Taking Every Thought Captive: Refuting the Lies of the Enemy

Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

What lies are you letting in?

And more importantly, what truths can you turn to when those lies get the best of you?

God, is this true?

Starting in a graduate program comes with a lot of newness. Some of which I was mentally prepared for, some not—mostly not. Starting out, it was clear to me that this next step would be unlike any I had taken before, which ultimately meant that he Lord was going to take me some places I’d never been to before.

In graduate school, I am constantly surrounded by successful professors, ambitious, A-plus seeking students and people who generally look like they just have it all figured out.

What am I doing here?

I suddenly found myself asking this question multiple times a day. Everyone else just seems like they’ve got it together—maybe I don’t really belong here.

 Doubt has a way of finagling its way into my life at the most inopportune times. It seems to creep up on me when I am at my weakest—when my guard is down, and I am unprotected.

A few weeks ago, a wave of doubt came crashing over me, without warning or welcome. It sneaked into my days like a serpent, hissing lies in my ear. Without letting up, the lies grew louder each day, until they became almost deafening.

For the next few weeks, I went through my days weighed down by these lies that replayed over and over in my mind. Moments of respite would come—a friend making me laugh, a teacher’s kind words of encouragement—but like a ghost, it would reappear. The cycle continued, stealing my joy—leaving me questioning my worth and God’s faithfulness. It saddens me to remember just how ready I was to believe the lies I let float through my head and pierce my heart.

But what if instead, I decided that I believed that these lies were not ultimate truth?

What if I decided to combat these harsh, unforgiving accusations of who the enemy said I was, with what my loving, gracious Heavenly Father knew was true about me?

But what if instead, I decided that I believed that these lies were not ultimate truth? Click To Tweet

It was on a humid day in early-October when I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of the lies, the shame and doubt. What I needed, was to hear from the Lord, the only one I trusted enough to tell me the truth—the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Grabbing my Bible, I took out some pens and notecards from my desk drawer and got down on my knees. On the notecards, I wrote out every single lie that I believed about myself in the past few weeks. Writing them out was hard, gut-wrenchingly, achingly hard. But I knew this was what I needed to do.

After finishing the last card, with tear-stained cheeks and a heavy heart, I began to cry out to Him. I showed Him the lies. I ashamedly brought them to the Light.

Through inaudible sobs, I asked Him, “God, are these things true?”

I waited a beat, fearing the answer. Then, after a moment of hesitation, I asked him to reveal His truth—all of it. I just wanted to hear Him. No, I needed to hear Him.

At first, I didn’t know how it would happen, hearing the Lord. And for a split second, I worried that I wouldn’t hear Him at all.

Maybe it was too late.

Maybe I let the lies run so rampant that even if I heard the truth, I wouldn’t believe it. As I prayed on, I asked for the Lord to come and to be with me in that place. I felt like giving up—fearing that maybe the now exposed lies set before me were true after all.

Then suddenly, a still, small voice crept through the noise of doubt—

“My beloved—you have been believing the lies that the enemy has been feeding you. Now, let me share truth with you through my Word.”

Take Captive Every Thought: Refuting the Lies of the Enemy

“I can’t do this program—graduate school must not be for me.”

I know that you can do all things;
    no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job 42:2

“I am incapable of being loved.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

“I’m not disciplined enough and I’ll never be able to concentrate on my assignments.”

The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

“I cannot write.”

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90: 17

“I am not creative.”

He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;

1 Samuel 2:9

“I can’t do anything right.”

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.

The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.

Psalm 25: 8-9, 14

“I have too many issues.”

Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91:14-16

 

“I am altogether too much and not enough.”

Let their lying lips be silenced,
    for with pride and contempt
    they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

Psalm 31:18

Dearly beloved brethren, the lies that we let the enemy lord over us, if not swiftly combated, can quietly lead to our destruction if we fail to refute them.

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

lies that we let the enemy lord over us can quietly lead to our destruction if we fail to refute them Click To Tweet

 I believe when we make the Lord our source of truth, it is only then that true freedom is found. It’s so easy to let our mistakes and failures, low self-esteem and past sins define who we are and tell us what is true about us. But God doesn’t work like that.

He’s promised that, as far as the east is from the west, is how far our sins have been removed from us (Psalm 103:12) once we’ve asked for His forgiveness. He also so loved us enough to take our place, and die on our behalf on the cross. It is in this place of redemption and love, of forgiveness and grace, where truth is found.

Rest in it.

And let Him be the only source you run to for the truth.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God
[a];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

 

 Photo by John Salzarulo on Unsplash

2 Comments
Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • Justiya

    Oh Leighann..this blessed me sister! I love you and I love what God is doing in your life. You are truly growing and are blooming. Prayers up to you.

    • Leighann

      Leighann

      Ah, thank you sis–love you and am so grateful for your friendship and support!

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 18 𝑜𝒻 31

Obsession. I like to say photography is my love language—I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nice, right? I’m obsessed with taking pictures and learning more about composition, editing and trying new things with my little @canonusa baby. *accidentally deleted my post from yesterday—so here it is again*
  • This is not a drill—it’s a GIVEAWAY! 
Meet Kayla (@kayzilch). Though we’ve met just recently, I immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit (she’s also a Type-4 Enneagram)! Her writing is real, authentic and delves into an array of important topics such as mental health, identity, faith and much more on her blog @tobetruth_. She’s also working to become a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about her work as a freelance writer! 
Meet Meghan (@meghantschanz). I’ve never met a woman so determined and passionate about creating authentic community and tackling tough topics. She’s not afraid to go there and start conversations about real-world issues like sex- and labor-trafficking around the world, feminism (or lack thereof) within the church and equality for ALL. She’s currently working on securing a book deal, with the goal of empowering women around the globe to recognize their influence in society and their ability to make the world a more equal place. 
These women are doing some amazing things and I’m honestly just excited to come along for the ride. I believe in us, the work we’ve been called to do and I hope, after learning more about us, you will too. To celebrate and continue advocating for causes we believe in, we’re doing a giveaway with @causebox. 
Here’s where you come in:

1. Give this post a (♡) double tap.

2. Go follow @meghantschanz & @kayzilch.

3. After you’ve done both of those things, come back here and tag two women whose life, work and friendship you believe in! 
The prize is a summer-themed @causebox valued at $300, packed full of small-batch, sustainable and ethically created gifts made by women and small businesses around the world. 
Winner will be announced Friday (8/24) morning at 10am EST!
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 17 𝑜𝒻 31

Blue. I’ve been looking for a way to fill my ginormous (at least it seems that way) white living room wall. Every time I thought I knew how I wanted to decorate that space, I changed my mind suddenly, determined that there had to be a better way to fill the empty 
space.

I didn’t know this about me before, but it hit me one day, as my parents were helping me unpack my stuff in my new place. My mom began asking me what I’d like my new place to look like, rug colors, mat textures, wall—fixtures and all. I am no good at decorating. Like, I had no idea how to put a space together. I’ve never been on my own before and the idea of having to decide how my space would be...mine, freaked me out. 
But then, little by little I found some pieces that I didn’t hate, and started to put them together. And yesterday, I stumbled upon these little treasures at Marshall’s. I couldn’t resist the ocean hues and beach vibes. I knew it was meant to be. 
All that to say, for anyone else struggling to put your place together after either never having to do it before #livingsingle or maybe putting the pieces of your life back together after a breakup or split—take your time. It will all come together eventually and it will look amazing. And before you know it, it will start to look, like you. ttys
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Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys

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