Everyone struggles with their own demons, present company included. They whisper in my ears, laugh at me while I’m tossing and turning in my bed, and openly mock me at my lowest. They take so many shapes and forms. Once I recognize one in the wrestling ring with me, another replaces it with an exterior that I didn’t anticipate. Fortunately for me, I have a tag team Partner who is the undefeated wrestling champion of the universe. He goes by many names, but He is my Jesus the Savior.
Now back to these haunting “friends” of mine. I’ll just introduce two familiar ones. First, there’s Doubt. He’s like a mutant monkey that likes to latch onto my back, but the longer I let him stay there the bigger he gets. Doubt gets so heavy on my shoulders that I get short-winded when I’m running my race and I keep making frequent breaks instead of completing the mission God has given me.
A great example of this is was with one of my paintings. God put this image of a lion, a lamb, and a dove depicting God in three forms. The longer I put it off, the more I believed that I just couldn’t do it. Even after I recognized that Doubt was the one who I was listening to, I just wouldn’t push him away. It took nearly 5 months until I shut out Doubt and obeyed God! I finished the most daunting painting of my imagination in two day.
So why did I listen to that deceiving voice for so long? I listened because I knew I wasn’t capable. I knew my skill was to only paint/draw what I could see with my eyes. I knew that I wasn’t the least bit original with most of my creations. What I forgot to realize for the longest time though was one very big factor: the One who made that incredible image and delicately placed into my head. The painting was already made by the Creator! I just had to do the final step of putting it on canvas. Do you ever do that? Make a mountain out of a molehill?
Second “friend” is Condemnation. She never works alone however. Condemnation reaps the benefit of many sins and feeds off of guilt. If forgiveness tries to enter the picture, Condemnation always tries to do her best to deflect. While Doubt latches on, Condemnation plays this chess game where I am just a pawn that she likes to move away from the grace and mercy of my King. I notice from the very beginning, but I still beat myself over the sin that I committed. For some reason, I have this absolutely wrong idea that I should punish myself and that I’m not worthy to have fellowship with God again so soon after the wrong I committed. I torture myself by thinking that I need to keep holy, clean God away from broken, dirty me.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
When I allow Condemnation to have such an influence in my heart and my life, I literally have to stop and remind myself the Gospel. I go through it bit by bit like a child. I am a sinner. God sent His son Jesus to earth. Jesus took my place and died. He freely gave me the present of salvation. I am a child of God only because of His grace and mercy. I never brought anything to the table, and He clothes this broken dirty human with His holy righteous Spirit.
Maybe that sounds too easy, but the Gospel is nothing but easy when you try to comprehend the price that Jesus paid. With the price paid in full, Jesus has defeated Condemnation forever.
It’s possible that you have lived without having to deal with either of my “friends”, but you will run into a demon or two in this lifetime. I guarantee that. I just hope that you recognize these demons and you relinquish control over to Christ to fight your battles for you! With Him throwing the punches, you are certain to be victorious.