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, demonic activity in our thought life.

First, I want to explain the reality of the unseen demonic activity in 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 demonic activity around us.  I will be honest; this topic can be a scary topic.  The reason the unseen demonic world is scary is because of our lack of 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.

 

Psalm 91:11-13 — Guardian Angels and Power Over Evil Spirits

Have you ever wondered if you had guardian angels? Have you ever wondered if you can overcome the evil spirit influences in your life? You will discover the answer to both questions.  To get a base understanding of the unseen Spirit World, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The devil used the following scripture to tempt Jesus to sin when he took him to the top of the temple (see Matthew 4:6). So always keep in mind that the devil will use scripture in the unseen battles to tempt us to sin against God as he did with Jesus.

Psalm 91:11-12 states, “For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. 12) On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

How many accidents or disasters could have happened to us, but we will never know because angels guarded us.  Angels are not to be worshiped as they are created beings by God, whom He sends to minister to those being saved. Only God is to be worshiped. The following Scripture passages report how angels protect and guard us:

Genesis 19:1 & 15 states, ”The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth. 15) As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

Exodus 23:20 states, ”‘Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.’”

2 Chronicles 32:20-21 states, ”Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21) And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off (destroyed) all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria.”

Psalms 34:7 states, ”The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”

Daniel 6:22 states, ”My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before Him; and, before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

Matthew 18:10 states, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven.”

Hebrews 1:13,14 states, “And to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’ Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Also read Acts 12:7-11 how an angel helped Peter escape from a jail cell in a dungeon.

We are assured that when we take refuge in God and trust Him with our lives, He will command His angels to protect and deliver us. Joyce Myers believes that as David ran toward Goliath and the word was going forth out of his mouth, that the angels were activated to help him. Psalms 103:20 states, “Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, obey the voice of His word.”

Equally as exciting as angels helping us is the power we have over the unseen demonic world.

Psalm 91:13 states, You will tread on the lion and the adder (cobra), the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.”

The lion and serpent are both descriptions of the devil, as depicted in the following verses: 1 Peter 5:8 states, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9) But resist him firm in your faith,…” Webster’s dictionary defines resist as the means to withstand; oppose; fend off; stand firm against; withstand the action of. 2. To oppose actively. 3. To keep from yielding to, being affected by, or enjoying temptations. Revelations 12:9 states, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. In Luke 10:19-20, Jesus states, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions [refer to demons], and over all the power of the enemy [the devil], and nothing shall hurt you. 20) Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

In Genesis 3, the serpent deceives Eve, and is still causing people to doubt God through lies. Remember, lies are false, unhealthy beliefs meant to ruin our love relationship with God and people. Therefore, watch what thoughts you allow your mind to dwell on. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that we are to renew our thinking with the Word of God. For instance, if we become angry, fearful, depressed, etc., we are unknowingly believing a lie from the devil that God does not care. God cares because 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Stop dwelling on lies and renew your mind with the truth found in God’s Word, and you will have peace of mind (see Philippians 4:7). You can bring every thought into subjection to the truth.  Read the following posts: ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL and What Controls Your Thoughts? and Identify and Replace False Beliefs

We have authority and power over the demonic world when we put them under our feet. If they are under our feet, then they are not affecting our mind. The demons are in subjection to us and under our feet when we exercise our authority and control over them through Christ Jesus and His name. Authority is the power or right to give commands and enforce obedience. The following verses explain our authority in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 28:18 states, And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Luke 9:1 tells us that Jesus Called the twelve [disciples] together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Colossians 2:9-10 also states “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity (Godhead) lives in bodily form, 10) and you have been given fullness in Christ (NIV), and in Him, you have been made complete (NAS).” The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” We learn from these verses that because of Christ’s life in those who believe and are followers, they also have all authority and power over the unseen demonic world.

The following verses illustrate the fact that Satan is under our feet. Romans 16:20 states, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Corinthians 15:27 states,For ‘God has put all things in subjection under His feet.’…” Hebrews 2:7-8 states, You [God] have made Him [Jesus] for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, 8) putting everything in subjection under His feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. (Also read 1 Peter 3:22.) Finally, Ephesians 1:22 states, And He [God] put all things (in subjection) under His [Jesus] feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”

Being in subjection is being under someone’s authority or control. Though we have authority over the devil and demons, we need to humbly submit to God and allow the Holy Spirit to directed us to the truth of God’s Word. Our authority has nothing to do with feelings or head knowledge, but only because of our position in Christ Jesus. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s authority in our lives. Remember, God threw Lucifer out of heaven because of pride and he became the devil who resolves to oppress and destroy us because we bear the image of God (see Genesis 1:26). The good news is found in we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:36b).”

It is helpful to read the previous verses Psalm 91:5-6 – DO NOT FEAR THE UNSEEN

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Psalm 91 is my go-to Psalm when I am in distress, or not able to sleep. I use my imagination and visualize the truths in this Psalm to calm my mind. This Psalm clearly shows the correlation between abiding with God and protection from the unseen demonic schemes, that cause anger, fear, worry, and anxiety. Fear is expecting something terrible to happen. Worry is to feel distressed in your mind by situations outside your control that often cause anger. Excessive worry and fear produce anxiety. I encourage you to memorize this Psalm because it helps you focus on God’s protection and provision. We can also practice speaking this Psalm over our lives through the power and authority of Jesus.  You may also want to read ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

For example, I was facing a lay-off that turned nasty.  My supervisor was harrasing me to force me to quit and not take the layoff so I don’t get unemployment. She harassed me every day until I reported her to HR, then she retaliated and made my life worse.  I became more and more angry.  I was also anxious because of lies against my reputation. At the time, I was the only one in my family with full-time work. Plus, my job with the University helped my son with his tuition. So many worries. I felt hopeless, but I focused on Psalms 91 and Isaiah 41:10-14.  I quoted this Psalm often, especially when I could not sleep because of the anxiety. God transformed my character during that time as I submitted to His gentle rebuke of the many sins in my life.

RESTING IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter (secret place) of the Most High will abide (rest) in the shadow of the Almighty.”

       How do we dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

Webster dictionary says that to dwell is being in place of calmness and relaxation as one dwells in their own home. In the same way, we abide in our homes when we remain or stay there. The shelter is heaven, where God the Almighty and Most High dwells. You might think; how can I dwell in heaven when I am alive on earth? We dwell in the shelter of God by faith through continual prayer, praise, and meditating on Scriptural truths. When we pray, praise, and meditate on Scripture, then our spirit draws near to God, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Remember, when we believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for sin, we become children of God (see John 1:12) and we become one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17).

God is the Most High, in Genesis 14:20a it states, “blessed be God Most High….” And, Psalm 57:2 states, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Even a demon spoke and said the following in Mark 5:7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God?” Even demons know that Jesus is the Son of God. So, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High is to keep our minds on the things of Heaven and the truths of God.

    How do we know if we are in the shelter, or secret place where God dwells?

We know we are dwelling in the secret place of God when we have peace in our minds. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29 that all who labor and are heavy laden are to come to Him and find rest for their souls. When we are angry and in fear, our souls are heavy, and we labor in our worry as we stress over situations outside our control. Matthew 11:29 explains that we are to be yoked (as two oxen) with Jesus and to learn from Him and we will have rest. I like this imagery because knowing Jesus is helping me makes my problems bearable. Also, the Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians not to be anxious but to pray about everything with thanksgiving. Then, they will have peace beyond comprehension, which will guard their hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:6 &7). Remember, when Christ Jesus dwells in your heart (see Ephesians 3:17), then your spirit is seated in the heavens with Him (see Ephesians 2:4-7). Imagine being that close to the Almighty God of the Universe that you are under His shadow and protection.

You may want to read Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

The girls in my county jail Bible study struggle to live successful lives.  Most of their problems and troubles result from their wrong thoughts.  The progression of thoughts to results are as follows.  What we think affects our emotions.  Our emotions control our behavior.  And, our behavior directs the events of our lives.

For example, destructive thinking is to think of things that offend you, which causes you to be angry, fearful, or sad. When you are fearful, angry, or sad, you will act out these 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 positive 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, sucessful 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.

1)  Live through Christ Jesus: See 1 John 4:9-12, 17; 2 Cor 13:4; Gal 2:20.  Live through Christ by doing the following actions.

  • Keep your mind on Him and transform your thinking: See Col 3:1-4; Is 26:3; James 1:21; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8
  • Seek His help when you struggle with temptations and wrong thinking: See Heb 2:17-18; 4:15-16; 1 Cor 10:13
  • Abide (stay; dwell) with Him, and His words abide in you: See Jn 15:1-8; 1 John 2:24; Jam 1:21-25; 4:6-8; Matt 7:24-26
  • Forgive as He forgave (key to successful relationships): See Matt 6:12-15; 18:21-35; Col 3:13; Mark 11:25
  • Be humble as He was: See Phil. 2:3-11; Matthew 11:29; 1 Peter 5:5
  • Love as He Loved: See John 15:9-14; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 16:14

2)  Rely on the Holy Spirit as your Helper:  See John 14:26 and John 15:26. To renew us See Titus 3:3-7 & 1 Cor 6:11. To put off your old life and put on a new life: See Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-15; 2 Cor 5:17

3)  Die to sin and be free from it’s control, then do what is right by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit:  See 1 Peter 2:24; Rom 6:10-14; 8:4-11; 1 John 1:7; 3:5-8, 14; Col 3:5-17, Eph 4:17-32; 5:8; 1 John 1:9; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:11; James 1:21; Gal 5:22-25. Deny your fleshly desires (sin/evil) and avoid the consequences:  See James 1:13-15; Gal 5:16-21; 6:7-8; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Rom 8:7-8, 13-14; Mark 7:20-23; Rev 21:8

4)  Pray continually: See Phil 4:6-7; Rom 12:12; 1 Thes 5:17 –Turn every wrong, sinful thought into a prayer of repentance and renewal immediately.  The longer we think wrong thoughts the further down the wrong path we will go (1 John 1:9; 3:21-24).

5)  Submit to God and stand firm against the enemy of your mind and your faith:  See James 4:7,8; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:6-10; Heb 11:1, 6; 12:1-3; 1 John 5:4-5

6)  Persevere through trials; trusting God is at work, and put your hope in Him: See John 16:33; 1 Peter 1:6-9; 4:12-14, 19; Matt 6:33-34; 8:28; James 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; Heb 10:36-39; 12:5-7; Rom 5:2-4; 8:18; Lam 3:21-25; Is 30:18; Ps 62:5-8; 147:11; Luke 6:22; 2 Cor 4:17-18; 12:10

7)  Do the Will of God, found in the Word of God:  See James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 4:2; Matt 3:35; Rom 12:2; 1 Thes 4:3; 5:12-18; 1 Pet 2:15; 1 John 2:17; 5:14-15

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

We learned in the last two posts that our thoughts control our destiny, and we can control our thoughts. Please read my previous two posts if you haven’t already. In this post, I want to share more specifically how to control your thoughts. In the post called ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, I explained how I tend to let my thinking go to extremes of anger, and then to worry.  I use the truths in the Bible for my inspiration because it is the authority for how we should think. How we think dictates how well we love.

To break my negative thought cycles, I would consciously choose to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  To rejoice always is to choose to focus your thoughts continually on things that make you glad, happy, or delighted.  Rejoice in Jesus and how you are forgiven and free from the control of sin, etc.  Rejoice in the fact that God is faithful, and nothing is impossible with Him.

Next, pray without ceasing by turning every thought into a prayer. If you think of someone, pray for them. If you are upset about something, ask God to help you forgive or whatever you need God to do.  If you are tempted to give in to your fleshly desires, pray for help to resist.  By praying we are practicing the presense of God in our lives as Brother Lawrence teaches.

In everything give thanks, which does not leave anything out.  Have an attitutude of gratitude.  Imagine, if you rejoice, pray, and be thankful all the time, you would never be depressed, miserable, angry, etc.  When I focus my thoughts on these three things, I feel peaceful, so I don’t act miserably and make others miserable.  Breaking negative thought cycles takes work and discipline, but it is well worth it.

The Apostle Paul also taught the Philippians how to safeguard their minds. In Philippians 4:4-8 he lays out four ways to create a healthy thought life.

  1. Have an attitude of praise and gratitude. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NIV) – To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship the Lord and all He is with thanksgiving. Philippians 3:1 also states, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …it is a safeguard for you.” A safeguard is a protective stipulation. Rejoicing protects our minds from destructive thoughts of anger, malice, envy, worry, fear, etc. Things to rejoice and be glad for, and be thankful for, can be found in Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers, I encourage you to add this page to your favorite list and visit this page daily.
  2. Let prayer occupy your thoughts all the time, especially during times of emotional stress. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Also, Ephesians 6:18 states, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions (all the time) with all kinds of prayers and requests.” So, how do we pray in the Spirit all the time?  It is our spirit with the Holy Spirit in us that prays through our minds to God. Read Four Realities of the Spirit World to learn about the interactions of the spirit world. You can also pray in the spirit through a spiritual language you receive when you pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill you (see Acts 19:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:2&14).  Prayer with thanksgiving is a way to productively channel your emotional energy. If you tend to worry or be angry, then read the following posts to learn how to be free to choose different thoughts and break the cycle: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds
  3. Choose where you let your thoughts dwell. You have control of your thoughts, so use that control to your benefit and the benefit of others.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honorable), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV emphasis added) – Be proactive about your thought life! Choose to think true and positive thoughts described in this verse. Write down an example for each type of thought that would pertain to your life. For example:
  • True thoughts are based on what you read in the Bible, so focus on scriptural truths about yourself, others, God, and the world around you.  My short book on this website has over 100 true thoughts to think on.
  • Noble or honorable thoughts could be thoughts about what you can do to help others or to show kindness to a crabby person, or show love to someone who is difficult to love, etc.
  • Right thoughts could be thoughts about what is good and what you like about a person or something. For example, I have to walk a ½ mile to my office building from where I park.  When the weather is crappy, it is hard to have right thoughts.  Right thoughts are to think of the good exercise I am getting that I wouldn’t get otherwise, the fresh air I am breathing to detoxify my lungs and body, more time to pray, etc.
  • Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people and not judgmental thoughts. Choose to think pure thoughts about the opposite sex, instead of obscene thoughts. Choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generate pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images, so your thoughts remain pure.
  • Lovely thoughts could be thinking about someone you love or thinking about how much God loves you that He would send His son to die and atone for our sin. And how His son, Jesus, would willingly do this for ungrateful people who reject Him.
  • Admirable thoughts could be thoughts that marvel at God’s creation, goodness, and mercy. Or, think about things that are done excellently, like a beautiful garden or some other good works.
  1. Your thoughts determine the beliefs and attitudes of your heart. When you practice thinking the thoughts listed above your mind is at peace, and you will be at peace with others and life. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NIV) – This verse is conditional and is based on following the previous principles of thinking. So, when you rejoice, pray, be thankful, and think good thoughts, you are inviting God into your thought life and valuing yourself and others.

Thoughts come from all directions.  Thoughts come from our experiences and the words we read and hear. I wrote two posts about the power of our words and how they influence us.

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Has this ever happened to you?  My son finished his fourth year of college out of five and it is not cool to talk to his mom.  I find out from my husband that he received two awards, one was for having the highest GPA in Architectural Engineering.  So, I took offense and I thought, well, why didn’t he tell me when I asked what has been happening in his life.  Why wasn’t I invited to the awards ceremony?  Who was invited instead of me?  My thoughts kept going like a fire.  I could not sleep; I woke up depressed.  All my muscles were tense with anxiety.  I had the unhealthy belief that my son did not love me.  I believed he will shut me out of his life, and I will never see my grandchildren.  Poo Hoo.  This example is only a smattering of how my thoughts quickly got out of control.

I know that all thoughts are within my control.  So I told myself to STOP thinking those wrong thoughts and taking an offense.  I talked to myself and acknowledged that I was disappointed because my expectations were not met, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of our relationship.   The Bible teaches us to forgive, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything.  I refocused my thoughts on good thoughts and what I can be thankful for.  I prayed and asked God to take my anxious thoughts and unhealthy beliefs from me and the resulting stress energy.

I decided to text my son to let him know I was disappointed about not being invited to the awards ceremony and how proud I was of his achievement.  He called me right away and told me to get over myself and stop my pity party because the awards ceremony was not open to family and friends.  I had a good laugh at myself.  By that time I was over my obsessing because I accepted that those we love will disappoint us, and we will disappoint them.

So, where did those wrong thoughts originate?  I asked God to show me where those thoughts flowed from.  He showed me that I was feeling insecure about my relationship with my son, and my insecure feelings generated my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.   Could an unseen evil spirt have planted the thoughts that make me feel insecure?  What is generating your thoughts?  Hurt feelings, insecurity, dissapointments, unmet expectations, etc.  My short book on my website helps you to discover the sources of wrong thinking.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I know the topic of thoughts is vast and mind-boggling, but my research is specific to the influence of unseen spiritual forces that affect our thinking.  Thinking about what controls our thinking and how our thoughts influence us is hard enough, now I have added the unseen spirit world.  The Bible records many instances of how the devil influences people’s thinking.  I use Biblical accounts because the Bible was written by God, as He influenced men’s minds to record His words.  Therefore, the Bible is the authority on spiritual and relational issues.  To learn more about who God is and the unseen spirit forces around us, read my post called, Four Realities of the Spirit World.

The following Biblical account is the first example of planted thoughts, which most of you already know or have heard of it.  God created Adam and Eve in a garden and told them not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden.  Satan (evil spirit) takes the form of a serpent and climbs the forbidden tree.  He causes Eve to doubt what God told her is the truth about dying.  The devil tempted her to eat the forbidden fruit by enticing her to desire it and then persuaded her that if she eats it, she will be like God, knowing good and evil (see Genesis 3:4).  This thought appealed to her pride.  Interesting, the devil’s sin was pride because he also wanted to be independent of God, which broke his relationship with God.  The wrong thought then caused Eve to look at the fruit and desire to eat it.  Her desire then compelled her to sin and eat the fruit.  This process shows how unseen wrong thinking led to disobedience and separation from God.

Temptations also create thoughts of offense, which then generate unhealthy, false beliefs.  Satan’s temptation may have caused Eve to think and believe:  “How could a loving God keep such a beautiful piece of fruit from me?” and “Why should Adam and I not know good from evil and be like God?”

??  What were Eve’s mistakes? 

Her first mistake was to reason with the serpent (the devil).  Her second mistake was to consider disobeying God.  The third mistake was to entertain the wrong thought and be enticed to look at and desire the fruit.  And the ultimate mistake was to give into her fleshly desire and disobey God’s good and just command.  The devil still uses the same temptation of living independent of God on all of humanity.

Until we recognize our thoughts and rule over them, they will continually control our beliefs, feelings, behavior, and destiny.  We daily face temptations that appeal to our self-centered desires to live independent of God.  Satan has not changed his tactics since tempting Eve.  All unseen battles begin as a thought that is within our control.  The girls in the prison system were told that if they withstand temptation for seven seconds, they can overcome the temptation.  I encourage them to replace the wrong thought creating the desire for the harmful activity with a healthy thought based on Scriptural truth.

??  How do our thoughts dictate our actions?

My mind used to be controlled by thoughts of fear, which would cause my adrenaline to go up.  Before I could stop it, I was in a panic—over nothing—except thoughts that needed to be taken captive.  And because of all the conflicts from my past, I realized I was constantly in a flight or fight mode, which created stress in my body.  I would sometimes imagine a confrontation with someone that would never happen.  I would get all upset and angry because of wrong thoughts, which needed to be taken captive and loosed from my mind.

To learn more about dealing with unhealthy beliefs read: Identify and Replace False Beliefs.

 

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.