Breaking cycles is like fighting a battle. It’s a battle for your heart, mind, present, and, mostly, your future. You might be thinking, “Duh, I’m lying bruised and bleeding on the field and every time I get up, I get knocked down.”
Yes. It feels like that. It feels like loss and after loss. And it feels like you carry the losing banner everywhere you go.
Breaking cycles and patterns of thought sometimes feels like you lose more than you win because it’s a series of small skirmishes amidst decisive battles.
But we’re not alone. We might be surrounded by the enemies of our pasts or our own imaginations, but God says he prepares a table, a feast for us, in the midst of our enemies. He invites us to rest and in the respite we’re given the strength to stand and fight again.
He commands angel armies and fights for you.
Paul says to don the armor of God. Ephesians 6.
The Psalmist describes God as a warrior riding the clouds in response to your cry. Psalm 18.
The breaking cycles weapons are not a pick yourself up by your bootstraps and keep a stiff upper lip and all that rot. It’s so much more.
Our weapons are the power of a heart fixed on the power of God. They’re spiritual weapons that enable you to tear down any thought, imagination, or mind-stronghold so that God’s truth can penetrate your heart.
The cycles and negative thought patterns begin before we’re even aware of what’s happening in our minds. It’s called a cycle because it’s become an automatic response. This is why one of the breaking cycle steps involve awareness of what’s in our minds. One way to interrupt the patterns of thoughts is by using your spiritual weapons to tear down thoughts and imaginings that don’t line up with God’s truth.
How do we do this?
We pray scripture.
“In Jesus name, I tear down the pride that’s creating this stronghold.”
“According to Jesus’ power, I tear down the idea that someone is spreading rumors about me.”
Listen, we walk and live in the flesh. We live in this world. We still have the effects of our past in our present. Yet, we’re also not of this world. This world is not our home, but this is where we live.
What would happen if we were to apply the benefits of being a citizen of heaven to our life in this world?
Wouldn’t we reach for heavenly weapons rather than for our usual way of dealing with problems that plague our minds?
Couldn’t we share the power of God with others by applying the power of God to our own minds and praying for other’s who are locked into patterns of thought that keep them trapped in strongholds?
“For though we walk in the flesh (driven by our natural responses), we are not waging war according to the flesh (self-preservation). For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (revenge, back-biting, vindication), but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (parentheses, my addition)
Jesus is our High Priest. He intercedes for us. And it’s because of him that God sees us as holy and righteous and it’s because of him that we can go directly to God and receive the grace that we need in the exact moment we need it. Hebrews 4:12-16.
There is a light that flows out like a river from God. He invites you to step into it, arms thrown back, and let that light overtake every single aspect of your mind and heart. It’s in that position where strongholds tumble.
It’s a battle of which you’re assured victory. You might feel as though you’re losing more than you’re winning, but you win when you’re faithful. I heard a best-selling author assert that your successes are built on your failures, but I proclaim that your successes are built on faithfulness.
It’s your faithfulness in trusting God and his faithfulness in directing every one of your steps while you’re breaking cycles.
Prepare your heart for the battle by studying the Armor of God. I recommend Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God study.
Think of a situation that sets your mind to setting up strongholds because of false imaginations and then pray 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Out loud. And name what’s keeping you bound. Speak to it in Jesus’ name.
Take time to rest in God’s abundant love for you. That’s where you find your strength to stand and fight the battle.