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Showing posts with label Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Change. Show all posts

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Ready or Not, Here I Come - By TammyLyn Clark


 Ready or Not, Here I Come - By TammyLyn Clark 

 You'll never be ready. That is a lie of Satan to keep us from doing God’s will with our lives. But there is some truth to that. We will never be READY for what God has called us to do, however God’s call is to take a step out in faith.

God calls us to be ready (in His time). He will reveal to us one step at a time. Often we as humans want the whole picture or all the steps revealed at once. Another thing that holds us back from taking the first step is we feel we are not yet qualified. So we try to get training, education and studies under our belt before we make a move in faith. “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Mark Batterson. If we wait until we feel we are ready, we will be waiting our entire lives…missing all the opportunities along the way that God has called us to do in faith.

What is that first step (or next step) you are hesitant about? Where do you need to step out in faith and trust our Lord?

We want to plan our lives carefully and be sure everything is in place before making a transition in life. As the saying goes we want all our “ducks in a row”.

However….SURPRISE! In case you didn't know God doesn’t work that way. Our God is a God of “just enough.” He reveals “just enough’ to us. He gives us “just enough” grace and “just enough” strength. 

Why? Because God wants us to continue to depend on Him daily. He doesn’t want us to rely on the assurance of the things of this world. He wants our dependence on Him and Him alone.

He never gives us more than we can handle.

There are many times in our lives where we feel overwhelmed because we are being led to leave the comforts of a familiar job, relationship or make a move. As humans we like comfort, ease and what “feels good”. We don't like the unknown, unfamiliar, and uncharted territories.

However, it is in these times God helps us grow and make steps in faith. My current marriage is a step in faith. My husband and I know God brought us together, but why? How? We are still discovering God's plans for our lives as a married couple. There were (and still are uncertainties) of our living situation and when we will be living “together” in one home. While those uncertainties exist and the uncertainties of where God is taking us each day, we are certain God has brought us together for His glory and we will step out in faith to fulfill that plan with God’s help. These unknown factors didn't keep us from taking that step in faith towards the calling to become one flesh in marriage as husband and wife. We know without a doubt God called us to become husband and wife and is asking us to continue our faith walk in Him for the rest of our lives. The rest will come with faith in Christ. If we stay true to our calling to be a Godly couple seeking Him and His will for our lives His plan will be revealed to us in His time.

Another strong calling I am personally feeling from the Lord is to take a stand about what I put (and allow) in my body. My body is a temple of the Lords.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Now this verse refers to your body being a temple and to flee from sexual impurities however I am taking it a step further and honoring God within this and keeping my body pure from all unnatural things of this world.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.…

About 15 years ago, I decided to become a vegetarian and began watching the foods I ate, trying to avoid processed foods. I am somewhat of a naturalist. I do not use over the counter medicines, do not use prescription drugs, or any unnatural man-made medicines in my body. This is a preference of mine and I live by example for my children and others around me. I try my best to watch what I eat and tend towards natural unprocessed foods. Somewhat recently, I felt a strong call from the Lord to honor the temple of my body He gave me and I have refused the COVID vaccine. I will not get into the politics of my decision, but simply state I do not agree with what is in the vaccine and believe in body autonomy.

Taking a step in faith and taking a stance against this does have earthly and eternal consequences. All of our decisions have consequences here on earth and eternal ones when we meet our Lord. I am willing to deal with these earthly consequences. This recent decision I made is one of them. Because of this stance I have taken, I now have to consider a job/career change. I am at complete peace with my decision because I know I am following the Lord's will with my life. This is a step in faith and God will never leave me or forsake me.

Isaiah 41:8-10

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Mark Batterson made a reference to the “Ready…Set…Go” phrase in my morning devotion. He feels it is backwards and should be “Go...Set…Ready”. I tend to agree with him. We are never really ready for what God calls us to do, but we need to take that step in faith to allow God to “Set” us up and to prepare to make us “Ready”.

Many of us try to READY ourselves before we follow God’s call but we never “feel ready” so we never GO! This causes fear, doubt and discouragement in our hearts leading to disobedience.

It is not easy to discern God’s will for our lives when we are mixed up in all the confusion and distractions of this world. We are called to prayer and fasting to help us discern His will for our lives. But even after a time of prayer and fasting, discerning His will isn’t easy. We will need to take those steps in faith to end a relationship or start a new one, quit a job to start our new journey, or make a move (little or drastic). Sometimes we are so afraid of doing the wrong thing or making the wrong decision that we stay where we are at causing us to miss what God has planned for us. His wonderful and glorious will for our lives.

So step off that boat of comfort, ease in safely onto the rough seas of a life of faith in Christ. Just as Peter stepped off the boat in faith and walked on water with Christ. He did so until He turned His eyes away from Christ and lost his faith beginning to sink. But Jesus didn’t leave him there to drown. Christ reached out His hand to Peter and helped him believe again and trust in the Lord.

Jesus Walks on the Sea

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on  the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Draw close to our Heavenly Father; and He will take your hand to guide you on your faith journey. You need only take the first step and TRUST God has you for the rest! What is your step of faith today?

GO…SET…READY…

And Let God do the rest.

If you are looking for excuses you will always find them.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Receiving a Vision for the Future – “Daniel Fast” Time - Purity 618



Receiving a Vision for the Future – “Daniel Fast” Time - Purity 618

Purity 618 01/03/2022  Purity 618 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a last year’s sunshiny morning on January 4th of 2021, comes to us from a friend who captured these lovely winter visions of morning presumably somewhere in upstate New York, and, if I recall correctly, somewhere close to their home in Greene County.   There were a few more photos from January 4th last year that I had on my phone that will be shared on mt4christ.org today that are worth checking out but I have decided to purge them from my I-phone’s memory to make room for more photos in 2022. 














And just to show you I haven’t lost track of time, I also sharing a photo of a January sunset sky from January 3rd of last year.   



 Yep today, is the third day of the New Year and it is the first Monday. While I normally would be working, and just sharing a single photo, my wife and I decided to enjoy another night last night in wedded bliss and to take the day off from work today to get to the town hall and hand in our wedding license and run a few other errands as man and wife.  We have a new collective identity as “The Clark’s” and we will be taking steps to make sure all the necessary documents are handed in to make our marriage legal and to complete TammyLyn’s name change.  

The new year is a time for new possibilities and for making resolutions to either make changes to our lives or to recommit ourselves to goals that we have strayed away from in the previous year.  And I am here to encourage you that even though it may be the third day of the year, it’s not too late to start a resolution to make a change in your life. The truth is that it is never too late to make a change.  

As a man who has gone through many changes in life, I can testify that the catalyst for the positive changes in my life was and is my faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After I saw the truth that I needed a Savior to atone for my sins and to give me everlasting life, I placed my faith in Jesus to save and change me by surrendering to live my life according to God’s ways detailed in the Bible rather than my own ways. 

Through faith in Christ, I have been set free from my addictions to alcohol, drugs, and sex. I have been transformed into someone who continuously seeks the Lord’s will for their life and who lives to encourage others to seek the Lord and to discover their freedom in Christ.  

As we draw into the new year, we each should approach the Lord to seek His will for us in the new year ahead.  God’s will for our lives is sanctification but with the festive holiday season behind us we may wake up in the new year with the realization that we have gone astray in the common trap of pursuing happiness in the things of this world and may be actively suffering because of our indulging our fleshly appetites or through our failed efforts to create circumstantial holiday joy.   

If that’s the case, as it is with me. Let’s just say the feasting has been substantial…. It’s time to repent and turn to the Lord, surrender to His will, and to ask God for a “vision” of what 2022 should be for our lives.  

One way we can have spiritual victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil and can possibly receive a vision from God is through fasting and prayer.   

Daniel 10:1-3 is often pointed out as scripture that illustrates that a prophetic vision for the future came from God after Daniel had “mourned” and fasted for three weeks.  

Daniel 10:2-3 (NLT2) says:
2  When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks.
3  All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed.

So a “Daniel Fast” could be said to be one in which you only eat vegetables because of verse 3’s injunction to eat no rich food or meat.  Also the verse indicates that the duration of this fast would be three weeks.  Daniel’s period of “mourning” could also be described as a period of repentance as he was seeking to understand the things that he had seen and what the Lord would do with Israel.  At the end of Daniel’s fast, he received a vision from God for the nation of Israel’s future.   

Fasting is highlighted in the Book of Acts as well as a means in which the Apostles received spiritual direction for doing the Lord’s work.  

Acts 13:2 and Acts 14:23 document how Paul and Barnabas were selected for missionary work after the elders of the church spent a period of time in prayer and fasting.   

So if you are in a season where you are looking to make some new year’s resolutions and to recommit yourself to the Lord’s will for your life, you may consider setting aside some time for prayer and fasting to direct your path. 

Every year, the leadership at my local church announces a period of corporate fasting for three weeks after new year’s day has past  to “get a vision” for each new year.  While the fast is voluntary and the “rules” of the fast are up to each individual, the church is open for corporate prayer twice a day for the duration of the three weeks to encourage this period of repentance. 

In previous fasts, congregants have been strengthened in their faith, have claimed to received guidance for the year ahead, and, in a few instances, have received healing from physical ailments. 

While I can not guarantee miraculous or specific results from prayer and fasting, I have benefitted greatly from these spiritual practices.  I believe I have matured greatly as a Christian because of these periods of prayer and fasting because it demanded a “crucifying” of the flesh and a paradigm shift of the mind as I discovered that I could survive physically and thrive spiritually when I chose to abstain from food for a time and instead sought the Lord’s presence, guidance, and strength.

Although I can certainly stand to lose a few pounds, weight loss is not the goal of a fast.  While I do have a goal to experience optimal health though diet and exercise, fasting is not about that. Fasting is intended to be accompanied with prayer, a conversation with God, to better “walk and talk” with Him.  

So I invite you to embrace the change of the new year and to seek the Lord’s will and vision for your life through prayer and fasting, in whatever way you feel the Lord is calling you.  

In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we have to try not to be so full of ourselves. That’s why the blog and podcast are called M T 4 Christ. The name is a play on words – as in “empty for” Christ – we surrender ourselves to the Lord’s will for our lives and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we seek out our purpose in God’s kingdom.       

So consider making this year the year that you decided to give more of yourself to God by turning to Him and seeking His plan for your life in prayer and fasting.  Prayer and fasting may just be the means that God uses to give you a breakthrough in your life but you will never know it unless you trust the Lord and put your faith into practice.  

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Romans 6:22 (NLT2)
22  But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

Today’s verse clearly states that we are free from the power of sin when we become slaves to God and indicates that doing so results in holiness and eternal life.  

There is so many big truths/promises in this verse for our spiritual walk as Christian disciples  that they may seem too good to be true. And unfortunately there is also a great deal of room for error in interpreting this verse.  

Let’s try to clarify things by doing the last things first.  Paul’s encouragement “Now do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life” could easily be misconstrued to mean that “doing things” to be holy leads to eternal life.   If that was the case, there would have been no need for Jesus to come.  

We don’t receive eternal life through our efforts at being holy. We aren’t saved by doing things.  As Ephesians 2:8-9 and many other verses in the Bible teach, we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone.   Faith in Jesus Christ gives us eternal life, not our “doing things”.

This letter is written to Christians, so the assumption is that the readers of this letter are saved by their covenant relationship with God through putting their faith in Christ.   However, as in every church building today, Paul was concerned about false converts in the midst of the congregation. So how do we know the “sheep” from the “goats”? We can have some idea of who a genuine Christian is by the way they live their lives. While only the Lord knows the hearts of men, men with their hearts set on doing God’s will and who have been given to Christ should endeavor to seek to be holy as God is holy.  

So Paul is encouraging Christians to live out their faith which will result in progressive holiness, sanctification, and the eternal life, they already have through their faith in Christ.  Paul is teaching here that our “Christian status” as forgiven and saved should be no reason to live in sin and he is encouraging Christians to “do the things” physically and mentally that would reflect who they already are spiritually, holy saints and children of God.  

And Now, first things first,  Paul is telling his audience of the power and position they already have because they are Christians.

He tells them “But now you are free from the power of sin”. They NOW, as in ALREADY, have freedom from the power of sin. They can say no to sin.  They already are free from sin’s power and simply have to “do the things” that lead to holiness which we could think of as the state of “saying no to sin” consistently.  

This is a powerful statement of faith that contradicts the lie of the enemy that “everybody sins” meaning that everyone is powerless to sin. The enemy wants us to think that we should just seek to ameliorate our tendency to sin rather that to exercise the power that all Christians possess to stop sinning.   

The enemy’s lies are compelling because the word of God seems to agree with his logic by telling us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that all have sinned and those who say they do not sin are liars.

But the Apostle is not speaking of sinless perfection here but power over sin.  We are not powerless. We have power over sin meaning although we may never be perfect on this side of eternity we can progressively exercise our power over sin to become more and more sanctified and gain victory in new areas of our lives, or for longer durations between sinning, than we have in the past.  

This path of exercising our power over sin is of “doing the things that lead to holiness”, so Paul is encouraging us to exercise that power and to get increasingly closer to holiness as we increasingly get closer to the eternal life that is already ours.   

And Finally, the means to this power over sin, and the pathway to holiness is revealed in our accepting our position as “slaves to God”. As I taught yesterday, slaves don’t have a choice. They do the will of their masters.  So as slaves of God, we are to eliminate our pondering of the sliding scales of sin and instead seek to do what it right, pure, and holy and to abstain from the sins that have so easily beset us.   

The power over sin is ours. Eternal life is ours. Holiness is ours.  Now. We have been bought by the shed blood of Jesus, so we are also slaves of God now.  

But Paul still tells us to “do the things” that a slave of God would do. We are to exercise our power over sin and become slaves of righteousness. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Know who you are in Christ and exercise the power that has been given to you to live a life of progressive holiness and know the peace that comes from being a slave to God.    

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

Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we begin sharing from Chapter 3.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

CHAPTER THREE   OVERCOMING DECEPTION

Julie didn’t just ask for an appointment to go through the Steps, she pursued it! As the session began, it didn’t take long to find out why. With deep emotion, she told the story of her troubled life: a violent alcoholic father, sexual molestation, pornography, demonic experiences in her room, and exploitation by legalistic controllers at her church.

She earnestly worked through Step One on false guidance, which added to her composure as she went through Step Two. At the completion of this Step a wonderful thing happened. After reading through the Doctrinal Affirmation, she put her book down, and tears welled up in her eyes. Overwhelmed with the truth of who God is and who she is in Christ, she said, “Wow! That is soooo great!”

TRUTH LIBERATES

Our Lord had just partaken of His last supper with His disciples before He walked to the cross. He knew His destiny, and He was about to leave behind 11 of the chosen 12 apostles, who would have to face opposition from the god of this world and continue the work Christ had begun. Satan had already deceived Judas, one of the disciples, into betraying Christ.

Jesus turned to the Father and prayed, “I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). His prayer revealed how this freedom can be accomplished. “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (v. 17).

Believing the truth about who Christ is, why He came, and who we are in Him is the basis for our freedom. Knowing the truth set forth in God’s Word is the mark of a true disciple. “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”56

Knowing the truth is our first line of defense against the father of lies.57 We acknowledge this truth in the inner self,58 because a genuine faith is more than just intellectual assent or the accumulation of knowledge. God’s truth must penetrate the heart, the very core of our beings. Only then will His truth bring freedom and lasting change in the inner person.

THE NEED FOR HONESTY

We have been called to speak the truth in love and walk in the light, which means that our lives should be transparent before God and others. Anything less and we are living a lie. David was living a lie when he covered up his sin with Bathsheba, and he suffered greatly. He finally found freedom by acknowledging the truth. He wrote, “How blessed is the man . . . in whose spirit there is no deceit!”59

People caught in the bondage of sin lie. Bulimics lie about their binging and purging. Alcoholics hide their addictions and secretly stash bottles around the house. Sex addicts can keep their sin hidden for years. The first step in recovery is to get out of denial and face the truth. The only thing a Christian must admit to is the truth. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”60

The primary reason Julie, the girl in the story, found so much resolution is that she held nothing back. She was ready to walk in the light and speak the truth. She found forgiveness, cleansing, and freedom. Truth is never the enemy; it is always a liberating friend. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of truth, the liberating light, the best friend a man or woman could ever have. In Him there is no darkness at all. Jesus is the truth, and He sets honest people free.

 ---------------------------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

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------------------------

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship