Confusion! Who Told You That?

I sat in a SOZO appointment recently (Holy Spirit led therapy as I like to call it) and I rambled about my confusion regarding this guy I thought was super cute and sweet. As I had recently released more and more fear in this area of men, dating, marriage and my heart condition in it all, I heard the nice lady say:

“I think you are using confusion as a way to protect yourself from getting hurt.”

My head flying back in disbelief  I said, “AH, you have got to be kidding me, I just released fear as my false protector, and now you are saying confusion has come to take its place?” UGH!

My friend had just said something similar to me as I was rambling about my confusion to him before the appointment: “Lindsay, staying confused keeps you from making a decision and that feels safer than stepping into something that you fear either outcome, you are staying safe on the fence.”

Folks, I feared pain, the pain of possible rejection and the pain of it possibly working out. I know, kinda crazy, huh! I feared, so I was controlling through confusion.

I feared, so I was controlling through confusion. That’s really WEIRD.

Fear, control, and confusion often work side by side.

But we have to walk past them, we have to push through them, and that is not always easy, actually, I have found that it can be quite hard.  But GOOD NEWS Jesus is right beside us, there to help us, He really is, we just have to ask.

We have to ask Jesus to help us, and then we have to ask ourselves:

  1. Self, what is confusing to you?
  2. Self, what do you fear about this particular situation?
  3. Self, what are you trying to control?

Then, we must ask Jesus the same questions.

Jesus, what are my fears in this situation?

Jesus, what am I trying to control?

Jesus, what part is confusion playing? What am I REALLY confused about?

The confusion comes to bring disorder in our minds. Sometimes it feels safe, but like fear it is a false protector, it’s hiding something that Jesus probably wants to heal.

In 1 Peter 5:8 the Bible says “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

In the Greek language (the original language of the Bible) the word sober-minded is a verb meaning to exercise self-control.

“self-control” in our mind is what we are going to talk about here. And GOOD NEWS because self-control is a FRUIT of the Holy Spirit, so we don’t really have to muster it up, we can rather, ASK for HIS help!

It’s the simplest of prayers, “Holy Spirit will you help me here”?

The thing is controlling what we believe is an action; it is the renewing of our mind with what God says about us, rather than:

A) What we think ourselves.

or

B) What the dust people say about us (every human on earth)

Don’t believe all the thoughts you think about yourself, because our minds are influenced by so many different things and this is what causes confusion.

The definition of confusion is state in which many things are happening in a way that is not controlled or orderly.

“many things are happening” can mean, many things happening around us, many things happening inside of us or many things being spoken over us (by random dust people or directly from the Father of Lies). All of this can cause confusion.

I love what I heard Bible teacher, Beth Moore recently say:

“It’s often important to ask…Who told you that?”

Who told you, you were confused?

Who told you, you were ugly?

Who told you, you were worthless?

Who told you weren’t good enough? 

Who told you that?

Ask yourself!

And ask Holy Spirit to help you!

We must be sober-minded, we must be thoughtful about what we are thinking about, we must ask ourselves, where did that thought come from? And what is the fruit of that thought? Is it peace, joy, contentment? Or is it fear, anxiousness, confusion.

We are in a world with two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of darkness. Which Kingdom is your thought life coming from? We can all be influenced by both at any minute.

Which Kingdom are you allowing into your mind, to affect your emotions?

God (the God of the Bible) is not a God of confusion, so if you are confused, ask Jesus to show you His truth in your life and your situation. He says He will never leave you or forsake you and that He will always help you through His Spirit (the Holy Spirit). (Hebrews 13:5 and Isaiah 41:10)

Be encouraged, because we are promised that when we ask it will be given to us (Matthew 7:7) and in conjunction with James 1:5 when we ask for wisdom, we can be assured that He will provide what we need.

Identity!

Why is identity so important? 

Because “as a man think in his heart, therefore He is” Proverbs 23:7 King James

What we believe about ourselves deep in our hearts, we will ultimately become. 

I use to think really odd things about myself, but at the time, I thought those weird things were me, I didn’t know I had a creator who adored me and I surely didn’t know I had an adversary who wanted to destroy me. I had no idea of the war around me.

I didn’t know I had a choice who I put my identity in, I didn’t know I had a choice of what I put my identity in, I thought I was just who I was, “I “MUST” have been born this way, I thought!” That is what people would tell me, that is what tv would tell me, that is what my feelings were telling me, that is what life told me, I didn’t know I had a choice, I thought “this must just be who I am” therefore I must accept it, believe it and then as scripture says, I would become it.

THIS MAKES ME SAD, because I spent so many years believing TERRIBLE things about myself and guess what, I had to drink myself to an oblivion to drown out the things that I hated about myself that weren’t even TRUE.

I don’t pretend to know why people take their own lives, but I remember wanting to take mine and it was because what I believed was true about me, made me want to die.

God wanted me desperately to know who I was, as His beloved daughter, but He gives us free will, it was my choice, I just didn’t know it.

Well until that day, I heard the thoughts in my head so clearly, and they were so mean, but I didn’t know I was being lied to, all I heard was  “you are worthless Lindsay, you are such an idiot, I can’t believe you thought anyone would ever love you, look what you did, you left everyone who would love you and now look at you pathetic again, you might as well just call it quits, you are SUCH a loser, NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE YOU”

I didn’t know God at this time nor did I know the devil who I now know was talking to me, but by God’s grace, I called out to Him, I felt like I was being beaten over the head with a crowbar and as I felt like I was going to die, I simply said  “God” not even knowing God and as clear as day I heard deep in my being “I am right here, Lindsay, I have always been right here” and without a shadow of a doubt, I KNEW it was God. I didn’t know God, but it was like He knew how to make Himself known to me.

The room went silent, the mean voice stopped and a tangible peace, Peace Himself came to the rescue.

It was the beginning of my walk towards Jesus! I didn’t know, but He would lead me to Himself. What a gracious GOD!

The actual definition of the word “identity” according to google is:

the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

that’s deep.

what a person is?

What are we?

I think my sociology professor wrote that on the blackboard back in college.

What are we?

  • Are we who we love?
  • Are we who we hate?
  • Are we what we desire?
  • Are we what we do?
  • Are we what we feel?

According to the bible, no, we are not what we do, not even close. We are in fact none of these. 

We are beloved children of the MOST HIGH GOD, so that lie that no one will ever love me, was the furthest thing from the truth, actually what the enemy was trying to tell me was the exact opposite of what God the Creator of the Universe says about me.

What is God saying about you? And what is the enemy saying about you?

The only true and sure way to know this is to search scripture, find out what the Creator of the Universe who calls you daughter, who calls you son has to say about you because it is not only true, it’s beautiful, it’s stunning and it will make you blush!

You may not be all those things that those around you say you are, you may not be those feelings that you have, you are definitely not those mean thoughts in your head, you are not who the media says you are, you are without a doubt who GOD SAYS YOU ARE and I can promise you that even if you don’t “feel” like that, it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

What is true, is what scripture says about you, that is what is true, whether you feel like it or not. If you have been believing a lie about yourself for years, it may take time to unravel. 

If what you think about yourself doesn’t line up with scripture, you are being deceived and let me tell you I was deceived about some things for 39 years, so when I tell you that what you think you are may not be true, I am speaking from experience. 

Has it taken time for me to unravel those lies, yes, a long time actually. But He is a healer, a restorer and a redeemer and if we continue to seek Him, He will show us the way out of the lie.  

Father, God I pray for these precious people that read this blog, you know every hair on their head, you know every desire of their heart, and you know every lie they are believing about who they are, Lord, reveal, send your Holy Spirit to show them the truth of who they were made to be, who they are in You, Lord it’s only by your grace that any of us are free from the lies, come and heal our minds, hearts, bodies and souls, our emotions, our wills. WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU. 

It is in the powerful and almighty name of Jesus Christ I PRAY!

Abandonment, I refuse to believe you.

I had to look this one up! and guys it wasn’t pretty, as I read through the list my eyes were wide open, at one point in my life I have struggled (or still struggle) with each one of these)

but there’s good news, so keep reading!

Do you attach too soon to another?

Do you exhibit excessive controlling behaviors (or thoughts)?

Do you find flaws in potential mates?

Do you sabotage your relationships?

Do you have constant fears of cheating?

Do you expect perfection?

Do you have commitment issues?

If you resonate with one or more of these statements, you may need a touch from your Heavenly Father as He applies His love to these broken places and heals your broken and wounded heart.

Similar to rejection abandonment can come from many sources at different times in life.

And knowing “it” has a name and speaking it will help us get free!

So NO SHAME! (that’s a lie too)

There is a lie the enemy loves to perpetrate and that is “this is just who you are,” he always wants to attack our identity, which never allows us the freedom to overcome.

Not only is our inheritance as followers of Jesus FREEDOM, it is also said that we are more than conquers, in Romans 8:37.

And the truth is, you are NOT your issues, and as I have realized recently, I am not mine!

LIE: I use to think I was such a disaster there was literally no hope.

TRUTH: God showed me I was wrong, there is ALWAYS Hope in Him!

Galatians 5:1 New American Standard Bible

It was for freedom that Christ Jesus set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

The “feelings of abandonment” can seep into our thoughts about the future and tell us that what happen in the past is going to happen in the future and then fear is manifested on top of abandonment.

These are both LIES.

The Bible calls lies, YOKES OF SLAVERY.

The Bible is literally telling us NOT to be subject (in some translations it says) do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

There is a part for us to play, we are to stand against these lies. We must reject the fear that the enemy presents to us saying, “the abandonment is going to happen again.”

He uses our past against us. And it’s always him, people are rarely the problem, they may look like the problem, but they aren’t the real problem, the enemy is always the problem (see Epes. 6:12)

This fear of abandonment comes from the broken world we all live in! But my favorite promise throughout scripture is that our God (Jesus Christ Himself) will NEVER leave us or forsake us.

We may be abandoned by our friends, our families, our communities, our churches, our boyfriends, our bosses, and even ourselves, but we will NEVER be abandoned by our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Friend Jesus Christ and our Counselor and Comfortable the Holy Spirit of God.

Never!

Psalm 118:6 says “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

The fear of being abandoned is twisted and let me assure you it can wreak havoc in your life. It will tell you that you are something you are not; it WILL LIE to you! It will say to you “be careful Lindsay, don’t get too close, what if they leave you, you will surely die.”

WHAT? SHUT UP SATAN! I will not die.

If God is for me, who can be against me? (a portion of Romans 8:31)

And the fear of abandonment is actually taking two lies and twisting them around each other, to confuse you even more.

LIE #1: FEAR

LIE #2: Abandonment

“You don’t have to fear,” God says!

Google these promises and write them down on little white note cards and put them everywhere!

Isaiah 35:4

Hebrews 13:6

Psalm 56:11

John 14:27

Joshua 1:9

Psalm 34:4

1 Peter 5:6-7

Psalm 56:4

2 Timothy 1:7

Romas 12:2 do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Let’s do what the Creator of the Universe says and be transformed by the renewing of our minds!

We are more than conquers, we are overcomers, we have Jesus on our side, WE WIN! End of story!

Oh hey rejection, I see you!

The LIE of rejection.

This one, the Spirit of Rejection also springs up in different ways. If this one really hurts, I have a GREAT suggestion on a book that just came out by a writing hero of mine on this subject, and although I haven’t read it yet, I have zero doubt it’s amazing. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Rejection can seep in on the playground, at your church, in your family or at the office, without ever being spotted. It’s slimy, and it’s always evil, aka straight from the pit of hell.

The enemy is always the enemy, so no matter if rejection got to you through a friend, a pastor, a spouse or a family member, it’s never the people we are fighting with, it’s ALWAYS the enemy. 

Now, does the enemy love to work through people? Absolutely, no question, that is his primary way. And if he can do it through someone super close to you, BAM, he knows that will hurt the worst.

I know, I hate it too. But as the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Therefore, friends, we must fight, but we don’t fight alone, and we don’t fight against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12) and truthfully it’s not even our fight, the Lord says He will fight for us.

In my experience, we do play a part; we play a part that seems simple but for some reason doesn’t always “feel” simple.   We must keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, for the Bible says:

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You 

Basically, keeping our minds on Him will give us perfect peace, because we are trusting in Him!

When we have been hurt by someone either in our past or in our current day situation, we have to forgive them. It’s oddly dangerous not to forgive. It has been said to affect our health in extreme ways. According to John Hopkins, one of the leading hospitals in the US; there are significant health benefits to forgiving.

Karen Swartz, M.D, at John Hopkins says “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed.” She goes on to say that “Chronic anger puts you in a fight or flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”

The Mayo Clinic reports that a lack of forgiveness can cause the feeling of your life lacking purpose. 

The Bible warns us very clearly about the danger of unforgiveness. The truth is, the Bible is very clear in the parable in Matthew 18:21-35 that the devil does have access to torment us if we hold unforgiveness. So let’s take care of that now.

Note* forgiveness is one of those things that you do before you feel!

So let’s give it a try, close your eyes, ask the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God that Jesus sent to live in YOU as a believer in Him) to show you who may have rejected you and what you need to forgive them for…

When you are ready…

1. Say out loud, ” I choose to forgive ___________ from my heart for ___________. (what they did to me)

2. Say out loud, “I cancel all debts or obligations owed to me by _________ for what they did to me.”

3. Say out loud, “I forgive myself for any pain I caused myself with this memory and for the unforgiveness, I have been carrying.”

awesome awesome awesome, so proud of you!

If you want to dig in more to this subject of rejection, click here.

 

 

 

Guest Post: Sarah Ott Deyton + God’s Love, God’s Word!

One of the deep burdens in my life is the journey of learning to rely on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit first and foremost.

It’s without a doubt one of the hardest things, especially since we have AMAZING people around, and we have a lot of “stuff” to help us in about every area of life. God gave us stuff, He gave us people, but as a recovering co-dependent I am learning that what the scripture says in Matthew is really how we are supposed to live although it can feel like the most uphill battle ever.

Matthew 22:36-40 New American Standard Bible 

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him,“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [a]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

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This sounds hard right? Love love love, it sounds exhausting to me at times if I am being real honest, but then in 1 John it says this:

1 John 4:19 New American Standard Bible 

19 We love, because He first loved us.

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We love, because He first loved us! Which means if we don’t allow ourselves to stop and really ask the Lord to show us MORE love, we are working from an empty tank on trying to fulfill the GREATEST COMMANDMENT.

Letting God love us, then loving Him back, then loving our neighbor (friends, community even family) like we LOVE OURSELVES?

But the question I also wonder about is: Do we even love ourselves? 

Just a few thoughts to talk with Jesus about, asking Him to help us receive His real tangible love, asking Him to help us love ourselves, asking Him to love through us all those around us.  We can not do anything without Him, but in Him all things are possible. Even the healing of our broken places.

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Some would call the Bible God’s Love Letter to the World! I personally love worshipping God in Spirit and Truth!

Now! Meet my wonderful friend Sarah and if you are in (or near) Atlanta- comment below to win 3 tickets to an amazing event on August 27th!

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“The judgments of the Lord are true… they are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold…” Psalm 19:9-10

In modern lingo, God’s Words are to be more desired than money or anything else of value. Have you ever considered the Bible worth more than your paycheck, the amount in your savings account, or the insured diamond ring you wear (or want to wear)?

In your home, on your shelves, & by your bedsides, you have the living breathing collection of God’s spoken words to you in your own language. Doesn’t that just stop you in your tracks? Not only do we have access to God’s Word, but we have an excess of it, at least HERE, in this country!

You, like me, probably have a variety of translations, styles, and leather colors.  Maybe you own a burgundy leather worn-page version from your grandmother, possibly a traditional monogrammed black-bonded one, or the paraphrased message translation of this generation, even available in “hard-back”.

Here me say, there should be nothing guilt laden about having an excess of God’s Word but there is an error when the access to it does not match the excess of it. Bottom line, I long for you to value the Scriptures as more than a book owned, purchased, or stored as a family heirloom, but as your most treasured possession!

We are living in a country where God’s word is in excess yet not fully accessed. There are misconceptions about its true value.  If the Bible was held in the highest worth deserved, it would be enjoyed not just read and personally cherished not just theologically respected. I believe the more we acknowledge the intrinsic value of the Bible as God’s very words the more we will enjoy and engage it in our lives.

The Bible is the most valuable thing I own. I cannot stop talking about it, reading it, and finding my life within its sacred pages! The Bible isn’t just familiar stories or good principals and believe it or not, isn’t available everywhere.

Recently, I learned that women of all ages, in Ethiopia, do not have access to God’s Word at all. Think about that! What if you did not have any words of God available to you? The more I imagined that reality the more a vision clarified in my mind to be a part of answering this heart desire in Ethiopian women.  The two greatest values- God’s Word & the souls of men- coming together in one mission!

What if you realized the costly value of His words in the midst of all you own and gifted the collection of His words, to people who own very little of anything else?

Est.Her’s Garden was born. It is an evening event centered around two things: YOU falling in love (maybe again or maybe a first) with the Word of God more than silver and gold, as well as THEM getting a collection of His words for the first time. The more you value His Word the more you will want to give it to everyone! We have all heard it said, “it takes a village”. Well, literally, in this case, need a village to give a village the greatest gift ever imagined: God’s Word!

On August 27th, men & women are joining together in downtown Atlanta to celebrate OUR excess of God’s Word and fund THEIR access to it! If you cannot attend or live out of state, you can still join us and give to this mission! Every prayer and dollar amount matters!

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at esthersgarden.info.

Donations can be made by clicking the GIVE button online at www.esthersgarden.info.

Will you help us raise money that will go to the SEED Company, an organization poised to translate 40 bible stories into the 4 heart languages of these people groups in Ethiopia?

It’s me, Lindsay again. Thanks, Sarah! Love your heart for God’s Word!

I would personally love to sponsor three people in Atlanta to go to this event, since I can’t be there!

Just leave a comment below with your favorite life-giving scripture verse to enter!

*Winner must be subscribed to Putting the Pencil Down Blog (but you can subscribe today and still ENTER) and must return “winner” email  if selected within 2 days or another winner will be chosen (via, good old name in the hat draw)