Negative Strongholds

God gave us a wide gamut of emotions, which signal to us the mood in which our spirit, soul and body exist. Joyful emotions arise from positive experiences, but also from a spiritual outlook on negative circumstances.

Negative emotions signal areas in our life, which need our attention along with prayer for God’s wisdom, direction and solutions. These emotions are not meant for expression, but as red flags to gain our attention.

They will destroy us if we ruminate on them or over react because of them. However, they can also apprise us of how life is affecting us and give us an opportunity to change our circumstances or to give the issues to God’s faithful care (1 Peter 5:7).

The most basic source of these negative emotion signal us of an unmet need for our body or soul – our thoughts and emotions. Once we discern their cause, we realize that we can meet our own need or trust God to care for that need.

Also, Satan’s lies will create negative emotions in the battleground of our mind. He whispers his lies and we believe them. These lies affect our feelings about our self, destroy our relationships with God and other people, and also fuel other negative emotions, which may even effect our physical, mental and emotional health.

We often have unrealistic expectations for God, people, places and situations in our life, which disappoint us when they fail to happen. This causes a myriad of negative emotions to bombard our soul, which often overwhelm us.

These inordinate expectations, pet peeves and stresses in our life are idols, because we exalt them above our trust in God (Colossians 3:5). We desire fulfillment in areas that are unhealthy for us or out of God’s timing or will for our life.

These adverse reactions to life can be both destructive and informative. The ultimate outcome depends on our attitude, spiritual maturity and the action, which we take because of them.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to heed the warning of these negative emotions, so that we can meet our physical, mental and emotional needs in ways, which are pleasing to You; we can hear Your truth about Satan’s lies and either dispel them or change our focus about them; or we can surrender the idols in our life to You and wait on your timing and will or Your wisdom on dealing with the root cause of our negative emotions.

Remind us to schedule quiet times throughout our day, regardless of the amount of time we can make for them, so that we can take an inventory of our physical, mental and emotional health. Strengthen our inner being by Your Holy Spirit to hear Your wisdom from Christ in us in order to bear with, to change our focus about, or to deal with these issues. We trust You to care for us.

Thought for the Day:
Although we live in this earthly world, we exist in the spiritual realm; God gives us spiritual weapons to pull down strongholds, cast down Satan’s lies and anything else, which attempts to exalt itself against the Truth of God as God’s Spirit enables us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Advertisements

Living in the Moment

The Serenity Prayer, the whole prayer and not just the first paragraph, teaches us to live in the moment. This is the key to living a life full of the peace and joy of the Lord.

The next moment does not yet exist; five years ago only exists as a memory and can no longer really affect this current moment; unless there are unresolved issues from our past, which still haunt us today, and which God wants to heal.

The only true reality is now…this one moment in time. We may pass from life one moment from now; so living this current moment fully is imperative to our joyful existence.

The excitement about this one moment of time is that we do not have to wait for it. It is already here. We can make of it what we choose. We can live in God’s perfect will for every single moment of time (Ephesians 2:10).

As we pay attention to this exact moment, we take note of our breath. Is it shallow and tense or peaceful and deep? What thought is in our mind? Are we concerned about an issue or enjoying the presence of God?

What emotions accompany our thoughts? Are we angry, anxious, addled or are we basking in the love the Lord? How does our body feel? Is there pain, are we tired, do we have an unusual amount of energy?

As we learn to be present in the moment with our self, then we can take the next step of being present in the moment with God’s Holy Spirit. Abiding within us, He gives us creative options, inspirational direction and Godly wisdom.

Do not be afraid of paying attention to who you really are inside. You may not like yourself, but God loves you. So you have value, which you never explored or acknowledged, just waiting for you to discover.

We do not need a mask, addictions or an escape to deal with our negative emotions or circumstances. This only postpones the inevitable need to face who we really are. Take time to look in the mirror and to love your self.

Living in the present helps us to care for our own needs, as well as the needs of people God brings into our life. We will look deeper than the manifesting emotions, into our own heart and into the heart of others.

God will give us discernment about the true needs in our soul or in the life of our family, friends, acquaintances and even total strangers that we meet along the way.

God will show us how He wants to use us to help, heal, provide for, or to pray for these needs. As we walk in His Spirit every moment of every day, we further His Kingdom.

Prayer:

Father God, most of us have calendars that are so full of activities and responsibilities that we have no time to just “be” in Your presence. We rattle off a quick prayer as we rush out the door, but we have not truly connected with our self or with You.

Teach us to fully abide in each moment of time. Help us not to regret the past or fear the future. Remind us that You have a perfect plan for every moment of our life, and teach us to walk in Your Spirit through every one of them.

Thought for the Day:

God calls us to adopt the attributes of a little child – to trust the Lord without reservation, to be open to new experiences in life, to enthusiastically enjoy our current activities, and to joyfully, lovingly and freely walk in His Spirit moment by moment throughout the day.

– Matthew 19:14; Galatians 5:15-26

The Futility of Worse Case Scenarios

Painful incidences teach us to be wary of life and to fear the future. We imagine situations that may never occur. These are called “worse case scenarios.”

In order to feel powerful over life, we rehearse these invented circumstances in our imagination, trying to come up with coping skills to deal with any event, which may possibly attempt to blindside us.

This habit causes us to squander our human assets in time, money and energy on an event, which may never happen.

This pattern may also cause a negative attitude toward life and may even result in depression or addictions to provide us with an illusory defense from future pain.

Sometimes, unnecessary and malicious punishment cause us to grow up taking our self too seriously, never learning to laugh at our self or trust anyone in life.

We cannot even trust God, because we harbor the false belief that He allows bad things to happen to us; when actually sin in the world is the real culprit here.

Some people make no decisions at all for fear of making a mistake. If we do make the wrong choice, we overreact and berate our self over our lapse in judgment.

We worry endlessly over things we have said or done, fearing that others will reject us. We rehash past and future conversations in our mind, which does not help at all.

These emotions then fuel negative and addictive habits that we use to cope with our buried feelings. We use them to prevent ourselves from feeling our fears, or to silence the negative thoughts playing over and over in our mind.

These thoughts may be attached to some past experience or connected to some fear regarding the future.

When we put our worries to rest, we will find a whole new world of creativity and expression without the fear of failure and judgment from our self or others. We have God’s pervading, abiding peace.

Even if someone disagrees with our opinion, or if we make a mistake, we have no need to fear disapproval. Christ died to take away our fear, insecurities and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2)

Prayer:
Father God, as long as we do our best, that is all You require of us. You liberate us from the crippling effects of fear and condemnation. We enjoy new mental and physical health, restful sleep and peace-filled days without dread of the future (Proverbs 3:24).

As we seek You and focus on Your Kingdom on the earth, You provide all of our needs from Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). Thank You for healing us of our need to engage in worse case scenarios to feel the false security they provide. We give You all the praise, glory and honor for our freedom in Christ (Colossians 1:27).

Thought for the Day:
Serenity comes when we ask God to give us wisdom as we make a list of the things, which we can deal with our self; make another list of things we need to ask other people for help to deal with; and lastly make a list of the things we need to leave in God’s capable hands.

Worry Never Helps

Worrying is the world’s favorite pastime. Our emotional, spiritual, physical and mental powers diminish when we give in to worry. We make our self sick in body, soul and spirit by worrying.

Doctors write a score of prescriptions each day for anxiety-related illnesses, such as: anxiety, apathy, headaches, decreases in our immune system, increases in blood pressure, insomnia, and even bad habits such as grinding teeth and biting nails.

Worry is a negative emotion and is very self-destructive. I believe that worry comes from a subconscious fear that we are basically vulnerable and unprotected.

Worry influences our thinking, decisions, opinions and reactions to life. People who worry cannot relax and enjoy life. We fail to trust God with our life (Matthew 6:25-34).

Most worriers grow up in dysfunctional households and/or have traumatic negative experiences in life. Worriers have low self-esteem caused by one or more shaming incidences perpetrated by our parents or someone we respect or love.

Worry takes our mind off the here and now and keeps it as either a prisoner of the past or trapped in an imagined future full of worse case scenarios. Surrendering them all to God is our only hope.

Understanding our worries can diminish their intensity and possibly eradicate them completely. Ask yourself, “What is causing me to worry?” “What is bothering me right now?” “What happened to put this fear in my mind?” Journal the answers and pray about God’s resolution for each one.

Prayer:
Father God, we worry because we believe that we have to maintain control over every aspect of our life in order to keep our self and our loved ones safe. Parents worry about children, wives worry about husbands and career, husband’s worry about their family and work related issues, and everyone worries about having their basics needs met.

Remind us that the best way not to worry is to follow the advice of Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (TLB) Lord, we trust You to make even the bad events in our life to work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
Worry can paralyze us into inactivity and limit our productivity and inventiveness.

Missing Out on God’s Blessings

Carnal people may have prayed for salvation, but they skip one important step…salvation also implies obedience (Romans 8:5-7). If people refuse to walk away from their sin and to believe in God, they are probably not Christians (1 John 2:3,3:6-9; Ephesians 5:5). They constantly grieve and quench the Holy Spirit with their sinful choices (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

A carnal person is too proud or fearful to trust God. They rely on their own efforts, because they do not want to bother God. They live a roller coaster life, stressed out and weary. They are either very legalistic or very undisciplined. They only open their Bible on Sunday. When given a choice, they slide into sin, because it is easier than following God’s way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The problem with living a carnal life is that we miss out on the abundant blessings of living a spirit-filled life. God loves us and planned every day of our life before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). Life is so much easier when we live it God’s way. His Spirit indwells us at salvation and fills us with each new day (John 3:1-8; Ephesians 1: 13-14; 5:18; Romans 8:8-10).

We cannot fill our self with God’s Spirit through human effort (Acts 8:18-24). God’s presence in our life demands obedience. Without it, God’s Spirit is quenched. The still small voice of God is always there to lead us, if we will just listen and obey. God’s Spirit guides and empowers each step we take as witnesses and ministers for God’s Kingdom (Acts 1:1-9; John 1:12, 14:16-17; Colossians 2:9-10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for birthing us by Your Spirit as authentic Believers. Your peace fulfills us as Your Spirit glorifies Christ through us (John 7:37-39; 16:1-15). As baby Christians we mimic the sinful behavior of the world, but we are constantly growing in love and obedience to Your Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). We struggle with our carnal desires, but we eventually realize that we are already free in Christ, who took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness (Romans 7:15-8:1). We want to walk in Your Spirit and in Your service every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
When we obey God’s Spirit, we do not gratify the lusts of our flesh or desire what is contrary to God’s Word, because living by God’s Spirit is the opposite of abiding in a sinful lifestyle. – Galatians 5:16-18