It’s easier to tell the gospel to others, than tell it to yourself. Stuff you wouldn’t say aloud, let alone to your worst enemy – when you’re tired and struggling, it sneaks in the back door and, if you let it, will bed down and make itself at home in your brain.
Example. Why haven’t I got a baby?
– God is punishing me. For an eating disorder. For lying and hiding and being rubbish and ruining relationships and not living like a Christian should. This is just what I deserve.
– I’d be a bad mother. This way I can’t damage someone else.
– I don’t want a baby enough. If I did, I’d have started earlier.
– I want a baby too much. It’s an idol and I need to give it up.
– I haven’t got enough faith. If I only pray harder and believe more, things will change.
– I’m eating wrong/not doing the right dances/praying wrong/not taking the right supplements/sleeping in a bad position/breathing badly
– I need to learn some special lesson or repent harder or give this up to God
If someone said these things to a friend of mine, I’d go after them with a pitchfork. I’d say, ‘what kind of God do you follow? – cause he sure as eggs isn’t mine.’ Yet sometimes, I say the same words to myself. Instead of fighting with truth, I lie down and invite the bad guys in.
Your lies won’t be the same as mine. But whatever they are :
You gotta fight the intruder – stick it in the throat with a fork and smash it over the head with the crockery. Hit it with a broom and squirt washing liquid in its eyes. Put your fingers in your ears and refuse to listen to its whispers.
Here’s a masterclass from Luther (Commentary on Galatians):
“Sir Devil,” we may say, “I am not afraid of you. I have a Friend whose name is Jesus Christ, in whom I believe. He has abolished the Law, condemned sin, vanquished death, and destroyed hell for me. He is bigger than you, Satan. He has licked you, and holds you down. You cannot hurt me.” This is the faith that overcomes the devil’.