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Stirring The Deep


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Victory Cry

Blog Talk Radio: Victory Cry: Part I

A PODCAST (click here to listen) is available on living in victory in our lives. You can also get it at itunes. Search for Stirring the Deep under podcasts.

Overview: Many of us are facing trials and challenges. It can be frustrating for a believer because you see the promises of God and then look at your life and wonder why the huge gap. Or perhaps you have learned that trials do refine your faith, but wondering when will they ever end. I hope to encourage you by sharing the deeper purpose and reason for many of those trials by giving a different perspective on the situation.

In this two part segment, I talk about two main reasons for why we experience what we do. In part one, I cover the first reason and part two I discuss the second reason and how to journey through them victoriously.

Blog Talk Radio: Victory Cry: Part II


A PODCAST (click here to listen) covering the second part to living in victory is available. Also available through itunes.

Overview: In the previous show, I talked about one of the reasons we experience the trials we do as believers and how we can battle them and come out victoriously.

In this show, I cover another reason we face what we do and again, discuss how to come through it successfully as God intends. We’ve been given all we need in Christ, we need to know what we have, how to act on it, and act on it.


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Conquering Our Soul, Undoing the Bondage

Conquering Our Soul:

Undoing the Bondage

 

Our soul is like a territory held in bondage by an enemy. When we are awakened to the state of our soul, then we realize our need for someone mightier (Jesus Christ) than ourselves and our enemy to deliver us from the entrapment. When we accept that Jesus is the One to deliver us, then He comes and claims the beachfront of our lives. So we are His, however, aspects of our soul are still untouched territory. As we abide in His Word and are willing and listening, bit by bit Jesus makes advances taking over the territory of our soul as King. Under His Kingship, we live free and as we were created to live. I want to explore some ways He makes those advances.

For years I experienced pain in my body in reoccurring areas. It wasn’t unbearable, but at my young age, it was far more than I should be experiencing. I knew something was way off. I tried many external remedies but nothing worked, but each “cure” presented a new hope. A friend told me about what a Cranial Sacral Therapist had done for her, so I found someone in my area. During the session, as she was working on my neck and head, she asked me if I had experienced any trauma in that area as a child. At first I thought no, but then as I laid there several experiences came to mind, but they weren’t of a physical nature but an emotional one. That thought process led me to see a deep trauma in my beliefs – that I lacked a sense of value for myself. Until that point, I never fully realized this debilitating belief. I went home knowing I had stumbled upon something significant. I realized I needed to stop looking outward for solutions and look inward.

As I brought this issue into my quiet time with God, He started unraveling it bit by bit. It ended up being a core issue that underscored many other issues (almost all of them, including my pain). I started to see the massive ripple affect of that ill-belief spreading to every area of my life. Eagerly, I prayed and listened to God’s instruction, and He started laying it all out. He showed me how most of my thoughts, actions, and decisions were tied to a lack of value for myself. He showed me where this idea started and was reinforced in childhood. As He took me back to painful memories, ones I feared to face or simply didn’t want to out of pride, I travelled with Him trusting His guidance and He covered them with His love, truth and forgiveness. As pain appeared in other areas in my body, I listened and He led me to other issues all related to my core one. He opened up each area of anger, pain, and fear, and brought in His truth. When He was done, I held an unchanging priceless value in myself as His child. However, many of my habitual ways of responding and acting were still reflective of that girl who had no value. Through awareness, abiding in His Word and prayer, those actions started to fade and were replaced by ones based on who I truly am as His unique creation and this transition is in progress today.

I share this story, because 1) it demonstrates a type of progression in how the territory of our soul is conquered by God, and 2) many people have this core issue of a lack of value (from childhood rejection, abuse, neglect, modeling of parents, and so on). Some know it and many deny it, but I see it in many people. When we lack value we spend our lives trying to prove and earn our worthiness and most of what we do is a result of this lack of value, therefore, we aren’t able to be completely surrendered to God’s will. We are more driven to prove or earn our worthiness. God calls us to be surrendered completely to Him and that surrender is a journey. For many facing core issues is a significant part of that journey. But we have to stop the madness of trying to prove and earn and abide in God’s presence and seek His deliverance. God wants us out of that bondage and will allow or do what it takes in our lives to bring us to this understanding, to healing and freedom.

The Progression of Conquering Our Soul

First, an uncomfortable situation arises in our life to get us seeking, like a physical aliment (as I had), intense trial, or difficult relationship. We live in blindness to our own soul and something has to wake us up. When all is fine, we don’t seek. But when things aren’t, it’s to push us to search from the depth of our soul. Often what starts us seeking is something that gets our full attention, and it is different for different people. How better to get our attention than with something we really care about?

Second, from seeking we get a word of truth about the state of our soul that comes to us through a dream, person, the Spirit, or God’s Word. When that word or insight resonates strongly with us, like the issue of value did for me, this is our first awareness of seeing Christ on the edge of this section of our soul ready to take it over and deliver us.

Third, through spiritual weaponry (like faith, prayer, meditating on His Word, the Bible, and /or fasting) the anchor of that stronghold is uprooted. For me the stronghold was the lie I had no value, God uprooted that ill-belief and replaced it with the truth that I have infinite unchanging value. One point on fasting, it is a tool that when God calls us to use it (He decision not ours), it can be extremely powerful. It’s an act of faith that we are completely reliant on His Word for life. Matthew 17:19-21

Fourth, once the anchor is uprooted then there is a time (usually much longer) of restructuring and rebuilding, like when a land is taken over by a new regime it has to be established on their rules. As the rebuilding occurs in this certain area, many issues may spring up that are related to that area like anger, modeling (what we learned from our parents), and unforgiveness. Each one of these has to be addressed and replaced with truth and love. This work of rebuilding is God’s. Our part is to seek His deliverance, listen to and obey His instruction, abide in His Word that cuts through our soul healing and restoring, pray, and hold onto His truth as it’s established in us.

After believing lies for so long it sometimes takes awhile for the truth to truly be ours. Because of the strong connections in our brain established from acting certain ways for so long, it sometimes takes awhile for us to act according to the deliverance that is happening in our soul. But once the anchor is uprooted, then we should see progress forward however slow. Building a new way of behaving requires great patience, trust and perseverance. It requires that we trust God who begun a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). As this area is rebuilt, God moves onto the next one to conquer. If we are diligent to heed His instruction, follow and trust in Him to do what He promises to do, we will experience true freedom in our soul. The good news is that once our core issue is addressed it resolves many other issues that came from it. Though, it may be a longer process initially, it is delivering us from many problems in our lives.

If you are struggling right now, perhaps it is the Spirit trying to get your attention. Ask and seek why you are going through what you are. Be aware of insights you have about your situation. Pray about them don’t ignore or push them to the side. Dive into them. They may be God on the forefront ready to move and waiting for you to call Him in. Deliverance requires your involvement. Let His pure Word penetrate your heart, pray, meditate on His truth daily and follow His direction and He will take over and rebuild you into the new creation you are in Him.

In my experience this process can be painful at times as our depths are unraveled and exposed and it isn’t instant by any means. It is a journey, sometimes taking years, but He is faithful to finish what He began. What are a couple of years compared to a lifetime of freedom? Most of us give up. Stop trusting. Stop seeking deliverance. Stop listening. Stop abiding in His Word. Don’t give up. Believe God is good and desires you to be free. And remember it is God who starts, directs, and completes this journey. It is by the Spirit’s lead not our own initiative.

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

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Heightened Spiritual Warfare

Heightened Spiritual Warfare

 

I feel we have entered into another degree of spiritual warfare; perhaps because the time of judgment is near or upon us??

In the past month, I’ve been seeing the warfare in my life, the lives around me, in the blogs I read. We are facing struggles and tribulation on a spiritual level that is affecting our daily lives. (the physical and the spiritual are connected – one affects the other.) We feel overwhelmed, burdened, discouraged, or depressed. When we are attacked at our core in our spirits then it makes dealing with the day to day stuff much more difficult. Proverbs 18:14 It makes small things seem big. It throws things out of perspective into the wrong perspective. Our trust in God wanes. Our steadfast belief that He is in control and will provide and protect us diminishes. His love feels distant. We begin to turn to the world’s wisdom instead of His. We can become fearful, timid, aggressive, or ineffective.

Then in my quiet time the other day I read Nehemiah 4:17 “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.” It struck me that what this verse is saying is what I had been feeling and what we need to do. We are being attacked to such a degree that we need to be ready for battle daily. Each day, we can no longer just focus on building the temple but we have to fight the spiritual battle as well. If we don’t recognize the attacks and fight the enemy we won’t be able to build. There has always been spiritual warfare, but lately it seems it has intensified.

As for building the temple, it’s not a physical temple we are building. It is a spiritual one and we, our spirits together, are the temple, the temple of God. We hold the spirit of God. The part of us that is a part of Him holds His spirit. Each one of our spirits is like a pillar. If our spirits are mal-nourished and lacking in truth, then they become like rotting broken down pillars.

We build by stirring the deep (spending one-on-one time building intimacy with God through His Word) each day. This is our work. John 6:29 Our work is to believe – to live in God’s wisdom and truth. Because our beliefs are the core to every thought and action. When our spirits are thriving and strong, then God’s spirit is strong within us and works through us in mighty ways in our lives and the lives of others. When we succumb to the attacks because we don’t recognize them for what they are, we become weak and neglect to be steadfast in our beliefs, which negatively impacts everything.

I believe that the time is upon us, where we need to build the temple with one hand and hold a weapon in the other.

The fantastic news is and what I am experiencing in my life is the mighty power that Jesus Christ gave us in the spiritual realm to defeat any and every enemy. Luke 10:19 However, we have to be aware of that power, use it through faith and prayer, and use it right when we need it, not wait.

Lately, as I have experienced more attacks, I’ve been prepared with the knowledge of the power that I have in Christ. When they come, I call upon God the enemy backs off. It is tremendous!

Who is the enemy? Most often ourselves, our flesh nature. We have an external evil warring against our spirits but even that enemy usually uses our weaknesses, our lack of knowledge of truth, our issues, our temptations, our desires, and our self-will to discourage and lead us astray.

These are challenging days, but God has laid out the tools before us to be more than conquerors in all that we face. It is our part to learn what tools are there and to pick them up and fight so we can continue to build.

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Left Standing – Ashamed or Glorified?

Left Standing …

Ashamed or Glorified?

When the purity of God’s truth invades our souls it exposes our true beliefs.

After spending a couple years of consistent time one-one-one with God in His Word, I had a life/spirit changing awareness about myself. I realized most of what I believed about Christianity was based on other’s words. Therefore the source of my trust was in others not God, which meant my confidence was in them. Up to that point I assumed I trusted God, but when prompted to take a closer look by God’s Spirit searching in my soul I found a different reality.

As I examined where my truth came from, who and where I went to hear and know truth, it was all centered around others and their words. True their words were supposedly based on God’s truth, but it was still their interpretations and opinions about God’s Word. Along with the multitude of warnings in the Bible about not trusting in others, but God, at that moment I set out to seek God and His truth from Him. Over the years, God has been an incredible and faithful Teacher about Himself. It seems I talk a lot about trust in my blogs, but who we really trust is the core of our faith. It affects everything.

I’ve been reading through Jeremiah and Revelations, some heavy books to say the least, yet amazingly rich. The verses below jumped off the page reminding of this awakening I had some time ago about my belief system, and reminding me to daily examine my beliefs in light of His truth because other’s philosophies can easily creep in unnoticed. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Jeremiah 48:13b “As the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel (house of God), their confidence.”

Jeremiah 48:7 “For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, You also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, His priests and his princes together.”

Verses like these are what compelled me to a paradigm shift in my beliefs – seeking truth directly from God. If we take time to pause, these verses prod each one of us into a deep self-examination, Who do you trust REALLY?

Who do you trust for spiritual protection? Church, or God Psalm 18:30

Who is your shepherd? Church, or God. Ezekiel 34:23

Where/Who do you go to be fed (spiritual nourishment)? Church or God 1 John 2:27

Where do you learn about God? Church or God Jeremiah 31:33

Where do you learn about truth? Church or God 2 Peter 3:16-18

Who do you trust for the surety of your salvation? Church or God Hebrews 7:22, Proverbs 11:15

If we chose the first option – our trust and confidence is in the wrong place.

Many of us need to take an honest look at our spiritual lives – is the source of trust the church and others or God? And if it is the church (Bethel or House of God), then one day, as Jeremiah says, we will experience great shame for that trust, because we should have been trusting God. If it is God then we will stand with Him glorifying Him with our lives.

We all trust ourselves, the wisdom of the world and others in areas where we should be trusting God, but the question is – are we seeking God and spending time with Him so that our trust will be in Him alone? One reason for the multitude of denominations is that people are really following a multitude of different teachers and not the Teacher – one area of great misplaced trust. Matthew 23:10, 2 Timothy 4:3 A teacher’s role is to teach us to learn of God from God. I see very few actually giving this type of instruction. Most of them are spoon feeding us what they call truth, but it is their point of view from where they are on their spiritual journey. It may or may not be truth, and according to the vast warnings in God’s Word most aren’t teaching truth. Fellowship is great for sharing insights but the source of our truth, our Teacher is to be God.

God is to be the source of our trust. When He is it means we go to Him directly, to the Bible which is His words, to Him in prayer, to Him in stillness to hear His voice. He calls us to come to Him one-on-one with the Spirit as our mediator not man. Jesus came not to bring another religion but a relationship – an intimate personal relationship with our Father where we commune with Him one-on-one. So many have neglected cultivating this intimacy and will fall for it. Most have lost or never had a love for the truth, and will be lead astray. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 If you love the truth – you want to dwell in it daily, seek out its mysteries, live by it, and dedicate time to abiding in it.

Don’t give your life, your beliefs over to another. Don’t be one of those who stands ashamed at the end because you looked to others when God was calling you to Him and waiting to open up His magnificent kingdom to you. Listen to others this week – listen to yourself – where are you getting your truth – are you saying he said, she said or God said?

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