1. God Is Your Vindicator
One of the effects of my past is that when I became an adult, I spent much energy trying to prove myself to others. Because I craved acceptance so badly, I fell into a habit of perfectionism, then felt I had to appear the best at things. When I fell short or someone disagreed with me, it was a deep personal hit.
The Scripture affirms, “For the Lord will vindicate his people” (Ps. 135:14, NRSV). To vindicate is to show or prove something to be right or accepted. I discovered that it isn’t my job to get people to like me—it’s God’s. When I put my acceptance in Him, I freed myself from the constant striving to be all things to all people and from the exhaustion of trying to get people to understand me.
God is my vindicator, and He’s yours too! If you struggle with people, give your struggle to Him. Be encouraged: God gives favor with the right people in the right place and at the right time.
2. God’s Word Is Your Ultimate Reality
God’s Word has some wonderful things to say about who we are in Christ: We are His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6) and chosen by God for His good purposes (Eph. 1:11).
I learned the voices of my past or current situations are not reality. Instead, what God says about us is more real than any other opinion; His Word is the voice of truth and our ultimate reality. When you absolutely believe this, you can walk into any situation with confidence, regardless of your feelings.
3. Reject False Thoughts and Feelings With God’s Word
Paul instructs us to “destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and … take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).
The negative thoughts and feelings we encounter are simply Satan’s arguments and obstacles set up to hold us back from fulfilling God’s mission for our life. Some translations refer to these arguments as “imaginations,” because as I said above, they aren’t real.
The way we are to combat these things is to take them captive and put them into obedience to Christ. That is, when something comes our way that’s contrary to what God says, we are to reject it and replace it with truth. The greatest way to do this is to speak God’s truth aloud.
For example, when confronted with fear, I try to quickly respond with a Scripture, like 2 Timothy 1:7: “God has not given me a spirit of fear or shyness. Instead, I have power, love and self-discipline.”
Speaking Scripture aloud is the model that Jesus used during His own spiritual warfare (Matt. 4:1-11.), and it’s a great way to keep your mind focused on God’s truth and not your feelings or circumstances. (Download my free smartphone app, Shut Up, Devil! which puts the power of God’s Word in your pocket to silence Satan whenever and wherever he attacks.)
Don’t Give Up
Paul encourages us, “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom. 12:2). Renewing is an active and ongoing process. Only by applying the principles of God’s Word consistently over time will you overcome your fears, hurts and wounds to experience the transformation and freedom that is your inheritance in Christ. If you won’t give up, I promise you will find that bold, abundant life that Jesus died to give us (John 10:10).
Kyle Winkler is the founder of Kyle Winkler Ministries, a media and teaching ministry broadcasting on the Christian Television Network and various online outlets. Before launching his own ministry, Kyle served at Christ Fellowship, one of the nation’s 15 largest churches, and as vice president of an international apologetics ministry. He holds a master of divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Arm yourself with daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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