A Crushed Spirit Vs. an Uplifted Spirit:
This is one of my favorite topics to dwell on and write about. THIS is the Enemy’s greatest way to defeat us. If He cannot get us to sin in action or words, he then tries to defeat us in thought. Proverbs 18:4 says “A man’s spirit can sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear?” Also, Proverbs 15: 13 says “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Matthew 12: 35 says “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” Finally, Luke 6:45 says “Out of the abundance (or overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
Each of these verses talk about the heart/spirit (where our thoughts origin) and the effects of the state of the heart/spirit. Our hearts can lead us to be cheerful and healthy, or they can leave us crushed and our bodies weak (and many times debilitating diseases can manifest in our bodies because of the thoughts on which we choose to dwell). Our hearts also determine our words, which have many effects on us and other people (there are a lot of proverbs that speak to the good and ill effects of our words on other people!). We can see that in order to have a good heart…we have to have good things stored up in our hearts from which to draw, especially during times of difficulty or spiritual attack. How do we do this? We can read God’s Word daily and be in constant prayer and FOCUS on HIS heart and HIS thoughts. We can be PURPOSEFUL about storing HIS Word in our hearts by memorizing Scripture. And sweet friends, we can do all of these things, but if our hearts are not in complete submission to the Lord, they won’t make a difference. It is not a check the block thing. It is out of the LOVE of the Lord and desire to please HIM, not ourselves, that all of these things come.
One of the greatest examples I saw of this truth played out in reality is from a dear friend of mine. One for whom I am eternally grateful. She just had a baby and the Lord moved their family’s hearts to adopt another one a few months later, one whom would need a lot of tender care for a variety reasons. She also had 3 other children, whose ages were all close together. Basically, she had 5 kids under the age of 6/7 at the time. Her heart was COMPLETELY dependent on the Lord. She was fighting a spiritual battle to not feel completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know her really well at the time, so I just sort of sat back and watched her and her family (and tried to help the best I could!). I always liked to be around her and SOAK up everything I could! I heard her speaking verses from God’s Word out loud, verses full of POWER and TRUTH…as she looked a bit distressed. As I thought about it later, I realized why she was doing that. She fought the spiritual battle with the GOOD stored up in her, SPEAKING words of TRUTH to defeat the Enemy…who seems powerful at times…but flees at the moment of resistance. It is a beautiful and amazing thing to feel Christ’s power over the Enemy when we simply resist with God’s Word. Wow. It played out before my eyes and I was AMAZED. Once I saw that, I knew I had to live differently in that regard. I couldn’t keep on sinning in my thoughts and give in to the enemy…no matter WHAT my circumstance. God was calling me to a higher standard…one in which I can never reach in my own strength. And as He calls me to that standard, I cry out to Jesus…and HE enables me to meet HIS wonderful, but impossible (without HIM) standard.
LET US BE WARRIORS TOGETHER FOR CHRIST. The Trinity, His Angels and all the Heavenly Hosts are ready to assist you (think Lord of the Rings!). He has already overcome 🙂 Praise be to God.
ARE YOU READY FOR BATTLE? “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:19-20). I need your prayers to be strong in the Lord and to speak fearlessly!!!
And once you start winning those spiritual battles, do not forget–ASCRIBE to HIM the GLORY.