Originally published Tuesday, 07 July 2015.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
I have read that verse many times, but the other day, I realized the importance of this instruction from the Word of God.
The enemy is so quick to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10a) the Word of God from our hearts. If we let him completely remove the seed of the Word of God in our hearts, he won’t just stop there. He wants to fill our hearts with his deceit and lies so there is no room for the truth of God’s Word and no opportunity to develop the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, and patience, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we don’t develop the fruit of the Spirit, we are going to have a very difficult time making disciples like Jesus commands us to do throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I want to focus on the first fruit of the Spirit, love.
There is no coincidence that love is listed as the first fruit of the Spirit. Without it, we cannot be recognized as a follower of Christ.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35)
As I begin to think of how the enemy tries to steal, kill, and destroy the Word in our hearts and ruin all possibilities to cultivate the fruit of the love, I can’t help but wonder what seeds he also tries to plant.
Most would say that the opposite of love is hate, but I truly don’t think that is the case with the enemy’s tactics.
If God is love (1 John 4:8) and He embraces us in spite of our weaknesses and fumbles, the enemy would want nothing more than to hinder that kind of unconditional acceptance to grow within us, both for us to freely receive and freely give out to others and the Lord God Himself.
I believe the opposite of God’s limitless love and belonging has to be rejection.
Since Jesus commands us to love another as we have read in John 13, Satan tempts us to defy that command, not with straight hatred towards each other or even ourselves, but with rejection and sometimes undetected rejection.
The spirit of rejection annihilates the seed of love from ever growing in our hearts and hardens us to the core.CLICK TO TWEET
It is spiritually deadly, both to the one knowingly or unknowlingly dealing it out and the one receiving it as truth.
Once we have received the seed of rejection and allowed it to take root, it begins to grow and strangle our heart like a disgusting weed.
I experienced this first-hand recently.
For the first three months of our son’s life, my husband was working a lot of over-time, beginning his days at around 4 AM and not coming home to close to 6 PM. So for three months, he slept in our guest bedroom so Isaiah’s late-night “partying” wouldn’t keep him awake, and he could get to work well-rested.
This was something that I COMPLETELY understood and even suggested, but the enemy definitely used it to his advantage to try to bring destruction in my life.
But because of some lingering Postpartum Depression symptoms from the hormonal imbalances I was experiencing (read more about that in my recent guest blog post at The Praying Woman), it often felt like I was raising Isaiah alone and I felt completely unstable. I struggled with feeling lonely and abandoned. It was affecting my mood and how I responded to people: not very kindly at all.
This, of course, is where the enemy tried to creep in my thought-life. He whispered lies non-stop. When I was awake, I sent up my cries to God when it got tough. When Paul got home from work, we would talk through my feelings so that a wall wouldn’t be errected around my heart and negatively affect our marriage.
With prayer and these daily conversations, the loneliness seemed to sub-side. But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that if the enemy can’t get to you while you are awake, he will most definitely try when you’re sleeping.
I had three separate dreams regarding Paul leaving me and starting a life with another woman. I woke up feeling so rejected and unwanted.
The dreams were so vivid that it was seriously hard to shake the feeling they brought, even though I knew they weren’t real.
Finally, instead of wallowing in my emotions and accepting the enemy’s deceitfulness as reality, I spoke out:
“No more! I am loved. I am accepted. I belong to the King of Kings and I am a daughter of the Most High God! My husband adores me and will never leave! We have an amazing marriage and family! Satan, you are a liar and I reject your rejection right now in the name of Jesus!”
If I hadn’t recognized the lies from the spirit of rejection, the enemy would have continued firing these rejection arrows at me until I surrendered and allowed my heart to grow cold towards myself and everyone around me.
Now what I shouted to the enemy had to come from a place of understanding who I am in Christ, even if it took me awhile to remember it. I had allowed that truth to take root in my heart, so the enemy had no right to that revelation.
If you don’t renew your mind with the Word of God or pray daily, you will fall victim to the enemy’s deceit. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy the life and fruit in you that the Word of God brings. You must keep watch over that fruit and cultivate your heart so that others may see Jesus in you and through you!
The enemy wants to stop that at all costs! He wants you bound in a pit of depression, unable to receive love or give out love, feeling like no one loves you or cares about you. He wants you to think you are completely alone and a failure.
But I am here to tell you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! The Father loves you. You are His child and He wants you to be filled with His love so that you can pour it out to others!
When the enemy tries to send rejection your way, don’t take it! Send it right back at him and reject that rejection in Jesus’ name! And always remember to guard your heart so that Satan has no room to sow his seeds of lies any longer!
Rejecting Rejection is also posted on emilyrosemassey.com!