Journal Entry ~ 09/07/17

13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:13-14

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness - the truth is when we're in the darkness, we're not only living a life of sin and separation, but our eyes are blind to the sin and the strongholds that exist in our lives.  You see, we are all the product of our past experiences living in this broken world full of sin. We all have something from our past that holds us back. A hurt, habit or hang-up that haunts us. It could be a label that we’ve been given, an addiction that took over us, a broken marriage, an abandonment, a bad attitude or stronghold that was passed down through our parents, a loss of a loved one. Everyone has obstacles or strongholds that hold them back - they form our patterns of thinking and they guide the way we behave. We are all guarded in certain areas, protecting deep wounds from our past encounters with other people’s sin, which can often manifests itself in sinful actions toward others. For example, our hurts from past abusive relationships can impact our expectations in current relationships, and when people fail to meet those expectations, our words and actions can become harsh. We can rise up in anger because we're not getting the response we expect or even feel we need, all a sinful response to an expectation from a place we’re guarding in our heart, originally caused by someone else’s sin. Then the world tells us that our reaction is justified because we were wronged, further blinding is to our sin and stronghold. 

God delivered us from darkness the moment we confessed our sin and accepted Him as our Savior, but the process of revealing our sin and our strongholds is a lifelong process. And He does it by allowing us to walk through difficult trials.  When we're under pressure, our sin and our strongholds show up in our responses, but if we lean in and listen to Him through His Word, we will see our thinking and our responses as He sees them. That's when real change happens. 

The pressure that a cancer diagnosis brings is real, so many of those innate stronghold responses want to rise to the surface and rear their ugly head. I've been surprised at how I can feel completely at peace in one moment, but something will trigger me and I'll be responding in frustration or anger or fear in the next moment. They seem to come out of nowhere.  Oftentimes, we can dismiss those responses because we're under stress, or we can dismiss it with a quick confession not really understanding why we were set off.  Don't get caught in that trap. We know what comes out of the mouth is what's trapped in the heart.  Take the time to dig deep with God and allow Him to show you why that seemingly small matter caused you to respond in a certain way. It's not the stress of the trial that caused you to respond that way - that's just what's putting pressure on the spot - the reason behind your response is your sin or stronghold. Simply confessing the response will not change the behavior, repenting of the sin that caused the behavior - that will bring about a lasting change. So thankful for how He's allowing me to see what's in my heart through this, and for how He's changing the way I see others. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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