Surviving Our Past

During the formative years of our life, many of us experience physical and emotional wounds perpetrated by family, neighbors and friends of our family.

 

These events caused parts of our soul to splinter off and embed in our subconscious mind. We are disjointed and incomplete, because our basic human needs in these areas were never met.

 

Some of us barely survive our past experiences, and we drag the wounds with us into adulthood. Victimization took away our choices and we feel trapped.

 

We even mistreat our self by either putting our needs last and allowing other people to take advantage of us, or punishing our self with further pain and neglect, or becoming obsessed with our own needs and walling our heart from further hurt by shutting down our emotions and becoming self-sufficient.

 

We may allow the demon of perfectionism to control our life, because we fear further rejection or feel the need to earn love and acceptance; or we may adopt a lackadaisical and carefree attitude, unthinking and callous to the needs of others.

 

God leads us on the path of healing through sanctification. As we embrace the parts of our soul we left behind, we experience a wholeness and completion, which we never thought was possible (Colossians 2:10-15).

 

We integrate the pieces of our self, which we rejected in our past, and learn to relate to people and the will of God for our life as healthy individuals who are growing in the grace of God.

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God teaches us to set boundaries in our life to prevent future abuse and gives us a new heart in order to love others as He loves us.

 

God’s healing in our life sets us free to shed the shackles of negative emotions and to be more aware of living fully in each present moment with unceasing prayer and by walking in the Spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You were right there with us during those times of abuse and neglect in our past. You understand our thought processes now and the negative emotions, which plague our life. You became a man and died for us. This act of selfless love now gives us the sense of being valued and unconditionally loved.

 

As we align our self and our beliefs with Your Word, we find fulfillment in this life, which we never thought possible on this side of heaven. You supply all of our needs according to Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). You restore our soul, anoint our head with oil, set a table for us in the presence of our enemies and our cup overflows with Your blessings (Psalm 23).

 

Thought for the Day:

We can relinquish the need to control life and other people in a misguided attempt to keep our self safe from further abuse and neglect, when we insist on taking part in decisions which affect our life, and trust God to work out even the worst circumstances for our good – Romans 8:28

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Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
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Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

No Help for Us in God

Throughout the ages, scoffers and God-haters say that there is no help for us in God (Psalm 3:2). They deny His part in creation and they belittle the testimonies of His provision in the lives of His Saints.

However, those who are genuinely seeking for real answers in life find true solace in the everlasting arms of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is our shield against the arrows of the devil (Psalm 91), surrounding us on all sides with His protection (Psalm 3:3).

When we faithfully shout praises to the Lord, with all of our trust and might, His answers are so miraculous that they thunder down from His holy mountain (Psalm 3:4).

We bask in His presence and enjoy all of His blessings (John 15:9; Psalm 103:2). Even in dire and frightening circumstances, we trust in Him with all of our heart (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Since God is our only salvation, we have no fear as we trust in Him. We stretch out on our bed in solace and enjoy sweet sleep, waking with energy, confidence and stability (Psalm 3:5; Proverbs 3:24).

Regardless of the circumstances, we stand firm on our Rock, fearless in any time of danger, or financial and relational loss, or just in our daily life. We plant our fist squarely in the face of the enemy (Isaiah 17:10; Psalm 3:6).

We are confident that true and timely help always comes to us from our Father God (Psalm 3:8). He clothes us with salvation and holiness, as we continually delight in Him (Isaiah 61:10).

The Lord is our strength and defense (Isaiah 12:2). When we walk in His truth and obey His Word, our peace is like a river and His benefits overwhelm us like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:18).

Prayer:
Father God, even in times of discouragement, when feelings of uselessness and hopelessness threaten to overwhelm us, our reward is in Your hand and You liberally supply us with all of our needs (Isaiah 49:4; Romans 8:28). We will continually rejoice in You, as our Lord, and find our joy in You, as our Savior (Habakkuk 3:18).

Although people persist in ridiculing us for our faith in You, and they look at us incredulously and mock and insult us, and sometime even take advantage of us in our weakness, we pray that You will draw them to Your bleeding side (Psalm 17:11, 22:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
A person’s animosity towards Christians is often birthed from conviction, and our Godly response to them may help them to surrender to God’s unconditional love.

The Problem with Revival

Ever since Adam’s failure to walk according to God’s precepts in the garden, God’s whole creation longs for the freedom, which God’s presence brings to our life (Romans 5:12, 8:19-23).

We all desire revival to bring us closer to God. Revival is a time of intense concentration on God’s truth and His Spirit. We sit still for several days cloistered with Christ’s Body.

God immerses us in His presence, because we take the time to rest at His feet. The music and the preaching of God’s Word brings life to the spirit and the soul – our mind, will and emotions.

The problem with revivals is that as the memories of the revival fade, the soul no longer feels the euphoria, which was present during the revival; therefore, our soul will look to the world for new feelings of elation, rather than to the Lord.

Israel is a perfect example of this issue. In their entire history as a nation, they always fell back into the world after every revival (Hosea 14:1; Psalm 78:10-11, 40-42, 56-57). The casual church member is no different in their behavior.

Only a remnant of Believers respond to revival in their spirit, as well as their soul. Our spirit experiences a deep immersion into the presence of God. His peace influences our attitude and outlook.

Authentic Believers gradually realize that our soul is even more satisfied as we spend more time with God than with the world. We find the joy of the Lord as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

We wake every morning and luxuriate in the presence of God all through the day. Even at night, our spirit rejoices as we sleep; and when we wake, there is a song of praise flowing through our mind.

In times of trial, we maintain the peace and joy of the Lord, realizing that there is a seed for a miracle in every negative experience we encounter. We enjoy fellowship with our brother, Jesus Christ, by His Spirit who dwells within us.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for keeping us as the apple of Your eye, and sheltering us under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 17:8). When we encounter trouble, we are always safe in Your dwelling place, as You hide us in the shelter of Your sacred tent and put us high upon a rock (Psalm 27:5, 32:7).

Teach us that revival is an attitude of our heart, not a week of meetings or a group experience. We can dwell in a time of revival each day of our life, as You renew a right spirit in us and make us ever mindful of Your presence our life (Psalm 51:10).

Thought for the Day:
We have an advantage in our life over the Saints who lived prior to Christ, because we actually have the presence of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us; and He is continually reviving, comforting, correcting and drawing us closer to a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father.

The Big Lie

We are born into a world with expectations, regulations and pressure to excel. We are taught to succeed regardless of the cost to our own soul and to those we love.

By example, the adults in our life instruct us that material gain is paramount for our happiness. Many parents work more than one job to afford more for us than their parents provided for them.

The big lie is that we only have one life to live; therefore, we have to accumulate wealth, stature and expensive material possessions in order to have status and fulfillment.

No matter how much we gain in this world, it is never satisfying; so, we force our self to work harder and longer hours in order to acquire more.

We feel incomplete, but we do not understand why. Satan blinds our eyes to the reality that our spirit is dead within us, and we are only limping through life with a body and soul (Ephesians 2:1).

God originally planned for us to live in Paradise with Him; but Adam and Eve fell for Satan’s temptation, and our spirit died with theirs. Yet, God made a way for our salvation, and He will never fail to meet our needs.

He planned the sacrifice of His perfect Lamb on Calvary’s cross before the creation of the world. Due to His foreknowledge, He knows the end from the beginning (1 Peter 1:2; Acts 2:23; Revelation 13:8).

There is only one reason that God knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-18; Jeremiah 1:5). It is to give us new life in Christ, which includes His nature and the fruit of His Spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

These treasures are worth more than fine gold (Psalm 19:10). Once we come to Christ, our spirit is Born Again. We finally feel complete and whole inside. We are no longer handicapped with a spirit dead in sin.

We desire nothing more than our relationship with our Lord and Savior (John 15:11, 16:24). With each day, we feel His love more deeply and we hear His Spirit more clearly.

Prayer:
Father God, open our eyes to the fact that Satan dupes us into believing that the purpose for our life on this earth is to work for the advantage of our self and our loved ones. Help us to see that You create us for Your glory, rather than for our own glory.

Teach us to simplify our life, to downsize rather than to upgrade, and to budget our income to meet much simpler earthly needs. Remind us to make You our priority in life and to cheerfully tithe for the work of Your ministry and to obey You in meeting the needs of those Your Spirit prompts us to help (Luke 21:1-4 Malachi; 3:10; Proverbs 3:9; 2 Corinthians 9:7; John 12:8).

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers will realize that our life on this earth is not for the purpose of building our own kingdom, but rather to advance the Kingdom of God.

It Really is Your Choice

Jesus Christ provided for a way for us to enjoy the glories of Heaven (John 6:44; Acts 4:12, 16:30-31). He is the only way for us to receive redemption. That is why Christians are always sharing the good news of the Gospel of Christ. We may get on someone’s nerves, but we share God’s Truth for their benefit, not our own. We are already Born Again and our place in Heaven is already reserved.

What about your place in Heaven? Have you repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be your personal Savior (John 3:16)? Have you surrendered your life to His redeeming grace and realized the benefits of living in His family now and forever? There are multiple ways to enter eternity, but only one leads to Heaven; all the rest lead to hell (John 3:18).

Satan is very cunning. He appears as an angel of light and he perverts God’s truth to his own advantage. He wants to take Jesus’ place as King of the universe. He already rebelled against God and lost his place in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Now he is the “god” of this world and he wants to stay that way (2 Corinthians 4:4). He fills the world with his lies in order to take as many people to hell with him as he can (John 8:44; Romans 1:25).

If you reject Jesus as your Savior and remain as an unbeliever, living in unbelief and sinful pursuits, you will never see God (Revelation 21:7-8). If you admit that you are a sinner, regret your sinful lifestyle, choose to live according to Biblical principles, ask Jesus to cover you with His precious blood, and place your faith in God’s faithfulness, you will enjoy the blessings as a co-heir with Jesus of God’s Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Prayer:
Father God, I come to You in Jesus’ name to acknowledge that I am a sinner. I am as grieved over my past lifestyle as You are. I want to turn from a life of sin and self-reliance, and live according to Your Biblical principles.

Thank You for sending Jesus to die for me and to pay the penalty of my sin debt to You. I believe that You raised Jesus from the dead and that He now sits at Your right hand. I want to take advantage of Your grace and to live a life of purity and truth.

I will serve You in gratitude for the many blessings You provide for me throughout my lifetime. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Once we place our full trust in Him and His promises, God keeps us in His hands and never forsakes us. – John 6:37, 10:28-29; Hebrews 13:5