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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Who Is Jesus?

thCADDK0F2Four Views on who Jesus is from the Book of Mark

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

1. Is He too familiar?

His Family saw him as an embarrassment.

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

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

In another scripture Jesus said

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

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

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

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

2. Does Jesus measure up to your religion?

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

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

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

3. Is Jesus only a man?

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

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

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

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

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

4. Does guilt cloud your view?

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

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

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

So who is He?

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

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

Peter responded “You are the Christ”.

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

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

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

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

 

Living by Faith Part 3-Doubt

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

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

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

Legends of Faith Still Doubt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubt wasn’t the end of the story

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

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

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

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

It’s all true.

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

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

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

Living By Faith-Part 2

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

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

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

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

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

2. Believe-

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

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

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

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

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

Practical Application

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

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

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

Now make it personal….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living by Faith

Living by Faith

This is the beginning of a series on Faith. I find it hard sometimes to have faith. I know many of the bible verses on faith as a mustard seed. I know the ones about asking your Father in Heaven and He will give you good things. I even have a healthier view of Almighty God than I used to. He is my Heavenly Father who loves me, cherishes me, has a purpose and a plan for my life.

Somehow, all this knowledge doesn’t seem to help my faith. Sometimes my faith just seems to be hanging on by a thread. I think that He may do it for someone else but not for me. I think if I was better than maybe God would answer my prayers. I’m here to tell you those thoughts are not truth, they are lies from the enemy.

This first post will be a summary and talk about the first stage of faith.

Come back and read the rest of them. It has helped me and I hope it will help you in your walk of faith.

bookI read “Pathway to the Impossible” by Huldah Buntain (a missionary to Calcutta, India).

She told of miracle after miracle that she actually experienced.

This is a perfect example of expanding our perception of God and just how magnificent he is.

Read her story. Your faith will increase by hearing what God does. And know that what he will do for one he will do for another.

Have you ever thought about the stages of faith we go through?

Stages of Faith:

1. Asking

2. Believing

3. Doubt

4. Acting

Asking – 

  1.  Our first step in faith is to ask God in prayer. Your prayer does not have to be eloquent, long or wordy. Just talk to Him, he is your Heavenly Father. When you ask, ask expecting. Expectation is that “faith” part. Wrap every petition in expectation that He will hear. And He will answer. He will heal. He will save. He will help. Just ask.

Matthew 21:22 (AMP)  And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.

You can ask for more wisdom. Who doesn’t need that…

James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

When you ask–think about your motives…

James 4:2 (AMP)  You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:3 (AMP)   [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

Sometimes you need to be persistent. That shows a level of faith.

Matthew 7:7-8 (AMP)   Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

And my favorite…

God is capable of more than we could ever think or imagine.( So expand your box that you put God in because he doesn’t fit there.)

Matthew 14:15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”( http://biblehub.com/niv/matthew/14.htm )

Did you see what Jesus said? “you give them something to eat”

What Jesus? We only have enough to feed us, definitely not enough to feed thousands of people.

Can you imagine yourself as a disciple at that moment? That is a faith stretcher. I would be saying “Are you crazy? I think you’ve been in the heat too long!”

He challenges their way of thinking. As humans they were limited to human expectations. But God is unlimited. Jesus is teaching them a valuable lesson here.

This is a lesson we all need to learn. It’s a major shift in our thinking and expectation. It’s a process called “Paradigm Shift”. As Christians we need to have a major Paradigm Shift. We need to learn to think like Jesus.

Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Can you agree with me that our thinking is limited and because of that we limit an awesome God with unlimited power?

If we begin to pray in faith believing in the awesome God, creator of the universe instead of praying in our limited power and understanding our faith increases right there!

Ask God to show you where you are limiting His power in your life. Just ask Him. He will be faithful to show you.

Heavenly Father, Thank you that your ways are not my ways. Thank you, that you are the creator of the universe, creator of my life and everything in the Earth and on the Earth. There is nothing created without you. Father, I ask that you will show me a glimpse of how big you really are. Show me where I limit you and where I place you in a box of human understanding. Help me and give me wisdom to understand better. Thank you, in Jesus name I pray! AMEN!

For Wives Only

Promotional art for Superman vol. 2, #204 (April 2004) by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (Wikipedia)

Promotional art for
Superman vol. 2, #204 (April 2004)
by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (Wikipedia)

Kryptonite and Superman

(adapted from Peacefulwife.com and Daniel Robertson “God’s Help for Marriage”)

“You NEVER…!”

“You ALWAYS do that!”

“I can’t believe you…!”

“What were you thinking?”

“I don’t think you can do….Don’t we need to call…..?”

“Just ask for directions!”

Patronizing “Wow, you took out the trash. I’m so proud of you!”

Nagging (constant reminders because you think he isn’t doing something on your time frame.)

Insults (destroy trust and demoralize)

Cutting Sarcasm: How many kids do you have? “3 if you count my husband.”

Would you ever say these things to Superman? But Lois Lane did to Clark Kent. 

Do you treat your husband like Lois Lane treated Clark Kent? Or like  Lois Lane treated Superman? There was a big difference in how she perceived each one. Maybe you are like me..I just want to yell at the TV screen “They are the same person! Why can’t you see that!”

Sometimes that’s how I feel about my husband.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Words are Kryptonite

Prov 18:21 The tongue holds the power of life and death

Speaking life                                                   Speaking death

Praise                                                          Negativity             Criticism

Bless                                                           Complaining          Sarcasm

Judgmental

 

 

What can I say?

Stages of changing your words and thoughts.

  1. Surprised: Realization that most of what comes out of your mouth and thoughts in your head is disrespectful, negative and hurtful.
  2. Quite Mode: Can’t say anything at all. Every thought and every word seems disrespectful. Especially when you can’t think of anything good to say.
  3. Searching: Questioning God, reading the Bible, asking others, reading books trying to find out what respectful words sound like.
  4. Awkward: Saying all those good things when you don’t feel like it seems strange and abnormal.
  5. Filter: Begin to filter words before you say them. Begin to process what words are good and what is not.
  6. Comfortable: Saying positive things and not negative things becomes normal and the usual. Still mess up sometimes but able to recognize it quickly. Still make the decision to say it though.
  7. (Not there yet)

 “The more time you spend with God, the more you take on His character and His thoughts about what matters.  True selflessness is a reflection of God’s character and comes only as a result of time spent with Him.” From Nina Roesner in The Respect Dare:

Learn to filter with discretion and wisdom
Proverbs 18:2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:1  An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Proverbs 6:22 Anyone who has understanding is a fountain of life, but foolishness brings punishment to fools.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:18  A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his trust in the LORD shall be prospered.

Proverbs 25:15  By patience a prince shall be appeased, and a soft tongue shall break hardness.

Luke 6:45 – NKJV)A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Emotionally Fueled Words

You CAN express your emotions – but keep in mind that when you are responding to a situation where it could be easy to jump to conclusions, or if you are communicating something important to your husband that you really want him to hear – he will be better able to hear you with fewer words and less emotion.

And when you do share your emotions, if you can share them in a non-blaming, fairly calm way – that allows your husband to hear your heart much more accurately.  That’s why I like Laura Doyle’s method (The Surrendered Wife) of speaking our desires and feelings very simply.  Less words and less emotions actually get our message across many times much more effectively with men:

  • “I want X”
  • “I don’t want Y.”
  • “I feel sad.”  ”I feel afraid.”  ”I feel nervous.”  ”I feel upset.”  ”I feel lonely.”

ie: “I feel lonely. Would you please hold me for a  few minutes?”  or “I feel lonely.  I’d love/I want to cuddle for a few minutes, please”  work MUCH better than, “You never spend any time with me!  You obviously don’t love me at all!”

And, remember to share your positive emotions, too! Your emotions are VERY POWERFUL to your husband.  Using them in a constructive way will help you bond and become even closer.   I like to share all of my emotions with my husband – that helps him know me better and understand my heart more.

  • “I’m so happy being here with you!”
  • “I feel very safe with you.”
  • “I’m so glad we got to do X!”
  • “I really appreciate all you have done for me.”
  • “Thank you!!!!!!!!!”    *“I’m so full of joy!”

 

Positive Words:

Humbleness is a virtue. Refusing to say these words just because you are right or feel validated only makes things worse.

 “I love you.” Should be said daily and sincerely.

“I’m sorry.” Sometimes even when you still feel mad or hurt. It soothes the wounds.

”I really appreciate…”Gratitude does a lot to put both in a good mood. Motivates more than nagging.

“Thank you” Almost as good as the previous one.

“What can I do to help?” It’s all about serving your partner. Serve him=serving God.

“How are we?” for a quick marriage checkup or not so quick if your spouse feels like venting. Don’t ask if you aren’t prepared to listen.

“Let’s pray{ about that}” Be careful if your husband is not a believer. Don’t say things like this if it makes you sound more spiritual or could sound like you’re putting him down.

“Do you want a back rub/foot massage/etc?” Who doesn’t like that!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I repent for speaking words of death over my husband and our lives together. I choose now to speak words of blessing and life to my husband and about him and our marriage. Help me to speak truth with grace and mercy. Give me the wisdom to speak when necessary and a guard over my mouth when I should be quiet. Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me discipline my will over my tongue. Give me more understanding about respectful words that can be healing to my husband’s heart.

Lesson: Identity

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

When someone asks who you are what do you say?

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

Where does your “worth” come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25%of women would consider undergoing plastic surgery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who does God say you are?

What does God say of your abilities?

What does God say of your worth?

Genesis 1:27

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

Jeremiah 1:5

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

1 Corinthians 12:27

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

2 Corinthians 5:17

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

1 Peter 2:9

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

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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

Colossians 3:1-4

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

Ephesians 4:22-24

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

Romans 8:14-15

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

Isaiah 43:1

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

Psalm 100:3

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

Colossians 3:12

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

Romans 8:15

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

John 1:12

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

Psalm 139:14

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

Isaiah 64:8

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

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

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

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

 

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

Challenge:

This week, to practically apply this Word of God.

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

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

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Speakpeacealways writer is very talented and has a heart for the people of God. Pray for the body of Christ!

I now have a new word …”churchanity”.

speak peace always

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Swinging censers, white red robes

Glowing mitres

Chants and genuflections

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

The Amplified and Extended 10 commandments

Shrieking mikes, pounding basses

PhDs, M.Divs, and Revs

They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Be very frightened of the Lord’s rejection

His whip is out for your correction

Examine your soul

Weep and mourn

Pay your tithes

Don’t question the shepherd of the flock

Churchanity has taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid Him.

Families struggle to make ends meet

The worn and weary find no listening ear

Jesus’ loved sheep stand out in the street

Waiting for His bride to rise and draw near

Churchanity has taken my Lord away, and I don’t…

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