Distraction: Performance & Perfection

when we can recognize Satan’s tactics, we can literally laugh at his attempts because they wont work on us anymore.

Within stress and anxiety there are a lot of underlying issues. Performance and perfection are two the top pressures leading to stress and anxiety, so they deserve their own blogs. Do you feel like your to-do list weighs more than a 100-ton elephant? Can an elephant even weigh 100-tons?

Maybe the pressure to perform weighs more than an elephant. I’ve put my worth and value in what I do, how well I do it, and how much I accomplish for more years than I can remember. Most of my performance-based thoughts stem from childhood, from sports and from my desire to please. I learned quickly that when I did good, I got praise, but when I’d do something wrong, I got in trouble. I began to believe that performance equals worth but that’s a lie, and we are going to unpack it in this section.

Satan uses these moments of good equals value and bad equals worthless to put seeds of false identity within us. Scriptures says our identity is in Jesus, Satan says “prove it”.

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[d] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[e]Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[f]Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[g]Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[h]11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Matthew 3:13-17; 4:1-11

You have Nothing to Prove

Satan’s temptation on Jesus are like the temptations he puts us through. Satan essentially said to Jesus after His baptism “If you’re really the Son of God prove it by doing something”. I can’t help but notice, that as Jesus is being tempted, he does nothing to fight back with Satan, Jesus simply responds by speaking scripture, He speaks truth over the deception and is victorious. I, on the other hand, go into a flesh battle flailing arms, kicking and screaming and feeling completely defeated. When it comes to temptation, as all areas of life, we need to learn from the inner peace and gentleness that comes from complete trust and obedience in God. Being in temptation is not a sin, it’s when we don’t lean into God for our strength in the battle and, instead, try to fix things on our own that leads to sin.

Satan’s goal is to attack our identity. He knows when we don’t identify ourselves with the power of God that lives within us, we can’t do God’s work. He knows that we’ll be too distracted by the temptations to strive and the pain of failure and imperfection to do the good works that were set before us. Satan knows and believes our value more than we do!

To overcome Satan’s taunting voice: “if you’re someone of value and worth, prove it by doing something”. We need to know where our attacks are coming from.

They typically sound a lot like us, thoughts from the first-person perspective – making us think we are asking these taunting questions of ourselves. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we don’t fight against flesh and blood we don’t fight against ourselves as we saw earlier, and 1 John 4:1 says that we need to test every spirit and not believe them.

When Jesus was tempted, He didn’t even allow Satan to sway Him, He simply spoke truth into the deceptive temptations, and He stayed anchored at the feet and in the presence of God. Jesus default response is always truth and ours should be too.

During the temptations we face, we have that same power to overcome them because we too have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit living within us. Each trial we face requires us to speaking out the truth to overcome the feelings of defeat, shame and guilt. When Satan begins to heap the ‘prove it’ mentality or any other negative thought that keeps us wrapped in chains we must take them captive immediately and refuse to think about or meditate on them for even a second! We can’t allow them to create ‘roots’ in our minds, we can’t fall under their burden because we need to speak life over ourselves and our situations. This might be one of the easiest hard things in life. The concept is simply, the application is tough and takes work, but I know you’re up for the challenge. Life of freedom is where we should all believing and it’s what our spirit is calling out for, our true identity.

Next time we’ll talk about the Armor we have to enter into out battles so that we don’t go unarmed into the world and into the battle with the enemy.

Scripture to help reset your mind

Psalm 127:2 – It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives His beloved sleep.

Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Matthew 10:28 – And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Psalm 16:11– You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Proverbs 29:25 – Fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

John 8:36– So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed

Philippians 4:9 – What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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