I am onto another chapter in the book Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer. (I would be happy to send you one!) What an impact this book has had on me and our small group.
This chapter talks about strongholds, and how they manifest themselves into our inner being and daily actions.
"Worry. Fear. Unforgiveness. Low self-esteem. Pride. Doubt. Cynicism. Sin."
Strongholds like these cause us to go towards ideas and actions that take priority over those ideas/actions which God has placed in our hearts. They are tricky. If pondered on or spent time on, we can convince ourselves that they are the direction we should be going. Better yet, and moreover in my case, I can “justify” the actions because “everyone else is doing it,” or “this is the way the world is right now.” Dangerous. This is really dangerous thinking for me personally.
These thoughts are manipulative in nature and cause us to make decisions that aren’t in alignment with our core beliefs, or that of God’s written word.
"Strongholds are spiritual barricades that keep the voice of God from reaching our spiritual ears."
What I learned in this chapter of the book was that the easiest way for me to keep these spiritual barricades at bay was to spend time reading the word. I need to arm myself with scripture memorization that I can EASILY turn to in times of worry, fear, anxiety, pride, doubt…and so on.
On my walk yesterday, I decided to go back to a recording of me talking out 30 scriptures that I had memorized. It was interesting to see how rusty I had become on those 30 scriptures. I had moved onto memorizing others, but hadn’t practiced what I had already learned. I listened to those 30 over and over on my walk and they are now at the forefront of my mind. I can see how keeping my mind focused on scripture helps me act, walk, talk and THINK differently.
I am also reminded in this chapter that I need to keep God first in my morning routine, but also throughout the day, calling on Him when I just want to talk or I may be entering a difficult conversation. He is with me all the time, I just need to pay attention to Him!
Thank you God for books like this and for my small group to learn alongside. It is a reminder to keep my strongholds at bay by keeping you closer.
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