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Friday, November 5, 2021

Ice Cold Resistance – Stronghold Busting - Purity 568


Ice Cold Resistance – Stronghold Busting -  Purity 568

Purity 568 11/05/2021   Purity 568 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a snowy view from the top of Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington NY comes to us from a friend who decided to hike to the summit yesterday despite the fact that the decreasing temperatures of early November and the conditions at 4800 feet resulted in a significant coating of snow on the fifth highest mountain in the state of New York.  

That’s right folks, even where I am in the northern reaches of the Hudson Valley the temperatures where officially below freezing yesterday for a time and when that happens the possibility of snow is real.   But we can’t live in fear of what might come. Instead we must simply keep on living, prepare for the changing seasons, and deal with the changing circumstances of life as we face them.   

As futile as it may be, we sometimes resist the change of the arrival of colder seasons and snow even though we are generally powerless to affect the weather.  So as irrational as it may be, we can resist change. 

As difficult it as it may to be to accept that we resist change, even changes for the better,  sometimes we can discover that “the change” resists us!

I teach discipleship and spiritual warfare. The two go hand in hand as each term could be a paraphrase for the other as each process involves adopting a Christian worldview and purposely standing on the truth of God’s word regarding what it says about us and the problems we face.     

Before coming to faith in Jesus Christ, we all lived in the world and developed defense mechanisms for dealing with life. Defense mechanisms are really just the way that we tend to behave when we are faced with certain situations that seemingly run automatically but may not always be the “best defense”.  Fighting or fleeing are common defense mechanisms but really anyway we behave repeatedly in situations can be identified as a defense mechanism. 

Filling in the blank to the statement:

“When I get stressed I ___________” 

could help us to see what our defense mechanisms are in regard to stress.  Some defense mechanisms are healthier than others as this fill in the blank statement could have a wide range of responses, including “eat, have a drink, do drugs, or cut myself”.  

One word that the Bible’s uses to describe “defense mechanisms” would be “strongholds” as Paul uses the term to describe the process of spiritual warfare as a way to renew the mind in

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT2)
3  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.
4  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
5  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

The NLT makes the idea that we use God’s mighty weapons, such as faith and the word of God, to knock down strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy the false arguments, or worldly ways that contradict God’s wisdom. And we would do this because those “false arguments” or worldly ways of doing things “keeps people from knowing God”, which would include experiencing the peace of His presence and the power and strength He can provide to help us endure and overcome the problems of this life.    

Thus we are to capture these “rebellious thoughts” and “teach them to obey Christ” which refers to recognizing the ways we have been trained to think and behave according to the world system and to challenge those “defense mechanisms”, or strongholds, and to change them to thoughts and behaviors that are consistent with Biblical wisdom for living.   

Our class presented the method of stronghold busting last evening, which is a method of:

·       identifying a lie we have believed, such as “I’m dirty”, “I’m worthless”, “I’m no good”,

·       renouncing it, SUCH AS “I renounce the lie that I am no good!”

·       speaking a truth based on God’s word, “such as: I choose to believe the truth that “I am complete in Christ.”

·       And then reciting a Bible verse or verses that proclaim that spiritual reality, such as

Colossians 2:10 (NLT2) says
10  So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

·       And repeating this process daily for 40 days to thoroughly remove the belief that was based on a lie and to replace it with the truth about who we are in Christ.

Last night when this method was taught, one of the participants of the class reported that they were excited about the prospect of getting rid of some lies that were living with but as soon as they made the decision that “Yes, I’m going to do this and be free of this!” a wave of resistance came flooding in and made them feel sick to their stomach.

I pointed out that this was a spiritual process and while we personally might resist making changes for the better, a response like this one indicated the real possibility of dark spiritual forces acting out to prevent the person from experiencing their freedom from a long establish stronghold.     

I reminded the students of the fact that the demonic forces of darkness seek to steal, kill, and destroy us and that scripture indicates that these forces have the ability to put thoughts into our heads to try to influence us. The classic example is the enemy tempting us to sin where the end result is us saying “why did I do that? Why did I do it when I knew it was wrong?”   While we are personally responsible for the choices we make and the actions we take, we very well may have received demonic encouragements to give in to sin. 

One of the thoughts I tried to expose as a possible source of demonic influence in our thought streams was “I don’t want to”  or “I can’t do that” or “that’s impossible.”  When these thoughts come out in response to our desire to do something good, we have to suspect a sinister form of resistance may be present. 

Ask yourself logically,  “Why would I tell myself to not do something that would help myself or others? Why would I repeatedly choose to stay in a state of suffering that is brought on by my own decisions?”  

While I am not saying that all thoughts of resistance are demonically inspired, I would present the solution to both the demonic influences or the personal decision to stay in bondage to be the same: the renewing of the mind with the word of God and by having faith in God and His ability to deliver you when you cooperate with Him.  

The participant’s experience of getting physically ill at the thought of getting free of a negative belief is highly suspect of demonic influence but instead of screaming for an exorcist I assured them that whether their resistance was the enemy or was just their own fear of change, the stronghold busting method of renouncing the lie and proclaiming the truth of God’s word over themselves personally could be an effective remedy that would lead to increased freedom and peace.

 

The ice cold realities of dealing with change could include the spiritual forces of darkness. Or it could just be us stuck in our ways.   But the good news is that through our faith in Jesus Christ we have been given authority over the spiritual forces of darkness and we have been given the power to overcome and change whatever negative “defense mechanisms”, or strongholds, that we have been stuck in.  

So keep walking and talking with God.  He wants you to experience life and life more abundantly. When you walk with Him and believe and speak the truth of His word over your life, the spiritual power of the word of God and His presence in you becomes manifest as those lies you have believed about yourself are exposed by His light and are replaced with the truth of what God says about you.

Victory is gained and our freedom is maintained through agreeing with and living by God’s wisdom and ways.  Our harmonious relationship with Him is the means by which we overcome and every time we adopt and apply another truth from the word of God to our lives the more we know the peace and joy that comes from walking in the Spirit.


Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 18:12 (NLT2)
12  Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.

Today’s verse reminds us of the consequences of pride and the benefits of humility. 

Haughtiness is the “quality of being arrogantly superior and disdainful”. It means to be prideful, arrogant, conceited, or full of hubris or self-importance. 

Today’s verse tells us that this attitude will lead to destruction, and we can see that as playing out in two ways, on earth and as it is in heaven. 

On earth, nobody is perfect and even the most talented and intelligent of us will make mistakes or be subject to other people’s influences or the effects of time and space.  Even superstars fail occasionally and grow old and decrease in their abilities.   So if we are haughty or prideful, eventually we will suffer because our air of self-importance will be challenged by the world or by our own mortality.  Also our haughtiness could cause discord in the relationships we have in life as few people are drawn to stay in relationships with people who are self-centered.

So there are real life possible negative consequences for a haughty spirit.  But even if you somehow mange to avoid these things, or deny their effects on your self-important life, pride will have eternal consequences that can not be avoided.

Prideful people will not make Christ their Lord and Savior and the consequence to that action is ultimate separation from God and personal destruction in hell.  

So instead we are taught in today’s verse to live in simple humility which means  to have a modest view of our importance or to be humble. 

When we are humble we will recognize our own failings and tend to be compassionate towards our neighbors.  That humble spirit will be recognized and appreciated by others and tends to lead to acceptance into warm personal relationships. 

Beyond having the company of friends and loved ones, humility could also cause us to see our need for a Savior and lead us to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  So if we live in humility we could be given the great honor of being invited into the kingdom of God as adopted members of the Lord’s royal family. 

So don’t be haughty, live in humility. That’s the way Jesus walked when He was here on earth, and I can’t think of a better example to follow that will help us to avoid destruction and to experience the honor that comes from knowing God personally.       

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:

H. How to Bolster Self -Worth After a Broken Relationship

What do you do after you say good-bye? When people fail us, we can temporarily lose the sense of self-worth we gained by having them in our lives. Losing a relationship with a significant person is hurtful to everyone, but it can be devastating for some. The remedy can be found in looking to our true Need-Meeter, to the One who gives us unfailing love...who makes us unquestionably significant... who provides us unshakable security. God Himself is responsible for meeting—and is able to meet—all of our needs for love, for significance, and for security.

"What a person desires is unfailing love." (Proverbs 19:22)

How God Meets Your Need for Love

  • Reject the lie that you are unacceptable or unlovable.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that when I experience rejection, You offer me love and acceptance."

"He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV).

  • Rejoice in the truth that you are deeply loved.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the deep, unconditional love and kindness that You have for me. You love me even when I feel unlovable."

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

  • Revel in the reality that God is conforming you to the likeness of His Son.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that day by day I am becoming more and more like Jesus. Thank You for conforming me into His likeness."

"Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29).

  • Rely on other treasured relationships to reaffirm your value.
    Pray..."Lord, I thank You for giving me dear friends who value me as a person and reaffirm me as one of Your precious children."

"I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you [Timothy] in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy" (2 Timothy 1:3-4).

  • Release all anger, hurt, resentment, and regret to the Lord.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for taking my anger, hurt, resentment, and regret. I lay it all down at the foot of Your cross."

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Colossians 3:8).

  • Resume your social life and regular daily activities. Establish a "new normal."
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for helping me reestablish my social life with those who are dear to me. Help me to receive their love, comfort, and support."

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:8-10).

How God Meets Your Need for Significance

  • Realize that your identity is in your relationship with the Lord and not in another person.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that my identity is not based on what others think about me, but that my true identity can be found only in a relationship with You."

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

  • Reflect on the positive things you learned or changes you made as a result of being in the relationship.
    Pray... "Lord, thank You for all the wonderful things I learned as a result of being in my past relationship. Thank You, Lord, for the growth that has taken place in my life."

"I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw" (Proverbs 24:32).

  • Reexamine the strengths and weaknesses of the broken relationship. Learn from any unwise decisions you may have made.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the gift of discernment. Help me discern any unwise decisions I made while in my past relationship. Help me to overcome my weaknesses and continue to grow in Your strength.

"The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly" (Proverbs 15:14).

  • Rehearse instances that reflected sound judgment and discernment on your part.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for the gift of discernment and sound judgment that I know comes from Your Spirit within me."

"My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion" (Proverbs 3:21).

  • Relegate the past to the past and embrace your God-ordained future.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for helping me leave my past in the past and for preparing me to embrace my future with You and all that You have ordained for me."

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).

How God Meets Your Need for Security

  • Rest in the sovereignty of God over all your plans and relationships.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for being sovereign in all areas of my life, including my relationships. Your plans for me are firmly set."

"The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations" (Psalm 33:11).

  • Relax in the fact that God's plans and purposes for you cannot be thwarted by the actions of another person.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that no circumstance and no person, including myself, can derail Your plans and purposes for me."

"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).

  • Remember that God never allows anything in your life that He does not intend to use for your good.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that everything I experience in life will be used for my good, even the painful experiences will be used as a testimony to encourage others."

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

  • Resolve to face your heartache and to work through your grief with the Lord's help.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You for being my Comforter and Counselor when I am faced with heartache and grief."

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).

  • Resist the temptation to withdraw.
    Pray..."Lord, thank You that I was created to be in relationships with others. Help me to seek the fellowship of friends and family even when I am tempted to withdraw."

"An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels" (Proverbs 18:1).

Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.

 

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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