Psalm 91:14-16 — RESCUED FROM TROUBLES

Where does the Bible state, we will not have troubles? It doesn’t. In fact, troubles are a part of everyday life. Webster defines trouble as something or someone who causes pain or discomfort; mental agitation; worry; harassment; etc. One of the devil’s schemes is to cause trouble in our lives so we focus our minds on the trouble and not on God. Troubles can come from our own foolish decisions and wrong choices. When troubles happen because of wrong choices, we can humble ourselves and call out to God for help, and He will help us (see Hebrews 4:15-16 and James 4:6-8).

The next two verses describe how God wants to rescue and protect us from the troubles that come from the unseen demonic world, but there is a condition.

Psalm 91:14-15 states, “Because he holds fast to Me in love, therefore,

I will deliver (rescue) him;

I will protect him, (set him securely on high) because he knows My name,

15) When he calls to Me, I will answer him; (Also see, Psalms 138:3)

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue (deliver) him and honor him.”

WOW! What promises! These five promises are for those who hold fast to God and love Him. Other Bible versions translate verse 14 as “Because He has set His love on Me...” Since the above five promises depend on how well we love God, I want to explore a few scriptures that clarify how to love God well.

      [!] How do we know we love God?

John 14:15 explains, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” 1 John 5:3 also states, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” So, what are the commandments of God? We all know the two greatest commandments recorded in Luke 10:27, “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ (Also read Matthew 22:37 and Mark 12:30.) 1 John 3:23 further explains, “And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. 24) Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” Abiding in God is the same as holding fast to Him and setting our love on Him. How well we love people, shows how well we are abiding in God and holding fast to Him in love.

At one time, I struggled to love people. I was judgmental, critical, disrespectful, impatient, etc. I asked God to show me why I could not love people well. He revealed I did not love myself and in fact; I hated myself. I asked God why I hated myself, and He disclosed I was full of guilt for all my anger fits. During a bible study, I learned there were two sacrifices in the Old Testament; an animal sacrifice for sin and a freed animal for guilt. For the guilt sacrifice, the priest laid his hands on a goat’s head and set it loose into the wilderness as a symbol of their guilt being taken away. God then disclosed to me I had received His blood sacrifice for my sins, but I still held onto my guilt. When I asked Him to take my guilt away, I began to love myself and love others better. When I failed to love others well by not being patient, humble, forbearing, etc., I felt convicted. So, I would repent by asking God to forgive me and show me why I sinned. Then I put off my old way of reacting and asked Him to help me love better. Pride is the most common sin that causes us to not love God and people well. Read Colossians 3 for a detailed explanation of how to put off your old ways of reacting and to put on new behaviors.

     [!] In what ways can you love God and people better?

    [!] How can you set your love on God and hold fast to Him in love?

You set your love on God by keeping your mind on Him and living a new life through Him. You love God by doing what pleases Him, communicating with Him through prayer, delighting in Him through praises, and finding security in Him by trusting Him. The following promises are ours when we truly love God.

God will protect and set us securely on high because we know His name. Ephesians 2:5 and 6 explains when we are saved by His grace, we are “raised us up with Him [Jesus] and seated us with Him [God] in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” The word securely means we are safe and free from danger or attack. God’s name means many things and when we know His name Proverb 18:10 states, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and are safe.” Psalm 9:10 explains what happens when we know His name; “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” God does not forsake those who seek Him, how wonderful is that.

[!] According to the previous verses in Psalm 91, what is God protecting us from?

God protects us from the schemes of the devil and the troubles he brings on us. God never said we would not face troubles and persecutions, but He promises to deliver us “IF” we humble ourselves, love Him, and call on His name in prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “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.This verse tells us that God promises to hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and heal our lives from our troubles when we humbly seek Him and turn from our sins.  Sin brings trouble into our lives, which is why we need to repent and seek God’s forgiveness and help to overcome our sin nature.

The next verses verify the fact that God will deliver us from troubles and persecutions.

Psalm 107:6 states, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.”

Psalms 34:19 states, “Many are the afflictions (troubles) of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Psalms 55:22 states, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved (shaken).”

John 16:33 states, “…In the world you will have tribulations (troubles). But take heart; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.”

2 Timothy 3:11-13, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12) Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13) while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

2 Timothy 4:17b-18, the Apostle Paul states, “…So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.

Psalms 25:18 states, “Consider my affliction and my trouble and forgive all my sins.” [King David makes the association between trouble and his sins]

[!] After reading the above Scriptures, what has the most meaning to you and why?

[!] What kind of afflictions have you endured that resulted from sin?

The last verse in this Psalm is another promise we can trust God to keep. Psalm 91:16 states, “With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.” The following supporting Scripture is one of my favorites and is a great encouragement to me, and I hope it is to you. Isaiah 46:3b-4 states, “…who have been borne (upheld) by me from before your birth, carried from the womb (since conception); 4) even to your old age I Am He, and to your gray hairs I will carry you (sustain you). I have made you, and I will bear; I will carry, and will save (rescue you).” The Greek meaning for salvation is “to be made whole,” rescue, save, or to be delivered. When God says He sustains us it means He will keep us supplied with the necessities we need.

[!] Knowing the truths in Psalm 91, how will you refrain from being fearful or angry when you experience trouble or persecution in your life?

!! Memorize this Psalm, so you never forget these truths, then turn it into a personal prayer.

Psalm 91:11-13 — Guardian Angels and Power Over Evil Spirits

Have you ever wondered if you had guardian angels? Have you ever wondered if you can overcome the evil spirit influences in your life? You will discover the answer to both questions.  To get a base understanding of the unseen Spirit World, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The devil used the following scripture to tempt Jesus to sin when he took him to the top of the temple (see Matthew 4:6). So always keep in mind that the devil will use scripture in the unseen battles to tempt us to sin against God as he did with Jesus.

Psalm 91:11-12 states, “For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. 12) On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

How many accidents or disasters could have happened to us, but we will never know because angels guarded us.  Angels are not to be worshiped as they are created beings by God, whom He sends to minister to those being saved. Only God is to be worshiped. The following Scripture passages report how angels protect and guard us:

Genesis 19:1 & 15 states, ”The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth. 15) As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

Exodus 23:20 states, ”‘Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.’”

2 Chronicles 32:20-21 states, ”Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21) And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off (destroyed) all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria.”

Psalms 34:7 states, ”The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”

Daniel 6:22 states, ”My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before Him; and, before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

Matthew 18:10 states, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven.”

Hebrews 1:13,14 states, “And to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’ Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Also read Acts 12:7-11 how an angel helped Peter escape from a jail cell in a dungeon.

We are assured that when we take refuge in God and trust Him with our lives, He will command His angels to protect and deliver us. Joyce Myers believes that as David ran toward Goliath and the word was going forth out of his mouth, that the angels were activated to help him. Psalms 103:20 states, “Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, obey the voice of His word.”

Equally as exciting as angels helping us is the power we have over the unseen demonic world.

Psalm 91:13 states, You will tread on the lion and the adder (cobra), the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.”

The lion and serpent are both descriptions of the devil, as depicted in the following verses: 1 Peter 5:8 states, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9) But resist him firm in your faith,…” Webster’s dictionary defines resist as the means to withstand; oppose; fend off; stand firm against; withstand the action of. 2. To oppose actively. 3. To keep from yielding to, being affected by, or enjoying temptations. Revelations 12:9 states, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. In Luke 10:19-20, Jesus states, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions [refer to demons], and over all the power of the enemy [the devil], and nothing shall hurt you. 20) Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

In Genesis 3, the serpent deceives Eve, and is still causing people to doubt God through lies. Remember, lies are false, unhealthy beliefs meant to ruin our love relationship with God and people. Therefore, watch what thoughts you allow your mind to dwell on. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that we are to renew our thinking with the Word of God. For instance, if we become angry, fearful, depressed, etc., we are unknowingly believing a lie from the devil that God does not care. God cares because 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Stop dwelling on lies and renew your mind with the truth found in God’s Word, and you will have peace of mind (see Philippians 4:7). You can bring every thought into subjection to the truth.  Read the following posts: ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL and What Controls Your Thoughts? and Identify and Replace False Beliefs

We have authority and power over the demonic world when we put them under our feet. If they are under our feet, then they are not affecting our mind. The demons are in subjection to us and under our feet when we exercise our authority and control over them through Christ Jesus and His name. Authority is the power or right to give commands and enforce obedience. The following verses explain our authority in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 28:18 states, And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Luke 9:1 tells us that Jesus Called the twelve [disciples] together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Colossians 2:9-10 also states “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity (Godhead) lives in bodily form, 10) and you have been given fullness in Christ (NIV), and in Him, you have been made complete (NAS).” The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” We learn from these verses that because of Christ’s life in those who believe and are followers, they also have all authority and power over the unseen demonic world.

The following verses illustrate the fact that Satan is under our feet. Romans 16:20 states, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Corinthians 15:27 states,For ‘God has put all things in subjection under His feet.’…” Hebrews 2:7-8 states, You [God] have made Him [Jesus] for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, 8) putting everything in subjection under His feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. (Also read 1 Peter 3:22.) Finally, Ephesians 1:22 states, And He [God] put all things (in subjection) under His [Jesus] feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”

Being in subjection is being under someone’s authority or control. Though we have authority over the devil and demons, we need to humbly submit to God and allow the Holy Spirit to directed us to the truth of God’s Word. Our authority has nothing to do with feelings or head knowledge, but only because of our position in Christ Jesus. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s authority in our lives. Remember, God threw Lucifer out of heaven because of pride and he became the devil who resolves to oppress and destroy us because we bear the image of God (see Genesis 1:26). The good news is found in we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:36b).”

It is helpful to read the previous verses Psalm 91:5-6 – DO NOT FEAR THE UNSEEN

Psalm 91:3 — RESCUED FROM EVIL SNARES

What are ways we are trapped by the devil or an evil person?  God promises to rescue us.

Psalms 91:3 states, For He will deliver you (save you) from the snare of the fowler (trapper) and from the deadly pestilence (destroying plague.)”

When we trust God to be our refuge in verse 2, then He promises to save us from two things: evil snares and pestilence. In verse 3 above, a fowler is someone who catches birds but can also be interpreted as a trapper who sets a snare to trap something. In the context of this Psalm, the fowler is most likely referencing the devil. The fowler could be an evil person who entices you into a sin trap. For example, in Psalm 119:110 King David states, The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from Your [God] precepts.” And King David prays in Psalm 141:9, Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of the evildoers! Also see Ps. 140:5 and 142:3. And, Psalm 124:7 states, We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;.” The key to escaping evil snares that trap us in sin is to trust God and not stray from His truths.

God also rescues us from deadly pestilences. Pestilence has two meanings. The first meaning is any virulent or fatal contagious disease. And, the second meaning is dangerous doctrines to the morals and welfare of society. In this Psalm, the second meaning seems more plausible. Other interpretations use plague instead of pestilence. A plague is anything that afflicts or causes troubles or calamity, which could be a contagious or deadly epidemic disease, or we can be plagued by poverty or worry, etc.

[!] Can you see where pestilence is an unhealthy belief or wrong thinking about the moral issues of today? Can you identify any?

All traps to think unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts set by the devil is meant to destroy us.  The following verses give greater insight into Psalms 91:3. John 10:10 states, “The thief [Satan] comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” 2 Timothy 2:26 states, “…that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

[!] What types of snares does the devil set?

[!] How are we held captive to do the devil’s will? And what is the devil’s will?  Is this an excuse to do wrong?

First, we are responsible to draw near to God and resist the devil’s schemes so there is no excuse for doing evil (see James 4:7,8).  The types of snares will vary from person to person.  The girls in the county jail are often caught in the snare of drugs and alcohol. Or they are looking for love and get caught in the trap of sexual sin. The snares are many and they are meant to destroy us or to enslave us. The trapper knows the habits of his prey and what will lure it into his trap. My son and husband had a trapping line in various streams that they would check early every morning. They knew the behavior of the racoon and what bait to use and where to set the traps. This may sound repulsive to you, but the devil sets traps for us according to our behavior and fleshly appetites.

Pray the following prayer in 2 Corinthians 2:11, which states, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs (schemes).” To not be outwitted by Satan, we need to keep our minds on God’s truths and not stray from obeying them. God will also protect us from all harm and pestilences or plagues when we turn to Him and trust Him for protection. I have experienced this first-hand, so I know this is the truth.

[!] Describe a time when you were caught in one of Satan’s traps that caused you to despair of hope, be impatient, unkind, angry, etc.?

The good news is that Jesus sets us free from all the snares of sin when we believe in Him and invite Him into our hearts (see Luke 4:18 and John 8:36).

The Bible explains many other ways we are snared:

Judges 2:3 states, “…their gods shall be a snare to you.”

Proverbs 18:7 states, A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Proverbs 21:6 states, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

1 Timothy 6:9 states, But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Read the posts on verses 1 and 2 if you haven’t yet: Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now and Psalm 91:2–TRUST FOR HEAVENLY PROTECTION

To learn more about the devil and evil read Four Realities of the Spirit World and EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

The girls in my county jail Bible study struggle to live successful lives.  Most of their problems and troubles result from their wrong thoughts.  The progression of thoughts to results are as follows.  What we think affects our emotions.  Our emotions control our behavior.  And, our behavior directs the events of our lives.

For example, destructive thinking is to think of things that offend you, which causes you to be angry, fearful, or sad. When you are fearful, angry, or sad, you will act out these emotions in aggressive or passive-aggressive ways. Passive-aggressive behavior varies, but can be silence, avoidance, harming yourself by cutting, using drugs, turning to alcohol, etc.   When you act on your negative emotions, then there will be strife in yourself and with others.  Strife destroys relationships in partnerships, jobs, churches, etc., which will often negatively affect your life and the lives of your family.  Review my post on the one thing that destroys relationships.

To be healthy emotionally, think positive and thankful thoughts.  When you think positive thoughts, then you will act or behave with kindness and grace.   Showing gratitude and grace will strengthen your relationships.   Showing grace is saying a kind word or forgiving someone when they may not deserve it.  See my post Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without.

The first step to victorious, sucessful living is to be spiritually healed.  Spiritual healing begins by confessing we are sinners in need of a savior.  Then believing Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died and rose again, forgives our sins, and frees us from sins control (See Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Col 1:14; & Gal 5:1). When we confess this with our mouth and believe it with our heart, then God the Holy Spirit and His love, life, and light enter our hearts (See Gal 4:6 & 1 Cor 6:17). If you have not made this confession, then do it now to experience spiritual healing (See Rom 10:9-13 & Eph 2:1-10).  Next, practice the following actions to live a victorious and successful life.

1)  Live through Christ Jesus: See 1 John 4:9-12, 17; 2 Cor 13:4; Gal 2:20.  Live through Christ by doing the following actions.

  • Keep your mind on Him and transform your thinking: See Col 3:1-4; Is 26:3; James 1:21; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8
  • Seek His help when you struggle with temptations and wrong thinking: See Heb 2:17-18; 4:15-16; 1 Cor 10:13
  • Abide (stay; dwell) with Him, and His words abide in you: See Jn 15:1-8; 1 John 2:24; Jam 1:21-25; 4:6-8; Matt 7:24-26
  • Forgive as He forgave (key to successful relationships): See Matt 6:12-15; 18:21-35; Col 3:13; Mark 11:25
  • Be humble as He was: See Phil. 2:3-11; Matthew 11:29; 1 Peter 5:5
  • Love as He Loved: See John 15:9-14; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 16:14

2)  Rely on the Holy Spirit as your Helper:  See John 14:26 and John 15:26. To renew us See Titus 3:3-7 & 1 Cor 6:11. To put off your old life and put on a new life: See Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-15; 2 Cor 5:17

3)  Die to sin and be free from it’s control, then do what is right by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit:  See 1 Peter 2:24; Rom 6:10-14; 8:4-11; 1 John 1:7; 3:5-8, 14; Col 3:5-17, Eph 4:17-32; 5:8; 1 John 1:9; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:11; James 1:21; Gal 5:22-25. Deny your fleshly desires (sin/evil) and avoid the consequences:  See James 1:13-15; Gal 5:16-21; 6:7-8; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Rom 8:7-8, 13-14; Mark 7:20-23; Rev 21:8

4)  Pray continually: See Phil 4:6-7; Rom 12:12; 1 Thes 5:17 –Turn every wrong, sinful thought into a prayer of repentance and renewal immediately.  The longer we think wrong thoughts the further down the wrong path we will go (1 John 1:9; 3:21-24).

5)  Submit to God and stand firm against the enemy of your mind and your faith:  See James 4:7,8; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:6-10; Heb 11:1, 6; 12:1-3; 1 John 5:4-5

6)  Persevere through trials; trusting God is at work, and put your hope in Him: See John 16:33; 1 Peter 1:6-9; 4:12-14, 19; Matt 6:33-34; 8:28; James 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; Heb 10:36-39; 12:5-7; Rom 5:2-4; 8:18; Lam 3:21-25; Is 30:18; Ps 62:5-8; 147:11; Luke 6:22; 2 Cor 4:17-18; 12:10

7)  Do the Will of God, found in the Word of God:  See James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 4:2; Matt 3:35; Rom 12:2; 1 Thes 4:3; 5:12-18; 1 Pet 2:15; 1 John 2:17; 5:14-15

Be Blessed or Be Cursed

How can we be a blessing to someone or be a curse to someone.  Do our words encourage or discourage?  Do you want to be blessed by God or be cursed by God?

Being blessed is being encouraged and made joyful with good things.  We are blessed when someone is kind to us or is patient and gives us grace when we screw up.  The Bible says we are blessed when we remain in the presence of God (see John 15).  We are also blessed when we trust and obey God.   We will be blessed even in our trials and distresses, because He is with us.  The word blessed occurs 306 times in the English Standard Version (ESV).

To be cursed is to be made miserable and destitute because of our own sin or the sin of other people.  So, what is sin?  The short answer, sin is disobedience to the truth and commands in the Bible (i.e., love others, be kind, patient, etc.).  We are also cursed when we do not trust and obey God and when we turn our hearts away from Him.  The word cursed occurs 74 times in the ESV.  Our words are the most common way we curse God and each other.  Read my post called: WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

Meditate on and journal your answers for the following Scripture:

Jeremiah 17:5-8 states, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6) He is like a shrub in the desert and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.’  7) ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  8) He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.‘”

??  How are we cursed when we trust in man and find strength in our flesh (verse 5)?

??  What happens when we turn our hearts away from the LORD (verse 6)?  Does your life feel like this?

??  What happens when we trust the LORD (verse 8)?  In what areas of your life can you trust God more?

Deuteronomy 28 also defines how we will be blessed or cursed if we choose to obey or not.

All these BLESSINGS will come upon you and accompany you
If you OBEY the LORD your God:

1. Your children will be blessed.
2. Your land and livestock will be productive (e.g., your life work will be successful.)
3. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed (e.g., you’ll have plenty to eat.)
4. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
5.  Your enemies will be defeated before you.  They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
6. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns (wealth) and on everything you put your hand to.
7. The LORD will establish you as his holy people…
8. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity…
9. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
10. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail IF you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God… you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Also, read the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 and Luke chapter 6 to learn more on how to be blessed.

However, IF you do NOT obey the LORD your God…
ALL these CURSES will come upon you and overtake you.

1. Wherever you go, you will be cursed.
2. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed (e.g., you will not have enough to eat.)
3. Your children will be cursed.
4. Your land and livestock will be cursed (e.g., your life work will fail.)
5. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
6. The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. (2 Chronicles 12:14 states, “He did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.”)
7. The LORD will plague you with diseases… with a wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew…
8. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder…
9. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies…
10. The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
11. The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
12. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do…

There are 17 more curses listed in this passage. Would you not agree that it is better to obey than disobey?  To know more about what evil is, please read the following post: EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

?? How do the verses in Jeremiah compare with the verses in Deuteronomy?

?? Are you experiencing any of the above curses? If you are, then seek God to show you the sin of disobedience that is blocking God’s blessings.

??  What changes do you need to make to be blessed?

To learn how you can live a blessed life read: Living a Victorious Life

Another type of curse that causes misery are word curses put on us by family members, teachers, and those who hate us. I became free from many curses, and I encourage you to read my short book on my website to know what curses are and how you can become free too. Many times we bring curses on ourselves when we do not trust and obey God. If you struggle to trust God, you may have false beliefs that prevent you from trusting God. I encourage you to read my short book to be free from these unhealthy beliefs. Go to Hopeforcompletehealing.com

?? Do you want to be blessed or cursed?

?? What do you need to do to be blessed?

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

So why is pride a destructive force? Pride is more than feeling good when we accomplish something great.  Arrogant or conceited pride keeps us from loving others well.  Second, pride prevents us from seeing the sin of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Last, pride justifies self-centered behavior that erodes relationships.  Not only is pride destructive, but God hates pride and will oppose anyone who is prideful, which is explained at the end of this post.  So, if we don’t want God opposing us, then we need to seriously seek to get rid of pride.

You see, pride caused Lucifer, the most beautiful angel, to be thrown out of heaven and to the earth with a 1/3 of the angels who were also prideful.  Lucifer is renamed Satan or the devil, which means destroyer (see Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelations 9:11; and John 10:10a) and the fallen angels are now called demons.  So, pride is the one unseen battle for our minds that satan will tempt us with again and again because he knows pride is destructive.

Every person has pride problems because the sinful human nature is self-centered, wanting only to please itself.  Also, a self-centered person does not desire to seek God or to do His will.  On the other hand, Christianity is about being Christ-like and other-centered.

Read over the following definition of pride and humility and sincerely ask God to show you what your pride issues are. Be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  When you discover your pride issue, ask God for forgiveness and to take the specific pride issue from you, and then to give you His humility and love for others.  When I asked God to take the spirit of pride out of my heart and mind, I felt a huge difference when it left.  Keep in mind, pride will always creep back in, so be watchful.

Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, also known as exaggerated self-esteem or arrogance.  Prideful people think they are better than other people and will display contempt toward those who don’t value them or their abilities.  Prideful people will show disdain, contempt, or scorn for others who they think is beneath them or who disagrees with them.  They are judgemental and condemning of others and do not show mercy.

Pridefulness is exposed by what we say, especially when we speak more favorably of ourselves. For example, I would demean my husband by saying I was a harder worker than him; this is pride.  And, I pridefully believed I did things better, and others should recognize it and praise me.   Pride is evident when we try to control everything because we think we can do things better.  Also, getting angry when something does not go your way shows an impatient spirit, controlled by pride. Prideful people are also insecure and judgmental.  We display our pride in different ways, and it does not matter what form it takes, it still is a destructive sin.

A humble person exhibits acts of selflessness, kindness, patience, and gentleness.  They are not self-asserting or boastful but are more concerned about others.  Humble people are meek and not inclined to anger or resentment from insults and offenses.  Meekness shows incredible strength.  Humble people are merciful, polite, and respectful.  People like being around those who are humble because they feel loved and safe, and never judged.

After learning these truths, I now take my angry, impatient, and controlling thoughts captive and walk them back by consciously stopping the reactive thought and thinking a truthful thought.   The truth is that I can live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on me.  In the New International Version, Hebrews 12:14 states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.”    I also put into my mind and heart the truths that humility is realizing that everything I have, including my abilities, is a gift from God (Deut. 8:17-18).  And I don’t think of myself more highly than others, but in humility, I will regard others as more important than myself (see Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3).  The more we transform our thinking with truth found in the Word of God (see Romans 12:2) and are renewed by the Holy Spirit, the more like God we will be (see Ephesians 4:23), which is loving, patient, kind, peaceful, faithful, humble, full of joy, and self-controlled.  To learn how I became free to live a transformed and renewed life and how you can be free to live a new reality, visit my website: https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/.

To get a better understanding of what God thinks of pride, read the following Scriptures and write out your reflections to help you internalize these truths.


2 Chronicles 26:16 states, “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God ….”

     ??  Why would we be unfaithful to God when be become strong?

     ??  How do you think pride destroys us?

     ??  Think about a time when pride brought destruction in your life or someone else’s life.


2 Chronicles 32:25 states, “… for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him ….”

     ??  Why would a proud heart deserve the wrath of God?


Psalms 10:4 states, “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”

     ??  Why doesn’t a  proud person seek God? 

     ??  And why would a proud man say, “There is no God.?”


Psalms 31:23 states, “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

     ??  What is the difference between the faithful and the proud person?

     ??  How do you think God preserves faithful people, and repays prideful people?


Psalms 59:12 states, “For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride.  For the cursing and lies that they utter,

     ??  How do the words of the proud trap them?

     ??  How is lying a sign of pride?


Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

     ??  Why would the humble be wise, and the proud be disgraced?


Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

     ??  Why would pride bring destruction?  Give an example.

     ??  What would cause a haughty person to fall?


Proverbs 21:24 states, “’Scoffer’ is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.”

     ??  Why do the arrogant scoff (an expression of mocking contempt, scorn; jeer)?


Proverbs 29:23 states, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”

     ??  How does pride bring a person low and how do the lowly obtain honor?


Ecclesiastes 7:8 states, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

     ??  Why is a patient spirit better than a proud spirit?

     ??  Why is a proud person not patient?


Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance) of your heart has deceived you, …”

     ??  Why does pride deceive us?


Romans 11:20, 23 states, “That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud (conceited), but fear. 23) And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

     ??  How does standing fast in our faith and fearing God keep us from becoming prideful?


James 4:6 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (Also see 1 Peter 5:5.)

     ??  Why does God oppose the proud?


Understand, God hates pride.  Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil (evil behavior) and perverted speech I hate.”  Also, look-up the seven things God hates; Proverbs 6:16-19.   Not only does God hate pride and arrogance, but He also hates evil behavior, which is morally bad and depraved.  He also hates perverted speech, which is speech that deviates from what is good or true,  i.e., lying.  To be sure, a proud heart will not humbly submit to God or others and do what is right.

??  Would it be better to remain prideful or to humble ourselves and submit to God.  Why?

Read my other posts about Pride: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But, they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “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.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls, and is able to help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We are able to love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to take a look at these and be blessed.

You may be interested in reading: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution