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.

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

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

Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety robs us of our peace and joy, spawns other negative emotions and adversely affects our physical health. It is a “killer”. God has a tip for us to use to receive freedom from anxiety.

 

He advises us not to allow anxiety to enter our soul on any level (Philippians 4:6). He shows us the futility of worry by pointing out that anxiety cannot change anything anyway (Matthew 6:27). Then He tells us a secret.

 

We can avoid these debilitating, negative emotions. The first step is to continually rejoice in the love of the Lord and to realize that He has His best in store for us regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:4).

 

When we realize that the Lord is near to us, even dwelling in our spirit within, we walk in gentleness and peace (Philippians 4:5). We lift up every concern to God in prayer.

 

In faith, we thank God for dealing with the issue before we ever see the first sign of evidence that He cares about our immediate problem. We lay out our burdens and leave them in His capable hands (1 Peter 5:7).

 

He gives us the wisdom to know how to deal with the issues our self, or the courage to leave them for Him to resolve in His way and time. He may just give us grace instead of resolution, the way He did Saul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthian 12:9).

 

When we compare our distress with the weightier matters of life, or the reality of eternity, we may see our anxiety evaporate before our eyes. The magnitude of eternity’s reality erases most concerns from our troubled soul (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

 

God provides for the birds and flowers of the field; and He cares about us so much more, because we are made in His image. As we make His Kingdom our priority, He works out everything else for our good (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us close to You and never let us go. Remind us of Your saving grace throughout our lifetime and build up our faith with this continual evidence of Your goodness and provision for us. Flood our soul with a waterfall of Your love and allow it to vanquish our fears (1 John 4:18).

 

The fruit of Your Spirit replaces our carnal nature and we find it easier to walk in Your Spirit and to trust in Your goodness rather than to fear the future. Remind us to ignore Satan’s lies and our negative self-talk, which pull us away from faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You for giving us Your freedom from anxiety concerning the temporal issues of this life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Consumed with worry, we cannot enter and remain in God’s rest; yet, if we walk in the center of God’s will, we abide in the happiest place on earth. – Hebrews 4:10-11

 

The Devil in the Details

It is the details of life, which often bog us down. Our priorities are sidetracked by the little demonic foxes that spoil the vineyard (Song of Solomon 2:15). They sway our thoughts and emotions until we lose our peace, fall out of God’s rest and end up drowning in stress.

 

The good things in life become the enemy of the best things. They demand our attention away from what is important. We fail to walk in God’s Spirit or perform His will for our day, because the details scream for our attention.

 

It is difficult to ignore those little nagging issues, which arise during the day and night. They are like a flashing neon sign that continually pull our focus back to them and away from God’s best for us.

 

We end up reaping physical illnesses, negative emotions in our soul and our spirit is malnourished from neglect. We feel like a failure and often start believing that we are hopeless. Yet, there is always hope in God.

 

Many details can be eliminated; for instance, immediately throw away that advertisement or catalog, which came in the mail; dust and vacuum once a week, and do not allow the gathering particles to bother you that collect in every corner and flat surface of the room until that day.

 

Separate the laundry in bins and only wash when the bin is full; wash dishes as you cook, so there is not a pile at the end of the meal; and, if necessary, allow yourself to leave the sink full of dishes and go to bed to get your needed rest for the next day.

 

Do not answer the telephone every time it rings – caller ID helps us to distinguish if our child needs our attention and everyone else can leave a message for us to hear at a more opportune time.

 

Make a grocery list and shop once a week or month or quarter, rather than running to the store every other day for some forgotten or needed item.

 

Making more little changes in the details of our home life, vocational activities and church ministries – as God gives us wisdom, changes our mindset and schedule.

 

We put our priorities in the proper order and we have more time for spiritual pursuits. Our life is more fulfilled and our spirit is nourished by our close intimacy with our Heavenly Daddy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for pointing out to us the areas where Satan uses the zillion details of the day to distract and discourage us. Give us Your wisdom to know how to organize and to make Your plans our priority. Help us to stay focused on the spiritual rather than on this earthly realm.

 

We want our day to start and finish in Your perfect will for us, accomplishing all that You called us to do at work, home and play. Draw our hearts to You and never let us go, as our intimacy with You deepens and our spiritual focus increases.

 

Thought for the Day:

Be aware of the minute details that tend to destroy us from the inside out, to interrupt our home life and relationships, and to spread the roots of apathy in our churches.

 

 

Relinquishing Our Hold on This Life

We have no need to fear death or to cling to this life. We can relinquish our desires to succeed in this society, because it is only a vapor on a cold winter’s day (James 4:14). It quickly dissipates.

 

Our dependence on earthly advantages leave us insecure at best. As we value our temporal life with less importance and put a higher priority on our spiritual life, our levels of stress, fear, anxiety and depression about our life on this earth diminish.

 

Satan’s lies and negative self-talk, which comes from significant others in our life and fills our mind, attempt to rob us of our confidence in God’s love.

 

It is important for us to reject these negative thoughts and attitudes as they pop up and replace them with God’s truth (Philippians 4:8). We agree with what God says about us in His Word.

Click to access ANDERSON_WhoIAmInChrist.pdf

 

As we develop a habit of prayer, this proves our dependence upon God. It humbles us and glorifies God who holds all power, glory and honor in His hands.

 

Only as we snuggle in the palm of God’s hand are we safe. He prevents life from separating us from His love (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39). We are sealed in Him by His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

 

As a child of God, Christ is in us and we are the temple of His Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There is no need for us to belittle our self or to believe these negative lies.

 

God cares about our heartaches and He bears our burdens as we share them with Him (1 Peter 5:7). He helps us in all of our troubles (Psalm 46:1). We go to God with every distress and He keeps our tears in His bottle to revenge in His way and timing (Psalm 56:8).

 

We can pray in our own words about the real issues which affect our life. Our needs, feelings, wounds and failings are His concern too. We can trust Him to meet all of our needs as we make His Kingdom our priority in this life (Matthew 6:33).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our God, and You save us and preserve our life as we trust in You (Psalm 86:2).  You already know the end of time from the beginning; and Your purpose will stand through it all as You carry out Your pleasure (Isaiah 46:10). As we read accounts of Your goodness throughout Your Word, it builds our faith. We sing joyfully of Your righteous choices in the affairs of our world.

 

You are compassionate and gracious, a good, good God; and we are loved by You. You are slow to anger and great in loving kindness and You never send judgment without first sending ample warning and time to repent. You are good to all; and we see Your tender mercies through Your works in times past, as well as today (Psalm 145:7-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

God is the Lord of hosts and is exalted in all the earth, our God who is holy in all of His righteous decisions; and when we pass from this life to Heaven, we go immediately into the presence of God.

– Isaiah 5:16

 

 

Fruitatstic Personality

The Holy Spirit moves into our life at justification – when we repent of our sins and ask Jesus to save us from the penalty of them. He brings with Him the power, nature and fruit of God’s character.

His fantastic fruit will replace our carnal nature and make us a new creation (Romans 6:22). However, the weeds of sin, the world and the devil will rob the soil of our life and starve the spiritual fruit, preventing it from growing.

It is our choice to allow or to hinder this from happening. Negative emotions will crowd out His fruit by dominating our thoughts and preventing God’s Word from germinating (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:30).

It seems to be easier to grow the weeds of sin than the fruit of the Spirit; but as we surrender our will and all of our human effort to God’s Spirit, it becomes unpleasant to sin and joyful to walk in holiness (1 John 2:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

We discover that God’s Spirit replaces hatred with love, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, worry with faith, pride with meekness, and depression with true joy, as we are controlled and guided by Him.

What do these fruit actually mean to our life and personality? His love gives us affection for others; joy produces an exuberance in us for life; peace conveys a deep abiding serenity; patience provides us with the willingness to persevere.

Gentleness exudes compassion from our heart; goodness radiates kindness which pervades our entire being; faith comes from experiencing God’s faithfulness; meekness makes us humble in our service to our King; and when God’s Spirit guides us each moment of the day, we have self-control in every circumstance (Galatians 5:22-23).

It is a bit overwhelming to think of changing all of these attitudes in our life at one time. Actually, the Holy Spirit changes us from one stage of glory to the next, a little at a time, one degree at a time (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We end up with a fruitastic personality; and we can share God’s fruit throughout our lifetime with everyone we will ever meet. We will develop into a wonderful example of the love of God in an individual’s life.

Prayer:
Father God, our old nature prevents Your fruit from growing in our life. Help us to lay aside those negative emotions and character traits, which so easily weigh us down and to allow Your Spirit to transform our life (Hebrews 12:1). Thank You for helping us to focus on the positive viewpoint in Your Word whenever negative thoughts assail us (Philippians 4:8).

Help us to meditate on Your Word day and night as Your Spirit gives us the mind of Christ to replace the negative attitudes which come from Satan, the world and the flesh. Show us the root of every negative thought, feeling and outlook, so that we can surrender it to You immediately. This will prevent us from adopting a negative, complaining, stressed, depressed or grouchy attitude. Thank You for delivering us from our self.

Thought for the Day:
We can write verses pertaining to one fruit at a time and post them in obvious places where we spend time: like the bathroom mirror or kitchen window or refrigerator, or above our desk at work; so we can reread them daily as God’s Spirit transforms our life with them.

Our Source of Rivers of Living Water

In the Old Testament, Jesus was the Rock from which the Israelites were supplied fresh water in the barren wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:4). In the New Testament, He is still our source of living water. His springs of eternal life give us a well of living water to draw from at any time (John 4:13-14).

As God regenerates our spirit and heals our soul, there are multiple rivers of living water flowing from our innermost being and refreshing us and anyone who comes in contact with us (John 7:37-39).

If we do not feel this free cascade of life flowing from within us, then there is a dam of negative emotions, unresolved conflict and sin entrenched in our soul. They control the floodgate to God’s living water within us and block the rivers’ flow.

Physically, if we are not thirsty, we will not drink. Yet, when we are thirsty, we often eat instead of drink, thinking that we are hungry. We gorge our self on food and are never satisfied, because we do not fill our cells with the life-giving water they crave.

Spiritually, we actually need to come to Christ, our living water; yet we often turn to sin to satisfy us instead. We miss out on the life-giving water that Christ offers to this lost and dying world.

He reaches out especially to those who realize they are poor and destitute without personal means to obtain this living water by their own efforts (Isaiah 55:1). Without cost to us, yet with great personal cost to Himself, Jesus freely gives us His living water (Revelation 21:6).

His saving work continues through each moment of our life (Philippians 1:6). We see a constant change in our thinking and behavior. We gain spiritual understanding, power and maturity which flow through us to those God brings into our life (1 Corinthians 2:11-16; Galatians 5:15-25; Ephesians 5:18-21).

Prayer:
Father God, as the deer pants after the water book to quench its thirst, so too we thirst for You, our living God (Psalm 42:1). We thirst and yearn for You in this weary, arid land where there is no other source of the water of life (Psalm 63:1). Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand and to meekly accept Your living water, drinking freely until these mighty rivers flow from our innermost being.

Your rivers of living water satisfy every part of our spirit, soul and body. Peace and joy flood every cell of our being (Philippians 3:19; Nehemiah 9:20). Lead us to those in our life who are thirsting for You and help us to offer them a drink from Your rivers of life within us.

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit and the Bride say to the thirsty, “Come;” anyone wishing to drink the water of life may come without personal cost and drink of the rivers of living water flowing from the throne of God and from within His Saints.
– Revelation 22:17; Psalm 78:15-16; Proverbs 4:23; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:26-27, 47:1-9; Joel 3:18, Zechariah 13:1, 14:8

Freedom in Christ

Satan plants lies in the trauma of our past to keep us in bondage to the negative emotions of that incident. This fear, dread, shame, depression, deprivation, anger, revenge, etc. all influence our life every day.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

These negative feelings filter into our conscious mind from our subconscious mind and intensify our current mood. They program us for failure, addictions, broken relationships and stress. They control our life and we often do not even realize that they are there.

Satan blinds us to their existence and has a field day with our emotions. The solution to this Pandora’s Box is to submit our thoughts to God and to ask Him to show us these lies and His truth about them (Galatians 5:1).

Start with the manifesting negative emotion and consciously concentrate on the words in your mind fueling that emotion. Those are Satan’s lies. Then ask God to show you His truth about these lies.

Sometimes, the negative emotion will lead us to an idol in our life. We relinquish to God our expectations and pet peeves, which fuel our negative emotions and cause us to feel frustrated, irritated and angry.

God frees us from the tyranny of these emotions. This freedom is our inheritance as children of God (John 8:36). There is no reason for us to remain in bondage to these past issues, when we are guaranteed this liberty through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 5:1).

It may take a while for us to walk in total freedom from the past, but little by little and day by day, God delivers us from Satan’s lies and bathes us in His peace, joy and love.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that pride and rebellion restrict our freedom in You. We cannot walk in Your Truth (Psalm 119:160) without walking in Your righteousness as well. You desire our total devotion and worship (Mark 12:30). That is why You created mankind in the first place.

As we completely surrender to Your will for our life and exalt You above all else, we will decrease as You increase in our soul (John 3:30). We will feel fewer negative thoughts and emotions and find Your joy, which is beyond description and full of Your glorious presence (1 Peter 1:7-9).

Thought for the Day:
Unbelief, the flesh and disobedience will keep us in bondage to Satan’s lies.

– Deuteronomy 7:17; James 4:3; Titus 3:3

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

A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.

God’s Fullness – Abiding in God’s Presence

Any area of our life, which we do not surrender to God, holds us back from being fully filled with His presence. Negative emotions are the indicators of areas to which we are still clinging.

When we feel negative, we can inspect our soul to discover the root of the issues. We may need to repent of our attitude or actions, to forgive our self or someone else, or to change our focus about this issue until it no longer bothers us.

Total surrender opens the windows of heaven to fill our life with all of God’s fullness and blessings. Obeying God’s Word and walking in the Spirit are the steps for success in our journey through sanctification (Galatians 5:15-25).

As we yield to God’s will, we learn that He always works out everything – even the most painful human experience – for our ultimate good, if we will only relinquish our plans and embrace His will (Matthew 13: 44-46).

Satan will attempt to hinder us with his lies, fear of the unknown, grudges over past treatment, and carnal desires that thwart God’s purposes in our life.

However, Christ in us is greater than Satan and his demons (1 John 4:4). We are filled with God through Christ in us. He fills us with his holiness, peace and joy as He fills us with His Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

We realize that we are simply stewards of all the material blessings, which God gives us; and if we use then as He directs us, He will give us more, and often something better to use and share.

As we grasp the immensity of God’s love, we live and walk in His presence, giving preference to His will in our life, rather than pursuing our own goals, dreams and desires.

We have no greater desire than to be used by God to further His Kingdom in this earth and to take as many people to heaven with us who will humble their pride and surrender their life to Him too.

Prayer:
Father God, show us the reality of Your presence indwelling within us (Matthew 28:20). Thank You for walking through the trials of this life with us, giving us green pastures and still waters, and restoring our soul (Psalm 23:1-2).

Remind us not to have faith in what we want You to do for us, but to have faith to do what You want us to do for You. Help us to focus on Your will and to understand that the prayer that never fails is, “Lord, not my will, but Yours be done on earth, in my life and in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Thought for the Day:
The intense focus of God’s heart is to live as one with us, just as He is one with Jesus. – John 17:22:23