Shutting the Mouth of the Enemy| Bethany Anding

“Rejected.”

“Worthless.” 

“Will never equal to anything.” 

These are some of the thoughts I dealt with in the past. As a child, I was bullied in school. I was told that I would never measure up to anything because I was “fat” and that I “would never get married” because I was so ugly. These words scarred me. I would get in the car every day after school and just cry to my mom.

I would say things like “am I really that ugly?”

“Why are they so mean?”

I would take these words and meditate on them. I would think to myself, “Maybe they’re right. I may never get married. If I do, I’ll probably marry an abusive man and have a daughter who resents me.”

And I would get carried away with all these lies. Due to my choice to believe the lies, I dealt with severe depression. I was very insecure about the way I looked. I hated who I was. I wanted to die.

And as far as getting married, I would think that since a man probably would not love me, maybe a woman would. This led to me questioning my sexuality. 

All of this was tied together by one thing; I did not know who I was in Christ. I did not recognize that this was the voice of the enemy. I thought all of this was me.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NKJV).

This scripture basically says that Jesus loves us, no matter what we do. He loved us before we even knew how to love Him back. There is a song that I love, that many are familiar with, called “Reckless Love”. 

In the bridge of this song, the artist sings the following: “There’s no wall You won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me!”

I love how he says that there is no lie God won’t tear down to get to us. This means that if the enemy puts a lie in someone’s head, God will tear it to bits. All we have to do is believe what God says about us, instead of believing a silly lie Satan puts in our head. Sometimes, it may be difficult. The lie may seem rational. It may be logical and line up with our circumstances, but God’s word is true, no matter what may surface. 

There was another song I was listening to not too long ago. The artist went into a little spontaneous worship, and she sang these words: “Just a whisper, and You shut the mouth of the liar!” 

Let’s say I am going to get in my car, and someone on the street, who I don’t know, and have never seen before comes up to me and says, “Your mom said I could buy your car, give me the keys.” 

He is obviously lying, but he takes circumstances and tries to twist them to make me believe him. I would have two options: believe this guy and hand over the keys to my car. Or, I could just choose not to believe him, take my keys, and drive away. 

It’s the same way with the devil. It seems so easy to just believe what he is saying because he has “evidence”, but it is just things he is perverting to make it look like he is right.

Just like in the Garden of Eden where the serpent (who is really the devil) tells Eve that God does not want her to eat the forbidden fruit because it will make her more powerful than God, when that is far from true. The truth is that it would give her knowledge of evil and separate her from God. 

So, the enemy takes what is factual, not necessarily truth, and twists it to make it look the way he wants. For example, someone could go to a doctor, and the doctor could say they have a mass, but only one in a million of these are cancerous.

The devil will take it way out of proportion and say “You are the one in a million! You have cancer! You are going to die,” when the truth is that Jesus is the God of miracles, and He is stronger than any mass, malignant or benign.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NKJV) 

This means believing the lies of the enemy will not get anyone anywhere. It will result in death and destruction whereas pursuing Jesus and believing His word will result in an eternity in heaven. 

In the end, everyone has a choice. Believe the lies of the enemy or walk in freedom and truth. Personally, I am done believing the lies of the enemy. Satan has taken a big enough toll from me, and I am going to take back my authority and say “SHUT UP DEVIL! You are a liar!” Because Jesus is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and I have chosen Him.

Behold Your King| By Heaven Harris

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“Girl, you are a precious daughter of the King!”

Sounds amazing right? Who doesn’t enjoy being called a princess?  I know I do!

But who is your King?  Do you know Him? I mean, really know Him?

“Women, teachers, let’s shift our emphasis from ‘girl, you are a precious daughter of the King’ to ‘behold your King’,” -Jen Wilkin

I read this quote recently, and it has not stopped burning deeply inside me since. I have heard for years that I am a princess of the Most High God, that I am royalty.  It is right here in scripture.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light.”  -1 Peter 2:9.  

Learning I was royalty when I first surrendered my life to Jesus was quite amazing, and my heart still skips a beat when I hear it. However, the depth and true wonder of that statement was still not eternalized within.

Growing up, my self- image, my vision if you will, was that of a peasant girl.  I always pictured myself and even dreamt of being dirtied up, scouring in a corner wearing filthy rags and begging for scraps from the table where royalty laid their hands.  No number of compliments or words could change that movie reel playing over and over in my mind.

But JESUS.

I encountered Him.  I encountered His love and experienced His passion for me. I sat at His feet beholding His beauty and all He had to offer. I began to know him. – know him intimately, freely.   From then on, as the days passed, and I continued to lay myself bare at the altar of this mighty King, I realized my rags were stripped away and replaced with His robes of righteousness.

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Have you allowed yourself the chance to lay before the feet of Jesus and simply behold who He is and let Him begin to portray Himself on you?

“We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces.  And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus.  We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another.  And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (TPT)

The only way to understand how to walk out the royal name given to us is to be in the presence of royalty. The more of your life you spend willingly in that sacred place, the more you will be able to mirror and walk out being His princess and complete the calling He has on your life.

My charge to you is this…

Find your secret place.  Set everything and anything aside and sit and behold the creator of the universe, the maker of your heart, the one whose face shines like the sun.  Let Him take over everything you think you are or aren’t, and let Him become the mirror to your reflection! I promise, you will never walk away from the moments disappointed.  Behold your King.

You are Altogether Beautiful| By Tori Savoy

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I slipped on my best dress, used as many beauty products on my face as possible, and straightened my curly locks until they looked like sleek perfection. It was girls night, and I was set on looking my absolute best.

My husband caught a glimpse of me and told me I looked beautiful. I responded with a quick thank you, as our usual routine, then returned to doing a full-body check to make sure I looked exactly right (completely letting that compliment go in one ear and out the other).

I slowly turned and looked at every inch of where my dress laid to make sure there were no noticeable bumps, or abnormal body shapes. I then proceeded to run my fingers through my hair and got face-to-face with the mirror to look at every detail of my face – especially to make sure those pesky dark circles and eye wrinkles were masked as much as possible.

Forgetting my husband was in the room, I heard a little giggle from behind me.

“You sure do look at every little detail, don’t you?” My husband said with a smirk on his face.

“I guess I’m just self-conscious of the little things,” I responded.

“Well, you look gorgeous to me.”

Somehow, God taught me a lesson right then and there.

You see, my husband did not see the little flaws I saw because he looks at me as a whole and thinks I am beautiful. Even as I stood there focusing on every flaw, my husband stood there admiring my every move.

This is very similar to my relationship with God. His word tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He calls me beautiful and beloved. Yet, I can hear those words over and over again and still turn to the mirror to pick out my imperfections. Just like my husband’s words, I let God’s words go in one ear and out the other. I view myself through a mirror of self-hate rather than God’s mirror.

I come to God and say, “But look at these imperfections in my heart. Look at the ugly.”

He looks at me and says, “Look at all the beauty I created.”

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them..” Genesis 1:27(NIV)

It can be a difficult thing to break a life-long habit of self-destruction and self-hate. Words that were said to me at a young age continue to repeat in my head to this day. Things like “You’ll be as big as a house and never find a husband if you keep eating those cookies” constantly remind me that my body weight and physical appearance need to take priority. Those feelings were heightened when my chronic illness made me gain significant weight. My outer appearance determined whether I was worthy of love from others.

However, God’s word tells me otherwise.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you..” Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)

You see, from the moment I was created, God began a work in me – molding me perfectly into a unique creation. He continues to mold and shape me each and everyday, making me more beautiful than the day before. His definition of beauty stretches further than just the surface.

Instead of viewing ourselves through a distorted mirror molded by our own opinions or the opinions of others, we must see ourselves through God’s lens. You are a daughter of the most high King and possess all the beauty and grace of a princess.

I would encourage you to meditate on what God’s word says of each of us.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalms 139:13-14

 

My Grace Is Sufficient| By Tori Savoy

grace“You don’t realize the power of your words,” a man yelled at me in the lobby of a public building.

Back in my journalism days, it was not uncommon for some people to be unhappy with the copy we published in our newspaper. This man just happened to be more passionate than most. He confronted me right before a public meeting and chewed me out for close to 15 minutes. I just let him yell with hopes I could hold the tears in until he was finished with his rant. It turned out, he had not even read the article and had to come apologize to me hours later for yelling at me without gathering all of the facts first.

All of my life I have struggled with insecurity and perfectionism. I will literally beat myself up over every little mistake I make. Similar situations such as this would run through my mind over and over again for days following the incident. Even though that particular incident was not my fault, I still felt as if I had done something wrong.

However, no matter how harsh others have been to me, I have come to realize it is nothing compared to the words I say to myself.

The perfectionist in me is constantly using harsh words to tell myself that I am not good enough.

I am not a good enough wife. I am not smart enough. I am not organized enough. I am not social enough. I am not kind enough. I am not a good enough friend. I am not pretty enough.

I will tell myself things like, “why can’t you just get your life together? You don’t workout enough. Your house is not clean enough. You do not read your Bible and pray enough.”

However, God has been working on my heart in this matter by constantly whispering one little word in my ear, “Grace.”

“But he said to me, ‘’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace is a free gift from God that we could never earn. If a perfect God can look on imperfect me with forgiveness and unmerited love, why can’t I give myself grace?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Accepting God’s gift of grace is one of the most freeing experiences. When I start to beat myself up about mistakes, I remind myself that God’s grace covers me.

Instead of spewing hate and negative words toward myself, I begin to repeat God’s words of love and grace over myself in times of failure.

Perhaps perfectionism is something you can relate to. You are a work in progress, beautifully broken.


One of my favorite quotes is by American playwright Eugene O’Neill

“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”

Rather than striving for perfection, let the perfect grace of God cover you. He wants all your broken pieces just the way they are. Embrace all of the imperfections and welcome in grace.

“But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Romans 5:20