Freedom Living is Possible-Part 2

freedomWhen life becomes too hard what do you do?

Family or relationship issues, drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, pride, anger…

Do we have to live with these issues?

Does anyone have answers for this?

Seems like more questions than answers. But there are answers. This blog seeks to help with those answers. At least to point you in the right direction.

This series is focused on the most overlooked, underutilized and most misunderstood ministry of Christ.

Deliverance

This is more than a topic. It is more than a ministry. It is a process. The entire Bible is one deliverance after another from Genesis to Revelation. Deliverance is for everyone. It starts when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ends when your life on earth is done. The church is hurting because these principles are not taught as completely anymore. The entire truth of what Jesus did through his life, death and resurrection has been watered down and lost over the years. But the truth is still there and Jesus does save, deliver and heal to this day. He does have all the answers.

The previous post in this series, Part 1, begins to define Deliverance and discuss some frequently misunderstood statements and questions.

Now, we will look at all the ways Jesus delivers us. There are so many. I realize I don’t know every method yet. But I have experienced many. I have studied many more.

  1. Sovereign Move of God

Some people with a life controlling issue like drugs might be completely delivered all at once from that addiction. It’s an awesome sight! I was witness to this recently when a lady who was addicted to drugs and alcohol was set free after one night during prayer service at revival.

Others have been delivered from anger issues. Some from love issues. They had difficulty receiving and feeling loved or loving others. After one moment with Christ all those issues are gone.

It would be wonderful if this sovereign move of God was the norm. Some things may come immediately but others must be a process. Never underestimate the process! It is a worthwhile journey creating in us the fruits of the Spirit.

  1. Power of Authority

Here’s an example: Let’s say a police officer walks into a retail store and a thief is there. That thief will immediately leave because of the authority of the police officer.

Now, not every demonic attack you are under will leave the moment you get saved or decide to undergo a deliverance session or submit to prayer. But many will.

Other times we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ and command the demonic oppression to leave. Either way, it’s all the authority of Christ.

  1. Power of Process

This is where you get to walk out what the Bible says by applying God’s truth to your life. Practical application.

This is an entire post on its own. Most of deliverance is this method. Key points for this:

  • Don’t walk it out alone. You need a godly friend, mentor, pastor, teacher, someone to confide in and keep in truthful contact with.
  • Daily reading of the Bible is necessary. God’s Word changes us from the inside out. It is not through our might or power but through the Spirit of God.
  • Deliverance sessions with a balanced and Biblical deliverance ministry is most helpful.
  • Apply God’s truth to your life and reject the lies of the enemy.
  • The truth will shine the light on the dark areas of your heart and you will be able to see your identity in Christ

Holy Spirit led deliverance ministry is the most effective and thorough method for this process. Deliverance ministers mix biblical counseling, Bible verse teaching, Bible truths and Holy Spirit led prayer to walk you through the process of becoming free from addictions, destructive behaviors and bitterness, anger or pride.

  1. Discipleship

Closely related to Process Deliverance, this is the spiritual process that will happen over time as you read God’s Word, attend church services, and hang around with godly people.

As you learn the principles taught and apply them you will see some measure of freedom in your life.

This is very important part of your walk to freedom and is a lifelong strategy for freedom.

      5. Holy Spirit

Whether you realize it or not the Holy Spirit is already at work in you. Even before you accept Jesus, He is speaking to you and teaching you. He is the great Teacher and Comforter.

I always say “You can’t be someone’s Holy Spirit”. That means that you cannot change anyone. You cannot nag your spouse into changing anything. We can’t even change ourselves usually. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit. For any effectual deliverance He is involved in every step.

      6. Prayers of Intercession

There was a lady (call her Joan), that was so severely affected by the demonic that she was put into a psychiatric hospital. Her friends were godly women and decided to meet on a regular basis to intercede for Joan. They did this for several months. One day, the hospital decided that she was well enough she could go home for a short visit. During that time the women continued to pray. By the time she went back her demeanor had so completely changed that the hospital workers did not recognize her. A few days later she was dismissed from the hospital.

Prayer really can change things. I don’t understand how a prayer can affect the spiritual world so much but the Bible teaches it and its truth.

      7. Bible Based Counseling

Any other type of counseling might help but only God’s Word can set you free completely and totally.

Some measure of freedom can be reached through counseling. Sometimes you need a one on one session to see your problems as they really are.

      8. The Bible

This is not just a collection of stories or a history book. This is living Word of God for us that transforms lives, heals, and directs.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

This cannot be an exhaustive list. God is bigger than we can imagine and I’m sure HE has multiple ways to set people free. In fact, He doesn’t just use ONE method, He uses many over our lifetime. The end result is the same…FREEDOM!

 

A good deliverance ministry uses many methods to reach the end result of deliverance. But it is up to the individual to continue to apply the truths taught in practical application to their lives.

Ask the Lord to show you if you have an area of your life that still requires HIS freedom.

Here’s some resources:

Wellsprings Ministries

International Society of Deliverance Ministers

 

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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.

 

 

The Great Awakening

azusastreet

Go listen to this:

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/resistance-persistence-and-breakthrough

I haven’t posted in a long time. A bit of a sabbatical, I guess.

But I am stirred today by His Spirit.

My daughter called me a couple of days ago and said that she and a pastor friend want to go to the Azusa street ….something or other….you know how parents can half listen and assume at the same time?? Yes, terrible of me to admit, I know.

I was both excited and dismayed my daughter wanted to go. Excited because my prayer and dream is for an “Azusa Street” like revival to come again. I read the books. I pray all the time for it.

Dismayed…well, those plane tickets are really expensive.

Today, just like any other day, I slept too long pushing snooze. Did manage to make it to the gym. And at the gym, listen to a Bethel Church podcast. I love Bill Johnson’s preaching! It was the podcast linked above. Please listen. After that I chose another podcast. Just happened to be Beni Johnson.

I started crying.

Then praying. I am stirred to my very core. I cannot stop! Every part of my being is crying out for more of GOD, more of HIS Spirit! Just MORE God!

I must fast. I must pray. I must get as many people to that place on April 9th as I can. 

So, here it is. My plea for you to join me in prayer and fasting for this event. I believe God is pouring our His Spirit on all flesh. This is just the beginning. WE  are living in an exciting time in history.

I pray you are stirred today and feel HIS presence where you are while you read this and will be drawn to HIM and cry out for MORE!

 

Living by Faith Part 3-Doubt

covered bridgeNo one is above the effects of doubt. It happens to everyone.

It seems just as we are going strong in faith, boom, it happens-hit square in the eye with none other than doubt. You can beat yourself up for doubting or it can be a catapult to your faith to send you flying through to action. But that is just it, it’s a choice to get past doubt.

The same way you make a choice to get out of bed in the morning. The same way you choose to put on shoes. It’s a choice. You can let doubt sit there and weigh it out or you can move past doubt into action.

Legends of Faith Still Doubt

If you struggle with doubt you are in good company. Great faith and little faith can exist in the same person.

Elijah did. After he called down fire from heaven that completely lapped up the sacrifice and the water around the altar. He ran away from Jezebel afraid for his life.

1 Kings 19:3 And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 

Peter did. After Jesus was taken, Peter denied knowing Jesus.

John 18:25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” 26One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Just two examples of great men of faith who struggled with doubt. The key is to not let that be the end. Keep going. Keep praying. Keep moving past that bridge of doubt till you get to the other side.

Doubt wasn’t the end of the story

Acts 2:29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

Here Peter preached to thousands of people. In front of everyone including some of the people, I’m sure, heard him speaking about Jesus, even those that heard him deny knowing Jesus. His faith was strengthened and he made a decision to move on.

Don’t get down and out because you doubt. Consider doubt as a challenge to your faith that allows you to excerise your faith and make it stronger. Now you can make that choice to keep believing.

Why do we believe that God created the world with His Word but we struggle to believe His Word where it says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” or “I am the head and not the tail” or that “I am blessed”.

It’s all true.

There is nothing in God’s word that is not true…including the part about what God will do for you, His love for you, what He will do through you or the work He has equipped you to do.

The question is…IS your faith in the faithful One? God is faithful. He does not change. He does not waver. When your faith may seem week remember WHO your faith is in.

Heavenly Father, thank you that your Word is true forever. Thank you that you are increasing the faith of those as they read this post. Thank you that you are revealing truth to their hearts and speaking wisdom to them in their current situation. Father, bless everyone that reads this post. Give them revelation of your presence and your amazing love. Touch the hearts of the people. You said ask for faith, we are asking for greater faith. We are asking for more of you in our lives. More of your presence and more of your love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Living By Faith-Part 2

miracles still happenFaith does not ignore facts. Faith is a choice to believe that what God says is more true than any doctor report, financial statement, or emotion.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

Faith faces the facts head on but still knows that God is on the throne and able and willing to meet every need. Believing is the stage after asking that we verbally declare our faith.

Believing is a choice. The key is – who is the subject of your belief. You believe everyday. When you sit in a chair you had faith the chair would hold you. When you flipped the light switch you had faith the light would turn on. The subject of your belief- who or what- you believe in is the key. I choose to put my faith in the one that created the universe and everything in it. I don’t place my faith in the stars but the one who created the stars.

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

2. Believe-

Sometimes this is the hard part. The more you read the Bible and hang out with other believers and hear testimonies of the great things God has done, your faith will be strengthened. You will find it easier to “believe”. I found that reading books about the life of missionaries is very helpful. In Part 1 I shared such a book by Huldah Buntain.

It’s time we take God out of the box we place Him in – we believe he can ONLY do this or that…only the things we can imagine or have heard. Start believing for great things. God is bigger than our imaginations.

Mark 9:23 (GW)  Jesus said to him, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.”

Mark 11:23-24 (GW)  I can guarantee this truth: This is what will be done for someone who doesn’t doubt but believes what he says will happen: He can say to this mountain, ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will be done for him. 24  That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.

Faith is a choice just like love is a choice. You choose to believe. If you wait on emotions and feelings to catapult you into great faith you may never see miracles. But if you choose to believe and then begin to walk it out, you just released faith in your life.

Practical Application

1. Find scriptures in the Bible that speak to your situation. If you need healing find scriptures on that. If you need peace find scriptures on peace.

2. Place your name in that scripture and pray it over you (or a person or situation).

Psalms 103:2 Praise the Lord, my soul,and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

Now make it personal….

Praise the Lord, my soul, I will not forget his benefits. Lord you forgive all my sin and heal my diseases.

I pray Psalms 91 over myself or my fiends or family all the time.

This is a powerful scripture (actually, all of them are)

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”and you make the Most High your dwelling,10 no harm will overtake (me) you,no disaster will come near (my) your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning (me) you to guard (me) you in all (my) your ways; 12 they will lift (me) you up in their hands, so that (I) you will not strike (my) your foot against a stone. 13 (I) You will  tread on the lion and the cobra; (I) you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

(Psalms 41:3 is a good  scripture on healing also)

3. Pray scriptures over your situation as often as you think about it. When you worry or feel anxious, pray those scriptures. This is how you stand in faith…believing. This is how you combat fear, worry or anxiety. Keep renewing your mind in the Word of God by praying the scriptures.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the measure of faith. Guide me to scriptures that I need. Make your Word come alive to me and show me how to apply to my life. Give me wisdom how to apply your Word and live by it. In Jesus Name, Amen.

For Women Only

We can learn a lot about being a good wife by looking at what NOT to do by some of the “Bad Girls” of the Bible. 

The Bible is living, alive and sharp. Any situation you will encounter…I guarantee there is something useful in the Bible about it.

Today, I want to talk about Delilah and Samson. This is a great story of love and betrayal. Then read on as I link this to how we can be in our marriages.

Judges 16:4-20 story of Samson and Delilah.

Verse 4: Some time later, he fellin love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah…

The Rulers of the Philistines hated Samson because he had killed so many of their people. The Israelites and Phillistines were always at odds with each other and hated each other.

Samson had long hair because God told his parents that he would be set apart as a Nazirite and must not cut his hair. He was stronger than any other man. He had supernatural strength given by God. He used that strength to fight the Philistines.

When the Philistines found out that Samson was in love with Delilah they went to her to make a deal. “We will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver”  (the equivalent of 275 slaves, a very large amount) (Jesus was betrayed by Judas for just 30 pieces of silver) to find out the source of his great strength. She must not have had a reputation for honesty and purity.

She said yes. She then began to question Samson about his strength. “if you love me you will tell me…” was the line she used. The first time he told her to bind him with seven fresh thongs. She did it while he was sleeping and woke him up saying “the philistines are upon you!”. Samson broke the thongs easily. He didn’t tell her the truth. He did this several more times and each time she would bind him in whatever way he said. The same way she would wake him up with Philistine leaders hidden in the room ready to take him away. After much pleading Samson finally told her the truth. That his hair has never been shaven and he cannot cut his hair. She shaved his head and sure enough, when she woke him up his strength had left him. The Philistines bound him and gouged his eyes. (This is the short version.)

This is a popular story. But I want to look at it from a different point of view…that of a wife.

If you look at this from a marriage perspective, what can we learn? How does this story apply to our relationships with our husband?

Story: 2 very close friends meet for lunch. Their conversation almost always ends up at the subject of their husbands. Each tells the other something stupid or silly or just plain aggravating her husband did this week. The complaints take center stage of the topics. Each lady believes this time of discussing the topic of husbands is just “girl talk”. Harmless talk about your husband is just a way that we women bond. Right?

Proverbs 31: 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.12  She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

Ask yourself:

Can my husband truly trust in me?

Do I share any of his secrets?

Do I honor him everywhere I go and with everyone I talk to?

Have you ever thought about how you talk about your husband to your girlfriends, mother or sisters?

Did you ever consider if you honor your husband with your words?

Have you ever made fun of him in front of his friends or family? Or your friends and family and her knew about it? Even if it was just “harmless” teasing or sarcasm?

A.      Venting

It’s easy to vent to other wives. And especially to women who are not married to “warn” them what marriage is really like.

In the book “Marriage on the Rock” it talks about not talking about your husband to your family. Your family will always take your side. They are YOUR family. Even though your mother or sister may understand, they will always have a tainted view of your husband. This serves no purpose in your marriage other than your need to vent. However, a selfish act of venting has just dishonored your husband.

Yes, venting is selfish. We all do it. It makes US feel better. It doesn’t help any situation we feel is bad or unfair. It doesn’t make anything any better. It serves no other purpose except for us to tell our frustrations to someone who will listen, probably reassure us how bad we have it but it will get better. If we are not careful who we vent to our friend may just say divorce is the best option “why don’t you just leave him?”

We say we need to vent because we are women. We talk it out. Talking out loud sometimes helps me think through problems. However, be careful who you talk to.

Honor your husband with your words. You dishonor your husband when you talk about him behind his back. How would you feel if he talked about you? Maybe he has. But that doesn’t mean we return sin for sin. Dishonoring our husbands is sin. We talked a few weeks ago about love. Love does will treat others the way you want to be treated. You want to be honored. You don’t want your faults and failures to be discussed and flaunted. Even if your husband dishonors you in this way you must rise above that and not do it to him.

B.      Do I build up or tear down?

1 Thessalonians  5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

“Be a safe place for your man to fall. When the entire world seems like it is out to get him, he’’ll home running home to you!” The Respect Dare, Nina Roesner

The story in the Respect Dare says:

Time walked in and set his computer backpack next to the table. Without saying a word, he hung up his coat and sat down in his easy chair with newspaper. He usually greeted his wife, Maxine, as she prepared dinner, but tonight the energy required for niceties and human connection completely escaped him.

Maxine, hearing him arrive and wondering where he was, came around the corner, wiping her hands on a dish towel.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.

For a moment, he simply sat and stared at her. Later she found out that this moment lasted so long because an internal war waged within his mind. He experiences in letter her know his frustration in the past frequently ended up badly. She took things personally even thought they seldom had anything to do with her. So he sat and looked at her, debating whether or not to open up and confide in his wife.

Finally, he spoke. “things are ad with the business. I had to lay off six of our team today—all of them have been with me since we started the company. They understood, but I still feel bad about it. Financially, I’m uncertain as to how we’re going to get through the next three months, even after laying people off.”

Now it was her turn to start at him. After a moment, she spoke. “Wow. I didn’t know things were that bad. You’ve always taken good care of us, though, honey. We’ll get through this too. Do you want to talk about it?”

Gone were the insinuations of his lack of managerial skills, and this time there were no cutting remarks about his ineptness at dealing with people. Her tone was kind, gently, and compassionate. He took a risk and poured his heart out to her, and all she did  was listen. He found it a complete relief and sensed that, somewhere along the line, a burden had been lifted.

Maxine felt privileged to sit and listen to her husband’s troubles. Her entire goal for the day was not to be critical, to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. While she now had some concerns about their financial situation , she realized that her husband was fully capable of dealing with it and that, if he needed her assistance, he would ask. In the meantime, she would simply trust God and not worry about whether they would be taken care of  or not. Later, her husband told her that this conversations was a real turning point in their marriage—one that paved the way for deeper intimacy and greater trust between them.

Think about recent times when your husband may have tried to confide in you about something. How did you respond?

Were you trusting of his ability to handle it? Did you criticize him? Were you critical of him?

How do you think he feels about telling you when he fails at something?

C.      Be supportive

In the book “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldman—she shares insights from men. 84% of men feel uncertain about themselves at work. Some said “I’m always being judged”

Men admitted that they frequently feel insecure, uncertain and vulnerable. Imagine if your man feels this way frequently but always acts like he has it all together and knows everything.

Be careful to always be supportive and reassure him how much confidence you have in his ability. Be specific about things he does well. Ex: he is smart, he is creative, he is good at solving problems.

Don’t just tell him what he is not good at. Chances are he beats himself up about those things.

Create a safe haven in your home that he knows when everything else goes wrong that you will always have his back.

Prayer:

Father, forgive me for every time I have dishonored my husband with my words. Forgive me for talking about my husband’s faults to my friends and family. Lord, help me to watch my words. Help me to build my husband up and not tear him down. I ask your Holy Spirit to show me my ways that are not pleasing to you or honoring to my husband. Lord, help me to talk to you about my problems and not other people. Give me wisdom when I talk to my husband. Help me keep my mouth closed when I shouldn’t say things. Help me to be a helper to my husband and for him to trust safely in me. Help me to forgive him for times in the past that he did not honor me or did not build me up. I forgive him for each time. I choose not to hold that against him. Since I look to you for my joy, peace and identity, I know that when I can’t depend on someone else to build me up I still know that you are always there and what you think of me and that you give me strength, security and confidence. Help me to be that for my husband whether he can do the same for me or not.

Lesson: Identity

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Where do you find your identity? Some people find it in their children, work or being a wife /husband, a Christian. Some are not sure at all how to identify themselves.

When someone asks who you are what do you say?

Most people will say “I am a mom, I am dad, I am a husband/wife, I am a Christian, I work at >>>”. But who are you really? Getting deeper into how they really see themselves: they will say “I am kind, I am hardworking, I am a control freak, I am shy, I am …”.

Where does your “worth” come from?

Many people measure their worth from what people say about them. They repeat what others have said since childhood. These statements become who they are, what they think about themselves. How they measure their worth is how much worth or value someone else attached to them.

Do you feel important? To whom? The worth and value that was assigned while growing up then makes a person feel important or not important. We all have that one person (a grandma or grandpa or aunt/uncle/brother/sister) that made us feel important and valuable. They were glad to see you and said good things about you. You then believed you had worth/value. Does that mean you only have value that someone else assigns to you? “one mans trash is another man’s treasure?” And the best you could hope for is someone to not think you’re trash?

If your life changed drastically and you lost a part of how you identify yourself, how would you handle it?

Many people in ministry identify themselves by their ministry. I am the praise/worship leader. I am a teacher. Some women identify as a mom. A woman may identify herself as a wife. What happens when that identity ends? You are not the teacher anymore. Your children move out. Your husband dies or leaves? That sends many people into depression and great anxiety. Post-partum depression- loss of freedom and how you identified yourself your entire life and fear of being a good mother.

Do you think you are beautiful? Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (Unilever) “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs” (2006) and “Real Truth About Beauty” (2005) global studies:
92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest.

75% of teenage girls felt ‘depressed, guilty and shameful’ after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.

70% of girls ages 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion “due to feeling badly about one’s looks.”

61% of all women and 69 % of girls (15 to 17) feel that their mother has had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.

25%of women would consider undergoing plastic surgery.

While only 19% of teenage girls are “overweight,” 67% think they “need to lose weight” (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)

• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
Do you think you are important? Can you actually say “I am important and I am valuable”? Does saying that bring to mind at least one person that thinks you are valuable? Would you still feel valuable if that person was not in your life?

What would you change about your appearance? Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

55 percent of women had abusive thoughts about their overall weight or size; 43 percent said they targeted specific areas (the most berated: belly and thighs).
Women are constantly bombarded with images and descriptions of what our identity is “supposed “ to be in modern culture. (Skinny, Barbie Dolls. Superwoman.)

What image do you buy into? (What image comes to mind?)

You can’t buy into the image and identity the world sets for you. You will be depressed, anxious, worried, & feel inferior. If you compare yourself to celebrities or magazines or the seemingly superwoman down the street, you will find that you are comparing yourself to an incomplete viewpoint. Nearly one in four women ages 50-64 were found to be on an antidepressant, with 13 percent of the overall population also on antidepressants. (Source: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=173763#sthash.ViQ8BDPf.dpuf) Personally, I think the number is way more than that. People who claim to be depressed but may not have prescriptions for medication.

God did not intend for you to compare yourself to others. He did not intend for you to compare yourself to any standard other than the Bible. The Word of God is the standard by which we should all measure ourselves. In fact, no other standard will do.

Who does God say you are?

What does God say of your abilities?

What does God say of your worth?

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

1 Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Ephesians 4:22-24

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 8:14-15

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Isaiah 43:1

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

John 1:12

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Psalm 139:14

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Isaiah 64:8

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

We are created in God’s image. We have the ability to think, feel, choose, and love. Eph 5:1 says “Therefore be imitators of God”. James reminds us that we should speak to all people with honor and respect. “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God (James 3:8-9)

Do I treat others in such a way that it honors God? Do I treat myself in such a way that it honors God?

Do I see what God sees when I look in the mirror?

 

We rely on so many other sources for measuring our worth. If our man loves us. If he thinks we are beautiful. What if we only relied on God’s opinion of us and no one else?

Challenge:

This week, to practically apply this Word of God.

  1. By taking every thought captive that is does not line up with what God says about me. I do this by immediately examining the thought, compare it to scripture and if it does not line up with what God says then I speak either out loud or to myself what God’s word says and I choose to believe it.
  2. By meditating on what God say I am. The more you read it and absorb it into your spirit the more the Word of God will renew your mind. Memorize key scriptures that speak to you.
  3. Pray the Word. Put your name in the scripture and pray it over you. You can also pray this way over your children and husband.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I repent for believing all other opinions about me rather than your opinion. Only your opinion really matters. What you say about my worth, my skill, my talent, my purpose is more important than what anyone else has ever said about me or will ever say. I believe your Word and what it says about me. I will not believe lies of the enemy any longer. I will not rely on other people to give me my worth. I believe that I am more than a conqueror. I am your daughter, loved and accepted. You chose me even if no one else will. I freely give to you all my past hurts, feelings of worthlessness and feelings of inferiority. I forgive anyone in the past for hurtful things that have been said that caused me to believe bad things about myself. I repent for comparing myself to someone else and I will now look to your Word for truth. Send your Holy Spirit to help me and guide me to your truth. Use your Word to light my path to better understanding of your love and acceptance for me.

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Lesson: Why Don’t I Feel Loved?

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A. Sometimes people have trouble receiving love. They don’t feel love or loved. Many reasons can lead to this. 

1. Feeling unworthy or inferior can lead to feeling unloved or un-loveable.

If you don’t value yourself or even like yourself you may find it hard that someone else would love you. So you have difficulty receiving (feeling) love. You think you are not worth love from another person. You think the best you can hope for is leftovers.

2. Sometimes it’s because there was no example of agape love while growing up. So there is no point of reference.

People who are raised in an unloving, un-nurturing environment have no example of true love. If you have never seen it at work then it’s difficult to recognize it. You may have a wrong definition of what love is.

3. Some people don’t love themselves or accept themselves. They don’t realize their worth and significance. Mark 12:31

B. Past experiences and past relationships help to shape our ideas of love. What experiences in your life taught you what love is? Does that love match the kind of love described in 1 Cor 13?

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There may be experiences in your past that trigger certain emotions. When someone in your life today says or does something that triggers an experience from the past. You will often have the same emotions from the past arise within you again. Even if the person does not intend to hurt you it’s easy to take it that way because someone from your past did hurt you.

The way to overcome this is to identify where it started. Forgive that person (or yourself if necessary).

What are your reference points for love?

It’s shown by how you give and receive love.

Are they healthy?

C. Sometimes we don’t recognize love from someone because it is given in a way that we are not programmed to receive it.

“The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman gives great examples of how people respond to the action of love in different ways.
Understanding the 5 love languages can help you identify when someone is showing you love. Many times we miss it because it’s shown in a way that we “receive” love or “give love”.

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Identify the one or more that make sense to you. Now identify one or more ways to show love to someone special in your life. Give love to them in the way they will receive it. Sometimes that is a sacrifice but it is worth it to make that person feel special and loved.

*Is love a feeling or a choice?

It is a choice. It is not that “butterfly feeling” portrayed in Disney movies. Romantic books and movies have romanticized love in such a way that no one can ever measure up to that kind of love. It is unrealistic and does not line up with God’s truth about what love is.

Ask God to show you what love is. Ask Him to show you any ways that you are not receiving love–either His love or love from your spouse, children, etc.

Ask God overflow your heart with His love. He will.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your perfect love. Help me to receive love. Open my heart to be open to love. I allow your Holy Spirit to show me places in my heart that do not allow love to penetrate. I give you all these feelings of rejection, of misunderstanding and of unworthiness. I give it all to you. Instead, work in my heart your acceptance, and forgiveness. Open my heart to how worthy I am to you. How important I am to you. Most of all, I want to feel your love, abounding in my heart and overflowing. So that I may show love to others. Not just the imperfect love of earth but of your heavenly love that you shed abundantly for us.
I forgive people in my life that have hurt me in the past. I ask forgiveness for not believing your love and not showing love because of past sins and unforgiveness. I ask that you begin to show me a more perfect way-your way and not my way.

Letting Go

rockMy nephew stays with us sometimes. He is nine years old and a very clever, smart, little boy. I take him to ride bikes at a nearby park or for a walk or to the lake and he always finds something he wants to take home with him. It’s always a rock or a shell…sometimes it’s a bug.

Recently, we were riding bikes at a nearby park. It was the first time I took him on a long bike ride. He wanted to pack toys and a net to catch fish at the creek. I explained to him that it will become tiresome to carry all those things around as you ride a bike. He reluctantly decided to leave all the stuff at home.
However, that did not stop him from finding cool little treasures while on the bike ride. At a rest stop he combed the ground for tiny treasures. He found “gold” or what he called a crystal rock. It glistened in the sun and he determined that he must carry it home. He did not have pockets so he held it in his hand.
If you have ever tried to ride a bike uphill with one hand you would know how difficult it was for this little boy to steer his bike with one hand and hang onto that rock in the other. He tried with all his might to steer forward. But, the bike wheel could not stay straight without both hands. Just when he would get the handlebars straight he would have to stop and place the rock in the other hand. He struggled for some time before I finally put it in my pocket.

This story made me think about how many things we hang onto that steer us in the wrong direction or do not allow God to steer us in the right direction.
We tie God’s hands. He does direct us but we cannot follow, heed or listen to His direction because we refuse to let go of some ungodly thing.
This may be a habit, a mind-set, a sin, or an attitde.
Why don’t we let go?
1. Could be important to us. Sometimes a mind set is important because we have not yet dealt with whether it is wrong or right. It belongs to our sense of self and therefore must stay.
2. It is comfortable. In some way we believe we might “lose” something if we give it up.
3. We don’t realize it’s there. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. What may be apparent to “outsiders looking in” is not seen by those of us too close to the situation.
How to let go?
1. Self-awareness is a start. To know that you are carrying that rock in your hand and it is not good. Although it is not always a strength for everyone at all times. Even those of us that think we are very self aware may not realize some tendancies, habits, attitudes or sin.
2. Honesty with ourselves. Sometimes we don’t want to admit our shortcomings. Sometimes they stem from painful situations in our past that we don’t want to deal with.
3. Ask yourself “WHY don’t I want to let go?”. The answer may surprise you.

Is the rock more important than the ride?
My nephew had to make a choice: put down the rock and enjoy the riding or hold onto it and struggle barely moving forward.
Life is the ride. Is the rock preventing you from doing, becoming what God wants? Does it prevent growth spiritually or personally? Does it hinder obedience to God? Does it prevent you from moving forward in your relationship or walk with God?

How many times have I been stuck in a season of my life and prayed for God to deliver me. What seemed like forever wallowing in self pity or reading and praying would finally lead me to realize there was something in my heart that needed to be healed. Many times I needed to let go of something that I clinged to that was not good for me. I seemed to walk in the desert aimlessly holding onto a rock that was slowing down my journey.

Phil 3:13-15 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

1. Repent for hanging onto things that are displeasing to God or hinder his work in your life.
2. Forgive yourself
3. Ask God to reveal things in your life that you do not need to hold onto anymore.
4. Take action…let it go…stop doing it with His help of course you can let it go.

Jesus came to Church?

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I was visiting tonight with a friend. Our conversation turned to church (as it normally seems to in my house). We discussed what church is like. She complained about falling asleep in church. I laughed, I think that is so true. (She tells the truth bluntly and unashamedly–as we all should.)

Except, when I was growing up there was no falling asleep when my Dad preached. He was very lively. His voice would rise and fall as his passion for God’s word streamed from his lips. Occasionally, he would slap the pulpit, waking everybody up, as if they were sleeping to begin with.

Why do our churches sleep? Not just the ones nodding off during the sermon. But the hearts of the people, going through the motions, as if God is not even real?

But HE is REAL

What if Jesus was at church Sunday morning in service? Would it be any different?
I can picture people mingling in toward the double doors to find their seat (as if it was labeled with their name). They gaze forward, only to catch a glimpse of a radiant white robe. Staring, they realize this dark headed man has nail holes in his hands and feet. They realize this man is Jesus!
In quiet conviction some retreat back through the open doors.
Some of the more holy, quit wispering in the pews about sister so and so and her teenage boy. Silence strickens them as they bow their heads and pretend to pray. Others, whose faces reveal a look of disbelief,search out the pastor to inquire about todays festivities. “What entertainment could the youth group have in store for us today?” they ask.

How would the service be like?

Would behavior be reserved, in holy reverance, with each pew sitter with straight backs looking straight ahead with no thought or mention of what the neighbor in the next pew is doing? Would notes be passed around the young people’s group? Would everyone sing along to the chosen songs with gripe or complaint?
Would the order of service be as normal? Pray, Sing, Pray, Offering, Preach…and in some churches…pray again?

Would I act any different than I normally do?

I can almost imagine the scene. But one thing I know for sure…The Glory of God would fill that auditorium. The tangible presence of my God and King, indescribable, peaceful and joyful all at the same time. Undeniable presence of the Holy Spirit.
It would not be quiet!
David danced before the Lord.
Trumpets, tamborines, harps all played music loudly for the Lord.
People shouted in triumph.
Acts 2:6 Outsiders heard a loud sound and came running. They heard praising and worshipping in different languages. They thought the people were drunk!

All this does not sound common in today’s churches. We are more civilized and proper.
Or, have we just came so far away from what God intended…to a non-real life of a Christian pew sitter? Go through the motions like a good little girl. Tradition says we must. Mother says I must. My friends will be there.

Is there more than this?
Yes, I am here to proclaim to you the gospel of Christ. Everywhere Jesus went multitudes swarmed him. They pressed in through the crowds just to see him. Many searched hard to find him so themselves or a loved one could be healed. Demons fled in terror. Hearts were mended. Minds were quieted from doubt and fears.
Real love abounded from him as if you could soak it up like a sponge. Forgiveness and reconciliation were given. Restoration was eminent.

Have our hearts grown cold and calloused?
Unable to feel the tangible presence of God? Unable to feel love? Unable to give it freely? Do we even recognize it anymore?
What is love anyway?
It’s not in the gossip or the back stabbing. It’s not in the harsh looks or the judgement. It’s not in the selfishness. Love is not in the note passing or the penciled in “I love you” from the desperate teenager.
Love is allowing God fill your heart with forgiveness, patience, understanding, and mercy to overflowing capacity that if flows out of our very being into our actions and our words out to others. It reconciles the family, the friend.

Has “Church” been reduced to pretty singing, organ playing, and stirring sermons, at best?

I refuse to think that is what God intended. I read the New Testament and see a live, thriving, loving church where miracles were an everyday occurence. People served each other unselfishly. Helped the poor, visited the sick, clothed the naked and fed the starving.
Early church goers were so full of Jesus that it didn’t just show 1 day a week or maybe even Wednesday. It was everyday in their homes, at work and on the streets. When they arrived at the scheduled place of meeting (church) they were so prayed up, studied in the Word that God just seemed to pour out of them onto any needy, hurting soul within earshot.

Acts 2:17 NIV “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all pepole. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”

This is a promise from Jesus himself to anyone who believes in him.

John 14:12 NLT “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

And He never changes

Hebrews 13:8 NIV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

This is what He does…

Luke 4:18 NIV “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,

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Prayer:

Heavenly Father, renew the sight of your people to see who you really are as the God and Creator of all things. As real and available. Take off the blinders that hinder the truth. Set your light to shine in the darkness of every unholy place of our hearts. Reveal your love to us. Help us find the REAL church that you ordained to heal the sick, proclaim your goodness and share your love with the world. A place of healing for the wounded hearts and deliverance for the bound up soul.
Set your churches free to serve you without hindrance or reservation. In freedom and in spirit and in truth. Reveal the truth to the leaders. Cleanse our hearts from unholy things. Take out our hardened hearts and replace with one on fire and passionate for you. Give us the ability to dance before you as David danced so we can say “I will be even more undignified then this!” in the presence of my King..to serve and worship HIM without selfish desires.
We seek you with our whole hearts. Show us your REAL! Not just a figment to talk about on Sundays. But to KNOW you.
In Jesus Name! I pray for all the people that read this to be stirred. I pray for all the churches that proclaim your name to be free. I proclaim that freedom now. Send your Warring angels to fight for your churches, for your people, for the bound up in chains, for the addicted, for the hurting. Demons must flee at the mention of your name in faith. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Akiane Kramarik – A Child Prodigy painted this picture of Jesus.

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