"You can't do that," it says. "You're not good enough. You'll never be able to accomplish what you set out to do so why try? Just give up now."
Bullying is one of my pet-hates. Whether it is in a school yard, one sibling to another, or an adult bullying a child, teenager or another adult - it is just not on. We see big businesses bullying smaller ones out of existence. We see those with money bully those without.
But have you ever heard the bullying in your own mind? The little voice inside your head that puts you down, like a hammer hitting against the head of the nail, thump-thump-thump. Each and every strike aimed at burying your courage just that little bit more, shrinking you down so that only a small shadow of yourself remains.
With the passing of grandparents in the last few years, one quite recently, I have been reflecting on life and how quickly it passes us by. The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by. The age I thought was really old as a child, doesn't seem that old to me now. What I've come to realise is, that even though days can seem long, years are very short and we need to make the most of our time here.
One of the most effective ways the devil gets us off-track from the purpose God put us here on the earth, is to decrease our value in our own eyes. He wants to cause damage by dismantling the creation God carefully put together to display his glory, and we listen to it! But we don't have time for that.
God has a plan for each and every one of us. He carefully created us and knows us from the most intricate detail of our souls to the most obvious. He knows what we are capable of and he knows what was placed inside of us to be used for his glory.
He orders our days to meet the people we do at the specific times we meet them, he has given us individual talents and gifts that, if only we developed them and were brave enough to use them, they would be a blessing to others.
If we believe the lies the devil tells us, that we are not good enough, then we are further away from living the life that God had pre-ordained for us and we lose our effectiveness and potential.
'Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,' (Psalms 139 verse 16).
It is as though the nails that were hammered into Jesus hands were the accusations that we listen to in our heads. The devil thought he had won. With each strike that hammered the nails into Jesus' hands, Jesus took the weight of those accusations, pain and sin, then when it seemed there was no life left, Jesus did something miraculous. He spectacularly broke the power of sin that lead to death and triumphantly turned it into eternal life, breaking the chains of sin and death for all those who believe in him.
'Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death," (Revelation 12 verses 10-11).
Therefore we need to become brave and stand on the truth that Jesus has paid the price for us and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8 verse 1). We need to hold on to the promises of God and stand on the truth of his word. And even though we will have to dodge metaphorical flaming arrows that are hurled at us every day, we will keep going.
'In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,' (Ephesians 6 verse 16).
When it all comes down to it, we don't have time to doubt ourselves. We need to focus on others and be available for God to use us wherever we are. As singer/songwriter Jason Gray says, "God put a million, million doors in this world for his love to walk through. One of those doors is you." (from song - With Every Act of Love).
Chances are, where you are feeling the accusations most strongly, that could be where God is using you most strongly. Be brave...
Rebecca and her husband Tony, have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca loves writing children stories, interest articles and teaching piano. She is grateful for a God who loves us.
Rebecca Moore's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/rebecca-moore.html