TRUST: Lessons Learned in Israel

Do you trust those around you will value and protect you?  Do you trust that what others say is the truth?  Do you trust the plane does not crash?   Do you trust your spouse will be faithful?  Do you trust a politician or car salesman?   Trust believes in honesty, integrity, and justice, but all of us have been betrayed at one time or another.  Some of us has been betrayed multiple times because we live in a sinful world.  So how can we trust?  And what does all this have to do with Israel?

I recently went to Israel, and I was so anxious about everything related to the trip.  Why?  As I pondered why, I realized it was because I focused on all the things that could go wrong.  My thoughts were dictating my behavior choice to be anxious.  I also realized that my thoughts were controlled by memories of plane crashes, terrorist attacks, lost luggage, etc. I do have to admit, sedatives (natural) was my best friend while flying.  Also, the unknown made me anxious.  I was such an emotional mess that I got hives.  In short, I was not trusting God.  So I decided to focus my thoughts on God’s protection and help.  Remember, our thoughts have negative or positive energy, so controlling our thoughts controls our reactions.

As I was packing for the trip, I found Psalms 62:1,2, and 8 written out on a card, so I put this in my pocket to help me focus on God’s protection.  Every time I felt anxious, I would read these verses, which says:  “1) My soul finds rest in God only, from Him is my salvation.  2) He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, I shall not be greatly shaken.  8) Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a hiding-place for us.”  I often recalled Psalms 91, which also reinforces that I can trust God and no harm will come near me. Many other scriptures help us focus on God and the fact that we can trust Him.  I encourage you to keep these scriptures before you and to memorize them, so you can recall them when you get anxious.

Let’s be practical, what does trust look like?  For me, it is the quiet confidence that God is in control and is ordering my steps.  Trust believes He loves me and has my best interest in mind, even if it means I have to go through trials to improve my character and make me more like Him.  Trust is the confidence that God is faithful and will protect me and sustain me in everything I do.

Remember, our enemy (the devil) wants to steal our peace and quietness, and he will bring to our mind all the memories of the bad things that have happened or could happen.  Resist him; James 4: 7 says, “Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   You will maintain your peace and confidence when you quote the truth of God’s Word and turn your mental focus on God and His faithfulness.  Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him/her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he/she trusts in You.”  I can attest to this truth, and I have no anxiety as long as I put my trust in God.

But you may ask, who is God and why should I trust Him or that the Bible is truth?  I know that God is an all-powerful, loving, and all-knowing Spirit who always existed and always will exist.  The Bible is written by God through men for our benefit, so we can know Him and know that we can trust Him.  I have seen many miracles in my life because I chose to trust God, and He was there to protect and provide for me.  I may blog about that some time.

On the flip side, can you be trusted?  Are you faithful?  Do you have integrity?  To learn more about trust read the following page of my book: TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues

Also read my blog post on Anxiety: ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

The following are truth statements to focus on:

It is safe to trust God and do what is good, and He will direct me. Ps. 37:3-5 (Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4  Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.)

I can trust God’s faithfulness to be a shield around me as I put my trust in Him, and I will not be afraid. Ps. 91:4 (He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.); 56:4,11 (In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 11) in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?)

Trust believes the good thing God is doing, and my heart does not need to be troubled, for He is my salvation. John 14:1 (“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.), Isa. 25:9 (“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”)

I can be trusted, and I am faithful with what God has given me. Lk. 16:10 (“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.)

I can trust and believe that my life has a purpose and that God has a plan for my life, which gives me hope… Jer. 29:11-13 (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”)

As I trust in God, He is my refuge, and His unfailing love and favor surround me. Ps. 32:10 (“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.”); 7:1(“O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,”); 5:12 (“For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”)

When I trust and believe in Jesus, I will not be disappointed. Rom. 9:33 (“as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”); I Peter 2:6b (“For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”)

I will not put my hope in the uncertainty of riches but in God who richly supplies me with all things to enjoy. I Tim. 6:17-19 (“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19  thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”); Phil 4:19 (“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”)

I am blessed when I trust and hope in the Lord, and I make him my confidence. Jer. 17:7 (“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.”)

What other truth statements and supporting scriptures can you add to this list?

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

So why is pride a destructive force? Pride is more than feeling good when we accomplish something great.  Arrogant or conceited pride keeps us from loving others well.  Second, pride prevents us from seeing the sin of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Last, pride justifies self-centered behavior that erodes relationships.  Not only is pride destructive, but God hates pride and will oppose anyone who is prideful, which is explained at the end of this post.  So, if we don’t want God opposing us then we need to seriously seek to get rid of pride.

You see, pride caused Lucifer, the most beautiful angel, to be thrown out of heaven and to the earth with a 1/3 of the angels who were also prideful.  Lucifer is renamed Satan, which means destroyer (see Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelations 9:11; and John 10:10a) and the fallen angels are now called demons.  So, pride is the one unseen battle for our minds that satan will tempt us with again and again because he knows pride is destructive.

Every person has pride problems because the sinful human nature is self-centered, wanting only to please itself.  Also, a self-centered person does not desire to seek God or to do His will.  On the other hand, Christianity is about being Christ and other-centered.

Read over the following definition of pride and humility and sincerely ask God to show you what your pride issues are. Be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  When you discover your pride issue, ask God for forgiveness and to take the specific pride issue from you, and then to give you His humility and love for others.  I also had to ask God to take the spirit of pride out of my heart and mind, and I felt a difference when it left.

Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, also known as exaggerated self-esteem or arrogance.  Prideful people think they are better than other people and will display contempt toward those who don’t value them or their abilities.  Prideful people will show disdain, contempt, or scorn for others who they think is beneath them or who disagrees with them.  They are judgemental and condemning of others and do not show mercy.

Pridefulness is exposed by what we say, especially when we speak more favorably of ourselves. For example, I would demean my husband by saying I was a harder worker than him; this is pride.  And, I pridefully believed I did things better, and others should recognize it and praise me.   Pride is evident when we try to control everything because we think we can do things better.  For example, I became angry or frustrated when something was outside my control, like how other people drove or the choices they made.  Also, getting angry when something does not go your way shows an impatient spirit, controlled by pride. Prideful people are also insecure and judgmental.  We display our pride in different ways, and it does not matter what form it takes, it still is a destructive sin.

A humble person exhibits acts of selflessness, kindness, patience, and gentleness.  They are not self-asserting or boastful but are more concerned about others.  Humble people are meek and not inclined to anger or resentment from insults and offenses.  They are merciful, polite, and respectful.  People like being around those who are humble because they feel loved and safe, and never judged.

After learning these truths, I now take my angry, impatient, and controlling thoughts captive and walk them back by consciously stopping the reactive thought and thinking a truthful thought.   The truth is that I can live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on me.  In the New International Version, Hebrews 12:14 states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.”    I also put into my mind and heart the truths that humility is realizing that everything I have, including my abilities, is a gift from God (Deut. 8:17-18).  And I don’t think of myself more highly than others, but in humility, I will regard others as more important than myself (Rom. 12:3; Phil. 2:3).  The more we transform our thinking with truth found in the Word of God (Romans 12:2) and are renewed by the Holy Spirit, the more like God we will be (Ephesians 4:23), which is loving, patient, kind, peaceful, faithful, humble, full of joy, and self-controlled.  To learn how I became free to live a transformed and renewed life and how you can be free to live a new reality, visit my website: https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/.

To get a better understanding of what God thinks of pride, read the following Scriptures and write out your reflections to help you internalize these truths.


2 Chronicles 26:16 states, “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God ….”

     ??  Why would we be unfaithful to God when be become strong?

     ??  How do you think pride destroys us?

     ??  Think about a time when pride brought destruction in your life or someone else’s life.


2 Chronicles 32:25 states, “… for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him ….”

     ??  Why would a proud heart deserve the wrath of God?


Psalms 10:4 states, “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”

     ??  Why doesn’t a  proud person seek God? 

     ??  And why would a proud man say, “There is no God.?”


Psalms 31:23 states, “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.”

     ??  What is the difference between the faithful and the proud person?

     ??  How do you think God preserves faithful people, and repays prideful people?


Psalms 59:12 states, “For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride.  For the cursing and lies that they utter,”

     ??  How do the words of the proud trap them?

     ??  How is lying a sign of pride?


Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

     ??  Why would the humble be wise, and the proud be disgraced?


Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

     ??  Why would pride bring destruction?  Give an example.

     ??  What would cause a haughty person to fall?


Proverbs 21:24 states, “’Scoffer’ is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.”

     ??  Why do the arrogant scoff (an expression of mocking contempt, scorn; jeer)?


Proverbs 29:23 states, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”

     ??  How does pride bring a person low and how do the lowly obtain honor?


Ecclesiastes 7:8 states, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

     ??  Why is a patient spirit better than a proud spirit?

     ??  Why is a proud person not patient?


Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance; NAS) of your heart has deceived you, …”

     ??  Why does pride deceive us?


Romans 11:20, 23 states, “That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud (conceited; NAS), but fear. 23) And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.”

     ??  How does standing fast in our faith and fearing God keep us from becoming prideful?


James 4:6 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (Also see 1 Peter 5:5.)

     ??  Why does God oppose the proud?


Understand, God hates pride.  Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil (evil behavior; NIV) and perverted speech I hate.”  Also, look-up the seven things God hates; Proverbs 6:16-19.   Not only does God hate pride and arrogance, but He also hates evil behavior, which is morally bad and depraved.  He also hates perverted speech, which is speech that deviates from what is good or true,  i.e., lying.  To be sure, a proud heart will not humbly submit to God or others and do what is right.

??  Would it be better to remain prideful or to humble ourselves and submit to God.  Why?

Read my other posts about Pride: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

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 for close to 50 years. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.

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. 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 I know sounds 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).

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 (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. 59:1,2).

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.

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.

 

Four Realities of the Spirit World

Understanding the reality of the Spirit world will help us stand firm against the destructive influences on our lives. The truth of the spirit world helps us keep in perspective our purpose and faith. The one frustration the county jail girls had was not remaining steadfast in their spiritual faith when they were released from jail. One inmate said that every time she is sent to jail, she got religion, but when she was released, she went back to her old lifestyle. Not standing firm in our faith involves many factors. One factor is to understand the spirit world and the unseen spiritual battles. When I shared these four spiritual realities, the inmates all said it was very helpful, and I hope you find it helpful too.

Reality one: We are actually spirit beings in a physical body living in a spirit world within a physical world. The following scriptures show this reality:

  • James_2:26 The body apart from the spirit is dead,…
  • Luke_23:46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit!” And having said this, he breathed his last.
  • Acts_7:59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
  • 2Timothy_4:22 The Lord be with your spirit.

?? What happens to our spirits when we die? Read the story of Lazareth and the rich man. Luke 16:19-31
?? Where was Lazareth?
?? Where was the rich man?
?? Why could the rich man see, hear, speak, and thirst, etc., if they were dead?
This account explains another reality that there is a heaven and a hell.
?? Where will you spend eternity?

Reality two: God is an eternal Spirit being, which means He always existed. He is also an all-powerful Spirit being that is present everywhere. Revelations 1:8 states, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.'” Read the book of Exodus to understand the power of God better. The following scriptures also confirm this reality.

  • 1Corinthians_2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except for the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (Our Spirit communicates with God through prayer. And God, who is a Spirit, reveals His thoughts to our spirit and gives us an understanding of His Word in the Holy Bible.)
  • John_4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
  • 2Corinthians_3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

    ?? What do you think we have been freed from? (i.e., addictions, the power of sin (fleshly lusts), resentments, etc.)

His desire from the beginning of time was to be in fellowship with mankind. Fellowship also means companionship, and some call it a relationship. Look up the following verses in different versions.

  • 1Cor_1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1John_1:3 that which we have seen and heard we also proclaim to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
  • Isaiah 41:10-13 tells us that God holds our hand, through our spiritual being.

The following are examples of Old Testament men who walked with God.

  • Gen_5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
  • Gen_6:9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.

?? If God is a spirit, how do you think they walked with God?
?? When you walk with someone, do you talk to them?

Reality three: The Devil and demons are evil spirits, who are fallen angels. These evil spirits want to keep us from being in fellowship with God. And they will deceive and tempt us to please our sinful fleshly desires and live separately from God.
     ?? Who is the devil? The Devil is a created spirit being and is also called Satan. He is the great enemy of man and of goodness; usually identified with Lucifer, the chief of the fallen angels. Lucifer became prideful and wanted to set himself above his creator, God. Therefore, God threw him down to earth along with a third of the angels who followed him (see Is. 14:12-14). He is also called the deceiver (Rev. 12:9-12), father of lies and murderer (John 8:44), and the destroyer or Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek, which is translated as “destroyer or to destroy” (Rev. 9:11 and John 10:10a). The Devil means slanderer; the chief evil spirit, a supernatural being subordinate to, and the foe of God and the tempter of man. Evil means morally bad or wrong; wicked; depraved. 2. Causing pain or trouble; harmful; injurious. Satan and demons are not present in all places nor do they know all things, and they do not know our thoughts as God does (Ps. 139:1-10). The Bible also says the following about Satan.

  • John 10:10 The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
  • 1Peter 5:8-9 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9) Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. Note: Jesus also suffered.
  • Hebrews 2:18 For because he himself (Jesus) has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus was tempted by the devil to sin (see Matthew chapter 4). The same thing is happening to us every day. But, Jesus did not give in to the temptation and never sinned. He is always with us to help us not to give in, only if we have invited Him into our lives to be with us (see Revelations 3:20). When we are being tempted to sin, all we need to do is to take the thought captive and turn it into a prayer for help (see Hebrews 4:15-16).

    ?? So, what do we need to do to keep from giving in to temptation and then sinning?

The Bible says the following in James 4:7-8; “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.” The result will be that the devil will flee; which means, to run away or escape from danger; disappear; vanish.
    ?? What are some situations in your life that you would like to see the devil flee?

Therefore, if we are to stand firm against temptations and send the devil running, we need to do three actions: First, humble ourselves by putting aside self-fulfillment, self-sufficiency, and independence from God. Second, submit to God; which is, to surrender control of our lives to Him. And third, to draw near to a holy God we need to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts by confessing and repenting of any sins of the flesh and the spirit, and then seek forgiveness for our sins; 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (purifies us from all unrighteousness; NIV).” We cannot approach a Holy God in prayer if there is sin in our lives. The pages on my website on the right-hand margin help you to identify many types of sins.
For example, if you are being tempted to take drugs or get drunk, then pray and tell God that you love Him and you want His best (submit to God). Then tell the devil to be gone from you in Jesus’ name (resist the devil). Then ask God to give you the strength to walk away and to help you remain strong in your faith. Next, ask God to search your mind and heart and to reveal any sinful desires that do not please Him. When He shows you, then confess it and repent. Remember, the evil spirits will deceive us with lies about ourselves, others, and God to keep us in our sin. Also, the evil spirits will tempt us to sin, so we remain separated from God.
    ?? In the situations listed in the last question, how can you practically apply the above actions?

You see, sin happens when we give in to the temptation to live separately from God and His good and perfect instructions, which then separates our spirit from the Spirit of God. Isaiah 59:1-3 states, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or His ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2) but your iniquities [wickedness; sins] have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that he does not hear. 3) For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.”

Reality four: God the Holy Spirit replaces our sin-corrupted spirits and gives us a new life; we become born again spiritually (see 1Peter 1:3 & 1 Cor 6:17). We get this new life when we believe with our heart and confess out loud that Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died to pay the debt for sin; 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). The Bible says the following about the role of the Holy Spirit.

  • 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.
  • John_16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
  • 1Corinthians_2:10-12 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11) For who knows a person’s thoughts except for the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 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.
  • 1Corinthians_3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (Also see 1Corinthians 6:19)

   ?? What is our responsibility? Do you think the Holy Spirit just takes over and we are instantly changed?

First, we need to renew our minds with the truth of God’s Word (the Bible), which is what I outline in my website (see Rom. 12:2). Second, we are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit through prayer and mediation on scriptures (see Colossians 3:1-2).  The following verses explain this principle.

  • Rom_8:5-6 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
  • Rom_8:9-10 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10) But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
  • Rom_8:13-16 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15) For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Also see Gal 4:6 ) 16) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
  • Gal_5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
  • Gal_6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
  • 2Co_7:1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

    ?? According to these verses what are we responsible for doing to remain (abide) in fellowship with God?

In conclusion, the spiritual battle for our souls is fought in the spirit world through prayer. Prayer is our spirit communicating with the Spirit of God. Therefore, understanding these realities of the Spirit world will help us stand firm in prayer against the destructive influences of evil spirits in our lives.

PEACE—A Parenting and Marital Goal

What would it be like if our children lived in peace with each other and we had a peaceful marriage?  Let us take a moment to imagine that the people in our lives are serene, tranquil, calm, undisturbed, friendly, kind, and helpful.  How does this make you feel?  Does this make you feel relaxed?  Does this describe how you relate to people?  Consider, with me, three causes that deprive us of peace and how to restore peace.

Peace was the only Mother’s Day gift I would ask from my children, which never happened.  The reason was because I never sowed peace into my children.  Have you ever heard the saying, “you reap what you sow?”  A farmer sows seed into the ground and depending on what the seed is that is, what the farmer will reap.  So, if you don’t have peace in your family and marriage then maybe peace has not been sown.  If there is strife in your life, consider where the source of strife is coming.

The first and main source of strife comes from past offenses stored in our memories and unforgiveness in our hearts.  Because I was an angry person inside from the many painful memories of being abused, I could not live in peace with anyone, though I desperately wanted to.  After God healed my painful memories, offenses, and unhealthy beleifs, I no longer was upset about everything all the time.  I can now live in peace with those around me, including myself.  Had I known about this when when I was raising my children, I would have dealt with the strife differently.  I would have located the offenses in their hearts, instead of reacting in anger.  To learn more, read the chapters of my book, listed in the right margin.

The second source of strife comes from daily offenses that we react too.  Just drive in the city, and you will have plenty of reason to be offended.  Being around people offer many opportunities to be offended.  These little offenses steal our peace, and the best solution is to take those thoughts captive by first, recognizing them, acknowledging them, and then taking hold of them.  Next, ask God to remove those thoughts of offense, forgive if necessary, and then ask God to give you patience and love for those around you.  Again, I elaborate more on this in my book on my website.

The third reason we lack peace can also be from the following peace robbers.  In fact, these peace robbers greatly affected my health and your health.  I share my testimony of how I transformed these peace robbers in my book found in my website.

  • Tension: mental or nervous strain
  • Fear of something bad happening:
  • Dread: to fear greatly; be in extreme apprehension
  • Fright: sudden fear or terror
  • Nervousness: emotional tension; agitation
  • Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune
  • Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret
  • Anger: a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath
  • Terror: intense fear

For example, my husband took my two young sons (10 and 12) spelunking in an abandoned cave.  I objected greatly but the boys wanted to go, and my husband was an experienced spelunker.  Needless to say, I experienced all the above peace robbers.  Thankfully, the Lord was watching over my children and husband as there were many dangers.  My husband had fun but my children to this day never want to go spelunking again.

Not only do we need to pray and ask God to remove these peace robbers from us but also the associated unhealthy beliefs.  The following are some examples of unhealthy beliefs that need transforming through prayer and truth:

  • Something bad will happen.
  • The future will be like the past.
  • There is no peace for me.
  • I don’t deserve peace.
  • Why even try to get peace? It is useless to try.
  • I lost any chance for peace when I lost _____.
  • I caused ____ to lose peace.
  • I am afraid I will never have peace.
  • If I have peace, bad things will take it away.
  • If I can just get more ____ I will have peace.
  • My lack of peace is due to my lack of ____.
  • Other people have taken my peace from me.
  • If only others would leave me alone I would have peace.
  • They don’t deserve peace.

The following truths can be used to transform the above unhealthy beliefs and any other unhealthy beliefs that God shows you when you ask.

  • The peace of Christ rules in my heart, and I am thankful. 3:15
  • I pursue peace and do what is good. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:11
  • I can be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for others. Titus 3:2
  • When I make peace, I will be blessed and be called a child of God. 5:9
  • The peace that comes from God is beyond understanding when I give my troubles to Him and thank Him. 4:6
  • God fills me with all joy and peace as I believe and trust Him, and I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 15:13
  • I will have great peace and will not stumble when I love God’s Word. 119:165
  • I can be at peace with others. 9:50; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14
  • Peace comes when I trust Jesus, and I will not let my heart be troubled or anxious. John 14:27; John 16:33; Phil. 4:6, 7; 26:3

County Jail Study on Psalms 103

King David wrote this Psalm later in his life and we know this because he wrote this Psalm from a deep understanding of God’s grace and mercy. He understood all the benefits of being in a right relationship with God and he was thankful. What is more amazing is the fact that we have a greater understanding of Psalms 103 and it has more meaning to us because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. Since I spent most of last week preparing this bible study on Psalms 103 for the county jail, I thought I would post it. This is a lengthy study that will span about four weeks. For example, last Friday, I only covered the first five verses because there was a great discussion. Enjoy.

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Psalms 103 (ESV)

1) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Bless, in this context, means an act of adoration, praise, giving thanks.
Our
soul is said to contain our morality and conscience and is responsible for the functions of thinking and willing, which determines all behavior. Webster’s dictionary says the soul is the residence of our mind, emotions, and will. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 which states, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify [set apart and purify] you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Also, Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30 that we are to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

?? How do we remember something?

?? What are benefits? (A kindly, charitable act; favor; advantage; reward; something good; etc.)

3) who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases (sicknesses),

Iniquity means lack of righteousness; that is, not doing what is right or being just (equitable and impartial); doing wickedness (evil moral character; evil; depraved)

It is a benefit to have all our sins forgiven and to be healed of our sicknesses. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said in John 1:29Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

?? What does “all” mean? Do you believe this?

If you don’t believe verse three, choose to believe and ask God to show your unhealthy beliefs about His promises. When He shows you, ask Him to lose and remove those specific unhealthy beliefs. If you have been praying for healing and you have not been healed, then keep trusting that God is all-powerful and can heal. Trust that He has a purpose for your sickness and one day, you will be healed.

?? Is there someone you need to forgive who did you wrong?

Unforgiveness often does not hurt the person we refuse to forgive, but it always hurts us, which is why it blocks healing. Forgiveness is essential for healing because it releases us from the power of a wrongful action or offense. Forgiving someone does not excuse their wrong actions but sets us free to heal and move on. We find a condition for forgiveness in Matthew 6:14-15, which states in the NIV, “For if you forgive (others) when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15) But if you do not forgive (others), your Father will not forgive your sins.” Also see Matthew18:23-35.

?? Have you forgiven yourself for hurting others? Ask God to take all that guilt from you.

4) who redeems your life from the pit (grave—Strong’s definition; destruction; NKJ), who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

Redemption or redeem means to get back; recover, as by paying a fee. It is our deliverance from sin and the consequences of sin. 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us that we were “redeemed [ransomed and bought back] from the futile ways inherited from our forefathers, …with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.Ephesians 1:7-9 states, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace, 8) which He lavished on us.”

?? What image comes to your mind when you read this verse?

?? Do you see yourself in the pit of sin or sitting in heaven, forgiven and crowned with love and mercy?

If you see yourself in the pit of sin and despair then do the following: Choose to believe with your heart and confess that Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died to pay the debt for sin; forgives your sins and frees you from sins control (See Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Col 1:14; & Gal 5:1). When you confess this with your mouth and believe it with our heart, then God the Holy Spirit and His love, life, and light enter into your heart (See Gal. 4:6 & 1 Cor. 6:17).

5) who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Strong’s definition of good in this context is favor, benefits; advantage. There are other ways to translate the beginning of this verse, for example, the New American Standard states: “Who satisfies your years with good things,…” The New International Version states: “who satisfies your desires with good things,…” The New King James Version states: “who satisfies your mouth with good things…” Furthermore, I read that an eagle continually sheds its feathers and regrow new ones. Therefore, an old eagle will look the same as a young eagle.

?? How do you see this verse working in your life? (See Col. 3:8-10 and Eph. 4:22-24)

6) The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

Righteousness, in this context, is the act of doing what is right.

Justice or judgment, in this context, it is a reward or penalty as deserved.

Oppressed is someone who has been defrauded, violated, deceived, or wronged in some way.

Isaiah 30:18 states, “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait (long; NAS) for Him.”

?? How would you describe righteousness and justice in your own words?

?? What happens when we wait on the Lord, that is, when we long for Him?

7) He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.

Short List from the book of Exodus of God’s ways and acts:

  • Moses’s staff becomes a serpent then back to a staff again.

  • Brought 10 plaques on Egypt but not where the Israelites were staying because Pharaoh would not let them leave Egypt: All water sources became blood; frogs everywhere; all the dust became gnats; swarms of flies; plague kills all Egyptian livestock; boils on all the Egyptian people and animals; hail destroys everything; locusts ate everything in sight; pitch black darkness throughout Egypt, but not where the Israelites lived in Goshen; the death of the firstborn except for the Israelite’s homes with the blood of a perfect, spotless lamb on the doorposts (called Passover).

  • The Red Sea parted, and over one million Israelites walked to the other side on dry ground.

  • They were fed with food from heaven, called manna.

  • Water comes out of rocks at Moses’s command.

  • Their shoes did not wear out for 40 years.

?? How does knowing this, give you confidence that nothing is impossible with God?

8) The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Mercy is not getting what we deserve for our sin.

Grace is getting what we don’t deserve because of our sin (i.e., forgiveness, eternal life, blessings, etc.)

Psalms 86:15 states, “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Also, Psalms 116:5 states, “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.” Lamentations 3:21-25 states, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; 23) they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 24) “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” 25) The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”

?? Why do we have hope because of knowing God is merciful, gracious, and faithful

?? How can we be merciful and gracious to others around us?

?? What should we do when we are quick to get angry and not to be loving?

First, we need to take the angry thought captive (recognize it, acknowledge it, and grab hold of it) then lose and remove it from your mind before it comes out of your mouth. Secondly, forgive the offense quickly. And, thirdly, understand the person who offended you is a sinner and needs God’s love, therefore, bind to your heart God’s mercy and love for that person. James 1:19-20 states, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

9) He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.

Chide means to rebuke or contend with; to be displeased with your sin. Yes, God is angry when we sin because He is holy. He also knows that sin is destructive in our lives and the lives of others. God wants us to be merciful and loving instead.

10) He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

So too, the Bible explains how we also are not to deal with others according to their sin. In 1 Peter 3:9, it states, “9) Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling (insult for insult; NAS & NIV) but on the contrary, bless [to speak well of or ask divine favor for; hence, to wish well to], for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing [divine favor] (for you were called for this very purpose that you might inherit a blessing; NAS).”

Luke 6:27-28 Jesus states, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies (those hostile to you; LITV), do good to those who hate you, 28) bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse (mistreat; NAS, insult; LITV) you.”

When you are tempted to repay evil for evil, take the thought of returning the same treatment captive (recognize it, acknowledge it, and grab hold of it) then loose and remove it from your mind before it comes out of your mouth. Next, bind-in the love of God for them and respond with mercy and kindness. Ephesians 4:31-32 states, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32) Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” We can only accomplish this as we lean on God and ask Him to remove the things listed in verse 31 and put into our hearts the attributes listed in verse 32.

!! Turn to the prayer on the page about healing issues in your life and demonstrate this.

11) For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

?? When you think of the fear of God, what does it mean to you?

The fear of the Lord is to have deep respect, love, and awe which we demonstrate in our obedience to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:2, 10:12; 1 Samuel 12:14). The following verses describe how we are to fear God:

Psalms 22:23 states ”You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …” 1 Samuel 12:24 states, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.” Proverbs 3:7-8 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body; NAS) and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 28:14 states, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit).” Psalms 115:11 also states; “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.” Psalms 34:9 states, “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!

12) as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

?? How would you explain this verse to one of your friends?

13) As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

14) For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

15) As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16) for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

?? Explain what these verses mean to you?

17) But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,

18) to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

?? What are these verses saying to you?

19) The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20) Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!

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”? 14) Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

?? Who are those who are to inherit salvation?

?? What images do you get from this verse?

A few other verses of how angels minister:

Ex.23:20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.”

1 Chron. 21:1-17 vs.15) “And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” … vs. 16) Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem… vs. 27) The Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath.

2 Chron. 32:20,21 “But King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21) And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander, and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria.”

Ps. 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.”

Ps. 91:11“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;”

Daniel 6:22 “My God sent His angel, and He shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you O king.”

Matt. 2:13 “…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.”

Matt. 2:19 “After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the Child’s life are dead.'”

Matt. 28:5 “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified…’”

Matt. 4:49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50) and will throw them into the furnace of fire;…”

2 Kings 19:1-8 (Elijah flees into the desert because he is afraid of Jezebel’s threat against him and becomes very depressed.) vs. 5) “Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” vs. 7) The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, ‘Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.’”

Zech. 3:1 “Then he [the angel] showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.”

Matt. 4:11 “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”

Mark 1:13 “And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.”

Matt. 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

Matt. 28:2 “And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.”

Acts 5:19 “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, taking them out he said,…”

Acts 12:5-17 “And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. “

21) Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!

22) Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Minimize Memory Clutter

Do you know any minimalist? My husband and I read a book on being a minimalist. The author said that a minimalist sells, throws away, or gives away possessions they do not use or does not have sentimental value. Minimalists say that decreasing ones possessions will reduce stress and free up time. My husband wants to be an extreme minimalist and reduce our possessions to the smallest amount possible. I think he wants to get rid of my things that he thinks is unnecessary. I told him to start with his things, such as the crow decoys in the shed and hunting blinds in the basement that he never uses. Do you have an attic, basement, garage, spare room, or shed full of stuff you know longer use or need? For more information, watch the YouTube videos.

So, can our memories be mental clutter that keep us from being productive and stress free? I learned from Dr. Caroline Leaf that most of our memories are in our subconscious mind and we are not even aware of how much they are controlling our thinking.  It is my experience that my subconscious painful memories dominated my life and caused tremendous stress. The reason was because my memories controlled my thoughts, which often led to emotional stress and dysfunctional reactions.

So why should we minimize painful memories? First, you will think more clearly, that is, your memories will not control your thoughts. Secondly, you will be free to choose loving and kind responses to stressful situations instead of following programmed memory behavior scripts.

How do you know if you need to minimize memory clutter? Do you think about the painful things done or said to you? Do you feel angry, impatient, irritated, or frustrated? Do you complain? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then you need to clean out the unloving and unkind memories that do not help you to be a loving and kind person.

So how do you minimize memories? Romans 12:2 states, “… but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  The last blog I posted was on this topic of inner self transformation and renewing your mind. So, I will not repeat what I wrote and would encourage you to read that post to learn more. Also, 2 Corinthians 4:16 states, So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

We minimize our memory clutter the same way we minimize our physical clutter; one item at a time. The only exception is we need God to search our minds and to bring those memories out of our subconscious to be eliminated. I explain how to do this on the pages listed on my website.

Reducing memory clutter of all the negative, painful, and disappointing experiences in my life freed me to enjoy my life, love others, and to be thankful.