#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!

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God Reveals Himself in Mysterious Ways

I had arevisedn important revelation at a funeral.

Some people may think that is a great place for a significant revelation. Others may think that a little crazy.

 

My sister-in-law passed away this week. As I sat among the grieving family all I could think about was how beautiful her smile is. There was a photograph placed on an easel next to the coffin showing off her spiky hair and toothy smile. She was always the life of any party and had a smile that would light up a room. As I thought about all her wonderful traits … it was like a light went off in my head.

I felt the Holy Spirit saying…”Her love, her smile, her joy…was all a reflection of the Heavenly Father, all His good traits to show His glory in the earth. ”

When  someone… or you..share love, joy, peace, patience, humbleness, grace, goodness, mercy, etc to another you are showing off God. All good things come from Him. He shows up everywhere because He longs for you to know Him. He shares His goodness because He loves you. He chases you in every smile, every sincere hug, in every kind word. He reveals aspects of who He is so we can know Him more.

God is not distant. He is very near, in every good thing we see, hear, smell…

I thought of all the times I had the joy of spending time with her and I am thankful. I am thankful for the life she courageously lived in love and strength. I am thankful that I got a glimpse of my Heavenly Father in her.

It’s pretty cool to think that we represent Jesus to others. But what is greater is that we carry His traits not only as a reflection of who God is but also as a part of who we are. I hope I am sharing my heart well enough in words to capture the weightiness of this statement. We are made in His likeness and we carry His traits in us. We are not just a mirror to reflect Him but we are made like Him. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe so pleased to place all His goodness in us just so we could know Him better as we share our lives with others.

I got a glimpse of how loving, how joyful, how wonderful my God is through the attitude and smile of lovely woman named Darlene.

Remember, as you wake up to another day, that you are part of God’s master plan to share Him with those you meet today.  Smile, laugh, be patient, be kind, and show goodness, grace and mercy to others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to show YOU to others. Thank you for the fruits of your Spirit that are shed abundantly in our hearts as we serve you and come to know you more. I pray that we will seek out those fruits in others and that we would show these fruits to all people around us. Give us strength to do so. 

Forgive us for all those times that we choose not to show the fruits of YOUR Spirit and chose instead to represent the kingdom of the the enemy. Forgive us now as we choose to forgive others that have done that to us. 

Help us to remember daily that we represent you, Lord. I ask you to remind me even in hard times to show these fruits and represent you well. Help us to represent you in love and in joy. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Why We Don’t See Miracles

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

3 Reasons:

1. New wine and old wineskins don’t mix

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Apathy

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

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

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

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

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

 

Lesson: How to Overcome the Past

Prov 9:10   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Our entire life is made up of moments. Every moment helped to shape our personality, how we think, how we feel and how we react to others.

Some moments are bad.

Some moments are good. 

God can use good and bad moments to shape and develop  us over a lifetime. We must be able to look at those moments and identify how they affected us. How can it be used for good? To help develop Jesus in me? Because ultimately our goal is to be more like Jesus. As God heals our hearts we are able to appreciate even the bad times. God doesn’t create bad things to happen. But he is able to take the bad and use it for our good.

Sometimes you don’t realize how the past affects your present. Below is a good example of how an incident in childhood can affect how you react to people, how you react in your relationships, etc.

Story from April Cassidy “peacfulwife.com”

When I was 5 years old –  One Sunday morning, my twin sister and I were getting ready for church.  She asked me to buckle her sandals.  I told her, “Buckle your own sandals!  You’re 5 years old!”  And she kept saying “my tights are too tight, I can’t lean over!  Please buckle my sandals for me!!!” and asking me to buckle her sandals for her.

I eventually got frustrated with her and pushed her away.  We were at the top of the stairs.  She fell backwards down the stairs.  I can see the look of shock on her little 5 year old face still to this day.  I ran to my closet and hid.

My Daddy gave me the hardest spanking ever.  I didn’t often get spankings.  But I got one that day.  And I deserved it.  He said, “You should have checked on your sister and gone to get us to help.  She could have died or broken her neck!”

My Daddy was exactly right.  She definitely could have been severely injured or killed by what I did to her.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to my parents, the message I took from that day was this:

“I can never say no to someone when they ask me to do something for them that they could do for themselves.  If I say no, they might get really hurt or die.”

And so began my people pleasing efforts.  I also began to think I was VERY powerful – powerful enough to kill someone.  I also interpreted that I was VERY RESPONSIBLE FOR other people.  Me.  Not God.  Not my parents.  Me.

I don’t think there was any way my parents could have known that this was the message I absorbed from that experience.

When I was 8 years old –  My twin sister and a foreign exchange student, Patricia, and I were on top of the monkey bars.  Our classmates, John and Ryan, were climbing up each side like they were going to try to “get us.”  I said, “We need to jump!!!”  We all jumped.

I was fine.

My sister sprained her ankle.

Patricia broke her leg.

For months, I wanted my leg to be broken.

I felt SO responsible for my sister’s injury and Patricia’s injuries.

I thought:

“It is my fault that they got hurt.  I said to jump – and they did.  I am responsible for other people.  I have so much power over other people and I was wrong to say to jump.”

Many nights I would cry and cry because people were starving in the world and I was not fixing it.  I truly believed I was in charge of MUCH, MUCH more than I really was.  I thought I was “sovereign” not God.  My little girl’s mind created a small, weak, tiny, impotent picture of God, and a HUGE, POWERFUL picture of myself.

I did not understand where my responsibilities ended and God’s began.

I thought I was responsible FOR other people.  I thought I needed to be a parent to my siblings.  I thought I needed to fix the problems of the world.

That was a LOT of weight for a child to carry.  How I wish I had understood God’s sovereignty!

And yet, even in the midst of all that was very right, I misinterpreted a few events in my childhood that led me to have a warped understanding of my identity and God’s identity.

She translated these experiences into her marriage. She thought she was responsible for the behavior of her husband. This made her very controlling and demanding in her marriage. I highly recommend her blog. She gives so many great examples that are so helpful and practical.

The “Savoir Complex”

Sometimes you don’t realize how your past is affecting your present relationships and how you think and feel about others and yourself.

For example: Many women suffer from the “Savior Complex”. They choose men that are in trouble or have a lot of problems and thinks she can save them, help them to be better. No one can save anyone except Jesus. He is the only Savior of the world. Many women who feel this way also suffer from poor self image from her own past experiences. She is drawn to men that could hurt her. Instead of looking at the situation from a realistic perspective she only looks to how she can help this person. While helping someone is a good thing and ministering to others is what we are called to do, the motives behind it are not quite right. She thinks she can do it. Rather than allowing God to work in that man’s heart. She tries to make it happen for him. You can never do that. You are not the Holy Spirit to that man. You are not Jesus to that man. Only God can change the heart of a man. Stay out of God’s way and let God do it. Love people. Speak kindly. Point to Jesus in word and deed. Let God do the rest.

God can take any wrong, hurtful behaviors and help you overcome it.

God does not waste anything. He can use every event in your life to create in you precious treasure, spiritual fruit. No matter how traumatic or terrible. He can take it and make it valuable to you.

Here are some useful steps to change the effects of bad past experiences in current relationships.

1.  Identify how the experience made you feel about yourself and others. How did it make you treat others/yourself?

      Did it change the way you think about yourself? Did it make you think bad things about yourself? Did it make you distrust people? Or think badly of others.

2. Identify any bad habits/actions/thoughts that resulted from the experience.  We become conditioned to certain thoughts or behaviors. Something happens and it triggers a series of bad thoughts. Or we have always acted in a certain way and we say “that’s just the way it is, I was born that way”. If it is contrary to God’s word then you were not MADE that way by God. Sin over time will create behaviors in us that God is trying to purge out if we let him. We have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit speak to us and show us these behaviors/actions/thoughts/bad habits that resulted from past sins or bad experiences and let Him heal them.

3. Examine the thoughts you have regarding that situation. 

         Thoughts that are unforgiving, angry, etc. are sinful. The healing power of the blood of Jesus through forgiveness needs to be applied. Be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit              as he shows you who needs forgiveness.

4. Forgive and repent.  Matt 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins

        Forgive those that hurt you and despitefully use you. Matt 5:44-But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for                 them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

       The hardest person to forgive is yourself sometimes. If you feel any blame or shame or condemnation. Identify why you feel that way. If you did something. Forgive                          yourself. If God can forgive you then you need to forgive you.

      Forgiving someone for hurting you does not condone that behavior at all. It sets you free. Holding onto past hurts only hurts you not them.

5. Ask God to speak to you truth about this situation. Allow Him to heal you.Many times you will find that the pain, regret, shame and bad thoughts that came from that experience will be put into a new perspective as God heals your mind and your spirit.  You will find that you no longer have pain associated with that memory. You will then be able to help others that suffered just as you did and they will find healing too.

How can a hurtful experience be used for good?

  • To help develop Jesus in me. Because ultimately our goal is to be more like Jesus.
  • To help others find healing and forgiveness.

Many people are able to minster to others as God has called us to after we find healing in our own lives. Think of all the women who have endured abuse now have counseling ministries to help other women.

You can’t minister to others until you have first endured it yourself and God has helped you through it.

 

Prayers of Forgiveness:

Holy Spirit, I ask that you show me areas in my life that need your forgiving power applied. Bring to my remembrance past experiences or situations that have caused hurt, resentment, anger, bitterness or condemnation or sin.

To forgive someone else:

Father, I purpose and choose to forgive_______________(name) for doing ___________________ __ to me. I release them from all debt to me. It is paid as the blood is applied. Come and heal my mind and body to heal me of anything the enemy has intended to harm me. Father, renew my mind. Tell me your truth about this.

To Forgive yourself:

Father, I purpose and choose to forgive myself for doing ___________________ __ .  I know that it is forgiven and I am free from all guilt, shame and condemnation. Because you remember it no more I will no longer hold this sin against myself. Apply your healing power to my mind and body to heal me of anything the enemy has intended to harm me. Father, heal and renew my mind. Tell me your truth about me and this experience.

To repent:

Father, I repent of ____________________ _. I apply the blood of Jesus to this sin.  I know that it is forgiven now and I am free from all guilt, shame and condemnation. Because you remember it no more I will no longer hold this sin against myself. Help me to follow your precepts. Show me your way Lord. Heal and renew my mind. Examine my heart oh, Lord and create in me a new heart. I yearn to know you more and live like Jesus. I know I am your child. Help me to hear your Holy Spirit speak and help me to follow your leading.

Call To Prayer

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I sit up late into the night with a heavy burden for our churches.

Daily, my heart is stirred for a deeper walk with The Lord. Daily, I yearn to know Him more.

Join me In a fervent seeking after God’s heart for the church body. Actually, more truly spoken…a repentant prayer on behalf of God’s people who have lost their first love.

How far our body(church body of saved souls) has strayed from the selfless walk of daily sacrifice of self and service to the King. We are busy with mundane daily activities. Many that have no purpose except to steal time of prayer and fasting from our God and King.

What if we got a glimpse of heaven from our earthly beds?
What if that stirred up the longing within our hearts to seek after God with a humble heart?
Those you seek shall find and the door shall be opened…

What if we could see with heavenly eyes of our loving Father?
To see the hearts of man not just the outward appearance? To love others so deeply that it impacted the kingdom of darkness by snatching away hungry souls? Hungry for the love of our God and King?

My prayer is for His people to return to Him with a renewed love and steadfastness of heart. So clear in our call to serve Him by serving others. So fervent in our love for Jesus that we never hesitate to share the truth of the gospel. So eager to spend time with Him we daily spend time in prayer and talk to Him.

God is preparing His bride for Jesus soon coming. Are we ready church? Are we ready?
I sit in church services where the Spirit of God moved among the people but only few answer the call.
Church services should be a place of healing, deliverance and salvation. Where believers are annointed and equipped for every good work. Where the power of God is manifested among the people because the hunger and expectation are almost tangible.

Prayer
Oh sovereign Lord that sits enthroned in the heaven in great light. Hear our humble plea for your people. We repent of our pride. We repent of disobedience. We repent of our secret transgressions. We repent of our lethargic attitudes toward your Kingdom. Forgive us, we need you in our homes, at work, at church, in the streets.
Send your latter rain! Send a great outpouring of your Holy Spirit with great signs and wonders. Send your convicting power to reveal and prick our hardened hearts and draw us closer to you. Draw your people to you and engulf them in your holy presence. We invite you to come into our lives and mess us up for you! Get all in our business, get all in our well laid plans. We give every thought to you, every plan, every day! In Jesus wonderful Name, Amen!

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