You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

~Matthew 12:34 NIV~

You need to understand that if someone is treating you badly, this is not a reflection of the type of person you are, it is a reflection of the type of person they are. The person who is hurting you is the one who has the problems. For some reason, we often willingly accept the criticisms of those whom we love as some sort of indicator that we are not okay. I’m here to tell you, that’s not the truth. The truth is that you are an awesome creature. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Almighty Creator and He wants you to experience love and healing. He wants your days to be filled with peace and love, not doubt, fear, and bitterness. If someone is making you feel like less than worthy of his or her love, then you need to ask yourself why that person is not allowing God to fill their hearts with something more than whatever it is that they’ve been stockpiling over the course of their life.

The verse above hit me so fresh this morning. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Yes! Indeed, it does. And ever since I have been more focused on the truth that God is telling me instead of the lies that are being told through those who allow Satan to rule their hearts and minds, I have had peace. Yes, there have been struggles and challenges, but overall I have been able to hold onto this sense that He is working it all out for my good and that I do not need to fear or worry. God is not caught off guard by the enemy’s behavior even when it completely blindsides me. He is there to pick me up when I stumble. He is there to put me back together when I am broken. And so, rather than allow the strongest influences in my life to be the ones that tear me down, I choose to hold onto that which lifts me up and helps me to fulfill the purpose He has placed in me.

There is no good reason to waste time on those who only seek our destruction. No matter how much they try, they will not be able to destroy what God has built. If God is for me, then who can be against me? In Him, I find peace. I find provision. I find protection. I find healing. And I’ve been shown many times just how faithful He is. He carried me through seasons of self-destructive behavior that I would have sworn had pushed me past the point of no return. He has dried many tears and healed a heart that was broken over and over by those whose only interest in me was to see how far they could push me before I fell apart. He wrapped His arms around me when I lay on the hospital bed after losing the last of five babies before they could be brought into this world. He saved my life over and over and over and finally, it hit me; it is His love that matters and no one else’s.

God has brought me into seasons of great abundance and I know that any periods in my life when I was low were brought on by my refusal to follow His leading. When I went my own way, I got lost. I turned off the GPS, so to speak, and sure enough when I looked around, I had no idea how I’d gotten to the place where I stood. But He makes it so easy to get back home. All you have to do is call on Him. Say to Him, “Lord, I need You.” He hears your cry and He will pick you up from where you are and set you down on higher ground. You only go backward when you choose to jump off the rock and be your own foundation.

I trust Him with my heart, my mind, my body and soul. He is everything that I need and without Him, I have no good reason to keep trying. He is the only thing that will never leave me wanting or hurting. He is my whole life, not just a part of my life. Every day that I live, I will serve the Lord. He has given me the gift of a life worth living and I accept this with arms wide open. There are those who might think I’m a flake or that I’m crazy because I believe in something I can’t see. To that, I say, I can’t see the devil either but I know he’s running around here hurting people every day trying to match the level of blessing that God bestows on His people with a level of pain great enough to make you doubt that God exists. I choose to believe that good will win out over evil because His word tells me that once the devil has run around a little while, He will pluck him up and throw him into a lake of fire. The devil cannot make the same claim. The devil cannot do anything to God. He can only hurt His children when they choose to put down the shields that God’s love provides for them. The devil can only come into our lives if we allow him to enter there. And the biggest way that we do that is to push God to the side and tell Him to leave us alone and let us handle things on our own. Take up your armor. Receive His protection and healing. Shut the door in the devil’s face and tell him to take a long hike. He was thrown out of heaven, you can throw him out of your life, too. God has given us this power through the Holy Spirit.

Yes, you have power in Christ and all you need to do to access it is to accept Him and reject the devil. Getting to a place where the devil no longer feels welcome in your life is a long and sometimes painful process, but it is a journey worth taking. You’d be surprised where he has hidden himself in your life. The devil is wrapped up in the lies you’ve been told. The devil is tucked into your insecurities. The devil is sitting in the corner of your living room watching you watch things on television that tear down your spirit and feed your mind poison. The devil is in your social media feed in all of the vulgarities that are attached to cute little pictures in the name of humor. The devil hides in plain sight and he chips away at you by presenting you with what he wants you to see as normal. He wants you to be so familiar with the ugly that it becomes the only view that you will accept as true. He wants to take away any hope you have of changing the pictures you see and he plants people and situations in your life to continually stoke the fires of self-doubt and hatred. Look around. Open your eyes. Satan was given temporary dominion over this earth and I believe that God wants to see just how destructive the devil will be before He sweeps this world with a great healing and takes those of us up who have put our trust in Him. God will rescue His children. So have faith. He really is there. What we see here is not what we will get if we hold onto Jesus.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

 ~Psalm 51:10 NIV~

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