Secret Intents and Motives

When we depend on someone else for our sense of value, we put our self into bondage to that person. Our motives, goals and opinions revolve around that person’s whims.

People come and go in our life. They have unrealistic expectations of us, tire of us and dump us on the curb like a useless sack of trash.

However, Jesus never ever leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He died for us in spite of our self and our failings. He approves of us in Christ and fully accepts us with all of our idiosyncrasies (Hebrews 13:8).

We can also put our self into bondage to religion by attempting to earn God’s love and acceptance. We drive our self endlessly to work harder and to do better to please Him.

The truth is that our “self” is already crucified with Christ (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20). At Salvation, we are fully accepted in the Beloved of God (Ephesians 1:5-7). God’s Spirit fills us to the brim and overflows on everyone around us.

We prove that we love Him by our obedience to His Word (John 14:15). We do not always keep each letter of the law all the time, but our motive in life is to walk in His ways (Galatians 3:24; Psalm 86:11-17).

God sees our whole heart – including our secret intents and motives (1 Samuel 16:7). He encourages us to keep our self unspotted by the world. (James 1:26-27).

Jesus loved us even when we did not love Him (1 John 4:19). We feel secure in His love, because it is not dependent on whether we earn or deserve it. It is a free gift, which lasts forever (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Prayer:
Father God, the world values human attributes like popularity, physical features, power, influence and financial abundance; but You reward faithfulness to Your Word. You discern our secret intents and motives and discipline or bless Your children according to the desires of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10).

Help us to shed the trappings of this world that we carry with us into our relationship with You. Purify our thoughts and teach us Your ways, so that we want only what You want and value only those things which bring You honor and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
We attempt to justify our motives and actions, but the Lord weighs them on His scales; as we consult the Lord, He will guide our steps and establish our plans in His will. – Proverbs 16:2-3

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Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

Mental, emotional and physical pain and stress, loss and grief, and wounded individuals put us at risk for reaping negative results in life. In addition, unresolved childhood trauma increases the effects of our current distress. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

With repeated trauma, we can even develop various degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we view the world as a painful, alarming, treacherous place.

Separation through death, divorce, rejection, abandonment, etc. will affect our future relationships. We lose our sense of safety and security and may even live in continual fear and insecurity.

Our breathing is shallow, which affects our lungs, diaphragm and heart. Stomach, heart, lung and nerve issues cause us problems. Our mind can even affect us with physical symptoms, which have no physical source.

On guard in every situation, we are in a constant state of “fight or flight”. This makes us combative and easily angered when we feel vulnerable and helpless.

A lack of trust causes us to build thick walls around our soul. Then we feel lonely, disheartened, hopeless and overwhelmed. We may even blame our self for what happens to us.

Attempting to prepare our self for the unexpected, we delve into worse case scenarios to prepare our self for any contingency; yet, we only provide our self with a false sense of power and protection from future trauma.

When events in our life are going well, we tend to rely less on God and more on our self. We have the idea that we deserve God’s love and blessings, because we are so good.

However, with this attitude, we will never feel totally secure in life. We will live in constant anxiety, because we fear that if we fail in some area, we will lose His love and be lost for eternity.

The opposite is actually true. God loved us while we were still sinners, is our everlasting Savior and continues to love us unconditionally (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:9). He is the same yesterday, today and for eternity (Hebrews 13:8).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for allowing us to fail and to learn from our mistakes, to suffer trails for Your glory so that people can see our love for and trust in You regardless of our earthly status. Teach us to rely totally on You and not to pursue the world or the flesh.

Remind us to stop depending on our self and to begin to depend solely on You for every step we take (Proverbs 3:5-6). Help us to do only the works, which You ordained for us to achieve, rather than asking You to bless our works (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we rely on God’s Holy Spirit for direction and strength, we listen to God’s Spirit, step out in faith, and find all the resources we need to achieve all that God ordained us to do.
– Philippians 2:12-13, 4:13; Matthew 7:7-8

Admitting Faults

“I was wrong” is the hardest sentence in the English language to say. Due to perceived, as well as legitimate wounds in our past, we are afraid to admit that we have faults.

We think that we have to be perfect in order to be loved; and that we must earn the love, which we need, by making other people happy and proud of us.

We fear rejection so much that we will make excuses or lie to cover up our faults and mistakes. We wear masks so that people do not know who we really are.

If we admit that we did something inappropriate, we may fall into the black hole of condemnation and shame, which nips at our toes and plots ways to swallow us whole.

If we agree that we are wrong, we will topple over the edge of the dark abyss of shame, and we will be trapped, hopeless, useless and totally rejected forever.

In order to escape the bottomless pit of shame, we either do our best to become invisible, or fight tooth and nail to retain some semblance of order in our life, or hide behind a wall of pride and arrogance.

Bullies are motivated from their fear and insecurity. They surround themselves with controllable people who have qualities, which they feel they lack. When they hurt others, they feel powerful and in control of at least one part of their life.

Once we come to Christ for forgiveness, He exposes Satan’s lies and frees us from the evil task master of shame. Then we no longer experience the devil’s condemnation (Romans 8:1).

If we could be perfect, Christ would not have suffered that horrendous crucifixion. Through His sacrifice, we enter His rest and are able to breathe unhindered by stress, fear and insecurities.

If one person abandons us, or turns against us, we have a whole family of Believers who will love us for who we are, even with all of our faults, insecurities and over-reactions (Ephesians 4:32).

Prayer:
Father God, often another person’s wounds expose our wounds and weaknesses, and we fear rejection. Therefore, we walk away from them, before they get a chance to reject us. We dispose of them from our life, rather than working out our issues together.

Help us to look deeper, beneath the surface of a person’s words and actions, to see the real person, which they are hiding behind their false facade. Remind us to show mercy and grace to everyone, and not to reject someone just because they are wounded.

Thought for the Day:
Make allowances for one another’s faults and idiosyncrasies; so, that if someone offends you, you can forgive them time and time again, as you help to strength them to feel secure through God’s love within you. – Matthew 18:21-22; Colossians 3:13

Healing Relationships – Part 2

Due to the insecurity and fear in life, many of us attempt to control people and events in order to maintain a safe and secure existence. Unfortunately, life never cooperates.

People who are wounded in their soul form relationships with other wounded people. In fact, we are all wounded to some extent or another due to our life experiences.

When we are wounded, we often choose untrustworthy people to trust, unreliable people to rely upon, and emotionally unavailable people from which we attempt to receive love. We end up more wounded than ever before.

If we are already in such a marriage relationship, God does not want us to divorce (Malachi 2:16). He will change us, which will also help to change our mate. The transition is gradual and it will take patience and time.

If you are not already married, then practice spiritual discernment and seek only God’s will for your future mate (Psalm 37:34).

Trust God to lead you to His selection for your mate. Walk in serenity and realize that when God wants you to be married, He will supply a mate.

As we learned from the Serenity prayer in Part 1 of Healing Relationships, we can only find fulfillment as we focus on eternal aspects of life and walk in God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

This changes our belief system, our choices and our pattern of behavior.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for healing the wounds of our past as You sanctify our soul and make us whole. Help us to focus on eternal matters in life and to put the matters of our soul in Your capable hands.

You will bring us everything that we need in life when we need it. If we do not have what we want, we can be assured that it is not Your time for us to have it.

If it is not Your will for us to have the desires of our heart, then you will change our desires to line up according to Your Will. Help us to wait patiently on You (Psalm 37:7, 40:11).

Thought for the Day:
Securing counseling as a couple will teach each partner how to live in a healthy, interdependent relationship; this way, you will grow together instead of apart.
*For healing the wounds of our past, start by reading my post: http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/part-1-healing-emotional-wounds.html

Identity Crisis

If a child does not receive the fulfillment of his/her legitimate human needs, they will look for people in their adulthood to meet them. Belonging, significance, acceptance, identity and security are the major psychological and emotional necessities in every human soul.

Our emotionally wounded parents were unable to provide these for us. As adults, we search in vain for our perfect soulmate, who has the limitless resources to make up for the deprivation from our past. In search of our fulfillment, we get too involved in earthly pursuits and change partners too often.

Those we reject suffer deep emotional scars, which are almost impossible to heal. As individuals, we attempt to perfect our personality and performance in order to find our personal worth through our human qualities, talents, intelligence, and physical assets.

The problem is that no one is capable of perfection. The key to our fulfillment on this earth is to realize that our true personal worth comes from our relationship with our supreme God and Father (Philippians 4:19). Only He provides us with a secure sense of belonging. We can trust Him and have no fear of His rejecting us for any reason.

If we cling to our deficiencies, rather than surrendering it all to God, we erect an idol, which we continue to “worship”. We allow Satan and our flesh to deceive us, which continues to cripple us. However, when we completely surrender all of our needs to God, He will meet them in His way and timing.

Prayer:
Father God, our freedom comes only as we surrender every aspect of our life to You. As long as we focus on what we lack, we continue to worship idols. Once we take our mind off our needs, and put it on worshipping and serving you, we suddenly discover that we are living a very fulfilling life. Remind us to commit our life to You, because then Jesus heals us and we are totally set free from emotional and psychological hindrances (John 8:32; Psalm 37:5). We enjoy mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, which only comes by learning to find our contentment in You (Philippians 4:11-13).

Thought for the Day:
In truth, complete fulfillment only comes when Christ is our whole life. – Colossians 3:4

I Surrender All

God calls us to love Him with our whole mind, heart and soul, and then to love our neighbor as well as our self (Luke 10:27). We help one another when we fall into desperate times, and we share comfort in grief and provision in deprivation. Jesus is our ultimate friend, who sticks closer to us than our dearest brother (Proverbs 18:24; 1 John 3:1).

God’s Holy Spirit restores our life to stability and order as we follow His leading through each moment of our day. We embrace His will for our life, follow His precepts and obey His Holy Word. God hears the prayers of the afflicted (Psalm 10:17). He encourages us and listens to us when we cry out to Him (1 John 5: 14-15; Psalm 54:2). He keeps every one of our tears in a bottle and records them in His book (Psalm 56:8).

We cannot enter heaven through our own good deeds or morally upright behavior. We cannot go to heaven by joining a church, getting baptized or living in a Christian home. Jesus is the only way, truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Salvation is a free gift from God and there is no way we can boast about our accomplishments (Ephesians 2: 8-10).

Surrendering our life to Christ is the first step of sincere faith and total submission to Him. He forgives us for our self-centered lifestyle and calls us to turn complete control of our life over to Him. He adopts us into His family, and He holds us, protects us, nurtures us and comforts us in all of our affliction. He constantly reassures us that He has everything under His control, so that we can surrender all to Him.

Prayer:
Father God, You defend the fatherless, the oppressed and the widow. You remove the terror from our life (Psalm 10:17-18). Your love for us defies description, because it is more than we can comprehend. Thank You for all that You do for all of us each and every day, and for plucking us out of our old lifestyle and giving us this wondrous new life in You. We will live each day in Your will with the knowledge that You already secured for us our eternal destination with You.

Thought for the Day:
Eternal life is a free gift, but only those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and who surrender control of their lives to Him, will receive it.
– John 3:36

Strengthened by God’s Might

One benefit of an eternal relationship with Christ is that we have the fortitude to face the issues of life here on earth. He strengthens us to accomplish everything He calls us to do (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10). When we are weary and weak from prolonged trials, God fills us with His the power of His might (Isaiah 40:29).

In times of sorrow, God’s Word gives us hope (Psalm 119:28). His mighty power within us makes us strong (Ephesians 6:10), because His power is perfected in our weakness. His grace is sufficient to see us through every test (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Our heart trusts in His power and protections, because He always helps us.

We jump for joy and sing God’s praises, because He works on our behalf (Psalm 28:7-8). Even young people find life daunting at times and they stumble and fall; yet, if they trust in the Lord, they will soar on wings like eagles and not grow weary or faint (Isaiah 40:29-31). God is not only our strength, but also our salvation both through trials and for eternity (Psalm 118:14).

God is gracious to us, and He renews our strength every morning (Isaiah 33:2). He gives us the ability to traverse the mountain of issues we face each day as easily as a deer frolicking on a mountain slope (Habakkuk 3:19). He is our shield, our helper and our glorious sword (Deuteronomy 33:29). His arms strengthen us and keep us secure at all times (Psalm 18:32; Ephesians 3:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our light and our deliverance; therefore, we have no need to dread anyone or any circumstance, which life brings our way. You are our strong tower, so we do not have to be afraid (Psalm 27:1). We find our joy in You, because You help us to ride triumphantly through life and to feast on Your glorious provision (Isaiah 58:14). We thank You for calling us into Your family and for putting Your desires into our heart (Psalm 37:4).

Thought for the Day:
Only the Lord provides us with salvation in hard times and the power to live through them; so those who turn their back on God or rail against him will not receive His help and will live in utter shame. – Isaiah 45:24