything begins spiraling away from me.
However, I am learning that surrender does not mean defeat.
Surrender is a big deal for me which is why I feel the Lord has put that word on my heart for this year.

It’s easy to talk yourself into walking up to a crowd of new people. It’s easier to join a group because you like deep conversations. It’s even easier to volunteer and feel like part of something for a few hours (if you know me then you know none of those things have been truly easy for me which explains my struggle with this next point even more).

(what to do)

The hard part is surrendering your feelings over to whatever God has planned for you.
When you feel no one sees you.
When you feel you’ve been working at something for so long and you still feel unknown.
When you’ve tried so hard to love people and open up and you still feel unseen.
Surrender is hard for me because it’s easy to say you’ve tried hard on something and it succeeds but it’s harder to try at something and feel like you’re always failing.

Surrender is hard because you put the effort in the areas the Lord speaks to and yet you still feel purposeless.
Surrender is hard because you try to love people honestly and you still feel rejected.
Surrender is hard because you feel you’ve given so much and yet you still feel God has not “kept His end of the deal”.
Surrender is hard because surrender is giving up on you and trust completely on God. No matter the outcome.
So when you start to feel under attack, whether it be by your own thoughts, your family members, or even your own church, it can seem hard to think of anything but the offense, the neglect, the hurt. We want to take these thoughts and figure them out, dissect them and fix them. Sometimes we get so beyond ourselves that our way of “controlling” things is fully giving up. Giving up on people, places, situations, callings, love, kindness. We tell ourselves since we can’t fix the problem, since we always fail, since things seem out of our control, then I’ll just remove myself since obviously, I’m the problem.
“Well since no one likes me, or notices me, or needs me, then I’ll just leave”.
“Well since what I’m doing doesn’t seem to be working then I guess I’ll just stop and walk away”.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to do the work that no one sees or no one understands.
It’s hard being the one to go and shake up a place that doesn’t want to be shaken.
It’s hard being the one to speak up about things that never get dealt with.
It’s not easy doing the things God has placed in your heart to do, especially when they sound scary and daring.
It makes me think of Moses, Joseph, and Noah.

God is not calling us to do what is comfortable.
He is not calling us to fit in.
He is not calling us to appease those around us.

He is calling us to radically change the world around us for the glory of His Kingdom.
He wants to give this world a chance to know Him, to love Him, to come to Him.
He longs to bring peace into the hearts of this world but who do you think will He use?

As we know from the Word, He can use a donkey if need be but He wants to use us!
He is calling out to our spirit.
It is our heart that He is moving to open up to the world about Him.

So yes we’ll feel discouraged.
Yes, we’ll encounter opposition.
Yes, people will reject us.
Yes, the enemy will feed lies to our mind and convince us to give up on ourselves.
Yes, we will find moments in our walk hard and sometimes unbearable.
But the Lord has promised to be with us, to help us, to provide a way out EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So no, just because you struggle does not necessarily mean you are living wrong.
It does not mean you have been forgotten by God.
It does not make you “unsaved” or “troubled”.
It does not make you less than.

When we struggle we are offered an opportunity BY GOD to rise higher than we were before.
To become more than we thought we could be.
To grow closer to the Spirit of the Lord.

Struggle and trials and attacks offer us the opportunity to “level up” in our spiritual walk and if we can begin to see every attack, every negative thought, every rejection, every trial as such then I believe the enemy will HAVE TO run scared.

 

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