I do not like insects – especially not in my space. When a mosquito gets in the house, I think of West Nile and everyone has to get a towel, shoe or something and go after it till it is no more. If I see a spider, someone has to get the long hose attachment on the vacuum to get rid of it, (I don’t want anyone to get close and risk it jumping on them when they try to kill it). And I can’t even look at a water bug, they give me the willies and send me running.
As much as I don’t like insects, I seldom react when I see an ant in my home. Perhaps it is because they are so small, or the fact that I see them out and about regularly. I just don’t take pause. Despite their harmless size and appearance these little creatures can be dangerous.
· Consider their strength – an ant can lift 20x its size.
· Consider their social nature – when 1 ant is seen, if it finds a habitable environment – its friends will quickly come in large numbers.
· Consider their ability to multiply – a single queen ant can have millions of babies.
· Consider their laser focus – each ant is focused on a single job and it will work unto death to get it accomplished.
Ants can spoil foods and destroy structures. They should not be taken lightly.
“I can’t go back to school.”
“These kids wont do right!”
“I’m big boned, I can’t lose this weight.”
“The economy is horrible, I can’t step out on my own right now.”
“I know this relationship is no good, but I can’t leave.”
“I can’t stop _______” (you fill in the blank)
“I could never ______” (again, you fill in the blank J)
Etc, etc, etc.
How often do negative thoughts come into our space (minds) and we overlook – or even worse tacitly believe them. Perhaps because we assume that little thought can’t affect much.
The Bible warns us of the power of thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 tells us as a man thinketh so is he. Negative thoughts, like the insect ant, do damage. They multiply and piece by piece, they break down and carry off the fruit God has given you. They can have no place in your mind.
So how do we get rid of the ANTs?
Many psychology experts suggest immediately flipping the script. Talk right back to yourself changing that negative thought to a positive. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Particularly if the damage done is not acknowledged or addressed.
Philippians 4:6-8 provides another process to get rid of those ANTS.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (7) And the peace of God, which trancends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7 NIV
In times of an unsettled mind, these scriptures direct us to God with prayers of thanksgiving. When a negative thought enters speaking lies about who we are or what we cannot do – don’t begin by talking back to self. First, start talking to God.
God knows the end. He sees the battles won, the strongholds broken, and His purposes fulfilled. God is our Strength. As children of the Most High, we don’t have to fight any battle alone – not even a battle with our own mind! Place that which troubles our mind in His hands, thanking Him for what He has done and will do (v6). Instead of lamenting about where we are, thank God for where He has brought us from and where He will take us. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, thank Him in advance for what He will bring.
When we replace worry or negative thoughts with thankful prayer and supplication, we surrender, connect and agree with God. In response, look at what our awesome God promises. His Word says He will give us peace (v7). A peace that passes all understanding. A peace that will guard and keep our hearts and minds.
Now, with the negative thoughts gone, and the balm of peace applied, we are directed (and able) to fill our minds with uplifting thoughts.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil 4:8 NIV
ANTs finding their way into your space? Take action:
1. Pray for awareness and begin to take note of defeating thoughts that come across your mind.
2. When the thought occurs, replace the thought with anticipatory prayers of thanksgiving until you experience God’s peace.
3. Fill your mind with God’s truth and uplifting thoughts.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
God bless and bless God.