Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taking the First Step

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."                                                        Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher 
As I promised in this post, I am going to share the lies I've believed that have contributed to my bondage to unrighteous anger and the truths I've gleaned from the Word to combat those lies.  I pray that sharing my struggle will serve to help any who share it to learn they are not alone, to give them the boldness to bring their sin out into the light, to illustrate how to break free (even as I am learning) and to give glory to the Son- for if He sets you free, you are FREE INDEED! 

To uncover my lies, I prayerfully sought the Lord both during my daily quiet times and in the moments of stress when I felt anger building inside.  One of the first categories of lies the Lord helped me identify have to do with strength, power, trust and peace.  (I'll share the others in future posts.)  Here are how the lies sound in my head when anger builds:
  • I can't do this anymore
  • I can't handle this
  • I can't deal with this
  • This is too much for me
  • I'm too weary
  • I'm too sad
  • I'm too weak
Do any of these sound familiar to you?  Obviously they can fuel a multitude of sins not just unrighteous anger.

An honest look at these lies revealed the following:
  • I am unaware of the Source of true strength
  • I am ignorant as to how to access this power when I need it
  • I allow difficult emotions to control my actions when I should trust them to Him.
Uncovering and understanding these lies are only the first step to freedom.  The lies must then be torn down and replaced with truth.  Not simple mantras or pep talks, but Truth.  This requires time and effort.  I sat down with a spiral bound pack of index cards, my Bible, a concordance, a pen and some highlighters and combed through the Word.  I looked up every Scripture that had the word strength in it and wrote those that applied to my circumstances into the index card pack, each on it's own card.  I underlined and highlighted the key words in each scripture.  I also added other Scriptures I already had memorized that would combat the above lies.  And I add scriptures as I come across them in my quiet times or reading blogs.  Here's what I've come up with (for the sake of brevity, I'll list only the references here):
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Isaiah 41: 10
  • Psalm 119: 28
  • 2 Corinthians 12: 5
  • Habakkuk 3: 19
  • Isaiah 40: 29-31
  • Isaiah 30: 15
  • Psalm 105: 4
  • Psalm 84: 6-7
  • Psalm 73: 26
  • Psalm 29: 11
  • Psalm 28: 7
  • Nehemiah 8: 10
  • 2 Samuel 22:33
  • 1 Corinthians 10: 13
  • 2 Peter 1: 3-5
  • 2 Corinthians 9: 8

    Everyday, I pray these verses, asking God to write them on my heart, to make them my automatic thoughts when I feel angry.  I carry them with me so that I can pull them out and meditate on them when I need to.  And I am already noticing change!  It's only been about two weeks but I have several scriptures memorized already- just from the repeated exposure to them.  And He is bringing the scriptures to mind when I need them to combat the lies!

    Am I free of these lies?  Of the bondage of unrighteous anger?  Not completely- yet!  I do believe I will be- for the first time ever- I do believe I will be!

    To start from the beginning of this series, click here.  The next posts in this series:

    Related post:


    Anonymous said...

    Natalie, I am so happy for you. While I recognize some of the passages you list, I can't wait to check them all out. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, asking the Lord to give you the strenght and power you need! Bless you, my friend.

    Shelli said...

    It is beautiful to witness the working of Christ in you. I did Beth's Breaking Free study about eight years ago and it was life-changing. Praying for you as you walk this Freedom road!


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