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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Breaking Soul Ties

Dear beloved:  When we make ties or agreements with thoughts and behaviors to the demonic realm, those ties then must be broken or severed if we are to move forward in the kingdom of God. The devil will chain us and bind us to these agreements with his harassing and tormenting demons, many of which have been following us for many years through familiar family patterns. When we make the move back toward the call God has placed on our life, the demons then attack us,  often causing pain in the body and disruption (agitation) in our soul. 

David prayed to the Lord in Psalm 18 when he was asking the Lord to deliver him from the hand of all his enemies and of Saul.  Psalm 18:3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. v4 The pangs (cords) of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. v5 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. v6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my god; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.  When we cry out to the Lord, Jesus is faithful and true to His word, all those who call upon the Lord will be saved!  He hears our voice from His temple, and our cry comes before Him, even to His ears.

It is important also when we move to break ties with the demonic realm, the cords of Sheol, that we repent and speak against every agreement that we have made.  Acknowledge the sin, ask the Lord for His forgiveness, and speak against the sin.  When we do that we are consciously breaking the chains that have bound us. In the realm of sexual immorality, we may have to repent of multiple partners, fornication, adultery, or sexual perversion.  Then we also ask the Lord to strengthen us and help us to take every thought captive that raises itself up against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Repent, speak against, and commit to obedience in Christ.  This is the way to the higher place, a place of peace and joy in Christ Jesus. Psalm 18:25 For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. v31 For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God: v32 It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. If you will practice these steps, you will begin to move into the broad place that God has for you.  He wants to deliver you!  God bless you, in Christ, Jim

A Strong Mind pt 3

Dear beloved:  The book of Proverbs contains some very timely wisdom regarding the issues of depression and anxiety.  Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression ( weighs it down), but a good word makes it glad.  So we see that when we let anxious thoughts take over our life, our heart becomes heavy and we get "depressed".  These thoughts can have their source in anger towards self or others, bitterness regarding people or life events, unforgiveness, or fear of the future or the unknown.  The Apostle Paul has good instruction for the Philippians when he tells them in Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice! v5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near(at hand).  v6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  v7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

And so Paul lays out God's prescription medicine for depression.  First of all, rejoice in all things.  Begin to cultivate a heart and an attitude of praise and gratitude, give thanks to the Lord for every little thing in your life, even the sunshine, the air you breathe, every day that the Lord gives you to walk this earth. If you are holed up in your sorrow and fear, start thanking Him for people who care for you and every small step as you move forward. Saturate your environment with praise and worship music, in your car and in your house, make it uncomfortable for the demons of darkness to hang around you.  Second, let your forbearing spirit be known to all, in other words, don't be afraid to give praise the Lord and credit to Him for keeping you standing.  The Lord is near, in your mouth and in your heart! Be a testimony to those you come in contact with.  Then third, take all your anxiety, all your fear to the Lord in prayer.  When anxious and fearful thoughts begin to creep into and take over your mind, that is the time to get down on your knees and let your requests be made known to God.  It is all right to spend hours on your knees, crying out to the Lord for mercy and for strength, and do it with an attitude of thanksgiving, giving the Lord thanks for every small victory.  Paul says as you do this, the peace of God in Christ Jesus will guard your heart and your mind.  Wouldn't it be much better to depend on Jesus Christ to give us peace and guard our hearts and mind, than to depend on "antianxiety" medications that are addictive and unreliable, and in the long run do very little to help alleviate the condition?

And finally, Solomon gives us wisdom regarding this situation in Proverbs 13:12.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. When we put too much of our hope in this world, in the relationships with family and friends, in our jobs and vocation, in our riches and material possessions, we are bound to be disappointed and eventually become heartsick.  But when our hope is in the Lord Jesus, everything else then takes its proper place in our life.  Romans 5:1 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, v2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in the hope of the glory of God.  v3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; v4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; v5 and hope (in Jesus)  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Beloved, put your hope in Jesus, then you will never be disappointed!    May God bless you as you pray.  in Christ, Jim

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Strong Mind pt 2

Dear beloved:  For those struggling with issues of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, we need to look to the word of God and to Jesus for relief of these states of mind that lead to a place of darkness.  We know that the devil will do everything in his power to take us away from God's plan for our life, and we also know that through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit we can be an overcomer and not just survive, but be a conqueror.  I have seen this happen in my own life as well as in the lives of those I have been privileged to minister to and counsel.

God's word gives us specific encouragement regarding the issue of a strong mind.  2 Timothy 2:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.  So we see that the one of the primary ways the devil attacks us is through the spirit of fear.  When these attacks are successful, we begin to fear moving forward into our destiny, our calling, and we fear even relationships with people who could help us and be our allies.  If we look to the world for the antidote to the fear, the world will encourage us to take pharmaceutical drugs to "lift us" out of the despair or anxiety, or at the least keep the situation stable.  However, often the result is increased anxiety, weakness, and a separation from our will, emotions, and true feelings.  Certainly not power, and not a sound mind, and not much love either, as people fight for survival just to function in that mindset.

Though it sounds simplistic, and should not be looked at as an overnight turnaround (though I certainly don't discount the possibility of miraculous, instantaneous breakthroughs), to look to Jesus is the answer to these debilitating attacks on the mind.  The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:16 For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.  Paul was writing to baby Christian believers in Corinth, comparing the solutions the world gives for problems compared to how God gives solutions to those who put their trust in Him.  1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. v13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. v14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.

Beloved, God has a better plan than the world's plan of inundating our soul and holy temple with all the mind numbing drugs; God's plan is for us to climb up out of the valley and get onto the mountain.  I will be writing on specific steps to take for the believer to take that will get him on the path to recovery, to restore the hope and joy that God has for us.  May God bless you this day as you pray, in Christ, Jim

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Strong Mind pt1

Dear beloved: As many people these days are suffering from effects of despair, discouragement, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide, it is well to know what the word of God has to say about how we can strengthen our mind and stand up to the devastating attacks of the enemy of our souls.  Our mind and our heart, our will, and emotions all go together to make up what the bible calls the soul (gr. psyche), that eternal part of our being that represents what many would recognize as their personality, that part of themselves that uniquely defines who they are.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:23, Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So we are a tripartite being, the body which is mortal and will be laid down in the grave, is listed last and though also recognizable as uniquely you, is the least important of the three as the other two parts are eternal.

Our brain, which is the body part most think of when  discussing the mind, is a complex organism responsible for the complex thought and neural coordination required to meditate, contemplate, and make logical decisions.  But the mind is much more than just the physical organ of the brain, and this is where the concept of heart and soul come in.  The mind also includes our passion, our desires, our will to do or not do something. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus told a lawyer who questioned him asking, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"  Jesus answered him saying, v37, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." v38  " This is the great and foremost commandment."   Then He went on to say, v 39, "and the second is like it.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself." v40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."  So Jesus was basically saying, you can sum up all of life, your position before God and your position with your fellow man, in these two statements.  So we know also from these statements that it is God's will that our mind be whole and complete, that it not be fragmented and fractured and full of despair and evil thoughts, but that it be made complete to function properly in a way that allows us to make wise decisions, and at the same time allow us to have the peace and joy that God desires for us.

Through the soul the enemy comes against us and makes "ties" with us, or agreements, to get us to walk in the kingdom of darkness, hate God, and eventually hate ourselves, and our fellow man.  We make these ties in many different ways, some knowingly through conscious decisions we actively participate in, and other times it is through family curses handed down to us through the decisions our ancestors have made.  These decisions bring about generation curses, not in the blood per se, but by means of familiar spirits that are assigned to harass us and torment us, and have followed our families for generations.  Amos 3:3 Do two men walk together unless they have made an agreement?   And so it is with soul ties, when we make agreement or appointment with anything in the demonic realm, anything that goes against the knowledge of God in our life, then we open ourselves up to ties that bind our soul to the kingdom of darkness.  I will be speaking more on these soul ties in the days ahead, as we look at how we can free ourselves from the kingdom of darkness, and move over into the kingdom of light, and see the hope and future that God has promised us in His word.  May God bless you today as you pray.  in Christ, Jim