Monday, April 25, 2011

You Are A Walking Temple

Do you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Lately, there has been an enormous amount of press coverage sarcastically saying that bipolar is Hollywood's latest trend - the truly trendy have some kind of mental illness (i.e. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Charlie Sheen). This may seem funny, but for the millions of Americans (5.7 million are diagnosed with bipolar alone) who struggle with these afflictions, it is no laughing matter.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is praised for going public with her illness in hopes of erasing the stigma associated with mental illness.  Even the rich, the beautiful and the famous can struggle with unstable and troubling mental patterns.

So what is the fate of those with a diagnosis?  Can we ever understand mental illness and is there healing? Will life ever be normal? Or must one be resigned to a cocktail of medications for the rest of his life?  And even then, not find life to be full and abundant.

In my quest for answers about depression, I discovered that all mental illnesses have a similar pattern - they start in the very center of our being, they affect our patterns of thought, our will and our emotions and eventually symptoms manifest in our physical bodies.

In order to understand any mental illness, we must first understand who we are, not individually, but as a race, the human race.  What is a human being anyway?

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27).   What does it mean to be created in the image of God?

Of all God's creations, only humans were created as tripartite beings:
body, soul and spirit. 

I Corinthians 3:16 says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Interestingly, the temple or tabernacle of ancient Israel was constructed with 3 sacred courts and chambers:  the outer court, the inner court and the holy of holies.  God gave extremely strict instructions regarding the construction, maintenance and purity of this temple and if anyone violated the purity of the temple, they could be afflicted with disease as in the case of King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:19) or they could loose their life as some of the priests did who did not follow the complete rituals of cleansing before entering the holy of holies.

The outer court of the temple was a place were individuals would bring their sacrifices and offerings.  This court was out in broad daylight and anyone could see the activities performed there.

The inner court was hidden behind the temple veil and only the priests were to enter there.  Any priest entering the inner court must strictly follow the ceremonial cleansings before entering.

Once a year the high priest was allowed to enter the holy of holies.  He performed numerous cleansings and sanctifications before entering the holy of holies.  It was well known that if the priest failed to adhere to all the ceremonial cleansings, he would be struck dead.  Thus, the tradition of sewing bells to the hem of his robes and tying a rope around his ankle.  If the bells stopped tinkling he was assumed dead and the other priests would pull him out of the holy of holies by the rope.

Have you ever wondered what all of these Old Testament rituals have to do with our lives today?

How grateful I am that we no longer have to bring a lamb or animal to the temple, watch the priest slaughter it and sprinkle the blood on the alter for my sins!  The amazing thing is that Jesus Christ was "the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!" (John 1:29).  At the time of Christ's crucifixion, the earth shook and the temple veil was ripped by God from top to bottom exposing the holy of holies to the common man.

Jesus is also called our high priest and 1 Peter 1:9 says all believers in Christ are, "a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light".

Perry Stone, in his book Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree, has a wonderful description of us as walking temples.

"Christ knew that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed within a generation (Matt 24:1-2). He also realized that the divine presence of God would be transferred from a man-made building in Jerusalem to the physical bodies and spirits of believers who walked in the New Covenant.  Each believer is a walking temple. Instead of meeting God in one designated location, we take Him with us everywhere we go.  Just as the ancient tabernacle of Moses and the temples of Solomon and Herod were sacred structures with a distinct design consisting of three sacred courts and chambers, so too the human body is a tripartite temple.  The Bible reveals that we consist of body, soul and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23).  The physical body is a reflection of the temple's outer court, the soul reflects the temple's inner court, and the human spirit represents the sacred chamber called the holy holies."
"In the earthly temple, men could see the outer court, just as the human body is visible to all human eyes.  The soul is housed within the body and cannot be seen by the natural eye, just as the temple's inner court was hidden behind the temple veil or two large doors in the early Jewish temples.  The soul is the seat of our thinking, reasoning and illumination and is a reflection of the seven-branched candlestick whose light illuminated the inner court.  The holy of holies was hidden from public view and was the most sacred and holy part of the temple.  Just so, the human spirit is a reflection of the holy of holies, the place where God's presence dwelt.  All spiritual blessings begin in the spirit and work their way outward into our lives."

When we understand who we are, it is much easier to see how healing takes place.  It starts with the most sacred place - the spirit.  Just as the high priest ceremonially cleansed and sanctified himself, we must also cleanse and purge our spirit of anything that is not in sync with the Holy Spirit.

Secondly,  is the renewing of the mind, will and emotions.  This starts with spending time in the presence of God - coming to the throne of God in the holy of holies (read how here).  It is in the holy of holies that God transforms us and teaches us to forgive (read How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt Me), to submit (read The Liberating Truth About Submission) and to be holy as He is holy.

Lastly, is the healing of the body.  Our physical body plays an important part in our temple as a whole.  We must do everything we can to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God which is our reasonable service.  This includes everything from diet and excercise to keeping our bodies pure from sinful acts.

In 1 Peter 1:3-9 we are told that times of suffering come in order to refine us and perfect our faith.  In other words, to drive us closer to God so that we will purge out all the impurities from our temple/ His temple.  This process of purging and pruning can be painful, but when we see the results we will be filled with inexpressible and glorious joy for we are achieving the goal - the healing of our soul (mind, will and emotions), right here on earth!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do Psychiatrists Know What They're Talking About?

Documentary length 2:56

This very insightful documentary sheds light on the dark secret of the relationship between psychiatrists and the drug companies.  While I totally agree that many of the so-called "mental illnesses" have been created, packaged and sold to the general public, this documentary still does not deal with the root cause of our mental and psychological problems.

At the end of this documentary, the creators concluded that psychiatrists still do not understand the root cause of mental illnesses. The writers of this documentary left us with the idea that if you look hard enough, the real reason for mental illness is some kind of physical illness. I do not agree with this conclusion. Albeit, if you search for a physical illness, you most likely will find one.

The one aspect that was completely overlooked, except for one quick mention at the beginning, is the spiritual aspect. Since the beginning of time, people have believed that some mental problems were a spiritual issue caused by demons or spirits. Unfortunately, most people didn't know how to get rid of the demons and were too afraid of the demons, so the problems were simply dealt with in the physical realm which, of course, will not work since demons are spirit  beings.

Around the turn of the 20th century, mankind became too sophisticated to believe in demons and denied the existence of the spirit world altogether, so the "Marketing of Madness" began. And the general public swallowed it hook, line and sinker. The problem is, the symptoms continued even with advanced, modern medication. Depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety disorder, OCD, suicide...

Truly, no scientific evidence can be found for mental illnesses, but we all know they exist. So, where are we to turn for answers?

It has been my belief all along - as stated in What I Believe About Mental Illness, that mental illness is a body, soul and spirit issue and must be dealt with in a balanced body, soul and spirit manner. There are many educative articles out there about how to lessen the symptoms of depression through diet, exercise and positive affirmations. These methods deal with the body and soul and most of these methods are helpful and effective.

Much of Battle Mind Blog deals with the soul which consists of our mind, will and emotions.

But what are we to do about the spirit???

There are stages in deliverance. The deliverance of the soul is different than the deliverance of the spirit. We must first receive deliverance in our spirit from deception. Then we can proceed with deliverance in our soul.

Psalm 32:2
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
We will be well on the road to victory and healing once we identify the spirit(s) that afflict us and in the authority given to us by Jesus Christ, break the chains that hold us captive.

The deliverance of the spirit has to do with breaking (loosing) curses and bindings whether they be of your own making or of your ancestors. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus gives Peter two keys to the kingdom of heaven - the keys of binding and loosing:
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bond in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19
You have the authority to use these keys as well to loose the spiritual chains that hold your spirit captive. These keys are to be used exclusively by the believer. When we come to faith in Christ, we are not automatically released from the chains of the evil one. Becoming a Christian simply assures us of an eternity with Christ, but as long as we are on this earth, we must do the job of "working out our salvation", in other words, defeating the works of Satan in our own soul and spirit.

The soul must experience renewal in the mind, in other words, our thought-life must be cleansed and renewed according to the Word of God. This process takes longer than the initial awakening of our spirit and it's deliverance.

The following is a prayer and declaration statement that can be used to break word curses. There are other things that also need to be broken such as soul ties and generational curses. You can use the same format to break ungodly soul ties and to loose yourself from generational curses.

A prayer for you to pray (must be prayed out loud):
Heavenly Father, I am your child purchased by the blood of Jesus. Right now, I confess and repent of the effects and influences of all word curses or vows (known or unknown) spoken about me, to me or by me. Forgive me for those times when my words have opened the door to the enemy to negatively influence or become a curse to me or my family. I specifically renounce and loose the influence of the word curse by (name of person) that says (what they said).  I bind myself to the truth of God's Word that all things work together for my good. Romans 8:29
Declaration statement:

In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I resist and rebuke every spirit that gained access and influence in my life or my family by these word curses, and I command you to go to feet of my Lord Jesus Christ and go where He tells you to go. (Ephesians 1:20-23) and I loose every wrong agreement I've ever believed and entered into regarding negative words spoken to me or by me. I bind myself to the truth of God's Word that I am a new creation in Christ and a partaker in His Divine Nature. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Grace and Peace be yours in abundance today~

Monday, April 4, 2011

To This You Have Been Called

The snow is melting, the sky is a magnificent blue and the birds are singing, but you can't relate.  What does it matter if spring is in the air when your spirit is heavy under the load you bear, when each day is a struggle just to survive.  Life has a different perspective when one is faced with the pain of living with someone with depression, facing home foreclosure or bankruptcy or caring for someone with a disabling illness.

Your heart is crying out to God, but He seems so distant, so unable to help.  But in the depth of your heart you hear,
"My child, I'm here and I hear your cries.  It's time to get up now and wipe away your tears.  I know the pain that is breaking your heart.  I know it well.  I have a special purpose for all your pain.  It may appear purposeless, but I am just setting the plow deep into your heart.  Soon the very fertile soil will be ready for planting seeds.  Seeds of forgiveness, faith, trust and obedience."

It is in these turbulent, difficult times, when it seems the tips of the plow are aimed straight at your heart, that you may wonder if God is for you or against you.  He seems so confrontational, too intense, too different from the loving God you learned about in Sunday School.  Yet, let me assure you, He is for you!

Read this great excerpt  from a book by author Francis Frangipane:
"Do not withdrawal or be terrified at this new unveiling of the Son of God, for He is, in fact, fitting you for battle.  By the time you are fully trained, you will be a fearless warrior in His army. Yet we must be realistic about our current state:  most of us have been pampered and undisciplined.  We have not understood the day of warfare that looms before us.  Nor are we prepared for the final raging of Satan as his time shortens.  We have known the Lord as our Savior and our Shepherd.  These revelations of our beloved Master are no less true because a new aspect of His nature is revealed."
I believe with all my heart that not only is it possible to rise up from our painful circumstances, it is our calling and our responsibility.  We are called to be overcomers (1 John 5:4,5).  The Son of God will not lead us into battles we cannot win.  I am not saying that our circumstances will change - they may not, but what I am saying is that we can live above our circumstances, victoriously, joyfully, peacefully.

Even the apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:12, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed."

What is His glory that will be revealed?  It is Christ in YOU, the hope of glory!  For if you grab hold of the promises of God during the difficult times, the result will be a more Christ-like YOU - fitted and qualified for His service.

A prayer for you to pray:

Heavenly Father, I bow before you and receive the calling you have placed on my life - the calling to be an overcomer.  Empower me to live worthy of this calling.   For you say that everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, my faith in You. (1 John 5:4,5)
Your Word says, If You are for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31).  And I know that in all things You are working for my good since I love you and have been called according to your purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Enable me by your Spirit to walk the high road above my circumstances - to respond in love and thankfulness in all things.  And in all these things, I am more than a conqueror and an overcomer because you love me and gave yourself for me. (Romans 8:37)
In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~