This morning I had a truly disgusting dream. So vile that I will not relay what happened in it to you (sorry,not sorry). It was the kind of dream where you wake up sick to your stomach because it is not something you desired to dream about, or would ever do in real life but some how seeing it or experiencing it in your dream totally filled you with poison. It causes you to question why that would be in your mind at all or what is wrong with you to even be thinking that?
Since I’m prone during this time in my life to bouts of anxiety and racing thoughts, I had to consciously make a decision during my commute to work today that I did not have to take anything in that dream seriously, or feel any negative feelings about it. It was a dream. It was not a subconscious desire (sorry Freud), it was not a flashback to something in my past, it was something that was planted in my mind to disturb me and I have a choice in whether I will water that seed all day by mentally rehashing it over and over, or I can sever it by the root before it has time to grow.
First I read the daily verse from my YouVersion Bible app. In John 1:9-13 it says “The Life-Light” was the real thing: Every person entering Life he bring into Light…and yet the world didn’t even notice. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, he made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.” And it was a comfort to me. What was planted in my mind to torment me and to make me question myself can be brought into the Light, the one that will show me my true self as a child of God.
And out of no where Jesus gave me an example that I would understand. He not only reminded me to renew my mind as it says in Romans 12:2 but he made me think about what the word renew and in life when do I understand what renew means. And then I thought..it’s like a subscription. You can choose to continue receiving something or you can cancel it if you change your mind. And I smiled because I knew what he meant.
I struggle with my thought life. What I mean is that it’s not always easy for me to stop thinking about something once I have my mind set on it. So when negative thoughts or beliefs swarm it is very hard for me not to spiral and believe them, not to bring them to the forefront of my mind easily, and to often struggle in turning them off. I’m actually starting to think that is part of my current struggle with anxiety even though this is a pattern I’ve had for most of my life and the first time I’ve ever had this much anxiety. Although this is obviously not my strong point, it’s easy to forget that you have a choice in it, and if what you bought into, what you subscribed to isn’t working for you anymore, you can feel free to cancel it.
Even more than that it reminded me that there are many things beyond dreams that we subscribe to. Things that can fester when we are off guard and “asleep” walking through life and instead of bringing them into His Light through continual prayer and recitation of His Word, we accept what we have been shown in the darkness. The very word subscribe means “arrange to receive something regularly”. In not bringing these lies to the Light we are in essence, continuing our subscription, and making arrangements to receive something often that will tear us down instead of build us up. And when you think about that it’s actually kind of frightening.
The very nature of the Enemy is to “steal, kill, and destroy”. So why wouldn’t he warp our thought life to believe something about ourselves that is not true? For example, if God created me to be very imaginative, perceptive, emotive, then it isn’t necessarily out of left field that the Enemy would use those gifts against me. Oh so you’re imaginative? How about I twist that creativity into nightmares of the worst possible things that could happen in your life? Oh so you are perceptive to those around you and take notice of what people do and see? How about I made you question that person’s motives and by extension your own behavior or actions? Oh so you are emotive and have strong feelings about the things you are passionate about? How about I try to trip you up by placing situations in your life that are heartbreaking and will cause you to hate the emotions that you have?
And what about for you? Are there qualities or talents you have that you aren’t realizing have been warped? What God may have meant for good you now see as something wrong? What if the blessings God has given us have been corrupted and we haven’t noticed? I think about people I know with addiction issues. What if God meant for them to be obsessive about His Kingdom, His People, or the unique plan He has for their lives. But instead the enemy warps that and belittles it to being obsessive about the next high, or the next thrill. Instead of being reckless in their calling, they are reckless with their health. Isn’t that ironic? What God thought would be a great idea, a wonderful relentless drive for good, can be derailed. This person can start to hate their “addictive personality”, they can start to hate the person they are, however that is not their true nature. Their true nature is one of passion, is one of reckless abandon, focused intention, and unbridled energy. If only they knew those qualities are amazing and life-giving instead of life-threatening. Or what about the people who don’t have anxiety or addiction issues but just struggle to see their talents or attributes purely. I would challenge you to think about the types of wounds you have in your your heart or in your mind about yourself because if it is something you have struggled with your whole life–is is probably something the enemy sees as a threat.
My prayer is that we learn what we bring to the table. We learn who we are and what we were created for–and that is His Glory. Any thing that makes up who we are was created with the sole intention of great beauty and something to take pride in because we were made in His image. I pray that we learn to unsubscribe to any of the junk mail we receive in our minds and our hearts and sign up daily for the relentless reminder of our identity as children of God.