Changed from the Inside Out

As I learned to enter God’s rest and walk in His Spirit, I experienced intense withdrawals from my former codependent lifestyle. I acted like a schizophrenic.

 

One moment I would say or do something codependent and the next moment I would step into my new role as a Spirit-led Believer and say or do the opposite. I confused people by this dual personality.

 

Gradually, I decreased in my role as a codependent and Christ increased in me. I learned to say “No” unless God told me to say “Yes.” He taught me to let the job go undone; so others whom God was calling to that role would step up and do it instead of me.

 

I started to see and appreciate the gray hues and tones in life, rather than seeing only black or white. My flexibility increased and my rigid extremes decreased.

 

The demon of perfectionism left my soul and I found joy in the messes of life as I had more time to enjoy other pursuits, which God called me to do. I actually left dishes in the sink and went to bed.

 

God’s Spirit slowly changed my perspective from a carnal, earth-bound outlook to a spiritual, heavenly-minded one. He also healed my wounded soul, traumatized and dysfunctional since childhood and young adulthood ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

 

I released the shame and feelings of defectiveness attached to the wounds of the past and accepted His divine character and the fruit of His Spirit in their place (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for exposing Satan’s lies, which made me believe that I had to earn love by my behavior. Your Agape love opened me up to expect unconditional love from the significant others in my life. The fear, insecurity, defensiveness and over-sensitivity, which plagued my life decreased as I learned to trust You in spite of the untrustworthy people in my life.

 

You taught me the reality of the fact that You work out everything for our good, even the negative experiences in our life, which threaten to choke the very life from our soul (Roman 8:28). You trained me to look for the seed for a miracle in every trial. You are our worthy, benevolent Father and we are completely loved by You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Self-destructive behaviors – driven by frustration, anger and a wounded soul – diminish as we learn to enter God’s rest and bask in His peace and joy, which are our true source of strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

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He’s Gotcha Covered

God’s got us covered…He’s got our back. His eyes and ears are always in tune with all of His children all over this globe (Psalm 34:15). His love for us is everlasting and provides us with true fulfillment and contentment.

 

God brought together sun bleached skeletons in the desert and erected a great army – the perfect picture of Him restoring Israel as a nation (Ezekiel 37:1-14). His love and provision for Israel are a constant testimony to us of His faithfulness to His Saints.

 

When the pain of life overwhelms us, we find encouragement, peace and joy in the fact that God is always watching, and never forsaking us or leaving us on our own (Hebrews 13:5).

 

He dwells within us and is experiencing our pain right along with us. His peace guards us (Philippians 4:7). He knows our needs before we do, and He already provided for them before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 4:19).

 

When Satan sends his emissaries of discouragement to beat us down, we have a choice to believe their lies or to trust God. Regardless of the trouble we face, God is always there in us to help us through the experience (Psalm 46:1).

 

We simply place our faith in His faithfulness and He lifts us out of the pit of depression and hopelessness and plants our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ (Psalm 18:31, 40:2).

 

His work is perfect and He is just in all of His ways. He is our faithful God without injustice, righteous and upright in all of His ways (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 92:15).

 

There is no one like our God, holy and stable (1 Samuel 2:2). We have no need to fear when He is our Rock of refuge (Isaiah 44:8; Deuteronomy 32:31, 32:37). He is our salvation and rest, our strength and sanctuary (Psalm 62:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we call to You and You are not deaf to our pleas (Psalm 28:1). You never allow us to be ashamed of our relationship with You. You rescue us quickly as a stronghold and fortress. You lead and guide us for Your name’s sake (Psalm 31:1-3). We continually come to You as our hiding place and You save us (Psalm 71:3).

 

We trust in You forever as our God, our Lord and our everlasting Rock (Isaiah 26:4; Psalm 91:2). You are the Lord of a host of angels and our stronghold (Psalm 46:7). You are our deliver, our shield, the horn of our salvation and full of loving kindness (Psalm 144:2). Thank You for delivering us from violence (2 Samuel 22:3).

 

Thought for the Day:
No matter where we are on the face of the earth, when our heart is discouraged and we call to God, He leads us to His Rock that lifts us above the storms. – Psalm 61:2

 

Divinity Dwelling within Us

God dwells in His children by the new birth we receive from Christ through Salvation (John 1:12). He rejoices as we grow in the knowledge of our salvation (1 John 3:2), but He waits for our realization that we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Once we begin to submit to the Spirit for sanctification of our flesh, then He teaches us about the divinity of Christ, which dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are not separate from Christ, obeying Him in our own power. He permanently dwells in us and expresses Himself through us (Colossians 3:3).

 

We are children of His death, but we are also children of His resurrection (Luke 20:36). We are transformed into Christ’s image in ever-increasing increments of glory, which come from the Lord’s Spirit.

 

Then, as unveiled mirrors, we reflect to the world the glory of the Lord within us (2 Corinthians 3:18). In our daily life, as His Spirit molds us into His image, we experience and express all of the attributes of God because He is within us (Romans 8:29).

 

Jesus gives us the glory that God gave Him, so that we are one with our triune God, just as they are one (John 17:22). If we do not recognize this divine power within us, then we will never live up to our full potential as Christians.

 

Jesus’ sacrifice enables us to share in His divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil human desires (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we mature, we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ who dwells within us (Ephesians 3:16-19). We put on our new self, shaped by the Spirit to be like God, with all of His virtues and holiness within us (Ephesians 4:13,24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often limit our understanding of life to what we perceive through our five senses. We also rely heavily only on what our human mind envisions. We ignore the supernatural and the eternal aspects of Christ within us.

 

Therefore, we hinder the expression of Your power in and through us. Remind us that You impart Your Spirit to us in order to allow the glorious nature of Christ in us the freedom of expression through us (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

With Christ in us, it does not matter where we live, with whom we live or even if we live alone; Christ’s presence within us rises above the limitations of this earthly realm and our circumstances in it.

 

I am not the Savior

As we all serve one another, we all get served. I read in the Bible that God wanted it this way. As a perfectionist codependent, I always put everyone else’s needs above my own.

 

However, it did not work that way in the first 45 years of my life. I did all the serving and others did all the taking with rare expressions of gratitude or encouragement for what I did.

 

I grew to resent the lack of reciprocation and my constant physical and emotional exhaustion. I felt like a hamster on its wheel, going round and round day after day and getting no place fast.

 

One day I realized that I was actually teaching people to expect me to do everything and not to respect me or my needs. I had a savior and martyr complex a mile wide and high.

 

The fact is, however, that I love to serve others. It is my main ministry in Christ’s body. Thankfully, I started working for a recovering codependent at this same time and she spoke truth to me that set me free.

 

She said, “You are a person too, and you can minister to yourself and meet your needs in the same way you meet everyone else’s needs.” WOW! That gave me food for thought.

 

She reminded me of Jesus’ words to love others as we love our self (Luke 10:27). I realized right away that I did not love myself in the same way that I loved others.

 

This opened up a whole new world for me. I went to the library and checked out books on how to be a nurturing parent. I learned to nurture myself and how to nurture others in a healthier manner.

 

Prayer:

Father God, so many times we take Your words at face value and skip over the minute details of the verse. We miss so much of the meat of Your Word because we do not take them in context with other verses in the Bible. We miss the whole picture, which You intend for us to see.

 

As we follow the leading of Your Spirit each moment of the day, we stop allowing the good things to become the enemy of the best things. We stop spinning our wheels by so much busyness and we live productive lives that bring us joy as we also give joy. We develop a closer relationship with You and people see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we walk in the Spirit, we stop enabling others to be less than they can be by allowing them to do hard things for themselves and to learn to lean on God instead of on us, so they can live productive lives.

 

Waiting Continually on God

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

The Divine Life

The divine nature of Christ was not changed when the Word became flesh (John 1:14). He was fully human and still fully divine.

 

All the fullness of the triune God resides within Christ, and Christ dwells within the spirit of every Born Again Believer (Colossians 2:9). We are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, which resides within each of us (1 Corinthians 3:16).

 

Therefore, all the fullness of the triune God dwells within each authentic Christian. We often struggle with our human and spiritual natures, which war against one another.

 

However, we learn obedience through the things that we suffer, just as Jesus did (Hebrews 5:8). Even though we dwell in a mortal body, we are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

 

We are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit who renews our mind until we have the mind of Christ, and who enables us to absorb the truth of the Word of God (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5, 4:8).

 

Through regeneration we come to identify, understand and seek after the things of God. We live a fulfilled life of faith, love and complete holiness, absorbed in the presence of God.

 

We have the divine nature of Christ within us (Colossians 3:3). As our life decreases, His divine nature in us increases (John 3:30; Acts 17:28). This makes a huge difference in how we face life and what we accomplish in it.

 

We have more faith, because of God’s faithfulness to us. We have more power because we cease living in our own efforts. We enjoy God’s divine presence within us, because we know that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, never let us feel superior or prideful because You dwell within us. Humble us in Christ’s humility and remind us that it is only through Christ that we can accomplish anything good (Romans 7:18). You are the Vine and we are the branches, and You cut off any branch that does not bear the fruit of Your Spirit (John 15:2-5).

 

We cling to You with our whole being, knowing that this world holds nothing for us without You. You are our motivation, our success and our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We meditate on Your Word day and night, and we find our only source of life within the verses on each page.

 

Thought for the Day:

As Believers we grow to enjoy the divine nature of Christ, free from the passion of sin and loving only what He loves. – Romans 6:6; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 5:22

 

 

I am a Person too – Part 1 – Freedom from the Tyranny of the Past

Our whole life consists of relationships with our loved ones, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, authority figures, friends, family members and even with our self.

 

We have a chance of receiving wounds and/or blessings from all of these associations; and our past, even our subconscious conflicts, influences each of these interactions as well.

 

Our relationship with our self includes our body, soul and spirit. Our body has internal and external influences, our soul includes our thoughts and feelings and choices, and our spirit is either dead in sin or free in Christ (Colossians 2:13).

 

Events in our life, involving this multiplex of individual influences, add flavor to or diminish our joy in life. The way people react to us helps to form our concept of our self. We learned to love or despise our self from their actions and opinions.

 

Subconscious memories of these interactions continue to create our self-concept and the way we relate to people as an adult. We may live with a wounded, defensive attitude or a carefree, happy outlook or an angry, combative defiance.

 

Trauma changes the way we see our self and our future. We can diffuse and disarm these subconscious memories and the way they affect our relationships today by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ.
 

We do not have to blame current issues on our self or anyone else. They usually occur from woundedness in one or both of us. Issues in adult relationships often stem from childhood suffering; but childhood wounds do not have to control our adult life.

 

We can learn a new way to set up boundaries, exercise discernment, stop victimization, redefine our attitudes, change our behavioral patterns and gain a new perspective on priorities and what is important to us by allowing God to expose Satan’ lies and to renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

Prayer:

Father God, You want to create a clean, pure, simple heart within us; one not tainted by the world and painful experiences, but one of freedom in Christ (John 8:36). You delight in setting our soul free from the pain of the past and giving us a bright and promising future (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach us that when people are not trustworthy, we can still trust in You.

 

As children we were more vulnerable and had fewer choices in the actions perpetrated on us by others. As adults, we can take a more active role by surrendering our future to You and listening to Your Spirit each moment of the day. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom in place of our human reasoning and for teaching us to have boundaries and how to ensure that we have input into our daily experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our past has power over us only if we give it permission to do so; coming to Christ for healing helps us to find freedom from the tyranny of the past.