Spiritual Healing – Part 1

Understanding Bitterness and Anger

Once we repent, our sins are always forgiven (1 John 1:9). However, some sins often continue to plague us relentlessly for two reasons. They are caused by a subconscious lie from the pit of hell, and this lie is still affecting us every day of our life. What is the sin, which so easily ensnares you? (Hebrews 12:1) What happened in your past that draws you to that sin over and over again?

For instance, my besetting sin is anger. I use anger to protect myself from abuse and neglect. Why do I do that? I had incidences in my life of both abuse and neglect. My soul – my mind, will and emotions – do not want to experience either of these issues again. Therefore, I use anger to fight against anything that even remotely appears to resemble either exploitation or abandonment.

I fight the circumstance and I clash with the person whom I perceive is abusing or neglecting me. I do not even think about it before I react. I automatically over-react to any behavior that involves me, which even hints at being abusive or negligent. This over-reaction in anger is a sin, because it is telling God that I do not trust Him to care for me. I want to control the situation to keep myself safe.

As humans, when something upsets us, it triggers the wounds from our past. We react from the anguish of our soul and complain bitterly about the current issue, because of these ancient wounds (Job 7:11). This bitterness, rooted in the hurtful experiences of our past, will spring up and cause us all sorts of trouble. It will even spoil our current relationships and hinder our walk with the Lord (Hebrews 12:15).

Prayer:
Father God, bitterness and anger reside in our heart over past wounds. Show us the root of Satan’s lies, which stand against Your truth (James 3:14; http://www.theophostic.com ). We need Your forgiveness for sin, as well as Your healing and cleansing from the root of the sin, which allows that sinful behavior to perpetually manifest in our life. Remind us that when Your Son sets us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).

Thought for the Day:
God wants to cleanse our soul from bitterness and anger and allow His sweet, living water to flow from our soul instead of putrid, bitter water from the painful experiences in our past. – James 3:11

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Yielding to God’s Spirit

As human beings, we are programmed to preserve our life. It is a foreign concept to allow any harm to come to our body or soul – our mind, will and emotions. We fight to the death to preserve our autonomy and the control over our own life. We spend our lifetime combating people and forces, which attempt to harm us in any way. Dying daily is not something we readily embrace (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 15:31).

However, once we yield to the power of the God’s Spirit within us, we do not struggle with the world, the flesh or the devil. We realize that God is going to protect us and care for us through any issue in life. God may lead us into a catastrophe, such as Paul’s shipwreck, or into temptation like Jesus in the wilderness, or into torment like Paul in prison. Yet, we can rejoice in our tribulation, because His Spirit is leading us (Romans 5:3, 8:14).

We humbly follow God’s Spirit, even if we know persecution awaits us. We have the confidence that God always opens a way for us (Romans 8:28). Even through the raging rivers, which attempt to thwart our spiritual progress, we eventually cross on dry ground (Nahum 1:3; Isaiah 43:6). Jesus puts all of His enemies under our feet, including Satan and His minions (Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25).

We no longer fear Satan or march to the beat of his drum, because we are free indeed (John 8:36). We view our afflictions as new adventures in growing in Christ. Jesus did nothing on this earth without following our Father’s direction. We are also children of God and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). We only succeed in this life as we truly follow His example, and live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we have a problem with loving our flesh more than we love You (Ephesians 5:29). Teach us to nourish and cherish our relationship with You more than we cater to our own desires. Remind us of Your faithfulness and allow us walk in Your ways regardless of the trials or the temptations, which we face in our life. Help us to yield these issues to You, our Savior and our King, who lives within us with all power and might.

Thought for the Day:
We triumph over Satan and our flesh by the blood of the Lamb and our evidence that Christ reigns in us, because we do not love this life, even when faced with death. – Revelation 12:11

Yoke Fellows

In our former unsaved life, this world’s system drove us into a frantic pace. We lived for the week-end and filled our free time as full as our work day. Nothing really satisfied us, and we tried many avenues of adventure and recreation in order to find that activity, which would bring us contentment. We even tried God, but were turned off by some church members or the tragedy in this world.

 

Then, one day someone presented to us the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that it pierced like an arrow right into our heart. We knew without a doubt that the vacuum in our life could only be satisfied with a personal, intimate relationship with the God of the universe who created us in the first place. We see that complete surrender is the only key to a God-honoring, productive and fulfilling life.

 

We seek out the fellowship of other Believers. We no longer demand our own way, but we submit to God’s will and consult His plans for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). This would be impossible, except for the fact that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We are grafted onto the Vine of Christ and God is the vine dresser.

 

Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us, because it is easy and light (Matthew 11:30). When we hook up with Christ in His yoke and move in tandem with Him, our day is more successful and we are more fulfilled. If we get out from under His yoke, or if we pull Him in our direction, we only end up frustrating our self and getting out of God’s will for us. As a yoke fellow with Jesus we have His peace and joy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your love for humanity knows no bounds; and yet, people fail to see Your heart. They read Your Word and see only Your justice and interpret that as malevolence. They think you are supposed to act according to human standards of love, permissiveness would be a better word. However, Your love is righteous and always just. Open the eyes of the unbelievers to see their need for Your love and protection.

 

Thought for the Day:

Freedom comes with surrender to the love of Christ resident within us.

Worry Wart

Worry has a way of robbing of us energy and blessings that are rightfully ours. It makes it clear to God that we do not trust Him. Most of what we worry about never happens; and if it does happen, most of the negative aspects we imagined never occur. It affects the attention we give to our task at hand and the people around us.

 

I never met anyone who changed their circumstance, the outcome of a circumstance or their future by worrying. Worry ruins our health and damages our emotions. It can even affect our relationships. Paul advises us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything and through prayerful requests make our concerns known to God (Philippians 4:6).

 

Then apply the Serenity Principle to the issue. Ask God for wisdom to know whether or not you can do anything about the matter; and if so, how to change it. If not, then change your focus about the problems, so that you can accept God’s will for you in them. We do not have to trust people, events or places; but we can trust God in all things. He has our best interest at heart.

 

When you are genuinely concerned about some matter, spend concentrated time in prayer about it. Journal how you are feeling and what you fear; and then jot down the outcome. Over time you will see how often you worry needlessly. Change your focus to doing God’s will for each moment of time. He promises to work all things out for your ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to trust You more and to worry less. Show us the futility of this habit and remind us that You have everything, even this matter, in Your control. Help us to think about all the times in the past when we worried needlessly and how You worked everything out for our good.

 

Thought for the Day:

Don’t let worry steal your peace and joy.

Breathing Room for our Soul

With preconceived ideas of what we want from life, we often miss out on God’s best for us. We toil and strive for fulfillment only to end up disillusioned and frustrated. If we completely surrender to God’s will, enter into His rest and consult Him in all of our decisions, He opens doors for us that no one can close (Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 4:10; Proverbs 3:5-6, Revelation 3:8). We find complete joy in the Lord (Colossians 2:10).

Positive attitudes enhance our life. Forgiveness allows us to feel kindness and compassion for other people (Ephesians 4:32). Each moment that we hold a grudge, feel resentment or entertain bitterness robs us of our health, wealth and success. Negative emotions and attitudes are red flags, indicating that we are not caring for our soul. We rent our soul out to others, so they can abuse and devalue us.

We all appreciate having a second chance when we fail, so giving someone else that same opportunity will bring us joy, especially when they prove their faithfulness. We can also take complete responsibility for our life, faults and failings. We can apologize for letting someone down, even when we are not really at fault. This keeps peace in our relationships and our life.

Gratitude is another important key to entertaining positive attitudes (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We often have unfulfilled expectations, which make us unhappy with what we already have. God gives us abundant blessings every day, and we fail to notice or thank Him for them. Sometimes, other people bless us, and we fail to show them appreciation too. Start counting your blessings and saying, “Thank you.”

As we renounce the negative self-talk in our life, we gain our identity from God’s love and acceptance. Learning to laugh at our idiosyncrasies, we stop taking our self so seriously. God gives us courage to make changes and to trust Him with our life. Fellowshipping with other authentic Believers, we limit our exposure to negative people. Living by God’s promises will change our future.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that You love us so much that You became a man and died for us on Calvary’s cross. We cherish our life and want to live it for Your glory. You have a perfect plan for each of us. We submit to You and resist Satan, so that he cannot influence our life (James 4:7). Help us to center our time in You and to live in Your will for each moment of it (Ephesians 2:10). Make us a light, which cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16); so we can encourage others to come to You too. In Jesus’ name and for Your glory. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Seeking God’s Will gives us breathing room for our soul. – Psalm 62:2

Making Plans

Our salvation was paid for by the work of Christ on the cross. It is a free gift from God for anyone willing to humbly admit their sins and truly submit to Him throughout their lifetime (Romans 3:23; 6:23). This results in a relationship rather than religion. Most of the world’s religions are based on teachings, which require good works to procure salvation. Anyone caught up in religion is not Born Again.

Nothing in this world exists of its own volition. God started and maintains it all (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:17). No one can come to Christ without God’s Spirit drawing us, and we are not perfected without the Spirit’s work in our soul (John 6:44; 2 Timothy 1:12). We do not wake up one morning and decide to go to church or to live a holy life. Those desires come to us from God.

We can never do enough good works to deserve heaven. Unless the Spirit of God leads our efforts, we have no hope of achieving Godly results. Our union with Christ leads us to perform only those acts, which His Spirit leads us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Regardless of our vocation in life, God will use us in this calling to fulfill His work (Exodus 31:1-6). It is only as we choose to walk in God’s will that we live in success.

We often disregard the elementary teachings of the faith (Hebrews 6:1-2). We slowly slip back into a carnal lifestyle, and are in danger of walking back into sin as a reprobate and denouncing the name of Christ (Romans 1:28, 8:9). However, if we start our day in prayer, acclaiming our faith in God’s faithfulness, He will keep us steadily maturing in Christ.

We repent of our sin as God convicts us, and we walk in His Spirit each moment of our day (Galatians 5:16,25). We connect with God through the constant practice of prayer, rather than living according to our own plans. Our life is then a demonstration of God’s Spirit and power. The One who promises is able to minister through us and to use us to deliver the lost world around us (2 Peter 3:9).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Your son to pay the penalty of our sins, in order to give us confidence to approach Your throne (Hebrews 4:16). We have a personal relationship with You that transcends the body and soul and rebirths our spirit. We have true fellowship with You, the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1), every moment of every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
The Bible is not a decoration for our home, but a source of life to our body, soul and spirit.

The Bondage of Satan’s Lies

Satan stealthily infiltrates every area of our life from the time of our birth. He feeds us his lies; and we gradually believe them, until they actually sound like wisdom. They cause us to deny God’s truth and call it the lie. We are so used to Satan’s fabrication, it starts to feel right and true to us. We buy into his scams and yield to his subtle manipulation. We have no idea how ridiculous we sound when we profess his propaganda and defend his deception.

Even many in the evangelical church toy with Satan’s fraud. They compromise their faith in Christ by walking on the fence between righteousness and sin. They soothe their conscience by making excuses for their behavior and accusing well-meaning brethren of judging them. They decide that they are too busy between work and hobbies to give much time to God. Their whole focus is on work, fun and relaxation.

Some people battle voices in their head, as well as heavy condemnation for their carnal behavior and lack of spiritual dedication. They fear they are mentally disturbed or are having an emotional breakdown. They have no moral fiber or physical stamina. They do not comprehend the spiritual battle for their soul going on in and around them. Their discernment is lacking and they see church as nothing more than a duty to perform for an hour a week.

They live under the heavy weight of temptation, compromise and sinful thoughts and behaviors. They neglect Bible devotion and use every excuse not to assemble with God’s Saints. Their prayers hit the ceiling and bounce back, mocking their lack of spirituality until they abandon communication with God. Some also have rocky interpersonal relationships with their family and peers. They even reap from the sin they sow, so something horrible happens to them (John 5:14).

Prayer:
Father God, you call each person alive to consistently abide in Christ. You give us all the opportunity to live a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life and to have the discernment to walk free of Satan’s deception. Your Christ in us bears much fruit in and through our lives. He frees us from the negative fruit of a life dedicated to Satan. You deliver us from fear, depression, anger, bitterness, anxiety, loneliness, addictions, disorders and other results of sin, which dictate our thoughts and behavior. We are indeed free in Christ (John 8:36).

Thought for the Day:
God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
– 1 John 1:5