The Word. Although it seems we are most often encouraged to use it in the defensive sense, it is also a powerful, dangerous offensive (as in attack or assault) weapon to use against the enemy. Jesus showed us the defensive technique in Luke chapter 4 when he had his own tempting duel with Ole Slewfoot.
I've always used Scripture in prayer, but recently I've rolled up my sleeves and sharpened the edges of the blade, and it's been very encouraging to see the results. I'm going to be very open and transparent with you here (and maybe too personal in some people's opinion) but I felt a strong leading of the Lord for me to me share this in blog form.
As a mother and housewife, I often find myself stuck in the rut of repetition. I perform the same tasks over and over and sometimes it seems that I don't accomplish much more than the basic gotta-be-done chores. The beds get made, the floor gets swept, the laundry gets done. But those needful deep-cleaning tasks remain neglected and untouched.
To apply this spiritually, each day I make sure that my daily Bible reading and prayer time is marked off the list, but there are areas of struggle where I still have not had the breakthrough that I need. And I remain frustrated when the issue springs up and reminds me it's still there, hindering me and pulling me down. Just like the black-scuffed baseboards that scream, "paint me" (that's never been painted) and the dust on the wall-vent or the clutter in the closet. The longer I avoid it, the worse it gets and eventually I am so overwhelmed that I lose the courage to deal with it. I need something extra, a little "umph" to motivate me to punch through the barrier walls of my weaknesses.
I recently read a book called "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace, and one thing I liked about the book was how the author listed a chart with issues of marriage and corresponding Scripture that deals with each issue. So I took this an applied it to my own struggles, in an act of desperation:
1) The tongue. What more can I say? I talk waaay too much!
* Psalm 131:3, 4-- (3)Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (4) Incline not my heart to any evil thing.....
* Prov 21:23 "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."
* Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in the sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."
*Proverbs 10:19 "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise."
2) Raising my voice at my children in frustration and anger. I pray every morning that God will give me a gentle spirit in dealing with and training my children, but sometimes, no matter how hard I try to supress it, the yeller in me comes out :). This leaves me feeling deeply ashamed and disappointed in myself. Then I realize that I cannot do this on my own; I must lean on the Lord and His Word.
* James 1:19-20 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20) For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
*Prov. 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger."
*Eccl. 7:9 "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."
:::There are many more good verses on this subject, but I am including those that have been the most helpful to my situation.
3) Hasty reactions and decisions. I tend towards spur-of-the moment decisions and reactions that get me in trouble and feeling regret.
Proverbs 21:5 "The thoughts of the diligent [tend] only to plenteousness; but of every one [that is] hasty only to want."
Ecclesiasticus 4:29 "Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack and remiss."
Proverbs 29:20 "Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him."
We all have our different areas of struggle, deeds that we are striving to mortify. You may not struggle with any of these issues in particular. It may be jealousy, doubt, worry, laziness, ungratefulness, discontentment, criticism, or un-submissiveness. Whatever the issue, if you truly want help and want to change, you can't do it on your own, but you can do it with God's help. You can't give up after a failure or a slip. Proverbs says, "For a just [man] FALLeth seven times, and riseth up again:..."
Search and study the word for your particular area of struggle and ask God to lead you to verses that will give the most help. Start a notebook and write them out so you have easy access. Meditate upon them every morning and memorize them. When you find yourself in the middle of your weakness, pull out your sword and go to battle!
There is hope and we can be overcomers if we use the tools God has given us!
p.s. I have nooo idea why the above text boxes are there are how they got there. Couldn't get them to go away! Crazy--I couldn't do that on purpose if I tried! :)