Freedom Living is Possible

 

deliv 3We all have an ugly side. The ugly parts buried deep inside us that we allow never to escape are the parts Jesus came to heal and deliver.

Problem is those parts do surface into our everyday life…words, decisions, relationships, fears, anxieties, addictions…The UGLY doesn’t hide.

Most Christians live beneath their God-given purposes and gifts because the UGLY prevents those gifts and talents, annointings and dreams from manifesting fully.

Ever feel accused or like you don’t measure up? Fear preventing you from walking into your destiny?

How can you be truly free of all depression, anger, bitterness, addictions, lust, bad thoughts, fears, intimidation, anxiety?

Many new converts think that when they become a Christian all their addictions, habits and hang-ups will just go away. After many weeks or months they realize that most of it is not gone and they wonder if they are really a Christian. Or wonder “what is wrong with me all these other Christians look like they have it all together?” BUT do they really?

 

Truth is…we all have trash in our lives. Modern churches have left out a key ingredient to living a life of freedom as it was promised by Jesus. It’s called “Deliverance”. There is such a misunderstanding of what deliverance is and who it is for. Somehow over the last few decades this key given to believers has been removed from mainstream Christianity and the definition has been altered to mean something never attended by Jesus.

So, what is deliverance? (This will take more than one post to fully define so hang in there.) I will dispel the myths, clarify what it means for the Christian, and define the proper Biblical use.

Let’s look at what Jesus means when you are saved, delivered and healed…

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

  1. Who needs deliverance?

Freedom is a ministry of Jesus for everyone. I have’t met a person yet that cannot benefit from deliverance ministry.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

The word deliverance is used in many popular songs. Songs about chains broken and the blood of Jesus setting people free. However, if you ask most Christians if they need deliverance they will say no. Yet they sing about their chains and cry about their secret issues. Most don’t realize that not every thought that goes through our brains are not always our thoughts so they stand accused for actions not taken. Fear grips them and binds them from fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Everyone needs deliverance. If you want to be fully engaged in your talents and gifts with nothing holding you back…The greatest leaders need it to lead. The greatest teachers need it to be a better teacher. The greatest pastors need it so they don’t get burned out.The lay-person needs it to survive. Let me assure you….everyone needs it.

2. Isn’t deliverance just for “demon-possessed” people?

NO. Deliverance is for those significantly affected by the demonic and those are that are not. If you are in ministry very long you will discover that people that are so bound by the demonic that they manifest frequently. You may “feel” it or you may see a change in their countenance. But you know something isn’t right. They also require deliverance.

Let’s clear up some HUUUUGGE misunderstandings of “demon-possessed” and what it really means

3.A Christian can’t be “demon-possessed” because God and Satan can’t inhabit the same space, right?

Good question…

Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

Revelation 12:10 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.

Job 1:6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

2 Chronicles 18:10 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “‘By what means?’ the LORD asked

Doesn’t seem like Satan has a problem standing before God. Looks like he is required at times.

Psalms 139: 7Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

God is everywhere. There is no place HE is not. So how far away does the enemy have to be? Some think the enemy “oppresses” a believer. Yes he does and he can. But wouldn’t that be very close? They believe demons can be outside but not inside. Does it really matter? You are still in need of freedom.

However, think about this…if you have a mouse in your house does the mouse own the house? or possess it? No, they are a nuisance and must be removed. Even Jesus spoke about a person as a HOUSE. And the demons were in the house.

Matthew 12:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44″Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.…

Christians can’t be “possessed” by the enemy, right?

The description “demon-possessed” is not an accurate translation. The word used in original Greek should be translated in today’s language as afflicted by a demon or affected by a demon. Our language understands the word “possessed” denoting ownership. However, the devil already owns you if you do not belong to God through Jesus Christ. If you belong to God you cannot be possessed or owned by anything else. However, you can still be afflicted or affected to the point that devilish behavior is manifested in your life. More on this in a minute.

Interesting that when the writers wrote the letters in the Bible they were not surprised by demons afflicting people. Even believers in God were afflicted. In other countries, it is common knowledge that demons afflict people. We tend to ignore that fact in the Western world. People who come out of witchcraft can explain a lot that ordinary Christians have never run into and have no clue about. The lack of knowledge of how our enemy works has been crippling to the church.

Those were some good questions. Now let me ask you a question…

4.  What degree can someone be afflicted by the enemy?

The Bible gives many examples of them and all are varying degrees of manifestations or affliction.

Luke 13:16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

She was sick and it was caused by an evil spirit. (This doesn’t mean that evil spirits cause every sickness. But some can be.) She was perfectly normal except for her illness causing her to be stooped over. Obviously, Jesus saw her as a godly woman that just needed to be set free.

Mark 9:21And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22″It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”…

This boy was most likely normal except when the evil spirit was trying to kill him. Notice, the people understood it was the evil spirit causing the boy to jump in fires and into water. They realized the boy was not trying to commit suicide just on his own. Just from these two accounts we see that believers and children can all be afflicted to some degree.

Think of it as a scale from 1 to 10. To the degree every aspect of their lives are affected. The demonaic in Geserenes could be a 10 or 11. The boy may only have been a 6 or 7.He may be perfectly normal in all other areas except those times.  The woman maybe a 2 or 3. The enemy affects everyone and Jesus prepared a way to be set free.

5. What other ways can Christians be affected by the enemy and in need of deliverance?

The most common way is mentioned here (among many other places)…

Ephesians 4:30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

Bitterness, anger, lying, slandering others are all examples of how the enemy afflicts us and uses us to hurt others. The writers are talking to Christians. If you look at Christians today they are not much different. If you look at yourself you don’t even do all the things you know you should do and do many things you wish you didn’t do.

This is where deliverance comes in for the believer and applies the Word of God to bring freedom to our hearts and minds.

Now we can talk about what deliverance is…

I bet you have bitterness somewhere. I haven’t met a person yet that didn’t hold some grudge or been hurt so badly by someone they hated. You have someone in your life you don’t want to see or just hearing their voice grades on your last nerve. Bitterness is unforgiveness fully grown into a root in your heart. Bitterness flows out of your mouth. Ever say something that was so ugly and you wonder “where did that come from?”

Deliverance is taking away the right the enemy thinks it has over your life through forgiveness and repentance. You apply the work of the cross to your life.

You may ask…I thought it was applied automatically when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour?

Yes it was! But now you have to appropriate it to your life. Some things were taken care of that very minute other things are a process of applying the Word, renewing your mind, forgiving others and repenting (applying the blood to the issues of the past when necessary).

We are saved and we are “being” saved. It is a process. The verb tense is very important and is not correctly translated in KJV and some other versions.

Deliverance is that process.

You can call it discipleship. You can call it “He’s still working on me”… but it is a process that you can and should by Jesus’ example and teaching apply to yourself.

You must be a believer for this process to work. A house divided against itself cannot stand. You cannot cast the enemy or tell it to go or stop it’s work in your life until you belong to Jesus. Then Jesus does HIS ministry to you. Go back up and look at Luke 4:18 again.

Freedom for the prisoners-prisoners did things to be put into prison by their own behavior.

To set the oppressed free-these had things done to them, it was not their own behavior.

Jesus came for both: the things you did that hurt others or yourself and the things done to you…to set you FREE.

Think of some examples: a woman is raped, then her behavior changes, she has low self worth, she may even contemplate suicide. She needs to be set free from the trauma she endured. On the flip side the person that raped her also deserves to be set free from the prison inside his heart that incites him to behave in such destructive ways.

Both these examples need deliverance…the process of healing and applying God’s truth to our lives.

More posts to come…

My goal is to bring deliverance to the forefront of the church world as necessary and biblical solution to our lives.

Deliverance = Application of God’s Word to our lives

Please comment if you have any questions or email me.

 

 

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WALLS-Quick thought for the day

Start tearing down walls and building new ones built on the Rock.

I hear people say “I put up walls because of what happened…I don’t want anyone in…I don’t want to be hurt again…I can’t trust anyone”

Have you ever thought about the walls you put up in your life?

I spent several months reading and researching about Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem. In studying that I realized there are many varieties of walls. Both good and bad. I would prefer to have the kind of walls built by the Lord my God–His shelter and His peace will come from that. But, today we will talk about the BAD walls we build.

Walls are strategic separation between you and the outside. Walls can be a good thing. However, a wall built out of anger, hurt, frustration or unforgivenes is a BAD wall. It’s built out of sin and not with God’s love as the foundation. Even if built for protection of your feelings…it is not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Any part of your life NOT built on Jesus as your sure foundation will not stand.

 1. WALLS affect your relationships.

Walls of distrust and unforgiveness strain relationships.

2. The walls around Jerusalem represented the process of redemption.

The last one if you review them clockwise ended with the Sheeps Gate. The Lamb of God is both the sacrificial lamb reconciling us to God and our Good Shepherd.

Your relationships, your life and everything you do should expose people around you to Light not darkness.

3. It takes diligence to guard your heart against ungodly walls

Nehemiah 4:23  So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

Now that is determination! I don’t remember every being so determined to keep an ungodly thing out of my life. In fact, most people welcome WALLS to be built and justify every one of them.

That is called a hard heart. God says…

Ezekiel 36:26  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

How do you know if you have BAD walls up?

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you.

James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Practical Application

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I ask you to show me every place I have put up a wall out of anger, resentment, fear, hurt, frustration or unforgiveness. I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal each wound and every part of darkness in my heart. I choose to  forgive those that hurt me. I choose to allow you to heal my heart now as I yield to your love. Tell me your truth about each wall. Help me to be wise in the future so that no walls of rejection, fear or hurt are ever built again in my life. Instead, build me up in your love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self-control…build me up on the Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord, in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Leadership Key: What to do when your boss is a jerk

…And other such despicable bosses. So, you’re a Christian and you work in the secular workplace. Hey, even sometimes in the Christian world you can have difficult bosses. What do you do?

Some Christians refuse to work with bosses that are sinners. Some refuse to work in a secular workplace. I don’t believe this is a biblical approach. Jesus gave us the example of being in the world, around the angry, hurting and the filthy. He actually chose to be around them instead of the religious. He said it is the hurting that need a doctor.

1.Be a light where you are planted.

Daniel is a great example. He was a godly man. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. He also had the honor of God’s messenger appearing to him and telling him the future of his nation.

He was employed and grouped along with the magicians in the king’s service. He was dragged away from his home and enslaved. He was a godly man who was employed by one the most carnal, heathen, evil rulers and who built a statue to himself. Yet through all this Daniel honored the king and served the king with excellence.

You can see Daniels humble and respectful demeanor toward the ruler in this passage when Daniel is asked to interpret a dream for the king.

19“Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries!

Then Daniel had to deliver the bad news to the king. He did so with great sadness and weighty heart when he could have glorified, even relished in the much earned judgement of his boss. Daniel did not judge or abuse his privileges. He maintained a steadfast integrity in the midst of much idol worship, orgies, drunkenness and sin.

2. Show honor because of the position.

Saul tried to kill David. While David was playing music to sooth his king, Saul shot an arrow at him. That’s a bad day at work.

Of course it missed. For years Saul tried to kill David. He chased him all over the countryside. Yet when given the opportunity David did not harm Saul. Sure, if you look at the selfish, egotistical, foolish behavior of Saul, he didn’t deserve to be honored . But David respected the Lord’s anointed because God placed him in that position.

8Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.” 9But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?”

All leadership placed above you in churches, government, or the workplace are there because they are ordained to be there by God.

3. Only the Lord is judge.

Daniel 4:22Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.

23“Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

24“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

This is the interpretation that Daniel gave the king of Babylon. It was judgement from God the creator of the universe.

Then it happened: 

Daniel:28All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

Psalm 75:7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

You will never work for a perfect person because we are all human and subject to vulnerability and fault. Consider it a high honor to be considered worthy to work with a unsaved or heathen boss. You have a unique opportunity to be a brilliant light in a dark place.

What do you do?

Daniel prayed and fasted
David praised and worshiped God. He called out to  God for guidance.
You are commanded to love and to pray for those that despise you. God will either move you or favor you.
Prayer will move mountains and that mountain might just be your boss.
Prayer:

Thank you Father for this job you provided. I acknowledge that all good things come from your hands. I praise you in every situation regardless of my comfort level. I will praise you on my way to work. I will praise you and lift up your Name at work. And I will praise you going home. I lift my eyes to you because you are where my help comes from. I look to you for wisdom in this situation. Holy Spirit, give me guidance how to handle the situations I face today. Give me favor with my boss and co-workers. Guard my mouth so I will not utter an unkind work. Give me boldness when I need it. I pray for the heart of the unbelievers at work that have been blinded by the devil; that their eyes will be opened to the light of your Word. That you will illuminate their dark places. Give me opportunities to show your light, to share my testimony and to represent you well. In Jesus Name, Amen.

*all Bible scripture is from BibleHub.com (the best online Bible source…in my opinion)

Why We Don’t See Miracles

miracles still happenI hear people asking “Where is God?” “Why don’t we see miracles anymore?” “Why isn’t God doing something here?”

3 Reasons:

1. New wine and old wineskins don’t mix

Matthew 9:17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time would not yield their mindsets to the way God was doing things. It didn’t fit in their little ‘god box’.

 

 

We all have preconceptions of what a miracle or “move of God” should look like, sound like or act like. Those preconceptions are often MIS-conceptions. When something doesn’t fit our preconceived notion we automatically file it away as “the devil did it” or “it’s just an act”.

Truth is that God’s ways are higher than are ways, and His understanding is much higher than ours. Just because we haven’t seen it before doesn’t mean that it’s not God. Actually, many of the manifestations of the Spirit that happen today in revival services are spoken of in the Old and New Testament

Habakkuk 3:16a I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror.

People fell down on the ground, people were healed, devils cast out, people spoke in other tongues–read about all the things Jesus did and he said greater things would we do, and read in Acts of all the miracles, signs and wonders that God did through believers.

You will not get new revelation and experience God with old, tradition, or religion mindsets.

What preconceptions do you have that prevent the works of faith to manifest in your life?

2. We don’t ask and we don’t expect the miraculous

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer

We should ask in faith believing. We don’t ask because we are afraid God won’t answer us. That fear is not from God. Fear is the opposite of faith. Start asking in prayer. God does hear you. Read James 4 and 5 and Matthew.

3. Apathy

It’s easier to read about miracles in the Bible than to actually DO anything that would perhaps allow God to work miracles in our lives.

I guarantee there are more miracles happening than we realize everyday. However, few people in today’s churches have seen blind eyes open or the cripple walk.

It’s easier to explain them away as “that was for Jesus and the Apostles” . What a lie from hell!

God has not changed and Jesus said greater things would we do. And the promise of the Holy Spirit is for all people including future generations. Multitudes have been miraculously healed or had finances provided by God.

We cannot bring God down to our experiences. We must choose to pursue God with all we have in faith believing that He is more powerful, loving and real than we realize.

 

Authority & Power

keysKeys to Freedom
• Name of Jesus –Authority & Power
• Blood of the Lamb – forgiveness
• Word of God – weapon

Are you struggling with hang ups, issues, addictions, depression, etc…

God has provided freedom for you. Yet many believers still struggle because they don’t understand the authority and power that God has given them through Jesus Christ. Believers get the whole forgiveness, repentance thing, yet leave the authority part on the table thinking that must be for the pastors. teachers, and evangelists.

The truth is that all believers are afforded the privilege of the delegated authority and should be using it. God is waiting for you to put your faith to work by exercising this authority.

Here is a brief word study to see how the authority and power is not in our own might but in the mighty power of God through the name of Jesus. Understanding this helps to realize that we can never be powerful enough in our own strength to tear down the strongholds and lies of the enemy. But through the power of the Lord and applying it to our lives in a real and practical way we can see the enemy defeated and live in bondage to all those hang ups.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.

Strong-endunamoo (Grk), meaning to empower, enable, increase in strength, make strong

Power-kratos (Grk), meaning dominion, power, strength

Lord-kurios (Grk), meaning supreme authority

Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you

Authority = power, exousia (Grk) from a root work exesti (be lawful), meaning privilege, capacity, competency, freedom, delegated authority, strength
To tread on serpents= ophis (Grk)a snake figuratively as a type of sly cunning or artful, malicious person, Satan
And scorpions= skopeo (Grk), from root word skopos, akin to the idea of concealment, watch like a sentry or scout.
Over all power of the enemy= dunamis (Grk), force, miraculous power, violence, strength,
Authority is given, not taken, involves privilege, it is delegated power and influence.

God is the ultimate authority & authority giver: Matt 28:18, Col 2:15, Heb 2:14,

How to walk in authority:

• Soaking in His Word-listening, reading, studying, & talking about His Word
• Meditating on His Word
• Stand in boldness and speak the Word of God
• Can only walk in authority if you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is no authority without Him

Jesus’ authority is recognized by nature, physical bodies & spiritual entities:

• Demons recognized His authority
• Healed the sick
• Calmed the storms

What are the things He gave authority for us to do?

• Do greater works than these, John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
• Signs shall follow: cast out demons, speak in new tongues, heal the sick,
Mark 16:17-18 “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
• Have the Holy Spirit, John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
• Resist the devil and he will flee, James 4:7
• To edify others and bring grace to others 2 Cor 13:10
• To be examples to others 2 Thess 3:9
• Bind and destroy the work of the devil, Matt 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
• Use the keys to the Kingdom, Matt 16:19
• Call ourselves by His name, 2 Cor 4:5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
• Use His name and the power of His blood Claim the inheritance
Eph 1:11-14, In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory

• Ask for His grace which is sufficient

• Raise the dead Luke 4:18
• Speak the Word of God in power to change situations
• Do the will of God as it is in Heaven
• His power works in us, Eph 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
• His power is in earthen vessels 2 Cor 4:7

We are commissioned to:

Teach, baptize, heal the sick, raise the dead, make disciples, and to proclaim the good news
We are warned to stay away form a form of godliness that denies the power (2 Tim 3:5)

You may have all kinds of thoughts go through your head when you first start taking authority over the issues, sicknesses, and hang ups in your own life. Be aware that every thought in your head is not always your own. The enemy will accuse you, accuse God and make you feel powerless. Know that God hears every prayer. There is no formula or magic wand needed. He just loves you and hears you when you pray sincerely from your heart and it moves Him. Even when you don’t see a reaction or change immediately, know that He hears you and is working. He ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than ours. We don’t always understand but we can always trust. Keep praying.

Why do we not walk in the power & authority given to us?
Fear, powerless feeling, victim mentality

Prayer:

Father, I purpose and choose to repent for my fear of ….(fill in the blanks). That keeps me from walking and trusting in your authority over all power of the enemy. In Jesus name cleanse me from all this fear and unbelief. Give me revelation of your glorious might, power and authority that you freely give me. Show me how to use this authority to glorify you. Amen.

Prayer for powerless feeling:

Father, I purpose and choose to repent for this feeling of powerlessness that I have believed the lies of the enemy. I relent from this belief and turn away from this lie. In Jesus name cleanse me from all the power of the enemy that has affected me through belief in this lie. I forgive myself for believing this lie. Lord, help me walk in your truth and give me revelation of your power and authority for my life. Amen.

Prayer for victim mentality:

Father, I purpose and choose to repent for believing that I can do nothing or shouldn’t do anything. I repent for waiting for someone else to work for me in this area of delegated authority for my life from you. I turn away from all beliefs that this isn’t for me, or I can’t, or I’m not strong enough or don’t know enough to fight the enemy. I choose to believe what your Word says. I choose to take up my sword (Word of God) and my shield of faith and breastplate of righteousness and fight. Lord, give me the wisdom, knowledge and strength to do your will. Show me how to fight the enemy in my life. Amen.

 

Who Is Jesus?

thCADDK0F2Four Views on who Jesus is from the Book of Mark

Truthfully, we all have ideas of who Jesus is to us. Each person has an understanding of some sort. But is that idea truly based on scripture? Could be tainted a little by any incorrect mindsets?

1. Is He too familiar?

His Family saw him as an embarrassment.

Mark 3:21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

I live in the Bible belt. Recently, a new youth pastor started at our church. While he was preaching he made a comment about speaking to several people around town and all of them saying “I’m a Christian”. He said everyone he talked to was a professing Christian. Yet he made this point “if everyone was a Christian in this town, the churches would be full”.

In another scripture Jesus said

57, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

As humans we have a tendency to give less reverence to those to whom we become very familiar. The profession of faith doesn’t have works behind it. Many people are knowledgeable about Jesus but have little faith because they only think they “know” Jesus.

The truth is that if you really know Jesus your life will change.

If you really love Jesus you will not be embarrassed to talk about him and serve him.

2. Does Jesus measure up to your religion?

The pharisees had a problem with Jesus. He turned all their religion on its head. All their rules and traditions were in direct conflict with Jesus’ actions.

They chose not to accept him. Instead they accused him, blamed him and ignored his warnings.

Do you choose tradition and religion over Jesus? Does any of your thoughts or actions cause you to pick and choose parts of Jesus’ teaching but not take all of it?

3. Is Jesus only a man?

When you choose to believe that Jesus was a man but also more than just a man your life will forever be affected. That is when true devotion begins and His words become life. And more than life because His directives, commandments and words have power. They are not just words of a man but of God. They are not suggestions. And if they are of God then we must believe them and do what He says.

We must understand that He is also deity. The one and only son of God that died for the sins of every person.

John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.…

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We can’t pick and choose which words in the Bible we believe and live by we must equally believe and follow each one.

4. Does guilt cloud your view?

King Herod liked listening to John the Baptist. But King Herod never changed his ways and eventually beheaded John. He didn’t really want to do it. Read the story here.

Later, when King Herod heard about Jesus and all the miracles, he supposed it was John come back to life. He could not see who Jesus truly was and allow his life to be affected because of his guilt.

Many people don’t come to Jesus for similar reasons “I’m not good enough”, “When I get my life cleaned up then I will”, “I’ve done too many things to be forgiven”.

So who is He?

He died and came back to life. he did multitudes of miracles that could not be recorded there were so many. He is compassionate. He loves.

Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say I am?”

Peter responded “You are the Christ”.

That is way more than we understand from an American viewpoint.

That is saying so much. He is the Savior of the world. The son of God. The lamb of God. The Lion of Judah.

The centurion said “surely this is the Son of God”

At the transfiguration God said “This is my son. Listen to Him”.

 

Who Is Jesus?

thCADDK0F2Four Views on who Jesus is from the Book of Mark

Truthfully, we all have ideas of who Jesus is to us. Each person has an understanding of some sort. But is that idea truly based on scripture? Could be tainted a little by any incorrect mindsets?

1. Is He too familiar?

His Family saw him as an embarrassment.

Mark 3:21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

I live in the Bible belt. Recently, a new youth pastor started at our church. While he was preaching he made a comment about speaking to several people around town and all of them saying “I’m a Christian”. He said everyone he talked to was a professing Christian. Yet he made this point “if everyone was a Christian in this town, the churches would be full”.

In another scripture Jesus said

57, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

As humans we have a tendency to give less reverence to those to whom we become very familiar. The profession of faith doesn’t have works behind it. Many people are knowledgeable about Jesus but have little faith because they only think they “know” Jesus.

The truth is that if you really know Jesus your life will change.

If you really love Jesus you will not be embarrassed to talk about him and serve him.

2. Does Jesus measure up to your religion?

The pharisees had a problem with Jesus. He turned all their religion on its head. All their rules and traditions were in direct conflict with Jesus’ actions.

They chose not to accept him. Instead they accused him, blamed him and ignored his warnings.

Do you choose tradition and religion over Jesus? Does any of your thoughts or actions cause you to pick and choose parts of Jesus’ teaching but not take all of it?

3. Is Jesus only a man?

When you choose to believe that Jesus was a man but also more than just a man your life will forever be affected. That is when true devotion begins and His words become life. And more than life because His directives, commandments and words have power. They are not just words of a man but of God. They are not suggestions. And if they are of God then we must believe them and do what He says.

We must understand that He is also deity. The one and only son of God that died for the sins of every person.

John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.…

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We can’t pick and choose which words in the Bible we believe and live by we must equally believe and follow each one.

4. Does guilt cloud your view?

King Herod liked listening to John the Baptist. But King Herod never changed his ways and eventually beheaded John. He didn’t really want to do it. Read the story here.

Later, when King Herod heard about Jesus and all the miracles, he supposed it was John come back to life. He could not see who Jesus truly was and allow his life to be affected because of his guilt.

Many people don’t come to Jesus for similar reasons “I’m not good enough”, “When I get my life cleaned up then I will”, “I’ve done too many things to be forgiven”.

So who is He?

He died and came back to life. he did multitudes of miracles that could not be recorded there were so many. He is compassionate. He loves.

Jesus asked Peter “Who do you say I am?”

Peter responded “You are the Christ”.

That is way more than we understand from an American viewpoint.

That is saying so much. He is the Savior of the world. The son of God. The lamb of God. The Lion of Judah.

The centurion said “surely this is the Son of God”

At the transfiguration God said “This is my son. Listen to Him”.

 

Living by Faith-Part 4

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Acting on our faith is the true test.

That is the moment when we move from doubt to faith.

You can’t have faith without action.

The last three in this Faith series walked us through the steps of faith. First, we ask, then we believe, then doubt seems to always come next. But, we get to make a decision to continue in doubt or cross the bridge into action. Just as a runner must pick up one foot and take the first step so is the first step to action toward faith. You don’t know until you try.

Rom 8:6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that  comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

 

We have a choice to walk by the flesh (our own sense and reason that can be faulty and emotions that can be affected easily) or walk by the Spirit (God’s wisdom and statutes). That choice is what leads us from doubt to faith. God said “my ways are higher than your ways”. We cannot begin to understand life and all that is in it to the extent that God does. Our finite minds only  comprehend in part. The world’s wisdom is many times contrary to God’s knowledge and wisdom. God’s logic may not always make sense but he made everything and set the laws of the universe in motion. He can do whatever He wants. I would rather follow Him and His ways.

How to Act in Faith

1. What we say is important.

Faith can be shut down by what we say. Our speech has to line up with what we believe or what we really believe will come out.

2 Cor 4:13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,

What do you really believe? It is evidenced in your words. What do you speak?

“I can never get ahead, something always happens”

“Murphys law, story of my life”

” If I were better I could”

“I can’t do that”

Griping, complaining,and talking negative nullifies our faith. It squashes  it. Have you ever heard someone talk about a situation in their life and how they are believing for a miracle and then in the very next sentence complain, gripe and or even blame someone or themselves?

Disciplining your tongue is the first step in taking action and walking in faith.  What we say can cage us or set us free.

2. Speak what God says

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Power comes from God’s word because His word is spoken power and authority.

Find scriptures that speak to your circumstance and pray it and declare it.

3. What you say will determine what you do

Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I have heard people refer to the power of confession. What you continually profess will affect your actions, your thoughts and eventually where you go.

4. The tongue directs where you go

This list is pretty simple. It’s all about the tongue. Discipline your mouth and speak what God says and you are already walking in faith and in power.

As humans we don’t understand faith. I believe God knows that and gave us a practical guide to follow called the Bible. It is very clear and the wisdom is meant for us to study and use as our weapon in life to overcome things that weight us down, bind us or weaken us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word that is power and has all authority to break things that bind us, to loose power in our lives and to set us free. Thank you that you meet every need. Show us your wisdom. Lead us by your Spirit. Teach us your ways. Give us strength and wisdom to discipline our tongue. Amen.

 *adapted from Pastor Shane Warren from First Assembly of God, West Monroe, LA

You can get his entire series on faith from his website I highly recommend it.

http://firstassemblywm.org/author/pastorshane/

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.

 

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.

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