Changed from the Inside Out

As I learned to enter God’s rest and walk in His Spirit, I experienced intense withdrawals from my former codependent lifestyle. I acted like a schizophrenic.

 

One moment I would say or do something codependent and the next moment I would step into my new role as a Spirit-led Believer and say or do the opposite. I confused people by this dual personality.

 

Gradually, I decreased in my role as a codependent and Christ increased in me. I learned to say “No” unless God told me to say “Yes.” He taught me to let the job go undone; so others whom God was calling to that role would step up and do it instead of me.

 

I started to see and appreciate the gray hues and tones in life, rather than seeing only black or white. My flexibility increased and my rigid extremes decreased.

 

The demon of perfectionism left my soul and I found joy in the messes of life as I had more time to enjoy other pursuits, which God called me to do. I actually left dishes in the sink and went to bed.

 

God’s Spirit slowly changed my perspective from a carnal, earth-bound outlook to a spiritual, heavenly-minded one. He also healed my wounded soul, traumatized and dysfunctional since childhood and young adulthood ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

 

I released the shame and feelings of defectiveness attached to the wounds of the past and accepted His divine character and the fruit of His Spirit in their place (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for exposing Satan’s lies, which made me believe that I had to earn love by my behavior. Your Agape love opened me up to expect unconditional love from the significant others in my life. The fear, insecurity, defensiveness and over-sensitivity, which plagued my life decreased as I learned to trust You in spite of the untrustworthy people in my life.

 

You taught me the reality of the fact that You work out everything for our good, even the negative experiences in our life, which threaten to choke the very life from our soul (Roman 8:28). You trained me to look for the seed for a miracle in every trial. You are our worthy, benevolent Father and we are completely loved by You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Self-destructive behaviors – driven by frustration, anger and a wounded soul – diminish as we learn to enter God’s rest and bask in His peace and joy, which are our true source of strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

 

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Healing from Abusive Behavior – Part 2

Victims of abuse may turn into abusers in order to erase the shame, fears and insecurities, which plague them. They neglect those whom they should cherish, and they allow negative emotions to control our life and theirs.

We may use anger as a means to protect our self from further abuse, but this sends mixed messages. People never know when we will patiently suffer as a martyr or blow up like a volcano at the least provocation.

We may not be able to trust people, but we can trust God. Rather than acting with bombastic and combative behavior, we find our strength and confidence in Christ’s quiet resolve within us.

Then we set boundaries, and firmly but quietly caution people not to cross the line (Isaiah 30:15). They may test our boundaries; but if we consistently remind them, they will soon learn to respect us.

The older we get, the more we tell our self that the abuse happened a long time ago and we should get over it. Yet the shameful effects of the violation and the loss of our innocence and sense of trust can last a lifetime.

We may even find our self questioning if the abuse actually happened. We live in denial and convince our self that our abuser is a revered person who could never do anything that horrific.

When a trigger reminds us of the situation, it is because our soul is crying out for validation and comfort. Our true inner self is desperately attempting to gain our attention and to make us take the abuse seriously enough to stop it or to simply acknowledge it.

Snippets of words, body language, the shape of certain plants, an over-reaction that we cannot explain, bizarre behavior that has no basis in reality are all ways that our soul uses to force us to face and validate the incident(s).

Journaling will enable us to get in touch with the episode(s) and tell our story of abuse without having to make it public knowledge. Journaling validates our feelings, nurtures our wounded soul and is extremely healing.

Prayer:
Father God, You collect all of our tears in Your bottle and avenge every one of them (Psalm 56:8). Even if we feel that we somehow caused or deserved the abuse, You wash away our shame and replace it with the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:7).

Remind us that forgiving our perpetrator actually helps us to heal by taking them off our “hook” and placing them firmly on Your hook. You are much better at rendering vengeance than we are (Romans 12:19; Deuteronomy 32:35). Thank You for healing us from our past and giving us a bright future full of Your love and acceptance (Jeremiah 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Loss of innocence means that a person who was supposed to protect, nurture and cherish us actually abused us and stole from us what rightfully belongs to us alone.

 

For more information, please join me for regular tips about healing at:

https://www.facebook.com/healingourinnerchild/

 

Successful Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is our lifeline to the Trinity. We continually communicate with God in prayer through each moment of the day (Matthew 7:8). We do not need a quiet place to kneel and pray.

We pray through the storms of life, the serene times of play, the busyness of our own making and the unforeseeable issues, which life unexpectedly throws at us.

Prayer changes us, the people we pray for, the circumstances surrounding us and the spiritual principalities and powers all around us.

In chapters nine and ten, the Bible records Daniel’s experience concerning answers to his prayer. One was a quick response and the other a delay of about three weeks.

In the later, when God’s archangel finally broke through Satan’s lines of hindrance drawn in high places to prevent the answer from being delivered, he explained all of this to Daniel in detail.

These are some of the most amazing verses in the Old Testament. It enables us to realize the spiritual warfare going on around us as a reality and an entity to take seriously.

These verses encourage us to “pray-through” in every situation and to persevere until God delivers His answer, rather than to give up after a weak attempt to petition our Deliverer.

Sometimes, our prayers are carnal and self-centered; designed too heap on our self the riches of this world (James 4:3). God does not always provide what we want, especially if He knows it is not for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Yet at other times, Satan steps up his resistance in order to discourage us from believing in God, trusting Him with our life and walking in His order for our day.

God inspired James to tell us that if we submit to God’s will and resist the devil, he has no option but to flee from our presence (James 4:7-9). This is the secret to successful spiritual warfare.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for deigning to form an intimate, personal relationship with us – the Creator with the created. You desire our continual fellowship while we live on this earth and look forward to our death when we come to abide in Your presence forever (Psalm 116:15).

Your angels rejoice when one sinner repents and crosses over from eternal death into life, adding yet another Saint to Your Kingdom (Luke 15:7). You rejoice over us with singing and You love us with an everlasting love (Zephaniah 3:17). We can barely grasp the full meaning of this relationship, which You offer to everyone ever born on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Most people never avail our self the opportunity to enter into this intimate union with our Creator and King, because we despise the shame of the cross and resist the opportunity to totally surrender our will to His.

My Soul Waits – A Frank Conversation

Negative, shaming self-talk comes from Satan in order to discourage us from allowing God to use us to His full potential within us. It diminishes our ability to receive the flow of God’s love to us.

We feel like crawling into a closet or curling into a tiny ball and hiding from the world. We cannot even look at our self in the mirror.

Our judgmental, critical, shaming and censoring thoughts about our self and others cripples us and deflects the immensity of the Truth of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for us.

We do not sense God’s faith, hope and love within us in the person of Jesus Christ. We are unable to detect His will through our hurried lives and busy days.

We have to get off the merry-go-round of life and have a frank conversation with God. As we share our heart with Him, we empty our soul of the cares of this life and our deep seated insecurities.

Meditating on God’s Word throughout the day helps us to focus on Him and His will for our life. This trains our soul to think on heavenly things rather than being carnally minded.

In the silent times of waiting on God, we enjoy His companionable silence as He showers us with His love, fills us with His peace and gives us His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

He gets us ready for the next trial or temptation or crisis which we will face by strengthening us from the inside out. He showers us with His blessings and love to re-enforce our spirit and prepare us for the battle ahead.

Prayer:
Father God, You have a distinct purpose for each person You created. You sent Your Son to redeem us and Your Spirit to direct us throughout our lifetime. Make us aware of Your presence during the quiet times we maintain throughout our day.

Remind us to listen to Your voice, rather than the satanic voices in our mind. Draw us closer to You. We thank You for never letting us go (Hebrews 13:5). Work in us the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4), and fulfill in us and through us all of your promises.

Thought for the Day:
God has a perfect, prearranged plan for our life; and as we walk in it, we find His presence along with fulfillment and holiness.
– John 17:17-18; Ephesians 2:10

The Name of the Lord – Meanings and Uses

Most names have a meaning and may describe the person’s character, nature and attributes. This was true even in Bible times. God also used different names in order to describe Himself to us.

It is valuable for us to study and understand the power, provision and protection we have in God’s name. The main point is that the name of the Lord is a high tower; and when we run into it, we are safe (Proverbs 8:10). God never abandons us on this earth and is always with us (Hebrew 13:5).

The first word in the Bible referring to God is Elohim – a plural word denoting the Trinity and identifying God as Creator (Genesis 1:1, 26). Other names are:
El Shaddai (Almighty one who nourishes and supplies)
Immanuel (God with us)
Eli (My God)
YHWH (God or the Lord)
Pater (Father)
Kurios (Lord)
I AM (John 8:58)
The Rock (Jesus)
God of hosts (Amos 5:27)
Branch (Zechariah 6:12)
YAH (Revelation 19:1-6)
Onoma (the Word of God, Revelation 19:13)
Shammah (present)
Maccaddeshcem (Sanctifier, Exodus 31:13)
Tsidkenu (our righteousness)
Yahweh Nissi (Our ‘banner of victory that glistens’)
Yahweh Shalom (our peace, full, complete, finished, and perfect)
Yahweh Adonai (the one who is and who reigns)
Yahweh Jireh (the one who provides and who sees before time)
Yahweh Rophe (The adequate healer)
Yahweh Sabbaoth (The Lord of Hosts of the armies of heaven)
Adonai (the One who owns and rules over all)
El Olam (the everlasting, unchanging and God of inexhaustible strength)

Jesus manifests God’s name to us (John 17:6). We too glorify His name and consecrate our life to Him in holiness; so that we never bring shame to His name (Leviticus 21:6). We are a dwelling place for His name.

We proclaim God’s name to one another in worship and sing His praises (Hebrews 2:12); we bless His name (Psalm 100:4); give thanks to His name (Psalm 140:13; Hebrews 13:15); call upon His name (Exodus 34:5; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:12); and walk in His name (Zechariah 10:12).

When we focus our love on God, He delivers us. He sets us up on the Rock of Christ, when we believe in His Holy name (Psalm 27:5). God gives His angels charge over us, to protect our every step, and even to prevent us from stubbing our toe (Psalm 91:11).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to give thought to the reverence, which we owe to Your name, and the power, which we have in Your name. If two or three gather in Your name, You are is in our midst (Matthew 18:20). If we receive a child in Your name, You and Jesus receive us (Matthew 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48).

Remind us that whatever we do, even if it is a spoken word or some mundane action, You call us to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. We give thanks through Christ to You (Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 5:20).

Thought for the Day:
When we remember and appeal to His name, God comes and blesses us. – Exodus 20:24; Numbers 5:27

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

Divine Appointmets – A Missed Opportunity

Growing up as a shy melancholy, I did not change very much when I first came to Christ. I still hesitated to talk to people, for fear of rejection and ridicule. Yet, I wanted to tell others about God’s divine love.

An opportunity arose a few weeks later, when a school chum pulled into the gas station just outside the window of the office where I worked. I knew my boss would not like me to take time away, and I figured my friend was also very busy.

So I just ran outside for a moment, greeted him and told him I had some good news to tell him as soon as we could get together. He was married to my boyfriend’s sister, so I did not think much time would pass before we could chat.

I ran back to my desk, excited that this would be my first opportunity to share with someone about the love and mercy of Christ in my life. A smile adorned my face for the rest of the day.

That very night…my lifelong school friend…committed suicide.

When my boyfriend gave me the news, I was devastated for his wife and their families, but more distraught because the Gospel of Christ may have saved his life both physically and spiritually, if I had only taken the time to speak to him when God gave me the opportunity.

I felt such deep remorse for days. I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness of this sin of omission. At the funeral, I cried more for my failure than I did for his family. I felt bereft and condemned by Satan’s shame.

The next day at work, I stared out the window, watching the cars come and go at the gas station next door. I judged myself for my failure and felt such regret that his life ended too young, and that his eternal destiny was already set.

My failure haunted me for weeks, until I stopped rebuking myself long enough to listen to the Lord. The shame of my failure left, but in its place came a dogged determination never to miss another divine appointment to share the love and grace of the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, Your mercy and grace to forgive our sins of commission and omission humbles us and increases our love for You. I know that You had a plan for my school friend, and he chose to end his life rather than to surrender His life to You (John 3:16-18).

Thank you for the many opportunities You continually give us to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with everyone You bring into our life. Help us never to hesitate from fear or human reasoning, but to step out of our flesh and into Your Spirit, and to open our mouth and allow You to fill it by Your Spirit (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Not everyone will accept the Gospel of Christ when we share it with them; but we take them to a crossroad in their life where they have to make a choice to accept or reject the Lord. – John 3:16-18