HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

What should you fear? What is fear? Fear is a thought that controls your beliefs and decisions.  We mostly fear the unknown. If you are afraid of germs or the virus, then you will protect yourself.  If you are afraid of snakes, spiders, or mice, then you will scream and run away or try to kill them.  There are many fears a person can have, and some are irrational fears.  Have you seen the movie “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murry and Richard Dreyfus?  This movie depicts how irrational fear controls the life of Bob, played by Bill Murry.

Irrational Fears.

Many fears are irrational thoughts that can be overwhelming but can be overcome. Most fears usually originate from a bad experience, your imagination, or from what you watch on TV (i.e. news) or in the movies, and what you read.  For the life of me, I do not understand how people can watch horror shows. Fearful images remain in your memory and cause stress in your body, which leads to illnesses.  Traumatic memories that trigger fears can be healed so the fear no longer controls you.  To heal traumatic memories read my short book.

For example, irrational fear controls people who are preparing for the worst disasters that may never happen. Of all things, we are experiencing a pandemic and are told to stay in isolation, so everyone is buying up all the toilet paper, cleaners, hand sanitizers, etc. You should have at least 1-3 months of necessities on hand to help you get through  most difficult times.  I am glad I have three months of toilet paper in my what-if storage shelf because we can’t find it anywhere.

You can transform fear into peace, by replacing the fearful thoughts with reassuring thoughts of protection.  Read through all the Psalms and note every passage related to protection, deliverance from troubles, and God as your refuge. Write key verses out that help you feel peaceful and review them. This exercise will greatly encourage you and strengthen your faith.  Read my blog series on Psalm 91 – Psalm 91 Posts

What should you fear?

You should fear God.  Not in an irrational way but because you want to stay in a right relationship with Him by not sinning. The fear of God is to be in awe of His mighty power and love, which causes you to turn away from doing evil. When you sin you do evil because evil is disobeying God and doing and saying things to harm or cause trouble for other people (Webster dictionary also see Romans 6). Proverbs 3:7 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” And Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Believe and know, God strongly supports you when your heart is completely His and you are submitted to Him. 2Chronicals 16:9 states, “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.

Pride keeps you in fear of the wrong things, like the fear of man instead of God.  Fear of rejection causes you to do anything to not be rejected, even if it is sin.  Pride keeps you from being in awe of God and submitting to His authority and turning from your sin. Proverbs 22:4 states, “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” Is this something you would like? Read “How Pride Destroys

What are the benefits of fearing God?

  1. God’s angel protects you, and you will be blessed, and you will lack nothing. Psalms 34:7-9 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9) Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
  2. God will help you and shield you from all harm. Psalm 115:11 states, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.Proverbs 19:23The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
  3. You will have confidence and you will feel safe. Proverb 14:26 states, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.
  4. You will have wisdom and know what to do. Psalms 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
  5. You will have a long life. Proverbs 10:27The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.

Conclusion:

Being fearful is our natural inclination.  But it is better to fear God and be under His protection and provision than to fear the things going on around you or to fear people and what they may do or think.  To keep your peace and not be afraid, claim the promises in your Bible, especially the Psalms, and stay away from the things that put fear into your mind. If you have an irrational fear that is controlling your life, please seek help or read my short book on my website.

I hope this post has helped you, and I am praying for you.

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TRUST Leads to PEACE

Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to trust again.

Have you been betrayed by someone you thought you could trust?  Have you experienced being forsaken by someone you love?  I have. God is the only one who will always be faithful and loyal to you, then your dog and maybe UPS delivery would be next.

I am offended by those who disregarded me, so how can I trust again?  You are disregarded when you are ignored, neglected, and not treated with respect. I will share later how to take those thoughts captive, so you are no longer controlled by the offenses. Each offense is like a brick in a wall. You build the wall with one offense after another to protect your heart from being hurt and disappointed again.  The wall also keeps you from experiencing the benefits of trusting and loving other people.  When you don’t trust you will live in fear that something bad will happen to you.  Fear erodes your relationships.  So, in this post, I will explain how to tear down your wall, one offense at a time so you can live in freedom and have peace and joy.  See my last post for an explanation of how to have peace and joy all the time in your life.  How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

For example, I trusted my father to love and cherish me, but he abused me then forsook me at 15 when he left and never contacted me again.  I trusted my mother to nurture and affirm me, but she was angry and dismissive.  I trusted my sisters to have my back and support me, but they were angry, violent, and self-centered.  I trusted my friends at school to be loyal and encouraging, but they humiliated me.  I trusted teachers and church leaders to protect me, but they looked the other way.  I trusted my first husband to love and protect me, but he abused me instead. Everyone has a story of betrayal and why they can’t trust.  Maybe a spouse had an affair.  A co-worker lied and gossiped about you.  A boss or supervisor harassed you and did not like you.  The painful memories of being forsaken control how you respond to those around you today.  Because of the antitrust wall around my heart, I could not give warmth and love to my family and friends.

Every human will fail you at one point or another because we all are sinners who fall short. You will fail someone who trusted you. Maybe you can’t be trusted because of the things you have done to hurt those around you.  You may not have been faithful to protect the ones you were supposed to love. God wants to make you whole and trustworthy again.  I will explain how to have hope for the restoration of your relationships. But first, you must STOP discounting yourself by reducing your value and thinking you don’t deserve better. You are valuable to God, and He wants to restore you and prosper you (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:17-18).

Do you have unrealistic expectations of the people in your life?  Maybe you have unstated expectations, and you think they should know, so you wonder why they let you down.  You may have specified your expectations, but the other person has not agreed to do what you expect.  Unmet expectations lead to frustration, anger, and feeling disregarded, which then create painful memories. You then believe the person cannot be trusted, so you close your heart to them and everyone else. Is this something you can relate to?  Read my short book to learn how to heal these painful memories: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Trust issues affect every living soul, and the painful memories need to be healed for the fruit of trust and faithfulness to grow in your life through the Holy Spirit.  Only God can heal your heart and memories, so first, ask God to remove your pride and any deceptive spirits from you.  I ask God to remove my pride because it always justifies why I shouldn’t trust and why I should be offended.  Then, I ask God to remove deceptive spirits because they will convince you that you don’t have a problem and it is no big deal. Next, ask God to show you if you have the following unhealthy beliefs or something similar:

  • I cannot trust; no one can be trusted
  • I am awful; I have done awful things and thought awful thoughts. I can’t trust in anything except the coming punishment that I deserve.
  • I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.
  • I can’t trust anyone after what I have experienced, after what I have done, and after what I have seen.
  • If I trust that things will work out and get better, then the coming pain is just that much more upsetting.
  • I trust what I have in my own hands, in my bank account, what I own, and what I control.
  • It is better to realize that everyone is out for himself, including me.
  • I am trustworthy. The only time I do bad things is when it’s justified.

Write down the unhealthy beliefs you have relating to your trust issues.  They may be some of the ones above or they may be different.  Next, ask God to show you the painful memory or memories that created the unhealthy belief.  Identify the vows you have made.  For example, I vowed to never trust a man because they are self-centered.  But, guess what, I was self-centered too. Go through the following prayer model to remove the offenses and the related unhealthy beliefs/vows.

  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 expectations, 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 needs to be removed from your mind and cells of your body.
    • Sin has negative spirit attachments that need 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 or loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
  1. Forgive those who sinned against you including yourself if necessary (see Matthew 6:14:15, Colossians 3:13, and Ephesians 4:32).  WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE
    • The first step in trusting others is forgiving those who broke your trust because we are all sinners in need of a savior and forgiveness.
    • When you forgive, it breaks the power the offense has on your mind.
    • Do not dwell on the painful memories but be quick to forgive, though you may need to grieve a loss, which is healing.
    • Forgiveness releases you from the emotional control of the painful memories contributing to the issue needing healing.
    • If you have a hard time forgiving, ask God to give you His grace to forgive others for their sins against you as He has forgiven your sins (see Matthew 6:12-15).

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I forgive (name of the person or persons) for causing the pain of __________.”

  1. Replace unhealthy beliefs with truth.
    • Write down the lies or unhealthy beliefs the Holy Spirit reveals that are associated with the heart issue needing transforming by the truth.
    • Next, write the truths to replace the unhealthy beliefs.
    • For example, you may believe, “I don’t know what it means to feel trust and probably never will.” Replace this lie with this truth, “I can trust those who are trustworthy but understand they could let me down.  I know I can trust God and He will help me to forgive and be patient with those who let me down including myself.”
    • To understand how to use your authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

PRAY: “Dear Lord, I loose the unhealthy belief of __________, and bind in the truth that ________, in Jesus’ name.”

  1. Repent of sins.
    • List the sins you committed because of your wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs and decisions related to the issue needing healing.
    • Confess them to God and ask His forgiveness and to take all your guilt and resentment away (see 1 John 1:9) in Jesus’ name.
  1. Last, write out a thank you to God for something He did to protect, provide for, or comfort you. For painful memories to heal, they need to be replaced by a positive memory.

There is hope for complete healing of trust as you tear down the wall around your heart by taking each brick of offense out of the wall.  Choose to love others well knowing they are hurting people with walls and may choose to reject you.  Jesus was rejected and still is.

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How does the Spirit give life?

You might think anyone can see I am alive and not dead, so why do I need the Spirit of God to give me life?  The simple answer; a person has two states, a physical state, and a spiritual state, the physical state will die, but the spiritual state will live for eternity, whether in heaven or hell.  The complex answer; a person’s state of mind and soul determines if death or life defines their existence on earth. Romans 8:10 states, “But if (the Spirit of) Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  I will unpack the truth of how righteousness is life in the next post.

In the last blog post, you learned how you are dead because of sin and how to set your mind on the Spirit and live. Romans 8:6 tells us, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  This post will attempt to explain how the Spirit gives life. Please review my last post for context: HOW TO BE IN CONTROL OF LIFE.

How does the Spirit give me life and peace when I set my mind on Him?  

First, understand the mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors.  Second, the Spirit is part of the trinity which includes Jesus, the son of God, and the Father. Trinity defines the eternal God who always existed and created people to be in a relationship with Him.  The all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, holy God of justice, love, peace, mercy, and grace wants to live in you through His Spirit.  Romans 8:11 explains, “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.”  You may think, I am alive without God, but in fact, you do not know what life is until you have His Spirit.

For example, you are a spirit being in a physical body, living in a physical world controlled by a Spirit World (see 1Corinthians 2:11, 14; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12; and Job 1).  If this is confusing, read my blog post on Four Realities of the Spirit World.  As a spirit being you have a soul.  Sin contaminates your soul and separates your spirit from God, which I explain in the last post, so I won’t elaborate here.  The soul is said to contain your sense of morality and conscience and is credited with the functions of thinking and willing.  Your mind and soul are connected, so where you set your mind will determine what state your soul is in; death or life.

For example, when I was in sin, though I professed to be a Christian, I was very depressed and felt no hope.  When I submitted my dead spirit and depressed heart to God, I felt hope and a sense of strength.  I began to flourish in my spirit with joy and peace.  Jesus tells us in John 10:10, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”   As cancer destroys the body and causes death so yielding to the devil and giving into his temptations to sin destroys your soul and causes death (see 1Peter 2:11; James 4:7).  The Holy Spirit of God gives life to your soul when you submit to Him and abide in His life-giving words in the Bible.  Read John 15 for a fuller explanation.

So, the mind set on the Spirit believes God’s Word is the absolute truth and internalizes these truths.  But, for the Spirit of God to dwell in you, you must believe and confess that Jesus is God the Son, who died to pay the debt for sin and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. And, He forgives your sins and frees you from sins control (see John 1:29; 1 John 4:15; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Colossians 1:14; & Galatians 5:1). When you confess this with your mouth and believe with your heart, then God the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and fills you with love, life, and light (see Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:17; 1Corinthians 6:17; John 12:46). So, if you have not made this confession, do it now to experience life and peace (see Romans 10:9-13 & Ephesians 2:1-10).

Side note, you were told humans evolved from monkeys and monkeys evolved from what over billions of years?  If this were true, then where does the spirit of a person originate?  Evolution is taught as a science in school, on television, and in museums, which influences your mind to believe this lie.  Science can not prove the theory of evolution and there is NO evidence.  The theory of selection has been demonstrated but it does not prove the evolution of humans.  The formation of complex systems, of the human body and animals, can only be by the intelligent design of God.  Just as the creation of the complex workings of a clock was by intelligent design and not because it happened by chance.  Evolution is taught because the secular world, controlled by evil  (1John 5:19), wants to eliminate God as the source for the creation of the physical world.  The Bible is the absolute truth, not science.  Science can’t be absolute truth because it evolves as theories are proven and new discoveries are made through research.  Believing in science as absolute truth is idolatry, and it brings death to your soul (see Romans 1:18-32).

There is hope for complete healing as the Spirit of God in you removes the cancer of sin from your soul.

I would love to know what your thoughts are so please comment.

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Are you in control of your life?

Are you experiencing life and peace?  What thoughts control sinful desires and behavior choices?  You won’t realize how spiritually dead you are until you put off fleshly desires (lusts), which originate from thoughts that entice you to sin as explained in James 1:14,15.  “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.”  Ask yourself, what entices me?   What is sin and why does it bring death?

  • Webster defines sin as the disobedience of moral principles of the Bible, primarily through a willful act.
  • The Bible says sin is doing evil in 29 verses of the English Standard Version. Evil is doing things to harm someone or cause trouble.
  • The passages of 1Kings 16:19; 2Chronicals 12:14; Jeremiah 2:19 explain how we do evil when we do not seek God but seek to please ourselves.
  • James 4:17 tells us sin is when we know the right thing to do and do not do it.

I first want to expand on what I wrote in the blog called Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)

“Put off fleshly desires (sin nature).  “For the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (see Romans 8:7-8).  Gal 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Colossians 3:5-7 tells us to, “Put to death (crucify); therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6) On account of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7) In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them.”  We have divine power to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus (see 2Corinthians 10:3-5). Begin by removing one sinful, wrong thought at a time.  Next, put on the corresponding characteristic of the Holy Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness/meekness, faithfulness/truthfulness, and Self-control found on my website.”

Is is possible to never sin? Thanks be to God; He gave us divine power to take every thought captive so we can command the tempting thoughts and desires to leave in Jesus’ Name.  It works, try it.  But instead of entertaining enticing thoughts, change how you think so you won’t sin.  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.  6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  So, how do you set your mind on the things of the Spirit?  And, what is the Spirit?  The Spirit is part of the trinity and refers to the Spirit of God and Christ.  You set your mind on the Spirit by doing the next three practices:

  • Pray at all times (see Ephesians 6:18; Romans 12:12; and 2Thessalonians 5:17); pray for help when you are being enticed and tempted to sin. Hebrews 2:17,18 states “Therefore he (Jesus) 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.  18) For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
  • Praise Him and be thankful (see Hebrews 13:15; Revelation 19:5; Philippians 4:6,7; and 2Thessalonians 5:18), and
  • Ponder Scripture as you memorize each day (see Psalm 119:11 and Joshua 1:8).

    Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

When you set your mind on the Spirit, you live by the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the flesh.  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.”  So, when you live according to the Spirit, you will experience life and peace because you are abiding in Christ Jesus (see John 15).  But before you can set your mind on the Spirit, you must first submit your mind and life to God (see James 4:7).  See the blog posts How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? and Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE  to learn how.

So, why does setting your mind on the flesh and sin cause death?  Sin separates you from God (Isaiah 59:1,2) so you spiritually die, which leads to an eternity in hell, if you don’t repent and seek forgiveness.  Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Dead means no life, no energy, and no growth; like a branch cut off from a tree.  When you sin, you are cut off from God’s power and life force.  You may become depressed, fearful, angry, feel purposeless, shame, guilt, and devoid of hope and life.  Maybe you have guilt from the past when you lived in the flesh.  Ask God to forgive you, then put off the fleshly desires and the guilt, receive God’s forgiveness (see 1John 1:9).

I discovered, I had to ask God to heal my memories of when I gave into enticing thoughts and sinned because those memories recreate the enticement.  Memories of sinful acts leads to a vicious cycle of sinning and repentance.  Read my short book on my website to heal the memories from your past sinful lifestyle.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

If you are not feeling life and peace, then read the following definitions of the various fleshly desires identified in Galatians 5:19-21 and Colossians 3:5-7.  Ask God to reveal if any of them control your thoughts and behavior.  To experience freedom, read the last section called “Overcoming Harmful Actions and Addictions” in the third chapter called 3–Breaking Free From Mental Strongholds to learn how to eliminate them.

Sexual immorality is sexual relations outside the limits of a biblical marriage.

Impurity or uncleanness is everything not pleasing to God, who is holy.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any impure and unclean thoughts from watching or reading lustful or violent stories, and interests that glorify sinful desires.  Remember, you are the temple of the living God, and He lives in you through the Holy Spirit.  For example, a potty mouth is impure and unclean, so you must crucify it by taking the thoughts captive and putting them off.

Sensuality is a fondness for sensual pleasures such as lewd sex, drugs, and alcohol, also passions which are extreme affections or lusts.

Evil desires are longings for anything God forbids (i.e. revenge, wealth, witchcraft, selfish ambition, etc.)

Covetousness is a longing for something someone else has (i.e., you want someone else’s spouse, car, job, wealth, fame, etc.)

Greediness is an uncontrollable desire for more.

Witchcraft and sorcery is the use of evil supernatural power over people and their affairs.  Includes astrology, fortune telling, seances, charms, curses, superstition, and trying to contact spirits.

Enmity is hostility or always ready to hate someone and hold a grudge.

Strife is to quarrel, struggle, or be in conflict.  This person is argumentative, rebellious, contentious, or contrary.

Jealousy is feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages.

There is hope for complete freedom from the fleshly desires controlling your thoughts and immoral behavior.

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Posts on Thoughts

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

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

Context of This Verse

I began by looking at the context of this verse.  The context, history, and who the audience is helps us understand the meaning.  After Jesus is water baptized by John the Baptist, the Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness to fast 40 days.  While in the wilderness, the devil tempted Him to sin, which He did not sin (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  After the 40 days, He begins His ministry.  Matthew 4:23 and 24, describe His audience, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.  24) So, his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.  Seeing the big crowds following Him, he went up on a mountainside and preached His first sermon.  The picture with this post is of the mountains around the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus was ministering.

The Apostle Matthew records Jesus’s first sermon in Chapters 5-7.  Jesus begins with how they can be blessed (made happy).  He explains how they are the salt and light of the earth as they do good works (Matt. 5:16), and He taught how He came to fulfill the Law (see Romans 8:3-4). Other topics He preached in chapter five were anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, and loving your enemies.  Chapter six continues with giving to the needy, how to pray, fasting, investing in heaven, not being anxious.  Chapter seven begins with judging others, asking to receive, the golden rule, the fruit of false prophets, who will enter heaven, and obeying His words.  Matthew 6:33 is in Jesus’s explanation to not being anxious (see Matthew 6:25-34).  I wonder if this is the message He received from His Father while He was in the wilderness.

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

Interpretation Based on Context

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

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

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

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

Know for Certain You Will Enter The Kingdom Of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)

Have you seen transformation shows on TV? Isn’t it amazing how they transform people, houses, yards, and furniture?  I refinished a lot of furniture in my time, and the part I hated most was stripping off the old paint.  But it was worth the effort when the project was completed.  Renewing your mind is a similar process.  The mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors.  So, when you renew your mind you are transforming your life.

First, gather your supplies, in the case of renewing your mind, you must make sure you have God’s forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.  Read part one if you haven’t already;  Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

Next, find out what you are dealing with, ask God to search your heart and mind to show what sinful and wrong thoughts control your behavior (Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23; Psalm 139:23-24).  Write them down so you know what to tackle first.  To make this job easier, you need to remove pride first, read  The Core Negative Heart Issue

The two tools you need are Scripture and prayer.  The prayer tool is the binding and loosing principle.  Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 states, “whatever you bind (Greek meaning: knit, tie, fasten) on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (Greek meaning: release, destroy, put off) on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  You loose wrong thoughts the same way you loose and remove rust and old paint, then you bind on truthful thoughts the same way you put on a new coat of paint.  To learn more about authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

Ephesians 4:22-24 explains the instructions, put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (lusts), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Corrupt in this passage means perverted, which deviates from what is right, natural, or true.  Deceit is the act of representing as true what is false; a lie; a trick.  Lust is an intense desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite or pleasure.

Do these three exercises to renew your mind and transform your life:

  1. Put off fleshly desires (sin nature).  “For the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (see Romans 8:7-8).  Gal 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Colossians 3:5-7 tells us to, “Put to death (crucify); therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6) On account of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7) In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them.”  We have divine power to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus (see 2Corinthians 10:3-5). Begin by removing one sinful, wrong thought at a time.  Next, put on the corresponding characteristic of the Holy Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness/meekness, faithfulness/truthfulness, and Self-control found on my website.
  1. Put on your new self, which is the image of God, righteous and holy.  Review Ephesians 4:23-24 above.  Colossians 3:10 also states, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Jesus).”  Wow!  Our new self is in the likeness and image of Jesus, and we are righteous and holy (see Eph. 4:24)!  Our new self does not automatically happen in one instance, but we transform one thought at a time by renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word.
  1. Now live according to the Spirit by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit, which is truth.  Just as you live, abide, and spend time in your home, live, abide, and spend time in God’s Word.  Read my post called; Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

John 8:31-32 states, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Also, John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  What a great promise.

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.

Gal 5:16 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Live and walk according to the Spirit by showing His fruit in your life. – Galatians 5:22-24 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  You keep your mind on the Spirit by turning every thought into a prayer, praising Him, and pondering Scripture.

You also need to renew your painful memories, explained in my book on my website.  Also, on my website is a worksheet for each characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit.  Each worksheet lists wrong thoughts, beliefs, right thoughts, and transformational truth statements.

I hope the information in this post helps you to be victorious over sin and addictions.  Renewing our inner self is a day by day process.  There is hope for complete healing and victory as you submit your mind to God and His truth in His Word.  I appreciate your comments because I like to learn from others.

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Begin reading my book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

People are like an iceberg, there is so much more under the surface than what you see.  I knew I was forgiven and saved, but I struggled with wrong thinking for most of my life.  I never had victory over my thoughts and emotions until I learned how to renew my mind and take my thoughts captive and heal my painful memories.  Unfortunately, most people who receive forgiveness and salvation do not live in victory over their sinful thoughts, so they are hypocrites to the rest of the world who then don’t want to be forgiven and saved.  In this post you will learn how to be victorious over your thoughts and sinful behavior, so you can be holy and righteous.

The following two promises define what being forgiven and saved are.  God forgives all your sins and cleanses you from all unrighteousness when you confess your sins (Psalms 103:3 and 1John 1:9).  And, you have salvation from sin and death and have the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ (John 10:27, 14:6; 28; 3:16 – Romans 5:12; 6:23; 8:2; 10:9 – Ephesians 2:8 – Titus 3:4-7 – 1 John 5:13).

So, what is sin?

Webster’s dictionary defines sin as the disobedience of the moral principles of the Bible, primarily through a willful act. The definition of moral is to know the distinction between right and wrong conduct or action.  The truths in Deuteronomy 9:18, 1Kings 16:19, 1 Samuel 15:23, and 2Chronicals 12:14 explain that we do evil when we do not seek the LORD with our whole heart.  Evil is to harm or destroy someone.  Evil people are also called wicked and depraved.  When we don’t seek the LORD with our whole heart then we too will do evil.  Some of the sins listed in the Bible are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, evil desires, covetousness, greediness, witchcraft and sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, factions and divisions, dissensions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and orgies, outbursts of anger, hate, resentment, lying,  stealing, and idolatry.

What is salvation?

Romans 3:23-24 explains salvation.

  • for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and
  • are justified by His grace as a gift, (see Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8,9)
    • Justified– just as if I did not sin.  Grace – getting what I do not deserve.
  • through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
    • Redemption –payment to restore a right relationship and to transform
  • whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
    • Propitiation– to pay a penalty to appease and make right again (reconciliation).
  • to be received by faith.
    • Faith is choosing to believe and trust that what God said He would do, He will do.  Webster dictionary defines faith as believing something is true, real, etc., and to have confidence in a statement or promise.  Though we did not see Jesus die to pay the penalty for our sins, we also do not see our justification by His grace.  But by faith, we are confident we have it.  We believe what is written by the Apostles because they went through the experience and witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They saw the curtain in the temple Holy of Holies being ripped in two and the great earthquake when Jesus died for us.  Then over 500 people saw Jesus ascension into heaven, where he is now making intercession for us (see Hebrews 7:25).

2Thesolonians 2:13b states you are, “saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.” (The Holy Spirit is truth, see John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; and 1John 5:6).  To be sanctified is to be made holy and consecrated through belief in Jesus Christ and the truth (see John 17:17).  1Corinthians 6:11 explains that you will be “washed, sanctified, justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Now what?

Though you are forgiven, saved and sanctified you now must renew your thinking to be victorious over sin.  All sin begins in your mind as a temptation.  Temptations are enticements based on lies that generate unhealthy, false beliefs and create thoughts of offense. So, your mind needs renewing and transformed every day by the truth of God’s Word. Romans 12:2 states to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” and Ephesians 4:23 states we are “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.”  Titus 3:5 states, “he [Jesus] saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” and 2Corinthians 4:16 states, “our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Renewing your mind is removing sinful, evil desires and lusts by putting off these thoughts through prayer, then putting on the things of the Spirit; truthful thoughts found in the Bible.  Ephesians 4:22-24 explains we are, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (lusts), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Corrupt in this passage means perverted, which deviates from what is right, natural, or true.  Deceit is the act of representing as true what you know to be false; a lie; a trick.  Lust is an intense desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite or pleasure.

Next week I will explain three exercises to renew your mind and transform your life.

There is hope to be victorious over wrong thinking and out-of-control emotions.

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