Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Women Living Well Blog: Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account

Facebook, You Tube and iPads, oh my! I was recently told by a salesman at Best Buy that by Christmas of this year, tablets and hand-held electronics such as the iPad, the Xoom and smartphones will rule the electronic market. The desk-top computer is loosing it's status as a necessity since we will have all the computing power with all the information of the internet at our fingertips at all times, everywhere we go!

As much as I enjoy these devices, the freedom that comes with unlimited access to the internet and social media such as Facebook and You Tube is certainly more than any one person should be tempted with.  I came across an EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT blog post by Courtney of Women Living Well Blog. I hope you will take time to read it - she hits the nail on the head!
Women Living Well Blog: Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account: "During the year of 2010, 250 million NEW people joined Facebook bringing the total users on Facebook at the end of 2010 to 600 million! Fac..."

Of the 600 million Facebook users, 50% of them are logged on to Facebook at any given time.  The average user spends 55 minutes a day on Facebook and polls show that millions of users check their Facebook status faithfully before they get out of bed each morning.  

It is my daily discipline to get up at 6am and meet God for coffee while I read His Word and talk to Him in prayer; however, my sacred place (the kitchen table) is not far away from my computer.  Each morning, I hear the computer "calling" me to come check my stats, comments and emails, and a few times I did just that.  Before I knew it, my time set aside for God had been sabatoged.  After this happened a several times, I made a vow to God that He would be first in my life and I would not touch the computer until I spent time with Him.

Like Courtney said, technology is neutral, but when we let it control our thoughts and our minds, we are not being controlled by the Spirit.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace...You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  (Romans 8:6,9)
When our minds are not controlled by the Spirit, we cannot be at peace and so the mind that is not controlled by the spirit is a stressed-out mind.  Stress has a direct connection with our central nervous system and has been cited as the #1 cause of panic attacks, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression many other physical problems.

My friend, freedom from depression and anxiety and other mental issues is all about the battle we fight in our mind, the battle against the patterns of thought that are not controlled by the Spirit.

The next time you log in to Facebook, You Tube and or any internet app, will you take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ?

I will walk in my house with a blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes no vile/worthless thing.
Psalm 101:2

A prayer for you to pray to set your self free and walk in daily victory:

Dear Lord God, I know how easy it is to allow other things and other people to become more important to me than You.  I also know that this is a terrible offense in your holy eyes as You have commanded that I "shall have no other gods" before You.

I confess to You that I have not loved You with all me heart and soul and mind.  As a result, I have sinned against You, violating the first and greatest commandment.  I repent of and turn away from this idolatry and now choose to return to You, Lord Jesus, as my first love.
Please reveal to my mind now any and all idols in my life.  I want to renounce each of them and in so doing, cancel out any and all ground Satan may have gained in my life through my idolatry.  In the name of Jesus, the true God, Amen.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~

Friday, March 11, 2011

Step #8 - Putting the Accuser in His Place

My heart sank as my new friend from the blogosphere told me she lost her son to suicide a while back.  She said, "some of the things on your blog have reached deep inside me, but just when I thought all my questions were answered, thoughts of failure and guilt have resurfaced".

Do they ever go away?  The "if only" questions.  If only I had been a better mother, my child wouldn't have committed suicide.  If only I had been a better wife, we wouldn't have gotten a divorce.  If only I had been a better child, my parents wouldn't have separated.  If only I were a better Christian, I wouldn't suffer from depression.  If only I had done things differently...

I searched my heart for the right answer for this dear woman who was looking back with regret, placing so much of the blame on herself.  I want to share with you what I shared with her since I know Satan uses the same tactics on each of us.

In his book Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson describes a courtroom scene in heaven like the one mentioned in Revelation 12:10 where Satan is the accuser of the brethren who accuses us before God day and night:

The courtroom scene continues night and day for every child of God.  Satan persists in pointing out our faults and weaknesses to God and demands that He zaps us for being less than perfect.  But our defense attorney in heaven is Jesus Christ, and He has never lost a case before God the judge.  Satan can't make his charges stick because Jesus Christ has justified us and lives to intercede for us (Romans 8:33-34).
At the same time Satan accuses us before God, his emissaries also accuse us personally by bombarding our minds with false thoughts of unworthiness and unrighteousness in God's sight.  But Satan is not your judge; he is merely your accuser.  Yet if you listen to him and believe him, you will begin to live out these accusations as if they were a sentence you must serve.

You may wonder, "What's the difference between the devil's accusations and the Holy Spirit's conviction?"  Paul provided a clear distinction between the two in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10.

"Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation (he was writing to believers so this is not our eternal salvation, but rather life) and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death" (again, not eternal death since he is writing to believers).

The false guilt of this world and the Holy Spirit's conviction both have the same feeling of sorrow. However, the sorrow resulting from Satan's accusations leads to death (defeat), while the sorrow of conviction leads to repentance and life without regret.

Do you feel guilty, worthless, stupid or inept?  That's a sorrow provoked by accusation because those feelings don't reflect truth.

When you find lies lurking beneath your feelings of sorrow - especially if your feelings persistently drive you into the ground - you are being falsely accused.  To disarm the sorrow of accusation, you must submit yourself to God and resist the devil and his lies.

God does not want you to keep looking back with regret at things in the past which cannot be undone.  The beautiful thing is that not only has God declared you forgiven, He has removed your filthy garments of unrighteousness and clothed you with spotless garments.  Believe me when I say, He is not out to punish you for your past failures - He loves you unconditionally.

Step forward knowing that your righteous standing with God is secure and that Satan is already defeated.  God is calling you to walk in daily victory  through a response of obedience.  Step forward into His presence every day and allow Him to transform your mind.  He will teach you how to refute the accusations of the enemy and put the accuser in his place.

Stay in step with the Spirit and you will be empowered to live beyond your natural strength and abilities.

A prayer for you to pray:

Gracious Father, you say in your Word that you are my strong defender and you will take up my case against my enemy (Ps 23:11).  In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.  Free me from the trap of accusations that is set before me, for you are my refuge (Ps 31: 1,4)
Enable me to daily live victoriously over Satan and sin as I walk in close communion with you.
As you did for David in Psalm 30:11, turn my wailing into dancing; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with joy.  
I will be glad and rejoice in your love.  Amen

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Keys of Binding and Loosing

I don't usually post on Sunday, but I came across something this week that I thought was so transformational, I must share it with you right away.

In my last post, The Liberating Truth About Submission, I mentioned that God works in logic-defying ways, ways contrary to conventional wisdom.  As I journey down this road of seeking God's face and asking the hard questions about healing and deliverance from the mental torture of depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and other destructive thought patterns, God continually shows me His plan -the keys to the kingdom of heaven - keys that defy logic.

According to the two scriptures below, God has given us the keys to the kingdom of heaven - the power to bind and loose:
Matthew 16:19

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 18:18
Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven

God has given us, the followers of Christ, the authority to make binding contracts on earth, whether written or spoken.  God is a God bound by His word.  God so values the spoken word that whatever we bind/commit to, He considers it bound in heaven as well and intends that it should never be broken.

On the other hand, we also hold the key to loose.  This is not the authority to break the previous bindings, but rather to loose the powers that hold us captive.  We have the power to loose or free ourselves from the torture chamber of the enemy if he takes us captive unaware.

It defies logic that God would give us these very powerful keys, but He loved us so much that he turned the keys over to us and gave us full authority to use them!  WOW!  In the Lord's prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

The following prayer came from Shattering Your Strongholds by Liberty Savard.

The Training Wheels Prayer  
Lord, I'm standing on the truth of you Word.  You said you would give me the keys to the kingdom, that whatsoever I would  bind on earth would be bound in heaven and whatsoever I would loose on earth would be loosed in heaven.  Right now, in the name of Jesus Christ, I bind my will to the will of God, that I will be constantly aware of His will and purposes for my life.  I bind myself to the truth of God that I will not be deceived by the many subtle deceptions of the world and the devil.

I bind myself to the blood of Jesus that I will never take it for granted.  I want to be constantly aware of it's miracle-working power to restore and heal and keep me safe.  I bind myself to the mind of Christ that I will be aware of how Jesus would have me think in every situation I come into this day.  I do not want to react out of my own human, carnal thoughts when situations arise suddenly.  I want to think and act as Jesus would have me act.

I bind my feet to paths of righteousness that my steps will be ready and true all day long.  I bind myself to the work of the cross in my life so that I will continue to die daily to my own selfish desires and motives and be more like Him.  I bind the strongman (Satan) so that I may spoil his household and take back every bit of joy, peace, blessing and freedom that he has stolen from me.  I take them back right now!  Satan, I loose your influence over every part of my body, soul and spirit.  I loose, crush, smash and destroy every evil device you may try to bring into my sphere of influence during this day.

I repent of every wrong desire, attitude and pattern of thinking I have had.  Forgive me, Lord, for holding onto wrong ideas, desires, behaviors and habits.  I renounce and reject these things.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I loose (destroy, crush, break, smash, melt) every wrong attitude, pattern of thinking, belief, idea, desire, behavior and habit I have every learned.  I loose the strongholds around them that keep me from being completely surrendered to the will of God in my life.  I loose all doubt and confusion from myself.  I have bound myself to the mind of Christ and I loose every wrong thought and evil imagination that keeps me from being in sweet unity with Jesus.  I bind and loose these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ, who has given me the keys to do so.  Thank you, Lord, for the TRUTH.  Amen.
It is vital that you pray this prayer out loud  - your spoken word is binding and the enemy will then hear that he is being loosed. 

As you seek to rid yourself of unstable thought patterns and align yourself with the mind of Christ - who has not given us the spirit of confusion but of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) - my prayer is that you will commit yourself to the renewing of your mind and that you will be set free from your strongholds.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~ 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Step #7 - The Liberating Truth About Submission

Welcome friends! I am glad you found my blog and I pray that my writings will guide you to finding peace in the presence of God and thankfulness in your trials so that you can live an abundantly free life in Christ.

The winner of my book give-away is...barryp2003!  Congratulations!  Please contact me by email with your complete name and address and I will get your book in the mail to you.  Thanks for leaving a comment.

Now on to my topic:

The events of this week have brought back to my attention something I thought I had already dealt with, already relinquished to the Lord.  Yes, I have, yet I caught myself reaching, striving to grasp it back again.  The desire to be in control, to have total authority over my life.  Submission goes against my nature, against the grain, it's illogical.

I hear the whispering lies of the enemy:  I've got to take the initiative or nothing will get done; he's got issues, he's not trustworthy, I'm stronger and more stable-minded; if I submit, life will be ugly, frightening and oppressive.  Have you heard these voices?  Satan has done a masterful job of convincing women (and men) that submission is narrow, negative and confining.

In her book Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss shares these truths about submission:
"The struggle with submission is not unique to women of our day.  In fact, that was the essence of the issue Eve faced back in the Garden of Eden.  At the heart of the Serpent's approach to Eve was this challenge: Does God have the right to rule your life?  Satan said, in effect, "You can run your own life; you don't have to submit to anyone else's authority.  He convinced Eve that if she submitted to God's direction, she would be miserable and would miss out on something in life."
"Satan knows that if we could see the truth about biblical submission - one of the most liberating principles in all of God's Word - we would joyfully embrace it.  Satan cannot afford to let us choose the pathway of submission, for when we do, he is stripped of his authority and rendered powerless in our lives and the lives of those we love."
I don't want to give the false impression that I have this concept mastered!  My perspective on submission has grown to understand God's purpose for authority. Believe it or not, submission to authority in our lives is a means of providing a spiritual covering and protection.

I believe the failure of many Christian wives to place themselves under their husband's authority leaves them vulnerable to the attacks of Satan on their minds, wills and emotions.  When we come out from under authority - whether in big matters or in seemingly insignificant matters - we become "fair game" for the enemy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss hit the nail on the head when she said: 
"Proverbs 21:1 assures us that "the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases."  Our willingness to place ourselves under God-ordained authority is the greatest evidence of how big we believe God really is."
"The question is, do we really believe God is bigger than any human authority?  Do we believe He is big enough to change that authority's heart if necessary?  Do we believe He is big enough to protect us if we take our rightful place under authority?"
The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 3:1-2, that a wife's submission to her husband makes room for God to work in his heart and bring him to obedience.  Peter goes on to say that a submissive heart attitude produces in a woman the most radiant and lasting kind of beauty."
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
Your beauty...should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet (peaceful) spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.  They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master.  You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.  1 Peter 3:1-6
A wife's submission to her husband, regardless of his spiritual condition, actually releases her from fear because she has entrusted herself to God, who has ultimate control of her husband and her situation.

In her book The True Woman, Susan Hunt sums up the heart behind submission:
I cannot give logical arguments for submission.  It defies logic that Jesus would release all the glories of heaven so He could give us the glory of heaven.  Submission is not about logic; it is about love.
Jesus loved us so much that He voluntarily submitted to death on a cross.  His command is that wives are to submit to their husbands.  It is a gift that we voluntarily give to the man we have vowed to love in obedience to the Savior we love...
God said that man needs a helper.  The true woman celebrates this calling and becomes affirming rather than a protagonist.  She becomes substantively rather than superficially submissive.
The true woman is not afraid to place herself in a position of submission.  She does not have to grasp; she does not have to control.  Her fear dissolves in the light of God's covenant promise to be her God and to live within her.  Submission is simply a demonstration of her confidence in the sovereign power of the Lord God.  Submission is a reflection of her redemption.
God wants you.  He wants all of you: all of your trust and your obedience.  He is just waiting to shower down His logic-defying power into your life and show you the freedom and liberation that awaits a heart that is fully submitted to Him.

As you pray this prayer, pray for me also that we can walk in freedom together.

A prayer for you to pray:

Most High God, you say in your Word that if I humble myself under your mighty hand, You will lift me up in due time.  If placing myself under my husband's authority causes me to be anxious, enable me to cast all my anxieties on you because you care for me. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

As I voluntarily place myself in submission to a sinful man, I trust you to work your logic-defying power to move his heart like a watercourse to follow after you without my words or my nagging.

I yield control of my body, soul and spirit to you that I may live victoriously in Christ Jesus.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~