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

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Integratiion with God’s Spirit

When we detach from the belief that we are only the sum of what we think and feel, we are able to integrate our true inner self with God’s Spirit within us.

 

We see and forgive the causes of our faulty thinking and behavior and are healed. As we accept our feelings and idiosyncrasies without judgment, we can submit them to God’s Spirit for sanctification.

 

We stop fighting our self and start growing in Christ. God’s Spirit sets us free from the bondage of Satan’s lies which controlled us for most of our life ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

 

We align our thinking with God’s Word. Our days take on a hue of joy and peace unfamiliar to us in the past. The presence of God’s Spirit within us helps us to see our faulty thinking and behavior without negative repercussions or condemnation (Romans 8:1).

 

We relax and trust in God’s goodness and compassion. We pull the plug on the power which our negative feelings once held over our life. We learn to reject Satan’s lies and to embrace God’s Truth.

 

We no longer entertain them as real and important; and instead we view them as red flags which signal a deeper problem within.

 

Our realization, that our strong over-reaction to a person or experience comes from old wounds and unresolved conflicts, gives us more balance in our life and priorities.

 

We face our fears head-on and allow God’s Spirit to diffuse them for us. We see the idols we erected in our life for what they are, and we cooperate as the Holy Spirit tears them down.

 

Patience does her perfecting work in us and things of this world no longer grip us with the former, inordinate, over-powering importance which the earthly and material issues used to hold in our life. We look forward to the miracles God plants in all of our trials.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we find joy in our tribulation (Romans 5:3), because of Your presence in them with us. You hold us in the safety of Your hand and shelter us under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 139:10). We realize that the disappointments and wounds of our childhood hold no more power over our current moment, because You set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 

We forgive those who hurt and used us; and we look forward to a new chapter in our life, full of Your blessings and new possibilities. Teach us to walk in Your Spirit every moment of the day and to do the works which You created us to do before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we face the grief of our past with a spiritual viewpoint, the intensity of it diminishes and we are freed from the power of negative emotions, which used to infect our life.

 

Our True Identity in Christ

 

We find our true identity and self-worth in Jesus Christ. We are a stem on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5), a slave to Jesus, our Master (Romans 6:16-18), a holy place for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1).

 

We are dead to self-effort through Christ (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus perfects us, and He is the author and finisher of our faith as we focus on Him and His will for our life (Hebrews 12:2).

 

God sent His Son in the form of human flesh, in order that the law may be fulfilled in Him (Romans 8:3). As we obey God, we will not walk according to the law or in the sinful passions of our flesh.

 

We will walk instead according to the leading of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day (Romans 8:4). We have no righteousness of our own merit, but we walk in the victory of the cross and in dependence upon our union with Christ.

 

A committed Believer wants to do God’s will above all else. That is our goal in life. Our every waking breath and the desire of our heart is to further the Kingdom of God in the earth.

 

Though we may fall short of God’s glory now and then, we surrender our life to Christ in order for Him to perfect us through sanctification (Philippians 3:12-14).

 

Our thoughts, words and behavior match our desires. We put away sinful pursuits and seek holiness. We live life surrendered to God’s unconditional love, unqualified forgiveness and perfect will for our lives.

 

Through the Spirit of God, we are transformed into the fullness of Christ from one degree of glory to another through the process of sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a container we show that the all-surpassing power in us is from You and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). As we totally surrender our life and plans to You, we find all the riches and wonders we could ever want during both this life and the next.

 

Nothing is impossible with You, and we constantly reap the benefits of Your unconditional love for us (Matthew 19:26). Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your glorious plan of redemption for the earth.

 

Remind us that once our “self-life” is dead, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us and through us (Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20). Jesus uses our hands, our feet, our words and our actions to further Your Kingdom in the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

The only way for every child of God to fully live is to completely die to our own desires, ambitions and goals, and to hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

 

 

 

Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

The Perfecting Work of Patience – He Who Began a Good Work

Is our salvation and sanctification our responsibility, or is it the work of God’s Spirit within us? Some will say, “We are to work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Others will counter with, “It is the Holy Spirit who gives us both the desire and the power” to do that (Philippians 2:13).

Most people agree that salvation is through grace by faith; but believe that we have to work for sanctification (Ephesians 2:8). Yet, the foolish Galatians were reprimanded by Paul for attempting to perfect themselves through their own self-efforts (Galatians 3:1-3).

Paul was amazed that they actually believed they could sanctify their life by their works. Paul constantly reminds the early Saints that nothing in our Christian walk is by works, because then we could boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability to His Spirit. The works of the flesh can only be crucified by the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16). We live and walk only by the Spirit of God; otherwise, we spin our wheels and end up exhausted (Galatians 5:25).

We boldly claim that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13); but when we put the emphasis on “we” can do all things, we fail time and again. We pull our self up by our boot straps until they are totally worn off.

This verse is actually saying that we cannot do anything except “through Christ”. When we completely capitulate to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to both save and perfect us, we enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10).

It is the Spirit, not our self-effort, which transforms us from one stage of sanctification to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Even the armor of God, which Paul encourages us to wear, is the work of God’s Spirit in our life (Ephesians 6:10-18).

God’s Spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). He also renews our character with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). He who began the work of salvation in us, will continue to perfect us through His work of sanctification (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we humans do not want to admit that we are helpless without a Savior. We want to believe that even if we cannot save our self, we can attempt to perfect our self through our diligence and self-discipline by obeying Your Word.

Remind us that we can do good works only as we abide in the faith of Christ within us (James 2:17). We could not justify our self by keeping the law and we cannot sanctify our self through self-effort either. Keeping the law never gave us life prior to salvation and there is no way that walking in obedience to the law can perfect us after salvation. Without Your Spirit doing the sanctifying work, we are totally lost and undone.

Thought for the Day:
When we do choose to obey, the desire and ability is generated by God’s Spirit within us; God has a perfect plan for our life, and we find it only when we walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The Mind of Christ

Paul encourages us to adopt the same mindset about life that Jesus had. He goes on to explain that Jesus proclaimed that He was equal with God. With Christ in us, we too have His Godly nature (Philippians 2:5-6).

Even with His divine nature and character, however, Jesus did not use this fact to build His reputation. He did proclaim His deity (John 10:30, 17:21), but He did not use this fact to promote Himself.

We learn this same humility in our daily walk (Philippians 2:7), which allows us to also serve one another (Mark 9:35). Jesus obediently paid the ultimate sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and taught us to lay down our life for one another (Philippians 2:8; 1 John 3:16).

When we realize that our sin crucifies again the Lord Jesus Christ, we run from sin and live in the will of God instead (Hebrews 6:6; 1 Peter 4:2). We want to honor God with our thoughts, words and deeds.

Jesus fulfilled the law through His birth, death and resurrection (Matthew 5:17). He kept God’s commandments and He helps us to keep them too. We abide in His love (John 15:10), and He gives us His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Through His death, God exalted the name and person of Jesus above every name, and every tongue will eventually proclaim His Lordship over all the nations of the earth (Philippians 2:9-11)

Jesus did not abandon us, but He sent us the Holy Spirit of God to teach us all things and to bring them to our remembrance. God’s Spirit teaches us to change our focus from one of carnality to one of spirituality (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The Spirit serves as our comforter and guide (John 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; Acts 8:29, 11:12), and helps us to be like-minded, loving and living in one accord with the rest of the Body of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11).

Jesus’ life and crucifixion exemplified perfect patience (1 Timothy 1:15-16). With the mind of Christ in us, we find spiritual support, comfort of love, fellowship with His Spirit, affection, mercy and joy in our relationship with Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the mind of Christ, which helps us to make sense of this world of strife and confusion (Philippians 2:5). You inspire us to live in humility and to serve one another as Christ serves us. We look out for one another and protect each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3-4).

Although Jesus is equal with You, He still took the form of a man in order to redeem us from our wickedness and sin (Philippians 2:7-8; Matthew 20:28). We exalt His name in our hearts and with our lives and look forward to His rule and reign on this earth for eternity (Philippians 2:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
Once we learn to think as Jesus thought, then we can live, move and find fulfillment on this earth just as Jesus did in all of His humility, love and power. – Acts 17:28

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