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?

Free to be Patient and free from Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

You know you have a patience problem when you get upset every time you drive on the road.  Also, do you often get frustrated with people when they do not meet your expectations?  You problably already know if you are not a patient person.  Our goal should be to love others well from a pure heart, and the first attribute of love is patience (1 Cor. 13:4).  So, when we are patient, we are loving well.  I have heard people say they pray for more patience than any other attribute of love. Why? Why are we not patient?  Only God can tell us why, because only He knows the hurt in our hearts, and only He can heal it.

So what is patience?  The following definitions come from Webster’s dictionary.  Patience is bearing or enduring pain, trouble, inconvenience, etc. without complaint, losing self-control, making a disturbance, etc.  To be forbearing: tolerate (to put up with).  Keep oneself in check.  Refusing to be provoked or angered, as by an insult or frustration.  And, it is merciful: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or person in one’s power.  It is persevering: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement (does not quit).  Lastly, patience is being just: living with a moral principle that determines right conduct, and fair: treating all sides alike.

Every time I read these definitions of patience I can see where I am still falling short of not loving well. This post is my testimony of how I destroyed the mental strongholds of unfairness and injustice that control my thoughts and reactions.  So, if you have not read my post on strongholds, please read it first to understand what they are. STRONGHOLDS PART I—What are they and how do they affect us?

At a young age, I developed mental strongholds of injustice and unfairness that protected the authority seat of impatience.  Impatience ruled my behavior, which explained why I  over-reacted when I perceived something was unfair or unjust.  I had an unhealthy belief that trials or difficulties were unfair, wrongful actions against me and I needed to fight against them and the people involved.  But, in fact, trials and difficulties strengthen our ability to be patient, that is, practice makes perfect.  I also had the unhealthy belief, if I didn’t get what I needed, wanted, or what I expected, I would become frustrated and angry, which happend often.

How often do you hear a child say, “That’s not fair?”  Have you said it?  Because I thought my parents were unfair, I couldn’t trust them.  This stronghold combination prevents us from being submissive since we do not trust those in authority to be fair. So, when a person doesn’t think they can trust someone or submit to them, then they become rebellious.  Also, not being able to trust and submit our self-focused wills has adverse effects in all areas of our life (i.e., work, family, social, spiritual, etc.).

When I became free from this stronghold combination, I could then control my thoughts and emotions.  To be honest, it took some time to transform all my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs, that triggered automatic respone programming from my childhood.  To eliminate this stronghold combination, I asked God to show me the memories of offense of what I thought was unfair.  Past memories include childhood up to a moment ago.  Note, if a situation is fair, but you don’t think it is, this still creates an offense, just look at our political landscape.

Here is one example of many, I was responsible for doing all the dishes for a month for five members of my family, and each month my sisters and I would take turns.  I thought this was so unfair, and I had issues of doing the dishes for many years.  This memory caused many needless conflicts with my children and husband.  Eliminating the power of the memories of offense and unhealthy beliefs from our hearts and minds, frees us from the control of stronghold combinations.  The key is to overcoming is to stay mindful of the goal to love others well and not be self-centered, even toward other drivers.

The need to heal issues of frustration became clear after eliminating this stronghold combination.  So, I transformed the memories of my mother’s frustration by eliminating the negative energy and forgiving her.  I also had to forgive myself for being frustrated with my children and husband.  Next, I transformed the unhealthy belief that I have to control circumstances and what people do with the truth that I can only control my self.  Then I applied to my heart and mind the positive attributes found in the “Patience Issues” prayer focus on my website.  A truth statement I chose to believe was that I can be humble, gentle, and patient and show tolerance for others in love (Ephesians 4:2).

If you identify with what I have written, and you want to eliminate the power of offenses then go to my website: hopeforcompletehealing.com and learn how to be free to live a new reality.

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

WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION?

When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see; a beautiful butterfly or an ugly caterpillar?

Before my life transformation, I looked in the mirror and saw a lonely, hurting, unlovable child in an adult body. My desire is to change into a person who would know, feel, and show love. But because of the many offenses in my heart from my abusive and dysfunctional past, I had unhealthy beliefs and unloving thoughts.

So what does it mean to love? To love is being patient, kind, polite, humble, fair, appreciative, compassionate, forgiving, preferring others, etc. Does your inner life match this definition?

People throw the terms abusive and dysfunction around, but what do they mean? So I will define these terms, and the term offenses according to Webster’s dictionary.

Dysfunctional is to be abnormal and/or impaired. An abnormal person is not emotionally stable, secure, or peaceful. And someone who is impaired cannot relate emotionally because of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, addiction, etc.

Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm.  This also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone.

Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of being unfairly treated, mistreated, disrespected, betrayed, unaccepted, and ignored. These painful memories continually generate offense, which in turn generate angry thoughts that are exposed by what we say and do to those around us. But because we live in a sinful world, not one of us can escape the pain of not being purely loved and accepted. Therefore we all need an inner life transformation from God who is love.

I had a significant life transformation at eight years old when I heard the good news about Jesus Christ and I believed. After asking Him to come into my heart, I felt His life in me and I had hope. Unfortunately, I still continued to live in a dysfunctional and abusive home. Painful memories and the related emotional stress continued to build up in my heart. Because I didn’t feel safe, I became fearful and anxious. In addition, I was lonely and discontent, which led to different escaping behaviors. Though both my parents professed to be “Christians,” yet they continued to sin because of offenses in their hearts from the painful memories of their dysfunctional pasts.

My first marriage was to a hurting “Christian” man who would be abusive because of the offenses in his heart. Therefore, I became depressed, even more insecure, angry, and controlling. I realized I needed to change for the sake of my children, myself, to please God, and to be an effective Christian.  So, I went to several psychologists; read many self-help books; and attended several bible study groups, but did not experience change in my life. These activities only exposed the depravity of my heart. And since inner life transformation did not occur, I continued to act out of my wounded sinful heart.

I asked God to show me why I reacted with so much anger instead of love, and how I could change. I was the perfect person to test what worked and did not work for transforming unloving sinful behavior into loving behavior. So God showed me how to heal the hurts and offenses in my heart using specific prayers and requests as outlined next.

  • Uncover and eliminate the painful memories that caused the hurt. And to forgive those involved.
  • Identify and eliminate the unhealthy beliefs that cause unloving thinking and replace them with the truth.
  • Identify and eliminate strongholds that protect the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs from being healed.
  • Identify and eliminate generational curses and sins that prevented transformation of dysfunctional patterns.
  • Eliminate oppressive energy or spirits associated with the painful memories which perpetuate the offenses.

Further explanations of these specific prayers are found on my website called hopeforcompletehealing.com. Because God transformed my heart and painful memories, my marriage, family relationships, and work relationships are also transformed. Now I look in the mirror and see a happy, emotionally healthy, and content woman; not a hurting, lonely, and unlovable little girl. When you view yourself in the mirror what do you see? 

12 JOY Stealers and 10 Transformation Statements

I suffered from all 12 joy stealers. In fact, I was so miserable that my husband often threatened to call me “ce” instead of Joyce (true story).  I wrote in my last two posts about suffering well.  For many of us, we do not suffer well and we relive painful memories, thus, perpetuating the pain that robs us of joy in our present life.

12 JOY STEALERS

Sadness: sorrow about the loss of love, honor, respect, innocence, and not being accepted. It is a feeling of dejection, which is a low spirit of depression and discouragement.

Depression: brooding on one’s problems

Apathy: absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement (I don’t care attitude)

Despair: loss of hope

Discouragement: having no courage, confidence, or hope

Grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss

Hopelessness: having no expectation of a favorable outcome

Despondency: being in very low spirits due to a loss of hope and a sense of futility about continuing one’s efforts

Misery: a condition of great suffering because of pain, poverty, etc.; distress

Feeling Inferior: below average; low status, rank, etc.

Feeling Worthless: without worth; of no use, importance, or value

Complaining attitude: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault

I spoke with an elderly man who spent his whole life reliving his past hurts. Have you ever been around people who have to tell you how bad they had it and the terrible things that happened in their life? How does that make you feel? Do you relive your past hurts and disappointments? I too suffered a lot of hurts, disappointments, abuses, rejections, betrayals, etc., which was why I had no joy and was always angry. I didn’t like living with myself and I made everyone else miserable. My website, hopeforcompeletehealing.com, contains my story and how I discovered the secret to overcoming these 12 joy stealers, plus so much more.

I asked the elderly man what the purpose was for telling us these terrible things. He said he can’t get them out of his head.  I told him the first step was to forgive each person who caused him pain, and then to ask God to take that memory out of his head.  I overcame my painful memories by doing this. In fact, just today, I was complaining again. By the way, complaining is a symptom of a painful memory. So, I asked God to show me why I was complaining.  I waited until God brought the memories to my mind of how my father often let me down.  Next, I forgave him and asked God to lose (untie and remove) each memory from my mind related to the unmet expectations and the resulting disappointment. This process is explained in detail on my website. I invite you to visit my site to learn more.

JOY IS:

Very glad: happy; pleased

Grateful: a feeling of thankful appreciation

Great pleasure: enjoyment, delight, satisfaction

Delighted for what Christ has done for us

Rejoicing attitude: expression of joy or gladness

As the painful memories are healed pray and bind-in/put on the following 10 TRUTH AND TRANSFORMATION STATEMENTS

I choose to stay focused on God and receive His love, and be filled with joy. John 17:13; John 15:11

I choose to rejoice always, pray without ceasing; and be thankful in everything for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:16-18

The God of hope fills me with joy and peace as I believe, so that I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 15:13; Rom. 5:3-5

The joy of the Lord is my strength. Neh. 8:10

Joy is found in the presence of God, and He will make know to me the path of life and bring me to a place of abundance. Ps. 16:11

Nothing has power over me unless I allow it. I choose to be free and rejoice always and not be anxious about anything, but continually give my concerns to God. Phil. 4:4-7

Joy is knowing that even the demons are subject to Jesus’s name and I am protected from evil. Luke 10:17; 1 Jn. 5:18; Jn. 17:15; 2 Thes. 3:3

Joy is found in believing the truths of the Word of God. John 15:11; Mk. 4:16

Happiness depends on circumstances. I can have joy in spite of my circumstances. I can be thankful even when life is hard because I am becoming complete and lacking nothing. James 1:2-3

A joyful heart is good medicine and I will focus on God and not my circumstances or past. Prov. 17:22