Escaping Fiery Darts and Entrapping Sins

Satan attempts to use the sin in the world and in people dwelling all around us to inflict us with physical and emotional wounds. He delights in deceiving us and inflicting pain through the destruction of sin.

 

God tells us to draw near to him and to resist the devil, and the devil has to flee (James 4:7). We can avoid many of life’s tragedies and their consequences by walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

There are inevitable consequences of life on this sin-cursed earth, such as certain illnesses and death; yet, it is often the foods we eat and products we use on our body and in our home, as well as the people in our life, which contribute to our unnecessary illness and untimely death.

 

If we realize that we are raised with Christ and hidden with Him in God, we understand that God has ultimate control over our life. We keep our self free from the pursuit and love of money and escape undue stress and its effects on our body, soul and spirit.

 

Jesus calls us to seek Heavenly matters and wisdom from the right hand of God where He is sitting (Colossians 3:1-3). We learn to obey His Spirit and to live contentedly with what He provides.

 

God’s great love and compassion never fail and prevent us from being consumed by sin, the devil and the world. God faithfully provides His mercy for us each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

We awaken to a whole new day of His provision and protection. As we are still before God and listen to His voice, we know God in an intimate relationship, and find His peace in uncertainty.

 

He never leaves or forsakes us and He abides within our spirit and protects our body and soul from the ravages of this world (Hebrews 13:5). Born of God, we overcome this world and enjoy His victory through our belief and faith in Christ (1 John 5:4-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is so uncertain and we constantly wonder what will happen tomorrow to throw a wrench in the works. You give us the faith of Christ, which helps us to realize that life’s challenges are really adventures when You are involved in them with us. As we focus our faith in Your faithfulness, we enjoy life so much more.

 

You are Creator and Savior and are always in charge, even when we wander from Your will. Your love never changes and You always draw us back to the protection of Your straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We look forward to You coming for Your Saints, but we thank You too for overcoming this world in and through us until You do.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us enables us to escape the fiery darts of the devil and to protect us from reaping the destruction of the sins, which so easily trap us in their grip. – Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 12:1

 

I am a Person too – Part 1 – Freedom from the Tyranny of the Past

Our whole life consists of relationships with our loved ones, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, authority figures, friends, family members and even with our self.

 

We have a chance of receiving wounds and/or blessings from all of these associations; and our past, even our subconscious conflicts, influences each of these interactions as well.

 

Our relationship with our self includes our body, soul and spirit. Our body has internal and external influences, our soul includes our thoughts and feelings and choices, and our spirit is either dead in sin or free in Christ (Colossians 2:13).

 

Events in our life, involving this multiplex of individual influences, add flavor to or diminish our joy in life. The way people react to us helps to form our concept of our self. We learned to love or despise our self from their actions and opinions.

 

Subconscious memories of these interactions continue to create our self-concept and the way we relate to people as an adult. We may live with a wounded, defensive attitude or a carefree, happy outlook or an angry, combative defiance.

 

Trauma changes the way we see our self and our future. We can diffuse and disarm these subconscious memories and the way they affect our relationships today by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ.
 

We do not have to blame current issues on our self or anyone else. They usually occur from woundedness in one or both of us. Issues in adult relationships often stem from childhood suffering; but childhood wounds do not have to control our adult life.

 

We can learn a new way to set up boundaries, exercise discernment, stop victimization, redefine our attitudes, change our behavioral patterns and gain a new perspective on priorities and what is important to us by allowing God to expose Satan’ lies and to renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

Prayer:

Father God, You want to create a clean, pure, simple heart within us; one not tainted by the world and painful experiences, but one of freedom in Christ (John 8:36). You delight in setting our soul free from the pain of the past and giving us a bright and promising future (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach us that when people are not trustworthy, we can still trust in You.

 

As children we were more vulnerable and had fewer choices in the actions perpetrated on us by others. As adults, we can take a more active role by surrendering our future to You and listening to Your Spirit each moment of the day. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom in place of our human reasoning and for teaching us to have boundaries and how to ensure that we have input into our daily experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our past has power over us only if we give it permission to do so; coming to Christ for healing helps us to find freedom from the tyranny of the past.

 

Healing from Life’s Trauma

Life in this perverse and dark world is evil at best and cruel and unthinkable at its worse. The atrocities perpetuated on one human being by another without conscience is wounding and debilitating.

From a one-time event to repeated and ritualistic abuse, we tend to bury this pain in our subconscious mind and often refuse to revisit it or we may deny its existence. Yet, it influences every moment of every day of our life.

Traumatized in body, mind and emotions, we separate parts of our self and bury them in the past, moving forward with any self-respect and reality, which we can find.

We survive by erecting walls, hiding behind anger, staying in a protective mode to prevent future real or imagined abuse. We cope through any means available, even addictions and defense mechanisms.

As Christ strengthens us from within and becomes the focus of our life, this pain loses some of its strength. God’s love covers a multitude of sin perpetrated against us and helps us to forgive and move on.

He brings these issues to light along with the lies, which Satan plants in each trauma. He speaks His truth about each memory and situation and completely sets us free from bondage to these memories. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

As God reveals any issue which may keep us in bondage to sin, Satan, the world, the flesh and our past, we recover the bits and pieces of our self, which litter our past and God heals them and molds them back into our life as productive pieces of who we are today.

Prayer:
Father God, You see the secret pain of our past and desire to search us and to heal the pain which causes our current fears, depression and anger. You lead us into complete healing by Your Spirit to live whole and complete lives unhindered by the pain of our past (Psalm 139:23-24). You make us a new creation, created by Christ Jesus for good works to further Your Kingdom on the earth (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You bring an article, a sermon, a Bible verse, a song, a comment by a friend or enemy to open those wounds, remove the splinters and to allow us to heal from the inside out. We bring our troubled thoughts to You and rejoice as You lead us to the freedom only You can provide both now and throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit is God’s wonderful Counselor who operates on the infected splinters embedded deep within our soul and frees us from the source of the infection, healing the wounds and making us whole.

Fear Not

God’s plan for mankind is to live in us, to fill us with His Truth and Life, and to live in unity with our soul and spirit so that His Life is manifested through us.

He always hears our prayers and stores our tears in a bottle. He will avenge each transgression against His Beloved Saints (Psalm 4:3, 56:8). He gives us His compassionate heart, and we are His People and He is our God (Ezekiel 36:26-28).

We call out to God on His throne in heaven; and He hears and answers us (Psalm 3:4). He sustains us in every way, gives us sweet rest and never leaves or forsakes us, walking in us through every circumstance (Psalm 3:5; Hebrews 13:5).

Our God gives us relief from our distress and has mercy on us (Psalm 4:1). He delivers and blesses us, because He works out every circumstance for our good, even in death we go to live with Him (Psalm 3:8; Romans 2:28).

If we feel overcome by life’s problems, we focus on and cling to Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). Our labors for the Lord are not in vain; so we can live this life unmoved by its threats, unafraid in its trials and abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Once we surrender our life to Christ, we realize that we are not on this earth to amass worldly goods, but to bring as many people to Heaven with us as will come humbly to God’s love.

If we are in Christ, we have no reason to fear the curse of sin or the god of this world, the devil (Mark 5:36). We live in His perfect love, which will diminish all of our fears (1 John 4:18).

As we follow the Lord in our thoughts, words and actions, we live in victory, because He lives within us (Luke 8:50). He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:29).

Prayer:
Father God, life wounds us and Satan keeps us in bondage to those wounds. Remind us that You will reveal Satan’s lies, speak to us Your truth and set us free from the fear of the unknown future, free from regrets or hurts from our past, and free to walk in the new life, which Christ earned for us through His passion and death.

Teach us the fullness of our life in Christ’s resurrection. Fill us through our entire being with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Empower us to be a light set on a hill and use us to draw everyone to You (Matthew 5:14-16; John 12:32). Help us to live in the purpose You have for our life instead of our own plans (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord who walked on water and calmed the raging sea lives within every authentic Believer; He heals, empowers, guides, helps our unbelief and fulfills every one of us; then He sets apart His true Believers as a special and holy priesthood.
– Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 10:30, 1 John 3:1-3, 4:17; Colossians 2:10; Luke 8:30; Mark 9:23-25

A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.

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

Christ Our Overcomer

As a parent, spouse, student, and even professionally we suffer animosity, discouragement and loss. Life seems to overwhelm us at times. We get so weary, pessimistic, unfulfilled and depressed.

Regret dogs our steps throughout our lifetime. We slop through the gutters of this world and spend our time in the devil’s playground.

We try and fail, resist until we give in, and then pull our self up to start all over again. The only reason that we struggle with the urge to hide under the covers is because someone else needs our help.

Our failings can cripple us and distort our view of God and life. That is why we need Jesus. He is the ultimate overcomer; and with Him dwelling within us, we can accomplish everything, which He calls us to do (Philippians 4:13; James 1:2-8).

Jesus frees us from all shame and condemnation, if we sincerely repent and accept His forgiveness (Romans 8:1-2). We are victorious over guilt, past mistakes and fearful events in the future.

Since God forgives us, He also heals us from the wounds of our past and helps us to deal with unresolved issues.  Then, we are also able to forgive our self and others.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

In Christ, our failings are never failures, but lessons learned in order to help us to improve our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions. He justifies us, sanctifies us and makes us whole.

Prayer:
Father God, Your grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). By the riches of Your grace, You strengthen our inner being by Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). By Your power and might, You give us patience and the self-control to endure the trials in our life (Colossians 1:11).

We are humbled that You consider us worthy to work in Your service during our lifetime (1 Timothy 1:12). We know that it is only through Your presence in us that we have either the desire or the power to accomplish anything for You (Philippians 2:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
When Jesus hung on the cross, He finished the work, which God gave Him to do, and He forever triumphed for us over sin and death. – John 19:30

To Burn Brighter Still

We often encounter winds of adversity in our life. Satan means for them to snuff out our light; but God is faithful – not only to give us grace to withstand the storms, but also to allow them to help us to burn brighter still.

We may experience discomfort from a fiery trial, a disappointing loss or a daunting challenge; but we will always have light, because the Son within us never fades.

It is human nature to respond to adversity by fighting back or by grumbling and complaining. In resorting to this negative behavior, we actually lose our serenity altogether.

Even through circumstances, which rage out of our control, God provides a place of rest for us (Hebrews 4:11). The key is to patiently accept that He has everything under His control.

As the Great Physician, our Father God often applies His scalpel to some part of our life that is sick or diseased. He makes a clean cut and leaves no scar. Though He wounds, He will never break (Matthew 12:20).

He only operates when it is absolutely necessary, and when He knows it is for our ultimate, overall good health. He uses life’s circumstances as His surgical tools to remove dead weight from our life.

He may remove some cherished person, home, job, etc, but He knows the plans He has for our future (Jeremiah 29:11), and what He chooses to remove is not part of those plans.

When we realize the truth that God is always constant and sheds His love and wisdom on us regardless of our circumstances, we learn to be content in whatever condition we find our self (Philippians 4:11-13).

This way, we will never experience the depression of hopes dashed against the cold reality of a faded dream. Instead, we will rest in the solid constancy of a never changing Son who never fails us nor forsakes us (Isaiah 60:20; Hebrews 13:5).

Prayer:
Father God, sometimes, we foolishly fill the void in our life with earthly treasures. We play the game of “if only.” “If only I could have this possession or that person, I’d be complete.” Remind us that even when we attain our heart’s desire, the newness eventually wears off, the meaning evaporates and we are empty once again.

Help us to see that it is only when we completely surrender to Christ in our life, and when we do not try to replace Him with earthly treasures, that we remain happy and fulfilled with true joy now and throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Whatever we cherish as the desire of our heart is actually our god; if Jesus is our purest desire, we will feel the fulfillment, which only comes when we live a life entirely surrendered to the will of God.

Understanding Our Soul – Part 2

Analyzing Transactions in Our Soul

Once we realize that our subconscious mind controls many of our thoughts, word and actions in our present life, we can come to God for healing of the wounds stored in that miraculous filing cabinet. The simplest and most efficient way to uncover the stored memories in our subconscious is to pay attention to the conversations in our mind.

We are not going crazy. These are not usually demonic voices or multiple schizophrenic personalities. These conversations are simply the interaction among our Inner Parent, Adult and Child (PAC). As we analyze these transactions or conversations, we soon see a pattern. We learn to identify the message, which our three ego states are trying to communicate to us.

We are usually so busy that we neglect our soul. Therefore, we need to make time to listen to these transactions. Keeping a journal is the easiest way to decipher what our subconscious mind is attempting to bring to our conscious mind. Once we learn to identify these messages, journaling will no longer be necessary, because we will readily recognize what our soul is telling us.

Start by asking questions such as:
1.) What is bothering me? The issue may be recent; however, sometimes we do not know the source of the issue, because it lies in our subconscious mind and has its roots in our past.

2.) When did this start? Maybe this is a recent issue, or it could have started in our infancy or youth. Looking at photo albums may give us clue to its origin, or accessing memories from our subconscious mind that God’s Spirit brings to our conscious mind. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

3.) Where did it start? At home, school, church, neighborhood. And with whom did it start? Parent, relative, neighbor, teacher, friend or our friend’s parent.

4.) Is the issue physical, emotional or psychological? Do we feel unwarranted shame or fear because of something someone said or did to us in the past? Does our negative self-talk come from things someone said to us and we believed? Did Satan plant a lie in our past that we believe, and which is fueling our negative health or feelings?

Our Inner Child may be reticent about divulging this information to us, especially if we neglected our soul all of our life. As we start to pay attention to our negative thoughts and feelings from now on, our subconscious will cooperate with God’s Spirit, as He brings these aspects to our conscious mind and heals us of the residual affects they have on our life.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing too difficult for You (Jeremiah 32:17, 27). You understand our thoughts and know our life from beginning to end (Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 46:10). You do not want Satan to use the words and actions from our past to cripple our present life. Give us the courage to come to You for clarity about these issues and healing from these wounds to our soul.

Thought for the Day:
It took a lifetime to program our subconscious mind to think, feel and react to life, and it may take some time for it to respond to the healing of God’s Spirit; have patience and give God your full attention during quiet spaces of reflection during your week.

God Never Fails

 

There are times in life when we feel devastated, overwhelmed and hopeless. We have no idea how to pay our bills, buy groceries or keep a roof over our head. If we keep our faith and hope in God, anything is possible (Mark 9:23). When trouble surrounds us and life is hard, we know that there is always a way out, because God loved us enough to lay down His life for us (2 Corinthians 4:8).

 

God has good plans for His righteous ones and there is always hope in our future (Jeremiah 29:11). We fear nothing, which life throws at us or people threaten us with. Full surrender to God’s will in every circumstance is the only way to stay sane. If we continue to strive for our own way, we will continue to feel frustrated and hopeless. Total surrender to God is the key to making sense of our circumstances.

 

If we call out to the Lord, and pray to Him for help, He never fails to hear us. Our cries always reach His ears (Psalm 18:8). Our Lord and Redeemer strengthens us and holds us up with His victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14). Surrendering our present and future to God, walking away from our worries and leaving them in His hands is the only way to dwell in His rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

We trust in God, not in our family or friends, job or bank account, talents or human reasoning, church or neighbors. We can put too much pressure on others when we expect them to support us more than they already are. They will feel undue stress and push back or ignore us. We have to get our eyes off our self and onto God. Then He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

 

As long as we are still alive, we have hope (Ecclesiastes 9:4). The Lord saves the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He binds our wounds and carries our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4, Psalm 147:3). Our hope comes from God alone and He gives us rest for our soul (Psalm 43:5; 62:5). As we put our hope in Him, the Lord rescues us from our trials (Psalm 39:7; 2 Peter 2:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, even when we take our focus off You in the midst of our tribulation, we know without a doubt that You are always there for us, loving us unconditionally and giving us the victory through Your death and resurrection. Nothing this world has to offer compares to the hope we have, which comes only from You (Psalm 62:5; Ecclesiastes 9:4). You are always on our side, ever loving us and drawing us closer to Your heart (John 6:44; Psalm 136:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us grace to live for today, but remember that tomorrow’s grace will not come until tomorrow.