HOW TO STAND FIRM AGAINST AN UNSEEN ENEMY

What does it mean to stand firm against an unseen enemy? Who is my unseen enemy? Ephesians 6:10-13 states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” You cannot withstand against evil spirits in your own strength. Many of the girls in my County Jail Bible study say they are determined not to return to drugs and alcohol. But sadly, those who did not commit their lives to God and rely on Him for strength return several months later. The devil is always seeking to tempt us to depend on ourselves or an idol instead of God.

How We Have Strength To Stand Firm

Memorize Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” God strengthens those who abide in Him as a branch abides in the vine and receives strength from the vine. John 15:5 states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We stay connected to the Spirit of God (the vine) through praying, praising, and pondering scripture. To abide means to stand fast, remain, dwell, or remain attached to something. Abiding with God includes memorizing Scripture passages, praying about everything with thanksgiving, and loving Him and others by serving them (Gal. 5:13-14 and Deut. 11:13).

It is worth repeating; the devil’s strategy is to separate you from God, who is your strength. The devil used this strategy when he tempted both Eve and Jesus, and he hasn’t changed. Eve did not take the tempting thought captive to disobey God, and humanity is still suffering the consequences. Jesus was victorious over the devil’s lies by taking the tempting thoughts captive and using Scripture to defeat the devil. Because Jesus defeated the devil and did not sin, now we can enjoy the benefit of life through righteousness in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:11).

The more Biblical truth you know, the stronger spiritually you will be. For example, Satan puts a deceptive thought into your mind that you are weak, and God won’t help you. What do you do? You can believe the lie and live a defeated life. Or you can command the lie to be gone from your mind in Jesus’ name and speak the truth that you can do all things through Christ, who is your strength (Philippians 4:13). I can’t possibly list all the lies the devil will put into your mind. But if you memorize the truths in God’s Word, you will recognize the lies of the enemy.

Examples of God’s Power in The Old Testament

Exodus 14:13 states, “And Moses said to the people, Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.’” Fear causes you to run away to escape a threat. No matter what you are facing now or are going to face, God is bigger and can work a miracle in your life, but you must stand firm in His strength and on His truth.

Another great Old Testament example is the story of King Jehoshaphat, who was outnumbered by his enemy. He humbles himself before God and seeks His help. God tells Jehoshaphat in  2Choronicles 20:17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” I don’t know what battles you are facing or will face, but I know God is for you, not against you. I memorized Isaiah 41:10, which states, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I spoke this truth out when I was going through a tremendous battle at a previous job. Reminding myself of God’s truth helps me stand firm against the unseen attacks of the unseen enemy.

How to Stand Firm

1Corinthians 16:13 states, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”  1Corinthians 1:24b also tells us to stand firm in our faith. We grow stronger in our faith when we read God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). You can’t stand firm against the unseen battles of temptations and deceptions without the knowledge of the truth. The belt of truth and the rest of the armor of God help you stand firm in your faith. Ephesians 6:13 states, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” But you have to put it on every day through prayer. See the post called PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD PRAYER MODEL.

Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The devil does not want us to be free from our passions, immoral and impure thoughts, greed, coveting, anger, etc. He wants to keep us in bondage to our sin, but we are to stand firm by submitting to God, not the devil’s temptations and lies. James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Read my post HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE to know how to stand up to the devil and make him run.

Conclusion

This following Scripture passage clarifies what the devil does and what we need to do not to get devoured. 1Peter 5:8-9a states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.” Many Christians do not resist and are defeated by the unseen enemy. If you are a victim of the devil and allowed him to put you in bondage again, Jesus wants to set you free again, look up and pray for His help and strength to get out of the pit. Psalm 40:2 states, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Memorize all the Scripture verses in this post so you can remind yourself to be watchful and to resist the wrong thoughts the devil puts in your mind and stand firm in your faith.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

By now, you have heard about Ravi Zacharias’s sexual sins. How could a famous icon of the Christian faith have fallen into this kind of sin? Sadly, he is not alone. Many well-known Christian leaders have fallen to temptation. We all suffer temptations; it’s what you do with the tempting thoughts that entice you to sin. The mistake most of us make is to dwell on them, which leads to desire, and when we act on our passion, we sin (James 1:14-16). Victory in the battle of temptations is why we need to suit up with God’s armor every day. Which piece of armor do you think Ravi did not put on that would have protected him from sinning?

When you think of spiritual warfare, what do you think of? One thing is for sure, we all face assaults from unseen demonic spirits. Spiritual assaults can be deception, temptation, doubt, accusations, condemnation, and so on, which is why we need to know how to put on the armor of God. If you only have some armor on but not all of it, then Satan can readily defeat you. For example:

  • Believing the truth is your spiritual belt. But if you don’t trust God’s Word is the truth, then you will be tempted to believe all kinds of false teachings and philosophies. Being devoid of truth leaves you feeling empty and despairing. Learning and applying the truth in the Bible is crucial for victory. We quickly forget, so meditate on His Word day and night.
  • Being righteous through faith in Jesus Christ is your spiritual breastplate. If your belt is on, and you believe Scripture is the truth. But if you haven’t asked Jesus to forgive your sins and save you, then make Him Lord; you leave yourself open to give in to your fleshly desires. Jesus’s righteousness protects you when you make Him Lord of your life, and you fear God by shunning evil and doing what is pleasing to Him.
  • Being sure of your salvation is our spiritual helmet. Suppose you believe the truth and rely on Jesus to be righteous, but you don’t renew your mind daily through God’s Word but continue to live a worldly life. In that case, you will be tempted to doubt your salvation. Worldly living keeps you from bearing the fruit of the Spirit because you are not abiding in the word and life of Jesus Christ.
  • Having faith in God to keep His promises is your spiritual shield. Suppose you believe the truth, have Jesus’ righteousness, and are sure of your salvation, yet do not practice God’s truth by faith. In that case, you will stumble when you face trials and tribulations. Satan’s fiery arrows of doubt, temptations, accusations, and condemnation will destroy your faith.
  • Being ready to share the peace of Christ is your spiritual shoes. If you don’t live in peace with others and don’t share the gospel of Christ Jesus, your Christian witness will be useless. Without the gospel of peace, you will appear as a hypocrite because you will be tempted to be angry, contentious, argumentative, divisive, etc.
  • Applying God’s Word is your spiritual sword against all demonic attacks. But, if you don’t read the Bible or know God’s Word, you will suffer many oppressive blows from the enemy, and he will spiritually and emotionally cripple you.

Let’s look at Christ’s example. When the devil tempted Jesus, He immediately said, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). If you don’t know God’s Word, how can you overcome tempting thoughts? Ravi appeared to know God’s Word very well. It seems that Ravi did not put on the breastplate of righteousness. If he made Jesus Lord of his life and feared God, then he could have called on God to help him. Hebrews 2:18 states, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 4:12-16 explains the role of God’s Word and Jesus Christ.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature (NIV: nothing in creation) is hidden from his [God’s] sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need

The Word of God exposes our sinful thoughts and we can go to God with confidence in Jesus Christ to help us take our thoughts captive in prayer (2Cor. 10:5). We need to make it our aim to please God. 2Corinthians 5:9b-10 states, “We make it our aim to please him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”.

Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” God does not tempt us, but we are enticed through our sinful nature as explained in James 1:13-15, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” When we fear God, we will shun evil and practice righteousness. More on that in another post.

One more thought, Luke 22:40 states, “And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’” This verse explains why we need to pray at all times. Ephesians 6:18 explains how we are to pray after putting on the armor of God, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” How is your prayer life? When you pray, submit your concerns to God and seek His divine power to live a godly life. 2Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

Grace and peace to you.

Also Read: HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY

UNSEEN IDOLS OF EARTHLY SINS AND NEEDS

Are you unknowingly an idolater? This is the fifth post on unseen idolatry. The first post explains why practicing idolatry will cause you to not enter the kingdom of heaven and how to recognize your idolatry. The second post shows you how people become idols and how you please them out of fear of loss, but why you are to fear God. The third post explains how to break worldly soul ties that control you long after a relationship is over, and how you can find a friend who is devoted to God. In the fourth post, I exposed the problem with getting your identity and self-worth from people and money instead of God. In this post, I will show you the idols you set up to satisfy your earthy needs and sinful flesh.

Colossians 3:5 tells us to, “Put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passions, evil desires, and covetousness (greed), which is idolatry.” The New American Standard Version says, “Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to….” Something dead no longer exists. So, if you put to death the earthly passions described in Colossians 3:5, then they will no longer exist for you to serve them. Remember, an idol is something you are devoted to and serve, expecting something good in return, but only get disappointment.

      Living by the Spirit of God helps you put to death your earthly passions.  To live by the Spirit is to yield your life to God and be led by Him. Romans 8:13 states, “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.” And Galatians 5:16 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” To walk in the Spirit means yielding to His control through prayer, and allow Him to exert His influence over you. It is the Spirit of God in you who helps you put to death your sinful passions. Read my post called How The Spirit Gives Life. To learn more about how to walk in the Spirit go to https://www.gotquestions.org/Spirit-walk.html

Idolatry of Fleshly Desire

So, how can fleshly desires be idols in your life? Your fleshly desires are self-focused sins that demand you please your sense. Sin is disobedience of God’s perfect will for you. Pray and ask God to show if you have idols of sensual pleasures in your life. For example, a person with sexual sins may have a pornography addiction that controls them. Someone who idolizes possessions may have a problem coveting other peoples’ belongings or has an addiction to wanting things. Hoarding falls under this addiction. A person who hasn’t died to impurity may watch R-rated movies or afternoon soap operas. People with evil desires may hold on to grudges and wish harm to the people who have done them wrong.

      Earthly passions are vises the devil uses to control you and causes you to sacrifice your dignity, peace, and self-control to satisfy your sensual pleasure. For example, you have an earthly desire to go to the bars. The vise of alcohol becomes your idol, and you will sacrifice everything to it. This vise causes you to lose self-control and get drunk and then you sacrifice your dignity and fall into all forms of temptations. Satan uses your vise for alcohol to bring destruction in every area of your life.

Do you see how fleshly sins are demanding and never satisfied? One drink never satisfies the idol of alcohol. One purchase never satisfies a person who gets pleasure from shopping. A person who needs affirmation to feel good about themselves is never satisfied with just one affirming word. If you see you have an idol in your life, humbly acknowledge it and ask God to help you overcome it by loosing the unhealthy beliefs and evil spirit attachments in Jesus’ name.

The key to overcoming unseen idols is to give your life to God’s control and flee the temptations to give in to your earthly passions to satisfy sensual pleasures.  1Corinthians 10:14 states, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” When you see the word “therefore”, it refers to an earlier thought. The previous verse is 1Corinthians 10:13, which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is human (common to man); but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able. But with the temptation, He will also make the way out, so that you may be able to bear (endure) it.” Idolatry tempts you to not believe in a faithful God who wants to help you? Next time you are tempted, look up and seek God’s help to show you the way out, then walk by His Spirit’s control.

Idolatry of Needs

The devil will persuade you to doubt God’s willingness and ability to provide what you need. Needs vary from person to person, but some basic emotional needs are to feel loved, accepted, respected, significant, secure, approved, happy, needed, and protected. Satan puts doubts (lies about God) in your mind that God will meet your needs. When the devil causes doubt, he tempts you to turn to self-gratifying idols of people and things to satisfy your needs. However, trusting God and obeying Him is the key to having victory over all the temptations of the demonic forces at work against us. Also, when you are abiding with God, you will have all your needs met and everlasting blessings, love, acceptance, joy, and peace.

Another temptation is to distrust God and act independently of Him. When you distrust or doubt, you believe lies or half-truths about God and His ability to give you what you need. Eve fell into this trap when she was tempted in the Garden of Eden. Doubts cause you to worry that God will not take care of you. As a result, you try to live independently of God, trusting instead in idols to meet your needs. The best way to eliminate idols is to memorize the promises and truths found in God’s Word and to trust Him to meet your needs. Then loose/put off the sin of rebellion.

Grace and peace,

Joyce

Are You a Sheep or a Goat?

Our current political environment is separating out the goats and the sheep? Read Matthew 25:31-46 for an example of who God says are the sheep and the goats. Hatred and intolerance abounds within the church, schools, universities, and communities. Why is this? The devil is working hard to sow division, dissension, destruction, and deception in our hearts. Where you see these things, you see the devil at work. Read more in Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness? and Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

People who identify as a “Christian,” do not always display the character of Jesus Christ. The character of Jesus and God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. How does your thinking, actions, and words line-up with these characteristics? Ephesians 4:22-24 states, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” No one is perfect, so we should daily renew our minds to line up with the character of God. Your mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors. My book on my website will help you find the hurt and offenses in your life that block your ability to be like Jesus. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

So how can you know who the true Christian’s are?

Though, no one knows the heart of another person except God, the Bible says in John 13:35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Also, 1John 3:10 states,By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” It does not matter what church you go to or what political party you are affiliated with, if you do not love you do not know God, nor can you give grace to a person you disagree with. 1John 4:8 states, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  I claimed to be a Christian for years but could not love because of the offenses in my heart. It is my life’s goal to purify my heart and be like Christ.

Here is the test. If you believe you love like a true Christian, rate your reaction to the following terms: Trump, Liberal, unborn baby, Antifa, Trump supporter, Nancy Pelosi. Do you feel hate, love, disgust, or anger? Someone said, President Trump (hard to say) claims to be a Christian, I cannot judge, and it is irrelevant, we all will stand before God and give an account for how well we love. 2 Corinthians 5:10 states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

What is the role of a Christian in Politics?

As I said already, no one is perfect, and you will not be in perfect agreement with everyone, which is why God gave us grace, so we can give it to others. Politicians are far from perfect because they all stretch the truth or evade parts of the truth to create their own narrative to get us to believe what they want us to believe. On the other hand, a true Christian is an ambassador of the Kingdom of heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:20 states, “Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” And, Ephesians 2:19 explains, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” The first allegiance of a true Christian is to God and to obey Him. Second, we are to love each other and do what is right in God’s sight. Third, we are to care for those in the church, the orphans, widows, and those in need. Last, true Christians support the politician that seeks to advance the love of God and country we are ambassadors in.

The most important thing true Christians can do is pray. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (even enemies), for kings (presidents) and all who are in high positions (government officials), that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3)  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Let us pray for the salvation of those who are not leading peaceful and quiet lives, and who are not godly and dignified in every way.

Grace and Peace to you,

Joyce

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How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  I wonder if I am seeking first the kingdom of God and what does that look like?   I found a variety of interpretations during my research that were interesting but not enlightening.  I would like to know what your thoughts are.

Context of This Verse

I began by looking at the context of this verse.  The context, history, and who the audience is helps us understand the meaning.  After Jesus is water baptized by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness to fast 40 days.  While in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him to sin, which He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  After the 40 days, He begins His ministry.

Matthew 4:23 and 24, describe His audience, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.  24) So, his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.  Seeing the big crowds following Him, he went up on a mountainside and preached His first sermon.  The picture with this post is of the mountains around the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus was ministering.

The Apostle Matthew records Jesus’s first sermon in Chapters 5-7. Luke also records His first sermon.  I wonder if this is the message He received from His Father while He was in the wilderness. Jesus begins His sermon with how they can be blessed (made happy).  He explains how they are the salt and light of the earth as they do good works (Matt. 5:16), and He taught how He came to fulfill the Law (see Romans 8:3-4). Other topics He preached in chapter five were anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and loving your enemies.  Chapter six continues with giving to the needy, how to pray, fasting, investing in heaven, not being anxious.  Chapter seven continues with judging others, asking to receive, the golden rule, the fruit of false prophets, who will enter heaven, and obeying His words.

Matthew 6:25-34 is Jesus’s explanation why we should not be anxious but instead seek the kingdom of God first.  In Matthew 6:25 Jesus identifies the problem, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”  Then, Jesus explains the solution in verses 32-34, “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” 33) But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34) “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” The Apostle Paul told the Philippian church in Philippians 4:6-7: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication (requests) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Based on these verses, it is safe to say that being anxious is a natural reaction of our flesh when we don’t trust God.  Not trusting God is a sin because being anxious is not faith in God’s ability to help us.

Interpretation Based on Context

The key belief is our heavenly Father knows what we need, and He will give us what we need (see Philippians 4:19).  So, instead of being anxious about how to get our needs met, we are to seek Him and His righteousness.  Seek means to look for or inquire.  And the Greek translation for the kingdom is rule or reign.  So, if we seek (look for) the reign of God in our lives and seek to do what He says is right, then He promises to give us what we need.  James 4:7 says to “submit to God”  that is, be under God’s authority and yield by surrendering to the action, control, and power of God.  Romans10:3 states, “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

Romans 14:17 explains, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Only as you renew your mind and submit to God, will you experience righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Your sinful flesh prevents you from entering the kingdom of God (see Galatians 5:19-21 and 1Corinthians 6:9-10).  So, you need to put off your sinful thoughts and put on His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. through the Holy Spirit.  Read my post on Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

During several tough times in my life, I submitted to God and His righteousness, and I can testify, that God does provide what we need.  One difficult time was enduring a nasty divorce and custody battle for two toddlers, and I had no job or a place to live.  God provided miraculously when I humbled myself and sought His help through prayer, praise, and pondering the scriptures. I do have to confess that I was going to walk away from my faith in God.  I was so angry at Him for not answering my prayers to heal my abusive marriage because I did not believe in divorce, that I told God I was going to not follow Him anymore.  He has only spoken to me a handful of times and this was one of those times.  He said, “What is the alternative?”  I thought about it, and I knew the devil would destroy me, and I probably would have committed suicide because I was so depressed.   Read my amazing testimony in Trust God to Keep His Promises.

To not be anxious, you must first submit all your concerns to God as you seek Him through prayer, praise, and pondering His promises.  Because I grew up in a dysfunctional home and married an abusive first-husband, I developed an anxiety disorder.  I share how God set me free in the blog post called  Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE.

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

John 3:3-8 Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

5) Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 

6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 

8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

The Bible uses the term “born again” two other places.  1Peter1:3-5 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven (the kingdom of God) for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  By believing that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God (see Romans 8:11), then His Spirit dwells in us, and we are born again by His Spirit.

      1Peter 1:22-25 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news (gospel) that was preached to you.”  God’s Word is living and abiding, which means when you internalize His truths, it creates life in your soul and will abide with you and help you to purify your soul as you obey its truth.

Painful memories and our sinful desires corrupt our hearts.  My short book on my website called, “Hope for Complete Healing,” was written to help you put off wrong thinking and sinful desires and put on right thinking and righteousness, so you can love with a pure heart.  Begin reading: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Part of seeking the kingdom of God is to seek for God to keep His promises.  In Ephesians 1:3, we learn that we are “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”  Heavenly places are where God’s kingdom is.  And, when we are saved through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:6 states that God, “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  So, to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is for our advantage and a matter of priority and position.

There is hope when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that God will provide what we need because He promised.

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Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91 Posts

All Scripture is from the ESV. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

We all have experienced times when we ask, plead, and beg God for something and do not get what we asked for. I have requests that I am still waiting for God to give me. I struggle spiritually in the area of prayer and why my prayers sometimes do not get answered. Are you sometimes not sure how you should pray? Do you wonder why God does not answer your prayers?  I studied what the Bible says about prayer and why God sometimes does not answer our prayers the way we want. Over the next several posts, I will explain from God’s Word the seven reasons why He sometimes does not answer our prayers.

The Bible says, He will give us what we ask for, so why doesn’t He? Matthew 7:7, 8 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Jesus spoke these words during His sermon on the mount.  Verses 7 and 8 are clarified in verse 11, where Jesus explains, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” This verse identifies two reasons why God does not give what we ask for in prayer.

Reason One: Is God your Father?

Some people say that everyone is a child of God because He created us in His image.  Being made in God’s image does not make us children of God. The next three verses explain who the children of God really are:

John 1:12 states, “But to all who did receive him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Did you receive the forgiveness of your sins and the Spirit of God to be your Lord and Savior and believe in Jesus’s name?

Romans 8:14,16 explains, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 16) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Are you led by the Spirit of God and do what is pleasing to Him?

1 John 3:10 states, “By this, it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” Do you practice right thinking and behavior and do you love your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus?

If you know that God is your father, do you believe He would give you something that is not good for you? Did your earthly parents give you the things you asked, and did you become offended when you didn’t get what you asked? I did. It is natural to be upset when you don’t get what you want.

Reason 2: Is your request something good?

James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  You may want something you think is good, but you don’t know the potential problems. Because God knows all things, including the future, you can trust Him to give you good things, not always what you want. Isaiah 46:10 states, “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times to things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’”  God has a good purpose for you and your future. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.” What you are asking for may not be part of the perfect plan God has for you. So, you need to do what Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Do you trust the LORD with all your heart and are willing to accept the better plan He has for you, though you do not understand?  For instance, I prayed for God’s favor with my boss, so she does not lay me off. I may not know why God did not answer my prayer, but I trust He has a good purpose for my layoff and directs my steps.

You may say, but Psalm  37:4 and 5 says “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.”  Are you delighting in the Lord? What does it mean to delight in the Lord?  Have you committed your way to the LORD and yielded every part of your life to Him? Do you desire to please God by being thankful even when you don’t understand his plan for your life?

God’s timetable is not the same as ours. He knows better than we do when the best time is for our prayers to be answered. Hebrews 6:13-15 explain how we may have to be patient and wait. In the story of Abraham, God promised a son to Abraham. But Abraham became impatient when Sarah didn‘t bear him a son, so she gave him her servant to be his wife. Abraham and Sarah tried to fulfill the promise of God themselves, and the result was disastrous. We are still seeing the devastating impact of their not waiting for God. Fifteen years after God promised them a son, He fulfilled the promise when He saw it was best.  Will you trust God today with the desires of your heart and wait for Him, even if it takes fifteen years or more?

From billygraham.org:

Q: Why doesn’t God seem to answer my prayers?

A: So often we are inclined to think that the only answer God can give our prayers is “yes.” We need to remember that “no” is an answer also. “No” is certainly an answer of love on the part of our Heavenly Father when we ask Him for things which are not really for our good or for His glory. God does not always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. Just as a good parent does not grant all the requests of his child, God does not answer every request in the way we desire.

Conclusion:

The first two reasons why our prayers may go unanswered are that God may not be your Father and what you are asking is not good to God, who gives the best. First, make sure God is your Father by believing in His Son and receive the forgiveness of your sins that was purchased by Jesus on the cross. Invite Jesus into your heart and to be Lord of your life.  Second, accept that no answer is also an answer, and God sometimes does not give us what we ask because it was not good in His sight.

RELATED POSTS:

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

Do you struggle with how or what to pray? You are not alone, even the disciples struggled. Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven all the time and explained how to pray to the Father in Matthew chapter 6.  This prayer model, I think, came from a conference called “Praying for One Hour With Jesus” by Larry Lea. I have modified it to help me in my prayer time and I hope you find it helpful.  Prayer is essential for staying close to God and not drifting away into dangerous waters where all kinds of evil lurk to destroy you.  If you would like the PDF of this prayer format, then send me a request through my contact page.  In my next post, I will address some of the reasons why our prayers do not get answered.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

Begin your prayer time with worship and praise (Ps. 100:1-5) and remember that He is your Father through the blood of Jesus and believing in His name.  (Gal. 4:4-6; Rom. 8:14-17). Hallow (regard as holy) the names of God…

    1. Yahweh Tsidkenu – The Lord who is our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
    2. Yahweh M’Kaddesh – The Lord who is our Sanctifier (Ex. 31:13)
    3. Yahweh Shalom – The Lord who is our Peace (Judges 6:24)
    4. Yahweh Shammah – The Lord who is present with us (Ez. 48:35)
    5. Yahweh Jireh – The Lord who is our Provider (Gen. 22:13,14)
    6. Yahweh Nissi – The Lord who is our Banner or Victory (Ex. 17:8-15)
    7. Yahweh Rohi – The Lord who is our Shepherd (Psa. 23:1)
    8. Yahweh Rophe – The Lord who is our Healer (Ex. 15:26)

“Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Now set your priorities for the day, determining that God’s perfect will be accomplished in the following areas. (1 John 5:14-15)

MON.   Your nation (political and judicial leaders) (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
TUES.   Your family (mate, children, other family members)
WED.   Your Church (Pastor Eph. 6:20, Col. 4:4; leadership, fellow saints)
THUR.  Missionaries
FRI.      Your personal requests (Rom. 12:1-2)
SAT.     Your Neighbors and Friends

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Present your needs to God. (Notice that Jesus took for granted that we would pray daily!)  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6).  Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Col. 4:2).  Matthew 6:34 says “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

  “Forgive us our sins as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.”

Make sure nothing is impairing your relationship with the Father. Sin blocks your prayers. (Ps. 66:18; Is 59:1, 2) Pray something like the following:

  • I ask that you search my heart and mind and show me any unloving thoughts, attitudes, or actions. (Jer. 17:10; Rev. 2:23; Ps 139:23-24)
  • Forgive me for ___ and cleanse me from all sin. (Ps. 103:2-3; Matt. 18:23-35; 1 John 1:9)
  • I forgive ___, who was unloving and offended me. (Matt. 6:14-15)
  • Help me to be thankful and bless those who may offend or insult me today.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Seek to be “led by the Spirit” throughout the day.

  • I expect that You will lead me and ___ by the Spirit and Your Word. (Rom. 8:14)
  • I pray that forces beyond my control won’t lead me and ___ into trials and temptations (2 Peter 2:9)
  • Thank you for delivering me and ___ from evil. (Luke 22:31-32)
  • I put on the armor of God so that I can stand against the wiles of the evil one. (Eph. 6:11-18)

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power, and the glory forever.”

Affirm the absolute Lordship of Christ in all things.

    1. Confess the victory you have as a member of God’s kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
    2. Declare by faith that the power of God will be manifested that day. (Ps. 21:13)
    3. Proclaim God’s glory to cover the earth. (Ps. 72:19)
    4. Affirm the absolute Lordship of Christ in all things

Another prayer model I use almost every day is Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers

RELATED POSTS:

Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

How to Experience a Heavenly Life on Earth.

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Four Realities of the Spirit World

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Yet Another Layoff—How to Rise Above Worry, Anger, Insecurity, and Grief

Tragic news sucks the life out of you, so how do you accept it and move on in hopes of a better future?

I am getting laid off because of the COVID19 pandemic. My husband found out, he is now furloughed with no guarantee he will return to work. Am I concerned, yes. Concern though is another word for worry and fear, but it sounds more sophisticated. Worry and fear are a trap, and when you get caught in it, it’s hard to get free. Grieving and anger are also a trap that keeps you longer than you want, and may even cripple you emotionally and spiritually. Since I have been through two other layoffs, I know God is faithful and will provide for all my needs.

Why does terrible news suck the life out of you?

You can’t help but worry, be fearful of the future, be angry, feel insecure, and grieve the loss. When you receive unpleasant news, your mind goes in every direction but on God’s promises. And if you are like me, you crave consistency, security, and routine. I hate change, especially losing relationships. And if our identity is in what we do, then we will become insecure. Losing a job is humbling, for some, humiliating. Layoffs take a mental, emotional, and physical toll in our lives and sap our strength when our minds focus on negative thinking. It is okay to not be okay when your world is changed.  It is natural to grieve a loss or losses and be angry at those who caused your loss. But if you stay there you will lose your life of peace and joy.  To change negative thoughts into positive thoughts, do the following three things.

Three positive ways to respond to tragic news.

First, recount God’s past miracles. God was faithful and helped me through many difficult days. My last lay off was no fault on my part but was because my new supervisor did not like me and wanted a staff change. I was devastated because I was the only one working full time and my son would lose his tuition break, plus I carried the health benefits. But God miraculously changed my husband’s job from part-time to full-time by the first day of the semester so my son could get the tuition break and to provide health benefits. Praise the Lord. Now, I need to practice my life verses in 1Theselonians 5:16-18 to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

Second, forgive those who caused your loss, even if it you are not at fault, you still get angry and offended for one reason or another. I may need to forgive China for not controlling the virus in their country and for letting their citizens fly to other countries to spread the virus, which caused my hardships and resulting layoff. Forgiveness releases the power of the offense you feel and prevents it from controlling your beliefs and actions.

For example, I woke up in the middle of the night ruminating over the fact that the Department Head assured everyone that no one would lose their job and the department is okay financially. She said she cared about everyone in her department and that everyone mattered. So, why am I being laid-off? Did she lie? My husband gently reminded me to forgive her. When I forgave her and took the negative thoughts captive and put them out of my mind, then I could go back to sleep. I woke up the next morning with the thought that I am a child of the King of the Universe. Why do I need to be concerned? John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Third, trust God to keep His promises. Promise five of the 15 Promises post is God’s plans for you are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). I have written many blog posts on keeping your thoughts on the things of God so you can have peace and joy. To be honest, I was taking the anger and worry bait but reminded myself to take my negative thoughts captive and think about those things that are true and good, etc. Read these posts to learn more:

How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Being Thankful During Hardships

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Hope will help you get to the other side of awful news?

God wants to give you a future and a hope. 2Chronicles 16:9a tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” God wants to support us through the sad times, but we have to trust and obey Him. Also, an often-quoted verse that comforts us during hard times is Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” When we put our hope in God’s promises and purpose, then we will have strength, peace, and joy. The Webster dictionary says hope is a feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by anticipation or expectation. Hope in God’s promises. The Bible says faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (see Hebrews 11:1). I have written a post on hope that goes well with this post, you can read it here and Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory.

Conclusion:

You can choose to think negative thoughts and allow awful news to suck the life out of you, or you can turn your thoughts toward the promises of God and have peace and joy. There is hope only in God’s promises. Choose a promise and hold on to it and remind yourself of it and stay in peace and joy.  When I was going through my divorce I held onto the promises in Isaiah 61:7, “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. ” God fulfilled this promise in my life. He will be faithful to his promises you hope in as well.

Photo by nikko macaspac


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

RELATED POSTS

How the Devil Causes Hardships

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

How to Embrace the Challenge of Change with Grace

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

You can know God will never forsake you, though you may sometimes feel God has forsaken you because of unanswered prayers and sinful behavior. Psalm 9:9-10  states,

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know Your name trust in You,

for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You.

We know because this promise is for those who seek Him. How do you seek God? You seek Him through continual prayer. This isn’t just on your knees praying, it is a conversation with God throughout the day wherever you may be. When you seek Him, you want to be close to Him and when you are close to Him, you won’t be afraid.

Why should we trust God? 

We live in uncertain times and we have a lot to be afraid of. If we do not trust God then we will give in to fear and anxiety. Deuteronomy 31:6&8 states, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them (enemy or the unknown), for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Verse 8 states, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”  This promise comes with the command to be strong and courageous and to not fear or be dismayed. I will be honest, not being afraid or dismayed is hard to do during times of uncertainty. I know I am not afraid when my focus is on God’s words of truth and not on my circumstances. When you seek God in prayer, you turn your focus on Him for help and comfort. Therefore, God’s Word says to pray without ceasing in 1Theselonians 5:17. Read through the Psalms and mark all the verses that encourage you to trust God’s promises for protection and help and turn them into a prayer.

To be honest, I did not trust God because of the painful memories of being forsaken by my parents. I had to heal those painful memories before I could trust God. You may have similar painful experiences, so I encourage you to read my short book on my website. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

But I feel God forsook me when He did not answer my prayers.

When God does not give us what we pray for, we feel forsaken. Understand, God’s ways are higher than our ways and He knows the future. God did not answer my prayer to heal my first marriage. I felt forsaken, afraid, and despaired as I faced divorce. I don’t know why He did not answer my prayers, but I know that my first husband would not humbly submit to God, so how could God change our situation.

I was angry with God for many years and did not believe He loved me. When I felt abandoned by God, I poured my heart out to Him and told Him I wanted to walk away from my faith in Him. And God answered, “What is the alternative?” I thought about it and knew that Satan would love to destroy me. So, I stayed tight with God through prayer, praise, and pondering scripture, and I experienced many miracles, which I share in the post called, Trust God to Keep His Promises. I continued to seek God, and He was with me.

How can we not be afraid?

When you are close to God in prayer, then you are confident He is with you and will help you. Isaiah 41:10 states,

fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you,

I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Memorize this verse, so when something bad happens, you can remind yourself of these promises, and not be afraid. Also, memorize Psalm 23, 103, and 139.  Hebrews 13:6 states, “So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?

Why do we sometimes feel God has forsaken us?

The Bible says our unconfessed sins block God from hearing our prayers. Isaiah 59:2 states, “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” You may feel forsaken by God when you sin because sin separates you from Him.  Psalm 107:9-17 states,

9) For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

10) Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12) So, he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help.

13) Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.

15) Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

16) For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.

17) Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;

What did you learn from this scripture passage?  I learned that God is merciful, but He requires obedience. God wants to help you, but first, you must confess your sins and seek the Lord for forgiveness.  1John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Conclusion:

We know God promises to not forsake those who seek and trust Him.  We know we don’t have to be afraid or dismayed during an uncertain future because God promises to go with us and help us. We know God may not answer our prayers the way we want, but we know He loves us and will be with us and be our refuge and stronghold in times of trouble. We know that sin separates us from God, but when we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us and to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). Seek God and trust Him to keep His promises.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

RELATED POSTS

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

CAUTION – HOW TO GET OUT OF THE PIT

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

County Jail Study on Psalms 103

Psalm 91 Posts

Abolish New Year’s Resolutions

Every year we resolve to change our eating style, exercise more, lose weight, get in shape, declutter the house, etc. and every year we last maybe a month or two at the most.  There will be advise on how to be intentional and set goals and anything in between.  There is nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions except we don’t have the strength nor the will to see them through.  I found I need God’s help to accomplish my goals.

Instead of resolutions, I can’t resolve to keep, I pick a Bible passage with a spiritual principle I want my life to reflect.  Then I pray for that principle in to my life each day or at least once a week.  My co-worker chooses a word to focus on like, “endure” or “revive,” etc.  Dayle’s blog, called One Word, explains this well.

This past year, I picked 2 Corinthians 5:14a,15b, which states, “For the love of Christ controls us, … those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”  I chose this passage because I struggle with loving people enough to sacrifice my desires and give preference to their desires.  So, I prayed I will be controlled by the love of Christ and not to live for myself but for Jesus.  So, throughout the year, I prayed to be controlled by the love of Jesus.  Then, I imagined being controlled by His love and what Jesus would do.  Christ’s love reached out to the lost, and He had compassion for people.

So, how did I do this past year with this prayer?  I could have done better.  When I prayed this scripture into my life, God led me to repent of my pride and of self-centered living so His love could control me.  Then, God led me to repent of self-control issues so His love can control my reactions.  You can read my transformation testimonies throughout this year in the following posts.

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE (anxiety disorder is gone, YEA!)

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Self-control and Maturity

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

I will continue to practice being controlled by the love of Christ and the previous year’s verses to rejoice always, pray continually, and be thankful in everything (1Theselonians 5:16-18).  In the coming year, I want to pray for God to help me memorize scripture. So, I will focus on praying Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I might not sin against You.”  Knowing God’s Word is vital to fight against the unseen evil forces of the world.  I will hopefully write about the many battles we fight each day and the scriptures we can use to be victorious.  Plus, as I memorize scripture, I am developing right thinking which then creates healthy beliefs and behavior. According to Joshua 1:8, when I meditate on Scripture then I will be prosperous and I will have good success.  Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

There is hope for complete healing and transforming negative heart issues.  May God bless you richly in the coming year as you abide with Him and meditate on His Word.