#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!

Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

imsorryYou may be hurting because of what someone did to you and there is no way that person will ever apologize. Maybe that person died. Maybe that person is long gone from your life and for good reasons. Maybe it’s best you never hear from that person again. Maybe a heartfelt conversation is impossible.

What do you do when you they will never say “I’m sorry I hurt you”?

An apology has such power to begin the healing process in your heart and mind. However, when it’s not possible what do you do?

Have you every heard this? or thought this?

“When he/she apologizes I will forgive.”

Does that mean you can never move past this hurt and pain?

No. You can move past this hurt and pain. It is possible.

  1. Why do we need to forgive?

You must first know why it is so important to forgive. Read this Why should you forgive someone that hurt you

Basically, NOT forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the person to die.

Unforgiveness only hurts you. It has been proven that it can cause physical illness and emotional distress. It binds you to that person emotionally and chains you to those traumatic memories.

Forgiveness releases you from those chains. It begins a healing inside you.

Forgiveness is for you NOT the other person.

2. Do you need an apology?

As much as an apology is nice. And it’s great when it’s possible but sometimes it’s just not possible. Sometimes it causes more pain.

Consider this…

If seeing or hearing from that person will open up more wounds or cause new wounds don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will put you in danger-  don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will cause pain to the OTHER person – don’t do it.

 

An apology is not necessary.

3. You may be wondering by now, then HOW do you forgive without an apology.

There are many ways. I’m a believer in doing something with your hands and your heart when the pain is deep and traumatic.

Here’s some ideas…

Write a letter to the other person. Don’t mail it. Burn it or share it with a trusted relative, friend or counselor. If you have never told anyone about what hurt you DO IT!

For visual people or artsy people, Draw how it made you feel. Again, burn it or share it, or both.

Whether you choose one of these ideas or find one on your own the next step is critical.

You must actually forgive. Say it out loud and mean it. Even if it’s hard.

Remember, you are NOT condoning behavior by forgiving. You are releasing yourself from the link between that person and you.

Time is not a healer. As anyone that has every been wounded deeply knows the pain doesn’t go away with time. At best you learn to live with the daily onslaught of negative thoughts, harmful memories and hardened heart towards others. Actually, time only creates an incubator. Unforgiveness left to fester and grow into resentment and bitterness.

Hebrews 12:15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

A root of bitterness is not hard to detect when you know what to look for. It affects relationships, your ability to relate to others in a healthy way, it affects your thoughts and emotions. You will hear it in how you talk. You will feel it in the way you react to others and at your job. Many stress and anxiety disorders come from bitterness left untouched and festering. Like a sore left to heal on it’s own, it becomes infected.

Forgiveness is not dependent on the other person. It is your choice. It literally means ‘to let go’.

Are you ready to let go?

Here’s a simple but powerful prayer…

Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive _____________ (enter name) for ______________________(enter what that person did) that made me feel ___________(enter how it made you feel: lost, abandoned, scared, physically hurt, emotionally hurt, etc. Say it all, get it all out). 

I purpose and choose to forgive ____________(name) of my own free will. I let it go and give it to you. Father, I ask you to heal my heart. Heal all memories of this incident so they will not play over and over and cause me pain. Heal my emotions as related to this incident. Fill me with your love and peace. 

I ask you to show me any false belief systems I created based on this incident or this person. And tell me your truth about this. Amen. 

Now, sit quietly and listen for the voice of the Heavenly Father speak to your heart. You may feel peace. You may feel love. He speaks in so many various ways. Just let him heal your heart. Crying is healing.

If you think of another memory that causes pain. Forgive again. Forgive for each individual memory until all the pain begins to go away and you begin to feel free. I promise it is possible to be free from the pain and only God can heal the wounds. Not time, not hurting the other person. Only God.

 

 

 

Why should you forgive someone that hurt you?

poison 2

I once heard a quote “not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

Those words are truer than you realize. Unforgiveness turns into resentment and grows into bitterness. It affects you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is like poison. Unforgiveness toward one person or incident will affect your decisions, how you see yourself, and your relationships with others over your lifetime.

Forgiveness is Biblical. But secular scientists are discovering that illnesses and diseases can be caused or made worse by unforgiveness.

Most people choose NOT to forgive because they have a misunderstanding of what it is.

So what is Forgiveness?

It is an act of your will. Your choice. It is not a feeling. You must say “I forgive…” from your mouth and from your heart. Even when it is hard it must be said out loud.

Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus teaches us how to pray. The following verse is a key verse to our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Matthew 6:12 (NLT) “…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us”

In the very next verse 13 He says “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” These two verses are connected. If you forgive you are also delivered from the “evil one” Satan, the accuser, that comes to steal, kill and destroy.

When you forgive you apply the blood of Jesus to your wounds, emotionally and spiritually. That blood of Jesus has the power to set you free from all power the enemy may try to plant bitterness in your heart.

Unforgiveness chains you to the one that hurt you. Forgiveness breaks those chains.

It is an act of obedience to God

God shows mercy to us. We must in turn show mercy. No one deserves mercy. We do not forgive because someone deserves it. It is not for us to decide who deserves mercy. It is simply for us to obey God and His commands to forgive every time and to every person. Let Him take care of the rest. When you walk in obedience you will walk in so much more freedom. Carrying around unforgiveness weighs YOU down. It doesn’t hurt anyone else but you.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.

When you forgive someone that hurt you Jesus breaks those chains that bind you to that person spiritually. You lay the situation as His feet and He begins the healing process for you. He is the one that Judges, and will repay. You become free.

breaks chainsSo what is the process if you choose to NOT forgive?

I’m sure you have been through it a million times…I know I have. You are bombarded in your thoughts. You re-live the hurt over and over again. It may replay in your mind like a terrible movie. This causes you to be a victim over and over again, causing emotional pain, feelings of powerlessness.

 

Then resentment sets in. This becomes bitterness. You will say things against that person like “I hate…”, you will condemn, and every memory about that person will be discolored.

That person will “push your buttons” and anger you easily. This is sure sign you have unforgiveness toward that person.

You behavior and emotions become affected by that person. You may be happy until you think about that person or a memory affiliated with that person and suddenly you may be mad, sad or indifferent.

What do you do if you have these signs?

It’s time to forgive. Remember, forgiving doesn’t mean you allow that person to harm you anymore. You don’t even have to be friends with that person. You are not condoning bad behavior. You are letting go of any debt you feel someone owes you.

The amplified version of Matthew 6:12 says “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgive (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.”

Here’s how to pray to forgive…

Heavenly Father, I purpose and choose to forgive ____________ (name) for doing _____________ (fill in the blank). I choose to let go of that debt and let you handle it. I ask you to heal my heart and take away the pain of every memory associated with this. Tell me your truth about this situation. And tell me your truth about me. Amen.

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

 

#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

When you’ve lost a loved one

file6101306948456What do you do when you’ve lost a close loved one?

The pain, grief and sorrow can be unbearable at times. The questions … Is God even listening? Has He forgotten me? Why did He allow this to happen?

The feelings of despair and loneliness lead to statements like… “I’m alone” “No one understands”

 

 

Some people feel responsible in some form for the loss “it’s my fault, if I would have been there or done….”

I bring you good news in the face of death there is life. Jesus will restore and renew as he brings healing to your heart. You can have joy again. You can have peace. You can stop feeling lonely.

To be honest I didn’t know if I was ready to talk about this subject. This particular post has sat in “drafts” for a long time.
All I can do is tell you how I made it through…with the help of the LORD I made it.

I was really unprepared when my brother called to say Dad was dead. In his home, he fell asleep and never awoke. On this side of Heaven anyway.

As the pastor of a church I had seen Dad preach with many ailments and nothing ever stopped him. Apparently, that Sunday morning he was not feeling well.

I can’t describe the emotions. I couldn’t seem to “feel” them all at once even though they seem to flood me until it was almost unbearable. I can’t even tell you what I was thinking at the time. It seemed like a dream. I was in total shock and disbelief.

I knew my brother very well. I knew he was not joking. However, he just had to be…HAD to be. Because my Dad was unstoppable and so young!

I could recount the details of the days that followed. I could tell you the prayers, the faith, the friends, support and an amazing funeral that my brother preached himself. Living through that was like auto-pilot. The true test was the 2 weeks after…the 2 months after and yes…even the 1 year after.

Allow me to walk you through what I believe was the Holy Spirit walking with me through this trying time.

1. My family has a weird idea of life and death.

2 Corinthian 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I say “weird” because it is based on the Bible and NOT on the consensus of the worlds opinion of life and death. Dad and I had many discussions of how often and how much we longed to be in Heaven with the Lord. We talked of how this life is “but a vapor”. We talked about how great Heaven will be. I mean we LONGED to be with Jesus.

We joked about throwing a party when we die because we will be in Heaven and that is the best thing in the world. We should not mourn but rejoice.

2. God, himself, put a limit on how long we should mourn

That may seem cold to some people. However, there is a reason. There is a healthy mourning time and an unhealthy, almost other-worldly mourning that turns into idolatry and becomes sickness to our mind, body and spirit.

In the Old Testament read how long God would allow mourning. After 30 days it was over. Move on. Why would God put this limit on such a personal, deep, painful event? Because God knows the  BIG picture. He sees into the other side…into the eternal.

Satan, our enemy that seeks to devour and destroy, will use the time of mourning to turn our hearts away from the Lord. He will use it to cause resentment and bitterness. Gangrene will set it in our hearts if the open wound of death is left untreated too long. “let the dead bury the dead” resonates with me. The dead in spirit will spend a great deal of energy, finances and time mourning a loss until that’s all they have left is the mourning.

3. God reminded me of TRUTH

Mark 12:26And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

As I was reading the Bible shortly after Dad’s death I read this verse and the Holy Spirit spoke to me.- He is alive.

Eternity we will be together. Stop mourning and start rejoicing.

Life on this earth is so short. To spend the entire time worried and anxious over grief and despair is not worth this precious short time.

4. I decided Legacy was more important than grief

Dad left a legacy of “be about your Father’s business”. Dad was a worker in the Kingdom of God. He worked tirelessly to spread the Good News of Christ. I decided that my life should represent that truth. To give up was not an option. To drown in self pity was not an option. I determined the best way to honor my Dad was to honor my Heavenly Father and be about HIS business.

I still missed Dad. I missed his wise counsel, our long conversation about anything and everything. I missed his hugs most of all. As my children grew up I missed the opportunity to ask…”was I that bad?” and “what did you do?”

He was my pastor, my mentor, my friend, my Daddy, my confidant, my kick-in-the-butt when I needed it…he was my adviser…

God is so faithful to those who will trust in Him. He will turn your mourning into dancing. He will give you peace that surpasses understanding. He will hold you up when you can’t stand on your own. He will be your strength when all is gone. He will be your friend when you are lonely.

Trust Him. Turn to Him. Talk to Him. Read His Word. You will find answers to your questions. HE will be the father to the fatherless. The husband to the widow. The friend to the outcast.

I cannot describe to you how much closer I am now to my Heavenly Father. I may have leaned too much and too often on my Dad’s wisdom and his prayers rather than seeking God for myself. But when you don’t have anyone else to turn to and God is all you have …HE will not disappoint. My life is so rich and full of God’s love, grace and mercy. I depend on HIM. I love HIM. I seek HIM.

What caused this post?

Recently, a friend lost her husband. A mighty man of God. A man my Dad loved and admired went home to be with the Lord too. After watching my mother struggle for years from that loss I knew a little about what my friend would go through. I pray for her. Her pain is only one God can heal. And HE will.

Practical application:

Repentance and forgiveness…yes, even about this subject. This is the healing process.

If you feel responsible in any way–pray–I choose forgive myself for>_____< (insert what you feel responsible for…not being there, not doing something, etc)

If you ask “Why God? Did you take him/her away?”–pray–I choose to forgive you God for taking/allowing him/her to die. I know that you did not “take” this person from me. I know you love me. I know you are the GOOD Father and nothing evil can come from you. I know I may not understand it all but I trust you Lord. 

If you blame someone else –pray–I choose to forgive this person to taking the life of >>>>>(insert name)<<<<<. 

>>continue….I let it go. I allow you, Holy Spirit to take away the pain, the grief, the unforgiveness. I repent for holding onto to it so long. I give it to you Lord. Come and heal my heart and tell me your truth about this situation. 

I pray for those that struggle with the loss of a loved one. I pray you are girded with Truth. I pray strength from the Lord to be with you. I pray for peace as you walk and a the light of Christ to guide your way. I pray that your heart will be open to hear the Lord speak. I pray for God to send people to comfort you but most of all the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to comfort you every hour of each day. Amen.

 

The House that SELF Built

photoI just read a quote from a man, Jack Deere “If I let out what I was feeling now, I might destroy the self I had worked so long and hard to build.”

This author made this statement when God began to get all up in his business and began to deal with the hidden areas of his life. It may be time to let God tear down the SELF that we build and re-build into the HOUSE built on the ROCK

 

 

 

 

God has a way of doing that when we are open to Him. God reads our mail.He knows every hair on your head, every thought…everything!

Yes…He can read our mail and He has an opinion about it…however, when we don’t want to listen we don’t hear and thus we don’t learn or grow.

Jack Deere was the typical religious traditionalist, very skeptical if God will actually speak to people in present times especially through a prophet or through a person by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The statement above was made as a prophet told him everything he had been through in life and what God was planning to do in his life. After it was over he left without saying or acknowledging that any of it was correct. Afterwards a friend asked him about it and Jack said it was all right on.  Sounds great right?

Most people are waiting for a prophet to come and tell them what they need to do, say, etc. God can use prophets and other people to help us along but He will speak to you if you will ask Him and turn on your ears.

Back to the “Sounds great right?”….Look at what he says…”destroy the self I had worked so long and hard to build”.

We all build a SELF. We have an identity that we “created” in our minds, or was created for us by the opinions of others.

Finish this sentence with at least 10 statements about yourself– “I am ….”

What did you say? Many people start off with superficial statements like I am blond or I am a man or I am a great fisherman…

But as they talk longer and if you had to say 100 statements about yourself you might say things like ” I am strong. I am honest. I am opinionated. I am outspoken. I am shy. I am quiet. I am smart. I am ugly. I am worthless. I am unloveable. I am a sinner.  I am not pure. I am a terrible husband…wife…mother…father. I am fat. I can’t do anything right. I am not as good as..

I am ………………………………………………….

My realization is this…I am what GOD says I am.

Does what YOU say match what GOD says?

The Bible compares us to a house and a temple. We are being built up as we go through our life. What is doing the building in your life? Is it the opinions of others? Is it the negative, hateful thoughts?
Or, is it the WORD of God and His Holy Spirit that is building your opinions of yourself and your attitudes of your heart.

What is so wrong with building yourself?

 

I am speaking of the incorrect assumptions we make of ourselves that become our present and affect our future.

One example is a young woman who was abused by a neighbor. She grew up in a religious home. She never told anyone what happened because she (wrongly) believed it was her fault and that no one would believe her. As she aged and the thoughts of shame, resentment, anger, hurt, all came back and she struggled with relationships. At times she would say to herself…You are strong, just live with it that’s what good Christians do.

So she held it inside instead of talked about it.

If the self YOU build hides pain, carries un-forgiveness, harbors resentment, lives with bitterness or pushes hurtful memories away, you will find that the SELF you built is a hollow shell of the YOU God is trying to transform and heal.

God has an interesting method of healing that requires LIGHT to shine and uncover the yucky, the bad and the hurtful. As His light shines on those hidden and try-to forget areas of our life healing happens. Transformation happens. A hard heart is turned soft. A bitter person becomes loving.

Those 100 Statements can shine a light on what is hidden in your heart. Each statement that does not line up with the Word of God represents an area that SELF built. Allow God to show you those areas. Allow Him to heal those places. Allow Him into your HOUSE you will not regret it.

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built,

and through understanding it is established;

4through knowledge its rooms are filled

with rare and beautiful treasures.

Warning:

You may feel a bit….un-built….for a time. As the broken becomes apparent and you see the brokenness in your life I promise it won’t last long as you submit to His Spirit. Healing comes so gently into your life.

1. Spend time talking to God and asking Him to show you these things that are broken

2. Spend time reading the Bible and find scriptures that speak to your life.

3. Forgive quickly, repent when necessary

4. Find a godly mentor, Bible study, pastor, etc that can help you. You are created to be in community with Jesus followers to love you and pray with you.

Proverbs 3:5Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

6in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

7Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord and shun evil.

8This will bring health to your body

and nourishment to your bones.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, un-build me. Show me the areas of my life that needs your touch. Reveal the areas of my heart that require your healing. I submit to your Spirit to speak to me and I will answer with repentance when required and with forgiveness when needed. I yeild completely to you. Re-build me with your Word. Re-build my life according to your guidance and love.

I know you love me and have a purpose and plan for my life. Purge the ugly, the bad and the sin out of my heart so I can be a vessel of honor to be used in your Kingdom to reach others.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self – control. 

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

 

 

 

 

Overcome Your Bad Thoughts

trashNegative thoughts cause negative emotions.  Thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t”, “I was born this way”, “my parents are like this, so I have to be”, “Why try?”, “I’m no good”. Thoughts of suicide. Thoughts that run through your mind constantly. Some only at certain times. Nonetheless, they seem never ending sometimes and come at the most in opportune moments to amplify weakness, destroy hope and tear down our confidence.

Are these thoughts ‘normal’? Doesn’t everyone have negative thoughts?

Thoughts like these are the garbage of the mind.

It’s time to take out the garbage. It is not normal and you don’t have to live with them, tolerate them and believe them.

My confession:

No one ever told me to think about my thoughts. No one ever said ‘hey, those thoughts aren’t healthy’. No one ever said that every thought you have may not be your own. Sure, I knew about Satan from the Bible. I read the scriptures that said he seeks to devour, to steal, kill and destroy. But no one ever said HOW that happened. Or HOW to overcome it.

The war for the mind is much more subtle than an ugly creature carrying around a pitchfork like the cartoons.

There isn’t an angel on one shoulder and a little demon imp on the other. But that is a good depiction for the battle for your mind. If the enemy whispers thoughts that make you doubt, fear, lose hope, despair, feel rejected, feel unimportant, feel abandoned, like no one cares, can’t do anything right…

Then your emotions follow suit. How do you feel when you have these thoughts? Not too good, huh?

Ever wonder why when you are feeling really down the thoughts seem to be more severe?

What’s the answer? How can we take out all this garbage?

The answer:

Matthew 6:9-13     9 Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 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.

13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The answer does not have to be some complicated ritualistic or psychiatric event. God makes it very simple.

Prayer

Above is an example of how to pray and defeat all those negative thoughts the enemy uses to oppress.

There is no science, no formula. Just believe that the God that created you can also help you. He takes out the trash for you. All you have to do is tell Him about it.

1. Address Him. It’s by His power and authority that everything is done.

Heavenly Father. He loves you no matter what you think about it doesn’t change it. Even if you don’t understand the kind of “agape” love that is self sacrificing and loves with no strings attached; He still loves you.

2. Repent for believing those thoughts.

“Heavenly Father, I repent for agreeing with those lies about myself. (say each one out loud that you have thought about yourself). I break all agreement with them.”

3. Let them go.

“I purpose and choose to forgive myself for saying those lies. In the name of Jesus I cancel all Satan’s authority I have given through believing these thoughts about myself.”

4. Allow God to heal you from the damage of those thoughts.

“Holy Spirit, come and heal my heart and tell me your truth about who I am and what I am.”

You can hear God speak to you. It may be a feeling, a release, a peace, good thoughts that bring joy and peace. Just wait. God is faithful.

This is just the beginning:

God desires to heal every wound you carry. Every dark secret. Every sin. Every bad thought.

Nothing else works. Give Him a try.

See these other posts for more information on the subject.

Thoughts Reveal Your Heart

Why Don’t I Feel Loved

Answers To Our Own Darkness

Authority & Power

How to Overcome the Past

Contact via email if you would like someone to pray with you. Someone from our prayer team will contact you.

isaiah54project@hotmail.com

Or, for 1 on 1 counseling with a reputable prayer ministry contact this group. http://akwellspring.com/

Be blessed!

 

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