If you need ‘a break through’ in your life then you need to understand how Jesus wants to change how you think as He ‘renews your mind’. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
It’s easy in life to get caught up in a ‘downward spiral’. Injustice, betrayal, abuse and loss can lead to pain, disappointment, anger, depression and anxiety. Sedating wounds with alcohol, drugs or sex can accelerate the downward spiral. Addictions and recurring bad behavior can lead to a ‘dead-end’ where hope evaporates and despair sets in.
JESUS TO THE RESCUE!
Don’t buy into the lie that you can’t change your life. Jesus has the power to restore each of us and He wants to do just that.
Renewing the mind begins when we come to understand that God who is all-powerful is READY, WILLING and ABLE to assist us. Some of us have been verbally conditioned to believe that we will fail. An ugly little voice speaks with utter vengeance in our minds “you are a loser.” That negative voice is the result of the devil’s negative programming and it has to be challenged with faith in Jesus and hope and trust in His endless love and mercy.
Know this for it is TRUE.
There are two forces affecting our personal lives and our world: the power of good and the power of evil. This is not just the battleground for your soul; it is the battleground for your quality of life.
Everyone in this world has one principal enemy and his name is Satan. To defeat Satan, it’s important to understand his very subtle, yet powerful ways.
Satan uses these key tactics: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
Consider how fear, uncertainty and doubt may be affecting your well being right now.
Satan uses ‘scare tactics’ to keep you from fulfilling your true potential. When we are afraid of failing, afraid of rejection, afraid of being ridiculed, afraid of suffering, we tend to try to play it ‘safe’, following a bad crowd and embracing a ‘do not risk and do not change’ strategy. The problem with this approach is it prevents us from growing spiritually and pursuing new opportunities, new relationships and new breakthroughs. Satan wants to paralyze your spirit and your life with fear.
Uncertainty and Doubt
Satan wants you to feel uncertain about your true identity and your ability to succeed. Your true identity is that you are a child of God but you can throw away your inheritance by doubting God’s very existence and by being deceived by the devil. Satan wants you to be an atheist. He wants you to doubt Jesus died to save you from your sins. Satan wants you to selfishly focus on you, pursuing what gratifies your flesh because he wants you to doubt there is judgment and that there is an ‘after-life’ in heaven or hell.
God is all powerful (omnipotent), God is all knowing (omniscient) and God is always present (omnipresent) to help you. Satan and his diabolical forces should not be underestimated because Satan is a fallen angel with higher intelligence but his power and his knowledge are limited; God’s power and knowledge are not limited and if you resist the devil, he will leave you alone because he has many easy targets to pursue.
In addition Satan is predictable in his tactics. He will always prey on your senses. He will want you to lust for money and pleasure. He will always want you to give up that which is holy in exchange for things which are not holy. Example: Satan would love for you to have no time to worship God, no quality time for your family and friends, no time to do charitable work.
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt vs. Love, Trust in Jesus and True Faith
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
When we feel down it’s often because we are spiraling in a cycle of fear, grief or negativity. In these moments we need to draw close to Jesus.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Let Jesus begin to renew your mind by replacing all negative thoughts with positive ones. God loves you and He wants to heal you and help you to succeed!
The greatest burden on the conscience of mankind is sin. Confess your sins and be forgiven! Enter into the holy embrace of Jesus by asking Him to help you to know and confess your sins.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
This week, with great sorrow I read about the violent attack of ISIS upon the humanitarian organization “Save the Children”
“ISIS militants attacked the offices of British aid agency Save the Children in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens in a 10-hour battle, according to local authorities.” Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/asia/afghanistan-save-the-children-bombing-intl/index.html
Let us pray for the souls of those that died. May they Rest In Peace in the arms of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Let us pray for the injured that they may be healed by the power of God’s love. Let us pray for all humanitarian organizations doing God’s charitable work on earth. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous!…” Joshua 10:25
Let us pray for ISIS and all terrorists that God may assist them in understanding His Holy Will: “Do not murder!” Deuteronomy 5:17
The Truth is there will be judgment. God will avenge all injustice in His time.
“Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4
In the meantime let us remember the instructions of Our Lord Jesus:
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:44-45
The renewing of our minds requires that we understand the Holy and Incorruptible Character of God as we humbly draw very near to Jesus, God’s Only Son, Our Lord and Saviour.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 John 4: 16-17
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
Many people around the world are grieving this week’s mass shooting at a United States Kentucky school where two students were killed and 18 students were injured. A 15-year old student armed with a gun is responsible for this tragedy. May Our Holy Lord have mercy on all children and help us to save and protect our children! Children should not have access to guns and yet they do. Who has a responsibility to ensure our children do not have access to guns? If we want to break free from the fear associated with ongoing mass shootings we must consider there are multiple issues to address. One is the easy accessibility of weapons and the other is the darkness that preys on the minds of people that commit violence and murder. When schools start removing Bibles from their schools, rejecting faith in Jesus and making it against the law to pray in schools, know that the force of evil will find an easy path into these places. Let us turn to Jesus with trust and pray for all those affected by this week’s grievous violence. We need to not only rethink gun laws but we also need to bring people to faith in Jesus and we need to find ways to help our youth find mental health support and friendship so they can grow as peaceful, responsible individuals.
A New Life In Christ
Being forgiven by Jesus is the beginning of new life in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20
Be forgiven and forgive!
Forgiveness is a door to a new life in Christ. Just as we need to be forgiven we also need to forgive one another.
For many years I wrestled with “Do you forgive those who have not said ‘I’m sorry’”.
I understand the ‘downward spiral’ and the ‘cycle of grief’ because I lived in it for a very, very long time. During those years I was angry, anxious, depressed and I felt robbed of a life. Abuse instilled scars in me that I was convinced would never heal, but I was wrong.
Jesus did heal me and I learned that ‘Forgiveness is Freedom’. I forgave everyone who had hurt me even though I had no closure or answer to the question ‘why did you hurt me’.
I crossed a chasm of hurt by doing something I encourage every Christian to do.
I began meditating on the Passion of Christ and the Words of Our Lord during His crucifixion changed my heart: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
I decided that if Jesus could forgive me unconditionally, I would forgive too, unconditionally.
As I began to meditate on the Passion of Christ, I heard Jesus speaking two words to my heart over and over again and these two words were “Trust Me”.
At first I wondered what does that mean “Trust Jesus”. I was after all not a very trusting person. Hmmm….do you think that’s why He was encouraging me to do what I felt was near impossible?
I won’t lie to you. Healing from past wounds did not happen instantaneously and sometimes I think the healing process is still ongoing but I have learned to trust in Jesus and I feel I did ‘break free’.
I broke free from feeling the past would determine the future. I broke free from a set of negative voices that told me I would never be the woman God wanted me to be. I broke free from the anger, anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress that seemed to define my life. Now I am full of peace and assurance that God loves me and He will never abandon me.
Jesus will revolutionize our lives if we allow Him to come near. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
The Jesus revolution occurs peacefully as He embraces us and forgives us and helps us to break free from a life of sin. I figure I might have become an alcoholic because I did seek comfort in a wine bottle, but I have a peculiar physical constitution that causes me to fall asleep after the third drink so I never got addicted because I never really drank that much.
I know people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol and even sex. It takes a ‘warrior spirit’ to be brave enough to confront the very thing you feel drawn to but know is bad for you. For all who are suffering from addictions, seek assistance because that’s wise and see how God works through honourable organizations that exist to help people fight addictions. Pray for strength and know that Jesus will answer you for He loves you and wants to help you to break free.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Jesus wants to peacefully revolutionize our world as He helps each of us to break free from the power of sin and evil. I think one of the greatest mysteries is that by focusing on God’s Will instead of what might feel good in the moment is the sure path to joy and peace that endures.
I encourage you to join Christians all over the world that are stopping to pray @ The Time Jesus died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones) as we remember how much Jesus suffered to help us to break free and become people of love and peace.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3: 16-21
Learn more about A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ here.