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Correctly Identifying Enemies


Christa Black Gifford relates in her book, Heart Made Whole, how at one point in her life she would have negative thoughts of comparison or other negative emotions and tried to quote scripture and “take authority over the enemy.” Somehow though, she always ended up on the losing end of the battle.

What she found is that when your heart has these issues rising up, they are areas of brokenness showing themselves. It’s a gift because you can take that broken piece to Jesus and find healing. Expressed another way, I’ve heard it said that many times we’re trying to cast out devils when really you’re trying to cast out you.

This is something with which I’ve been learning and struggling. Honestly, it feels so close and tangible some days while others it’s like a distant dream. It’s true nevertheless. Your heart is not your enemy. Your brokenness is not the Devil.

Lay down the swords and weapons and choose connection.

I’ve been watching videos recently about parenting children of trauma. Obviously, this has greater meaning to me as I’m smack dab in the middle of such pursuits. Something that grabbed my attention again is that before bad behavior changes, there has to be a heart-to-heart connection between the child and parent.

In order for lasting change to occur, that connection is what has to be nurtured and guarded.

I think all of us in one way or another can be considered children of trauma–a fallen world sees to that. This means the more you focus on behavior, berate yourself (thinking you’re the enemy), or believing God only cares about what you do and don’t do–the more you pull away.

These kids are simply trying to deal, in their limited ways, with a messed up life. In order to let go of destructive or counterproductive coping tools, they have to have connection to a caring, understanding person.

You have to accept that God only cares about maintaining the connection you have with Him through the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. He never leaves or forsakes. Nothing separates you from His love. The connection on His end is never in jeopardy or question.

This means when you feel the negative emotions you don’t stuff them down. You don’t curse them as a work of Satan. You bring it to Jesus and sort through it together.

These days, instead of working hard to behave correctly and remain sinless, I take my focus off of all I’m doing wrong, and instead focus on all He’s doing right. I draw close to Jesus and ask Him to show me what true intimacy looks like in my deepest parts. As I begin to eat and drink of His Word, Spirit, character, and love, my inner world pours out into my outer world, and my actions become a beautiful reflection of what a supernatural God is doing inside my heart. –Christa Black Gifford, Heart Made Whole

Listen for His voice when you feel overwhelmed. Pay attention to your heart when you feel negative stuff rising up. Freedom is in the connection, not the better behavior; and better behavior will come too as a result of that connection.

How about you? What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever or do you struggle with this as I have?

hmwWelcome to week 6 of our book club discussion of Heart Made Whole by Christa Black GiffordWe are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, link up below and don’t forget to check out my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s post. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, feel free to dive into the conversation!

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  1. Gifford put her finger on something important here. We think of negative feelings and issues as “problems to be fixed,” instead of things to be considered, realized and worked through. I suspect it’s cultural — America is a nation of problem-fixers.

    • I believe you’re right. Let’s us know again that our culture has to be determined by our Father and His Kingdom instead of our country of origin (no matter how great we think it is). Fixing problems is not a bad thing unless you’re trying to fix things that aren’t problems. 🙂 Good point. Thanks Glynn.

  2. Freedom, indeed, is in the connection we have with Jesus. There is no pain so great nor wound so deep that He can’t heal it, and give us the love and courage to move forward.
    Wonderful reflection on this chapter, Jason!

    • Yes! So thankful. Thanks so much, Martha.

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