Monthly Archives: August 2015
Monthly Archives: August 2015
What would happen if day in and day out you just never tried to do anything? By anything, I mean ANYTHING. You don’t pay attention to clocks and rise when you feel like it. You don’t go to work because you don’t feel like it. There is no showering, or grooming for you of any kind. You simply “step over” the trash in your home because you don’t want to take the time to throw it out and cleaning is just too much work. During the day you lay down some more, nap a little and watch TV, while of course sitting down on your trash ridden sofa. You eat whatever makes you happy for the moment and at night, or in the wee hours of the morning you retire to your disheveled, smelly bed to sleep until the next day begins…whenever you decide that is.
Some of you may be completely disgusted by the picture I just painted. But can I say that some who may be meticulous cleaners, organizers, and hard workers who never miss a day of employment sick or not, may also be living this kind of lazy-life existence? Sound funny? Well what if I told you that it is possible to suffer from emotional, spiritual, mental and even relational atrophy? It is. Proverbs 29:18 very clearly tells us that without a vision the people perish. So it is possible to neglect ourselves in the areas where most people don’t see. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it!”? It’s true. Just like our natural muscles suffer and degenerate with disuse so does our spiritual, emotional, and mental strength and acuity.
Atrophy does not only occur after disuse. It can also occur as the result of an injury. Have you kept yourself separated from others because you are “too busy” to make time for family or friends? Or is the real reason you avoid too much time with people because you have experienced hurt in past relationships and you fear opening your heart again to others. If you are nervous or anxious about building relationships here is a solution Paul gives us in Philippians 4:6 & 7. He says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So in other words…Seek ye first… Matthew 6:33
Atrophy does NOT have to be permanent. Exercising the atrophied areas can build you up and make you strong where you were once weak. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain along the way. It happens, but we can grow through it and emerge stronger. When you work out for the first time in a LONG time you get sore. Even if you are normally a physical person you may have switched up your exercise regimen or done something that you normally don’t do. In the fitness world this is referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This pain can be alarming to a person who is new to exercise but someone who is used to exercising knows it and will be able to skillfully work through it because they know the soreness is part of a process that will lead to greater stamina and strength in that area.
Daily life makes it easy to neglect our health and growth in areas that we think are “unseen”. We are all busy but prioritizing is the key. For instance, how much time is spent watching television or trolling the social media sites? Could Facebook or Instagram stand a little less attention from you? Think about it. Could you replace ONE hour a week of social media time with actual human interaction? Could you attend a bible study or even sit down to read or pray by yourself in an effort to grow spiritually? These are the areas you can explore and only you (and God) know where you can give a little more.
Those who run marathons must train for this even if they are normally very physical. They must discipline themselves on a daily basis, watching what they eat, how much water they drink, and of course building their stamina for the race ahead of them. They push themselves to the limit and stretch the boundaries of their muscles and mental status keeping their eyes on the prize, the goal, the finish line. For some winning that race means crossing the finish line, no matter what number they are.
Others race against their own previous record. They want to push past what they were able to achieve before. For you and I…putting on those tennis shoes and making it to the starting line may be worthy of a gold medal.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
You can do it…Flex that muscle…It’s time to DO WORK!
Written By Judy Smith
I have always struggled with the thoughts of my mind. My mind runs a hundred miles an hour and I have a huge imagination. As a child, I would use my imagination to escape. I was alone on the farm with my grandparents and there were no other children living nearby. So I pretended and used my vivid imagination to take me out of my pain. As I grew older I had to face reality and I toned my imagination down.
After becoming a Christian I discovered two scriptures to decree over my thoughts daily. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
We need to bring even our thoughts into obedience to Christ. We are to have a change of heart, and we must also have a change of mind. Obedience signifies attentive hearing and listening with compliant submission and agreement. We have all had strongholds in our minds. Strongholds are established ways of thinking that are contrary to the truth of God. This is why we are to take every thought captive. Behind a stronghold is also a lie- a place of personal bondage where there are unscriptural ideas, confusion, or an ungodly belief that we think is true.
Some of the weapons that pull down these strongholds are God’s word, the blood of Christ Jesus, and the name of Jesus. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
When I war and decree and declare the scriptures over my mind, I see change. I am sure this battle will continue the rest of my life because the enemy will always want to rule our minds. Resist him. Satan has declared war on us and our minds are the battlefield on which the war is won or lost. Satan loves to place wrong thoughts into our minds; thoughts that are not in agreement with God’s word, hoping we will meditate on them long enough for them to become reality in our lives. We can cast down these wrong thoughts and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.
Be thankful that you can choose your own thoughts and that you are not a prisoner to any thought that crosses your mind. Think good things that agree with God’s word on purpose. Think about God’s love for you, and the good plan He has for your life. Think about how you can be a blessing to God by simply being available for Him to work through. Thinking right thoughts will close the door to wrong thoughts and in the process it also closes the door to the devil.
Release the thoughts of worry. Matthew 6:27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or the span of his life? Worry and anxiety manifest in physical illness and disability. It is one thing to know that we should not worry, but it is quite another to be the thankful for that truth, and then actually stop worrying.
Cast out the stronghold of worrying. What helped me let go of worry was realizing how useless it is. Let me ask you: how many problems have you solved by worrying? Has anything ever gotten better as a result of worrying or being anxious? Of course not.
The instant you begin to worry or feel anxious, give your concern to God in prayer. Release the weight of it, and totally trust Him to either show you what to do or take care of it Himself. Prayer is a powerful force against worry. Years ago we sang a praise song that said If I know the Lord is taking care of me what do I have to worry about? And if I know the Lord is going to see me through, why don’t I sing and shout? When you’re under pressure, pray about your need instead of fretting or complaining about it. Take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ!
Understanding alone will never bring peace. That’s why God has instructed you to trust Him, and not in your own understanding. Many of us have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over our life. But the world presents you with an endless series of problems. As soon as you master one problem, another pops up to challenge you. The relief you had anticipated is short lived. Soon your mind is gearing up again, searching for understanding instead of seeking God.
The wisest of all men, Solomon could never think his way to peace. In Ecclesiasts we see that his vast understanding and wisdom resulted in feelings of futility, rather than fulfillment. Ultimately, he lost his way and succumbed to wrong thinking and began to worship his wives’ idols.
God’s peace is not an elusive goal, it is not hidden, and it is not unattainable. You are enveloped in peace when you are in His presence and in His word. As you look to God and draw near to Him, you gain a greater awareness of His peace and love. What do you have to worry about?
Written by Tina Cobian
I wanted to share my recent journey with you. But I need to give you a little bit of background before I start. I was a Spirit-Filled Christian who had not experienced true freedom because I lived with unacknowledged rejection in my life. It led to diabetes so severe that I found myself hospitalized several times each year. Through rejection I continuously built up a wall within my heart until there was not enough room to sufficiently love the One who gave me life. This was the thing I found to be the most unbearable of all. BUT GOD…I love how the King James Version puts it…
But God, who is rich in mercy, for is great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5
A defibrillator delivers quite a shock as well, but it can also bring a lifeless heart back from death.
Many times I ran to the alter asking God to “just heal me instantly.” If it had been that simple then the next words you would be reading would be, “The End.” My journey was different because God knew what was best for me. Simply removing the problem from me instantly, would not give me the tools I needed to stay healthy. After many conversations with Him asking Him to show me what was wrong, He showed me that I was walking in rejection. Funny thing is after all of that asking I did not respond very positively to the answer.
When you have been in darkness for a long period of time, and there is suddenly light, it can hurt a little bit. Your body and mind have gotten so adjusted to the dark place that it becomes a place of normalcy and comfort. A bright light can be a shock to your system. A defibrillator delivers quite a shock as well, but it can also bring a lifeless heart back from death.
Working through the pain is a necessary part of the process. When God turned on the light I made a choice to flip off the switch and continue to squint through life. I look back at myself and feel like I was the proverbial Smegal with “my precious.” Rejection may not have been a golden ring, with an elvish inscription but it had me just as weighed down and I was not who God created me to be.
As the years went on rejection got progressively worse and more aggressive until it affected my family, health, and even my employment. I was overwhelmed and overcome with sickness due to the many issues that ensued as a result of unrepentance. There I said it. When you allow rejection to fester in your system; you have first allowed a seed of un-forgiveness to take root and grow.
In your anger do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
My body was ravaged by diabetes which led to neuropathy in my esophagus, high cholesterol, pain in my feet, and poor vision. I began to lay my hands on myself as part of my daily prayer and I would pray Psalm 103. I believed it, declaring healing over every area. I was still sick, overweight and unhappy. Little did I realize John 1:4-5 had already gone to work in me. I recognized rejection and asked God to forgive me. I had to learn to forgive and release my pain to God. It was difficult to relinquish what I thought was my right to hold on to and although I didn’t see it right then, change was coming.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome. John 1:4-5
Bless the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103: 1-5
Again, I had gotten very sick and spent days in and out of the hospital but I still pressed in believing that God was (and is) my Healer. I was home on medical leave and it had only been one week between doctor’s visits. Upon my visit she pointed out I had gained 8 pounds during that one week. She was worried. My cholesterol was through the roof and she feared a heart attack, stroke or both. She began an aggressive regimen of cholesterol medication and added a new medication to help my body absorb insulin better. I went home feeling a bit defeated but I continued to believe the words within Psalm 103…He HAS healed ALL of my sickness and disease.
I remember crying out and saying, “I can’t do this by myself God, please help me.” I spoke to an amazing brother in Christ later that day who encouraged me and prayed for me. He said that God showed him that He was going to renovate me from head to toe. “Just like on HGTV”, my house was going to be gutted and made brand new, not one old thing would be left, it was all going to be new. He saw it and he believed it and so did I.
The next day I got up and my appetite had changed. Whereas I was always ravenous before and never felt “full” I started having to remind myself to eat and force myself to finish even the small amounts of food I was eating. (He satisfies your desires with good things Psalm 103:5)
The weeks that followed would include me studying, investigating and learning how to eat healthy. I knew I had a hold of God’s hand and He was walking me through this and I was determined to be faithful to the process with Him. Every time I felt frustrated, angry, or stressed, every time I remembered pain, He pulled me closer in to Him and reminded me that He was with me and I wasn’t going to walk through these changes alone. Like a skillful surgeon He began to gently and lovingly remove diseased areas from me. Each time He would show me what He was removing and then He would teach me how to deal with that area to keep it from growing back.
Weight started to come off, literal weight and that’s not all. I was no longer eating enough to sustain the level of insulin being pumped into my body so the doctor began lowering my dosage. Each week my doctor would shake her head as she looked at the numbers. “This is wonderful” she would say. “I am sure that pretty soon you will not need me.” I was sure of it too. Months went by, my mindset had changed and my physical health had continued to show progress by leaps and bounds. Through it all I nestled myself into the heart of my God and listened to His voice, the voice that had called me forth from death to life.
I was sitting in the doctor’s office going over recent blood tests and my continued progress. She looked at my cholesterol levels…normal. She told me not to take the medication anymore. She moved on to other items and reviewed my daily blood sugar levels…. “Amazing” she kept saying. “These numbers are all normal. We have to lower your insulin intake again.” As she continued on with my test results her eyes widened and she pointed at the computer screen. “Look at this!” She exclaimed. There in black and white were my blood tests showing my average blood sugar level over the last three months. The number was that of a person WITHOUT diabetes. Then out of her mouth came these exact words, “These are not the numbers of a diabetic! You have reversed your diabetes!” It was not me, but my God for He HAS healed all of my sickness and disease.
I had asked for healing many times and separately I had asked God to “help me lose weight”. I even went through the process for bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) because it can alleviate or eliminate diabetes. God shut those doors and I didn’t have surgery. There wasn’t going to be a “quick fix” for me or an easy out. God wanted me healthy, renovated from head to toe and if I had gone under the knife of a natural surgeon all of the other problems would have remained. There was still the issue of rejection and ungodly soul ties that He wanted me to deal with. God knew exactly what I needed and wasn’t allowing me to settle for anything less than complete wholeness.
Psalm 103:14 says, “He knows how we were formed.” In other words, He knows what we are made of and He is quite aware of those things we think we have hidden. They are never hidden from Him and He loves us too much to leave us in a broken state. When He heals, He heals it all, complete. I think about this journey and I am so glad He chose to heal me this way. It has brought me closer to Him and it’s the beat of His heart that keeps me going daily. His very gaze sustains me. Rejection lost its hold on me because I am forgiven and whole now – I am indeed free.
Written by Lynn Waters
I was recently reading my daily devotional about how God loves us. As I was reading this a scripture jumped out at me: Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, not any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When you think about it and let it sink in this verse tells us that nothing or anyone can take God’s love away from us.
Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” Now this is God promising each and every one of us that He will never leave us. When we meditate on this we will know that no matter what happens to us and no matter what we go through or how much we sin and walk away from God, He is always with us and will never leave us.
Isaiah 49:16 God says, “See I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” Now this is the verse that really had me reeling. God has inscribed me on the palm of HIS HANDS. Yes, each and every one of us is inscribed on God’s own hand. This verse in the Amplified says, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.”
Wow, how cool is that? God has placed within the palm of HIS HAND, me, little old me. Because He loves ME so much that He wants to have me close to Him. Just think about it a little. If we are in His palm, He can’t THROW us away, He can’t DROP us and He can’t LOSE us, ever. He doesn’t have to look down from His throne in heaven to see us He only has to look at His hand. How far can you get your hand away from your face? Can you get it far enough away to not see it? No.
This means that God wants us to be close to Him always. He can’t and won’t let you go and He loves you and me so much that He wants us to be with Him.
What does this mean to you? Does this put God in a different light for you? Can you see that God wants to spend time with you and He is there to go through every day and every trial with you? He is ready to help you always and in everything.
Does this make you want to spend time with God? He is waiting for each of us to come and spend some time with Him. Whether it is five minutes or an hour, He is there and ready to listen to every thought and problem. For us to sit down, turn on some wonderful Christian songs and praise God. God will come and bring us peace and joy, and He will love us. He will help us to know we can get through the day and every day that we live. He will help us to go through every problem we face and come out stronger and wiser.
He is the first and last we need to seek each and every day- at the start of the day to help us through tests and trials, and to see others as He sees them. And He is there to end each day, to give us peace and deep sleep to face the next day.
God says, Come to Me and I will be there every time you seek Me.