Healing Relationships – Part 3

Any time that we give power over our self-worth to another person, rather than to God alone, we are making that person an idol in our life.

As we discover our healthy self-worth in Christ, based on knowing His Word and how He feels about us, then we can follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in forming safe relationships.

We will still experience negative feelings, such as hurt, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. These feelings are an integral part of life, and they come with the human experience.

It is impossible to love without opening our self up to be hurt. When we choose to love someone, we are giving him/her the power to love us and to look to us to be loved.

However, we can love without also giving them the power to hurt us or to allow their words and actions to cause us to feel insecure, angry or frightened.

When someone’s words or behavior trigger a negative reaction in us, this is a sign that something is very wrong. We can take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to reveal the origin of this sensitivity in us.

There may be an unresolved conflict from our past, which is still very much alive in our subconscious mind; or it may rise from some current situation that is causing this negative feeling. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we submit to God’s healing, these slights and rejection no longer have the power to devastate us like they used to, because we have a spiritual perspective now.

God helps us to resolve our negative feelings, and we have peace within once again. At the same time, we can keep communication open between our self and others.

We can even mention, in a non-accusatory manner, that their behavior or words triggered a fearful or hurtful reaction in us. However, we do not have to attack them or cause a negative reaction in them, just because we are hurt.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so difficult to heal emotionally once we are in a caustic relationship. Our mate expects us to act as we always do. They feel threatened and confused as we start to change.

Remind us to share with them what we are learning and how we are changing, so they will not be surprised by any sudden transformation in our behavior. Create in both of us a clean heart that lives only to serve You in this life.

Thought for the Day:
The best motivation for mutual change in a relationship is to realize that change gives us a better connection.

For more information on our identity in Christ read:
http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2015/02/normal-0-our-identity-in-christ-alone.html

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God’s Eternal Plan – Part 1

God is not a cosmic ogre, waiting to inflict pain upon defenseless human beings. He is a loving, supernatural Being, who wanted us to live in Paradise with Him forever. His ultimate desire is that we allow Him to give us His best. He does not want robots worshiping Him; therefore, like the angels, He gave mankind a free will to choose whether to serve God, self or Satan with our life (Joshua 24:15).

God gave humanity just one stipulation in Paradise: eat of any tree except one. Adam and Eve had all of Paradise to enjoy and to eat to their heart’s content. However, their human pride, curiosity and greed were fueled by Satan’s deception, and they stooped to his level to try to become like God (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14).

Where was their gratitude for everything God gave them: for the perfect environment, for their love for one another, for the animals and all of creation, which dwelt together in perfect unity and harmony (Isaiah 11:6-8) and for daily face-to-face communication with God in the cool of the evening? (Genesis 3:8)

Due to human pride, all of creation was instantly under the same curse of sin that we are now. Since that day creation impatiently awaits the revelation of the children of God in order to be restored to its rightful place in the paradise of the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17). God has given mankind 6,000 years to repent and come to Him.

When Adam and Eve realized they were naked and felt shame, God killed an animal to make clothes for them to wear (Genesis 3:21). That innocent blood had to have atonement, a perfect Lamb, sacrificed to pay the sin debt. Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid that debt and freed us all to live in eternity with our Heavenly Father as co-heirs with Him of the Kingdom of God.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You that this earth will not live under the curse of sin forever. Jesus will return with His army and with one word of His mouth, he will destroy the maniacal army of Satan. He will make a new heaven and a new earth for us to enjoy for eternity. You never send judgment without first sending warning, often for hundreds of years before You acts on Your righteous judgment. I pray that people worldwide will heed the warning You are sending in these last days. You will never, ever leave or forsake us and we sing praises to You for Your steadfast love.

Thought for the Day:
We rejoice in knowing that Christ abides within us by His Spirit as we cling to Him as a branch on a vine.

The Blessings of God’s Law

God did not give Moses the Law in order to restrict and burden the people with too many rules to keep. He gave the Law as wisdom and enlightenment of how we can live a healthy life in body, soul and spirit. Our Heavenly Father developed the Law in order to protect us from our self and from people who desire to perpetuate evil on others. The Law also leads us to our need for Christ (Galatians 3:24-26).

As we read His Word and meditate on His Law, God uses these words to caution and instruct us during our daily life. This keeps us from breaking the laws of our nation and ending up in jail, it stops us from contracting illnesses from other people, it prevents us from getting enslaved by addictions, it averts disasters in our personal relationships, etc.

God will circumvent His law in certain cases when He divinely intervenes in the circumstances of our life. For instance, if two cars are heading toward one another on a collision course, God can send His angels to prevent a wreck. We usually reap what we sow in life. Although because of God’s mercy and grace, He often protects us from our own, or someone else’s choices (Galatians 6:7; Isaiah 63:7-9).

In addition to His Word, God also uses His Spirit to speak to His Saints and to direct our choices (Proverbs 3:5-6). However, if we are not committing our way to the Lord and walking in His Spirit, then we will often harvest the results of our humanistic decisions. As we walk in God’s will instead of our own, we are filled with peace and joy, and our life is much more fulfilled.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your Law, which gives us the wisdom to live productive and blessed lives. You do not want us to make our plans and ask You to bless them. Instead, You want us to hear from You and to accomplish the works You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10). In order to hear from You, we need to quiet our body, ignore the thoughts and emotions in our soul, and focus on Your still, small voice communicating with us through our spirit. Show us Your ways, and teach us Your truths as we wait on You all through the day (Psalm 25:4-5; 27:11; 86:11).

Thought for the Day:
There is no conflict between the law and promises of God; the law shows that we are all controlled by sin, but those who believe in Christ will receive God’s promises. – Galatians 3:21

Communication in Marriage

Most couples dearly love one another, but have a hard time expressing their deepest feelings. They desperately want their mate to know they love them, but have no clue how to do this ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ). When it comes to verbally expressing their feelings, they get tongue-tied. The old joke states, “I told you that I love you when I married you; and if I change my mind, I will let you know.”

Unrealistic expectations prior to marriage often ruin a couple’s chance at happiness in the marriage. No one can live up to the fairy tale romance they dream about or the practical expectations they anticipate. Many people also think they will change their mate once they get married. One man put it this way, “Honey, what you see is what you get. I’m not changing for anyone or for any reason.”

We also misunderstand what our mate desires from us. We get frustrated, angry, resentful and feel hopeless because we cannot measure up to the ideal, which we think our mate wants. If we realize that we are both human and have foibles and idiosyncrasies that make us the unique person we are, then we can be more accepting of our self and one another.

There are realistic goals for marriage, however. We want our mate to care about how they look; and we appreciate their efforts to dress neatly, to stay groomed, to maintain a reasonable weight and to be caring and loyal. Our mate will be less tempted to look outside of the marriage if we present an attractive package within the marriage. We also want our mate to cherish us and to desire our company.

One key to a happy marriage is honest communication. Not brutal honesty, but loving, confident, uncritical expressions of what we want and need. It puts undo stress on a couple to try to predict what gift our mate wants for special occasions or what behavior they are expecting from us. The second key is a servant’s heart. In all things, we can love, serve and accept each other’s differences (Ephesians 4:2).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us the desire to love and to be loved. It is our most basic human need. We know without a doubt that Your love for us is the most fulfilling and the most urgent of our human needs. You do not love us for how we perform, because You loved us while we were still depraved sinners (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:10). Help us to love one another unconditionally. Our mate may choose to leave us, but we do not have to take their choice personally, because we know You will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)

Thought for the Day:
Men and women both thrive on praise, appreciation and affirmation, rather than on criticism, condescension and being taken for granted.

My Soul Thirsts for God

Prayer is our method of communication with God. We pray in one of two ways: monologues or dialogues. A monologue prayer is one-sided. We recite a litany of needs and tell God what we want and how He should provide it. We even give Him the game plan that we think is His best alternative. Of course, a dialogue is two-sided, and we are quiet long enough to hear from God.

God calls us to be still and to know that He is our Almighty God (Psalm 46:10). His words to us never contradict His words in the Bible. If we think we hear from God, and it is contrary to His Biblical words, then we know that Satan, the counterfeit, is trying to lead us away from God’s Truth. God’s sheep know His voice; and the more we listen, the more we recognize that He is speaking to us (John 10:27-33).

Have you ever been very, very thirsty? You mowed the lawn or cleaned all the windows or walked for several miles in the heat and your body is crying out for water. As we mature spiritually, our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – comes to this same place of thirsting for God (Psalm 42:1-2). The soul of a spiritual Saint is consumed with longing for more intimacy with God (Psalm 119:20).

We want all of our being to be filled with all of the fullness of God, to have the richest measure of His presence and to become a person entirely filled with God (Ephesians 3:19). Our soul yearns for God, even as we sleep; and our spirit seeks more intimacy with Him both day and night (Isaiah 26:9). Our body and soul ache for Him and cry out for our living God (Psalm 84:2).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that intimacy infers honesty. We cannot have a personal union with You without an agreement to completely expose our life to Your Holy Spirit. We cannot hide anything from You, because You already know everything about us (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13). Thank you that Jesus invites those of us who thirst after Him to come to His living water. Even those with nothing to offer to Him are welcome (Isaiah 55:1), and He freely gives us all things (Romans 8:32).

Thought for the Day:
Our intimate interludes with the Lord are our favorite times of the day.

Surviving Human Relationships

Human relationships are usually based on feelings, which draw us together. However, feelings may also sever the association, because of a lack of communication and personal issues of inadequacy. We mentally interject words and thoughts into a conversation, which are not there, and act accordingly. We feel unloved, rejected and misunderstood. Then, we just give up.

God wants to reprogram our thoughts, which are currently based on lies from the devil ( http://www.theophostic.com ), with His own words, which tell us the truth about our worth and our victory in Christ. God chose us before the foundation of the world, so we have no need to feel inadequate (Isaiah 43:10). There is not one issue in life, which can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:31-39).

God builds us up (Acts 20:32), when people put us down. His right hand supports us (Psalm 63:8), when others reject us. He provides for us (Philippians 4:19), when Satan tries to steal from us, and kill and destroy us (John 10:10). When we are afraid, He redeems us and calls us by our name, because we are His (Isaiah 43:1). He loves us and considers us as precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4).

God engraves us on the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). He gives us sure footing regardless of the situation we are living through (Habakkuk 3:19). God chose us as a holy, royal priesthood. We are His special possession. We praise Him, because He called us out of darkness and brought us into the world of His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

Authentic Christian relationships survive the plagues of the world, the flesh and the devil, which attempt to drive a wedge between two people. There are no issues in a marriage, which justify divorce. A time of separation can free us from the circumstances of the moment and give God time to work out reconciliation between both parties.

Prayer:
Father God, we love you. You are our strength, our rock, our fortress and our deliverer. You are our source of salvation and our stronghold in times of trouble. We take refuge in You. We call on You, who are worthy of praise, and You save us from those who would bring us harm (Psalm 18:1-3). We give You all the praise that is worthy of Your name. Thank You for keeping us as the apple of Your eye (Psalm 17:8).

Thought for the Day:
We can rest secure in God, because He shields us all day long and carries us on His shoulders. – Deuteronomy 33:12

Inner Transformation

God promises never to leave us nor to forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). When He seems distant, it is because we have drifted away from Him, not that He left us. Mental knowledge about God cannot compare with knowledge of God in a personal, spiritual relationship (John 17:3). This intimacy transforms us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

God’s presence in our life changes us from the inside out. We are still rough around the edges outwardly; but inwardly, we have more peace and joy than ever before. The fruit of God’s Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:22-23). We fall more in love with Jesus every day. Our fears, deep-seated anger and insecurities diminish as God heals the pain of our past.

Our faith in God’s faithfulness grows with each trial, which He works out for our good, as well as through each weakness He enables us to overcome (Romans 8:28). We come to Him and willingly lay our goals and desires at His feet, embracing His will for our life. Our prayer time grows from a few moments each morning to continual communication throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

We feast on God’s Word and allow it to dictate our thoughts and behavior. When we, who know God intimately, share with others what Christ does in our life, many of them will desire to know the Lord too. I do wish our passion for God was catching, so that everyone would come to know His love intimately. However, everyone does have a chance, because He calls “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17).

Prayer:
Father God, our unity with You is our greatest joy. All of our other relationships and activities are influenced for the better, because of Your presence in our life. We love that we can be Your friend (John 15:13-15). King David gives us such insight into our relationship with You. The possibilities are endless (Psalm 63:1-8). Thank You for making us joint heirs with Jesus Christ of the glory of Your Kingdom (Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we fully love God and keep His Words, the Trinity makes their abode in us. – John 14:23