Escaping Fiery Darts and Entrapping Sins

Satan attempts to use the sin in the world and in people dwelling all around us to inflict us with physical and emotional wounds. He delights in deceiving us and inflicting pain through the destruction of sin.

 

God tells us to draw near to him and to resist the devil, and the devil has to flee (James 4:7). We can avoid many of life’s tragedies and their consequences by walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

There are inevitable consequences of life on this sin-cursed earth, such as certain illnesses and death; yet, it is often the foods we eat and products we use on our body and in our home, as well as the people in our life, which contribute to our unnecessary illness and untimely death.

 

If we realize that we are raised with Christ and hidden with Him in God, we understand that God has ultimate control over our life. We keep our self free from the pursuit and love of money and escape undue stress and its effects on our body, soul and spirit.

 

Jesus calls us to seek Heavenly matters and wisdom from the right hand of God where He is sitting (Colossians 3:1-3). We learn to obey His Spirit and to live contentedly with what He provides.

 

God’s great love and compassion never fail and prevent us from being consumed by sin, the devil and the world. God faithfully provides His mercy for us each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

We awaken to a whole new day of His provision and protection. As we are still before God and listen to His voice, we know God in an intimate relationship, and find His peace in uncertainty.

 

He never leaves or forsakes us and He abides within our spirit and protects our body and soul from the ravages of this world (Hebrews 13:5). Born of God, we overcome this world and enjoy His victory through our belief and faith in Christ (1 John 5:4-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is so uncertain and we constantly wonder what will happen tomorrow to throw a wrench in the works. You give us the faith of Christ, which helps us to realize that life’s challenges are really adventures when You are involved in them with us. As we focus our faith in Your faithfulness, we enjoy life so much more.

 

You are Creator and Savior and are always in charge, even when we wander from Your will. Your love never changes and You always draw us back to the protection of Your straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We look forward to You coming for Your Saints, but we thank You too for overcoming this world in and through us until You do.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us enables us to escape the fiery darts of the devil and to protect us from reaping the destruction of the sins, which so easily trap us in their grip. – Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 12:1

 

Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 2

Victims of abuse may turn into abusers in order to erase the shame, fears and insecurities, which plague them. They neglect those whom they should cherish, and they allow negative emotions to control our life and theirs.

We may use anger as a means to protect our self from further abuse, but this sends mixed messages. People never know when we will patiently suffer as a martyr or blow up like a volcano at the least provocation.

We may not be able to trust people, but we can trust God. Rather than acting with bombastic and combative behavior, we find our strength and confidence in Christ’s quiet resolve within us.

Then we set boundaries, and firmly but quietly caution people not to cross the line (Isaiah 30:15). They may test our boundaries; but if we consistently remind them, they will soon learn to respect us.

The older we get, the more we tell our self that the abuse happened a long time ago and we should get over it. Yet the shameful effects of the violation and the loss of our innocence and sense of trust can last a lifetime.

We may even find our self questioning if the abuse actually happened. We live in denial and convince our self that our abuser is a revered person who could never do anything that horrific.

When a trigger reminds us of the situation, it is because our soul is crying out for validation and comfort. Our true inner self is desperately attempting to gain our attention and to make us take the abuse seriously enough to stop it or to simply acknowledge it.

Snippets of words, body language, the shape of certain plants, an over-reaction that we cannot explain, bizarre behavior that has no basis in reality are all ways that our soul uses to force us to face and validate the incident(s).

Journaling will enable us to get in touch with the episode(s) and tell our story of abuse without having to make it public knowledge. Journaling validates our feelings, nurtures our wounded soul and is extremely healing.

Prayer:
Father God, You collect all of our tears in Your bottle and avenge every one of them (Psalm 56:8). Even if we feel that we somehow caused or deserved the abuse, You wash away our shame and replace it with the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:7).

Remind us that forgiving our perpetrator actually helps us to heal by taking them off our “hook” and placing them firmly on Your hook. You are much better at rendering vengeance than we are (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35). Thank You for healing us from our past and giving us a bright future full of Your love and acceptance (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Loss of innocence means that a person who was supposed to protect, nurture and cherish us actually abused us and stole from us what rightfully belongs to us alone.

 

For more information, please join me for regular tips about healing at:

https://www.facebook.com/healingourinnerchild/

 

True Contentment

When life is free from stress and trials, we tend to forget God, to take credit for our successes and to change our focus from Christ-centered to self-centered.

God gives us room to follow our carnal desires and to experiment with our own plans and goals (Romans 1:24); so that when we fail or get the wind knocked out of us, we will run back to Him.

A trial brings us to our knees and reminds us that only as we are weak can we be truly strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). We no longer find fulfillment in a sinful lifestyle. God is our exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4, 149:4).

When God delivers us from various trials and temptations, our faith increases and we grow spiritually. We realize that we are now dead to sin and alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4).

Regardless of our circumstances, our soul finds true contentment, which comes from God alone. We gradually stop depending on our self and depend only on God. He becomes the very air we breathe.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We realize our utter dependence on His Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us strength for each new day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As we decrease, He increases (John 3:30-35) and draws us into a deeper walk with Him. We devour His Word, and this life-giving source fills us with faith and wisdom for living in this insecure world.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to find serenity, joy and contentment of soul in You alone. Nothing that this world offers to us equals to what You give us through Your mercy and grace. Through our total dependence on You, we find Your strength for each moment of the day as we rise up to meet the challenges life throws at us.

We can rest in You, because You have all things under Your control. We want to tell the world what you mean to us. Give us daily opportunities to be a friend in order to win a soul to Your love. Take pleasure in us as we hope in Your steadfast love (Psalm 147:11).

Thought for the Day:
Our delight is always in the Lord, because we find our true contentment and fulfillment in God alone. – Psalm 37:4

A Changed Attitude

At any given moment of the day, when we least expect it, circumstances arise that cause fear and despair to darken our attitude. Heaviness shrouds our spirit and joy flees in retreat.

Eventually anger may arise to shield us from impending pain and we explode and strike out at those around us. For the smallest offense, we react with severe sharpness that leaves the other person cut to shreds.

Our soul pours forth a storm of abuse that drenches the recipient to the point of drowning! Then we feel guilty for over-reacting and causing someone else pain and unhappiness.

Our anxiety and depression deepen and we withdraw into a stoic abyss. James did not believe in his half-brother’s deity until after His resurrection.

However, God used James mightily to further His Kingdom in Jesus’ footsteps. He remembered things Jesus taught and shared them with the Body of Christ both then and now.

One very famous concept was something very similar to what the apostle Paul taught. James reminds us that when we are tempted to sin, we can consider it a joyous time.

This occurs because we know without a doubt that when our faith is tried, the circumstances allow God’s Spirit to use our faith in Christ to work patience into our life.

As we learn patience, we lose much of the anxiety and grief which circumstances used to spawn in our life. Life is much simpler; we want less of this world and more obedience to His Spirit.

We realize that regardless of issues we are experiencing, we have need of nothing. God is our supply, and He has everything in His control (James 1:2-4).

Prayer:
Father God, You are the same Creator who made the majestic mountains, the depths of the sea, the myriad of galaxies in the heavens and the variety of species of plants and animals on this earth. You also have a wonderful plan for each of us, filled with love and peace through our Rock, Jesus Christ.

Most people prefer to make our own rules and live according to the dictates of our own heart, rejecting You for much, most, or all of our life. Some of us totally spurn Your offer of love and lead a hate campaign against You. Others attempt to earn our salvation by our good works.

A few of us will receive Your free gift of salvation through Christ (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Even then, we look to You to forgive us each day for transgressing against Your will and way for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of His Holy Spirit and having the nature of God as we readily and fully surrender to God’s sanctifying process.

End to the Beginning

End to the Beginning

Whenever I read a book, I always read the last chapter first. That way I eliminate the mystery, suspense and unpredictability of the story line. Then, I can read from the beginning, without the stress of not knowing how it will turn out.

Some of you may enjoy horror movies and suspenseful mysteries, but they cause my psyche too much anxiety. I love to watch Hallmark movies, because as my husband derisively points out, the endings are predictable. There is very little stress and suspense in these wondrously sappy romances.

I did this with the Bible too. I read Revelation first. This colorful depiction of symbolic drama gives us a bird’s eye view of the culmination of time as we know it.

Revelation confirms the prophetic books of the Bible, such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah – as well as the New Testament letters such as the gospels and Thessalonians. They report to us God’s intention for creation, redemption and restoration.

When we know how the end plays out, these facts remove the guesswork from life and give us a fool proof game plan to follow in our walk of faith through the Son of God.

God made His will plain and stress-free for us through the Biblical account of His clear timetable of events leading up to His final return to earth and His eternal plans for humanity.

God does not dwell in time. The 6,000 years since creation are all in the present to Him. He is not restrained, directed or controlled by the hands on the clock like we are (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

Our Creator and King dwells in eternity. He invites us to join Him in this place of unhindered existence through salvation in His Son. Jesus won this privilege for us by taking on the form of a man and dying in our place (Philippians 2:6-8).

God also provided us with His Word in order to afford us hope for a joyful future and instructions for living in a peaceful existence through every moment of each new day regardless of our circumstances (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your Word, which takes the guesswork right out of life. Remind us to check with You before we do anything, so that You can direct our plans (Proverbs 3:5-6). When Satan attempts to hinder us, teach us to use spiritual warfare through the power of Christ in us to withstand his onslaughts.

Thank You for always answering our prayers, and for not always giving us what we want, but what is in our best interest. We squirm under the pressures of life and often feel like we know how to alleviate these trials; but we often jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Keep us in the center of Your will and walking in the fruit of Your righteousness.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father is God and there is no one like Him; He declared the end to the beginning. – Isaiah 4:9-11

Overcoming Anxiety

Anxiety is a horrifying malady. It strikes when we least expect it and has some sources that are subconscious and not apparent to the conscience mind. The healing process for anxiety often eludes us.

Anxiety may have its roots in unresolved conflicts of our past and is fueled by lies, which Satan planted there. Often our medication taken for medical issues will also trigger unexplained and unfounded panic attacks.

We chastise our self for these feelings, believing that we should be able to overcome them. The exciting truth is that anxiety cannot harm us. We have authority over the attacks in Jesus’ name.

Focusing on the anxiety only increases the fears within us. Instead, we can focus on Christian music, fellowship or memorized Bible verses until the attack passes (Isaiah 41:10). Herbal relaxants also calm us.

Human faith is limited, and dependent on our five senses and physical circumstances. Faith in God replaces our fear of life’s uncertainties (Isaiah 43:1). This supernatural faith understands what our human senses cannot even perceive (Hebrews 1:11).

God’s Spirit is right there in us and with us, protecting us and guiding us through the travesties of life. His fruit replaces our carnal nature with the character of God (Galatians 5:22-23).

Hearing God’s Word and standing on Jesus, the firm Rock of our salvation, also increases our faith in God (Romans 10:17). They renew our mind and heal us from past trauma by helping us to expose Satan’s lies and to resolve those issues (Proverbs 12:25;  http://www.theophostic.com )

Regardless of our experiences, God strengthens our resolve as we trust ONLY in Him, obey His commandments and believe without a doubt that He is always only a prayer away (Psalm 94:19).

There is no human way that we can control life, regardless of how much we obsess or attempt to keep our self and our loved ones safe. As we trust in God instead of our self, we experience His supernatural peace which exceeds all human comprehension (Psalm 56:3).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of our experiences, either past or present, or our fears of the future, there is no trial that You will not walk through with us. You carry us through the rocky roads and the fire scorched earth to a place of safety tucked away in the cleft of the Rock of Christ (1 John 4:18).

You teach us that our mind is Satan’s battleground, which he uses to take control of our life and to make us ineffectual for Your Kingdom work on the earth. Thank You for strengthening our resolve to deal with, or to turn over to You, the source of any negative thought or emotion in our life, and to put our trust in Your control over our circumstances (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 Peter 5:6-7).

Thought for the Day:
The result of sitting quietly in God’s presence is a renewed sense of intimacy with Him, spiritual power to take authority over Satan’s interference in our life and peace that surpasses human understanding.
– Philippians 4:6-7; James 4:7-8; John 14:27

Spirit over Matter

Our spirit is our dwelling place with God. When we live in the center of God’s Will, we dwell in the heavenly realm and everything that happens to us is in the sphere of His purpose and control.

As we view any circumstance from within our spirit, the physical and emotional and mental aspects of the event are outside of our dwelling place and have no real effect on who we really are in Christ.

We know without a doubt that He has an eternal purpose for us in any experience and that He will work out all of the details for our ultimate good.

Even physical illness, loss, relational issues, financial disaster and every other negative incident which may occur are in His control. We can rest in His everlasting arms through it all.

If we happen to slip out of our spirit and allow our self to feel the emotion or physical pain of the experience, then it affects us negatively. But in the spirit, it cannot touch us.

Jesus experienced loss and grief a few times in His life. His good friend Lazarus died and Jesus wept (John 1:35). He looked out over Jerusalem and grieved for the coming destruction of His beloved city (Luke 19:41).

He sweat drops of blood as He faced the cross and begged our Father to release Him from the anguish of taking on the sin of the whole world and being rejected by God (Luke 22:44).

Yet, once He stepped back into His spirit in all of these situations, He accepted God’s will over His own desires and no longer suffered any negative consequences from the trials of His body and soul (Hebrews 4:15).

This happened in my life. After an auto accident, I was bruised, bleeding, had half a face full of glass, broke my little finger and eleven ribs, and suffered a concussion and a punctured lung.

I totaled my car, but I was out of the hospital in one day, back to work as a secretary in one week, and I never took one pain pill as I slowly healed over the next three months.

That was spirit over matter with a generous helping of God’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Prayer:
Father God, we know that nothing catches You by surprise and we can relax and look forward to the miracle, which You place within every trial that we encounter. You are in control regardless of what the circumstances look like or how much suffering and turmoil we experience.

As we view the experience from within our spirit, Your Spirit buffers any loss to our body or soul. We know that the suffering is occurring, but it has no effect on our attitude because we count it all joy (James 1:2-8).

Thought of the Day:
A Christian does not experience life through mind over matter, but through spirit over matter; because though we suffer loss in this world, it does not affect our eternal existence now or in the world to come.

Walking in the Spirit

There is a fine line between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit. Our human soul – our mind, emotions and will – has definite opinions about everything, and wants to be heard in the midst of our day.

Of course, this is a very important exercise. We often neglect our body and soul. We push our body to the limit, ignoring warning signs. We discount the cautions of our soul.

We grab a protein bar instead of eating a balanced meal. We fail to exercise, because we have one more item to accomplish for work. We do not realize that we are full of destructive negative emotions.

Yet, our body, soul and spirit work much better when they are all in sync with God’s Spirit. We care for our body, pay attention to the way in which life is affecting our soul, and we stay in tune to God in our spirit.

God used the game of Scrabble to give me an object lesson on listening to the Spirit rather than obeying the thoughts in my mind.

Rather than to look for a word I already know, I listen to the Spirit and place the letters He tells me to use. I learn new words, earn more points and learn to discern between the voice of God and the voice of my own human reasoning.

When we walk in the Spirit, we stop making our own plans and trust in the Lord’s plans for our day instead. We stop considering our human reasoning and seek only God’s will for everything that we do and say as we follow His desires (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Walking in the Spirit allows us to more easily discern His prompting throughout the day. The voice of our soul eventually dims, and it is easier to hear the direction of God’s Spirit for each moment of our day.

Prayer:
Father God, You gave us an example of Your love and deliverance by freeing Israel from Egyptian control. In our similar dire circumstances, You always give us Your comfort, which increases our joy (Psalm 94:19). When we are overwhelmed by life’s sorrows and fears, You are right there within us.

You care about Your children who honor and obey You (Psalm 15:19). Our only true joy is in You, because You give us triumph over life’s hurdles as we feast even now on our inheritance as Your children (Isaiah 58:14).

Thought for the Day:
When we walk in the Spirit, we listen for His peace, which surpasses human understanding; therefore, we have less anxiety, because we pray about each moment of our day. – Philippians 4:6

Mind Over Matter

There is only one way for our mind to control matter, and that is through satanic powers. Most of us never try this; yet, every day we attempt to control our life by our sheer will power (Matthew 6:27).

This accomplishes nothing more than to increase our anxiety (Jeremiah 17:5). The phrase that “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible.

The only profitable result of us using our will power is that we eventually realize the futility of it, and we come to the end of our self-effort.

We quit trying to be good and to make things happen in our own timing and way; and instead, we trust in God’s will for our life (Isaiah 40:28-31). This allows us to enter God’s rest and for His Spirit to totally control our life (Hebrews 4:9-10).

God teaches us to separate our soul from our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). We disregard the thoughts from our mind, and listen to His leading in our Spirit.

Our human thoughts are centered on earthly matters – what we will eat, where we will live and how we will provide these items for our self.

The emotions, which accompany these thoughts are equally as carnal (Matthew 6:31). If we focus our heart on the temporal, we will work for and be controlled by the momentary issues of this life.

If we set our focus on things above, we have a spiritual context to our life, which lasts throughout eternity (Colossians 3:2).This way too, God will lead us in the center of His will.

In this union life with God, we realize in our spirit, rather than our soul – our mind, choices and emotions, what God’s will is for every moment of our day (John 17:11, 20-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17).

We follow His Spirit’s direction, even when it is contrary to the thoughts and feelings in our soul. As we recognize the union life provided for us by Christ’s suffering, we live for our Father every moment of our life (John 10:30, 5:19).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our heart is fickle and despicably wicked, and that we do not even know our own mind. Then, we will no longer allow our human heart and mind to dictate our activities and thoughts throughout the day; but we will focus on Christ and Your will for each moment (Psalm 57:7).

We will revere You and never be moved from following after You (Psalm 42:11; Ruth 1:16). You will cherish us in Your everlasting embrace, so that we will not even fear bad news, because we totally trust in You (Psalm 112:1-8). We know You provide a seed for a miracle in every trial.

Thought for the Day:
While we live on this earth, we have only partially tasted the goodness of the word of God and His powers, which will manifest in the age to come. – 1 Peter 1:23; Hebrews 6:5

Focusing on Christ in Us

The Christian walk does not involve us living for Christ, but Christ living in and through us. We are not motivated by desires, obligations or expectations, but by the will of God.

We keep our focus on what Christ did for us on Calvary, and we no longer pursue this world or its benefits. We daily walk in God’s Spirit and live in the eternal realm now.

Grace overcomes the stress in our life and leads us to receive whatever God has in store for us each day. We live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We surrender control over our life, as well as the outcome of our efforts, to Christ. Jesus keeps us in victory, even during negative issues, which we encounter.

God replaces our carnality with His spirituality, our flesh with His Spirit and our motivation and desires with His good, acceptable and perfect will for our life (Romans 12:2).

God’s guiding hand leads us by His Spirit and blesses us with the fruit of our labors in Him. As a new creature, we shed the weight of our carnality and walk in the newness of His life in us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 128:2).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for giving us a new nature through Christ in us by His redeeming work on Calvary’s cross. We no longer live in the flesh or pursue the issues of this world; because they have no more appeal to us.

Remind us that we died in Christ and we now abide in His resurrection power (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). We live, move and have our being in Your Spirit, doing only those works, which You prepared for us before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we focus on Christ throughout our day, we do not have to make plans or provision; we simply follow His Spirit’s direction, as we obey through one word or action at a time, and He supplies all of our necessities and the direction, which we need.