The girls in my county jail Bible study struggle to live successful lives. Most of their problems and troubles result from their wrong thinking. The progression of thoughts to results is as follows. What we think affects our emotions. Our emotions create beliefs. Our beliefs control our behavior. And, our behavior directs the events of our lives. The events of our lives determine our destiny.
For example, destructive thinking is thinking of things that offend you, which causes you to be angry, fearful, or depressed. When you are fearful, mad, or sad, you will act out your emotions in aggressive or passive-aggressive ways. Passive-aggressive behavior varies but can be silence, avoidance, harming yourself by cutting, using drugs, turning to alcohol, etc. When you act on your negative emotions, then there will be strife in yourself and with others. Strife destroys relationships in partnerships, jobs, churches, etc., which will often negatively affect your life and the lives of your family. Review my post on the one thing that destroys relationships.
To be healthy emotionally, think positive and thankful thoughts. When you think peaceful grace-filled thoughts, then you will act or behave with kindness and grace. Showing gratitude and grace will strengthen your relationships. Showing grace is saying a kind word or forgiving someone when they may not deserve it. See my post Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without.
The first step to victorious, successful living is to be spiritually healed. Spiritual healing begins by confessing we are sinners in need of a savior. Then believing Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died and rose again, forgives our sins, and frees us from sins control (See Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Col 1:14; & Gal 5:1). When we confess this with our mouth and believe it with our heart, then God the Holy Spirit and His love, life, and light enter our hearts (See Gal 4:6 & 1 Cor 6:17). If you have not made this confession, then do it now to experience spiritual healing (See Rom 10:9-13 & Eph 2:1-10). Next, practice the following actions to live a victorious and successful life.
BE A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST AND LIVE VICTORIOUSLY
Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
What path do you want to be on: the path of destruction or the path of life? This post is a guide to living victoriously, and it will help you stay on the path of life.
God’s Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm. 119:105). God’s Word is His instructions on how to live in His presence and is only found in the Bible. The Old Testament explains God’s love, discipline, and redemption through the Israelites. The New Testament explains Jesus Christ’s love, grace, and redemption through Christianity. All Scripture is inspired (breathed out) by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2Tim 3:16).
Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law [God’s instructions] shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Journal your journey. Read or write out each passage and answer the questions below. Writing each phrase separately will help you discover the wisdom of God. Answer the following questions for each Scripture.
What truths stand out to you?
What concepts are significant to living victoriously? How will that principle help you stay on the path of life?
If applicable, how can you apply the truth in the passage to your life?
CONTEMPLATE THE SCRIPTURES: To contemplate means to look at and think about intently; study; consider, (see James 1:25).
Remember, the Bible is our guidebook for living the new life we have received through believing in Jesus Christ. To know how to live the new life, do the following steps for all bible passages in this guide. Also, try to memorize a verse each day to reinforce the truths of God’s Word. Psalms 119:11 says, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
- Read the verse(s) slowly several times inviting God to impress upon you the word, phrase, or sentence from the text that He most wants to speak to you. Record these words.
- Reflect on this word or phrase from the text and consider its intersection with your life and with other passages of Scripture. What do you sense God saying to you through this text? Be still and let the words from Scripture fill your heart and mind.
- Write a prayer of response to God in light of what He has spoken to you. This prayer can be one of thanksgiving, confession, or petition, to name a few. Note any changes or commitments you will make to God as a result of being confronted, convicted, comforted, challenged, or confirmed by this biblical text
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Who is Jesus?
- The image of the invisible God who is a Spirit (Col 1:15,19; Jn 4:24).
- He is the Son of God (Luke 1:34-35).
- He created all things including humankind (Gen. 1:26-27; Col 1:16-17).
- He never sinned though He was tempted by the devil (Matt 4:1-11; Heb 4:15-16).
- He is the Savior of the world (Jn 1:29; 1Jn 4:14 Acts 4:12).
- He has authority over the devil and demons and gives us that authority (Mark 1:24-26; Luke 10:17-20; Col 2:10).
- He died to pay the penalty for sin by shedding His blood on the cross, was raised by the power of God, and is now seated in heaven (1Cor. 15:3-4; Col 2:14).
- We are to take up our cross and follow Him (Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23).
Who is the devil also called Satan, Beelzebub, and Prince of the Air?
- He was a beautiful angel named Lucifer who sinned against God and caused a third of the angels to sin. God threw them out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-13; Ezekiel 28:13-17; Luke 10:18).
- He tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God, when they did, sin entered the world (Genesis 3; 1Cor 15:45).
- He is a deceiver and tempter, but God’s truth overcomes him (Jn 8:44; Rev 12:9; 2Cor 4:4; 2Cor 11:3; also see the temptation of Jesus in Matt. 4:1-11).
- He is the ruler of the world (1Jn 5:19; Jn 12:31).
- He is our enemy, and we need to put on the armor of God daily (Eph 6:12-13; Acts 13:10; 2Tim 2:26).
- He wants to kill, steal, and destroy you, but Jesus gives life (John 10:10; 1Peter 5:8-9).
- He appears as an angel of light and so do those who serve him (2Cor 11:14-15).
- He and his demons oppress people (Mark 9:23-25; Luke 7:21; Luke 8:2)
What are heaven and hell like?
- Heaven is where God dwells (Gen 21:17; Psalm 53:3; Mark 16:19; Jn 14:2-3). Heaven will be wonderful (Rev 21:1-5; Rev 22:1-5).
- Hell is a lake of fire for demons and everyone whose name is not in the book of life (Matt 23:33; Rev 20:10, 15; Rev 21:8). Hell is described as darkness and intense pain (Matt 8:12; 22:13).
2Corinthians 13:5; Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! One way to know if Jesus Christ is in you can be found in 1John 2:29, “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” And Romans 8:10: “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you first must believe and be right (reconciled) with God. Can You answer “Yes” to the following questions?
- Do you believe that God loves you (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8)?
Romans 5:8, But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- That you are a sinner and sin separates you from God (1Jn 1:8; Isa 59:2; Rom 3:23-24)?
Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
- Jesus is the Son of God who paid the penalty for sin and has risen from the dead to redeem and justify you (Rom 5:1; Jn 1:29; 1Pe 1:17-19; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 1:7; 2:1-5)?
1Corinthians 15:3-4, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
Ephesians 1:7; In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
- Have you confessed your sins to Jesus and know you are forgiven (1Jn 1:9; Psalm 38:18; 86:5; Heb 10:17)?
1John 1:9; If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Do you know for sure that if you would die today that you will have eternal life in heaven (John 5:11-12; Rom 6:23)?
Romans 6:23; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you don’t know for sure you are saved from the penalty of sin and have eternal life, then pray the following prayer from your heart:
Dear Lord, I confess that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. I believe Jesus is the Son of God sent by God the Father to pay the penalty for my sin, and He rose from the dead to redeem and justify me. Come into my heart to be my Savior and the Lord of my life. Amen.
Romans 10:9-10; Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (redeemed). 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
You become a child of God when you believe and receive Him into your heart by faith (Eph 3:17-19; Jn 1:12; Rom 8:15b–16).
John 1:12; But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
You are given a supernatural new life of power to be like Christ Jesus (2Pet 1:3; 2Tim 1:7; 2Cor 13:4; 1Cor 6:17; 1Cor 3:16; 1Cor 2:12 Col 2:20; Gal 2:6).
2 Peter 1:3; His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.
1Corinthians 2:12; Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
You are set free (redeemed) from the bondage of sin and the devil’s control. (Gal 1:4; 5:1; Jn 8:36; Rom 6:6-7; 1Jn 3:8-10; Col 2:13-15; Col 1:13-14).
Galatians 5:1; For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Romans 6:6-7; We know that our old self [sinful life] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.
You are reconciled to God and became right with Him (Rom 5:9-10; 2Cor 5:20-21).
Romans 5:9-10; Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life
SEVEN PRACTICES TO STAY ON THE PATH OF LIFE
Pray and humbly ask God for strength to obey and follow Jesus.
Second, always be mindful that the devil will deceive and tempt you, so you don’t stay on the path of life. Every day, submit your mind to God in prayer and resist the devil’s lies by staying in the Word of God.
Third, every day, put on the armor of God by prayer to walk in victory (Eph 6:10-18). Read this prayer every day: Putting on The Armor of God Prayer Model.
- Put on Christ Jesus and walk in Him: Rom 13:13-14; 1Jn 4:9-12, 17; Col 1:10-12.
Romans 13:13-14; Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
a. Keep your mind on Him and transform your thinking to reflect His Will for your life: Col 3:1-4; Is 26:3; James 1:21; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8; Rom 8:6.
Colossians3:1-2; If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
b. Put Christ first in your life: Matt 6:33; 11:28-30; Psalm 37:3-5; 1Sam 12:24.
Matthew11:28-30; “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
c. Abide (remain in; dwell) in Him, and His words abiding in you: John 15:1-8; 1Jn 2:24; Jam 1:21-25; Matt 7:24-26.
1 John 2:24; Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
d. Forgive as He forgave: Matt 6:12-15; Matt 18:21-35; Col 3:13; Mark 11:25. (You may need to ask for His help and to show you repressed painful memories that built resentment towards someone who offended you. Once you have forgiven the person or persons for not loving you or being unfair, then ask God to remove the oppressive spirits from that memory that is controlling your thoughts.)
Colossians 3:13; Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Mark 11:25; “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
e. Have His attitude of humility: 2:3-8; Matthew 11:29-30; 1Peter 5:5-7.
Phil. 2:3-8; Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
f. Love as He loved: John 13:34-35; 15:9-14; 1Cor. 13:4-7; 1Cor. 16:14; 1Jn 3:16-18.
John 13:34-35; “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Rely on the Holy Spirit as your Helper: John 14:26; John 15:26
John 14:26; “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
a. To renew you: Titus 3:3-7; 1Cor 6:11.
Titus 3:4; But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
b. To put off your old life (sinful self) and put on the new life (righteous and holy): Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-15; 2 Cor 5:17; 7:1. Your old life of sin is full of destructive pain and guilt. Ask God to expose the sinful actions that hurt others or yourself, seek His forgiveness, and ask God to remove your guilt and the oppressive spirits attachments. Ask God to remove pridefulness so you can humbly seek their forgiveness to help them be free from the pain you caused them. If you are angry or anxious seek God to show you why. Then forgive those who betrayed you and ask God to heal your heart and remove the oppressive spirits attached to the resentment that controls your thoughts and emotions. God wants to purify you and heal your memories so you can put off your old life of sin and put on a new life of righteousness, love, joy, and peace.
Ephesians 4:22-24; to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
- Die to sin (consider it dead) and do what is right by setting your minds on the things of the Spirit: 1Pet 2:24-25; Rom. 6:10-14; Rom. 8:2-11; 1Jn 1:7; 1Jn 3:5-8, 14; Eph 5:1-10; 1Pet. 2:11-12; Gal 5:22-25; Psalm 119:11, Prov 28:13.
1 John 3:5-6; You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.6No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
a. Know He suffered all temptations to help us when we pray and ask for help: Heb 2:17-18; Heb 4:14-16; 1Cor 10:13; Phil 4:13; Eph 3:16.
Hebrews 2:18; For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
b. Deny the flesh (sin & evil) and avoid the consequences: James 1:13-15; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; 1Cor 6:9-10; Rom 8:7-8, 13-14; Mark 7:20-23; Rev 21:8. To learn more read, “Are you in control of your life?“
Galatians 5:16; But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Revelations 21:8; But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
4. Pray continually: Phil 4:6-7; Rom 12:12; 1Thes 5:17; Eph 6:18 –e.g., Turn every wrong, sinful thought into a prayer of repentance and renewal immediately. The longer you think wrong thoughts the further down the wrong path you will go (1Jn 1:9; 3:21-24). Pray for others.
a. God answers prayer: Matt 17:20; Eph 3:20; 1Jn 3:21-24; Jn 14:13-14; 15:7; 1Jn 5:14-15.
Ephesians 3:20; Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
John 15:7; If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
b. Why God doesn’t answer prayer: Jam 1:6-8; 4:3; Psalm 66:18; Is 59:1-2; 1Pet 3:12. To learn more, read my posts on why God may not answer our prayers.
Psalm 66:18; If I had cherished iniquity [sin] in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
- Submit to God and stand firm in your faith: Jam 4:7; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:10-17; 1Pet 5:8-9; Heb 12:1-3; 1Jn 5:4-5. To learn more read my posts on Spiritual Warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-17; Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
James 4:7; Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Persevere through trials; trusting God is at work and put your hope in Him: John 16:33; 1Pet 1:6-7; 4:12-14, 19; Matt 6:33-34; Jam 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; Heb 10:36; 12:5-7; Rom 5:2-3; 8:18; Is 30:18; Luke 6:22; 2Cor 4:17-18; 12:10; Psalm 91. Read these posts to learn more. Examples of suffering well and Seven ways to suffer well.
John 16:33; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
James 1:2-4, 12; Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
- Do the Will of God, found in the Word of God: James 1:22; 1Pet 4:2; Rom 12:2; 1Thes 4:3-5; 1Thes. 5:16-18; 1Pet 2:15-17; 1Jn 2:17.
1 Peter 4:2; So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
Romans 12:2; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1John 2:15–17; Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. 16If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.
b. Give up idols: 1Cor 10:14; 2Kings 17:15; 1Kings 16:13; Jer 17:5–8; Matt 6:24; 1Tim 6:9–10; 2Chr 12:14. Read my posts about idolatry:
1Corinthians 10:14; Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
An idol is anything that you love more than God and trust in to protect and provide other than God. An idol could be your family, friends, career, money, hobbies, activities, celebrities, musicians, or yourself.
Luke 10:27; And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Effective prayer is key to living victoriously over the demonic realm that wants to defeat us. Pray the Daily ACTS prayers.
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