You might never get another chance.
Do you want to live with regrets?
Where’s your sense of adventure?
You’re tough enough not to be hurt.
If it doesn’t work out, you’ll be fine. You’ll bounce back. You’re strong….
I listened to this voice–and it was wrong. (Notice, it cleverly used my best attributes against me.) But nonetheless, I acted. I rushed blindly in, and although I’m physically and morally unscathed, I’m not so sure the emotional toll was worth it.
Thrilled with the outcome, my advisor came back for round two.
You’re not really smart enough to be a lawyer. What are you thinking? Applying to law school?
If you can’t be content now, what makes you think you ever will be?
Relationships are the most important thing. Who cares what you do, or what you achieve? Certainly not God.
Achievements won’t amount to a hill of beans in eternity. The only thing that matters is loving people, right?
You’re going to be spinning your wheels, wasting your effort.
You’re ruining a good life. For nothing.
Don’t do it.
It’s amazing how persuasive that line of thinking can be…when it’s contained in your own mind. (There is an abundance of good reasons for going to law school. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s the next step for me–but, even so, if I’m pushed to second guess, then I’m not walking in faith, and that’s the end game.) I live with a bully I cannot escape. He’s a fear mongerer who pushes me, nettles me, and insists that I’m missing out. Somedays he has free rein to push me into the very arms of Christ for refuge. Other days he sits in “time out” plotting revenge. He’s never far away.
He pays attention to what I learn. Good principles. He twists them into carefully concocted lies, laced with justifications and self-preserving platitudes, but the tone doesn’t really change. There’s an underlying sense of panic, and at the root of all the arguments: self, self, self.
My flesh is at war with my spirit.
And I can’t win against it. This bully is twice as strong as me, and smarter too…dash it all.
But, in the fall-out of my failure I learned that Jesus Christ, the Captain of Heaven’s Armies, is more than able to fight this battle for me. I remember running down the road, tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t get a handle. I couldn’t stop the barage of tormenting accusations and threats. “Fight for me!” I asked. “Oh Jesus. I can’t do it. Fight for me.”
Instantly, a switch turned off. All that was left was peace.
But, after a couple days, it slowly started again.
This thing, this sinful flesh, it lives inside of me. But, the Holy Spirit lives there too.
This is the battle for my thoughts, my mind, my will, my actions–and it has eternal ramifications. I have to face it. I know you do too. I want you to know that you’re not alone, and God can silence your accuser, hold you close, and speak the truth over you. The truth?
No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Isaiah 54:17
You are a child of the King. Romans 8:17
You have a destiny to fulfill. I Peter 2:9
You are loved–very loved. Ephesians 3:18
Even if you do “ruin your life” by contradicting the bully-voice, that’s okay. God makes great things from brokeness–it’s His specialty. Not all of His plans concerning our lives make sense. Looking back, we understand some things, dimly, but, the future is God’s for the keeping, and ours for the trusting.