Freedom from Strongholds

When Satan tempts us with a fleeting thought, we have two choices: we can ignore and dismiss it or entertain and dwell on it. If we dismiss it, we are free from its bondage. If we entertain it, we are in danger of falling under its oppression; and those who are not Born Again risk the possibility of possession by demonic beings (2 Peter 2:18-19).

It only takes 3-6 weeks to develop both good and bad habits. These habits develop a stronghold in our soul, and often in our body as well. Breaking negative habits is often a difficult and expensive endeavor. Even if we push these negative habits into our subconscious mind and stop them for a season, current events may trigger these old feelings and habits again.

We will revert back to them as a form of comfort, rebellion or a desire to be in control of some aspect of our life. Each time these habits resurface, they deepen the scars in our soul, and it is increasingly more difficult to extricate our self from them (2 Peter 2:20). Life triggers issues from our past and we respond to current conflict with unhealthy behavior patterns. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

We can completely escape from the strongholds of these habits only as we surrender them to God for healing and allow Him to guide us to resolve the inner conflicts, which connect us to them. If we repent of our sins and relinquish control of our life to Jesus Christ, He will slowly replace the negative aspects of our personality and soul with His divine nature and spiritual fruit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:22-23; Ephesians 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace, is our only hope and solution for freedom from this sin-cursed world. Help us to put on our new self in Christ and to walk in Your true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We look forward to being like Christ when He returns (1 John 3:2). People today close their ears to Your Truth, deceive others as they are deceived, and seek solutions for their problems apart from You (Jeremiah 6:10-14). However, You always give strength to Your people and bless us with peace regardless of the circumstances we encounter in life (Psalm 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Only those who surrender their life to the Prince of Peace will ever experience true peace in this life and in the next.

Comfort for the Oppressed

God cares about the abused and the oppressed. He loves the mistreated, but He abhors our affliction. He gathers our tears in His bottle and records them in His journal (Psalm 56:8). He promises not to hide His face from us when we cry out to Him, and He champions our cause (Psalm 22:24, 140:12). He redeems the soul of the afflicted from deceit and violence, and our blood is precious in His sight (Psalm 72:14).

The Lord hates those who love violence and promises to punish them (Psalm 11:5; Zephaniah 1:9). He is wearied by the violence in homes and those who make excuses for divorcing their mate, whom they should be protecting (Malachi 2:16). God promises to lift up the distressed above those who try to hurt them and to deliver them from violent people (Psalm 18:48; Psalm 27:5-6).

Even verbal abuse is dealt with when God inspires Solomon to write, “violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:6,11). Jesus equates anger without a cause as murder, and He speaks out against verbal abuse (Matthew 5:21-22). He makes things right and provides the afflicted with a refuge from oppression and trouble (Psalm 9:9; 103:6). He brings down the haughty evil person and saves the afflicted (2 Samuel 22:28).

God gives us hope and a secure future (Jeremiah 29:11). Our weeping may endure for the night, but God gives us joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Because we know the name of the Lord, we put our trust in Him. He will never forsake those who seek Him. We end up singing praises to His name for what He does for us and we tell everyone who will listen about what God did for us (Psalm 9:9-11).

Prayer:
Father God, even if we walk through the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear. You are with us and You give us support and protection, as well as correction if we are causing our own misfortune (Psalm 23:4). Even though the righteous may suffer many afflictions, You deliver us out of them all (Psalm 34:19). You order our steps, and even if we fall, we are never completely cast down, because You hold us up with Your hand (Ps 37:23-24). Remind us to bear one another burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to encourage each other in our times of distress (Hebrews 12:12).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is our rock, fortress and deliverer in whom we can take refuge. He is our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

Creator God

People today dispute the fact that God is the creator of heaven and earth; yet, even back in Job’s day, they knew who got the credit. God made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades and all the constellations and galaxies in the universe (Job 9:9-10). In fact, His Creation is so wonderful that we are even now continually discovering new truth about it. Scientists recently documented that stars sing. Louie Giglio has several videos that you can Google!

Why God would condescend to give attention to rebellious mankind is the mystery of the ages. We are lower in stature than angels; yet, He cares for us. He even became one of us, and suffered everything we face in life (Hebrews 4:15). God crowned Jesus with glory and honor, after His ascension, and gave Him the rule over the works of His hands, putting everything and everyone in submission to Him (Psalm 8:3-6). God is amazing and beyond our comprehension (Job 36:26).

God reigns forever. His throne is established and He will judge the world and govern us with justice for eternity (Psalm 9:7-10). God is our great Lord and King, mighty in power and infinite in His wisdom (Psalm 147:5). We have no need to put our trust in mere mortals, because they cannot save us. They pass into eternity just like we do, becoming dust with a departed spirit and soul. There is no one like God. We can always trust in His faithfulness.

Blessed is the person who does not hang out with the wicked, join in with the exploits of sinners, or confirm the misconceptions of the mocker. We delight is in His precepts and we meditate on His Word day and night. God makes us as secure as a tree planted by streams of water, so that our ministry will not falter, and whatever we do for Him will prosper. We even yield the fruit of His Spirit as we mature in our walk with Him (Psalm 1:1-3).

Prayer:
Father God, if we hope in You, who made the heaven and earth, You will protect the oppressed, feed the hungry, set prisoners free, give sight to the blind, lift the depressed and love the righteous among us (Psalm 146:3-8). Honoring You provides us with knowledge, wisdom and understanding. We prove our humility through our submission to You and You honor us for it (Proverbs 9:10, 15:33). You are our shield as we walk in integrity, and You guard us in the paths of justice. You always protect Your Saints (Proverbs 2:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
God stores up the answer to His secrets and shares them only with those who completely surrender their life to Him. – Proverbs 2:6