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Showing posts with label Denial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Denial. Show all posts

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Denial & Living a Lie - Self-Deception Series 24 – Purity 1113

Denial & Living a Lie - Self-Deception Series 24 – Purity 1113

Purity 1113 08/05/2023 Purity 1113 Podcast

Purity 1113 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the light of a sunset sky reflected in hood of my Honda CRV comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene on the evening of July 28th while driving down the last leg of Wait Rd before coming to my countryside home to celebrate the beginning of my summer vacation.  

Well, It’s Saturday and even though my vacation doesn’t come to an end until August 14th, the first half of it and my family’s time in Erie Pennsylvania will draw to a close by the day’s end.  And while there are some who despair when a road trip or the time at a vacation destination comes to an end, I am not  a member of that tribe.  While I enjoy the rest, relaxation, and fun of going away, I generally don’t have any trouble saying goodbye to “vacation life” when its time is up.  Although I suppose there has been various vacations in my life that I wouldn’t have minded extending, generally the suspended reality of vacation life is seen for the fantasy that it is when its time is up, I eagerly look to get back to where I belong – home – where I live and have my being, if you will.   Home is not only where the heart is – it is also the place where we meet our responsibilities and best represent our true selves.  

While on vacation, we live in a different place, do things that are not typical for us, spend money in ways we would never do so normally, and we may even “take an ego trip” of sorts as we may abandon our normal routines, compromise our values, or decide to let our inhibitions go.  Vacation life is fantasy life and if you didn’t know it, “fantasy” is another word for a lie.  Although some would claim that vacation land is the place where they can finally “be themselves” or can “be free”, an examination of the majority of their lives versus their attitudes and behaviors while on vacation, would expose the truth that their vacation persona may not represent their “best selves” and that their “freedom” looks like bondage to the flesh and circumstantial happiness that is not sustainable.    In short vacation life and some of our “vacation personas” are a lie.  In truth, we don’t live in vacation land, and we don’t often act like us when we go there. So the vague wish to be on vacation for ever could be seen as the wish to continually live a lie. 

 And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the first of the  “Ways to Wrongly Defend Yourself”:

1. Denial of Reality (Conscious or Unconscious).

Since the Steps to Freedom in Christ doesn’t provide scripture references for these terms, I have decided to utilize Meier, Minirth, Wichern & Ratcliff’s “Introduction to Psychology & Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications: to provide some basic definitions of theses common defense mechanisms. 

 

“Denial is “the ability to deny the existence of something disturbing, such as one’s own anger or sexual feelings” (Lidz 1968, 258). Thoughts, feelings, wishes, or motives are denied access to consciousness. It is the primary defense mechanism of histrionic personalities, who deny their own sinful thoughts, feelings, wishes, or motives even when they become obvious to those around them.

For example, a woman might act seductively but is not consciously aware of doing so because of denial, then becomes angry at the man she is unconsciously seducing for making sexually suggestive responses. If what she was doing was pointed out to her, she would probably deny it vehemently (see also Prov. 14:15; 16:2; James 3:14).

Counselors often refrain from identifying their clients’ obvious problems because of the likelihood they will deny those problems.

 

Counselors should help such clients identify the problems themselves, confirming what clients suggest without fear of denial. Once a client denies a diagnosis, it is very difficult to later admit that a problem actually exists.[1]

 

While I am not a licensed counselor, as of yet, this series on self-deception is intended to help us to discover the lies we have believed or the things we may have denied about ourselves. I like the counselors referencing James 3:14 for denial, which says.

James 3:14 (NKJV)
14  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

In a latter passage the authors also suggest that existence of an omnipotent divine being would produce anxiety in an atheist, but they would deny it, of course.

Denial is lying against the truth!  And the good news is that, because it is the truth we are denying, there will be evidence – like emotional upset over the things we are denying – that may help us to see how we have wrongly defended ourselves.   

So think about your life and your interactions.  Have you had someone accuse you of having a problem and immediately denied it and dismissed it?

“You have a ________ problem?  No, I don’t!” 

If you have had an exchange like that, you could be falsely accused or you could be in denial.  

The word of God is true and there is nothing like the Bible to tell us if we are living a lie.  Although we may think we are being “true to ourselves” when we do whatever we want, if it goes against God’s word, we are living a lie and if we don’t wake up to the truth of our sin, we will die.  

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) tells us:
9  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

This was one of those passages in the Bible that woke me up to the mortal danger I was in because of the way I lived and convicted me to repent. And as much as some of the things listed in these verses defined my life before coming to Christ, after I saw that they could jeopardize my part in God’s kingdom, I made the decision to stop living the lie and relied on the Lord’s strength and guidance to lead me away from the darkness I was living in. 

Even though I thought a lot of those behaviors were “my life”, the Lord showed me that I had been deceived and that He never intended for any of us to live like that.   Those things were “unrighteous” – as in not “right” – and the Lord through Jesus Christ made a way for us to see the truth, be forgiven, and to be empowered to “do the right thing” by following Him into righteous living.    

So, look at your life, look at God’s truth and let the Holy Spirit convict you about the how the two don’t match up and let Him guide you into all truth and the new righteous and abundant life that God wants you to live.  

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Revelation 3:14-22 (NASB)
14  "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
15  'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
16  'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
17  'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18  I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
19  'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
20  'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
21  'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22  'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Today’s verses fall under the tenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 10. “To the lukewarm church Jesus declares that he rebukes and disciplines those whom He loves.” 

Today’s verses encourage us to realize that some of the suffering we face in life comes from not living according to God’s ways, and that we should be zealous in our repentance because it will draw us deeper into His love and presence.  God’s discipline proves His love for us. While some are left dead in their trespasses and sins, God caused us to see our need of a Savior and gives us the power to transform our when we put our faith in Jesus.   The words of Jesus Himself tell us to repent and to overcome to fully realize His love for us and to dwell in His presence. So let’s heed His word and do what He says by being “on fire” in repentance and seeking His righteousness and presence.  

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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 sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

18 - The Spirit Indwelling

The Basis for the Spirit’s Indwelling

The basis upon which the Spirit takes up His abode within the believer is twofold: first, on the ground of redemption. This is illustrated most blessedly in the cleansing of the leper—figure of the sinner. “And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot … And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering” (Lev. 14:14, 17). Wondrous type was that: the “oil” (emblem of the Holy Spirit) was placed “upon the blood”—only on the ground of atonement accomplished could the Holy Spirit take up His abode in sinners: this at once sets aside human merits.

There must be moral fitness as well. The Spirit of God will not tabernacle with unbelieving rebels. “After (or “when”) that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). It is to those who obey the command, “Be ye not unequally yoked together” that God promises, “I will dwell in them” (2 Cor. 6:16). When by repudiating all idols, receiving Christ as Lord, trusting in the merits of His sacrifice, the heart is prepared—the Spirit of God enters to take possession for Christ’s use. When we give up ourselves to the Lord, He accepts the dedication by making our bodies the temples of the Holy Spirit, there to maintain His interests against all the opposition of the Devil.

In considering the Spirit indwelling believers we need to be on our guard against entertaining any conception of this grand fact which is gross and dishonoring to His Person. He does not so indwell as to impart His essential properties or perfections—such as omniscience or omnipotence—it would be blasphemy so to speak. But His saving and sanctifying operations are communicated to us as the sun is said to enter a room, when its bright beams and genial warmth are seen and felt therein. Further, we must not think that the graces and benign influences of the Spirit abide in us in the selfsame manner and measure they did in Christ: no, for God “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (John 3:34)—in Him all fullness dwells.

This lays the basis for the most solemn appeal and powerful exhortation. Is my body a temple of the Holy Spirit? then how devoted should it be to God and His service! Am I indwelt by the Spirit of Christ? then how I ought to lend my ear to His softest whisper, my will to His gentlest sway, my heart to His sacred influence. In disregarding His voice, in not yielding to His promptings, He is grieved, Christ is dishonored, and we are the losers. The greatest blessing we possess is the indwelling Spirit: let us seek grace to conduct ourselves accordingly.[2]

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Paul D. Meier M.D. et al., Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications, Second Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1991), 238.

[2] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

 

Monday, May 15, 2023

I’m Fine. – Lies of the Enemy #31– Purity 1043


 I’m Fine.  – Lies of the Enemy #31– Purity 1043

Purity 1043 05/15/2023 Purity 1043 Podcast

Purity 1043 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the view of the Schodack Creek and Hudson River over and through the side railing of River House’s front “deck”  - or is it a porch? – comes to us from yours truly as I had the presence of mind to take a look out front when I saw that my daughter’s cat was sunning himself in the narrow beam of light that was coming into the darkness of my shaded living room. Marvin seemed to positively rejoice as I opened the front door to let the sunshine in.  So spectacular was the sight out front, that I decided not only to take a glimpse, but I also decided to grab a lawn chair and “set a spell” to truly appreciate the sunshine and the breeze coming off the water.  I am sharing a second photo of that blazing sun and a video of 45 seconds of peace on the blog today if you want to share in a tiny bit of the experience.  



Well, it’s Monday and the beginning of a new work week and it is my prayer that the past Mother’s Day weekend was a good one.

I myself enjoyed a simple diner lunch with my mother, father, and younger brother to celebrate that one who delivered me and tried her best to guide and raise me right but If you look at the prodigal’s path that I took for most of my life, we might be tempted to echo Waylon Jennings’ sentiments that “Mama tried.” But considering the fact that all four of her vastly different and independent sons emerged from sowing their wild oats to become responsible adults, including me, we can say she succeeded. I can honestly say that while none of our lives are free from challenges we are all doing relatively well for ourselves. You could say we are all fine.  So good job Mom.  

However, this idea of “fineness” has sparked my imagination and brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie #31:  I’m Fine.      

Today’s lie is inspired by a line from Celebrate Recovery’s Lesson on Denial, which was presented as an example of that condition.  Among other examples of denial such as “He really doesn’t drink that much” and “if we don’t talk about it, it will go away” was the line: 

“It doesn’t really hurt when he does that; I’m fine.” 

While the emphasis on this statement seems to be on someone who is suffering from abuse or from the negative affects of someone else’s behavior and points to a very real need for the speaker to either remove themselves from the situation or to confront the one that “doesn’t really hurt” them, our focus will be on that two word verse that covers up the hard truth: “I’m fine.”

“I’m fine.” Is the lie that can cover both the victim and the victimizer, both the addict and the ones who have to live with their unpredictable habits, and both the mildly upset and the absolutely heart broken. “I’m fine” covers a multitude of sins and plethora of emotions that falls short of complete honesty.  

While there is something commendable about not dwelling on the negative aspects of our lives and “manning up” or “powering through” difficulties and declaring ourselves “fine” until we can become “finer” – or actually good – there are times when repeating the mantra of “I’m fine” is not fine at all.  

When pain, conflicts, shame, guilt, negative mind states, or vicious cycles persist, there is nothing fine about declaring that “I’m fine”.  

My intention is to promote wellness and the harvesting of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and when these negative circumstances continue and the “I’m fine” proclamation doesn’t change, we have to declare it for what it is: DENIAL.  

Whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional pain or the negative consequences of sinful behaviors that you are denying, we are here to encourage you to “drop the con” and “fess up” to admit that you have a problem that needs help and to actually get it.    

Through out the long run of my alcoholism, drug use, and sexual immorality, I knew I had a problem but because I was afraid of admitting it, afraid of what admitting it would mean, and frankly because I was afraid of if not just plain unwilling to change, I stayed in the land of “I’m fine.”   Rather than admit to my problems and seeking help and healing, I decided to  “do it myself” and manage them the best I could. 

I figured “As long as I’m working, and getting the bills paid, I was “fine” and would live with the pain and negative consequences that my habits would invariably cause. While my habits demanded financial, physical, mental, and emotional costs, I was willing to pay them because changing seemed unthinkable. 

Unfortunately, I believe that this is where most of polite society lives – in the shadows of “I’m fine.” – hiding and managing their problems on their own rather than seeking the help and healing that would require that they admit that they aren’t as “fine” as they appear.       

Last week, I started a recovery ministry at my local church and while I am thrilled to serve the body of Christ in this capacity and was pleased with the turn out of our first meeting, it was a rather small number for such a well-attended church, and it made me wonder how many people in our services are saying “I’m fine” when they are not fine.

I perhaps more than some can understand the difficulties of seeking help for one’s  “hurts, habits, and hang ups”. Not only is facing your problems a difficult decision to make, but I also know the stigma that comes from being a “recovery Christian” and the reality of how one could be treated differently by their family and friends after you step out of the dark.   

However, I know that it’s better in the light than in the darkness and its better to actually be “fine” by repenting and following the Lord than it is to just say that you are “fine” while living with the pain and confusion that comes from living a double minded life.  

So I encourage those who are saying “I’m fine” and who know that it is not true to tell someone the truth and to ask for help, be it medical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  We can’t fix a problem by saying its not there and we can’t enjoy a life in the light of God’s life if we are living in the darkness of a lie.    

So be bold and courageous, ask God for strength and guidance, and admit to yourself and others that you need help or seek to encourage others to get the help they need  because you know that they are not “fine”.  

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT2)
9  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
11  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
12  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Today’s passage of scripture encourages us to not isolate ourselves by proclaiming the benefits of having someone to help lift you up if you should fall, help comfort you in troubling times, or who can help join the fight when a battle comes.  

God tells us in Genesis that it is not good to be alone and this wisdom is inherent in the Christian message to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We need one another and should seek the community of others to help one another through the trials of this life.

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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 sharing from  “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.  This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).

Satan, Demons & Satanism

A Sinister Reality

by June Hunt

IV.    Steps To Solution

F.   Renounce Satanic Practices and Rituals

You can ignore the power of Satan. But if you have been involved with him or his demonic forces at any level—whether willingly or not—Satan could have territorial rights to your life. In order to reclaim your ground, renounce all past involvement in secret rituals and ungodly practices.

“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

(2 Corinthians 4:2)

Checklist of Satanic Practices

□    Being baptized in the name of Satan

□    Communicating with spirit guides or spirit friends from Satan

□    Giving blood in service of Satan

□    Having parents or guardians committed to Satan

□    Entering blood pacts in ceremonies to Satan

□    Breeding babies sacrificed to Satan

□    Reading The Satanic Bible or the Book of Rituals to access the power of Satan

□    Saying the Lord’s prayer backward; backward scripting: Natas for Satan

□    Participating in the Black Mass in worship of Satan

□    Making promises or contracts to Satan

□    Drinking blood and/or urine, consuming human flesh in worship of Satan

□    Accepting assignments on behalf of Satan

□    Playing occultic games giving power to Satan

□    Engaging in sexual rituals as a disciple of Satan

□    Killing animals or humans to honor Satan

□    Using symbols identified with the occult or Satan

□    Listening to music or watching videos exalting Satan

□    Other practices___________

Checklist of Ungodly Ways

□    Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery

□    Rebellion/witchcraft

□    Discord

□    Selfish ambition

□    Drunkenness

□    Lying and any kind of deceit

□    Slander/gossip

□    Thievery/theft

□    Accusing God

□    Idolatry

□    Hatred

□    Fits of rage

□    Envy/jealousy

□    Pride and conceit

□    Prejudice

□    Injustice

□    Unforgiveness

□    Other practices that violate God’s Word

Pray …

 

God, I want to be free of anything that has me in spiritual bondage. Jesus, Your power is greater than Satan’s power. I claim the truth that greater is Jesus, who is in me, than Satan, who is in the world. Please bring to my mind anything that has given the enemy a foothold in my life. Reveal where I have opened the door to Satan—the enemy of my soul. Right now I renounce (name each involvement). Thank You for the blood of Christ, which purchased my freedom from the penalty of sin and gave me power over Satan. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.[1]

 

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

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 



[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 18–20.




Thursday, May 11, 2023

You’re No Good– Lies of the Enemy #28– Purity 1040


 You’re No Good– Lies of the Enemy #28– Purity 1040

Purity 1040 05/10/2023 Purity 1040 Podcast

Purity 1040 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of an asphalt pathway running into the distance surrounded by vibrant green trees and under a blue sky comes to us from Kat Flynn-Clark, my sister in law, who made the best of the bad situation of having to take my brother Matt to his physical therapy appointment following his hip replacement surgery, by getting in a work out of her own on the rail trail that just happened to run behind the doctor’s office.  

Well it’s Thursday and I share Kat’s rail trail pathway photo as a visual reminder or encouragement to stay on or get on the path of Christian Discipleship.   My brother and sister in law’s situation actually points to some principles that we can apply to our Christian walk and that relate to “recovery” which I spoke on last night at Starpoint Church’s Celebrate Freedom Growth Group.   

I share photos of pathways because Thursday was the night that I originally went into Christian Recovery and served at the recovery and discipleship ministries that I taught at and eventually directed at my old church.  But since migrating to Starpoint Church after my marriage, I have now lead discipleship ministry on Tuesdays, and after last night, have led a recovery/discipleship ministry on Wednesday night!  So as much as Thursdays are “pathway” photo days,  my winding path properly reflects the fact that our walk with the Lord really is 24/7 and changes are to be expected as we keep walking and talking with God.  

But back to Kat and Matt’s “story”. Matt is my eldest brother, and he will be 55 in September. I don’t know the underlying causes of his need for hip replacement surgery, but I do know that he was suffering a significant amount of pain which led to his current course of treatment.   While I don’t know his prognosis either, we can assume that his surgery was successful and that an adherence to the physical therapy will result in healing and recovery.   In Matt’s story, he had to recognize the problem and take action to correct it.  If I recall correctly, when I last saw him in December there were concerns about his hip and now he has gotten it “fixed”.  Being a guy and knowing my family’s penchant for stubbornness, I have to imagine that my brother probably had a significant period of “suffering in silence” and “living in denial” as Matt is fiercely independent and was somewhat proud of his physical health.  Plus Matt is only 54 years old and I can only imagine how there must have been a lot of rejection of the idea that he would need to get hip replacement surgery.  But in the end, my brother did what was best for his health and humbled himself to rely on others, the doctors, physical therapists, and his wife, in order to get “well again.” 

Our bodies and emotions tell us when we need help, and I am here to encourage everyone when things “aren’t right” to say something to someone and to get the help you need.  

As for Kat, she is helping her husband with his recovery but even in meeting that responsibility (or burden), she also decided to take care of herself by going for a walk and enjoying the pleasant weather. Kat’s example shows us to make the best of our situations and to care for ourselves by finding joy where we can.  

While I didn’t really think of Matt and Kat last night as I taught at Celebrate Freedom, I could have because I was encouraging the group to recognize their situations, to step out of denial, and to utilize the group to receive the help and support available to them and to be intentional about establishing a daily spiritual practice where they do some “self-care” by practicing quieting, appreciation, and renewing their minds with the what the truth of God word says about who they are in Christ.  I also encouraged them to attach relationally with the group members – to share one another’s burdens and to attach to God as their Lord, Savior, Helper, and Friend.    

I especially tried to encourage the group in this last point because often our ideas about God or our relationship with Him are not based on truth.  As “sinners saved by grace” many Christians think that God is mad at them or barely tolerates them.  They believe the lie that even though they are Christians they are still “No Good”  and not are worthy of God’s or anyone else’s love.  

And this brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives. 

So today’s big lie is:

Lie #28:  You’re NO GOOD!

This Lie is deeply rooted in those of us that have low self esteem and or a history of bad behavior. We know our thoughts and we know the bad things we have done before. We may consider ourselves evil, twisted, broken, or dysfunctional as we may have a history of disappointments, rejection, or failures.. We may think of ourselves as “criminal minded” as we have done things our way rather than God’s way or the ways of a law abiding citizen. No matter what specific things we have done or thought about doing, our final assessment of ourselves is that we are just NO GOOD. 

“You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good  baby you’re no good”  I’m gonna say it again….    

Now I will grant that our permanent records and our past thought life, could clearly indicate that we “we’re no good.” And I will allow that your present thoughts and actions, could be added to the testimony that “You’re no good.”

BUT – in Christ you are a NEW creation.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Also

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) Tells us
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

So if you have put your faith in Christ, you are a new creation and there is no condemnation – IF you walk in the Spirit.    

Although we are made brand new the moment we put our faith in Christ, we won’t know it unless we make the decision to start thinking and living according to our new life as Christians.  

Those impure, foul, evil, sarcastic, or negative thoughts we have to go.   Those selfish or sinful attitudes and actions need to leave. Our old thoughts and behaviors need to “pass away” otherwise the enemy has foothold in our lives and strongholds in our minds that pollute us with “toxic thoughts” that cause us to experience frustration, anger, anxiety, and depression and that drive us to our old sinful ways of coping.  

But if we renew our minds by thinking about what is good, pure, and holy and accept what God word says about who we are in Christ, our thoughts will tell us that “the old person” we once were dead and gone and all the condemnation that we used to lay on ourselves is no longer true.  In Christ all our sin is forgiven (past, present, and future!) and we have the assurance of eternal in His kingdom, but we won’t experience the peace and joy that flow from our new spiritual lives if we don’t:

A: Believe it

B: Live according to it!

We need to renew our minds to embrace the blessed lives that we have been given and to walk out of the shadows of our past by walking into the light of living a simple and righteous life of truth and integrity.    When we think on the truth and live according to the truth of who we are in Christ, our thoughts, emotions, and actions will reflect the light that the Lord has given us through His love for us.  Our new lives in Christ will produce the fruit of the Spirit – peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, and self-control. We will experience the abundant life – here and now – that Christ came to give us.  

So don’t believe the lie that “You’re No Good”.  You are a new creation in Christ, so think on it, believe it, and live it by walking and talking with God every day.    

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Romans 10:15 (NLT2)
15  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

Today’s verse encourages us that we become beautiful in the eyes of those who receive the good news of salvation and freedom that come through faith in Jesus Christ alone.  

Our resource only shared the last part of this verse on the “beautiful feet of the messengers who bring good news.”  And it is true – our message is beautiful, and we can’t help to be beautiful to those who desperately need it.  – So preach the gospel, but I also want to comment on the first part of the verse on “being sent”.  

Christ’s commission to go and make disciples  in Matthew  28:19-20 is for all of us.  So we consider ourselves “sent” – we don’t need permission or a special calling or equipping to share the good news. The best “apologetic” is telling people “what the Lord has done for me”. Tell people your salvation story . Tell people how God has helped you. Tell people how God has changed you.  Tell people how God has worked in other people’s lives that you know about.  All of these “little testimonies” are beautiful true stories of the living God, alive and well in the world.   They give glory to God and could move someone to put their faith in Jesus.  

So consider yourself “sent” and “equipped (no one has your experience!) and go show the world your “beautiful feet” by telling everyone of the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the word of God and according to what you have seen, heard, and experienced in your walk of faith.   

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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 sharing from  “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.  This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).

Satan, Demons & Satanism

A Sinister Reality

by June Hunt

IV.    Steps To Solution

C.  See How Satan’s Power Is Limited

Don’t make the common mistake of assuming that God and Satan possess the same power—or that the power of Satan is equal to the power of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cast out of the heavenly realms to roam the earth, Satan has been given power, but only to the degree that the Lord allows. In the first chapter of the Book of Job, a dialogue between God and Satan confirms that Satan’s activity is limited and always requires the sovereign permission of God.

     Satan cannot be everywhere.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’ ” (Job 1:7)

     Satan has no absolute power over a believer’s possessions.

“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ ” (Job 1:8–11)

     Satan has no absolute power over a believer’s body.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Job 1:12)

     Satan has no absolute power over a believer’s life.

“Then the Lord said to Satan.… ‘[Job] still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.’ ‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied. ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’ ” (Job 2:3–6)

     Satan must obey Jesus.

“Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” ’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:10–11)

     Satan must ask permission to tempt a believer.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” (Luke 22:31)

     Satan has to leave if he is resisted.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

     Satan cannot protect his followers.

“Then he [Jesus, the King] will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” (Matthew 25:41)

     Satan cannot prevent his own demise.

“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

Q “Does Satan have the power to know our thoughts?”

The Bible says that only God has the power to know the hearts of all men. Although Satan is highly intelligent (Ezekiel 28:12), he is still a created angel, and creatures do not have the divine attributes of God. King Solomon, known for his exceptional wisdom, states this about the Lord,

“You [God] alone know the hearts of all men.” (1 Kings 8:39)[1]

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Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" 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. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

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

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 14–15.