In the dark of night, security called to warn that an intruder had entered our premises. I remained calm and fully expecting to hear it was a false alarm. When the phone rang a second time to alert me that police were on their way, the potential for harm and for loss became very real.
My mind became as thick as cotton, making it difficult to formulate clear thoughts. My hands, clammy from perspiration, failed to hold the glass I had been drinking from. My stomach was acutely aware of the boulder that had quickly taken up residence. My feet held frozen to the floor, unable to move as I processed the dispatcher’s words.
Being burglarized does something to your sense of safety and security. It opens up the memory vault of every time you felt lost, abandoned, rejected, insecure, alone, and afraid. When someone forces themselves into your personal sanctuary and takes what is not theirs, the missing material goods are the least of the fall-out. They also steal your peace, kill your joy, and destroy your sense of safety.
From that night, I more self-consciously looked around me as I stood at my door unlocking it, always briefly wondering upon entering what I would find that didn’t belong, or what would be taken that was rightfully mine. I remained hyper-vigilant of where I was in relation to my surroundings…who was there as I unlocked my car at the end of the day? Who watched me come and go as I left work? How much could be seen from outside into my windows?
In the days and weeks that followed, I have thought about how easily we regularly hand over our security without any thought.
Scripture warns, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Ephesians 6:12 explains, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Every day a thief comes in to steal, kill, and destroy from us, and he does so through the access we give him. We hand him the keys to the door of our thoughts. He causes us to think things that are not consistent with what God says in the truth of His Word: thoughts that bring on worry, fear, anxiety, bitterness, resentment, accusation, anger, jealousy, envy, rage, and more.
Scripture tells us to take captive EVERY thought and bring it into obedience with Christ Jesus. Basically, to determine what we will think and make sure it is consistent with God says. Yet how often do we allow the enemy free reign in our thoughts?!
When we are not vigilant about reflecting on those thoughts and either savoring those that are consistent with God’s truth, or rejecting the lies from the enemy, we hand over the keys to our peace, joy, confidence, and security.
Just as we never invited that thief in to burglarize our property, we should no more allow the thief to come in to our thoughts, take up residence in our mind, and steal our peace and joy.
Just as we lock our locks, we look out the window before opening the door to a stranger, and we ask “who is it?” before answering, we need to be vigilant about paying attention to where our thoughts are coming from and not opening the door of our mind and our hearts to those that are not consistent with God’s truth.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
“Look to the Lord and His strength; Seek His face always.” (Psalm 105:4)
When I think “I am afraid,” refute it with the truth of 2 Timothy 1:7 which says “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”
When I think, “I can’t do it,” remember that according to Philippians 4:13, “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”
When I don’t think I am smart enough to handle a situation or task, God has instead declared in 1 Corinthians 1:30 that He will give us wisdom.
When faced with a situation and I think, “It’s impossible,” instead I must remember that according to Luke 18:27 that “All things are possible.”
When I feel weak and think that I cannot go on, I must replace that with the truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9 which affirms that His grace is sufficient for me.
When I think that I’m incapable of figuring something out, instead of feeling pressure, I can simply remember that in Proverbs 3:5-6, He promises to direct my steps.
These truths, and so many more in Scripture, are like the deadbolts of our minds and hearts that will keep us in perfect peace when the enemy attempts his assault to steal, kill, and destroy. We have the weapons to declare, “No Admittance” and hold on to our safety and security in the Lord.
Even when the thief attempts his attack, we can keep our peace because Exodus 14:13-14 declares, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today… The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Declare that your abode is off limits to the enemy today.
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
Do you need to tips on how to pray for those struggling with depression, anxiety, discouragement, fear, and weariness? March is marked as the month when teen suicide attempts increase.
As a special offer, you can receive a FREE download of this Prayer Prompt Calendar that provides tips on how to pray for those in need.
This calendar was created by Kelly O’Dell Stanley in collaboration with myself and Michelle Nietert, LPC, and based in part on the book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.” To get yours for Free, click on the button below.
You can also find out more about the book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” below.
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)