Linda is away during March, Clayton Bjelan brings you today’s devotion.
I was literally telling myself, “I’m not going to think about that. Go away!”
Reference: ch 19 v47 (When the territory of the Danites was lost to them, they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their ancestor.) (TNIV Bible)
Explore: A number of years ago I struggled in a major way with doubt. Not normal doubts that most people have – the ‘oh I’m not sure if I should do this or that?’. But the serious, ‘all I think about every moment of every day is am I doing the right thing’ sort of doubt!
In fact it got so bad, so unhealthy, and so debilitating that I went to a counsellor who helped me identify the problem behind the doubt – and that was negative self talk (or to put it another way – my brain was constantly keeping me in a state of worry and concern, rather than looking at the positives in life).
This self talk was so bad that I counted 120 times in just one day that I was saying negative things to myself. So, with the help of the counsellor, I identified the negative self talk and made a conscious decision to not allow myself to think about those things.
It was hard to do – I’d been thinking negative for so long, that suddenly not allowing myself to think negative was really, really hard! But, I wanted to change so I was literally telling myself “I’m not going to think about that. Go away!”
And it worked. I got better, less negative, and less doubtful.
However, just because, (on most days), I got it down from 120 times in a day to none, doesn’t mean that doubt didn’t still creep into my mind – but because I knew I could tackle doubt and negative self talk (and still can), I could sense when it was coming and stop it in its tracks with some positive self talk.
Application: We see the Danites in this verse in a similar situation to me… they had done all the battles with the rest of the Israelites previously, and cleared the land – but a portion of the land that they had been given was still occupied.
Because of their previous experience they had the confidence (in themselves and God) to go to battle once again. It was a small battle – but they knew that they couldn’t ignore it, they had to face it before it became a bigger issue. They had to clear their section of the land from the enemy for good.
It would be nice to think that once we have faced issues and problems in our lives that it will never come back to challenge us – but that’s probably not realistic… so let’s make sure that we don’t ignore it, but crush it before it becomes something bigger.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes I just don’t want to face an issue, challenge, temptation or sin again – help me rely on You to get the strength to fight once more. Amen.
What issue, challenge, temptation or sin might you need to be ready to crush as soon as it comes up? What are you doing to prepare to beat it straight away?
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This article was written by Clayton Bjelan