The Core Negative Heart Issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Related Posts:

Love From a Pure Heart

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Wise Thoughts vs. Foolish Thoughts

Bondage to Unseen Controls

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

 

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Do you know you have two hearts? Do you know both hearts react to our experiences? Everyone knows we have a physical heart that pumps our blood. But we also have an emotional heart that process our feelings into memories and determines what we believe.   What we think directs how we feel in our emotional heart. To understand more about the power of thoughts, read the following posts: What Controls Your Thoughts?,  ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, and Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

A.  The Emotional Heart and the Soul

Did you know your emotional heart is part of your soul?   The following verses describe how the soul contains our feelings. Job said his soul grieved for the needy (Job 30:25). King David said in Psalm 6:3, My soul also is greatly troubled.” And, Psalm 35:12 states, They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft [left sad and lonely].” And, Psalm 43:5a states, “Why are you cast down (in despair), O my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God…” And, Psalm 88:3a states, “For my soul is full of troubles…” Last, Lamentations 3:17 states, My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is.”

The Apostle Peter explains in 1 Peter 1:22 how to purify our soul so our heart is pure, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” Only as we obey the truth found in the Bible to put off our old self and put on a new self, can we love others well (see Ephesians 4:17-32 and Colossians 3:5-17). Read my short book to learn how to do this: DISCOVER A NEW REALITY

The Webster dictionary says the soul is our mind, emotions, and will.  Some people credit the soul as containing our sense of morality and conscience with the functions of thinking and willing. No one truly understands the soul’s specific function, though we know it sets humans apart from the animal kingdom.

Animals do not have a conscience or sense of morality; knowing the distinction between right and wrong conduct or action, and they do not feel guilt.  Sin creates guilt, which makes us feel dirty inside. Hence, the need to purify our soul.  Sin is doing what is harmful and selfish and disobeying what the Bible says is the right thing to do.  People with wounded hearts often do not feel guilt for the wrong they do. Therefore, healing the wounds in our heart through the love of Jesus and His sacrifice will allow our conscience to direct us into right thinking. When I became free from my guilt, I could love myself and then love others better.

Another distinction from animals is our soul longs to be in right fellowship with God. Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:29 to, …Seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” The wounds and guilt in our heart and soul hinder us from seeking God and being in right fellowship with Him, which is another reason we need to heal our heart and purify our soul.

?? How does the hurt in our hearts keep us from seeking God?

The hurt in our heart creates pride and is often protected by pride. Our pride maintains our right to be hurt and angry. Pride keeps us from taking our hurt to God and forgiving those that hurt us.  To learn more about pride read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

B.  Where do Heart and Soul Wounds Come From?

Painful experiences and guilt from sin, wound our soul by creating negative thoughts that then develop into offenses. Offenses are resentments, hurt feelings, and displeasure from the pain of unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, unacceptance, and being ignored. Offenses create painful memories, which then create stress in our body and conflicts in our mind through wrong beliefs. We know we are offended when we feel angry or hurt. Painful memories and guilt handicap our spirit, and keep us from loving God and others well, and we appear hypocritical to non-believers. Read my post on memories: HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

When something triggers a painful memory, it then controls our thoughts and feelings, and then our behavior follows.   Hurt feelings create wrong beliefs. The only way to know your wrong beliefs is to ask God to show you and then listen to what you say or think. For example, I heard myself say to my husband he doesn’t care. Then when I was praying, I thought God did not care what I wanted. This is a lie and wrong belief from painful memories when my parents abused and disregarded me. I still carried this wrong belief in my heart, and it was still directing my thoughts. Abuse is the mistreatment of others that causes physical, emotional, and mental harm. Abuse also includes using insulting, coarse, or bad language about or to someone. Read my post on wrong beliefs for more details:  Identify and Replace False Beliefs

With God’s guidance, He has shown me how to heal my heart and purify my soul, which I share in my book called “Hope for Complete Healing.” Healing and purifying our soul are the removal of offenses, unhealthy beliefs, and guilt. As our souls heal and become pure, we will experience freedom, peace, love, and joy. And, we will love others better. Read the following post:  Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

C.  Emotional Health is Directly Related to Physical Health

One major benefit of healing the negative issues of my heart and soul is physical healing. The Bible explains this process in 3 John 2, which states, Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” And in, Proverbs 14:30 it states, A tranquil (peaceful) heart gives life to the flesh (body), but envy makes the bones rot.” Envy is a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc.; and a resentful dislike of another who has something desirable. The synonyms of envy are: jealousy, greed, bitterness, resentful, and spite, all of which is sin.  Sin corrupts our soul, so we need to purify the sin out of our soul to heal our heart.

When we envy our minds are on the things of the earth and on what other people have and we don’t have, which will cause us to be discontent and miserable. Misery leads to negative feelings of resentment and bitterness, which generate painful memories.  Painful memories generate negative energy, which creates stress that then causes the cells of our body to degenerate.  So, our physical heart will suffer harm from the negative feelings in our emotional heart.  There is a lot of research on this topic, I explain this in more detail in the following chapter of my book: 4–Physical Healing

The following verse also equates healing with turning away from evil. Doing evil is synonymous with sinning. Proverbs 3:7-8 states, Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.” Evil is being and doing morally bad or wrong things to harm or cause trouble for people. Fearing the LORD is deep respect and awe for the power, majesty, and holiness of God and His judgment and wrath for those who do evil. This respect causes us to turn from evil and do what is right in God’s eyes, not our own.  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.”  You may like to read the following posts. EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy? and HOW PRIDE DESTROYS and  #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

When you feel peace, you feel positive don’t you?  Peace generates a positive energy that removes negative stress from our bodies.  When we pray and put our trust in God, we feel peace.  And, as we look to Jesus and keep our minds focused on the things above, the life of Christ will flow through us and give life to our physical bodies. And according to Isaiah 26:3 we will have perfect peace when our minds are stayed on Him, because we trust Him to provide what we need and what is best for us. This is accomplished by turning every thought into a prayer to God. I have several posts on trust and peace you might like to read: Thoughts That Create Peace Within and WithoutTRUST Leads to PEACE,  Trust God to Keep His Promises,  15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep, and Psalm 91 Posts

D.  Conclusion

Healing our heart and purifying our soul has the following benefits.

  1. Allows us to make right and moral good choices.
  2. Allows us to seek God with a pure heart and be in right fellowship with Him.
  3. Reduces the negative stress on our bodies to allow physical healing.
  4. We will love others well.

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 on A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGERThoughts That Create Peace Within and Without.

The first step to victorious, successful 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 is: 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 its 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

There is hope for complete healing only in Jesus Christ and living a victorious life through Him.

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 God 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 these 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.  We also put word curses on ourselves.  I became free from many curses, and I encourage you to read my short book on my website to know what word 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?