Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:7 NIV)
I once told God after reading one of Corrie Ten Booms’ books, “Lord, I want to be a woman of faith like Corrie, but I don’t want to go to a concentration camp to be one.” The Nazis had taken Corrie, her sister Betsy, and their father to a concentration camp for hiding Jews in their home during World War II.
I now realize, some years later, I too had been in a concentration camp; one of my own making or perhaps one the enemy had designed for me long ago. Negative thinking and speaking had been something I saw from my childhood home. I tried my best to get free, but didn’t know how. Not until I went to counseling and realized why I thought and felt the way I did. It had been a long battle and I have learned a new way of evaluating my thoughts and feelings. God’s Word is the one constant I’ve found to replace them.
The World Book definition for morbid introspection is an unhealthy examination of one’s thoughts and feelings. And some, like Joyce Meyers, have termed it evil forebodings. I didn’t realize how much I too needed healing in my thoughts and feelings.
I once read philosophical people are often give to introspection and they are a lover of wisdom. All of my life I felt I didn’t know enough, have enough, and so wanted to learn. I knew I needed help, but often found myself fearful of asking for it. I spent a lot of time in solitude, reading and studying God’s Word and it did serve a purpose in teaching me more about God. The only problem was I had become so serious at times at the expense of having fun and real relationships with others. It was as though I couldn’t relax. And even my husband had to remind me at times to lighten up and have fun. I’ve gotten better about it, but sometimes I still need reminding.
Prisoners of war are held captive in concentration camps. And the enemy knows if he can keep us there, we will not be able to accomplish God’s purposes for us. It is ultimately a change in our thinking no matter the stronghold. T.D. Jakes once said, “The stronghold is in your head.”
Being a Christian does not exempt us from leaning on our own understanding. It is constant battle to replace our thoughts with His Word in order to transform us. We are in a spiritual war and we can still become a prisoner of our own thoughts at times, or the enemy’s.
I can see now how I’ve felt challenged to believe God’s Word to me over my own voice, the enemy’s, or other peoples’. I had become a prisoner of what I’d been told or heard said to a family member and the enemy did his best to convince me the negative words spoken were true for me. However, God began to tear away one layer at a time and rebuild the damage done on the inside. I’m still learning to press on and break any other residual of defeat and move more into what God might have for me. I’m not only continuing to learn to replace negative thoughts, but remembering it is His power at work in and through those that are His.
I wonder if you too have heard some things your whole life and still believe them? Voices like the ones that say, “You can’t do that; at least not as well as she can” or perhaps it’s, “You’re not smart enough, or you don’t know enough.” Regardless of the voices, God’s voice resonates above all others and He’s the one we need to listen to in order to move into His purposes for us. I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to. This is a perfect example of what I’m doing these days; putting pen to paper in a way that might help someone else to move out of the prison of their own thoughts into what He might have for them. May we each respond and take risks because that is what it means to walk by faith and not by sight.
Father, help us to recognize the lies and allow You to defeat them through the power of Your Word and Spirit.
In Jesus’ name,