Free from Anger–County Jail Testimony and Teaching

I have been teaching the girls in the county jail how to recognize and overcome wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. One lady received court papers concerning her children being adopted out. Her mother is now the foster parent for the children. The inmate was furious. Her angry thoughts generated a plan to hurt those whom she perceived as hurting her. This situation was a great opportunity to teach why we need to take our negative thoughts captive, and how to transform them so they don’t control our behavior.

I set aside my lesson that night and prayed for God to help me as I helped her apply what I had been teaching. As she shared why she was so angry, she revealed several unhealthy beliefs and the painful memory triggering her anger. She believed her mother wanted to keep her from raising her children. She had painful memories of growing up with a controlling mother who still was trying to control her. I began to ask questions to help her recognize her wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs. I explained how our wrong thoughts come from many sources, such as painful memories and demonic forces creating misunderstanding, wrong perception, misinterpretation, and wild imaginations not based in reality. To learn more about the reality of the Spirit world, read: Four Realities of the Spirit World

Wrong perception and misunderstanding generated negative feelings of anger. We discussed each wrong thought, and the related unhealthy belief. It is amazing how wrong thoughts affects our emotions that then negatively feed our wrong thinking. When you recognize a wrong thought and unhealthy belief, you need to capture them by first asking God to help in your weakness to control your thoughts, then pray to loose (release) and put them off from your mind and heart. Then I led her to think positive thoughts and find things to be thankful for. She admitted she loved her mother and did not believe her mother would deliberately hurt her. She also had a wrong belief that CYS had lied to her.

We explained that her mother and Child Youth Services were not the enemy, but that demonic forces were.  We read and discussed Ephesians 6:10-12, which state, Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12) 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.” Then we read 2 Corinthians 11:3, which states, But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” My co-teacher explained how the devil wants to destroy our faith in God and to resist believing the lies and trust God to work everything out for her good and the good of her children. Many who read this post may not believe demonic forces of evil can influence us. According to the Bible, demonic forces are actively looking to devour us (see 1 Peter 5:8,9) but we must stand strong in our faith. If you have this wrong belief, please capture this thought/belief by acknowledging it and pray to loose/put off the wrong thought/belief, and then bind-in/put on the truth found in the Word of God. We need to daily submit our minds to God and resist the devil’s schemes and influence to derail our faith (see James 4:7).

Next, we read and discussed Romans 8:26-28, which state,Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27) And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 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.” (The Holy Spirit is in those who believe in Jesus Christ and received Him as their savior from eternal death and the wrath of God for sin.) I explained how the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and will intercede for us according to the will of God. And know whatever happens, when we love God, He will use it for our good to accomplish His purpose. Then we talked about how we know we love God, and we read John 14:15; 1 John 5:3; and 1 John 3:21-24. Next, we went to our theme verses in Hebrews 4:14-16, which state, 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.”  This verse is key to living a victorious life because we are weak to control sinful desires and we need the help of God.  God’s grace gives us the power to overcome our weaknesses to sin.

Then I shared my testimony of how my ex-husband promised that I would never see the children again if I left him. He tried to fulfill his promise, which created tremendous anxiety in my mind. But God came through because I trusted Him. My X even brought a psychologist to court to testify that I was not a good mother and my X should get full custody of the children. God caused the psychologist to testify on my behalf. To learn more about how God showed up for me and the many miracles I experienced read: Trust God to Keep His Promises. After sharing my testimony, the inmate could see how her thinking was wrong and how trusting God was better than being tormented by angry thoughts from the demonic forces at work to destroy her and her faith in God.

The next week she reported good news. When she talked to her mother, she realized she mis-interpreted the court papers and her mother’s intentions. She realized she was allowing her imagination to torment her, and God was for her and the devil was against her. Next, we discussed Ephesians 1:7-9, which state, In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.” Then, we discussed a few things the Bible describes as the will of God outlined in 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18. When we do the will of God, we are training our minds to think right thoughts so the demonic forces cannot torment us with negative thinking, unhealthy beliefs, and out of control emotions.  I also explained the main purpose of God for our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Lord willing, that will be my next lesson.

There is hope because God is our help in our time of need.

Related Posts:

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

POSTS on Thoughts

POSTS Related to Trusting God

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Why do I become offended?  Why don’t I consider the interests of others?  Why do I want to control what other people do or don’t do to satisfy my interests?  Why do I find it hard to do what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV)?

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  NIV – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  KJV – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  NASV – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4) Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. NIV – not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  KJV – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. NASV – do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

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

Why is it hard to value others as more important or significant than ourselves? God put His finger on the core issue of my heart. PRIDE. When someone doesn’t do or say what we want, then we get hurt or angry. Why?  According to verse 3, we may not value others as more important than ourself.   When God does not answer my prayers the way I want, I get hurt and angry.  Pride says, “What I want is more important than you or what you want.” The fact is, pride fuels every negative thought and emotion we have. To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS.

You know you are free from pride when you consistently do what the Apostle Paul exhorted the Philippians to do in Chapter 2, verses 3-4. The Apostle Paul says we are to do nothing from selfish ambition, selfishness, strife, or conceit. HELP. James tells us in Chapter 3, verses 13-18 that selfish ambition is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. YIKES. I need to repent.

James 3:13-18 state, Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness (humility, gentleness) of wisdom.

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

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

16) For where jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile (evil) practice.

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

18) And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Are you a person who is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere? Pridefulness prevents us from being wise.  We need to put off our pride if we are to have the same attitude as Christ. We are born self-centered beings, which only gets worse. So, what is the remedy? Since pride generates negative heart issue and is a sin, go through the five steps to heal your heart and purify your soul.  I have added the process for purifying sin from our soul since it was first posted. Remember, sin is doing evil by not loving and valuing others and God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.


I know I am being vulnerable when I share my prayer, but I want to be the example of how to purify your soul.  As I was asking God to show me the things I needed to  put off, I wrote them down.  This was not an easy prayer to pray and I was visably shaking because pride had such a grip on my soul.  It is through our pride that evil spirits can control our thoughts and emotions so it needs to go.  I use the name of Jesus because we are commanded to in John 14:13, 16:24 and other Scripture passages.

Lord Jesus, I confess the contributing issue to not loving others well, and not considering the interests of others, or seeing them as more significant than me is the sin of pride. I loose and put off the sin of pride out of my soul and the negative spirit attachments in Jesus’ name. Lord, forgive me for being prideful and not seeing others as more significant than myself.

Forgive me for wanting others to serve me instead of me serving others in love. I bind in your attitude of humility and servitude into my heart and mind in Jesus’ name. Lord, help me to focus on doing what pleases You and not on the negative issues of (I prayed through the various issues God brought to my mind.)

Lord, I loose and put off the unhealthy belief that my interests are more important, and people should do what I want. I bind in the spirit of humility to every cell of my body, so I can have the wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, in Jesus’ name. I loose and put off all selfish ambition from my mind and heart, in Jesus’ name. Forgive me for insisting that things are done my way and becoming ugly and say unkind things. Loose and put off the negative energy I put into my family associated with my prideful attitude and the unkind things I said, in Jesus name.

Remove the guilt from the sin of pride from my heart and mind. Lord, loose and destroy the generational sin of pride from my genetics and the genetics of my children, in Jesus’s name. I thank You, Lord, for helping me in my weakness when I focus on my needs to focus instead on You through praise, prayer and pondering the Scriptures. Thank you for cleansing me from all unrighteousness and making me a more loving person.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Wise Thoughts vs. Foolish Thoughts

Bondage to Unseen Controls

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

 

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Before you can heal the negative issues in your heart, you first must acknowledge you have them. Second, you must want to be healed. And third, you must seek God to help show you the painful memories and unhealthy beliefs that need to be healed.  If you haven’t read the previous post, please do so to understand the reason for healing your heart and purifying your soul: WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

The negative issue I want to heal is being anxious, upset, and judgmental concerning vacations to the Outer Banks. Every time I think about the Outer Banks, I am consumed with negative beliefs and thoughts. I want to be free from the consuming negative reaction every time it is mentioned.

To realize what issues in your life need healing, journal the events of your life from conception to the present.  Title each section with age titles, such as 1-2, 2-3, or a general time frame such as before elementary school.  You may need to ask relatives for the details. Even a death in the family or other tragedies, such as a job loss, affects our beliefs at a young age because we react to the strong feelings of those around us. For example, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, one of my cousins was in a car accident and his whole body was in a cast. The memory of that image left an impression on my young mind that developed into a fear that needed healing. Also, if you grew up with someone who was angry and unpredictable, you will become insecure and anxious.  Read my transformational testimony for an example: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story

Read my short book describing the research and prayer methods I used for my healing from an abusive childhood. In my book are examples and worksheets that will help you find the painful memories that need healing. Only God can heal because He only knows what is in our minds and heart. So, make sure you are rightly related to Him by believing He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. Ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart to help you overcome the sin in your life that has damaged your soul. And to heal the hurt in your heart from people’s sins against you. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

List the current issues, problem, or concerns in your life. This is not a quick process, but one that is well worth your effort. Also, look for issues that control your life, such as addictions, anger, worry, and depression.  You can take my quiz to discover childhood issues that may need healing: DISCOVER UNRESOLVED NEGATIVE HEART ISSUES QUIZ

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the contributors for each issue (problem, concern) such as the painful memory or memories of painful experiences or sin.  Painful experiences could be from a trauma, a word curse, unmet needs, betrayal, poor choices, or rejection. You may get an answer right away or you may have to wait a few days.  Be conscious of the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within your soul.  All painful memories have a negative stress energy that also needs to be removed  from our mind and body.  Sin has negative spirit attachments that needs to be removed by putting them off in Jesus’ name (see John 14:13 and 16:24.  Sin is anything you do that is not loving and valuing others and God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.  It is helpful to review the following worksheets on my website and read Chapter Five of my book for guidance:

LOVE Issues,  JOY IssuesPEACE IssuesPATIENCE Issues

KINDNESS Issues, GOODNESS Issues, TRUST AND FAITHFULNESS Issues,

MEEKNESS, HUMILITY, AND GENTLENESS Issues, SELF-CONTROL Issues

  1. Forgive those who sinned against you (see Matthew 6:14:15, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32). Do not dwell on the painful memories but be quick to forgive, though you may need to grieve a loss, which is healing.  Remember, forgiveness releases you from the emotional control of the painful memories contributing to the issue needing healed.  PRAY: “Dear Lord, I forgive (name of the person or persons) for causing the pain of __________.”   To learn more read WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
  2. Replace unhealthy beliefs with truth. Write down the lies or unhealthy beliefs the Holy Spirit reveals that are associated with the heart issue needing transformed by the truth. Next, write the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs. Look at each of the Spirit Characteristics Worksheets listed in step one to find the truth to replace the lies you are believing.
  3. Repent of sins. List the sins you committed because of your wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs and decisions related to the issue needing healed. Confess them to God and ask His forgiveness and to then take all your guilt and resentment away (see 1 John 1:9).
  4. Write a thanks to God for something He did to protect, provide for, or comfort you.

The following is my journal entry and prayers concerning the negative issues related to vacations at the Outer Banks.

The contributors to my negative Outer Banks issue are painful memories of hurricanes and being terrified by rip tides.  I became very upset when rip tides were tearing the beach up and my husband and his sister decided to walk the beach at night with the small children.  I did not go because I knew the danger but could not convince them of the danger.  My anxiety was so high, and I became very angry at how stupid they were to put themselves and the children in danger.

I PRAY: Dear Lord, I forgive my husband and sister-in-law for risking their lives and my children’s lives when they walked the beach at night while rip tides were tearing up the beach.  Loose the negative stress energy painful memory from my mind and from every cell in my body.  Forgive me for being anxious, angry, and not trusting You. I loose the wrong belief that my husband and sister-in-law are stupid and careless. I bind into my mind the truth that You were protecting my family despite the danger. I loose the unhealthy belief that my anger can control my husband’s behavior to do what I think is right. I bind in the truth that I can practice self-control over my emotions and trust God with the decisions of others. Loose this negative stress energy of the unhealthy beliefs from my mind and every cell of my body. In Jesus’ name. (There were many other unhealthy beliefs I had to loose and bind in the corresponding truth to replace the unhealthy belief.)

During another vacation the waves were so huge that when I attempted to go in the ocean, I lost my dignity and the children will never be the same.  This and many other painful experiences caused me extreme anxiety so I stopped going on those family vacations, so my husband went without me, which caused me to worry if he would never return.  I PRAY:  Lord, forgive me for not trusting you to keep my husband safe.  Loose and remove the negative energy from this unhealthy belief. In Jesus’ name.

One year my father-in-law became very ill and the family did not take him to urgent care.  I PRAY:  Lord, I forgive my husband and his family for not getting my Father-in-law to see a doctor when he became very ill.  I loose the wrong belief that they did not care about him and did not want to take the time from their vacation to take him to the doctor. Loose this negative stress energy from my mind and every cell of my body. In Jesus’ name.

My painful memories are many, and they caused me to hate everything about the Outer Banks. I PRAY: Heavenly Father, loose and remove each bad memory related to the Outer Banks and the negative stress energy from every cell of my body they created in my heart and mind. And, loose the negative feeling of hate from my heart. In Jesus’ name.  And, Lord, loose and remove the unhealthy belief that the Outer Banks is a terrible and stressful vacation, and dealing with my husband’s family is too difficult.  Loose and remove the wrong belief I must be in control and things must go my way. In Jesus’ name.  I bind into my mind the truth that there were good times and good memories of the fun things we did.  I bind in the truth that I can get along with my husband’s family through Your love and help. I bind in the truth that Your Word says I should give preference to the desires of others.  I bind in the truth that I do not have to be in control and things do not have to go my way for me to be happy.  I bind in the truth that I can serve others in love. In Jesus’ name.

I PRAY:  Lord, I confess and ask Your forgiveness when I became angry and anxious and sinned by not trusting You and praying about the things that concerned me. Forgive me for throwing anger fits when things did not go my way or when I became frustrated.  Forgive me for complaining instead of being thankful.  Forgive me for being judgmental and critical of the actions of my family.  Loose the guilt and negative stress energy my anger and anxiety created from my mind and every cell of my body. In Jesus’ name.

I PRAY: Thank you Lord for keeping my family safe during the hurricanes we vacationed in and protecting my family from drowning in rip tides. Thank you for the good times we had and help me focus on the positive things I experienced while on vacation at the Outer Banks. In Jesus’ name.

Now when I think about vacations at the Outer Banks, I do not have any negative feelings.


Examine your family history, if you see the same pattern of negative issues, then assume the issue is generational. Ask God to then loose and remove genetics and DNA markers for that issue from every cell in your body. Ask God if the issue is a curse that has past down to you, if so, ask Him to break the curse from your life and the lives of your children, in Jesus’ name.

Next, ask God to show you if you have a stronghold protecting your painful memories and unhealthy beliefs. You may use the stronghold combinations I have identified in Chapter Three of my short book—though your memories, offenses, and unhealthy beliefs may differ from the ones I have identified.  3–Breaking Free From Mental Strongholds

I am praying for you as you take this journey of healing.

Bondage to Unseen Controls

What are the unseen controls that keep us in bondage?  Do you feel hopeless to overcome the things that seem to control your decisions?   For me, I felt hopeless to control my reaction of anger and anxiety.  I also felt hopeless to control my sugar addiction.  As I work with incarcerated girls at the county jail, they tell me of their hopelessness to control their bondage to drugs and alcohol.   There are many unseen controls influencing us, such as our painful memories from offenses and demonic activity influencing our thought life.

We have a choice to submit our thought life to God or to the devil.  My series of posts on Psalm 91 contain helpful information on how to overcome the bondage and unseen control of the demonic activity around us.  I will be honest; this topic can sound scary.  The reason the unseen demonic world is scary is because we lack understanding.  Our lack of understanding causes us to feel helpless and hopeless to control what happens.  My posts on Psalm 91, explain how to overcome the unseen control of demons and not be afraid:  Psalm 91 posts.

There are two extremes people take concerning Satan and demons. One extreme is to ignore the fact that the unseen demonic world (see Ephesians 6:12) can tempt and influence us.  The other extreme is the Christian who has a fearful preoccupation or fascination with Satan and his unseen kingdom of darkness. The writer, C. S. Lewis, also said there are two wrong extremes, which are to deny the existence of evil spirits or to see them everywhere.  To understand the spirit world better, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is the authority on the  unseen demonic world.  Ephesians 6:10-15 tell us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that the devil is the ruler of this world.  It is in our best interest to understand how the demon’s work in our lives. When I share this  reality with the precious ladies in my county jail Bible study, they are fill with hope that they can be free from the bondage they are in.

I am now editing a book describing the schemes the unseen demonic world uses to put thoughts in our minds to cause relational damage with God and with others.  I hope to publish it soon. I am researching publishing options.  If anyone has any advice for me, please share.

The second source of unseen control in our lives is from our past experiences.  I have overcome many unseen controls in my life, especially strongholds, and I share my message of hope in the book on my website.  My book explains a successful method to overcome the bondage of the unseen control from our painful memories.  Painful memories are created when we take offense to someone’s perceived or actual wrong actions toward us.  I explain the effects of painful memories in my book and how to heal them.  I give this book to the precious ladies I meet at the county jail, and I have seen marvelous results. To learn more about how offenses destroy us and our relationships and how to overcome them, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.  I invite you to read my short book of hope starting here: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

 

Wise Thoughts vs. Foolish Thoughts

Do you know anyone who is wise? How do they think? What are wise thoughts? What are foolish thoughts?

The Bible answers all these questions in Proverbs:

The thoughts of a wise person:
a) fear the Lord and shun evil (3:7, 14:16);
b) receive instruction and listen to counsel (9:9, 12:15);
c) overlook an insult and conceal dishonor (12:16);
d) seeks to understand (14:8);
e) are discerning and gracious (15:31);
f) seeks knowledge (18:15);
g) turns away from anger (29:8).

The thoughts of a foolish person:
a) right in their own eyes (11:30);
b) shows annoyance at once (12:16);
c) lashes out in pride (14:3);
d) is deceptive (14:8);
e) arrogant and careless (14:16);
f) does not want to understand but reveal their own mind (18:2);
g) quick to quarrel (20:3);
h) trust in themselves (28:26);
i) loses temper (29:11).

Everyone has foolish thoughts from time to time.  God spoke through King Solomon to write the Proverbs.  It appears that a fool has pride issues.  So, if you have foolish thoughts, ask God to show you the pride in your heart. To know more about pride, read my post called, HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

James 4:13-18 explains two kinds of wisdom, which do you have?

Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let him show it by his
good (
right, helpful, self-sacrifice)
conduct (
behavior, conversation) and works (deeds)
done in the meekness (
gentleness, humility) of wisdom. (4:13)

>> What are examples of behaviors and deeds that appear to be wise? 

>> Would your family members or co-workers say you are wise and understanding based on your behavior and deeds?


But if you have
bitter jealousy (envy-desire to enrich yourself) and
selfish ambition (strife, contention)
in your hearts, do not boast (be arrogant) and lie against (deny) the truth. (4:14)

Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly (worldly), unspiritual (sensual, beastly, natural), of the devil (demonic). (4:15)

For where jealousy (envy) and selfish ambition (contention, strife) exist,
there will be disorder (confusion) and
every vile practice (evil work, foul deed). (4:16)


But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable (peace-loving), gentle (considerate),
open to reason (submissive, easy to intreat, yielding),
full of mercy and good fruits,
impartial (without partiality, unwavering) and
sincere (without hypocrisy). (4:17)

And a harvest (the fruit) of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (4:18)

>> Do you think of how to spread peace as a wise person or do you sow strife as a fool?

>> How do you sow peace?  Who do you need to sow peace with?

If you have the thoughts and actions of a foolish person, then ask God to show you why, because God knows the source of your thoughts. In my experience, painful memories and the offenses they create caused me to be foolish in my thinking and actions. Only as I was healed of subconscious offenses did I begin to be wise in my thinking and behavior. Read my short book on this website of my research and experience on how to heal subconscious painful memories and offenses.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

The reason I encourage you to seek God to show you the hidden issues of your heart is because He knows everything about you as explained in Psalms 139:1-4.

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue, you,
Lord, know it completely.

If you struggle with having peaceful thoughts, please read the following posts:

PEACE—A Parenting and Marital Goal

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

??  What were Eve’s mistakes? 

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

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

??  How do our thoughts dictate our actions?

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

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