The Mystery of Wisdom-Overview

I have been pondering why we don’t seek wisdom. God’s wisdom is different than the world’s wisdom. Today’s worldly wisdom is upside down. We are told that your sex is not based on reality but on your feelings, and men can menstruate and get pregnant. I feel like I am living in crazy land. How about you? When you try to correct wrong thinking and speak the truth, you are vilified by foolish people. I don’t need to elaborate on the foolishness of worldly wisdom because it is so evident.

My website is about changing false, unhealthy beliefs to experience a new reality. So, what does the Bible say about wisdom? The Bible says a lot about wisdom and being wise. I want to learn more, so as I dig into the Word of God, I will share my findings with you in the next several posts.

The First Mystery – Why Is Wisdom Worth More Than Gold, Silver, and Jewels?

Proverbs 3:13-14 states, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”

Proverbs 8:10-11Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”

Proverbs 16:16 states, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.”

Second Mystery – Why Do We Not Seek Wisdom?

Job 28:12-13 states, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.

If wisdom and understanding are better than gold, silver, and jewels, then why do we insist on doing things in our own understanding? I must admit that I do not fully understand wisdom. Many verses encourage me to seek out wisdom and gain understanding, but how? I will answer these and many other questions in future posts.

Third Mystery – How do we get wisdom?

The Bible tells us several ways we get wisdom. Here are a few ways.

1Kings 10:24 states, “And the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind.”

Job 28:28 states, “And he [God] said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

What is the fear of the Lord? What is evil, and how do you turn away from it?

Fourth Mystery – How Do You Know You Are Wise?

James 3:13 states, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness [humility] of wisdom.” Are you humble? I know I fight pride regularly because it is an integral part of our sinful nature.

Proverbs 12:15 states, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Do you listen to advice from those who are wise and follow it?

Ecclesiastes 10:2 states, “A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.” These are the words of King Solomon, the wisest man on earth. How is this verse relevant to today?

Fifth Mystery – What Are The Benefits Of Wisdom?

There are many benefits of wisdom, and I will cover all the verses describing the benefits in future posts. Wisdom finds favor with God and man because the wise person does what is right and has integrity. Someone with wisdom can look at a situation and determine what is right and just from God’s perspective, not a worldly perspective.

Sixth Mystery – What is Wisdom?

The best description of wisdom is found in James 3:13-17, which describes the difference between worldly wisdom and the wisdom from above.

13Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice [evil work].

17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Wisdom is not being jealous, having selfish ambition, boasting, and being deceitful, which is described as unspiritual and demonic. Yikes! Ask God to search your heart and mind to expose any jealousy, selfish ambition, pride, and deceitful spirits. If God reveals any of these in your heart, then repent and ask God to show you why you have that issue and let Him bring up any repressed memories. I explain how to be free from negative issues in my post called Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.

James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Ponder each characteristic of wisdom. Where do you fall short? I fell short until I resolved the many issues from my traumatic childhood and adult life. Selfish ambition is when you want your way and think it is the best way, and you don’t care about the other person or their needs and desires. You become jealous when someone gets their way and prevents you from getting what you want or expect. Therefore, a person who seeks to be wise is also at peace with themselves and those around them. So, strive to be humble, gentle, and sincerely open to reason and other people’s ideas and desires. I can only imagine what the world would be like if everyone would get rid of their self-centered pride and arrogance, then humbly value others as more important than themselves. A wise person is humble and seeks to do good for others.

Check back to learn more about the mystery of wisdom. In the meantime, I pray that God blesses you richly and that you grow in wisdom and understanding.

Mystery of Wisdom–Part 2

Mystery of Wisdom –Part 3

Mystery of Wisdom–Part 4


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share this link 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.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think. To learn more about my book, read: How to Fight Unseen Battles.

16–God Promises to Reward Obedience

It feels good to be rewarded. You get that bonus or raise for your hard work, a party for meeting a goal, and so on. We learned in the last post that God tests us to see if we will obey Him. He also gives rewards for our obedience. According to Dictionary.com (06/30/2022), obedience is being compliant and submitting to the requests of someone in authority. God is the supreme authority. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and so on. God established laws as a boundary for the sinful nature we inherited when Adam disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden.

We have laws in our country to control the self-centered actions of people. For instance, there are many traffic laws we need to obey, and if we don’t, we will suffer a consequence. Many establishments have a code of conduct they expect their employees or customers to follow to maximize a pleasant and safe environment. Otherwise, you have chaos and fear. God’s laws and commands have the same purpose.

Obedience is hard when you want to be self-centered or prideful and don’t think you need to do what someone tells you to do. I had a problem obeying because I did not trust the people in authority. I also struggled to comply because I needed to be in control, which was a trust and pride issue. When I worked through betrayal issues and broke down the betrayal stronghold and the controlling stronghold, I was more willing to obey. To learn more, read Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to Trust Again.

Sometimes you are asked to do something that does not make sense. God the Father planned that His son was to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, which does not make sense to us. Philippians 2:8 states, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Do you think it is unreasonable for God to require us to be holy? 1Peter 1:14-16 states, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” Dictionary.com (6/30/2022) says that holy is to be spiritually pure, godly, and dedicated or devoted to the service of God. God promises to be our helper, so we can depend on Him to help us be holy. To learn more read Posts About Godliness.

So what are God’s rewards for obedience?

God Promises to Bless Those Who Obey Him

What does it mean to be blessed? Dictionary.com (6/30/2022) says that “blessed” is to be divinely or supremely favored, and favored is to be regarded or treated with preference or partiality and enjoy special advantages. Does this sound like something you would like? The following verses describe how God blesses those who obey and keep His ways:

Proverbs 8:32And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.”

Psalm 119:2-3Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!”

James 1:25But the one who looks into the perfect law [love], the law of liberty [freedom], and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing [all that you do].”

Luke 11:28But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’”

Psalm 106:3Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!”

Deuteronomy 11:26-28See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, 28and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.”

Deuteronomy 12:28Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.”

Do you know what God requires of you? Do you obey so you can be blessed?

God Promises Eternal life with Him to Those Who Do His Will

Matthew 7:21Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

1John 2:17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

John 14:21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 

The will of God is what He expects us to do, namely, that we love Him with all our strength, heart, mind, and soul. By obeying His commands, we prove our love for God. John 14:23 states, “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:31 states, “I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” God also requires that we love others as Jesus loves them. 1John 3:23 states, “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” Loving others is hard because we are all sinners and hurt one another. I discuss this in greater detail in my website book. When we obey the truth found in God’s Word, we purify our souls as we obey and forgive those who hurt us and let go of resentment, then we can love from a pure heart. 1Peter 1:22 states, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” To learn more about purifying your heart, read Love from a Pure Heart.

Conclusion

Obedience is difficult if you are self-centered, prideful, or don’t trust those in authority. But it is always best to obey God, not just for the rewards, but because He is good and knows our future and what is best for us. I don’t understand why God asked me to write because I never thought I was a good writer and didn’t know how to write. I obeyed, and I am still writing. I pray you are blessed by my writing and choose to obey God so you will be blessed with divine favor and spend eternity with Him.

RELATED POSTS

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Be Blessed or Be Cursed


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.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think. To learn more about my book read: How to Fight Unseen Battles

9—God Promises to Give You a New Life

Did you ever dream of living a different life, and what that would be like? I have been reflecting on the Scripture verses about living a new life for several weeks. I have been challenged to think differently, speak differently, and react differently. By differently, I mean think as Christ thinks, speak as Christ would speak, and respond with love like Christ. So why don’t I live like Jesus Christ, who lived a life of love?

How do we get a new life?

Our new life begins by changing wrong thinking and belief patterns to reflect the love of God. We also need to put off self-centered pride, that only thinks about ourselves. The same miracle that raised Jesus from the dead also raises us from the deadness of our sin so we can live a new life. Romans 8:11 states, “If the Spirit of him [God] who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Also, 1John 4:13 &15 states, “By this we know that we abide in him [God] and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” Verse 15: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” The Holy Spirit of God not only gives us life but helps us to live a new life, but we first must choose to walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-17 explain, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For 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.”

The Apostle Paul explains in 2Corinthians 5:17 the following, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The new life we are to live can only be lived through Jesus Christ, as explained in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” – 2Corinthians 5:15. Think for a moment about what a day in your life would look like if you lived through Christ Jesus? 1John 4:9 states, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

How should Christ’s death and resurrection change us?

Remember, you can only change yourself; you can’t change anyone else. How would your life look different because of what Jesus did for you on the cross? Colossians 2:13-15 states, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” The work of the devil in our lives has been disarmed and we are free from the devil’s control through our sinful flesh. 1John 3:8 states, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” But we need to always humbly submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:6-7).

Read and ponder each passage below and think about how you can apply the passage to your life.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. –Romans 6:4

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. –Romans 7:4

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. –Colossians 2:11-12

Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. –Romans 4:25

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. –Colossians 3:1

Before we knew Christ Jesus, we were dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), but when we believe and seek His forgiveness, we are set free from the control of sin (Rom. 6:22-23). Our sinful nature should not control our new life. We will struggle with unhealthy beliefs and wanting things our way, so we need to consider ourselves dead to self-centered pride and seek to love others as God loves. As you want others to love you, so you should love others in the same way.

How do we live through Christ?

Here is how you know you are living through Jesus Christ and not through your sinful flesh. I still struggle with my sinful flesh, but as I submit to God, I  have the victory.  1Peter 3:8-9 tells us, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”

    • Do you have unity of mind with those you live with and fellowship at church with?
    • Are you sympathetic to those around you?
    • Do you have brotherly love for those who are hard to love?
    • Do you have a tender heart towards those who are struggling?
    • Are you humble and do not insist on your way as the only or best way?
    • Do you bless those who irritate you or make you angry? Or do you return an insult from the offense you feel? We can bless people by being patient, gentle, kind, peaceful, and so on.
    • Are you servant-minded like Jesus? Philippians 2:3-8 explains:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Conclusion:

As long as we are in our bodies, we will battle our sinful desires to please our self-centered, prideful flesh. We need to remind ourselves of our new life in Christ and decide to live by the Spirit in us, not our old sinful flesh. Romans 8:5-6 states, “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. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” You can’t do this in your strength, which is why we need to put on Jesus Christ and keep Him on. Romans 13:14 tells us to “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”  We also need to consider ourselves as dead to sin. Romans 6:11 tells us, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” My online book explains how a person can live a new life and have a new destiny.

RELATED POSTS

How The Spirit Gives Life.

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How to Convert Pridefulness to Gentleness and Humility


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.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-changing 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. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

How to Dig up the Unforgiving Belief to Grow in Love

Is there someone who hurt you that you can’t bring yourself to forgive from your heart? Do you know someone who can’t forgive?” Do you believe the person who wronged you does not deserve forgiveness? I have come to realize that not forgiving is hatred. My website is about changing unhealthy beliefs to experience a new reality. What we think and say comes from what we believe, and what we believe directs our behavior, and our choices determine our destiny. In this series of posts, I will expose the unhealthy beliefs that control our lives and how to transform them with the truth to experience a new reality.

Where Does the Unforgiving Belief Come From?

The root of unforgiveness is resentment. I was offended by the hurtful words and actions of my mother, father, sisters, friends, and so on, which wounded my soul. The wounds began to fester, and resentment grew. When resentment grows, it becomes bitterness and hate.

Have you known an older person who was bitter because of the wounds from their past? We tend to relive the hurts to justify why we can’t forgive, and we give them the power to control our thoughts. As I said earlier, unforgiveness is hatred toward the person who you feel wronged you. Sometimes we are wronged by someone who did not intentionally want to hurt us, but we take offense by something they said or did or something they did not say or do. Does this make sense? Then there are those we thought loved us yet betrayed us. Betrayal creates a deep wound, and the person who betrayed us is the hardest to forgive.

As I seek God to heal the wounds of my soul, He shows me my resentment toward that person or persons whom I have not forgiven. It may be an offense I have forgotten about, but it grew into resentment that controlled my thoughts. The resentment that kept me in bondage was perceived unfair treatment. I say perceived because I felt something was unfair that may not have been unfair. If I thought my sisters had something I didn’t or got to do something I couldn’t, I would become jealous and think it was unfair.

An example could be that your sibling got a gift you liked. Instead of being happy for them, you became envious and thought it was unfair, especially if they didn’t share their gift with you. Resentment begins to take root. Years later, you wonder why your sibling irritates you. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to show you. You don’t need to forgive your sibling or parents because it was their gift, and they didn’t have to share. But you were offended when they did not share, so you still need to forgive them for not sharing.

Another source of unforgiveness is pride. We often don’t want to forgive because we think that forgiving is excusing them, and we would rather punish them. Unfortunately, we are hurting ourselves more by not forgiving because we give the person who hurt us the power to continue to hurt us through our memories. Sometimes we arrogantly think they don’t deserve to be forgiven. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35 is an example of how pride keeps you from forgiving and what the consequence is. Jesus tells the parable when Peter asks, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22). When we don’t show mercy and forgive as the servant didn’t, we will remain in bondage until we do forgive. Mathew 18:35 states,  “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” 

What Is the Truth That Transforms this Unhealthy Belief?

When we forgive, the power of the offense that controls our thoughts and behavior is removed. You may never forget the painful event, but the memory of that event won’t have power over your thoughts and feelings. You will be free to love and not be in bondage and controlled by hate.

The most important truth is that God forgives us of our sins, so we must forgive others. Otherwise, He will not forgive us. Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” We are commanded to forgive, so if we don’t, it becomes a sin. If we are not forgiven of our sins, then we risk losing our place in heaven.

Know that Jesus suffered many wrongs and lies, yet He forgave even those who beat and whipped Him and then crucified Him (Luke 23:34). 1Peter 2:21-25 states, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” God wants to heal the wounds of your soul from the hurt you suffered at the hands of sinners. Aso, ask God to show you how you have sinned against someone and hurt them because of the hurt in your heart.

How To Change Unhealthy Beliefs

1. To transform unhealthy beliefs, recognize you have them. Listen to what you are saying and pay attention to your thoughts.

2. Submit the wrong thinking to God and ask Him to show you the truth.

3. Ask God to show you if there is a painful memory controlling your thoughts and decisions.

4. Pray and put off the unhealthy belief controlling your thoughts and put on the truth God shows you from His Word.

I first loosed the false beliefs that God showed me and replaced it with scripture truths like the following:

  • I believe in Jesus and receive His forgiveness, and I believe He will help me forgive others who have sinned against me. Acts 10:43
  • I can forgive for my own sake, and I receive God’s love and put my trust in Jesus, who forgave me and gave me eternal life. John 3:16
  • I can forgive others who sinned against me, and I accept forgiveness from God for my sins. Matt. 6:14-15
  • Forgiving heals my heart so that I can be kind and tenderhearted. Eph. 4:31-32
  • Forgiveness sets me free from painful memories and opens my heart to love. Col. 3:12-14
  • I surrender my desire to punish, fill my heart with Your love so I can bless those who hurt me. Rom. 12:14
  • I can control how I respond to every situation. I choose to have compassion for myself and others. Col. 3:12-14

Conclusion:

Resentment grows into hate and bitterness, where unforgiveness is. I learned that forgiving those who mistreated me or did not meet my expectations helped me overcome my hatred and resentment. The key is to acknowledge you have the resentful feeling quickly, ask God to expose the wrong thinking, then put it off. Next, forgive if you need to and put on the truth. The freedom from the power of my painful memories has allowed me to love others from a pure heart. I can write a lot more, but you understand because everyone has experienced the feeling of resentment from an offense. I would love to hear how you overcame this unhealthy belief.

RELATED POSTS

1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

Freedom from the Spirit of Jealousy

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. 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 Life-Changing 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 person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How do you achieve peace with God and peace with those who are nasty individuals? How can you live in harmony with people who irritate you, offend you, or are rude to you? The answer is to own the gospel (good news) of Jesus and what He did on the cross for everyone, not just know it or believe it, but personalize it and tell it to others. Owning something means you can claim it as your own, and you have the authority and power to live in it and share it. But you will have to do spiritual warfare to keep the peace.

The good news is redemption through forgiveness of sins and the victory Jesus Christ bought for everyone by defeating our common enemy, the devil. 1John 3:8b states, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” The devil is called the thief, and he came to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a). He especially came to steal peace and all the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Look at the evidence around you and in the news. Because Jesus forgave our sins, we can forgive other people for their sins and stay in peace.

Understand that our struggle is not with sinful, self-centered people but with the unseen demonic forces (Ephesians 6:12). Ephesians 6:14-15 explains how to do spiritual battle, “Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.” The gospel of peace is always being ready and prepared to share the good news about how to be at peace with God and with each other.

I explained how to use the belt of truth in Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH? and use the breastplate of righteousness in Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT FALL AWAY. In this post, I will show how to put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and be ready for battle against the unseen demonic world who wants to steal your peace. Proper shoes are a vital part of a warrior’s attire because sturdy shoes help them walk securely and not slip. The spiritual shoes of the gospel of peace is the sure foundation that keeps you from falling into temptation and acting out your sinful nature and pride when you feel insulted. Have you noticed that prideful people do not live in peace, but humble people do? Why do you think that is?

Ready Your Mind to Be at Peace with People

When I humbly live my life through Jesus Christ’s divine life in me (Gal. 2:20 and 2Peter 1:4), I can give grace and forgiveness to the challenging people around me. Ephesians 2:1-2 states, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” The challenging people in your life may be those who are disobedient to God’s command to love and strive for peace. Do you keep God’s instructions in the Bible? When the gospel of Jesus Christ controls our thoughts, we can stand firm and live in peace with each other.

Every day, 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 (Ephesians 6:10-11). The spiritual forces of darkness want to steal your peace and cause you to be offended or tempt you to sin so you don’t live in peace with God or those around you.

The Bible says in Romans 12:17-21,Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Our sinful, human nature wants to return evil for evil. When we feel insulted, we think: How dare they say what they said or do what they did, who do they think they are? When you return an insult for insult, what does that say about you? It reveals pride. How does Romans 12:17-21 say we should live in peace with someone who is insulting us? When Jesus was mistreated, how did He react (see 1Peter 2:21-24)?

First, living in peace with other people involves being at peace with yourself and letting God take care of the rest. My short-book on my website will help you find the painful memories that cause you to lose your peace 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories. People can’t steal your peace unless you let them.

Second, strive to live in peace and choose to be holy and not act on your sinful nature to be unloving. Hebrews 12:14 (NIV) states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men [people] and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Holiness is to be without sin. That does not mean we never sin, but we repent and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1John 1:9). This verse says we won’t see the Lord if we are not holy. So strive to live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on you (Romans 12:18). Living in peace is difficult without the help of Christ Jesus’ divine power in us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:9,  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

How are we to be holy in a sinful world? 2Corinthians 7:1b explains, “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” We become holy when we daily die to our sinful desires and cleanse ourselves by confessing our sins and asking God for forgiveness. Then we will have peace in our hearts. Fearing God is choosing to revere and obey Him by doing the things that please Him. We please Him by having faith, doing good, and putting off our sinful nature, as explained in the following Scripture passages:

And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

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” (Romans 8:13).

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (1Thessalonians 4:7).

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1Peter 1:14-16).

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it” (1Peter 3:11).

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).

Do you have holy conduct with those who are offensive? If not, seek to own the gospel of Jesus’ redemption until you can mindfully live above your natural sinful reactions and love everyone as Christ loves them. 2Corinthians 5:14-15 states, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Satan does not want you to live in peace with anyone, let alone be controlled by Christ’s love for them, so he tempts you to be self-centered and prideful. The Gospel of redemption helps you stand firm against this scheme of the devil. When Christ controls us, we can pray for those who hate us or persecute us and not return evil for evil. You may not be persecuted, but you might be frustrated or annoyed with someone irritating you or upset about everything.

How does the gospel of Jesus Christ control your thoughts, so you can stand firm and not sin?

How to be ready to share the gospel message of of peace with God

Always be ready and prepared to share your gospel testimony of God’s power and hope in your life. Where ever you go, be prepared to share how God’s power transformed you and given you hope and peace. 1Peter 3:15 states, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

You can testify that He has redeemed your life from the pit of destruction. Psalm 40:2, “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.”

Testify how Jesus reconciled you to a holy God through the forgiveness of your sins so you can be at peace with God. 2Corinthians 5:18-19 states, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” Reconciliation means to make right or harmonious again. Before Christ, we are all dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1) and destined for God’s wrath. After we received Christ into our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17), we were saved and reconciled to God. We also have peace with God by trusting Him to justify us (remove our sin) when we believe. Romans 5:1 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Explain how you were transferred from darkness to the light when you believed in your heart and confessed Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. John 8:12 states, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” And John 12:46 Jesus states, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We have the same calling as the Apostle Paul in Acts 26:18, where Jesus tells Paul that He is sending him, “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Only God can open their eyes, so we must pray and ask God to remove the blinders from those you share your testimony with. 2Corinthians 4:4 states, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

The gospel of peace also gives them peace of eternal life when they believe. Romans 1:16 also states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” If you are ashamed to share the gospel message, then Jesus will be ashamed of you. Mark 8:38 states, “For whoever is ashamed of me [Jesus] and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” I don’t know about you, but I do not want my Savior to be ashamed of me.

You can testify that salvation gives peace, and you do not fear the wrath of God because your sins are forgiven, and you are justified (Rom.5:1). So, you can testify that Jesus has saved you and will save them if they believe in their heart. 1Theselonians 5:9, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And Romans 10:9-10 states,  “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Conclusion

Each morning pray: I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace and prepare to sow peace with everyone and in every situation, even when people do not meet my expectations. Through prayer, I put off the spirit of pride and walk as God walks in humility, love, compassion, and respect for others. I will share my testimony of hope and encourage everyone I can to love and trust in Jesus Christ. (Jam. 3:18; Rom. 12:16-18; Col. 3:12-14; 1John2:16; Prov. 16:18; 1Peter 3:8,15.)

Email me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com to get instructions on how to create a three-minute testimony you can share easily and readily anywhere. Revelation 12:11 states, “And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

RELATED POSTS:

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS


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, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW NOT TO DIE SPIRITUALLY

Why do Christians fall away from their faith? Never forget that Satan is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). Because we live within the spirit world, we must always be vigilant for demonic attacks. Those attacks can be wrong thoughts, false beliefs, or temptation to sin. Often spiritual attacks are through people who offend us or lead us away from our devotion to God and into worldly activities.

Christians leave the faith because they take off the breastplate of righteousness that protects their heart from the daily temptations to be offended or give in to deceitful desires, which leads to sin. Being offended causes us to be self-focused and prideful, then we say and do unkind things. Righteousness also protects us from God’s wrath for sin by reminding us to do what is good and pleasing in His sight. For example, do you think Christian leaders who fall into sexual sins have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The first step to putting on the breastplate of righteousness is to ask God to forgive your sins so you can then forgive other’s their sins. Next, invite Jesus into your heart and be your savior and Lord because you can’t be righteous without Him. 2Corinthians 5:21 states, “For our sake, he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

God’s righteousness protects your heart when you surrender your life to do His will and obey His instructions. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And 1Peter 4:2 states, “So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” Also, 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

How do you know if you have on the breastplate of righteousness?

The righteous walk by faith (Habakkuk 2:4b; Romans 1:17b). Galatians 3:11 states, “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” And Hebrews 10:38 states, “But my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” Also consider, Hebrews 11:6, which states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

The righteous die to sin, then practice righteousness. 1John 3:7 states, “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” 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.” And 1John 2:29 states, “If you know that he [Jesus] is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” 1Peter 2:24a also states, “He [Jesus] himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

The righteous rejoice in the Lord and gives thanks. Psalm 97:12 states,”Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!” And Psalm 64:10 states, “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!” Also, Psalm 140:13 states, “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

The righteous are wise and increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 states, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” And Proverbs 10:31aThe mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.” Also, Psalm 37:30 states, “The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

The righteous hates falsehood (Proverbs 13:5a). Proverbs 15:28a states, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer.”

The righteous are not selfish but gives. Psalm 37:21 states, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.” And Proverbs 21:26b states, “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”

The righteous serve God and desires to do His will. Malachi 3:18 states, “Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” And John 9:31 states, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” Also, Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh, that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

The righteous pursue righteousness. 1Timothy 6:11 states, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And 2Timothy 2:22 states, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Also, Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

The righteous seek first the kingdom of God and are not anxious. Matthew 6:33-34 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

According to what you have just read, do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? From the list above, where do you need to improve?

The best way to practice righteousness is to fear God.

Hebrews 11:7 states, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” God told Noah to build an ark and gather two of every kind of animal to survive a great flood, something they never experienced. Noah faced constant ridicule from the wicked people around him. But he obeyed God out of reverent fear, and because of his faith, he was considered righteous.

The fear of God is to have a deep respect and awe of His judgement, mighty power, and love. We demonstrate reverent fear by obedience to God’s Word and loving Him. Deuteronomy10:12-13 states, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” Do you fear God, walk in all His ways, love and serve Him, and obey His instructions? The following verses describe what it means to fear God:

You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him. –Psalms 22:23

Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. –1Samuel 12:24

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh [body]; and refreshment to your bones. –Proverbs 3:7-8

Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit). –Proverbs 28:14

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. –Psalms 115:11

Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! –Psalms 34:9

Conclusion

The breastplate of righteousness protects our hearts from becoming offended and the temptation to give in to our fleshly desires that leads to sin. When we seek to please God, we will love those who hurt us, forgive them, and not allow sinful desires to trap us in pleasing ourselves or being unkind. Being righteous requires that we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives and surrender our will to do His will. The person who has on the breastplate of righteousness will walk by faith, die to sin, rejoice in the Lord, increase in wisdom, hate falsehood, give, serve God, and pursue righteousness. Fearing God helps us keep the breastplate of righteousness on by reminding us to trust Him, shun evil (sin; wickedness), and do what is good and honorable in the sight of God and men. Romans 12:9-10 states, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Pray the following each day: I put on the breastplate of righteousness and receive forgiveness for my sins and forgive others their sins. I will practice righteousness and do God’s will by obeying His instructions. I will please God in reverent fear, knowing I will stand before Him to give an account of the good and evil I do while in the flesh. (Matt. 6:12-15; Acts 10:43; 1John 1:9; 2:29;  John 9:31. 2Cor. 5:9-10)

RELATED POSTS:

Four Realities of the Spirit World

HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY WHAT

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

In The Last Days, Why The Righteous Will Not Fear

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Fear God, Not People


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, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

The Bible says our heavenly inheritance is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us when we believed in Jesus Christ (read Ephesians 1:13-14.) So, why does the Bible also tell us that we can lose our inheritance. We will explore this apparent dichotomy in the next few posts. In this post, we will explore why idolatry can cause you to lose your inheritance. The reason I am interested in idolatry is because of how much the 2020 quarantine disrupted our lives, and we had to reevaluate our priorities.

My friend is upset at the notion that he could be an idolater. He said; “Don’t tell me I worship idols; I do not worship or bow down to a created image of an animal or anything else. Idol worship was a problem during the Bible times, though I know some religions worship images and offer sacrifices to them.” Todd then asks me to go to the ball game and that a famous band will be playing during the pregame show. Afterward, he invited me to to go to the Tenth Street bar to watch Wrestle Mania. I said, “No thank you.” To me these were idols that Todd did not realize.

You may not know the many types of idols you are worshiping or trusting in to meet your needs, but we all have idols in our lives. The dictionary defines idolatry as having excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing other than God. Some people idolize celebrities. Many people idolize money and fame. Other people idolize their children or grandchildren. Your created image may be different than those in Biblical times, but you still have them.

So, why should we conquer the unseen battles with idolatry? The Bible says idolaters will not go to heaven. Yes, I believe we are saved by faith, but the Bible says in Ephesians 5:5, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone …, who is an idolater has no inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

In my last post, I asked if you were a sheep or a goat according to Matthew 25. If you hope to enter heaven, you must be a sheep who is a follower of Jesus. So, make sure you do not have unseen idols in your life that distract you from following Him. Just as you were unaware of worldly thinking, you are equally unaware of the idols in your life. God created us to worship Him as our only savior, provider, healer, helper, etc. Because God is a Spirit, and we cannot see or touch Him, so we think we need to replace Him with something physical. Note, you can’t trust the government to take care of you.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE UNSEEN IDOLATRY.

Many people put their hope for security in the material, temporal things of this world, such as money, jobs, investments, homes, education, etc. Some people put their hope for love and acceptance in people, programs, activities, etc. All the things of the world you put your hope in will disappoint you because the Apostle John says in 1John 5:19-21, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” And, John ends his first book with “keep yourself from idols.” Satan’s unseen temptation is to cause you to doubt God exists and trust idols to meet your needs.

Idolatry is evident throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. The first two commandments of the Ten Commandments make it very clear; we are to have no other gods in our lives, yet we do (read Exodus 20). God is jealous for us because He created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and He wants us to love Him more than anything or anyone else. Luke 10:27 states, “And he (Jesus) answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.‘” Do you love God as described in this verse? What does that look like in your life? What changes do you need to make?

Many people expect other people or possessions to meet their needs and they value and trust them more than the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, I discovered that I depended on my family to make me happy. And, I depended on my job for security. So, when my children grew up and did their own thing outside my control, I became depressed. And when I was laid off from my job, I felt rejected and became despaired because my identity was in what I did. Have you had similar experiences?

How we make ourselves idols.

I even made an idol of myself and wanted everyone to worship and serve me. Be honest or ask God to show how you too want to be worshiped and served. If you are offended when people don’t agree with you, or does or says something you don’t like, it shows you idolize yourself. We idolize ourselves when we think other people should have greater respect for us. This is pride at its best. Observe the prideful behavior of athletes, celebrities, and musicians. By-the-way, God hates pride, because it will keep you from loving and trusting Him. After all, prideful people trust in themselves and love themselves too much. Do you know someone like this?

I will share more in my next post because I have a lot to contemplate from this post. Ask God to show you your idols because we all have them. Determine to be a sheep and follow Jesus, and do not trust or worship anything else.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

RECOGNIZE WORLDLY THINKING AND BE FREE

Our world has many distractions that keep our focus away from the true source of life, peace, and love. We want to fill-up on all the world has to offer, and wonder why we feel empty, anxious, and lonely.

Rick Renner expressed the following belief. Before we received the life of Jesus Christ, we are dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture in which we live.1 For example, the news outlets shape our opinions; advertisers influence our desire for things we don’t need; movies and TV shows numb our moral conscience; and social media shapes our attitudes. You will think worldly thoughts when you immerse yourself in worldly activities and around worldly people. 1John 5:19 tells us “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” so be wise in how you spend your time and what you put into your mind. The Apostle Paul explains worldliness in his letter to the Ephesian believers. Meditate on each line of the following passage. Ephesians 2:1-3 state,

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and

were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Did you know an evil spirit works in those who disobey God? Someone told me the “prince of the power of the air” is the devil controlling what comes into our homes via the airwaves, referring to the Internet, TV, and radio. Satan uses any worldly device to wage war in your mind to allure you away from devotion to God. He first blinds your mind so you are not aware of his attractive temptations. In 2Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul states, “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds….” The god of this world is the devil as described in Revelations 12:9, which states, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” A person deceived and blinded by the devil will say they are fulfilled and satisfied with worldly activities. However, many people realize the despair and futility of this lifestyle and turn to Jesus Christ, which happened to me.

The following questions are tough, but an honest answer is necessary for you to have victory over the unseen battles with temptations to love worldliness more than God.

??- Do you dress in the latest fashions, act like the world, talk like the world, and be controlled by worldly activities, such as drinking, tattooing, gambling, video gaming, sexual immorality, etc.?

??-Do you put into your mind evil images of death and lust in the form of pornography, ungodly TV shows, magazines, books, and movies?

??-Do you often skip church to go to a sporting or recreational events?

??-Do your favorite activities distract you from reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying, or spending time with fellow believers?

You might be thinking two things right now: first, none of these questions mean I’m worldly; second, I can still do these things and still love God. Now imagine if you lost all your possessions, beauty, prestige, and successes, would you still love God and be thankful? Or what if your favorite team or activity disappeared, would you feel depressed and lost? Because of this pandemic, I miss doing many activities I use to do, which has caused me to evaluate my priorities. Is this pandemic causing you to become depressed or re-evaluate your priorities?

The Bible does not say doing or having enjoyable things is wrong? But when you love and value them more than God, this is loving the world. 1John 2:15-17 explains, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Why does God tell us not to love the world or the things in the world? Do you think God knew mankind would worship and serve what they can see and touch and what appeals to their pride and pleasures of their sinful nature? One of His Ten commandments found in Exodus 20 was not to worship or serve anything created by man because God is jealous. God created us and wants us to love and serve Him only.

Examples of the lust of the flesh in 1John 2:16 could be our appetites, cravings, and desires for alcohol, drugs, sugar products, over-eating, sexual immorality, gambling, and greediness. The lust of the eyes includes those things we specifically see and covet, which may spark our lustful desires and appetites. Examples are pornography or wanting what someone else has, such as possessions, achievements, and advantages. The boastful pride of life refers to anything that promotes or elevates a sense of independence from God.

Independent thinking causes us to believe we can do our own thing, live a self-serving life, and have it our way. For instance, the pride of life is anything giving you the right to boast and may include gaining possessions to show a certain status; gambling to hopefully win big; success to show you are someone, or wealth to be admired. All of these are passing away, then you will spend eternity with God or in hell. So, if you don’t want to be devoted to God while on the earth, then why should He want to let you in His heaven?

The Bible warns against being enslaved or taken captive by elementary principles or spirits of the world, Galatians 4:3 states, “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” Colossians 2:8 states, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” And, Colossians 2:20 states, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations.” These Scripture passages tell us, we can be enslaved to the elementary principles of the world, but in Christ, we have died to these elemental allurements. Now, these worldly spirits do not control us anymore. Being aware of your thoughts will prevent you from being taken captive by the evil spirits of the world. Memorizing the truths in God’s Word will help you distinguish between elementary principles of the world and godly principles.

Reflections and Application:

How were you dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture of this world?

Further Study/Footnotes:

1. Renner, Rick, (2007), Dressed to kill. Published by Teach the Nations, Tulsa, OK

RELATED POSTS:

How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism

What Controls Your Thoughts?

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. 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 Prayers? Are You Turning God Off?

Have you ever wanted something you thought you had to have and you wanted it right away? We are the microwave society that wants instant results. When I was a teenager, I wanted a guitar so I could be cool like my friend Kelly.  I asked my Mom to give me one for Christmas, but I got a six-hole flute instead, go figure. I was so disappointed.  I now understand that my divorced mother was poor, and she could not afford to buy me a guitar. But, instead of telling me that, she said if I could playing the flute she would get me a guitar the next Christmas. Well, I practiced a lot of songs and gave her an audition, but still no guitar. Have you been disappointed when you didn’t get something you wanted? Many times, God does not give us the things we want right away.

James 4:3 states, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Passion is a strong desire for what gives you pleasure. A passion is not always because of selfish pride. If the passion is for self-centered reasons, then it could be motivated by pride.  If the passion is zeal to do good and be God-centered or other-centered, then your motive is good. So, what is your motivation for asking God to give you what you desire? My motivation to play the guitar was from self-centered pride.  I bought a guitar many years later, and I had no musical ability to play it. God knew that, but I didn’t.

Reason 7: Pride Turns God Off.

Humble prayers are the prayers God answers. James 4:6b states, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And, 1John 3:21-23 states, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22) and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”

The sin of pride blocks your prayers because pride keeps you from obeying God and loving others. To know if you have a self-centered pride issue, ask God to search your heart and examine your mind.  Jeremiah 17:9-10 explains, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it? 10) I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” And, Psalm 139:23 states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Also, Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance) of your heart has deceived you, …”

Billy Graham believes, our motive for petitioning God must be humble. Suppose your prayer is self-centered and only concerned for the gratification of your own pleasures and passions. In that case, God cannot, in faithfulness, grant your requests.1 Another way our pride turns God off is how our pride wants immediate results and does not want to wait, but sometimes we have to wait for God’s perfect timing.

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Reason eight: Sometimes we have to wait?

God wants us to grow in our faith and character more than give us our desires.  Trials of temptations and adversity are necessary, so we can become stronger in our faith and character. Lamentations 3:25–26  states, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait on the Lord quietly.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes that God sometimes delays His answer to deal with selfishness or things in our lives that should not be there.2

Isaac Breese believes that too often we look to prayer to solve all of our problems instead of focusing on meditation. We always feel the need to voice our concerns to God constantly telling him what we need forgetting that he already knows.3

Conclusion:

God hears the prayers of those who are humble and accepts a “no” or “wait” answer. A humble person waits patiently for His response. Often, we ask God for things that may not be good for us at the time or is His will for us. This post is the last in the series of why prayers go unanswered. To know all the reasons why God may not answer you prayers, read my previous posts:

Unanswered Prayer? Why?

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Connected?

Unanswered Prayer? Are You Presentable?

Unanswered Prayer? Doubt or Faith.

Unanswered Prayer? Asking For God’s Will or Your Will?

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

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1. billygraham.org

2. Page 16, Lloyd-Jones D. M., (1987), Faith: tried & triumphant.  Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI

3. “It’s Not That God Didn’t Answer Your Prayers, It’s That You Didn’t Get The Response You Wanted” https://medium.com/publishous/its-not-that-god-didn-t-answer-your-prayers-it-s-that-you-didn-t-get-the-response-you-wanted-1b0bf4be9c24

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RELATED POSTS:

How I became free from pride:  The Core Negative Heart Issue

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

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All verses are from the English Standard Bible. 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? Are You Presentable?

If you were to appear before a King or Ruler of a Nation and given the chance to ask him or her to do something, how would you dress and act? Take a moment and visualize it. Would you be humbled, cleaned up, neat, polite, be conscious of customs as not to offend, etc.? Now, how is that different than coming before the King of the Universe in prayer? Do you think you can go before Him in pride and with an unrepentant, filthy heart and demand Him to give you what you want?

To continue the simple illustration of electricity. Suppose prayer is the power cord, and faith is the action of plugging into the power source. In that case, hope is the expectation the power source will deliver results. If a lamp is plugged in but does not turn on, you need to look for the reason. Prayer connects you to God through the Holy Spirit that dwells in you when we believe in Jesus Christ and receives forgiveness for our sins. Unrepentant sin short-circuits the power of your prayers.

Reason Four: Unrepentant Sin short-circuits our prayers.

We cannot approach a Holy God in prayer if we are not presentable by having unrepentant sin in our lives. What is sin? Sin is disobedience to God’s instructions to love Him by keeping His commands and loving one another. Sin is knowing the right thing to do and not doing it (James 4:17). The following verses explain why unrepentant sin prevents your prayers from being answered.

Psalms 66:18 states, “If I regard wickedness (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear;”

Isaiah 59:1,2 states, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  2) But your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.

1Peter 3:12 also says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Psalms 34:14-18 explains, “Turn away from evil (to harm) and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15) The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16) The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17) When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18) The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Unrepentant sin includes not forgiving those who sinned against you because God instructs us to forgive. Matthew 5:23, 24, states, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” If you struggle forgiving those who did evil against you, please read my post on why we should forgive.

Wayne Jackson writes in “6 Reasons Why Some Prayers Are Never Answered” on ChristianCourier.com. “If you know that someone has a legitimate grievance against you, how can you sincerely approach God in prayer? Uncorrected problems with brethren are extremely detrimental. Peter certainly stressed that discordant home relationships could hinder prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Where domestic wrangling and bitterness prevail, prayer can never be effective.” What do you think? Would you agree?

Solve the problem of sin through repentance and the work of Christ on the cross.

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.”

Pastor Darryl Baker writes in “Abiding in the Word” blog, “Because of what Christ did in bearing our sin and the punishment of our sin, we no longer need to live fearful of approaching our heavenly Father. The sin that separated us is gone and we can now approach God with complete confidence. So as a believer we should daily draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Don’t ever run from God, run to Him. If you have sinned repent, and run back to the Father for He awaits with arms open wide to help you get back on your feet again.” And he writes, “It is the devil who tries to keep us from approaching God by making us afraid to do so through wrong thoughts. Scripture teaches us to come boldly to the throne of grace, to find grace and help in our time of need. God is waiting to help us overcome whatever we may be dealing with in life, but we must draw near to Him to get that help. The door is open so don’t ever run from Him. He is your answer, He is your deliverer, He wants to help you; and most importantly He wants you to know Him.”  I agree, but we need to come before Him with a repentant and humble spirit.

Hebrews 4:14-16 states, “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.

15) 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. 

16) 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.

James 4:6-8 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.‘ 7) 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.”

These verses are the theme verses for my county jail Bible study. I have the women memorize them. One inmate return because her roommate had alcohol in the apartment which meant she broke her probation. When she came to the Bible Study, she was excited to still be able to quote the verses above from memory. I encourage you to memorize Hebrews 4:14-16 and James 4:6-8.

Conclusion:

God is loving, merciful, gracious, and slow to anger. Psalm 103:8 states, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He is also Holy and Just; Isaiah 5:16 says, “But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows Himself holy in righteousness.” So, we need to approach Him with humility and with repentance if we want him to hear our petitions.

RELATED POSTS

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

Reasons One and Two Why Prayer Is Not Answered

Unanswered Prayer—Reason Three

How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer


All verses are from the English Standard Bible.  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).