Isn’t it funny how things we love, aren’t always the best thing for us to be doing? Let me be really honest with you or a second. I love candy. I especially love gummy bears and Sour Patch Kids. For our wedding registry, I thought it would be really funny if we put our favorite candy on it to see if people would buy us some. At our shower, I opened up the best gift ever, two five-pound bags of Sour Patch Kids. I was in heaven, and I had no self-control. I at the majority of one of the bags in one night, in one sitting. I immediately regretted this later on when my stomach had this tight feeling to it. Now, why did I bring up this moment? I shared this because many of us suffer from a lack of controlling things in our lives. This can be like the things we eat, the things we watch, our emotions; anything that can alter the way we act. The way we act and respond to others, generally reflects the attitude of our heart; our identity. This all might not make sense, or connect right away, but that’s one of my favorite ways to write. Big concepts that don’t seem to fit, funneled together to help us learn more about ourselves. In this season of resolutions and new habits, combined with my reading through Gideon, I want to talk about how to kill the masters of your life. I want to talk about how to kill what’s killing you.
As I mentioned above, and from previous weeks, I have really been focusing and studying the story of Gideon. I’m going out of order story-wise, so hang tight, last week I talked about letting go, but today I’m going to rewind to the moment Gideon was called. This is coming from Judges chapter 6 (I recommend reading it for yourself), and Gideon is chosen to be the mighty warrior he was called to be. He’s scared and wants to make sure this is actually God, so he asks for some signs. God proves it truly is him (God isn’t afraid of your questions, but that’s for another time), and after, he calls Gideon to do something very important. In verses 25 and 26 it says, “Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” This is a huge moment for Gideon. What this shows us is that Gideons family did not follow God, in fact they had turned towards a pagan god and would worship that deity. God gives Gideon a choice, you can continue to not follow me, or, you can turn away from the thing that will only lead to your destruction. So not only would this be hard, because God didn’t say, “go make sure it’s cool with your dad if you cut down his worship pole and alter,” he simply tells him to do it. Gideon makes the wise choice and does what God commanded, even in the face of his family and those who lived around him mocking him and threatening his life. Gideon made a choice that each of us are faced with today, we need to kill what’s killing us.
This is a matter of life or death.
Maybe it’s not an obvious choice we have been presented. You’re not going to always have a Terminator moment when someone says, “Come with me if you want to live.” Most times it’s the subtle attacks. Remember my Sour Patch story from earlier? (Oh yeah, that was slightly random and a bit weird, Joshua) I have no self-control when it comes to candy, will one night of me eating a 5-pound bag of gummies kill me? Possibly, but more than likely no. If I continue to buy massive candy bags and eat it every day for three meals a day? I honestly don’t know, I’m not a dietician, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’ll kill me. How many of us do this with different things? Maybe you binge Netflix, choose to surround yourself with negativity, choose to live by our emotions controlling everything we do. We choose to let things into our life that will kill us. Binging shows kills your time. Being surrounded by negativity kills your joy and purpose. Allowing emotions to control you kills your mental health. My wife and I have started to read more (100 book goal for the year!) instead of watching Netflix. We’ve started to surround ourselves with people we love and choose to not fall into our cynical tendencies. Personally, I am choosing to let my emotions guide me, not control me. I’m not meaning becoming a numb, Jedi- like person, simply not letting my emotions get control over my mental health (For reference, just watch Inside Out).
This is not a joke, it’s not practice, this is the real deal. It’s real life. Kill what’s killing you.
Put on spiritual Armor.
Tony Stark is pretty weak. Iron Man is powerful. Why? One is susceptible to attack, the other is surrounded with an arsenal of bad guy fighting power. We have to realize the spiritual element in all of this. Many of us are setting goals to better ourselves this year, but without the protection of God, we are open to the enemy’s weapon. There are great Iron Man stories where the villains try to catch him off guard without his suit, but Tony always has armor close by for every situation. You need to start having your armor on. You think Gideon was able to fight the Midianites by himself? Nope, even he knew it when God called him. Yet, Gideon trusted God, choosing to arm himself in what mattered. The cool thing about us, in 2019, is that we have something Gideon didn’t, we have the Holy Spirit. When Jesus died and rose again, he left us a helper. Someone who is always around us when we enter the relationship, funny thing is, we often forget to talk to him! Start putting on your Holy Iron Man suit (I hope you have a dope image of yourself like I do) and start surrounding yourself in the presence. You aren’t able to do it, you can’t say no, you can’t kill what’s killing you, but through God, we can do all things.
Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” See that verse isn’t about winning a football game, it’s about cutting the heads off demons and killing what’s killing you.
So, what’s killing you? Is it lack of self-control? Is it substance abuse? Is it your mental health? Whatever it is, there is hope. In Christ we have hope to kill these demons. Don’t let your life be held back by struggles, after all, this is a matter of life or death, it’s time to equip yourself in the spiritual armor of God. You are made in God’s image, which means you have a purpose and are so worth loving, don’t waste this life.
Kill what’s killing you.
Author’s note: When I write on topics like anxiety and depression, I know how dark life can seem. I know that you feel alone and hurt, but there is hope. There is always someone there for you and I never want you to feel like you have no other option. If you are feeling suicidal thoughts, I want you to call this number (844) 359-6685
If you are struggling with substance abuse, these is a way out. You can survive this, the best man at my wedding battled this and won. Contact Teen Challenge for next steps on your journey to freedom, (417) 581-2181, 855-END-ADDICTION
Physical and verbal abuse as well as sexual assault and rape are serious, and if you are in a situation like this, you need to protect yourself and live free from this. God wants you to be in a situation where you are protected from the person doing you harm, and there is always hope. Please contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline online or at 1-800-799-7233
There is always hope, and your life has value. You are so worth loving.