"Overcast and snow......." We have heard that weather report often lately. Colorado's usually abundant sunshine (even in winter), has gone missing quite often this year And with the over- cast days have come more snow and from there more mud! (At least out where we live) You can't have it all can you? country life comes with all its ups and downs, and we certainly can always use the moisture, but needless to say overcast, snowy, muddy winter days, sometimes leave me wrestling with cabin fever and what I call the "winter blues". Do you ever feel that way? Or perhaps you might struggle in other ways. It may be with something you have heard; you turn on the news and of course its always bad or maybe someone has said something about you and it really gets to you. I wrestle with those things. I may struggle with being over-whelmed with too much on my plate and I feel at a loss as to where to even begin, and feel completely inadequate to begin it. I've come to the conclusion that all these things are part of the battle that we are to fight while here on this earth and all these things have a common thread and a common voice.
I was reading the story of David and Goliath again the other day, and when I was reading what Goliath said to the army of Israel and to David, I thought I recognized his voice. I had been hearing things just like that. I realized it was nothing more than the voice of Satan. He says the same things over and over again just like he has been since he first started talking to Eve. He taunts and he mocks and he bates you and tries to get you to either freeze up in fear, or over react and blow your testimony.
But I love how David reacts to him and this very same feeling rises up in me when I finally get a clue as to who is speaking to my mind; "righteous indignation". Is the world telling you you are worthless, you are foolish, you are a failure, you ought to have something more to show for yourself. Or perhaps in spite of all you have offered or accomplished, you are being criticized and condemned. You can know it is nothing more than Goliath/Satan speaking.
When I was going to bed the night I had read this story, I kept hearing; "Five Smooth Stones" in my head. It intrigued me. I have been rolling it around for the last couple of days. David of course picked up 5 smooth stones from the river and placed them in his pouch (I Sam 17:40).
It appears that he only needed one of them to kill Goliath, but he had five. I was thinking his one stone and his Faith in God and his action upon those two things were what brought that enemy down.
I have a little recipe that I resort to that helps me rid myself of the "Winter Blues" Or the onslaught of any kind of oppresson; I think I will call them my "five smooth stones". It is what I do and it always works. Maybe it will inspire some one else.
1. Encourage yourself in the Lord
David went through times of depression, but he encouraged himself in the Lord and fought his way out by speaking to his downcast spirit saying: "why are you downcast oh my soul....." "hope in God, for I shall again praise Him" Psalm 42:11, Psalm 43:5
2. Speak, proclaim, and pray the word of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 Teaches us that we don't wrestle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of wickedness; we are to put on the full armor of God; our offensive weapon in that list of armor is the "Sword of the Spirit", which is the Word of God. I think too often we are not aware of the true power of coming into agreement with what our Lord has said through His word and in faith taking a hold of those promises. When we, as redeemed Christians, speak them in response to oppression, we have taken authority over that oppression and it will leave. We shut the door to the negative thoughts and feelings and open the door to the positive power of God.
3. Pray the blood of Jesus over your mind and body
In Exodus, the blood of the lamb was sprinkled over the door posts of the house to protect the children of Israel from the curse that was about to befall Egypt. The blood of the lamb was also sprinkled as an offering for atonement for sins. The blood of our Lord Jesus was given on our behalf, as an offering for our sins and as an offering against the curse of a fallen earth. Revelation 12:11 tells us that in the last days those who over came, overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. Often times Steve and I will have communion together when we are experiencing a struggle(We do this for other reasons as well). Corinthians tells us when we take communion we proclaim the Lords death (his blood his resurrection) and the power of it until He comes. This is a testimony of the authority our Lord has given us over darkness, and is a battle He won for us at the price of His life and blood.
James 4:7 says to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Quite often when I have discouraging thoughts or am bombarded with feelings of fear, rejection or insignificance, I simply say "Satan I resist you in the name of Jesus" and those things will lift.
5. Stand Firm....on the promises of God
Ephesians 6 says..." after having done everything to stand, stand... " I have had times in my life when I have prayed and fought in some very, very difficult battles, and at that moment it didn't appear as if the Lord had heard; everything seemed to get worse; but I remember encouraging myself in the Lord and saying even though I can't understand what is going on, I know the Lord is faithful. I continued to stand and speak of the Lords faithfulness. He loves when we do that, and in those moments, our faith is released and the power of God is released also. I can look back on those times now and be in awe at how faithful our Father is. Those moments when I could have allowed myself to think that I had been forsaken, or forgotten by God were moments He was actually at work, but the fruit of it had not manifested yet. In His time we have always been able to see the victory and joy He has for us.