Do my problems define who I am?

Do we want to be defined by our problems?  

Do we want our problems to define us?  Do we want to be known as someone who has suffered defeat b/c of an avalanche of problems?  As someone who is always under their problems?  As someone who just moves from one set of problems to another?  As someone who just can’t seem to get a grip!

OF COURSE NOT! ! ! ! ! 

All right, I believe you.  But I have to ask.  If we don’t want our problems to define us, then why are we so consistent at turning our focus  towards our problems?  Why is it we allow fiery dart thinking as it relates to our problems, rule our attitudes and actions? (you know what happened to Peter when he went to focusing on the waves instead of Jesus – Matthew 14:25-31, read it if you’re curious)

Know what, I really don’t understand that myself.  Unless, of course, we can attribute negative thinking to that ole’ sin nature.  Our Bible heroes struggled with this also, I think.

 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?   Roman 7:18-24

We NEED to be rescued from ourselves!

Yes we do!  We need a power that will help us turn from focusing on the negative (you know, that menacing fiery dart thinking that plagues us all)!  Well, guess what?  There is such a power!  Read on:

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”  Roman 7:25

Here’s the deal!  Jesus’s death on the cross delivers us (that’s anyone who takes Jesus’s death personally).  Now we are in a position of power!  Now we have a choice!  God’s law (which is grace) can rule our thinking and define us, OR the law of sin can rule our thinking and define us.

So, when we are being pulled under for the 3rd time with fiery dart thinking, we can grab hold of the rescue line Jesus throws us.  It’s called ‘grace’.

And the grace of it is that we don’t have to keep thinking those negative thoughts.  That fiery dart thinking does not have to rule our thinking.  Because of God’s grace we have the Bible.  Because of the Bible we have the source to call upon that’s going to rescue us.  Philippines 4:8, points us to the secret of victory over fiery dart thinking (the kind of victory that keeps us from sinking).

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

It’s quite simple actually.  The more noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy thoughts we think, the less room there is for fiery dart thinking.

A WORD OF CAUTION!

Often, without realizing it, we cooperate more with Satan’s fiery darts than we do with the wisdom of The Word.  This happens when we fail to educate ourselves about fiery darts.(That’s why I hope you will read my book – so you can be educated about all of this!)  If we don’t recognize the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we will succumb to it’s manipulation.  This excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, p. 79, makes my point.

 3. Acknowledge it (the negative thought) as a fiery dart, if the purpose is to pull you down in any way.  Then, personalize this prayer based on Isaiah 54:17, “May this weapon formed against me not prevail.” (Keep in mind that conviction brings restoration, a fiery dart brings condemnation.)

What I am saying is that if we don’t acknowledge the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we won’t resist it as we should.  Thus we will be allowing ourselves to be manipulated by such thoughts and it will be that fiery dart thinking that will define us (if we aren’t careful)!

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