I had a very interesting morning, just conversing with God, and pondering what walking with Christ looks like to me. I look back and I can see the progress that I have made over the years as I changed from the inside out. But I also realize that there is always constant growth and change that happens within us as we ponder the word of God. It never fails to amaze me as new things are highlighted to me each year as I read my bible. As I gain new insights from my local church Pastor to other teachings I listen to as I hunger to know my Heavenly Father so much more. But with that hunger is also a hunger to share what I know with others. My heart is for the world to come to know the Heavenly Father that I have come to know.
As I was reflecting this morning I recognized areas in my life that I had released offenses, but I also realized that I was still holding on to other offenses such as ones with my husband. At that moment it was like WOW I have been believing that I am good in this department, when I still have work to do in it. Holy Spirit was so kind as it was highlighted to me and I had a heart change in that moment. I found repentance in my heart and prayed for the offenses to be removed and given to Jesus and for a new profound love to replace it, that is new every day and just becomes more and more profound, just as the love of Christ for me.
As each of us grow in our walk with Christ, we should be releasing our old natures. So many times as humans we say oh “that is just the way I am”, “I can’t change”, or we just live by our emotions rather than by the Spirit leading us. But we are reminded in Ephesians 2:4-7 that we were dead because of our sin, but we were given life when Christ was raised from the dead, for we were raised from the dead along with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. These are powerful words to me and they should be to you as well. When we live by our emotions and the flesh then we are still living in sin. We have been given new life and we are now seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. We walk by the leading of the Spirit over our Soul and Body. We no, longer should be walking by our Soul or Body leading us.
That is all part of the growing process as it says in 1 Peter 2:2 that we crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in our salvation. The key word is grow up in our salvation, that means that it is a continual process a weeding out of the old rotten weeds of anger, resentment, offenses, bitterness, unforgiveness, to name a few. In the word it says that God is the potter and we are the clay. Clay is shaped and molded into something beautiful. That is exactly what our Heavenly Father is doing with us as we grow spiritually. I call Jesus the roundup that destroys the weeds that are in me. Holy Spirit highlights them to me and I surrender them to Jesus. For yes they have to bow down to Jesus the name above all names.
It does not make us weak to release the ugliness of the world, of our old nature. NO! We are stronger, because we have Christ in us and that gives us the supernatural ability to be strong enough. To release our old nature and to become new in Christ Jesus. It does not happen over night, but it is a process that happens every day of our lives. But the first step is always coming into relationship with the Father. The next step is always allowing Holy Spirit to come in and point out the things that are causing you to fall short, the lies that you are believing about yourself and others. That process of pruning out the old to make way for the new healthy vines to grow is tough at times, and easy at other times.
What I am learning is that when we go through our toughest struggles is when we can discover the most about ourselves and grow exponentially. For me it allows me to dig deep and to become more self-aware of the areas I am falling short. I don’t get angry about it when I realize these things, no my heart wants to repent and I ask Papa to forgive me for the known and unknown agreements that I have made. I surrender it to Jesus who carried it to the cross. I then embrace the new or upgrade that happens in me. It is like I am cleansed from within as I release the old and allow the new to takes it rightful place.
I learn not to seek hope and joy from the world around me, or even the people around me, but instead from Heaven above. Yes think of the joy and hope knowing that I am already seated in the Heavenly realm with Jesus. Wow, that is something to celebrate. But that is not just for me but for you as well. God chose us and wants us. Remember he leaves the 99 for the 1. Father God is always trying to bring the one back into his loving arms.
In this walk with Christ we are always growing. We should not be staying the same, but we should be becoming mature in Christ. I was a child for so long because I did not grasp this and I failed to seek and to know Christ. But now I run as fast as I can to know more and to grow. I want to be the torch that carries the light of Christ to others. But that does not happen when we carry our old nature with us. If we continue to carry bitterness and hate, or to look down on others we miss the mark. Walking with Christ and being a torch requires growth and depth to who we are. It requires us to weed out the ugly and to replace it with the love of Christ. We learn to be merciful and to shower grace upon others. We become compassionate to the plight of our fellow-man, and love them and lift them up. We desire to serve others rather than to be served. We humble ourselves before God and before others.
To be a torch means that you are always seeking the Lord, you are always looking inside so that you can grow. The soil of your heart has to change, and to become fertile with the word of God. Having a heart that is filled with God’s love is what carries a torch. The light of Christ can put out the darkness on whatever it shines on. I want to be the torch to snuff out the darkness of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. My desire is to see revival come alive and for the light of Christ to shine on everyone. I want to see salvation come to billions across this world. Let’s all be the torch that we were created to be and not be afraid to walk in the light of Christ. Together we can illuminate the world with the Love and Light of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
As I traverse a very challenging season of my life I am learning new things of myself and growing spiritually. You see my Mother has Dementia and I have been on a journey that I would never have imagined a year ago. But I have trusted in God and listened to that small voice as I watch in amazement at Gods hand in all of this. So many times we see struggles in our life as just that a struggle. We sometimes blame it on attacks of the enemy and yes that can be part of it, but most times we fail to realize that God is working in the good and the bad times. It is in these seasons of struggle that we can grow the most and discover things about ourselves and also become the masterpiece that God created.
We will all face struggles and roadblocks at different times of our lives. But we can grow closer to Father God during those times. It is also a time of realizing the things in our selves that we must surrender to Jesus. It can be extremely easy to place self-protection in your life, but as you do this you develop strongholds. What I have learned is that many times we do not realize the strongholds that have developed in us. Self protection can create pride, callousness, control, anger, to name a few. The list can go on and on, but in the struggles we face choices because we have free will. We can choose to focus on the struggle at hand or we can focus on God in the midst of the struggle.
I have chosen to face the struggle before me and include God in the middle of it. For I can not do this journey alone, but I have the strength through Christ. I am reminded of the journey that Joseph went through so that God could use him for greater things. Joseph saw visions of things to come which made his brothers jealous. They sold him into slavery, which I am sure was terrible. But Joseph grew spiritually keeping his eyes on God in the midst of the struggle that he was in. Joseph trusted God and knew that both the good and bad God the creator is in the middle of. Joseph leaned into God during the times he was in slavery, and locked up. Through that process God was able to mold Joseph into what he was created to do. We then see how Joseph modeled forgiveness, grace and mercy with his brothers when they come to Egypt looking for food. If anger would have been the driving force in Joseph’s life he would have locked them up or even something much worse, but no he shows forgiveness to them. But he even takes it a step further and shows grace and mercy on them by showering them in kindness when they did not deserve it. Just as God does for each of us.
In this current season I have seen God doing amazing things in my life. In the middle of legal struggles just to get guardianship of my Mother, God made the impossible possible. I took all of my pain and struggles to the Father and I then would watch him bring peace in the middle of the chaos. I would see people come into agreement that were fighting against me. But I made the mistake of thinking that the battle was over after I moved my mother in with my husband and I. That was a mistake, but I am now learning new things about myself in this process.
At first I was feeling overwhelmed and like the weight of the world was crashing in on me, everything seemed hopeless. But I did the one thing that I know the best and I cried out to God, I told Papa how I was feeling. What I realized is that as soon as I brought those feelings of foreboding into the light there was new peace in my heart. One moment I felt like I was hanging onto the boat and ready to fall into a dark empty void, but when I spoke it out there was Jesus grabbing my hand and pulling me back in the boat. I was not alone even though at that moment I was feeling completely alone.
This struggle with my Mothers Dementia is hard, and it will get harder, but God is revealing strongholds I have in my life through this process. Years ago I learned about forgiveness so that I would even be able to open my home to my mother in such a time as this. But now as I face frustration after frustration, I am realizing that I was carrying anger and control issues with me. This has taken me on a journey of surrendering those to Jesus and I am finding new freedom in this process. No it is not a complete one step process, but when you go to Gods word and you fill your heart and mind with worship for Father God, changes begin to happen. As you verbally speak out and surrender your imperfections to Jesus you begin to feel lighter. You begin to see your best friend Jesus there wanting to lighten the load for you.
When I told God I could not do this any longer and that I needed to know whether to move my Mother into a Memory care facility, I waited for an answer. Then suddenly I am offered 15 hours a week for her to go to Adult Daycare and I hear Papa saying, “I heard you and this is what I have done for you”. I had been waiting for the voice to say yes keep her in the home or no move her, instead Father God blessed me with time.
So as I am learning to embrace the struggles, I am growing closer to Father God. I am reminded that he is the creator of all things. I was created for something greater and I believe that this moment in this season God is preparing me for the greater things he wants to do through me in the next season. Disease and illness is not from God, it is because we live in a fallen world. I know that God did not cause my Mother to get Dementia. I know that in this season she had clarity from God, so I could lead her to salvation. I know that God is showing me the strongholds that need to be removed from my life. and I am learning not to make agreements with familiar spirits.
No matter the struggle that you face, God has given you everything you need for that moment. For you have Christ in you when you are a believer and follower of Christ. We have Christ in us! Remember Jesus is the name above all names, so that means that fear, anger, judgement have to bow to Jesus. Break off agreements you have made with the lies of the enemy and embrace the new being you have been created to be. Feel the freedom of having the chains of slavery break away. To have the inner walls torn down so that you can be covered by the love of God that is a shield of protection. God has prepared a fortress for each of us, the walls are the love of God and that fortress is built on a solid rock of Jesus Christ. We do not fight from a place of defeat, no Jesus has won the battle so take up the spiritual battle that is all around you. Fight from the place of victory that we are in with Jesus. We stand strong we do not retreat, instead we push the enemy back and we laugh in the face of our enemy.
Stand strong my fellow Christians, embrace your struggles and grow. Allow Holy Spirit to identify and remove the strongholds of your life. Jesus sent Holy Spirit to be our teacher, to provide wisdom and knowledge to us. Seek and you will find the answers, they just might be different from what you were looking for. In the end Gods way is always so much better than our way.
I have been on a life changing journey over the last several weeks. My Mother has dementia, and I am now responsible for her. In that there have been trials and false accusations made against me from her boyfriend. If it were not for my faith in God, and leaning into that immense love that God covers us in I would not be walking in peace during this time. In fact my walk with Christ has grown even stronger and I have learned so much as I read in Samuel about the journey that David endured.
I have come to realize that anyone can face the same issues that David had to deal with thousands of years ago, but there is so much that can be learned. I have come to realize how someone can have strong faith in God, yet that they can still be crying out because of what is happening around them trying to destroy their faith. I can tell you that when you lean into Father God rather than trying to do everything on your own, God’s glory will shine even in the darkest moments that you are facing. When you are going to Gods word and calling out to God in your struggles, you will find a strength that can only come from Christ in you.
David had false accusations made about him when King Saul was pursuing him. Think of the pain and agony that David felt when someone he held great respect for was accusing him of wanting to kill him. Yet David showed great control when twice King Saul was in his grasp and David could have killed him, but no he just let him know that his life had been sparred, and he showed a great love for King Saul in those moments. Many of us can at times in our lives become falsely accused of things. We know the truth, but the accuser does not and will not listen to reason. Just as David did you may have to stop trying to confront your accuser and instead pray for your accuser, show love and respect to the person, even though you may be having a struggle deep inside.
I have learned so much from reading about what David did as well as Jesus. When they faced trials and false accusations they did not confront the accuser. No they turned to God and they poured out everything that they were feeling and the truth of what they knew of Father God. As I have applied this to my own life, I have seen a deeper spiritual growth and I have learned so much more about the love of Father God.
Many times I have found myself deep in my bible. God has shown me and reminded me of the things that I already knew but in my moments of weakness I was drawn into the Psalms, Samuel and even Proverbs. I have seen an inner strength that I never realized I had, and I account this to Christ in me. Just as Philippians says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Before the last 6 weeks I thought I understood this, but I have come to realize it is something beyond anything I ever thought. As I felt I would break emotionally, I continually found myself seeking God. Over and over I have seen God make a way for things that were seeming impossible because of what was being said or done by others.
When I felt completely defeated and ready to thrown in the towel, I have been refreshed by the living water that Jesus provides. I can attribute it to nothing else, for there is no human explanation for how I was transformed. We have a wonderful and powerful God, and he covers us in a shield of love that protects us from the fiery darts that can come flying at us. It empowers us to not take offense at things that are said or done against us.
I have been reminded time and again what it says in Ephesians 6, For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. That is right even when it seems our battle is the person or persons in front of us, it is really not. We are to love our enemies, and that can be hard, but when I have shown love to my enemy and I prayed blessings over them, I have seen God do amazing things that go against what the person was saying they would do.
So my fellow Christians you need to put on your armor everyday, seek the Lord in all things great or small, easy or difficult. Then take your battle to the heavenlies and call on the Great I AM to come and fight with you. We do not win battles we face with words, no we win the battles by taking it to God, calling on God to fight for you because of his great love for you. In Ephesians 4:2-4 we are reminded to always be humble and gentle. To be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
This is how I have learned to walk out each day and I have seen a change in the environment. When I turned away from confronting my accuser, and praying for him to be released from any evil spirits there was a shift in the atmosphere. I can only give the credit to God the Father. Father God loves me and he loves you. Papa wants to bless us with what we want. Remember God knows what we are feeling and our heart, just as well as he knows the heart of the others you know. Seek God first and trust God with the outcome even if it seems different from what you wanted or imagined.
For I can say that God’s way is so much better than my way. It may seem strange and confusing at times, but God will never abandon you, not even in your darkest moments. No instead God will cover you in love, you will find the peace that only Jesus can bring in the middle of a storm. For the storm may be all around you, but where the boat is sitting the storm is calmed. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, he leads me beside still waters and lays me down in green pastures. This is a Father that protects you, brings calmness to you, and covers you in abundant love.
In Ephesians 3 Paul talks of the unlimited resources that we will be empowered with. That is inner strength through his spirit. Christ will make a home in your heart and your roots will grow down deep into God’s love and this is what keeps you strong. You gain insight , understanding and knowledge as you grow closer to Father God and you discover a love that is greater than you can imagine.
I am sure that everyone has at one time or another thought God had abandoned them or that God was against them. But I want to reveal to you what Psalm 46 really says about God. I was reading The Passion Translation and although it is poetic it is so powerful with truth.
God is a safe and powerful place to find refuge
Yep when you rest in Gods presence you are wrapped in loving arms, it is like a blanket or a cocoon that shields and protects what is within. There is so much safety and it is a place of refuge from the world that is coming against you. Refuge is that place that someone goes to get away from something terrible that is coming after them. They go to that place that they know they are protected. That is exactly what happens when you rest in the presence of the Lord. You are shielded from the fiery darts of lies for nothing can penetrate the shield that the love of God creates. We are reminded that God is a proven help in times of trouble. I don’t know about you, but time and again God has shown up and proven that he is with me fighting my battles. God is a mighty fortress that is built upon the strongest rock Jesus. Just take a moment to close your eyes and picture a fortress built high upon a cliff that is hard to reach. The walls are built of rock and stone, the waves of the oceans below can not reach it and there is a mighty mountain range that must be traversed to even reach this fortress. I can see it sitting high in the heavens, with me safely inside, walking the halls with my beloved Jesus.
So we will never fear
I know that is hard to swallow at times, but fear is just a bully that is trying to convince you that he is mightier than Jesus. Well I know that Jesus is the name above all names, and that nothing can conquer the name of Jesus. My friends stand with your hands locked with Jesus and know that fear has no power or authority over you. For you are joint heirs with Jesus and you have power and authority over fear. Stand strong in your fortress that God has provided and yell down at fear “YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME”. The reality is that fear is just a small little ant that is going to be crushed by the sea below your mighty fortress. It is our FAITH that keeps us strong when fear tries to stop us in our tracks. In Psalm 46:2-3 says So we will never fear even if every structure of support were to crumble away. We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea. For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in you. To me those are some of the most beautiful words. It does not matter how strong and mighty the things in your life are they cannot erode your faith in the Lord.
God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams bring joy and delight to his people.
That is right the living water that comes from God is powerful and it is filled with love, that fills his children with hope, joy and happiness, in the middle of whatever they are struggling with. That living water brings life and a power that is unshakeable for it flows through the city of God Most High and pours out upon us. God sits high in the midst of this city, secure and never shaken. For all God has to do is raise his voice and the earth disintegrates before him. I see a picture of his voice floating out and the mountains are crashing down, the storms are clearing and in its place are lush valleys full of abundance that can only come from God. The dark skies are made light and are shining with the Glory of God as a new day dawns before you. For remember God is the Commander. The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side. The God of Jacob is fighting for you and for me.
I was reflecting last night as I was conversing with God. I was thinking about Gideon who told the angel of the Lord, My clan is the weakest of the whole tribe of Manasseh. But he did not stop there for than he said I am the least of my family. Right there in that moment you have a clear picture of how Gideon sees himself and his clan. Weak and powerless!
Many times as we go through life we may feel that we are the least of our family or the group that we are in. But the truth is that God always uses the least to reveal his Glory. Gideon thought of himself as the lowest person around. He does not sound like he has much confidence in himself.
But when Gideon questions the angel he is told “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” See God can always use the least to reveal his Glory. For if God sent the mightiest they would think it was there own power that helped them to succeed. That would end up glorifying themselves instead of glorifying God.
I really like how even though he had doubts, Gideon stepped out in faith. What does he do but fix an offering for the Lord. Then he returns with the offering and presents it to the angel. The angel told him how to place it on the rock and then fire consumed the offering.
Is God calling you to be a warrior for those around you? Maybe people are being bullied at school, or an elderly person is being mistreated. It could be any number of things. Don’t miss the moment when God will show up and ask you to step out in faith.
Just as Gideon was used to glorify God, as the people of Israel we’re being rescued. God can use you. God will make the weak strong so that the goodness and glory of God can be revealed. Stop focusing on your weaknesses and instead focus on God and what he is asking you to do.
Trust that when God is with you there will be success for we have a God that makes the impossible possible.
Our beloved Jesus paid the ultimate price for our salvation. It is hard for our human minds to truly grasp the magnitude of the love Jesus had for us that he would be sacrificed so that you and I could gain freedom. That freedom was freely given by our beloved Jesus. At any moment Jesus could have called upon the angels and they would have rescued him, but no he kept his eyes focused on the freedom that his sacrifice would bring.
Jesus was a ransom that God paid to save us from the empty life that we inherit here on earth. The price that was paid for us was more valuable than anything of value here on earth. Things such as gold and silver can lose their value over time, but the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God never loses its value. God loves us so much that he chose Jesus to be the ransom long before the world began. Stop for a moment and think of what that really means.
Before creation had even happened God thought of you and I. God knew that we would fall away, but God had a plan to bring his beloved children back to him. The love that God has for us is so vast and immense that you could never fill a vessel with it. That love is greater than the universe.
Think of what Jesus went through so that we could have everlasting life. Jesus suffered mockery, ridicule and torture beyond imagine. Jesus lived that perfect, sinless life listening to Father God to guide him in all things. Jesus was the perfect, first-born, lamb that was led to the slaughter for all our sins. In those days you had to have a lamb that had no imperfections sacrificed during the Passover.
Our wonderful Lord Jesus had a crown of thorns crushed upon his head, drawing blood as the thorns dug into his head and brow. I can see the droplets of blood running into his eyes, but he endured on. He did not lash out in anger, as he was mocked by the guards. He did not take his eyes off the prize even after he was offered up as a sacrifice. It would have been so easy for him to say Father crush my enemies. But no, instead he remained quiet and endured for us.
Even after the mockery from the guards Jesus had to endure being lashed with a leather whip embedded with metal. Historians have recorded that many that were beaten this way never survived. But Jesus our Lord was not a common man and he endured keeping his eyes on us the beloved prize. If only you can imagine being whipped with something that would cut all the way to the bone. It was known to tear through the flesh, ripping a body, revealing internal organs. Yeah, that is what they used on our beloved Jesus. His body was cut and ripped apart by this terrible leather whip. Jesus did not have welts, no he literally was ripped open with every lash of the whip, having flesh tore from his body, cutting deep into his flesh and bone.
As if that was not enough, than Jesus was forced to carry the cross that he would die upon. Picture our Lord Jesus, beaten, bleeding and then struggling to carry that big heavy cross so that we would not have to. All the while he kept his eyes focused on the love he had for us. The love to bring us into salvation and freedom in our faith of knowing Jesus.
Did you know that Jesus was sacrificed on the same day that the Passover lambs were sacrificed? Back in those days the Priests extended the time for killing the lambs that were brought, so that it was from noon until twilight. These hours coincide with when Jesus was on the cross.
I hope that you can see just how much love Jesus and the Father have for us the beloved children. Even in his body that was destroyed he trusted the Father and knew that he had to finish the task at hand to bring freedom and life. The life that we receive when we believe and have faith in Jesus is greater than any life here on earth. The life of salvation is a gift that is freely given to us through grace and mercy that the Father poured down upon us.
What a love that Jesus had for every one of us. That is such a reckless and wild love that endured to win us back. We no longer have to live in the power of sin, for when we walk with Jesus sin loses its power over us. We are no longer enslaved under the power and authority of sin. The blood of Christ has washed us clean, making us righteous in the eyes of the Father.
Father God gave Moses the law but that could not save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. Yes, as humans we have a sinful nature. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8 reveals so much about Gods love for us.
As we are heading toward Palm Sunday and Easter just think about how strong Gods love is for us. Think about how much Jesus loves us that he suffered so that we could be free, that we could be healed. Take time to thank Jesus for the suffering he endured to bring you into the glorious gift of salvation, that was freely given. There is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation and we surely don’t deserve salvation, but Jesus has given us salvation through GRACE and MERCY.
Thank you Jesus for the love you have for us that you freely gave your life for us. The love you have for us is greater than anything we can ever imagine. It is an endless love that is never-ending. Jesus you are our hero.
There is a song out that I heard for the first time about a week ago. Ever since I heard it I keep thinking just how true the words are to the song. The song is titled “Fear is a Liar” and I have to agree. Fear tries to come at us like a big bully, it tries to frighten us, it can immobilize you, make you inactive. But the things that fear tells us are all lies. Fear is really just a big smoke screen of deception. That is right deception!
Fear can tell you that you are not good enough. But God says that you are good enough, you have been chosen. You have been made special and unique for you are Gods creation. God has adopted you as his own children (Romans 8:15). When you became a Christ follower God’s spirit joined with your spirit, and now you are children of God. When you know that you are good enough, you walk with your head high and you have confidence.
But fear wants to beat you down into nothingness so that you want to just give up. There are so many different lies that are driven by FEAR, and every one of them is not true. Girls all the time think they are not pretty enough, because they are comparing themselves to others. God made you beautiful, and special. You were given those eyes, that nose, hair that is straight or super curly. You get the idea each of us was created to be special. But fear knows that if we walk in that confidence than God wins and fear is defeated.
I think that fear is always looking for a new way to try to immobilize us. When we realize that what we have been hearing and agreeing with is a lie, then fear uses a new tactic. Sometimes fear will even try to lure you back into submission by reminding you that, you are used to feeling defeated so why not just come back and partner with it. Well God did give us a spirit of fear, NO! God gave us his spirit when we became Christ followers. Now you have authority over the spirit of fear. Fear only has power in your life when you allow it. Take back control over your life.
Fear wants you to be a slave that cowers under its rule. Fear wants to make you think that it is mightier and stronger than God. I say no for God is bigger and mightier than fear. God is the creator of all things. God knows you so well that he actually knows how many hairs are on your head. God wants you to walk in the authority that you were given. You were created to shine. To walk in confidence that you were chosen.
God chose you, it is never you that chooses God. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) Is fear trying to tell you that no ones loves you, or that you don’t belong? Can’t you see, that is all just a lie. For you are always loved by God, and you do belong to God. Even the unbelievers and the broken are loved by God, for Jesus is always with you ready to meet you where ever you are.
For some fear takes control of their lives through anxiety, depression, shyness, or panic attacks. All of these things can cause you to avoid people. It causes you to isolate yourself from others. Some people have such a tremendous fear that they will not even leave their homes. My heart hurts for everyone that is struggling with fear in any of the many ways that it manifests itself.
But today I am partnering with God. I want to help others to be empowered to overcome the lies that fear has placed in their lives. For the majority of my life I was so shy that I would avoid people, I would avoid going to places that were crowded, and I really just isolated myself from having friends or much contact with others. I did not have any friends for they could not be trusted, or they would judge you. This affected me in relationships of all kinds.
But what I discovered a few years ago was completely different. God empowered me to step through the fear and all of a sudden I found freedom. You to can have that freedom. It is time to stop allowing fear to be the Warden of your prison. There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Jesus. Jesus has the keys to your prison cell and he wants to bring you into freedom that only comes through him.
When you allow Jesus to release you from the strangle hold of fear, you find that you have more confidence in yourself. You open up and discover that you have friends, that truly want to be around you and that love you. That is when you realize the smoke screen that fear was using to keep you a prisoner. Stand tall today and say no more. Call fear out for what it really is. Surrender your prison sentence to anxiety, depression, etc. to Jesus. Then stand and walk in the boldness of Christ Jesus. Allow Jesus to give you strength to overcome.
I was reading my bible last night in the book of Joshua and a couple of verses just stuck out to me, they kept me engaged in conversation with God and I am still pondering them this morning. When the promised land was being divided and the tribe of Manasseh was receiving their allotment it says that they were unable to occupy some towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. It also says that they asked Joshua to give them a couple of other cities because the Canaanites were to powerful and they had iron chariots. Joshua gave them two other cities as well but also told them that they were strong enough to crush the Canaanites.
I remember the promise that God made to the Israelites before they crossed the Jordan river. God promised them that no one would be able to stand against them for God was with them. God said I will not fail you or abandon you. Then again Joshua reminds them that they are strong enough to battle the Canaanites. Yet they failed to ever remove them from the land. I wonder what caused them to have a lack of courage and to doubt that they could take the land that they were given. So different from the way Caleb responded at 80 years old as he took the hill country where the descendants of Anak lived.
God gave them a promise of rich and abundant lands. Then they went to battle and destroyed 37 kings and conquered the land. They saw first hand that God was with them as long as they worshiped only the true God. Yet even after that promise from their provider and Father above, they failed to follow through. After everything that they witnessed in the wilderness, the crossing of the Jordan and then the battles that entailed. It made me wonder what caused them to lack faith and confidence or the courage to do what God had promised them. As I thought about this and talked to God about this I began to think about the promises that God has given all of us. That we are children of God, that he is our provider and protector. Yet many of us fall short in grasping and reaching for those promises. I even began to think about the promises that God has given me.
I began to realize that it really always comes down to who are you going to believe. The promises that God has made to you or the lies that cause fear and doubt. Are you going to cower in fear because you think that there is no way things can work out. It is alright to admit that we let fear control us at times it happens to the best of us. I have spent a good part of my life believing things that were not what God was saying. But I was weak and I was not weighing it against what God says. Even now as I am stronger in my walk and relationship with God fear can try to come in. But now I recognize it and stop it in its tracks. It is easier to stop the fear when it is small. For fear can morph and make it look like something is bigger than God, and we can begin to believe God is powerless. That is when anxiety and panic can set in.
When you are facing that giant in your life, stand tall and strong like David did against Goliath. Cast your stone at the giant and watch the giant fall when you declare who God is and how powerful God Almighty is. This is easier when you are in relationship with the Lord. Just like David even in his darkest moments he would tell the Lord how he felt and how overwhelmed he was but then he always finished declaring the goodness of God and what God would do. This is what happens when you are in relationship versus just having religion. You automatically go to the Father to see what he says about what you are facing. You look at the pit of despair and you say no my God is greater than that, God did not give me a spirit of fear.
When you are in relationship with Father God, then you listen to what he has to say. You ponder and apply his promises to your heart where he resides in you. The word is where you weigh the things that are on your heart to see if they align with God or with the enemy. But if you just listen to the lies of the enemy then you start to react like the Israelites and you think I can’t. We have a God that says you can in the face of the biggest or darkest struggles of your life.
I encourage you to take some time and get to know Father God and Lord Jesus. Ask them what the truth and promise is for today and for tomorrow. Remember when God is for you, who can be against you. There is no problem in this world that is too great for God. The things that each of us face in life are nothing to Father God. God is the great creator and he cares about every one of you. God cares about the things you are struggling with. We have a big, big God and he is more powerful than anything that we face. Call on the name above all names Jesus. Spend time in the word so you know who God really is and you know the truth of what God says about you.
This really spoke to my heart and I wanted to share it with everyone.
When you look at the canvas of your life, what do you see?
Maybe you see it riddled with mistakes. The lines might not be straight. Parts of the drawing have gone outside of the lines. The paper is torn, dirty. Stains splattered across the painting serve as a constant reminder of past mistakes . People in the painting are blurry, once good friends have become un-recognisable.
No form of eraser or glue can fix the mess which you’ve created.
What would you give to start again? How much money would you pay to have your messy, torn up canvas turned into a masterpiece?
‘For we are God’s masterpiece.’ – Ephesians 2:9
We don’t become God’s masterpiece after we have fixed up the canvas of our life. Not God’s masterpiece once we’ve sorted out those messy lines and torn edges. We are God’s masterpiece. Not in a few weeks, months or…
View original post 1,366 more words
For those that know me they may be surprised that I ever lived with a Victim Spirit. Actually I was even surprised when I realized where I came from to where I am now in my walk with God. For me it just shows how great the name of Jesus really is for redemption and freedom come and transformation happens. Sometimes when we take a glimpse back we realize that we have been freed from more than we can imagine. I was actually shocked as I made this realization tonight. I was thinking I have never felt like a victim in my life, I have always faced things head on and never felt defeated. Then there were these little flashes of things from my past and how I had responded to those things. It was like Holy Spirit giving me little snippets of things I said at various times in my life.
What those snippets revealed to me is that I have walked on a greater journey with Jesus then I could have ever imagined. I realized that I had lived a huge part of my life with a Victim spirit without even realizing it. What I realized is that the victim spirit can be very subtle at times and at other times it is a big loud mouth. Sometimes it even likes to bring along friend such as a spirit of fear and worry. Why it is no fun to have a party if you don’t have friends around, RIGHT!!! It was rather shocking to realize how easily we can partner with a victim spirit. It starts convincing us that we are just not getting any breaks in life, whether it is relationships, jobs, a place to live. We begin to focus on everything that is going wrong, I am sick all the time, we don’t have enough money, these are just some of the ways it sneaks in. Then fear and worry can come in to make it even worse. You have trouble sleeping because you are worried about how you are going to pay the rent or buy food. Or maybe it is, am I going to survive what this disease or illness that I was just diagnosed with.
You may be reading this and saying but that is not me. I don’t have a victim spirit, well I hope that is true. Like I said I was surprised when it was revealed to me tonight. But Holy Spirit revealed was that when we start to believe lies then we start to partner with those lies. It starts out small and then it can morph into something even bigger. For instance I grew up in a home with a mom that was not very close to me or my sister. Her life was more important than spending time with her kids as they were growing up and I had to grow up at 13. That was when my parents got divorced and my mom was out every night until all hours of the morning. What I have come to realize is that in that moment when I had to step in and help raise my sister, I started to partner with a Victim spirit. I believed that is just life and oh well you have to deal with it. For years I would complain to others about how terrible my childhood was. I would focus on all the wrongs that my mother did. Fast forward to now and I have found forgiveness in my heart, and now I remember the times that were clouded when she was a good mother. I get enjoyment telling her of those moments as she struggles with Alzheimer’s.
Then at 18 I got kicked out of the house and sided with the victim spirit again. I did not deserve that, my Dad was just being mean and cruel. I was being picked on for no reason, why do these things happen to me. I am just unwanted and unloved, but oh I have this man in my life that makes me feel better. But then the abuse starts and you again partner with the victim spirit. You pity yourself because of the situation that you are in rather than looking at the good things going on all around you. Oh you are homeless and living out of a car or a tent, well that was part of my life when I was 18 and 19. Again I wanted everyone to have pity on me for what had happened to me. But the real truth was that I was not a victim during those times. Everything that happened to me was because of an action that I took. In reality I was living out what my actions had resulted in. Yes I made some terrible choices but when I was living in the moment and for years after that I did not associate it with terrible choices. No I made comments like well I just can’t pick good men in my life. Life is just to hard as an adult, why does everyone pick on me. Why can’t I get a break. I have the worse Mother in the world.
I think you can begin to see the picture, I wallowed in self-pity. I would even cry out to God and ask why are these things happening to me. What did I do to deserve this, nothing ever seems to work out. Why won’t you allow me to have a child when people who are drug addicts and child abusers can? Some of you may be having one of those moments where the realization is hitting, oh I have believed the same types of lies about myself. But I can tell you there is hope and it is Jesus. The name of Jesus is greater than any other name and there is no equal to the name of Jesus. I started to partner with that victim spirit back in 2008 when I was told I had Hepatitis C. Oh I wallowed in self pity, and then I convinced myself that I deserved it because of the sinful life I lived when I was 18 and 19. I was ready to give up on life and to just stop fighting feeling like there was no use. But now I can look back and see that at that moment I chose not to partner any longer with that victim spirit. After a couple of days I stood strong and I started to all on the Lord. The Lord walked with me on that journey and it brought freedom and self discovery in the process. It brought happiness and hope in the middle of some tough times. But I came to really know that Jesus is always with me and he never leaves me. Really he is always there just waiting for us to call on him or to reach for him. Jesus will always be there to meet us in the darkest most broken places of our lives.
I stopped feeling like there was no hope. I stopped telling everyone how terrible my life had been. I stopped focusing on everything that had gone wrong in my life and I started to focus on the things that had gone well. Yes in my past I had many years of hard struggles that seemed unfair, but the truth was that in the middle of the hardest struggles good things were happening. Now they are just faint memories and I don’t remember names or faces of some. But I will never forget the loving Christian woman who took me shopping for clothes and some things for a home after I lost everything in a fire. Some complete stranger spent a day showing me the love of Jesus. Or the families that provided me work when I was living out of a car in Arkansas. They gave me some work to make a few dollars and then fed me a meal and gave me a place to sleep for a couple of nights. Again they were Christians that God placed in my path. As I look back I see similar things all through my life. I started to see that those memories were all clouded before by the lies I was believing from the Victim Spirit.
But when I stopped believing the lies all of a sudden I can remember all the good people who were in my life during some really difficult times. I can look back and see how blessed I was even when I was far away from God. The greatest things is that no matter how broken we are we are never to far away from God. All we have to do is call out to Jesus. Just that one name can bring redemption, and healing in your life. It took me over 30 years to figure this one thing out. For so long in my life I did not think God really cared about me. Why did God allow these things to happen. But I have been blessed with wisdom as I walk with Jesus now. My eyes have been opened to the blindness that I walked in for so long.
You may be struggling with a victim spirit in your life, and you may not even realize it. My prayer for you is that you find freedom in knowing that when you walk with Jesus you are not given a spirit of fear or of being a victim. Rather we are given a spirit of a sound mind. Yes a sound mind!!!! As we discover the freedoms that come from Jesus peace and comfort begin to wash over us. I did no special thing to find freedom. In fact I had been walking around for the last couple of days thinking that I had no idea how to relate to someone who was living with a victim spirit. But alas I was surprised to have it revealed to me tonight. That just lets you know that true freedom comes from Jesus and when you walk in that freedom your old ways fall away to reveal the new you. If you still are not sure just look for the friends of a victim, fear, worry, self-pity, sorrow. But Jesus brings us hope, joy, love, peace. What I have learned is that our actions can bring on circumstances that we have to deal with and live with, but we can get strength from Jesus to bring us through those things and to be stronger on the other side.
Lord I ask you to bless every reader with your peace, love, joy and hope in the midst of whatever they are going through. Jesus just bless them with someone who will walk into their lives and show them your love in some way. I pray for the blinders to be removed so that they can have a clearer picture and shift their focus to the good things that are happening around them. Jesus cover them in peace and comfort in knowing that you are with them no matter what they are going through. Amen.