Week 3 – Day 19
Have you ever tried to reason with an unreasonable person? No matter what facts you point to they are unwilling or unable to see the situation clearly. At times, they may even have an altered sense of reality; they believe things that aren’t true. Everything could be based on their slanted judgment or how they interpreted events that took place. It can be frustrating and futile to continue in the same discussion when there is no hope of change.
That is what happens in our minds when we begin to fight the enemy with our own self-talk. We try to fight a supernatural battle with natural means, which is impossible. Have you ever tried to be mean to someone who is being mean to you? They walk away and you battle condemnation for your behavior for a week. Why? You tried to use the world’s ways while being a God-kid. You live with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you, but set Him aside and said, “I’ve got this one!” In the end you had more to work through than the person you were dealing with, no win here.
The enemy wants you to play on his field with his rules. So he attacks you with a thought and instead of kicking it away, you actually catch it and hold it close. You turn the thought over in your head and begin to ask yourself questions, “Really? Is that true? It feels like it could be true. Ok, how do I solve this?” Then you spend hours of your time trying to figure it out in the natural with reasoning.
The problem with reasoning is that it can give you a false positive. I have been to the doctors where they gave me a test that registered positive for a serious condition. This led to multiple tests that proved extremely uncomfortable; all to find out that the first test registered a false positive. Reasoning is just like that test; it leads you down a path that will not produce an answer in the end.
Here is how reasoning works:
- You spend countless hours thinking about a situation.
- By the time you come to an answer you are comfortable with and gain a reprieve from the anxiety, another possibility or situation will enter your mind and you are off again.
- This false positive (where you came up with a temporary answer) is what keeps Christians trusting in their own reasoning. It doesn’t last though and keep you playing the enemy’s game with his rules.
- Reasoning only works if your enemy is reasonable. He is not. Remember the unreasonable person we discussed earlier? You can never out talk the enemy in the natural.
- Reasoning has another name that doesn’t sound as dressed up; worry.
- Worry has two definitions: to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles; (example of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth.
Sometimes we allow the enemy to pick us up mentally and tear at us with a barrage of thoughts, then we cry out to God wondering why He is allowing the battle. He never wanted you in that game at all. He already conquered the enemy and you allowed the defeated one to coax you into the ring. It is time to turn to grace, God’s supernatural power to solve our habit of reasoning.
Reasoning (worry) is a habit; some of us have been doing it for years. My trigger place is in front of the mirror when I get ready in the morning. I can spend a full hour reasoning. If I am not careful, the enemy can get me all worked up before I even leave my room. I begin to think of what people have said to me and what I could have said back to them. I begin to think about the finances and what our goals are for the year and whether or not we are on track. I think about my kids and what they are doing—how I can help them, should I help them… On and on it will go unless I stop it before it starts. So now, I put on a teaching or documentary so that I am concentrating on something else. I try to spend time talking with God and not myself. The days go so much better when I choose what to think about rather than letting my mind off its leash.
What are your triggers? When you are driving? In front of the mirror? Ask God where you fall back on reasoning. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you when you are doing it and begin to use that time actually giving the problem to Him. (W3 D16) James 4:6 tells us that God gives grace (supernatural power and ability) to the humble but resists the proud. Worrying falls along the pride spectrum, we are trusting in our way to solve the problem. It takes great humility to stop and turn it over to God completely. Yet, He promises to meet us there at that place of humility with His supernatural power to change the situation.
Will you make the change? Will you ask Him where you are trusting in reasoning? Will you repent for doing it your way? As you do, you will begin to change your habits and become much more productive with your time. You will become open to His leading and have more energy. Worrying wears people out and it isn’t God’s best for you. Be free today—it belongs to you!
James 4:6 (AMPC)
But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).
Matthew 6:25-34 (AMPC)
25 Therefore I tell you, stop being [a] perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
How can you change the cycle of worry and reasoning in your life? If life is about perspective, where can you switch your vision to one of reliance on God and not on figuring it all out? Remember, we don’t have to get this perfect. These areas are all coming to light because God loves us so dearly and wants us to live and enjoy our lives to the fullest.