Bondage to Unseen Controls

What are the unseen controls that keep us in bondage?  Do you feel hopeless to overcome the things that seem to control your decisions?   For me, I felt hopeless to control my reaction of anger and anxiety.  I also felt hopeless to control my sugar addiction.  As I work with incarcerated girls at the county jail, they tell me of their hopelessness to control their bondage to drugs and alcohol.   There are many unseen controls influencing us, such as our painful memories from offenses and demonic activity influencing our thought life.

We have a choice to submit our thought life to God or to the devil.  My series of posts on Psalm 91 contain helpful information on how to overcome the bondage and unseen control of the demonic activity around us.  I will be honest; this topic can sound scary.  The reason the unseen demonic world is scary is because we lack understanding.  Our lack of understanding causes us to feel helpless and hopeless to control what happens.  My posts on Psalm 91, explain how to overcome the unseen control of demons and not be afraid:  Psalm 91 posts.

There are two extremes people take concerning Satan and demons. One extreme is to ignore the fact that the unseen demonic world (see Ephesians 6:12) can tempt and influence us.  The other extreme is the Christian who has a fearful preoccupation or fascination with Satan and his unseen kingdom of darkness. The writer, C. S. Lewis, also said there are two wrong extremes, which are to deny the existence of evil spirits or to see them everywhere.  To understand the spirit world better, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is the authority on the  unseen demonic world.  Ephesians 6:10-15 tell us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that the devil is the ruler of this world.  It is in our best interest to understand how the demon’s work in our lives. When I share this  reality with the precious ladies in my county jail Bible study, they are fill with hope that they can be free from the bondage they are in.

I am now editing a book describing the schemes the unseen demonic world uses to put thoughts in our minds to cause relational damage with God and with others.  I hope to publish it soon. I am researching publishing options.  If anyone has any advice for me, please share.

The second source of unseen control in our lives is from our past experiences.  I have overcome many unseen controls in my life, especially strongholds, and I share my message of hope in the book on my website.  My book explains a successful method to overcome the bondage of the unseen control from our painful memories.  Painful memories are created when we take offense to someone’s perceived or actual wrong actions toward us.  I explain the effects of painful memories in my book and how to heal them.  I give this book to the precious ladies I meet at the county jail, and I have seen marvelous results. To learn more about how offenses destroy us and our relationships and how to overcome them, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.  I invite you to read my short book of hope starting here: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

 

What Controls Your Thoughts?

Just like this waterfall, we are constantly thinking, but where do our thoughts come from?  We know thoughts control our behavior, but what controls our thoughts?  If we can control our thoughts, then we can control our behaior.  I have been pondering this question for several years, and I came up with five scenarios of what controls our thoughts and where they come from.

The first scenario: Does knowledge affect our thoughts?  For instance, I know that eating certain foods create health problems, yet I mindlessly eat them.  Why?  Apparently, knowledge does not control our thoughts, but they should.  However, paring knowledge with a feeling will affect our thoughts and decisions.  For example, I knew corn was not good for me to eat, but I loved eating corn chips with salsa and also eating tacos.  It wasn’t until I associated eating corn products with my severe joint and back pain that I changed my thinking.  Now when I see anything with corn, I have no desire to eat it because I associate pain with this knowledge.  To learn more, read my post about becoming free from infirmity.  Or, you may have knowledge that so-and-so lies, but it means nothing to you until that person deceives you, and you associate feelings of distrust to that knowledge.

The second scenario: Words and images create and control thoughts because they create and control our feelings, both good and bad.  Feelings then create memories, that then create beliefs and the corresponding behavior.  For example, when you see a beautiful sunset or hear beautiful music that makes you feel good, you will remember it.  And for instance, watching the news, a movie, or a TV show that causes you to feel happy or sad, security or fear, peace or anxiety, etc., which then cause those thoughts to become a memory.  For example, I watched a movie where two women were abducted, and bad things happened to them.  After watching this movie, I became fearful of being abducted. This fear was irrational because the fear was not credible. See the post about becoming free from anxiety to learn more.

The third scenario: Unseen spirits putting thoughts in our minds, which then direct our feelings, beliefs, and behavior.  You may have seen the image of a devil figure on one shoulder and an angel figure on the other shoulder.  The devil figure is telling you to do something bad, and the angel figure is telling you to do something good.  You can’t say, the devil made me do it, to avoid punishment because all thoughts are within our control, which I will explain in another post. This scenario may sound funny, but I have studied these phenomena and have written a book (now editing) about this topic.

The fourth scenario:  Do our habits indirectly create thoughts?  Have you driven somewhere and out of habit you turn at a certain place even though you did not intend to turn there?  How often do we automatically or mindlessly do things out of habit?  Habits can be beneficial, i.e., brushing your teeth or harmful, i.e., not brushing your teeth.  Because bad habits generate automatic responses to do something harmful, they need to be reprogrammed.  For example, I have a bad habit of eating candy from the candy dish at work.  I know this is not good for my health or weight (senerio one).  So why do I do it?  Some bad habits are controlling addictions, e.g., smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, watching too much TV, eating too much food, etc.  Read my post on becoming free from addictions to learn more.  The next time you automatically do something, ask yourself the question, why?  And, “Is this what I really want to do?”  “Is this good and beneficial?”

The fifth scenario:  Do our thoughts come from subconscious memories?  I can testify that this is true.  Conscious and subconscious painful memories generate poor behavior when triggered by the current feelings.  Read my post about memories to learn more.

I would love to know what your thoughts are about thoughts.

Also, read my short book to learn how to transform thoughts: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

A false or unhealthy belief is a lie about the true nature of reality about ourselves, life, and God. For example, if you believe you are not worthy of love, you believe a lie. These lies come from words spoken over us and from memories of offenses done against us. For example, I grew up in a very dysfunctional angry “Christian” home, and I developed a lot of false beliefs about myself, other people, life, and God. I share my story in more detail in the following post: My Story.

The following nine categories of unhealthy, destructive beliefs distort the way we view everything in life.

1. I am unlovable. I am insignificant. I am flawed.

2. I am hopeless. I am worthless. Life is hopeless.

3. Something bad will happen. The future will be like the past. I’m not OK.

4. Something must change right now for me to be OK.

5. People will take advantage of me. People are too sensitive.

6. I am bad. I am not good enough. I am unforgivable.

7. People are out to get me. I must be in control. It’s not fair.

8. People must think well of me for me to be OK.

9. I can’t do it. I am not capable. Others should do it for me. It’s not fair.

The Healing Codes Manual by Loyd and Johnson, p. 55

We internalize these unhealthy, false beliefs at a subconscious level.  And, they cause us to live in self-destructive ways. There are many self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting, alcohol and drug abuse, uncontrollable anger, self-debasing comments, anxiety, etc.  The beliefs mentioned above may result in addictions to cover over the painful feelings these beliefs generate.  To learn more about addictions, read my post called Addiction Strongholds. Unhealthy beliefs also create stress in our bodies that lead to illness and disease, which is explained in detail in my book on this website.

Do the following to uncover your unhealthy beliefs.  First, pay attention to your thoughts and reactions and write down strong emotional reactions. Second, ask God to show you the unhealthy belief(s) that is generating your wrong thinking in your reactions.  Third, trace backward from negative fruit in your life, and prayerfully ask God to show you the answer to the following question, “what is the root of this fruit?”

Wrong thinking creates negative feelings, which directs unloving, destructive behavior so ask God to show you the link.  Also, look for a link to a trauma memory, offense, and word curses because they also create unhealthy belief(s).  Some examples of word curses are: “I will probably fail. I will most likely end up in divorce. Nobody likes me. All politicians are evil. A godly person can’t succeed in business.” Have you thought these?  He will show you so you can then remove it through prayer and repentance, which I explain how on my website, 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Reading self-help books will also reveal unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  I especially like the book called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  I encourage you to read my adapted summary of the right beliefs and thoughts we should have according to Mr. Covey.  Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Read each of the Issues Worksheets to learn about other subconscious unhealthy beliefs we can have and the truth to replace these unhealthy beliefs.  LOVE Issues, JOY Issues, PEACE Issues, PATIENCE Issues, KINDNESS Issues, GOODNESS Issues, TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues, MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues, and SELF-CONTROL Issues.

Read, who God is and what you can be thankful for to replace the lies you believe about God and yourself.

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But, they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls, and is able to help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We are able to love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to take a look at these and be blessed.

You may be interested in reading: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

 

 

Escapism; protected by Strongholds of Loneliness and Discontentment

When we don’t feel loved, we feel lonely.  Every living person has felt lonely at one time in their lives. Some of us feel lonely all the time. It is my experience and observation that loneliness comes from a love deficit, both in receiving love and giving love, but more than that, it is a lack of felt love.  The loss of felt love often happens when there is a death or divorce.  It also happens when a person is in or from a dysfunctional or abusive home that lacked felt love.  Moreover, we were created by God to be loved and to love, and when love is missing, we feel empty and alone, like an empty building, and we want to escape.

Loneliness is often accompanied by depression, which is a feeling of sadness and dejection.  Many married couples feel lonely because they do not know how to love well.  More often than not, one or both partners have not experienced a healthy love, which carries over into their marriage, and is passed down to their children. We marry looking to feel loved but when one or both have no love to give, therein lies the beginning of a dysfunctional relationship and a dysfunctional family.  The unmet desire to be unconditionally loved makes us want to isolate ourselves and to suppress our desire. We often isolate ourselves by escaping into drugs, alcohol, work, shopping, entertainment, sports, etc.

If you have not experienced healthy love, you may have a stronghold of loneliness that keeps you in bondage to unhappiness and depression. The stronghold of loneliness also protects the stronghold of discontentment.   If you are unfamiliar with double strongholds, please read the following post first: STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

Discontentment, according to Webster, is to lack contentment; to be dissatisfied; to have a restless desire for something more or different. To be content is to be satisfied with what one has and is not disturbed by a desire for something more or different.  Discontentment also happens when we have unrealistic expectations. The stronghold of discontentment protects the authority seat of escapism; that is, the desire to escape from our loneliness and discontentment through many different means. Some of the means of escape are: drinking alcohol, using drugs, watching TV, spending hours on social media, working long hours, playing video games, uncontrollable daydreaming, buying things, etc.

The following are the unhealthy beliefs this stronghold combination protects. The loneliness stronghold protects the following unhealthy beliefs: First, “I am alone because I am unlovable.” Second, “I need to isolate myself because I don’t trust that I won’t get hurt or I will be let down.” Third, “I am alone because I am different and unaccepted.” Some of the unhealthy beliefs, protected by the discontentment stronghold are: First, “ I need more because what I have is not enough.” Second, “I need to have something different (i.e., life, car, house, furniture, spouse, job, etc., [different for each of us]).” Discontentment has many facets, but the remedy is thankfulness and trusting God to provide the things we need (and sometimes want).

Next, evaluate what is on the escapism seat of authority (the throne) that controls your choices. I found that I needed to be busy all the time to not feel my loneliness or discontentment. I also found that I would daydream to escape the discontentment and boredom of life. Most times my thoughts were unproductive, futile, unprofitable, and empty musing. The escape mechanisms you choose may be different than mine.  Also, our escape mechanism often becomes an addiction that controls our thoughts. Please visit my website to learn how I overcame this stronghold combination and addictions with the help of God, and how you can as well. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/

STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

I knew I had a stronghold issue by the negative behavior patterns that would control my reactions to situations.  Mental strongholds are unknown to our conscious mind until we seek God to reveal them.  In addition, mental strongholds often come in pairs to ensure we remain in bondage to our unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  Also, I learned that mental strongholds protect seats of authority, much like castle walls protect a ruler’s throne.  The authority seat holds beliefs that rule our lives by controlling what we think, and thoughts dictate what we say, and do.  Now imagine having many double-walled castles in your heart, and each one protects a seat of authority that rules your thoughts.   Go to my website to learn more about each of the following stronghold combinations and how to destroy them.

–Authority seat of anxiety is protected by the strongholds of worry and fear.
–Authority seat of insecurity is protected by the strongholds of control and betrayal.
–Authority seat of disappointment is protected by the strongholds of apathy and rejection.
–Authority seat of insignificance is protected by the strongholds of rejection and misplaced approval.
–Authority seat of humiliation is protected by the strongholds of shame and sadness.
–Authority seat of impatience is protected by the strongholds of injustice and unfairness.
–Authority seat of anger is protected by the strongholds of pride and judgment.
–Authority seat of doubt is protected by the strongholds of rebellion and independence.
–Authority seat of deception (lying) is protected by the strongholds of protection and manipulation.
–Authority seat of oppression is protected by the strongholds of irresponsibility and infirmity.
–Authority seat of escapism is protected by the strongholds of loneliness and discontentment.
–Authority seat of desire is protected by the strongholds of pleasure and addictions.

Tearing down strongholds, especially addiction strongholds, requires that we can hear from God.  To hear from God, we need to be in a right relationship with God. Please visit my website to learn more about how you can be right with God and to be free from the bondage of the above stronghold combinations.

UNHEALTHY BELIEFS: What are they and where do they come from?

 A false or unhealthy belief is a lie about the true nature of reality about ourselves, life, and God. For example, if you believe you are not worthy of love, you believe a lie. These lies come from words spoken over us and from memories of offenses done against us. For example, I grew up in a very dysfunctional angry “Christian” home, and I developed a lot of unhealthy beliefs about myself, other people, life, and God. I share my story in more detail in the following post: My Story.

The following nine categories of unhealthy, destructive beliefs distort the way we view everything in life.

1. I am unlovable. I am insignificant. I am flawed.

2. I am hopeless. I am worthless. Life is hopeless.

3. Something bad will happen. The future will be like the past. I’m not OK.

4. Something must change right now for me to be OK.

5. People will take advantage of me. People are too sensitive.

6. I am bad. I am not good enough. I am unforgivable.

7. People are out to get me. I must be in control. It’s not fair.

8. People must think well of me for me to be OK.

9. I can’t do it. I am not capable. Others should do it for me. It’s not fair.

The Healing Codes Manual by Loyd and Johnson, p. 55

We internalize these unhealthy, false beliefs at a subconscious level.  And, they cause us to live in self-destructive ways. There are many self-destructive behaviors, such as, cutting, alcohol and drug abuse, uncontrollable anger, self-debasing comments, anxiety, etc.  The above mentioned beliefs may result in addictions to cover over the painful feelings.  Learn more about addiction, read my post called Addiction Strongholds. Unhealthy beliefs also create stress in our bodies that lead to illness and disease.

Do the following to uncover your unhealthy beliefs.  First, pay attention to your thoughts and reactions and write down strong emotional reactions. Second, ask God to show you the unhealthy belief(s) that is generating your wrong thinking.  Third, trace backward from negative fruit in your life, and prayerfully ask God to show you the answer to the following question, “what is the root of this fruit?”

Wrong thinking creates negative feelings, which directs unloving, destructive behavior so ask God to show you the link.  Also, look for a link to a trauma memory, offense, and word curses because they also create unhealthy belief(s).  Some examples of word curses are: “I will probably fail. I will most likely end up in divorce. Nobody likes me. All politicians are evil. A godly person can’t succeed in business.” Have you thought these?  He will show you so you can then remove it through prayer and repentance, which I explain how on my website, 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Reading self-help books will also reveal unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking.  I especially like the book called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  I encourage you to read my adapted summary of the right beliefs and thoughts we should have according to Mr. Covey.  Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Read each of the Issues Worksheets to learn about other subconscious unhealthy beliefs we can have and the truth to replace these unhealthy beliefs.  LOVE Issues, JOY Issues, PEACE Issues, PATIENCE Issues, KINDNESS Issues, GOODNESS Issues, TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues, MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues, and SELF-CONTROL Issues.

Read, who God is and what you can be thankful for to replace the lies you believe about God and yourself.