The Unseen Battle
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan,who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
What many of us can easily forget is that every minute of every day, we have an enemy who works to fill our ears and hearts with hateful self-criticism. Self-hatred is not natural, it is the fruit of Satan getting us to forget about God. Those who turn to humanistic means to win this spiritual battle, will never sustain confidence because Satan can only be defeated by God. The scriptures give us 2 very clear ways of taking on the self-criticism:
- Blood of the lamb – How often do you pray about the grace of the cross covering over your sins?
- Word of their testimony – How often do you share how god has moved in your life so you have faith about what God is doing with your life?
Remove Self and Remove Insecurity
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:16-20
Self-criticism has the power to steal your talents, opportunities and abilities. Satan’s attack on our confidence thrives on one thing – Self. If we can remove our obsession with self, we remove the focus of Satan’s attacks. Thinking, reflecting and analyzing self will not produce greater confidence because much of our criticism actually has elements of truth to it that will not change. Love changes our confidence because we put our thoughts, reflections and analysis into other people. Our faith then is built through the gratitude from those who have been loved. While we actually haven’t changed any of the weaknesses that once plagued our thinking, our confidence shifts because we have chosen to focus on making others great.
Treasure the Word of God
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
The question that confronts every person is ‘will God’s thoughts mean more to me than my thoughts’. The thoughts of God are nothing like man, and that’s a good thing. He can tell us the long-term purpose for our weaknesses, pains and adversity which leads us to great confidence. But more than simply reading the Bible, we must make an emotional decision that God’s perspective is more accurate and more important than what we or people think and say about us. We must treasure these words and allow them to eradicate all humanistic doubts.