Many of you reading this blog are part of the Proverbs 31 Made to Crave Online Bible Study. If you are not, let briefly explain that Proverbs 31 Ministries offers incredible online Bible studies that bring real hope to real life. Years ago, P31 president, Lysa TerKeurst and I became friends. She allowed me to read an advance copy of her book, Made to Crave (M2C) and it changed my perspective on my weight, my body, and my God. As someone who has always struggled in this area, Lysa’s fresh take on satisfying our deepest desires with God, not food, opened my eyes to something much broader in this battle that so many of us fight. But as with any victory, those in battle gain ground one step at a time. When a warrior’s opponent sucker punches them and causes a stumble, it is easy to slip back and lose ground. No battle can be won alone. It takes an army to defeat and enemy. I consider the 43,000+ of us participating in this 6-week online Bible study a powerful army of the Lord, clothed in spiritual armor, and taking back the ground the enemy has tried to rob us of! If you are interested in joining us, we’re just 2 weeks in; it’s not too late! Click here for more information.
Chapter 5 of of M2C is about God making us for more than the vicious cycle of victory, failure, shame, and hopelessness. I have fallen into this pit of defeat so many times that I have decorated it and scratched my name in cement at the bottom, as if by doing so I permanently claimed it as part of my identity. But as Lysa encourages readers to do in the section called “Embrace a True Identity”, we have to replace the lies we have believed from the enemy with the truth of who God says we are. I have struggled with this since I was a child. I was always…
Mandisa, the baby whose parents got divorced.
Mandisa, the girl who was molested from age 6 to 10.
Mandisa, the victim who was raped at 16.
As harsh as many public comments can be, what others have said about me pales in comparison to what I have often berated myself with. Isn’t it interesting that many of us will declare things about ourselves that we would never say to anyone else? I have had moments when I would look in the mirror in disgust, point at my reflection, and lay into the horrific creature I saw standing before me. One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to constantly whisper his lies into our ears:
“You’re never going to be delivered from this.”
“What happened to this all-surpassing power you’re supposed to have?”
“God must be so ashamed of you.”
“You’re a disgrace!”
“____________ did it. Why can’t you? Because you’re hopeless!”
Bit by bit, the Father of Lies gains ground, and before we know it, we have begun to believe, accept, and even verbalize his twisted deceptions as part of our identity. It’s no wonder that the Bible has so much to say about the power of our thoughts and words.
It is not enough to try to ignore this distortion of truth. If I told you not to think about the enticing red light of a Krispy Kreme “Hot Now” sign, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Get behind me, devil! 😉
Rather than attempting to turn a blind eye to these thoughts, we must learn to do what 2 Corinthians 10:5 says,
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
We can’t just overlook these crafty, underhanded schemes of our Accuser. On the contrary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I choose to RECOGNIZE Satan’s lie, REPLACE it with God’s truth, and REPEAT! In chapter 5 of M2C, Lysa shared a powerful list of Bible verses that show who God says we are. Another one of my favorite teachers, Steve Berger from Grace Chapel in Lieper’s Fork, TN did a series about “Winning the Mind Wars” with the Word of God. In it, he too compiled scriptures that he turned into prayers that replace the enemy’s lies with Biblical truth. I keep these “Pre-Scripture Prayers” in my purse and Recognize, Replace, and Repeat out loud many times a week.
Another way that I saturate myself with truth is through Christian music. I can’t explain why the combination of music and scripture is so powerful; I just know that it is. I’ve compiled a list of songs I listen to when I need to renew my mind and proclaim my identity in Christ. Click here to listen to my free Spotify “Identity in Christ” playlist. Below are some videos I found for every song on this list. When you hear an identity statement from scripture, I encourage you to speak (or sing) each of these statements out loud. If you don’t know the verse location the lyric comes from, use your search engine and look it up. Jot the verse down on a note card, and the next time you are facing a mental battle, pull it out, blast this playlist, and RENEW your mind by RECOGNIZING, REPLACING, and REPEATING!
“You Are More”-Tenth Avenue North
“I’m Not Who I Was”-Brandon Heath
“True Beauty-me again
“Redeemed”-Big Daddy Weave
“Hello, My Name Is”-Matthew West
“In the Eyes”-1 Girl Nation
“Not Guilty”-what can I say? My music reflects what God is teaching me. Obviously He’s trying to nail this whole identity down in me!
“Burn Bright”-Natalie Grant
“We Are”-Kari Jobe
“The Truth About Me”-Last one..I promise!
Which of the identity statements you heard in these songs do you feel God wants you to focus on and accept as truth in your life? What is the scripture reference for that statement? Finally, what other songs would you add to this playlist that proclaims the identity we have as followers of Christ?