Fits of Rage

angerFeelings and thoughts of anger are intense. So uncontrollable. Blood pressure rises. Ears turn red. Eyes shoot fire. (at least we wish they could) Where does all that anger come from ? Why does it seem so friendly, so intriguing to be in the rage of anger? It’s not just a lure, it’s an enjoyment. All other possibilities of love or joy or peace are forgotten. All nice thoughts seem lost. Love seems too far away to be felt. Have you ever been there? I read  somewhere (sorry can ‘t remember where to give credit) that anger is kindled by hurt or fear. When you think about it there is really no other reason to be angry. We are either hurt (whether we admit or not) or fearful of someone or something. Marriages are torn apart by angry words used in the heat of arguments. When the dust settles the underlying cause can be determined – hurt or fear. Anger Management is a common term. There are tools and resources available to help in those uncontrollable angry times. For those that believe their anger is not that bad there are common tricks we pick up like counting to 10 or leaving the room. There are real answers to anger and how to overcome it before it overcomes you.

Ephesians 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 

So, there is a possibility to be angry and yet not sin. If anger comes from fear or hurt then those emotions are not sinful in and of themselves. The emotion tied to it is not sin. The sin happens when we dwell on the anger or target of our anger. What you dwell on, think on, meditate on will come out in your actions.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.  http://thinkexist.com/quotations/action/

This quote may not be from the Bible but it is biblically based.

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:

After we dwell on the target of our anger for awhile we begin to list other things that make us angry. Soon, we are angry at other people or situations that were not even the original issue. In the south we call that “getting yourself worked up”. That is exactly what happens as we are consumed by angry thoughts. Then sin comes in. Our actions are affected. We begin to move from angry thoughts to angry words. Our actions change and become an extension of our anger. Hurting others is an effect of anger. Rage is only appeased by retaliation. At this point the anger feels too good to stop and ask why and where are these emotions from. Analyzing the root issues to solve the problem is not appealing in these moments. Although, it is not impossible, it requires a great deal of discipline and self control. If you are not disciplined in other areas of your life you will find this particular time very difficult to overcome.

The Unnamed Consequences

Before we discuss the solutions and root causes so we don’t find our-self that far gone let’s look at the consequences of anger when it becomes sin. Look back at at Ephesians 4:27   and do not give the devil an opportunity.  Some versions use the word “foothold”. It means a place or a seat. The consequences of sin is that you give the enemy a foothold in your life at that point. A place of control and power in your life. If we look at sin, the weight of sin is death, then maybe we will begin to understand just how important it is to recognize the sin while it is still a thought before any action takes place. Giving the devil power in our lives is not a welcomed outcome.

The devil is described as the “accuser of the brethren”. You will notice that during times of anger thoughts of accusation are instrumental. A small off handed comment can quickly become a raging argument when we entertain accusatory thoughts. Learning to listen to your thoughts (think about what you are thinking) will help in these times. Realizing that every accusatory thought is not complete truth. Some truth mixed with some lies are strong accusation”You always…” “You never” are strong statements are usually not completely true.

What is the solution to anger?

Hurt or fear, as we discussed earlier, is the predecessor to anger. Anger becomes sin when we don’t immediately obey God by forgiving the person that caused the hurt or fear. That unforgiveness becomes a tool for the enemy to accuse others to us. Then it is only a hop, skip and jump into easy anger, quickly kindled.

It takes practice to forgive that quickly and it takes a lot of prayer and trust in Jesus. He gives us the strength, through Him, to live a forgiving life. Forgiving people quickly before we have time to brew over it seems almost abnormal. Yes, it is from the worldly view. However, Jesus spent a great deal of time explaining how to forgive, the importance of forgiving, how to pray to forgive and then He died for it. So I would say forgiveness is a pretty big deal to the Lord. Maybe because He knew just how much power it gives the devil in our lives to act out his accusations, bitterness and resentment.

I personally am tired of anger, bitterness and resentment in my life. I am tired of uncontrollable outburts (even if only in my thoughts) of anger.

Jesus has the answer. I practiced it today. I forgave and it made all the difference.

Who do you need to forgive?

Heavenly Father, I forgive this person that continues to do hurtful things to me. I let it go. I will not hold this behavior against them anymore. Instead, heal my heart and cleanse me from all the anger, bitterness and resentment towards this person. Heal my heart. Renew my mind with your truth in Jesus Name. I command all the anger in this situation to leave. Jesus give me your peace and comfort. Tell me you truth about this. Amen.

 

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The Answers to Our Own Darkness

Let there be light

Real answers for darkness. Thoughts that plague our mind. Relentless anger, resentment, shame or guilt. Everyone deals with it. How can it be overcome?

This is a break from the “Living By Faith” series. I believe the Bible is real, practical and helpful to teach, confront and encourage. The Bible says -My people perish for lack of knowledge. And we truly do suffer in aspects of our lives because of our lack of knowledge of the spiritual things.

I want to take this opportunity to give you practical application from the Bible for dealing with your own “demons”. Whatever you deal with, whether it is thoughts, accusations, addictions, etc. I wish I had the space to write in detail about each issue.  I will get to them eventually. Check back.

The Bible is our road map. God gives us all the answers to live a life of freedom. The secret is really not secret. Just apply the principles Jesus gives us.

I read a post from one of my favorite blogs, Peacefulwife.com, “What’s the story on ‘My Demon’ now?

As I was reading, my heart was stirred for the many people that deal with the same issues. We all deal with them in some form or fashion. Here’s the answers to overcoming them.

1. Your thoughts do not define you.

We beat ourselves up so much for thoughts that run through our mind. Maybe you’re like me and even thought “Am I really that bad of a person to have those kind of thoughts?!” I spent much of my time condemning myself for thoughts that were just temptations. Shame, guilt and self criticism would then consume me. Even if I didn’t act on those thoughts I believed it revealed something maybe I had hidden that made me a bad person.

You are not every thought that goes through your head.

We can discern our thoughts and take captive the thoughts that are negative, sinful or just plain depressing.

2. Thoughts reveal a hidden hurt or self identity that arose from a hurt or sin (either our own or what someone did against us)

Any memory that has pain in it is an opportunity for God to heal. If it causes pain, regret, shame or guilt, God wants to heal it.

3. Here’s the secret (not really a secret, God gives us step by step directions)

Ephesians 4:26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27Neither give place to the devil.

How do we “give place” to the devil? When we sin but do not repent (turn away) quickly or forgive quickly the other person.  That gives the devil a foothold in our lives. We give him permission to enter a portion of our lives. That results in temptation, bad thoughts, negativity, anger, resentment, shame, regret, guilt, etc.

Let’s look at the Lord’s Prayer…

Matthew 6:9-9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Verse 12&14 &15 in the Amplified: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. 14 For if you forgive people their trespasses their (reckless and willful sins,leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive others their trespasses (reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment), neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses. 

When I read this for the first time in the Amplified version it changed the way I think about the word “forgiveness”. It includes the action of “letting go”. We will discuss how to do this in a minute.

First, let’s look at why forgive…

In Matthew 18 Jesus tells a story about a man who was forgiven a debt he could not pay but refused to forgive a fellow servant a small amount.

34“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.35“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Jesus is describing the result of the Ephesians 4:26 we discussed earlier. Giving “place” to the devil is like being turned over to the “torturers”. The devil has a foothold in our lives and causes pain, hurt, grief, strife, etc. (I’m sure you can fill in the blanks)

If I understand the consequences of unrepented sin or unforgiveness in my life as the permission for the devil to steal, kill, and destroy in my life, it will change the way I live. The consequences are not just going to hell as so many people see it. Far off into the future some place that we don’t really understand the existence. But, it happens right now. My life is affected by my actions now.

Jesus gave us the answer in the Lord’s Prayer. He did not leave us defenseless or without knowledge.

He tells us to forgive or repent (whichever is called for).In verse 13, the NLT translation ends with…

Matthew 6:13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

The forgives releases rescue and deliverance from our life’s enemy. I want that freedom from the clutches of the devil. I don’t want him having any foothold in my life.

4. Let it go (this is when healing begins and the bad thoughts begin to leave)

How? it’s simpler than you think. Forgiveness is a choice. You make choices all day, everyday. Forgiveness is just like any other choice you make. And you don’t have to feel like you forgave. You will notice a change over time. Feelings can be deceiving.

Forgiving someone does not mean you condone their behavior or validate what they did to you. What do you gain by holding onto unforgiveness? It doesn’t hurt the other person. It only hurts you.
Jesus didn’t say “forgive if you feel like it” or “as long as the sin wasn’t really horrible”, no, he said do it all the time, all day long if necessary.

“My demons” as discussed in the blog post linked above is common among humans, period. Jesus gave us the answer. All we have to do is obey.

Are you tired of hearing those thoughts? Are you tired of feeling guilt, shame, regret? Are you tires of the anger?

Step 1

Pray a forgiveness prayer for any person who has hurt you. Spouses have a lot of pain that needs forgiveness. Forgive for each situation that causes painful memories.

“Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive __________(name) for doing______ or making me feel ________. I let it go. Cleanse me from all that hurt and shame. Heal my heart and mind.”

Easy huh? The hardest part is taking the first step. Our unforgiveness sometimes feels like a security blanket. It brings false comfort thinking we got something over on someone. It’s a lie.

Step 2

Forgive yourself. This is usually the hardest part. Forgive yourself for any mistake you hold against yourself. Forgive yourself for being duped by someone. You feel stupid? Forgive yourself.

“Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive myself for doing _____________. I let it go. Cleanse me from all that hurt and shame. Heal my heart and mind.”

Step 3

Discern your thoughts. Think about each thought. Is it good or bad? Decide where it comes from. If it’s bad throw it out. Don’t dwell on it.

This takes practice. The more you do it the easier it becomes.

I have a very active imagination. When I start thinking bad thoughts against my spouse I can get really carried away. I even start to feel angry for something done the day before or a year before. I now recognize that I am rehashing old situations and encouraging bad thoughts. I then forgive my spouse for what he did and I move on. Sometimes I have to think purposely about good things or declare good things over him. Almost immediately my attitude changes. The anger leaves.

Here is a link to a post that may help related to this. (here) How to Overcome the Past

Live a forgiving life you will find you joy and peace in your life.

Trauma and Intercession Part 2

https://isaiah54project.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/trauma-intercession/

This is a more in depth look at a recent dream I had. Part 1 is above. Read it first for the entire story. I will concentrate on only a specific part right now.

Warning: Not for faint of heart

The dream:

Faceless men were placing bodies in a box. The bodies were butchered and bloody. Some almost unrecognizable. These faceless men were the perpetrators. Without care or compassion. They cut and mutilated each person.

Then one of the bodies moved. I could tell that it was a young man. He left the other bodies and began to walk away. He walked into the trees and disappeared. Then another body moved, got up and began to walk away. At first, I thought it was another man. Then I realized it was a young woman. I could barely recognize the features under the blood covering her body. Her hair was matted and half covering her face. There was a cut across her face bleeding. She wore a t-shirt that was bloody also and only barely clinged to her body so it was difficult to tell if this was a man or woman until I looked at her face. Then I knew this was a woman. She walked toward me, although she could not see me, and walked into the truck bed. Stopped for a second. Turned her body slightly. Then walked forward. She took very slow steps, without direction. One labored step after another. I began to shout “Run! Run!” I so wanted her to get away. But she did not run. In shock from the horrors she just went through. She continued to walk slowly. Walking until concealed by the trees.

I wrote in Part 1 how this dream seemed like a nightmare. But like all dreams that are from there was no fear, only peace. The dream continues and you can read about it in Part 1.

The dream was a call to prayer for every hurt soul.

I want to break down each element in the dream and how it pertains to our lives.

1. The faceless men.

Eph 6:12 (NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Satan was given power over this world for a time. In that time he endeavors to steal, kill and destroy. The battles you fight, the pain you endure, the trauma inflicted, comes not from God your Heavenly Father; but it comes from Satan and his evil forces. Granted, maybe it was a human that hurt you and that human had a choice. But ultimately the true enemy was not that person but the enemy that uses people to carry out dastardly deeds.

The perpetrators in the dream are the spiritual forces working to destroy you. They will use any means necessary. Traumatic life experiences are just one. Ask any person alive today and I guarantee they have some traumatic event that shaped their lives forever.

After the initial trauma, the residue left is compounded by Satan’s lies. He will use the traumatic event to cause shame, reproach, and continued pain that affects your relationships, your thoughts about yourself and others. It will also affect your actions and decisions for the rest of your life. …that is… until God…

2. The bodies

The bodies were not dead. They were lifeless. Tossed aside. Used and abused. Disrespected.

I don’t know why only some escaped. I suspect it is the same reason why only some people come to know Jesus Christ. It is by choice.

The bodies that walked away were not in a relationship with Jesus yet. That happened later in the dream.

I read somewhere that unclothed in your dream could mean a relationship with Jesus and that we have surrendered our lives to Him. And are humble before Him. These were all fully clothed. In fact, it was specifically brought to my attention the young woman was wearing a t-shirt.

This portion portrays just how hard life can be. Many times people are so used and abused by others or are so abusive to themselves that they become lifeless. Feeling hurts too much so find something to numb the pain. Some people feel so alone and tossed aside. They may feel like no one really cares what happens to them. Some stop caring about themselves altogether.

3. The hair

The hair was matted with blood, falling over her face partially covering her features. When I think of this picture I am reminded of the many women I see that have so little self confidence. They live in such shame and regret. So many women take the blame for actions against them. Even the actions over which they had no control. They believe the lies. They internalize the fear.

Isaiah 54:4(NIV) “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.

Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth

and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

This is a promise of what the Grace and Mercy of God can do. That with forgiveness comes healing. The shame is taken away. The fear is replaced with peace. You find exoneration. You are no longer alone.

4. The walk

The walk had no purpose, no direction. The woman walked into the bed of the truck. In the dream I could almost feel the impact. It was as if she didn’t see it in her path.

Ps 119:105 (NLT) Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Jesus becomes a light to our path. We do not have to walk in darkness. We do not have to live life without a purpose. You do not have to live without hope.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You can live with a purpose. You can live with hope and joy and peace. This is not something you conjure up in your mind or that you talk yourself into feeling. God places it there. It just exists because God exists. The hardest part is accepting this truth.

The young woman made a slight change in her course and proceeded to walk slowly into the trees until she disappeared into the dense trees.

She disappeared into oblivion. No one noticed her. This is the same way people that are hurting disappear into the crowd. No one ever knows the pain they endured. Or the scars they hide. Loneliness seems their only friend.

Well, I know a friend. He died for you and for me. He died for this woman and for every woman. He died so we don’t have to be subject to the trauma, the memories of the past.

Here is the most interesting part…

This dream of pain and trauma applies to everyone. I see people that carry this pain into their salvation. They accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior yet they don’t allow him to heal the wounds. I see people in the Church that still live in shame and reproach and they believe the lies of the enemy. Many churches never address this. It may take years before the pain is dealt with in a godly way.

Step 1: Admit that you are separated from God by sin. Acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for you to bridge that gap by forgiving every unholy, ungodly thing we have ever done or said or thought. Accept that forgiveness.

Step 2: Now, forgive everyone that has every sinned against you. If it’s too hard remember that forgives is a choice. Pray for God to work that forgiveness in your heart until you are able to freely forgive the way HE forgives you. He does not remember it anymore once forgiven and neither should you recount past sins against you. There is freedom in forgiveness. Try it. Unforgiveness only hurts the one holding onto it. It never hurts the person that inflicted the pain. Why hold on to it and continue hurting yourself?

Step 3: Every promise of God now belongs to you. Read the Bible or a Bible promise book and find those that mean something special to you like Jer. 29:11. You are valuable. You are precious.

Step 4: Pray those promises over your life. Accept them as gifts from a loving Heavenly Father.

Step 5: Talk to God daily. Talk to Him about your fears, about your thoughts, about anything. It can be about your past. Ask Him to strengthen you and to give you understanding. Find a church to attend that shows genuine love and compassion.

You will find that as you pursue God, He will pursue you. He will give you hope. He will eradicate fear. He will give you peace daily. Eventually, you will find yourself loving deeply. Yourself and others. You will feel joy.

If you need prayer contact me through Facebook, Twitter or through the comment section below.

I pray for every person that reads this and knows it applies to them. As they remember the pain, regret and shame, I pray they will forgive whoever caused it. Even if it is their self. I pray they will seek an intimate relationship walking with you daily.

I pray that you will send someone to show love and compassion. To help them in the journey of recovery. Send your love, your peace LORD to be with them as they confess fears to you.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Trauma ∧ Intercession

Warning: Not for faint of heart

Last night I had a dream. It was bloody and gory. I woke up this morning asking God “why?”. I don’t watch scary movies or movies with blood and gore. I purposely, carefully, limit the amount of unholy things my eyes see. Remember the song, “OH, be careful little eyes what you see…what you hear…where you go”?

That dream was not a nightmare. It was a call to arms for all prayer warriors to pray for those that are hurt. A call to share His love.

The dream:

Faceless men were placing bodies in a box. The bodies were butchered and bloody. Some almost unrecognizable. These faceless men were the perpetrators. Without care or compassion. They cut and mutilated each person.

Then one of the bodies moved. I could tell that it was a young man. He left the other bodies and began to walk away. Then another body moved, got up and began to walk away. At first, I thought it was another man. Then I realized it was a young woman. I could barely recognize the features under the blood covering her body. I began to shout “Run! Run!” I so wanted her to get away. But she did not run. She weakly, stumbled as if she was dizzy but never fell. She was dazed and confused. In shock from the horrors she just went through. She continued to walk slowly. Walking until concealed by the trees.

Fast forward. Many years later I look upon those same people living normal lives. Scars in place of the wounds. Scar tissue hardened over certain parts as a reminder of distant trauma. A hand, the mighty hand of God, reaches to touch the scar tissue. He shows me it is hard. He knocks on it to show how hard it is.

They don’t discuss the past. It is almost forgotten. Pushed away, deeply recessed in the mind.

Next, I find myself sitting in a car with the young woman in the passenger seat. I pray for her.

This sounds like a horrible nightmare. I have had nightmares.

This was a reminder that so many people have been cut so deeply by pain, regret and trauma’s in the past. Some of the scar tissue has become a protective armor, hardened over their heart. The darkness is prevailing. The light of Jesus’s love cannot seem to pass through.

Pray in the Spirit for the lost souls. The hurting souls, cut, and mutilated.

We all know people that live hard lives. People who have been through tremendous pain caused by someone in their past. Or caused pain to themselves. Maybe still going through the trauma and never escaped. Maybe you have been through something that harmed you physically, mentally or spiritually.

I recently read something that said the best way to deal with anything is to face it. That is just what God does. He touches the scar tissue. Brings the memory back and then in His awesome Grace He says “Now forgive.” “Let it go.” “Let me heal that pain.” “Give it to me.”

The human world is given to Satan. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. That is just what he aims to do from the time you are born. Sometimes before the baby is even born he works diligently to cause pain. On earth, there is no complete escape from pain. But there is a God that takes pain and uses it for our good. He heals it, softens the hard parts of our hurting heart and turns the mourning into gladness. Only our Heavenly Father can do this. All you have to do is ask. He is willingly…more than that…eagerly awaiting you to turn to Him.

Pray. Pray when you don’t feel like it. Pray when you don’t know what you are praying for. Pray.

God will use those prayers to help someone in need.

Show love. Show love when you have a bad day. Show love to people who are not in your regular circle of friends. Show love to people that may not be able to love back..yet.

Identity in Christ-pt 2

 

identity-in-christI believe that one of the first realizations the Body of Christ needs is to understand who we are in Christ. If we understood who we are…the authority through Christ…the benefits of God’s children…the love and mercy of God…how mighty God is…we would change our outlook, the way we approach adversity, and our expectations when we pray.
I still don’t fully understand but God is working on me.

Why does Satan work so hard to strip us from any identity of Christ?
…to keep us powerless.

You can’t use what you don’t recognize.

First, the full armor of God Ephesians 6:11-17
Pray this over you and your family daily.

Second, helmet of salvation.
You are a warrior in the kingdom of God. Fitted, equipped and strong through Christ with every good thing given by our Father in Heaven.

Know that you are marked, set apart for the kingdom of God the moment you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.
The helmet marks which kingdom you belong to and which side you are fighting for.

Third, you are an overcomer.
The head and not the tail, victorious. The Kimg of Glory fights for you with Heavenly Hosts.
By the word of your testimony.

I was reminded today of a truth that I sometimes allow to fall by the wayside.
How do I fight? I fight in the spiritual realms with prayer.
God needs our words.
1. We need to speak in faith.
2. Pray the Word.
3. Declare what is not yet as though it is.
4. Praise Him.

He used words to speak the universe into existence. He needs our words that we speak in faith to change our world.

Does your world need a change? Start praying.

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