Dwelling on why. It’s a sure-fired path to overwhelming despair. Of course, asking why is a natural response to painful circumstances. Why did I choose a batterer for a spouse? Why did I stay so long? Why didn’t I listen to the counselor who warned me that I was being abused? Why did I ignore the red flags? Why did I bring children into this mess? Why didn’t my dream of a loving marriage come true? Why didn’t God stop me from making bad choices? Why didn’t he protect me? Why was I ordered to pay spousal support for life to the man who battered me for over two decades? Why would God allow that? The danger isn’t in the asking. It’s in the dwelling. I have brought each and every why before my loving Heavenly Father, because I know that I am totally safe with him. I am free to ask him any question that I want to ask. I know that he is always listening, and that he will always respond with the truth, motivated by love. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, I have received answers to some of the why’s. But there are other why’s that remain unanswered. The unanswered why’s can be an open door to the enemy if I don’t guard my mind. If I dwell on the why’s, the enemy begins to whisper answers to the questions that are actually lies in disguise. These lies in disguise are cunning and well thought out. They are intended to mar the character of God, weaken my faith, and lead me to despair.
Dwelling on how. It’s a sure-fired path to overwhelming fear. Of course, asking how is a natural response to painful circumstances. How am I going to safely break free from this violent man who has threatened to kill me? How am I going to be able to maintain my relationship with my children when he continues to malign me? How am I going to gain the much needed support of family and friends when he is so good at manipulation and deception? How am I going to be able to support myself and pay the court ordered support for him as well? How am I going to be able to survive my life when every single interaction with him is hostile? How am I going to break free from this pain? How am I going to repair all the broken pieces of my life? The danger isn’t in the asking. It’s in the dwelling. If I start dwelling on the how’s, the impossibility of my circumstances overwhelm me. The wind and the waves take center stage in my mind, and I forget all about the fact that Jesus is in my boat. If I allow overwhelming fear to control my mind, this can be an open door to the enemy. He begins to sow seeds of doubt and disbelief. These seeds of doubt and disbelief are cunning and well thought out. They are intended to mar the character of God, weaken my faith, and lead me to despair.
Dwelling on Who. It’s a sure-fired path to peace and victory. Of course, dwelling on Who is not a natural response to painful circumstances. My flesh would rather dwell on the why’s and the how’s, because that is only natural. If I am going to dwell on Who, I need to operate in the super-natural. I must operate in the Spirit. I must make a decision of my will to dwell on Who -every day, every hour, every minute, and when things are really bad; every second. I must take captive each and every thought that leads me to dwell on why or how, and replace that thought with Who:
The God who relentlessly pursued me with his fierce love even though I chose the law and religion over a relationship with him.
The God who refused to forsake me even though I ran from him and falsely accused him of all sorts of horrible things like abandonment and rejection.
The God who never responded in anger when I blamed all of the evil in my life on him, even though he good and is incapable of evil.
The God who performed miracles on my behalf in order to set me free from fear, shame, and abuse, even though I doubted his ability to do it.
The God who has used every evil thing that has come against me as a way to heal me and set me free from all sorts of bondage, even though I questioned his motives towards me.
The God who chose to endure betrayal, beating, humiliation, and a brutal death for me, even though he knew that I would show contempt for his sacrifice by claiming that I believed in the cross, while at the same time accusing him of not loving me.
If I choose to focus my thoughts on Who, this can be a crushing blow to the enemy. Thought of Who will sow seeds of truth and hope that can completely change my perspective. These seeds of truth and hope are life-giving and life-renewing. They are intended to bring glory to God, strengthen my faith, and lead me to the victory that is mine in Christ.
Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.