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.

 

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Understanding the Trinity

People accuse Christians of having three Gods. They cannot conceive of the concept of three persons in one God. Yet, the Bible is very clear that we have one Body, one faith, one baptism and one God who is over all, through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

There are many examples to explain the Trinity. My favorite is to consider a man: he is a son, a father and a grandfather; yet, just one person with three functions.

 

Another is a basketball with the outer pig skin, the inner tube and the air within the ball giving it substance and form; one ball with three parts and functions.

 

Yet another idea is an apple with the skin, the flesh and the core; one apple with three distinct parts, serving three distinct functions.

 

A triangle has three equal sides, which together make one complete shape. To my understanding, the Trinity is just that simple.

 

The confusing part with the Trinity is when God calls Jesus His son; yet, Jesus makes it clear that He and the Father are one (John 10:30). He said that if those in His day saw Him, then they have also seen the Father (John 14:7-9).

 

He also said that He had to leave the earth so the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7). Clearly, one God with three distinct functions. Understanding the Trinity is just that simple.

 

There are many diverse denominations of Believers, but we are all one Body in Christ with many parts (Romans 12:4; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). God’s grace chooses us, claims us by faith, gives us hope for the future and sustains us throughout our whole life (Matthew 22:14; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Peter 5:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of the denomination in which we choose to worship, You fill every authentic Believer with Your Holy Spirit. He joins us as one Body, one church, one Bride and one faith just as You, Your Spirit and Your Son are one. We are all one in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

 

Thank You for sending us Your Spirit to comfort, guide and counsel us in Your Truth. We rely on His direction through every moment of every day. We are eternally grateful to Christ for His sacrificial offering in our place, and we bask in Your presence, which fills every fiber of our body, soul and spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

Every authentic Believer is united with the Trinity who dwells within us; when someone as monumental as God moves in, there will be wondrous changes in our life.

 

Life’s Disappointments

Considering the disappointments of our past, the uncertainty of our future and the unexpected surprises which meet us with each new day, we often feel frightened by a world that can be very overwhelming.

We always wonder why God allows bad things to happen to good people. We search our soul to discover if we did something to deserve the trials we are experiencing. We shrink from the pain and suffering inflicted upon us.

Regret and anger over our past mistakes, depression and loneliness in our current experiences and hopelessness and fear concerning the future make us regret the day we were ever born.

Yet, when we allow God to open the eyes of our understanding and to open our hearts to His eternal love, our life takes on a whole new meaning.

Our compassionate Lord experienced the same degree of suffering and degradation, which we do; and He understands how we feel. He suffered so much more than we ever will and He did it all for us.

He uses the sin-caused circumstances of daily living to strengthen our character, perfect our patience and draw us ever closer to His bleeding heart (James 1:4-8).

He is our hope, and our expectations are in Him alone. Apart from Him, there is no joy and peace in this life. He satisfies our longings and fills our empty soul (Psalm 107:9).

He heals broken hearts, answers our doubts, calms our fears, strengthens our endurance and gives us hope for a tomorrow filled with His presence, regardless of our circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, we depend on your mercy to see us through this life, on Your grace to make us victorious over every negative experience, and Your goodness to give us a miracle from every trial. From Old Testament examples and New Testament encouragement we realize that You are the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

You help us to remain faithful regardless of our experiences, never losing hope, never slandering Your name and always walking in Your righteousness; so we do not cause anyone to doubt Your goodness. Nothing can ever separate us from Your love except the distance that we put between You and us (Romans 8:35-39).

Thought for the Day:
As we are fully aware and present in each moment of life, we see how God is weaving them into a beautiful tapestry for us to enjoy.

Lead Me to the Rock – Psalm 61

Jesus Christ is our solid Rock on which we stand when the storms of adversity stir up the quick sand of life. These menacing pits of destruction attempt to swallow us whole, sucking the life right out of us inch by inch.

As our heart grows faint, we cry out to God from the lowest parts of the earth and He leads us to the Rock, which is so much higher than our debilitating circumstances (Psalm 61:1-2).

Safely entrenched on the Rock of Christ we rise far above these destructive elements from Satan, the world and the flesh, which come to rob us of our joy and peace and make our testimony for God ineffectual and tarnished.

As our refuge and strong tower, He protects us from our enemies, takes us into His dwelling place, shelters us under His wings and showers us with His blessing (Psalm 61:3-4).

He hears our vows to serve Him with our life and He gives us His heritage in exchange. He increases our days and provides for our children and grandchildren for thousands of generations in the future (Psalm 61:5-6; Exodus 20:6).

God gives us a place in His royal priesthood and shares with us the throne of Christ. He showers us with His love and faithfully protects us (Psalm 61:7).

His goodness, grace, love and mercy cause us to praise His name forever and to keep our vows to Him day after day (Psalm 61:8). We want nothing more from this life than His perfect will for us.

Prayer:
Father God we wait patiently for You and You always hear our cries. You lift us out of the slimy pit of doom, out of the mud and mire and safely stand us on the Rock of Christ (Psalm 40:1-2, 62:1-3). You put a new song in our heart, which is a testimony to everyone in our life (Psalm 40:3).

Your love fills us with peace and joy regardless of the outward circumstances attempting to beat us down and debilitate us. We look for the seed for a miracle, which You plant within every trial threatening to overcome us. We depend on Your Spirit to guide us through each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
When we face the issues bombarding our life, we remember that the peace of God protects us when we are firmly standing on the Rock of Christ.

God’s Unfailing Love

 

From the pit of depression, we call on the Lord to hear our prayers. We trust Him and know that without Him, we would surely die. We ask Him to reveal His lovingkindness with each new morning and to show us what to do and how to live through this latest trial that we are experiencing.

 

The key to survival in this world is to give our self completely to the Lord. We run to Him and hide our self in Him. When we do, He rescues us from our enemies. We trust Him with each moment of our life.

 

We know that we are not guaranteed a future. We only have this one moment of time in which to live. Do we really want to waste it in remorse over the past or fear of the future?

 

Do we really want to spend this one moment of time in any mindset other than singing the high praises of God? We may not live one more moment. We may be in heaven with our very next breath. O glorious day!

 

God teaches us to do His will and His gracious Spirit leads us on solid ground as we trust in Him. He preserves our life for His glory and for His name’s sake.

 

Through His faithfulness, He brings us through the darkest trial into His glorious light. He silences all of our enemies and destroys everyone who comes against us because we love Him with our whole heart and soul (Psalm 143:7-12).

 

We serve Him with our life and make Him our only priority. We work in the vocation to which He calls us and serve Him in the church to which He leads us. God’s unfailing love delivers, encourages and nurtures us.

 

As we totally surrender to His will for our life, He empowers us to overcome our depression, addictions and shortcomings and to accomplish all that He planned for us to do before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your restoration and healing, which allows us to break down the walls we erect in our life. We forge better relationships with people and enter a more intimate union with You than we ever thought possible.

 

Life’s trials are not challenges; they are great adventures with You at the helm of our life. Even if we experience future wounds, loneliness and dark valleys, we are assured that You are traversing them with us and working them all our for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Thought for the Day:
When we choose to give God the obedience, preference, attention, love and praise to which He is due, He makes victories possible for us and triumphs and successes the normal order for our life.rture,

Living in Praise

Did you ever notice that Paul was the eternal optimist? The man worked hard, almost died several times, was stoned, shipwrecked and in the sea a day and night, constantly in danger, sleepless, hungry and thirsty, and exposed to both hot and cold elements (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).

Yet, he told us to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing; not to quench the Spirit; and to give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Does this mean to give thanks, because everything that happens to us is God’s will for us; or that giving thanks is God’s will for us? Either way, it is worth paying attention to this verse.

If giving thanks is God’s will, then when we praise the Lord, we are in God’s will; and when we do not praise the Lord, we are out of God’s will for us.

If Paul is saying that we should give thanks in good times and in adversity, because all of these circumstances are the will God for us, then when we do not praise Him, we are missing out on part of the miracle, which God has for us through this trial.

Recently, our air-conditioning was out for two days during the hottest November on record in southwest Florida. I was dripping sweat, irritable and claustrophobic – because the heat imprisoned me and I could not escape it.

This caused me to remember my childhood and first pregnancy; when we had no air-conditioning at all, because of our lack of income. My mom used a wet wash cloth on her neck, so I did too. It helped this time too.

As I prayed during this inconvenience, God brought Paul’s exhortation to my mind. I realized that I was not to grumble or to allow my flesh to get the better of me; and I was to walk in the Spirit and praise God, even in the suffocating heat.

Easier said than done; but I have been learning to live through my spirit and not my flesh and this was just another opportunity to practice. I truly was thankful that the circumstances were not even more dreadful.

Prayer:
Father God, I really wanted Your permission during this trial to be grouchy and to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to complain and gain sympathy from family and friends. However, I knew this would only make others miserable too, and I would not grow in my spirit with negative behavior or remain in Your will without praising.

I know that You were building character in me and preparing me for future events in my life; therefore, I chose to change my focus and to praise You with each drop of perspiration. I was even able to thank You that it cools down in southwest Florida on November evenings, and that I still had electricity and could run the fans. Thank You for living through this trial with me.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of the circumstances, we are to do all things without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:12-16), and to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Galatians 5:15-25).

The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27