#1 Most Under-used Spiritual Weapon that you need right now

forgivenesThis is a weapon every Christian must use to fight the enemy of your soul. Not using it leaves you open to resentment, bitterness and anger that magnifies emotional scars and wounds. It divides and harms relationships.

Using this one weapon sets us free from the pain the enemy inflicts upon us. It is also a weapon of obedience.

It is a not-used-often-enough weapon. In fact, many don’t think of it as a weapon. A duty at most. But it is a weapon of mass destruction to the enemy’s camp. Satan fears this weapon more than you can imagine. It is part of a two-prong sword:  Forgiveness and repentance – go together to set us free from spiritual bondage in our life.

Forgiveness is key!

How does it work?

Jesus talked about forgiveness frequently. It’s in the “Lord’s Prayer”. It is the topic of many parables.

My favorite is in Luke 17.

Luke 17:4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord answered, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.…

Forgiveness is an act of faith that releases Jesus Christ’s healing and restoration to your life. Forgiveness means to let go, or release. When you do this you let go of the right for vindication and  judgement on the other person. You release that person and that situation into God’s capable hands. He takes on your cause. Then he gives you healing in your heart in return.

What happens if you don’t forgive?

bitterness

 

 

Choosing NOT to forgive is a seed. That seed of unforgiveness becomes like a root in your life. That seed grows and is fed with resentment and anger. Once it is fully grown it becomes a root of unforgiveness with branches that produce hurt, pain, bitterness, resentment, anger, judgement, etc. The fruit of a bitter root is poison to your relationships. Even people that were unattached to the situation or person are prey to that poison. It affects your thoughts about yourself and others. The Bible say s it “defiles many”.

You may not realize it. We push the painful memories way down, lock it away and throw away the key. It doesn’t stay forgotten and it doesn’t stay hidden. We just grow accustom to the pain. We justify the unforgiveness. We tell ourselves it’s just a part of life, or they don’t deserve to be forgiven, it was a long time ago, don’t be a wimp about it…. and many other excuses not to deal with it.

Truth is it takes an act of your free will and a declaration from your mouth to apply forgiveness and receive the benefits Jesus gave His life for. 

There’s a reason Jesus compared unforgiveness in Luke 17 to the roots of a Mulberry Tree. It has very deep roots.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience to our Heavenly Father. He commands us to forgive. Jesus gave us an example of how God feels about it when we don’t forgive in Matthew 18:21-35. Hint: he doesn’t like it.

32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In his anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed.…

How can we think we are better than anyone else in the entire world and history of mankind that we can ask for forgiveness of our sins and wrongs but hold sins and wrongs of another person against them?

It is not wise to think we should have that power. I’m glad God didn’t give me the power of who gets forgiveness and who doesn’t. This world would be even more messed up!!

So we know why it’s important, what it does and why we should do it. Now, HOW do you forgive?

It’s not complicated but 3 things are very important:

  1. Declare it out loud with your mouth
  2. Say it with faith in Jesus that He is the great forgiver and healer
  3. Listen to the Holy Spirit and receive what God wants to do in your life to heal you.

Great example of a Forgiveness prayer:

Heavenly Father, I choose of my own free will to forgive _______________(insert the person’s name) for hurting me by ________________(insert what the person did to you and it made you feel). I release and let it go to you. Holy Spirit come and heal my heart of all this pain and heal the pain in the memories. Come and tell me your truth about this situation. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Then Listen.

If you begin to have thoughts about another painful memory, that’s ok, it is God bringing up things that need forgiveness. Pray this prayer for each painful memory. That is God’s way of cleaning up the mess and yanking the bitter roots out.

If you are struggling to forgive read this previous post Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

Be blessed today as you go on your journey to living a forgiving lifestyle!

 

***BibleHub is my website of choice to look up Bible verses! All verses posted on this site come from here. Happy studying!

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

 

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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