11—God Promises to Give You Peace and Rest

Would you agree that we live in a world full of chaos and hate? Does the world news make you anxious? Do you feel stressed by the pressures of life? If so, God promises to give you rest and peace.  Imagine that you are lying in a hammock under a shady tree, relaxing by a pool or lake somewhere, or sitting on a porch swing reading a captivating book. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? God promises to give you everlasting rest and peace that rivals the ultimate relaxation situation.

What do you need rest from?

We need rest from carrying our worries and responsibilities. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When our eyes are on Jesus, and we pray about everything, we will stop striving and feeling weighed down by the world’s concerns. 1Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  King David said in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” So when you pray and give your cares to God, He promises to sustain you, and you won’t be moved, that is, to be provoked. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1Peter 3:12, “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.” Doing evil is disobeying God.

We also need to enter God’s eternal rest. Hebrews 4:1, 6, 11 explains, “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” 6) “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience.” 11) “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” These verses encourage us to strive to obey God, so we don’t lose our eternal rest. In my last post, I explained how God promises to rescue us from His wrath when we obey Him and do what is right.  Hebrews 4:1 says we are to “fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it [His rest].” This type of fear is forsaking evil and not giving in to our sinful nature and lustful desires but turning to God and obeying His commands.

How do you achieve peace in a world full of troubles and chaos?

I found that peace resides in my heart when I look to Jesus and give Him my concerns. My favorite go-to Scripture verse is Isaiah 26:3,You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I wrote a series of posts about trust because trust is so hard to do, and we become disappointed when our expectations are shattered. Understanding God’s promises help us trust Him. 2Corinthians 1:20 states, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” God keeps His promises because it brings Him glory.

Troubles Are Inevitable, but Peace Is a Choice We Make

Jesus said in John 16:33,I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus has overcome the world, but how do we overcome the world?  1John 5:4 explains, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Because we have faith that God keeps His promises, we don’t have to carry the cares and troubles of the world. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:7-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you don’t give God the issues that cause you anxiety and worry, then you choose not to have peace.

When We Obey God, We Will Have Peace

I don’t know about you, but I feel miserable and guilty when I sin. I have no peace when I say or do something that hurts another person. But when I repent and ask forgiveness, I also must ask God to take my guilt to feel peace again. Proverbs 3:1-2 tells us, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.” And Isaiah 57:21 states, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Wicked people do not have peace, which is why our world has so much chaos and hate.

Conclusion

I hope you have been blessed by this post, and I pray you will have peace and rest during these troubling times. Keep your focus on the things of God and not on the issues of our world. There is nothing that escapes God’s notice. 2Chronicals 16:9 tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him [completely His].” God keeps His promises; you can trust Him.

RELATED POSTS

POSTS about God’s Promises


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.

10—God Promises to Deliver Us from Wrath

How can a God who is love also deal out wrath? Will I incur the wrath of God? What is the wrath of God? The Bible says in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” We only need to fear the wrath of God if we continue to live ungodly, disobedient, and unrighteous lives. Also, John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” So when we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we will be saved and have eternal life, but we also have to obey. God’s grace saves us from the His wrath, but our obedience sanctifies us and makes us holy, which is the only way we can be present with God.

God is also holy and does not sin. Our sin (evil, disobedience, ungodliness, and unrighteousness) separates us from God, and the punishment for sin is eternal separation. Not everyone goes to heaven to spend eternity with God, not even those who call themselves Christian because they live an ungodly lifestyle. 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.”  Read my post on this topic; Are You a Sheep or a Goat? For this reason, I believe that over half the church will miss the rapture and have to go through the wrath of God during the tribulation.

What incites the wrath of God?

The Bible clearly shows us the things that incite the wrath of God. The Apostle Paul tells us that our sinful, hard heart stores up the wrath of God.

Romans 2:5 states, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Ask God to show you if you have a hard heart? Is your heart fully submitted to God and obedient to His Word? Romans 13:5 states, “Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”

Ezra 8:2b states, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” Are you seeking God through prayer and reading your Bible? Or do you forsake God to follow your fleshly desires and worldly allurements?

Ephesians 5:5-6 explains, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Ask God to examine your heart; are you sexually immoral or impure? Are you coveting things others have? Do you seek to please your sinful flesh and not please God?

Colossians 3:5-6 also explains, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” Again, go to God in prayer and ask Him to show you any sexual sins (lustful thoughts, etc.), immorality (dishonesty; harmful intentions, etc.) of any kind, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness or idolatry. I wrote a series of posts on idolatry.

The good news is that Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby and suffered every temptation known to man. He did not sin and died to take our punishment and God’s wrath for sin. Hebrews 2:17-18 states, “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

God Promises to Save Us from His Wrath

Meditate on each passage and seek understanding. Let these verses go deep into your heart and let them replace wrong beliefs. Deliberately read each word out loud.

1Thesselonians 5:9 tells us, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:9 states, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Romans 6:22-23But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification [set apart as holy] and its end, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God Promises to Forgive Us Our Sins So We Don’t Incur His Wrath.

2Chronicles 7:14 explains, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

1John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Act 10:43 states, “To him [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Psalm 103:10-12He [God] does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

Matthew 6:14-15For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Forgiving others who sin against you is done out of obedience to God. So if you do not forgive others who did you wrong, then God can’t forgive you because you sinned against Him. See my post called WHY MUST YOU FORGIVE.

Conclusion:

John 8:31-32 tells us, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” If you are not reading your Bible and going to church, you are not abiding in Jesus Christ, and you will not know the truth. The Bible is our guidebook for this life so that we can enter into eternal life with God. The wrath of God is on those who are disobedient. We will always struggle with our sinful nature, but the Spirit of God has given us a new life through believing in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, which we learned in the last post.

I pray that this series on the promises of God has been helpful and comforting to you. Leave a comment if you have anything additional you would like to add. I try to keep my word count low out of respect for your time, so much more can be said about this topic.

May God’s grace and mercy be with you always.

Joyce

RELATED POSTS

Posts about God’s Promises

Posts About Godliness


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.

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

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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.

1—God’s Promises – Introduction

Are you concerned, maybe worried, about what is happening in America and around the world? Do you wonder how God will work out His will for your life? I have been pondering God’s promises, which have given me peace. If you don’t know His promises, how can you claim them?

Never forget that God keeps His promises. 2Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Also, Romans 4:20-21 states, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” God may not do what you want or how you want, but He always has your best interest in mind because only He knows your future. King David says in Psalm 139:16-18. “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”

Most of God’s promises are conditional, for example, Jeremiah 7:23 states, “But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’” When we obey God and walk in His ways, then He will abide with us that it may be well with us.

God’s promises are for everyone. Acts 2:39 states, “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” I have gathered many promises from the Bible, and I am sure there are many more. In future posts, I will share the scripture promises and applications for each of the following categories.

― God promises eternal life and salvation:

― God promises to help you

― God promises to prosper us

― God promises to be our protection/shield/stronghold

― God promises to provide for us

― God promises to reward us

― God is our Refuge

― God promises peace

― God promises us grace and mercy

― God promises to give us wisdom

― We will not be separated from God’s Love

― God promises to give us strength

― God promises to give you rest

― God promises to fight for you

― God promises to forgive our sins when we confess them and forgive others their sins

― God promises to never leave or forsake us

― God promises to deliver us from our troubles

― God promises to give you the desires of your heart

― God promises to lead us

― God promises to answer prayer

― God promises to heal you

God never lies. Titus 1:2 states, “In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.” And Hebrews 10:36 states. “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Matthew 7:21 elaborates, “Not 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.” John 6:40  explains what the Father’s will is, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him [you and me] up on the last day.”

Here are a few more fantastic promises, note the condition is to believe. When we believe with our heart we will be saved. Romans 10:9 explains, “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. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” So many people only believe with their mind, or they say the apostle’s creed, but don’t believe with their heart. Here is how you know. Does the promise of eternal life make you happy and do the following verses make you excited or are they just Bible verses you memorize at one time? John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” In verse 36, we are encouraged to not only believe but obey as well.

If you believe with your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, then God abides in you and all  His promises are for you? 1John 4:13-15 tells us, “By this we know that we abide in him [God] and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” How wonderful is that, that the God who created the Universe dwells in us when we believe. Ephesians 3:17a states, “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, which is believing.”

When will we receive the promise of eternal life? 2Peter 3:9 explains, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Repentance is acknowledging your sins and seeking God’s forgiveness (1John 1:9). Sins are anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s commands, namely, to love Him and to love each other (Luke 10:27). The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 1Timothy 2:4,Who [God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Also, John explains in 1John 2:25, “And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.” 2Corinthians 5:1 says, “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 1John 5:11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Ponder the following scriptures and how sin separates us from God and keeps us from receiving eternal life. Romans 5:21So that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Galatians 6:8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” We sow to the spirit by meditating on God’s word, which is keeping our minds on the things above (Colossians 3:1-3). God never lies, but the devil is a liar (John 8:44) and he will deceive you just enough to create unhealthy beliefs about God’s promises, so you don’t trust God. Satan wants us to remain in his oppressive control. Satan does not want you to spend eternity with God and will do everything to keep you from obeying and doing God’s will.

Conclusion

God keeps his promises, but for us to experience His promises we need to meet the conditions first. His promises are many and for everyone. Today, we looked at God’s promise of salvation and eternal life. The conditions were (1) to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died and was raised again (1Cor. 15:1-6). (2) Believe with your heart and confess with your mouth what you believe. (3) Obey and do the will of the Father. (4) Die to our sinful nature and be righteous. (5) Humbly confess your sins and receive the free gift of God. (6) Sow to the Spirit.


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 on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

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. 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.

Why Go to Church?

Do you or do you know someone who believes a Christian does not need to go to church? Christians have many reasons why they don’t go to church. Over the next several blog posts, I want to explore what the Bible says about the church. In this post, I identify the benefits of being a part of a church. I understand that the church is made of imperfect people who hopefully strive to become more like Christ, so don’t expect to find a perfect church. The pastor won’t be perfect either, so why go to church? Just as people can be messy, so can a church.

Why We Need the Church

I have discovered that many people wrongly believe that they don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. That is true. If you are a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, you will still be a Christian and go to heaven. But God created us to be a community of believers. A community looks out for each other and helps those in need. Titus 3:14 states, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

For example, one of our homeschooling mothers with six children was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her youngest was five years old. Our church family supported her and helped the family by taking turns driving her for treatments, making her family meals, and watching the children during her treatments. The type of cancer could not be treated with chemotherapy, so she was allowed to try alternative therapies that were not paid for by her insurance. The church family helped pay for the treatments. The men of the church cut and split wood for the family to heat their home for the winter. At Christmas time, the church showered her children with gifts.

If you stayed home instead of supporting the local church and helping the members in need, then who would be there for you and help you in your time of need? How will you be encouraged to love and do good deeds if you don’t go to church? Hebrews 10:23-25 states, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” If we neglect attending church, we are disobeying God, and therefore, are in sin. I understand that the elderly and infirmed may not be able to get to church, so hopefully, the members of their church will be visiting them to encourage them in their faith and show love by helping them.

The Church is Necessary to Help Us Persevere in Our Faith

Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” I know you can do online church or listen to radio preachers, but being in the house of God and corporately worshiping with others encourages your faith in God. When the children of Israel left Egypt, God required them to build a meeting place where the whole congregation could hear from God through Moses. A congregation is an assembly of persons brought together for common religious worship.

Psalm 107:32 states, “Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” Also, Psalm 111:1 states, “Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”  And Hebrews 2:12  states, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation, I will sing your praise.” The Bible is clear that we are to meet together to praise God. Psalm 86:9 states, “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” If you don’t want to worship with the believers on earth, then why would you want to worship with them in heaven?

The Corporate Worship Protects You from Deception

Deuteronomy 11:16 states, “Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” You risk losing your faith and being deceived when you don’t go to church because you become vulnerable to demonic attacks. We were created to worship God and to believe in Him, so if we stop worshiping God, then we will be drawn to worship idols. You are deceived if you don’t think this can happen to you because it happened to the Israelites time and again throughout the Old Testament, and they suffered greatly.

Have you ever sat around a campfire? If you move a burning log away from a fire, it quickly cools and stops burning. If you noticed that when someone stops going to church, their faith will cool? We will be easy prey for the enemy when we are isolated. 1Peter 5:8-9a states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith.” You can only be firm in your faith when you stay close to other believers with a strong faith. Have you watched an African Nature show? A herd of animals can protect themselves from predators, but if one of the animals gets separated, they are taken down and eaten. We need to stay watchful. The church is there to encourage us to stay under God’s protection.

Conclusion

My heart is very heavy as I write this post because I know many people who were strong in their faith but are no longer walking with God because they left the encouragement and protection of the church. If you don’t like the church you attend or attended, then find another Bible-teaching church. I have changed churches many times, depending on my stage of life. For example, my mother and father grew up Lutheran, so I began my life as a Lutheran. My mother and father came to know Jesus as their savior, so we attended a Brethren Church for a while. Then my mother and father got baptized by the Holy Spirit, and we went to a Pentecostal church for a while. My parents divorced, and we returned to the Lutheran church in my teen years. In college, my friend took me to her Pentecostal church. When I got married, we attended a Christian Missionary Alliance church. When I married my second husband, he wanted to attend the local Wesleyan Church. The point is, find a church that teaches the Bible and don’t expect it to be perfect or to meet your expectations.


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.

How to Convert Pridefulness to Gentleness and Humility

You might think you have the right to be prideful because of your position in life, accomplishments, or status in the community. None of those situations are bad, nor does it mean you have arrogant, self-centered pride. Being proud of your accomplishments is different than thinking you’re better than someone else. I have to admit that I struggle with pride because I slip into thinking more highly of myself than I ought to. Most pride issues come from unhealthy beliefs that need to be uncovered and transformed by truth.

How often have you heard people make excuses for their bad behavior and accept it as part of who they are? So why is self-centered pridefulness a bad thing? The Spirit of pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin, apologizing, and repenting. I have written several posts on this subject, to learn more please read the posts listed below:

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

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. Our choices determine how healthy our relationships will be. 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. So why should we deal with pridefulness, and how does it block a gentle and meek attitude?

Where Does the Prideful Belief Come From?

The primary source of sinful pride is the devil. Self-centered, unhealthy beliefs are based on wrong assumptions and perceptions put into our minds by the demonic spirits all around us. Remember, we are spirit beings in a physical body living in a physical world controlled by the spirit world. You can read more about that in my post called: Four Realities of the Spirit World, also see the link below by Dr. David Jeremiah. If you are not submitted to God and are not resisting the devil, he will put the thoughts into your mind that you deserve better treatment than that, and so on.

Satan (angel named Lucifer, meaning “morning star”) sinned because of his pride by wanting to set his throne above God’s throne and was thrown down to earth (Isaiah 14:13-15 and Rev. 12:7-9). He causes us to sin through the same prideful attitude. Pride is thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to think (Romans 12:3), which also encourages us to think with sober (sound) judgment, that is, with a humble attitude. You know you have a spirit of pride when you are self-centered and insist on getting what you want at the expense of others. And, you know you are prideful when you become offended and get a bad attitude toward someone for what they said/did not say or did/not did something you felt was unfair.

How do you know if you are humble?

God’s word defines a humble person as follows:

1. Someone who fears God (Prov. 15:33; 22:4).

2. A person who bears with others and is kind, patient, and forgiving (Eph 4:2 & 32).

3. When we count others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

4. If you have wisdom that is pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17; Proverbs 11:2).

5. Someone who has acknowledged they are a sinner and repents (Psalm 149:4).

6. A person with a contrite (repentant) heart who trembles at God’s Words (Isaiah 66:2).

7. A humble person is not judgmental but gives grace (Eph 4:29).

What Is the Truth That Transforms this Unhealthy Belief?

The truth is that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1Pet 5:5 and James 4:6).” 1Peter 5:6-7 states, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Give God all the worries that cause you to be anxious, and trust God to take care of all your concerns. When you worry, you exalt yourself above God because you do not trust Him to take care of your affairs. When you humbly give God all your concerns, He promises to exalt you at the proper time.

James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When we submit to God, we are humbling ourselves and acknowledging our sin and need for His power and strength. But we are also to resist the devil and his temptations toward selfish ambition and pride. James 3:14-16 states, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to [deny] 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 [evil] practice.” First, humbly ask God to show you if this verse applies to your life. Secondly, if you see selfishness, acknowledge that you have an unhealthy pride that leads to selfish ambition and ask for God’s forgiveness. Thirdly, ask God to remove it and to give you a humble spirit.

How To Change Unhealthy Beliefs

1. Before you can transform unhealthy beliefs, listen to what you are saying and pay attention to your thoughts because they come from unhealthy beliefs.

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

3. Ask God to show you if there is a painful memory contributing to your pridefulness. Satan takes every opportunity to inject pride into our minds.

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 wrong thinking that God showed me and replaced it with scripture truths similar to the following:

Humility realizes that everything I have, including my abilities, is a gift from God. Deut. 8:17-18

I do not think of myself more highly than others, but in humility, I will regard others as more important than myself. Rom. 12:3; Phil. 2:3

God lifts up the humble in due time, so I will cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me. 1 Pet. 5:6-7; James 4:10

I am humbled when I see my need for God and trust He will guide me in what is right for all His ways are loving and faithful.  Ps. 25:9-10

When I am humble, then I will be honored. Prov.15:33b

RELATED POSTS

1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE


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 5: HOW TO ANNIHILATE UNSEEN ATTACKS

Whether you are an Atheist or a Christian, everyone is in a spiritual war with the devil and demons (evil spirits) if you know it or not (Revelations 12:9 and John 10:10). We are spirit beings in a physical body, living in a spiritual world within God’s physical creation (Colossians 1:15-16). 1Corinthians 2:11 states, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except for the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” You receive the Holy Spirit of God the moment you believe with your heart that Jesus is the Lord and the Son of God and confess He has risen from the dead and is in heaven (Rom. 10:8-10, Col. 3:1). Then you become one spirit with God (1Cor. 6:17). Now the Holy Spirit helps you comprehend the thoughts of God and enables you to fight the unseen spiritual battles to live a victorious life.

Every day we need to prepare for a spiritual war with evil spirits that attack our mind and body. Ephesians 6:12 states, “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.” The demons (evil spirits) want to deceive us and tempt us to sin so that we remain under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3). Prepare for spiritual warfare every day by:

  • praying and praising (Phil. 4:4-7 and Heb. 13:15)
  • pondering Scriptural truths (Ps. 119:15 and 48)
  • putting on the armor of God every day to stand firm against the schemes of the devil
  • being alert and standing firm in your faith as you rely on God’s strength (Eph. 6:10-18).

In the previous posts:

  1. You discover the source of truth and how to discern the truth by putting on the belt of truth. And why it keeps you spiritually stable and not double-minded.
  2. Then you learn why the breastplate of righteousness protects your spiritual life and how a reverent fear of God will keep you safe.
  3. Next, you learn how to live in peace with God and humanity by strapping on the gospel of peace to your feet, so where ever you go, you do not slip and fall when offended.
  4. And you discover why the helmet of salvation protects your mind and how to take every deceiving and tempting thought captive.

This post describes the sword of the Spirit and how, why, and when you use it. Learning to use the sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare is essential if you want to be victorious over unseen spiritual battles. The objective of demonic forces is to keep you doubting and insecure in your relationship with God.

What is the sword of the Spirit?

In the spiritual realm, the “sword of the Spirit” is Scriptural truth. You can also see it as the Holy Spirit’s sword. Only the Holy Spirit sees how the unseen evil spirits are attacking. Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” The Holy Spirit will bring to your mind the scriptural truths you memorized and stored in your belt of truth. 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that God breathed out all Scripture, so God’s Word is powerful when we speak it out against temptations and deceptions of the enemy.

Why do I need the sword of the Spirit?

We face temptations to worry, be frustrated, be impatient, judge others, doubt, be depressed, be fearful, and so on. The sword is both a defensive and offensive weapon in the list of God’s spiritual armor. All other pieces of armor are protective. We are told in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Where do your thoughts and intentions come from, God’s truth or the devil’s deceptions? God’s Word is powerful through the Holy Spirit to discern and annihilate every attack of the enemy on your mind and heart.

For instance, Jesus knew the Scriptures and rebuked Satan’s temptations immediately (Matthew 4:1-10). Therefore, you must read your Bible daily and memorize the truths to be victorious over the many unseen battles. Just as Jesus’s spoken word had power over the devil, so our words have power when we speak scripture to defeat unseen demonic attacks exposed by the Holy Spirit. But, if you don’t know the truth, you will suffer many oppressive blows from the unseen enemy, and he will spiritually and emotionally cripple you. Have doubt and discouragement ever crippled you? It has crippled me. What are some unseen battles you face or have seen other people face? We need to know the truths of the Bible not only for ourselves but to encourage others when they are facing unseen battles.

Four ways to use the “sword of the Spirit” to defeat the enemy?

If you ever watched a Gladiator movie or documentary? The Gladiator’s sword was secured by the Gladiator’s belt and was always by their side. They even slept with their swords. The sword is for close contact fighting, which means you are fighting for your life. To be good at using your spiritual sword, do the following four actions.

1. Read the Word of God to expose the unseen battle with lies and temptations.

The Holy Spirit uses Scriptural truths to reveal the lies and temptations the devil puts into your mind that cause strife and confusion. For example, when I read Romans 12:10 to, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” The New International Version says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” The Holy Spirit exposed the unseen battle of sin in my heart to dishonor my husband by speaking disrespectfully and not valuing him above myself. So, I confessed my sin to God and my husband, then ask each to forgive me (1John 1:9 and James 5:16). Then I prayed and put off the dishonoring spirit that gained access to my heart and put on the truth that I am to be honoring and loving in what I say and do. I used the sword of the Spirit to defeat the unseen spirit that gained access to an unsubmitted area of my mind.

Joshua was a great fighter in the Old Testament. He said in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” So why should you meditate on God’s instructions and promises? How often must you meditate on God’s Word? You can increase your knowledge of the truth by listening to the Bible on your cell phone, CD player, iPod, or MP3 player while doing things, like cleaning the house, washing/drying the dishes, driving, cutting the grass, and so on.

Just like the Gladiators had their swords by their side day and night, so we need to keep the Word of God on our minds day and night to be ready for unseen ambushes. The sword is useless if you don’t have it with you or know how to use it.

2. Use the sword of the Spirit to eradicate your fleshly, sinful desires.

James 1:21 states, “Therefore put away [loose, untie] all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness [humility] the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Filthiness is indecent, immoral corruption, or obscenity. Something rampant is spreading unchecked, such as widespread wickedness. Wickedness is having an evil, depraved moral character. To put wickedness away from you, you must also put off the spirit of pride because pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin and repenting. Repentance is to put your sinful longings away and train yourself to be godly and do what is right (1Tim.4:7-8 and Col. 3:5-10). Then you can receive the “implanted word” of life and truth, the Holy Spirit of Jesus, into your heart, which will save you.

Each time you read the Bible, ask God to expose known and unknown sins controlling your thoughts. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture (the sword) to correct the wrong thinking from lies the devil has used to cause you to act in unloving ways. Then keep your mind on the things of the Spirit so you can put to death the sinful deeds of the body, which begin as a wrong thought (Romans 8:13). To learn more, read my post called “Are you in control of your life?” and “Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).”

3. Memorize Scripture to increase the size of your sword.

Do you want to fight with a pocket knife, a skinning knife, a dagger, or a sharp sword? The more you memorize Scripture, the bigger and sharper your weapon will be. Practicing using the truth is essential to be ready for any spiritual attack. A dull sword is ineffective. So constant Scripture memorization is a discipline that should be a daily habit if we are to keep our sword sharp. You can write a Scripture verse or verses on a 3×5 card that you put in your pocket or purse. Pull out the 3×5 card while waiting for the light to change, walking somewhere, waiting in line, doing the dishes, folding laundry, exercising, etc. I copy and paste Scripture passages from Biblegateway.com and attach the verses to cardboard, and put it on my elliptical to memorize Scripture passages as I work out. When I walk for exercise, I memorize Scripture. I pray the scripture using my Scripture prayer book. Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers.

4. To be good at using your sword, practice with it.

Just like practicing a sport or art makes you proficient. Practicing God’s commands (instructions) makes you skilled in using the truth of His Word. The more biblical truth you know, the more effective you are at using the sword of the Spirit to defeat the enemy with the help of the Holy Spirit. James 1:22-25 explains, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” Be honest, how many times do you read the Bible, then later can’t remember what you read? But do you remember the Scripture verses you applied to your life to transform your thinking? My husband journals the Bible and says that it has helped him store the truth in his heart.

How to use God’s Word to slay the lies and temptations of the enemy.

When you have the truth of God’s Word stashed in your “belt of truth,” you can pull it out whenever you are in close combat with the enemy. For example, you need healing, but the devil tells you that God doesn’t heal or won’t answer your prayers. Quick, use your sword of the Spirit to slay doubts. Remind the enemy of your soul of the truth and recount all the times Jesus healed and answered prayers. The demons may come at you with an accusation like you don’t have enough faith. Slay that accusation and speak the truth that you only need faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains. The demons may come back again with condemnation and accuse you of sin, and God won’t hear your prayers. Slay the curse and remind the devil that you are forgiven, and God does not hold your sin against you. He comes back and tempts you to be depressed, worried, or discouraged. Strike your enemy with the truth that God is faithful and say, I can hope in Him. He is going to use my suffering for good because I love Him.

Conclusion

Spiritual battles play out millions of times and in thousands of ways. The only way to be victorious is to put on God’s armor, stand firm in the strength of the Lord, and fight the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture.

Daily pray: I take up the sword of the Spirit (Scriptural truths) and rely on the Holy Spirit to strike down every temptation to yield to my pride and deceitful, sinful desires. I will discipline my mind to memorize Bible verses and practice them. Through prayer, I surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control and guidance over my thoughts. (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 8:5-8; Mat. 4:1-10; John 16:13-14.)


RELATED POSTS:

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Mission Statement for my life and how I will accomplish it.

What is Wrong with Fairness?


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 4: How to Protect Your Mind

Who or what is directing your thoughts? How do you make decisions? Spiritual warfare is fighting the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture. Only the Holy Spirit can see the unseen spirit world around us. The Holy Spirit is the helmet of salvation that protects our minds. Suppose we don’t take the helmet of salvation and put it on. In that case, we will be susceptible to every deception and temptation designed to destroy us. Temptations are made to look good but are deceitful, and they all begin as thoughts.

I said in the post called “What Happens If You Don’t Put On The Whole Armor?” that I thought Christian leaders fell into sin because they did not have on the “breastplate of righteousness.” After developing today’s post, I also believe they failed to put on their helmet of salvation. Not only did they not fear God and turn from evil, but they also did not rely on the Holy Spirit to discipline their minds. We, too, can be captured by sinful desires. Therefore, putting on all the spiritual armor of God has to be done every day because the unseen demonic world works 24/7. These evil entities seek to devastate your relationship with God and each other. We need the Holy Spirit to help us recognize thoughts of temptation and deception. He also convicts us of sin, so we can repent and restore peace with God and each other again. Ponder the following Scriptures:

If the Spirit of him 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. – Romans 8:11

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. – Romans 8:5

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

How do you know you have on the helmet of salvation?

Suppose you believe the truth and rely on Jesus to be righteous, but you don’t renew your mind and instead continue to live a worldly life. In that case, evil spirits will maintain control of your mind and tempt you to doubt your salvation. Worldly living keeps you from bearing the fruit of the Spirit because you are not abiding in the words and life of Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8). In his book The Weapons of Your Warfare, Larry Lea suggested you may not have salvation if you are not excited about it.1 Read over the following facts, and if they don’t make you happy and grateful, you need to evaluate if you have believed from your heart and have the Holy Spirit as your helmet. So are you:

  • Thankful that the blood of Jesus has redeemed you from destruction and the power of Satan.
  • Excited that Jesus, the perfect sacrificial lamb, rescued you from the wrath of God and forgave your sins.
  • Joyful that Jesus freed you from sin’s control that leads to death, and now you experience peace and abundant life.
  • Grateful that Jesus is preparing a place for you in Heaven so you can spend eternity with Him.
  • Thrilled that Jesus rose from the dead and sits next to God the Father interceding for you.
  • And so on.

When we receive forgiveness and redemption through Christ Jesus, the helmet of salvation helps us work out our salvation by daily renewing our minds with truth from God’s Word (Philippians 2:12, Ephesians 4:23, and Romans 12:2). 2Corinthians 4:16 states, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” You renew your mind by putting off resentments, false beliefs, and sinful desires, then putting on the truth and your new self. What does your new self look like?

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

Colossians 3:10 states, “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

In his book Dressed to Kill, Rick Renner said, “The devil’s entrance into the life of a believer is allowed primarily through that believer’s negligence. He slips in through an uncommitted, unrenewed area of the mind.2” When you renew your mind with truth from God’s Word, Satan can no longer influence your mind in that area.

With the “helmet of salvation” on, you can do the following:

You walk by the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit. With the helmet of salvation on, the Holy Spirit can guide your thoughts that support spiritual life and peace. Romans 8:6 states, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When we walk by the Spirit, we will display the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

You can grow in your knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:5 says we find the knowledge of God when we fear Him. You reverently fear Him, and want to please Him. So you abide in His Word and practice your faith by keeping His commandments and doing good to others. Hosea 6:6 states, “For I [God] desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” And 1Corinthians 15:34 (KJV) states, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

We can take every thought captive to obey Christ. We must take every thought captive that goes against the knowledge of God. 2Corinthians 10:5 states, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Having on the helmet of salvation helps you capture arguments and lofty opinions the devil plants in your mind.

The Holy Spirit’s power will help you can submit to God and resist the devil. If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, the ungodly thoughts will lure you into sin. When your thoughts are not submitted to God, you are not resisting the devil. Romans 8:7 states, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” With the helmet of salvation, you have the Holy Spirit’s divine power to take ungodly thoughts captive and submit your mind to God and be godly as you think His thoughts. See James 4:7-8. 1Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths [lies]. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Put on your helmet of salvation to safeguard your mind.

You have authority through Jesus Christ over ungodly thoughts. You have divine power through the Holy Spirit to not give in to sinful-fleshly desires but to live by the Spirit. Romans 8:13–14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.” And 1Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

As a believer, you are a child of God, and you have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16b). So, because you have the mind of Christ, you can submit to the Holy Spirit and allow the fruit of the Spirit to control your life (Galatians 5:22-25). If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, they will lure you into sin.

When I submit my concerns and conflicts to God, I can take offending thoughts captive, forgive, and not let the offense produce the fleshly desire to be angry and unkind. When I yield to the Spirit’s control and forgive offenses, I can be humble and patient. For example, someone was throwing trash in my yard when they drove past. Not just a little garbage, a lot. I suspected who it was through the process of elimination. I became offended, and I wanted to get them in trouble. Wait a minute, capture wrong thoughts. In prayer, I took my upsetting thoughts captive and put them off, and then I gave my frustration to God. The day I submitted my frustration to the Lord about the trash, someone had cleaned up the garbage in my yard when I was at work, and no one threw trash in my yard after that.

Conclusion

Daily pray: I put on the helmet of salvation and take every ungodly thought, offense, and unholy desire captive and make it submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ and His authority to overcome every obstacle to my faith in Jesus, my Savior. I will forgive offenses quickly so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in my mind to produce the fleshly desire to be angry, impatient, and unkind. I will renew my mind with the truth in God’s Word daily. (2Cor. 10:3-5; 1Cor. 2:16b; Col. 2:9-10; Matt. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:26-27; Jam. 1:14-15.)


1. Lea, Larry. 1989. The Weapons of Your Warfare. Lake Mary, FL. Creation House.

2. Renner, Rick. 2007. Dressed to Kill. Tulsa: Teach the Nations.

RELATED POSTS:

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How The Spirit Gives Life.

Are you in control of your life?

Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

Four Realities of the Spirit World

POSTS on Thoughts



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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace and peace to you.

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

UNSEEN IDOLS OF EARTHLY SINS AND NEEDS

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

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

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

Idolatry of Fleshly Desire

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

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

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

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

Idolatry of Needs

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

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

Grace and peace,

Joyce