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Retraining your brain to remember your promises

Go in the strength you have.

If there is one thing I have learned in my years of serving Jesus, is you don’t have to feel strong or powerful to obey. Little steps of obedient faith can slay a dragon.

Trials and trauma have a way of making us feel distant from the promises spoken over our lives. We may even forget the hope-filled words prophesied over us or worse, doubt them. Like the Israelites leaving Egypt, enduring 400 years of oppression and trauma created within them a crisis of identity. They lost themselves in the slavery of another culture. They had no recollection of who they were meant to be because they lived and breathed in an atmosphere of being told who they were and what they should believe. Sound familiar? Just look at our education system.

Once out of Egypt, they needed an undoing of the influence of their enemy's indoctrination. The impact of Egypt still lingered in their souls and they required a reprogramming of sorts. When Moses met with God, the children of Israel needed directions on what it looked like to live for the God they served. They had no history of living free. Bondage was their identity.

This is why the commandments are given in Exodus chapter 20-23. I believe these new rules to live by were to retrain the minds and hearts of God's people. The rules were meant to instill an understanding of godly behavior and living. The kids were surrounded by corrupt, godless, idle worshipping influences. They had to change their appetite from craving leeks to hungering for mana. The new rules were not written to oppress but to obliterate the enemy’s influence. These commandments were the opposite of what they had been indoctrinated with while existing in the wrong atmosphere. Read that again.

These fresh instructions were to show the heart of God’s love, mercy, and justice. They were meant to give them a new way to live their lives. The Israelites were being empowered with a holy compass, leading them to freedom. However, authority does not always feel safe or comfortable especially if the only authority one knew was abusive.

“And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” Exodus 20:19 NLT

Like the children of Israel, we may feel fearful, unequipped, or weak for our departure out of our trials or trauma. We might even feel distant from the God who is so evident in leading us out of our pain and into our promises. We might blame Him for our troubles. We may distrust Him. So, we take a step back in doubt or insecurity. Going in the strength we have towards something new requires us to renew our minds and retain our brains for our true identity. Reprogramming what the world or pain has ingrained in us and having faith to pursue what’s been imparted to us from heaven.

“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”

Romans 12:2 TPT

Hell has a way of holding us back from our purpose by making us feel too weak to pursue the promises or too tired to try. Perhaps we are weighted down with so much baggage from our bondage that unforgiveness and offense hinder our stride to chase after our freedom. Or maybe the attachment to our sin feels too great to shake and too uncomfortable to relinquish. We become addicted to what is destroying us.

But strength in these defining moments isn’t energy. Repeat that. It's not willpower. It’s a desire for more. It’s a longing within that causes us to muster even in our smallness, in our deficit, and in our lack. The strength we have today does not need to be a burst of power, but quiet obedience to take the first brave steps out of the cave. It's believing the declaration over our lives that we are called “mighty heroes,”.

It's being willing to leave what we know to pursue the unknown. It’s giving ourselves permission to dream and hope again. It’s submitting to the importance of renewing our minds and breaking off the shackles of smallness and fear. The infusion of Christ’s strength enables us to get up on shaky legs and wobbly knees and leave the dark cavern of fear and insecurity. We can walk out of our slavery one tiny step at a time. Conquering the enemy little by little is still a victory. Battling fatigue when our strength is small is a win. Someone needed to hear that.

“Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” Exodus 23:30 NIV

The strength you have today to take the small steps of faith may look different than what you think it should be. You might believe that what you’re doing isn’t enough. Your faith is weak. Your heart is heavy. Your mind is troubled. Your sin is winning. However, these wilderness-type trials are strength builders not breakers. They are resistance training for more significant battles to come which also means greater victories. So, keep showing up. Keep taking those small steps. Keep moving forward in your weakness. The giant you face tomorrow needs you to confront the lions today.

Go in the strength you have and trust that your loving Father will add to your efforts His power. He loves the odds of a small army that includes Him.

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