Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Are You Emotionally Healthy?

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

We are spirit beings, who have souls, and live in bodies. Our souls are made up of our mind, our emotions and our willpower or volition. I want to discuss the use of our emotions, but let me mention a few things first.
  
God gave us every sense to be used for His glory. With our spirit, we contact the spiritual world, and discern God through our conscience, the voice of our human spirit, and through the Holy Spirit who comes to reside in us in the new birth.
With our bodies, we contact the physical world in which we live; the five senses enabling us to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. He created every sense to be used.
With our intellect we think and reason, exploring the vastness of God’s creation, and we are constantly learning more and more about its’ complexity and the simple synergy with which every organism works. From the farthest galaxy seen from the Hubble Telescope to the smallest matter seen with the most powerful lens, there is a Divine design to all of creation.
  
God also gave us emotions. They have a purpose in us and the Father expects us to use them for His glory and for our benefit. Our emotions are a gauge that we can use in our relationships. Happy, sad, exuberant, melancholy, exasperated, or joyful; the Father wants our emotions to work but not to rule us.
  
I have come across so many people who have emotions that are numb. They feel nothing. They live from day to day with no real emotions about much of anything. Psychologists sometimes call this the flat effect. I call it just being numb.
  
Here’s what happens. If a person has a traumatic experience, and they try to keep from feeling the pain of the trauma by shutting off the feelings or emotions it produces, then they also shut off every other emotion. They way emotions works is that when you shut one down, you shut them all down. For some reason with emotions, you just can’t turn one off and keep the others running. You either feel the good and the bad, or you turn them all off and don’t feel anything!
  
Many people lead emotionally numb lives and it is not the will of God. God created emotions so that we could feel relationships with others and with Him! Through the years many people have told me that they never feel the presence of God. When I inquire, they also tell me that they don’t feel much of anything ever emotionally, and that’s when I see that there’s a big problem.
 
If you find yourself emotionally numb, go back and make sure that you’ve really forgiven every person that has emotionally wounded you. Forgive them from your heart and release them. Release from yourself every hurtful thought created by any incident with any person. Sometimes people let these hurtful feelings and thoughts pile up, and they don’t know where to begin.
  
Here’s an exercise that may help. Start with each close relationship in life, beginning with parents and go on to siblings, friends, teachers, bosses, relatives, and those you’ve loved. The people closest to us are the ones that have the ability to wound us the most emotionally. We must choose to forgive each one. Make an itemized list of the hurtful thoughts that come to mind when you think of each relationship in your life that has brought you emotional pain. Take the list and purposely forgive each item listed, releasing the person from the judgments you’ve had against them because of what they said or did to you. Ask the Father to forgive you for holding offense, and then pray for God to bless and help the person, even if you don’t think they deserve it! Pray for their salvation if they don’t know the Lord.
  
Emotions will wake up if you release hard feelings and grudges that lie deeply buried. Work on it! The Father doesn’t want you ruled by feelings, but He does want you to experience them in relationships!
  

Sometimes the Father also wants us to sense Him with our emotions. And He wants the Holy Spirit to be able to use our emotions as He uses us to minister to others. The Father sometimes wants us to feel what He feels when we minister to or pray for others, and we can’t do that unless our emotions are free! Start the process today of releasing the weights from your emotions so that the Father can use you; spirit, soul, and body!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Practical Way To Begin To Form New Life Habits

That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Putting off and putting on are terms Paul used to describe the change in a believers life after salvation because of mind renewal. Before salvation, we’ve trained our bodies to yield to certain appetites, we’ve trained our minds to think in certain ways, and we’ve trained our emotions to act and react certain ways.
Stopping these learned behaviors is called putting off the old man with his deeds. The sin nature that produced appetites, thoughts and emotional responses has been removed by the new birth! We have become new creatures in Christ, and our daily lifestyle must be retrained to yield to this new person that we’ve become inside.
  
Developing new habits that reflect the new person that we’ve become within is called putting on the new man.
This process occurs in us as we feed on the word and purpose to live a life of obedience to God. A key to putting off and putting on is in understanding the fundamentals of how behavior changes. We can’t stop a habit by constantly refusing to act it out. That keeps the attention on the habit.
  
Habits change by being replaced. When we make the decision to renew our minds with the Word, we decide to act on what we read and meditate on in scripture. For instance you read in Ephesians 4:29 that you are to refuse to allow yourself to speak any hurtful words to or about others. You meditate and think on this scripture over and over again for a period of time. And you may find that you still slip up and say things that shouldn’t be said and you repent. Just keep that process up, and the habit of hurtful speech will be broken and replaced by a habit of blessing with your words.
 
At first, it’s hit and miss. You may take a step forward and then a step backward. The key is persistence. Just keep on meditating in the word, and acting on it by repenting when you miss it with your words, and soon you’ll be catching yourself just before you begin the tirade of negative speech. Psychologists say that it takes about a month to begin to form a new habit, so don’t give up in the process as change takes hold.
 
Putting off the old man and putting on the new man is a process that continues throughout our lives as we grow in Christ. His plan is that by the time He comes for us, we act just like Him in our thoughts, our words, and in our responses to others!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stand Your Ground In Faith!

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith (1 John 5:4).

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12). T
herefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:24).
  
It’s faith that overcomes the attacks of the enemy, period. We need to remember that our faith enables us to reach into the unseen realm where God is and where His answers to our prayers are stored. As we believe with real time faith, our faith literally and sometimes ever-so-slowly pulls the answer to our prayer from the spiritual realm to the 3 dimensional realm where we can see it.
  
That’s the reason that faith and patience inherits the promises of God. Our faith in the word of God overcomes the enemy’s resistance. Satan will try to keep the answer to our prayer and the manifestation of our faith from coming to pass. He does this by sowing seeds of doubt into our minds so we will hopefully yield to them and give up on our faith. Satan also seeks to increase the pressure of circumstance after we pray so that we’ll become weary in the faith fight. He also will try to circumvent our faith by creating opportunities for us to yield to strife, anger, and unforgiveness. In this instance we defeat our own faith, for faith will not work in an unforgiving heart.
  
So let me encourage you to stand fast in your faith! Stand your ground and believe you receive when it looks like the job is not coming through, or when the finances seem delayed, or when the healing doesn’t feel like it’s there, or it seems as though the prayer is not answered. Someone said that God is never late but seldom early!
 
Pray about every challenge and obstacle in your life. Believe that you receive the moment that you pray. Take plenty of time to praise and thank the Father because you believe that you have what you asked for. You’re not waiting to get it sometime in the future; you believe you have it now!
 
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12).

For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Friday, July 25, 2014

God's "Foolish" Things Shame The World's "Smart" Things!

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:25-29).

It’s not talent, skill, mental acumen, or social standing that causes God to place His anointing upon our lives. It’s faithful, obedient hearts that catch His gaze. Regardless of what “side of the tracks” we come from, there are no special privileges due to social or financial standing, or even natural abilities in the kingdom of God.
What the Father does in us and through us is all a work of His grace of which we cannot boast. He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
God has a purpose for you as a member of the body of Christ. That purpose is not rooted in your natural heritage or background, and does not depend on natural strengths. God’s purpose for your life was programmed into you from eternity past when God planned your life.
  
Moses was a murderer with a stuttering problem at age forty and years later was called by God to lead his generation. David was a shepherd little known by his fellow man. Joseph was ridiculed by his brothers and sold as a slave and did prison time. Amos was a farmer. Elisha was called from the back of a plow to lead a nation spiritually. Peter was unstable, but used by God to lead the church after the resurrection of Jesus. Paul was one of the most educated men of his day but counted his education as a pile of trash compared to knowing Jesus.
  
When God called me, I was an awkward introvert with no plan for my life. None of us can trust who we are in the flesh, talented or unskilled. It’s the power and grace of God that make us what we are in the family of God. So we can’t boast of anything God does through us. We’re merely the pipeline for the glory of God to be revealed to our generation through the good news of the gospel.

Don’t allow who you are naturally, good or bad, strong or weak, keep you from the glorious things that the Father has called you to do. You’re His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has planned for you to fulfill. Don’t look at yourself or you’ll get discouraged; don’t look at others or you’ll envy and compare; but look unto Jesus. He’s the beginning and ending of all you are and all He’s called you to do.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exercise Your Authority In Christ!

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).
No one has more authority over satanic forces than you, the child of God. The lowest member of the body of Christ has just as much of this authority as the most spiritual.
  
Serpents and scorpions in the above verse are referring to the demonic forces that are seeking to hinder the purposes of God in the earth.
  
Exercise your authority over these forces today that are seeking inroads into your home, your family, finances, your church, your nation, the purposes of God at large, and that are seeking to hinder your walk with God.
  
Jesus has given the church the exclusive use of His name against these diabolical forces. Walk in purity and holiness, and command these forces to stop in their maneuvers against you and the kingdom of God of which you are a part.
  
Satan wants us to get so busy that we don’t take the time to be proactive in the exercise of our rights in Christ against him and his kingdom. As a result we can see darkness increasing in our communities, nation and world. If we as believers don’t take our place and stand against the forces of Satan then who will? We have been commissioned with authority, and the Father is looking to us to take our place. He wants us to work with Him in the salvation of the lost, and in the advancement of His kingdom all over the world.
  
The Father is depending on you and me today to pray and ask Him to manifest Himself and His kingdom all over the earth. We have not because we ask not. Let’s take our place and push back the forces that are seeking to destroy all that is holy and pure.
  
Remember that God gave authority over the earth to Adam when He created Him. When Adam sinned, he transferred that authority to Satan and his kingdom. Jesus returned to the church the authority that Adam gave away! God needs you to take your place in His family today. Don’t sit back. Don’t remain idle spiritually. Be aggressive.

Let’s push together, walking in the light, and pushing back the darkness with the name of Jesus, the force of our praying (praying in the spirit too!), and with the power of a godly life!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Divine Health Is Part Of Your Redemption In Christ!

Christians have a covenant right to be healed! Jesus took our sicknesses and sins on the cross of Calvary! Make sure that you avail yourself to this benefit of healing power for your body.
Notice Isaiah 53: 4-5: Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains — he hath carried them, And we — we have esteemed him plagued, smitten of God, and afflicted.
And he is pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace is on him, and by his bruise there is healing to us (Young’s literal translations).
Healing is not automatic, just as forgiveness of sin is not automatic. To be forgiven of sin, you must exercise faith and believe that Jesus died for you, and then confess with your mouth that you are forgiven and that Jesus is your Lord. You have to be proactive!
 
It’s the same with healing of sickness. At the first symptom, don’t let anything come out of your mouth but what the Word of God says about you. When a symptom appears, speak to the mountain according to Mark 11:23; command the symptoms to go from you in the name of Jesus. Tell Satan that Jesus took your sicknesses and diseases when He took your sins and that he can’t put that on you. Then, ask God to heal you and thank Him for Jesus taking your sicknesses when He took your sins. Tell the Lord that you believe you receive healing for your body.
Continue to walk in thanksgiving and voice your praise for the Father healing you even while the symptoms persist or get worse. Satan has the ability to put a thought in your mind and a feeling on your body. Walk by faith and not feelings. Confess what you believe in the face of the thoughts and feelings. Side with the Word of God and not with your feelings and symptoms.
I’ve been healed hundreds of times over the years from symptoms all over my body by simply acting on the Word of God in this manner. He sent His Word and healed us!
Glorify God in your body today by availing yourself to the healing that Jesus provided for you. It gives God no glory for you to be sick. His will is for you to be healed and whole. Let your thoughts and Words agree with God’s Word about your healing today. Resist the thoughts that the enemy brings. Healing is yours. Walk in your covenants rights. The same faith that cleanses sin will heal sickness. Healing belongs to you!

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Unforgiveness Will Wear You Out!

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so must you also forgive (Colossians 3:13 – Amplified).
Perhaps every day of our lives we will face opportunities to forgive those who harm us in some way. Life in a fallen world means facing imperfections at every turn. Wise living is knowing how to deal with the imperfections of others! I seek to live by Romans 12: 18: If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. That means I must be willing to practice what Jesus said to Peter when He told him to forgive 490 times (infinitely) the brother that offends him.
Failing to forgive produces some major problems and one of them is stress. Medical research indicates that the majority of illness is stress induced, so unforgiveness plays a significant role in sickness. Proverbs 14:30 (Amplified) reads: A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.
 
Unforgiveness means holding on to a certain thought pattern about a person or event. That thought pattern creates emotional hurt and pain. And if the thought pattern is not dealt with by releasing forgiveness to the offending party, then it cogitates underneath the surface in subconscious thinking. And this type of underlying negative thought pattern saps needed physical strength.
I’ve had people over my years of ministry tell me that they are tired all the time. They feel drained of strength. After speaking with these people I have found that often they are carrying a list of grievances in these underlying thought patterns and their emotions are draining them of needed energy. They simply need to practice forgiveness. There’s a lot of wisdom in Ephesians 4:26: Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Each day we should clear our mind and emotions of the offences of others before we go to sleep.
In her book Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf from South Africa mentions that thoughts release chemicals into every organ of our body through our central nervous system. She mentions that all thoughts basically come under two categories, faith based or fear based thoughts. She reveals that fear based thinking releases toxic chemicals that coats the cells of our bodies and can eventually make us ill. On the other hand, faith based thinking that trusts God and expects the best; likewise releases helpful chemicals that aid the body and help it resist illness.
 
Unforgiveness affects our spiritual life. According to Jesus, you can’t go to heaven with it in your life (See Matthew 18:35 and Mark 11:25-26). And unforgiveness affects our physical bodies, hindering the health and healing provided to us by the Father.
Make a choice today to quickly deal with each offence. Readily and freely forgive as the Father through Christ Jesus has forgiven you. You’ll find heaven’s smile, soundness of mind, clearness of emotion, and renewed physical strength when you choose the path of forgiveness!