Living on the Mountaintop

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Proverbs 26:11

Truth has allowed me to experience freedom, but my enemy doesn’t want me to stay there. He wants me to leap head first off the mountaintop and crash violently below in a heap of blood and bones. I’ve teetered off the edge quite a few times this week, and the only thing that has held me up is believing the word of God.

Like a dog returning to its vomit, my mind returns to the lies it believed for over a decade. I lose my temper and all of a sudden “I’m a hypocrite and a failure”. It’s amazing how quickly these thoughts enter my mind; the Enemy wastes no time feeding them like rain on weeds. Several times I have had to sit down, open my Bible and “take captive” every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Lie: “I’m a failure.”

Truth: My Father God is full of grace and mercy, and he gives me freedom to fail.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

Much of this last week and a half has been spent soothing the gaping wounds left by the fiery arrows of the Enemy. I have been tempted to wallow in the “what-ifs” many times, however things are different now; this time I am running from the vomit and soaking up the nutrition that will keep me on the mountaintop. If I have to say 200 times a day, “In the name of Jesus I renounce the lie that….and choose to believe the truth that…” I am determined to do it.

Soaring on the heights is not easy work. I can’t just climb to the top and expect it to be smooth sailing. There are strong breezes up here, and it’s a long way down. Fortunately I have the strongest Hand holding mine, gently correcting my old habits one by one. The view is breath-taking up here so I think I’ll stick around.

Advertisements

Secret Poison

Narcissism: n. self love or excessive interest in one’s own appearance. (Webster’s New World Compact Dictionary)

We all have them in our lives and we have all been them at some point. The narcissist is always concerned how they are perceived in someone else’s eyes. This excessive self interest leads them quickly into deceptive behaviors. This person will extort emotionally to have their own needs met, contemplate wrong thoughts for self gain, and plow through life expecting to be gratified by everyone they come in contact with. When their perceived needs go unmet, they turn into self-loathing, contempt, and self-pity.

This secret poison can rot away at the person who is not aware of its damage. I can recall many instances in my life where I was tempted to “exaggerate” the truth in order to receive attention. Perhaps I allowed my symptoms to appear worse than they really were, or I let others believe I was capable of more than I really was.

I remember the moment when God gently but firmly grabbed my heart to these subtle behaviors and began to show me that in the end, I was lying. I never wanted to look at it that way, that was more severe than “a little exaggeration”. I saw at once how my deceptions had hurt myself more than anyone else. I was constantly unhappy because I was seeking emotional fulfillment from those around me. This is an impossibility, since Christ is the only true source of satisfaction.

As I saturated myself in the Word I began to see that the only way to truly be happy was to be honest about who I am, what I am feeling, and what I am capable of. Constantly seeking the attention of others was only poisoning my spirit. Once I expected to receive a certain amount of attention from someone, and they failed to meet my expectation, I would drown in my own cespool of self-pity. Nothing anyone did was ever good enough to meet my needs.

Perhaps we all have a touch of narcissim within. We need to allow the Spirit to erradicate it from our lives, and we can cure the poison of self-deception. Who we are in Christ is all we need to be. His standard is the only standard that matters. The beginning of integrity is through honest lips. The righteous person will speak truth, sacrifice personal comfort for the sake of their integrity, and in turn they will be well taken care of by their Heavenly Father. This is the person who is fortified in the Spirit, and soars with the eagles on the heights of authentic peace and joy.

“He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.” Isaiah 33:15-16