Words Matter – Part 1

The reservoir of a good heart produces encouraging words. The abundance of an evil heart generates evil results (Luke 6:45). Our words are the product of how we think, what we feel and our beliefs (Matthew 12:33-35).

Rash or too much talk can lead to sin (Proverbs 13:3); therefore, it is sensible to keep a guard over our words (Proverbs 10:19). To bridle our tongue is a talent that only the perfect person masters, but it would help us to control our whole body (James 3:1-2).

Lies and negative thoughts are like a skein of matted thread, so tangled that they are impossible to unravel. They weave confusion and cause us to miss God’s best for us.

When we believe Satan’s lies, complain or focus on the negative aspects of life, we miss the hand of God bringing blessings from the midst of all our trials (Romans 8:28).

Disparaging thoughts come from a troubled heart and never help us to prosper. They lead to negative words and actions, which cause trouble in so many ways (Proverbs 17:20).

Before we speak, a good rule is to pray first in order to speak the words, which God gives us to say and which will bring glory to Him (1 Peter 4:11). Wholesome, positive, uplifting words.

This is hard to do, especially in any moment of controversy. We are either exonerated or ruined by what we say and do (Matthew 12:37). Praying first gives us the needed boundaries.

Our thoughts affect our beliefs, our emotions and our attitude. We reap the consequences of our words, and they affect our relationships and even our health (Proverbs 8:21).

Therefore, we reap a blessing if we choose to think only about those things, which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to submit to Your Spirit as You transform our mind, so that we may prove what Your good, acceptable and perfect will is for our life (Romans 12:2). Only a fool keeps on talking (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and an evil man is trapped by his sinful talk. Help us to live a righteous life in our thoughts, words and deed, so that we may escape trouble (Proverbs 12:13).

Thought for the Day:
Let us conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, and to live with each other in one mind and spirit rather than in arguing. – Philippians 1:27

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The Reasons We Over-React

We over-react when we use more emotion in our response than is necessary. The issue does not warrant the intensity of our reaction, but we over react for many reasons.

An over-reaction may be due to emotions in our subconscious, which are connected to unresolved issues in our past. Satan planted a lie in past trauma, and these lies fuel our current reactions.

For instance, our mate’s behavior reminds us of the behavior we experienced with someone else in former times. Our soul combines the pain we felt back then with the pain we feel in the moment, and the vehemence is overwhelming both to us and the person receiving our wrath.

God wants to help us to resolve these previous issues by discovering Satan’s lies and hearing God’s Truth. This negates the power of the lies, and the intensity of our over-reaction because of them. Once the past pain is gone, it no longer intensifies our emotions in the current moment (www.theophostic.com).

Another reason for over-reacting is that we make assumptions and react before getting all of the facts. For instance, our mate is late…again. We assume there is an affair and we blast him with the anger fueled by our devastation.

The remedy for over-reacting due to misconceptions is to gain all of the facts before we react. Calmly sit the person down and ask them to explain their behavior. When we see their actions from their point of view, we may realize Satan planted another lie, which caused our assumption.

Another reason for over-reactions is that many people refrain from nagging by swallowing irritations or slights each time they occur. We think they are gone, but they are actually stored in our subconscious mind. They pile higher and deeper until one final trespass triggers a violent over-reaction.

The person who prompted this response from us looks at us as if we have two heads. They cannot understand why some insignificant occurrence would cause us to over-react so emotionally and sometimes violently.

The remedy for this is to ask God to reveal the reason every time their behavior irritates us or hurts our feelings. Is there an idol in our life, which we must lay at Jesus’ feet? Do we have preconceived notions, for which we need clarification? Is there a misunderstanding that needs an explanation?

Once we discover whether the problem is in their behavior or our perception, we are free to discuss it with them quietly and calmly. We no longer allow issues to build up within our soul.

We may need to request that the person change their behavior. If they try to change and fail, we can give them more opportunities to change their habitual conduct. We would want them to give us more chances as well. However, we may need to set boundaries until a resolution is found.

Another cause for irritation is that we fail to make sure the person paid attention to us when we made a request. They have to focus on our words and hear and understand what we are actually saying.

Otherwise, they may think they are fulfilling our request, only to find out they only paid attention to half of what we said. Or maybe they were focusing on something else and not paying attention to us at all or they have “selective” hearing.

We can rectify this issue by asking the person to repeat what we just said. Then, we can ask them when they think we can expect our request to be fulfilled. We can make sure that they take us seriously and do not discount our request to have our needs met.

Another reason that we over-react is that we misunderstand what is said. For instance, Sally made the statement to Mary that she was faithful in attendance to Bible study. Mary thought Sally said that she was thankful that Mary missed attendance at Bible study. Mary was offended for no reason, because she simply misunderstood a word that sounded similar, but had a very different meaning.

Over-reactions are sudden bursts of passionate emotions, which end as quickly as they erupt; however, like a volcano, they leave behind deep scars that ruin the composition of the relationship.

Prayer:
Father God, human communication is one of the hardest feats we must accomplish in our lifetime. We all speak and hear from prejudices, which interpret what is said from our own paradigm.

That is why You inspired James to tell us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19). We must listen with twice as much attention, so that we do not react with anger, or trigger an angry reaction in someone else.

Thank You for helping us to face the pain of our past and to hear Your Truth about Satan’s lies, so that each issue resolves and never hurts us again. Thank You for teaching us not to take one another for granted, to turn off the TV or computer, or to put down our book, phone, game controller, etc and pay complete attention to one another when we communicate our feelings or needs. Thank You for reminding us to communicate with You during each moment of our day.

Thoughts for the Day:
At times, wounds caused by an over-reaction may never heal, and friends or mates part company; when instead, one of these simple resolutions could put out the fire at the very core of the issue.

There is No Condemnation

Satan loves to use condemnation to defeat God’s Saints. His condemnation causes us to sink into the quicksand of shame with no visible way out. We see our faults and are burdened by our failings. Satan plants lies in our soul during each perceived failing; and we readily believe them, because of our feelings of hopelessness.

God, on the other hand, does not condemn us, He convicts us. Conviction reveals our guilt with a desire for repentance. Repentance means to turn away from sin and move toward holiness. Even if we never commit some gross sin of immorality or murder, we are still sinners (Romans 3:23). No amount of good works or self-effort can free us from the penalty of our sins.

Trusting in Jesus is our only means of salvation (John 14:6). His Holy Spirit breathes God’s breath of life into us and our spirit is no longer dead in sin. We completely surrendered our goals, dreams and aspiration in life to God’s will for us (Ephesians 2:10). We serve God with authentic devotion each moment of the day. We no longer desire a life of worldly pursuits and willful sin.

God’s Spirit converts our sinful nature to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We realize that God’s presence is within us and the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us. We are truly saved from hell and going to heaven (2 Corinthians 13:5-6; Lamentations 3:40-42). God removes our condemnation by washing us as clean as snow, and giving us a new heart and spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for washing us clean, and giving us righteous desires and Your Spirit to direct us (Colossians 2:13-15). Thank You also that Jesus nailed our sins to the cross and blotted out the charges proved against us. Remind us not to live for You in our human effort. Help us to allow Christ to richly dwell in us as Your Body, so that whatever we do in word or deeds, it is all done for Your glory and honor (Colossians 3:16-18).

Thought for the Day:
God took away Satan’s power over our life and openly displayed to the whole world the triumph of Christ over Him; so that there is no longer any condemnation for those who love God and who are called to serve Him in His purpose for our life. – Romans 8:1; Colossians 2:15

Going Crazy!

Have you ever felt like you were going crazy? Nothing makes sense in your life. You have no direction. You are squeezed into a mold where you do not fit. There is a war going on in your mind…like there is a whole crowd of people up there arguing! I have a simple explanation, and an even simpler solution. Our mind is the battleground where Satan wars against us.

Our soul includes our mind, will and emotions. Our mind affects every part of us, including our physical well-being. The imagination is where Satan likes to play. He perverts the truth and comes up with all sorts of lies, which, unbelievably, we accept as truth! Then they affect us adversely for the rest of our life.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

We live in this world, yet we do not wage war in the natural realm. Our weapons are not of this world. God gives us His divine power to demolish every spiritual stronghold we encounter. We can take authority over every haughty lie, which rises up against God’s spiritual truth and against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

God gave us divinely powered weapons to demolish all of Satan’s strongholds. We do this by taking every thought captive and having the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5). The Holy Spirit’s priority is helping us to know and to do the will of God in His power (Philippians 2:12-13). He does this by transforming our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer:
Father God, Satan really refined his art of deception over the years. However, Your Spirit of truth abiding in us, guides us to Your truth. When we surrender to You, our God of peace in us, there is no more lunacy warring in our mind. Now we can stand against the devil’s wiles, which he shoots at us as fiery darts (Ephesians 6:11,16; John 16:13). You sent Your Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to teach us everything we need to know and to remind us of what we read in Your Word (John 14:26-27). You give us victory over the evil one through the power of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). In Jesus’ name, we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Your Word (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5).
Thought for the Day:
Do not conform your thoughts to the pattern of this world or Satan’s lies, but allow God’s Spirit to renew your mind to know the perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

Our Source of Power

There are only two sources of power on this earth: God and Satan. We will serve one and hate the other. Satan wants us to worship and to serve him. He attempts to convince us that we do not want to wait until the glories of heaven to receive our reward. He promises temporal rewards, which entertain and satisfy our flesh now.

Most people are so earthly minded, that they choose to serve in Satan’s Kingdom. They want instant gratification, so they give in to his enticements. The actual truth, however, is that serving King Jesus also has plenty of rewards right here on this earth, starting with peace of mind and fulfillment (1 Peter 5:5-11; John 15:8-10). God gives us every resource we need to live a successful life.

Fear or doubt can cripple our faith. Faith comes by believing the Word of God; fear comes by believing Satan’s lies. Satan’s lies are always contrary to God’s Word. Satan tries to tempt us to focus on our problems, and he offers us a substitute like alcohol or drugs instead of real help. However, there is no problem too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27). As we direct our cares to God, He proves that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Prayer:
Father God, lead us by Your Holy Spirit to accomplish Your works throughout our lifetime. We depend on You each moment of the day. Help us to accept others in their walk with You, without expecting them to walk on the same path that we do. Remind us to forgive those who spitefully use us, so that You can forgive us (Matthew 5:44). Guide us and anoint us to break the yokes of bondage, which keep people under satanic authority. Set them free by Your Spirit within us.

Thought for the Day:
Satan cannot overcome us without our consent.

Giving God Control

There are people who live in every generation who want to know God. They explore several venues provided by Satan and his minions, and many are taken captive by empty philosophies and spiritual sounding half-truths, which come from human traditions and the god of this world, rather than from God Himself (Colossians 2:8). These people stop short of the truth; and, instead, cheerfully believe a lie.

Then there are those who claim to know Christ as their Savior, but they have not made Him the Lord of their life. He is their helper and their insurance policy in times of trouble; they trust Him and they believe in Him, but He is not their Master and King. They have not yet come to a place of absolute surrender of every known area of their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

However, if we want to live in a place of perfect peace, we will keep our mind constantly in tune with the Spirit of God (Isaiah 26:3). We will do the works, which God created for us to do. We will seek His pleasure in all things, rather than to seek our own pleasure in this life (Ephesians 2:10). Believers realize that the temporal, earthly aspects of this life are all passing away and only the eternal components will last.

Believers are living stones, fitted together into the dwelling place of God (1 Peter 2:5). We walk worthy of the calling He gives us (Ephesians 4:1). We avoid sin and deprivation by walking toward the Light of life (John 1:4; Matthew 5:16). Jesus died in our place and gives us the victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57). We have faith in His faithfulness and walk in His divine power within us (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, I totally surrender every part of my life to You. I want You to have it all. I want to walk in Your divine will and to do the works You created for me before I was ever born (Ephesians 2:10). I devote my every waking moment to You to use at work, at home and at play. Fill my heart with Your love for those You want to love through me.

Thought for the Day:
Everything in our life, which we surrender to God’s control, will come back to us refined and renewed.

Falling Away from God

Many people reach a plateau in their walk with the Lord. The increasing highs, which transitioned us from sinner to saint, level off. We experience a dry time of struggle, questions and doubts. We attempt to substitute some facet of life in this world to mask or to try to improve this perceived loss in our life. Human success is very deceptive. It gives us a false sense of power and ability.

We stop patiently relying on God and we strike out on our own again. Like the Israelites we remember the provision of the world and forget the trials (Numbers 11:5). The prodigal son did this too. He ended up in the pigpen, until God humbled him enough for him to return to the Father’s house (Luke 15:17). Only the living water of life flowing from the throne of God can quench our interminable thirst (Revelations 22:1).

Satan sits by our ear and whispers convincing lies and doubts. Satan’s words have negative connotations. They tear down, discourage and condemn (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s words bring bondage and criticism. However, we also have a spiritual ear, able to hear from God Himself (Matthew 11:15). Pay attention to the thoughts in your mind and change them to positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8).

God’s words are positive. Even His conviction brings repentance and does not make us feel despicable and dispirited. His words bring freedom to our soul and spirit. The closer to our deadline we get, the more our faith falters. God’s timing may be slower than we would like it to be, and we may get nervous and fearful. We forget that God always works out even the worse scenario for our ultimate benefit (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, even when we view our future through a foggy window (1 Corinthians 13:12), and we have no idea why You are acting as You are, we can still trust You to give us the victory and to use us for Your purposes in the earth. Your Word is full of incidents where You used unconventional methods to bring about your desired results. We can always trust that no matter how bizarre the events get in our life, You are always there, right inside of us (Colossians 1:27), experiencing the trial right along with us.

Thought for the Day:
Remember God’s past victories in your life and draw faith from His provision and faithfulness for this new trial.