Experiencing Victory over the Lies
Questions. Uncertainty. Disturbing thoughts.
Death will bombard us with all of these.
Our minds can become a battlefield; and yes, we are in a fight. We are in a fight to eliminate the lies and heal our pain. Fortunately, we are not in it alone; but we must actively participate with God for victory.
I imagine you can relate to several of the thoughts shown above. And we can't forget the infamous game of “What IF’s.” You're familiar with it I’m sure. ”What if I had done more?” or “What if I hadn’t...” or "What if the doctor had tried..." The game of "What IF's" can go on and on and on....
The Bible warns us that these "struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12).
When they come into our minds, we must take them captive to the obedience of Christ. In order to do that, we must put on the full armor of God.
2 Corinthians 10:5
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
What practical steps do we follow to 'take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ'?
The practical steps are really quite simple; however, successfully practicing them requires active engagement and effort. We cannot let our minds just effortlessly run with whatever thoughts come into them.
Jesus showed us the practical steps when He was tempted by the enemy in the wilderness. To take thoughts captive - so they cannot run wild and wreak further havoc - we must: Recognize the thoughts as lies, Stop the lies in their tracks, Refute and Replace the lies with the truth of God's Word.
This is why it is so important to continuously abide in Jesus, feed on God’s Word, and hide it in our hearts.
When the battle comes; our spirit has to be nourished, armed, and ready to fight. It has to be able to recognize the lies, stop the lies, and immediately refute and replace them with the truth (the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.)
Our spirit has to stand firmly on the Rock and trust Him; thus carrying the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The only way to trust Him is to know Him. The only way to truly know Him is to abide in Him. Nourishing our spirit daily is what gives us the understanding and the ability to put on the full armor of God and fight.
Unfortunately, if our spirit is malnourished; it cannot rise up and fight when the battle presents itself. It will not even be able to recognize the lies as lies. It will not have the strength to stop the lies. And it certainly will not have the truth readily available in order to refute and replace the lies.
I’m so very grateful that I no longer have to participate in these spiritual battles related to my husband’s death. I have allowed God’s love and truth to take root in my spirit; and I no longer even entertain these kinds of thoughts coming into my mind.
In fact, I purposely rejoice in these important Biblical truths about my husband Julian:
Julian is in Heaven! He is not missing out on anything this world would have for him. Quite the contrary, he is having ‘the time of his life.' Even if he were given the choice to come back, he wouldn’t! Not because he doesn’t love us enough... but because he’s HOME. He’s free from all the troubles of this world. He’s free from all tears and pain. He’s free from the prison of a failing body. He is full in the presence of Jesus.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Since before time began, God knew the day and the hour of Julian’s death.... so he was never meant to be here today. He was never meant to be here even one day longer than he was. Even if heroic last attempts had been taken to extend his life, his life would not have been extended. It was his time to enter eternity with Jesus.
“... all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”
“A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”
Julian is not missing out on anything he was ever meant to experience on planet Earth. While he was here, there were still good works planned for him to do. When Jesus came for him, he was finished with his work. Now he is reaping his reward. Hallelujah!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
When I meditate on these truths, I am free to be joyful and content; knowing my sweet man is exactly where he is supposed to be... in the presence of Jesus!
I am free to find joy and contentment in my memories; not sadness, not guilt, not regret. I’m free to celebrate Julian's life and celebrate the love we were so very blessed to share - even in the midst of my grief.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I pray you will allow these truths to penetrate your heart.
Open your heart to be receptive to the Word. Pray and meditate on these truths, feed on them daily. Let them take root.
Whatever battles you are facing in your mind today, begin the work to overcome them; to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.'
Search and study the Word to find the truth necessary to refute the specific lies that are bombarding your mind. Arm yourself with the truth of God's Word. It takes effort and discipline to feed your spirit and to follow the 'Recognize / Stop / Refute and Replace' steps. It is certainly ‘easier' to let your mind effortlessly run with whatever thoughts come into it. However, if you want to get better, if you want to heal your pain and overcome the lies; you will have to do the work - there is simply no way around it. As Jesus told the man at the edge of the pool at Bethesda, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” (John 5:8)
If you participate and consistently take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and use it to combat the lies, eventually you will no longer entertain the nonsense of the same questions in your mind. You will have the truth so firmly planted in your spirit, the lies won't stand a chance! Hallelujah!
May you abide in HIM.
Many Blessings on Your Journey!
— Robyn Alsip Arce, © 2021
The Armor of God
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
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Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved