Guest post: Joanna Weaver
Of all the weapons the Enemy likes to use against us, I’m convinced that nothing is as deadly as the unconscious patterns we tend to develop in our lives.
Though we’ve been born-again in our spirits, our soulish natures—consisting of our minds, wills, and emotions—tend to run in ruts created by repetition. Self-defeating grooves formed by less-than-holy reactions arising from our flesh.
One of my early patterns was self-pity . . . it was tied to an abnormal desire to be loved and accepted.
How did I know this was a pattern? Simple. I kept repeating it. No matter the situation or conflict, I always seemed to end up huddled in an emotional corner, singing a sad medley of songs. “Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. Poor, poor, pitiful me.” Convinced that others were to blame while dismissing my own responsibility.
While at first self-pity wrapped itself tenderly around me like a warm shawl, confirming my victim status, it quickly turned into a straitjacket. The graveclothes that initially comforted me eventually tightened around me, choking out my joy. My hope. My breath. My life.
I don’t know what cyclical responses you keep returning to, but may I suggest it would be wise to find out. Begin by asking yourself, “What pattern keeps popping up time and time again?” Then consider this: “What abnormal desire might lie behind that reaction?”
Is it pride that lurks behind the rage that erupts when certain buttons are pushed?
Is it insecurity that causes overwhelming paranoia when you overhear someone talking but can’t quite hear what they say?
Is it love-hunger that causes feelings of rejection to surge within you when recognition is given to another or your value is ignored?
The circumstances may vary, but as you look closer, you can see a common denominator: your responses. Ugly, lower-nature reactions birthed out of legitimate needs twisted into unholy obsessions by the Enemy as well as your flesh. Petty, self-defeating patterns that need to be given over to Jesus, then given over again. And again and again.
Continually surrendered to God until you no longer surrender to them.
Deeper Still: What “self-defeating grooves” does the enemy like to exploit in your life?
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*This is an excerpt from Joanna Weaver’s book, Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God. Her new companion DVD Bible study releases on July 21, 2015. In the teaching sessions filmed in Israel, Joanna explores the halfway life too many of settle for, even as Christians. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can step out of our tombs and shed the graveclothes that often bind us.