I was about to lose it; I wanted to literally fall on the floor and cry, but worse than that… I was about to start believing a lie that the enemy has told me all my life.
“You are so stupid, Lindsay, when will you ever learn?”
The enemy’s greatest joy is for you and me to lose our peace, our joy, our very self-control and to ultimately doubt God.
It was an idle Wednesday just a few short weeks after moving across the country from Atlanta, GA to Los Angeles, CA. I picked up the mail off the floor, and I noticed an envelope that said “TheTollroads.com” with one of those yellow “forward” stamps on it. I immediately thought to myself, “That stamp only means one thing; this letter was sent to Atlanta first and now to LA.”
As I hurried to open it, I remembered a month earlier when I had passed through a toll road in Orange County. These particular toll roads don’t have booths you can stop and pay, but instead they just have signs posted as soon as you pass through that read “pay online.”
Driving home that night I promised myself I wouldn’t forget to pay, as I heard in my head this voice say, “Lindsay, you are such an idiot! You always forget things like this; you are so disorganized! Remember that time you were in jail because of a paperwork issue with the DMV? You are SUCH AN IDIOT!”
That evening I arrived home, and I jumped on my computer to pay the toll. However, as I typed everything in (with such determination not to screw it up this time) those little red letters saying “no record found” kept coming up.
Here I stood a month later with this bill in my hand knowing it had been sent all the way to Atlanta first and now to my house in LA. As I ripped it open, I would not be prepared for what it said.
My heart stopped for a brief minute, and then the voice started again, “See, you always screw everything up! I knew it; I can’t believe you are wasting God’s money. People are starving, and your disorganization is such an utter waste of God’s resources. You are worthless! When will you ever learn? I can’t believe you did this again.”
I agreed…I agreed with the voice.
Note: Agreeing with the enemy is the worst thing we can do in any situation.
We have to take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ, as written in 2 Corinthians 10:5: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (NASB)
Scripture says that I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:6), and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).
Well, in this situation I made the wrong choice. I agreed with the enemy instead of taking that thought captive to see if it lined up with the knowledge of God and His Word.
I agreed with the enemy's accusations that I have done this so many times; I agreed with his insults. It happened very quickly, but once I agreed with him, I let my mind go where he was leading right into condemnation, shame, and guilt.
But, then I heard a still, small voice as I was on the verge of a breakdown. “Lindsay, just pay it. Just open the website and pay it”.
I had another choice to make. I could continue my temper tantrum, ripping myself to shreds because of the dumb mistake that I had made (again), or I could heed the still small whisper and just pay it without getting so upset.
"Lindsay, just go online and pay it; getting upset will not change the fact that you owe this money," I heard again in my mind.
As I opened up the website, the screen to pay popped up. It said that I could buy a pass for $60.00, and it would reduce my violation and late fees to only $30.00.
Suddenly, I took a deep breath and realized what had just happened. The enemy wanted me to lose every ounce of my peace and self-control. He wanted me to stress myself out and beat myself up with thoughts of what a terrible person I was for "messing this up again."
Taking every thought captive isn’t easy. It is a moment by moment decision, but it will keep us out of a lot of trouble when it comes to our emotions, feelings and reactions.
The Bible is clear…we have an enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy in every way he can, and unfortunately he delights in it.
What is the enemy saying to you? What are those thoughts that zip through your head, trying very hard to pose as your own? If they don’t line up with the Word of God, they are not from God.
Lindsay Morgan is a native of Ohio who moved south 7 years ago where she met Jesus head on at age 31. Ever since then, she has been fascinated by His tangible presence and real love. Her writings usually include the grace, the struggle and the expectant heart of a moment by moment surrender to the God who created the Universe! Find more at www.PuttingthePencilDown.com.