Take Back Your Life Part 3
Part of me wants to rush through this book, so I don’t bore people. The other part of me wants to stop and absorb everything that stands out. Frankly, it is pretty therapeutic for me. We shall see how far I get. At the end of each section, there are very thought-provoking questions. You can thank me now for not posting/answering!
You Always Have a Choice
Levi Lusko states that “Satan can’t make you do anything. You always have a choice. In that way, you are more dangerous to yourself than the devil is. He has to check with God before he can wreak havoc in your life, but you can do great damage to your calling without getting approval from anyone.”
I would have never thought that. In my mind, God either allows or ordains the things that happen in your life. He can change it instantly because He is God, and He can do that. Yet, free will comes to play, and though He can override free will, He chooses not to. If He did that, we wouldn’t cry out to Him or need a God to come to our rescue. Maybe I’m wrong.
“Remember, God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but he is sovereign and nothing happens outside his permission. The devil is the one ultimately responsible for evil.”
I know God is the only omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God. He can be at all places at all times, at the same time. Satan can’t do that. He can only be at one place at any given time, but he does have an army that he can send out that seeks to kill, steal, and destroy you.
Finding Beauty from Ashes
One thing that I told my clients, often, was that there was a purpose in their pain. Whether it was allowed or ordained, God would use whatever situation they are currently going through to help another person find beauty from their ashes.
Levi Lusko agrees to say, “But be of good cheer. There is a connection between the strength of our pain and the volume of our voices. The more we hurt, the louder we become. The things God deposits in your spirit amid suffering are the same things that someday others will desperately need. I dare you to look at the hardships you’re facing and believe that, through them, there are people you are meant to reach.”
I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Amid pain, suffering, uncertainty, and trials, we can’t see the forest for the trees. Yet, God has a helicopter view. He sees the beginning to the end. In those moments, He knows that there will be someone, somewhere, that will walk through the same thing you are walking through.
Who better to minister with someone than someone with a child who has instantly been stricken with a rare disease? Especially when that someone is five years on the other side. Is there someone better to minister to a wife who finds out her husband has an addiction that he has been hiding for most of her marriage? What about the mom who has a prodigal child? When you have a wayward child, you have lived it and can not only sympathize but empathize with them.
“None of your tears have fallen to the ground unseen.” God states in His Word, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
Power in the Pain
In Take Back Your Life, Levi Lusko states, “I always want you to believe in Jesus’ name that there will come a day when the devil will regret ever asking God’s permission to give you your trials because you will end up twice as blessed as you started out. God’s up to something! He’s turning your mess into a message. He’s turning your pain into a platform. He’s turning your trial into a testimony. He’s turning the trash that has come into your life into triumph!”
Beauty from ashes! You can declare war. You can have that freedom that only God can give you. You don’t have to succumb to depression, anxiety, or fear. Admit where you struggle, become a student of the problem, and be your expert. When you do that, that can eliminate fear. Stand up for yourself and for what is right. You don’t have to lay down and take it, but you must release it to the One who can fight your battles! You are not your darkness, and it cannot overtake you as a child of the King.
Begin in Your Mind
That is where you can shut off the darkness. “My friend Kevin Gerald likes to say, ‘Thoughts are like trains: they take you somewhere.’ When a train of thought shows up, don’t just get on! Slow down before you board it to make sure it’s heading in the right direction. Ask each one: Where are you taking me? Are we headed to Lovelyville, Virtuetown, Good Report Station? Boomsauce! Wait, this train is going to Jealousy, USA? Rage City? Gossip Central? I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable going where you are headed.”
That is a fantastic analogy. I can catch myself when fixing to go off the rails into a tangent. There are times when I can physically hear a voice that says STOP. SHUT UP. STOP SPEAKING. WALK AWAY. 98% of the time, I ignore it, and then crap comes flying out my mouth. You can’t take back what you say because the damage has already been done.
Levi Lusko goes on to outline a few more places that may be harder to spot the trains that are coming:
- Being suspicious of people’s motives
- Wondering what went wrong
- Feeling guilty
- Doubting and questioning God
- Obsessing about why you weren’t invited
- Fearing someone you love being harmed
- Secretly being happy when something wrong happens to someone you don’t like *ouch*
- Stressing about your future
- Stewing over something that was done to you *double ouch*
You Have a Choice
“You can take it captive. Detain it. Don’t let it into your mind for a minute. Show it no mercy. Give it no quarter. Send that thought to the pit of despair so the six-fingered man and the albino can torture it. Don’t be kind. Remember, this is war.”
Replace the thought with Scripture and what God says about you! You don’t have to choose to live like this. You can overcome. Choose life and speak life into yourself instead of the death sentence that Satan brings to the table.
“It’s time to stop letting life happen to you and start happening to your life. When you decide to stare the things in the face that are holding you back, strength will bubble up inside your chest.” So many gems in this book. There are so many powerful statements like this that make you stop and ponder. I will be 50 this year. I have let life happen to me for almost 50 years. Time is soon changing, and I will start “happening” in my life!
A Bad Mood Exists Only in Your Mind
It is never too late to change your attitude, mindset, or course of action for your life. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow. You can make the change halfway through the day. If it is evening, change your perspective. New mercies can happen at any time of the day. Give yourself grace. Go to the Word, put on praise and worship music, dance in your underwear, say you are sorry, or go for a walk. Be the change you want to see made! Remember, “your words and actions both begin as thoughts.” Take your thoughts captive! “You can change how you feel by changing how you think.”
Cliff and Ms. Jan
One of the first things they EVER said to me (amid a chaotic moment with my children at church) was quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Levi Lusko is quick to point out some facts relating to this verse. “He didn’t say to be thankful FOR everything. You aren’t supposed to be thankful for death or divorce, or unemployment. Those things aren’t good. You can, however, be thankful IN those things – or in any other thing hell can throw at you – because God has a plan to produce good from what you are facing.”
Ponder that. Tomorrow we talk about miracles!