Self-Deception vs. Freedom

Are you living in Freedom today?
Or do you have a tendency to micromanage others?

It’s easy to read Scripture & believe you’ve got it.
But do you actually do what it says?

Being a doer of the Word brings Freedom. To you & those you love.

”Do not merely listen to the Word & so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

“But whoever looks intently into The Perfect Law that gives Freedom, and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it they will be blessed in what they do.” JAMES 1:22-25

Time for a Checkup?

No matter where you are in the process of life, it’s good to ask the Holy Spirit to help you evaluate your attitudes & actions using the following verses:

    • “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” MATTHEW 7:1-5

    • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7

    • It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. GALATIANS 5:1
    • You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” GALATIANS 5:13-14

Desire Spiritual Gifts

How are you using your spiritual gifts?

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.
There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom,
to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
to another faith by the same Spirit,
to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
to another miraculous powers,
to another prophecy,
to another distinguishing between spirits,
to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,
and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:1-3

This is why it is so crucial that we be all the more engaged and attentive to the truths that we have heard so that we do not drift off course. For if the message of the law spoken and confirmed by angels brought a just penalty to every disobedient violation; then how would we expect to escape punishment if we despise the very truths that give us life?

The Lord Himself was the first to announce these things, and those who heard Him firsthand confirmed their accuracy. Then God added His witness to theirs. He validated their ministry with signs, astonishing wonders, all kinds of powerful miracles, and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which He distributed as He desired. HEBREWS 2:1-4

Confidence & Goodness

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of The Lord
    in the land of the living.

Yes, I totally trust in Him to rescue me from my enemies,
    so I can see once again how good He is while I’m still alive!

So why would I fear the future?
    For Your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
    Then afterward, when my life is through,
    I’ll return to Your glorious presence to be forever with You!  PSALM 23:6

Don’t be fooled by those who speak their empty words and deceptive teachings telling you otherwise. This is what brings God’s anger upon the rebellious! Don’t listen to them or live like them at all.

Once your life was full of sin’s darkness, but now you have the very light of Our Lord shining through you because of your union with Him. Your mission is to live as children flooded with His revelation-light! And the supernatural fruits of His light will be seen in you — goodness, righteousness, and truth. Then you will learn to choose what is beautiful to Our Lord. EPHESIANS 5:6-10

I’m confident in The King of My Heart!
He is Good & He will never let us down!

He’s been Good a long time. And He knows what He’s doing!

Circumstances & Solutions

Have you experienced what you consider to be more than your fair share of failure & disappointment? Most of us have. Consequently, it’s not unusual to experience some depression & anxiety. Perhaps not to the point of being “clinically significant.” But enough to drain our energy.

  • We’re down because something hasn’t gone well.
  • And/or worried about a future that mightn’t be any different.

If those thoughts & feelings have put you in Survival Mode, I can identify with you on so many levels. Yes, like you, I’ve experienced a lot of failure & disappointment. Which often leaves us with a deep sense of inadequacy.

  • You lose all hope.
  • You resolve to just hang on.
  • To try to create the best life possible in your personal Egypt.

In contrast, we may also choose Management Mode. Determined to beat whatever (or whomever) has kept us from our Promised Land.

  • You’ve adopt the popular belief that “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
  • So you begin to fight. Often against yourself. And everyone else.
  • Find ways to whip people into shape. Taking charge is your solution.

But what if The Lord already has The Solution in His mind?

Your circumstances – everything you face & will ever face – are there to draw you back to The Lord. He put specific desires in your heart. And He is The Only One Who can fulfill them. He wants more for your life than mere survival. He also knows that if you take charge, you’ll make a big mess. For someone. Probably yourself. And the ones you love.

So what if God isn’t answering your prayers because He has a Solution in mind that’s way better than what you’ve been praying?

  • Why not ask Him what He wants to do? Listen carefully.
  • Then pray accordingly. He’ll answer those prayers! (1 JOHN 5:14-15)

Mindsets & Miracles

We pray for a water-into-wine miracle. However, The Lord knows that first we need new wineskins. Otherwise, we would burst from the expansion. MARK 2:21-22

Receiving new wineskins give us the capacity to receive His new wine.

So much of my work as a psychologist has been helping my clients move from a negative mindset to one that is God-centered. Whether or not they are currently believing Christians. Because we all have learned to evaluate ourselves and others according to human standards. According to what is visible to us in terms of behavior & success as we have believed it to be.

We dream of miracles & fail to recognize the mindsets that keep us stuck.

It’s as though we have blinders on. And removing them can become a lengthy process. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a several tips to help you redeem the time of your own development. They all involve your active cooperation with The Holy Spirit.

  1. Ask for a spirit of wisdom & revelation, instead of the mindset you now have. EPHESIANS 1:17-18
  2. Read or listen to the Scriptures every day, expecting an expansion of your understanding as you go. ISAIAH 55:8-9
  3. Meditate upon the fact that His mercies never end. LAMENTATIONS  3:22-23
  4. Remember that He has far more in store for your life than you could ever imagine. EPHESIANS 3:20
  5. Surround yourself with others who want to grow in The Lord. Find a spiritual mentor for yourself or join a group of like-minded Christians. HEBREWS 10:25

Against All Hope

When your relationship isn’t going well and your man isn’t responding as you’d like, you may tend to focus on your own rejection and reason that your own situation is against all hope.

Yet, when all things are considered, you will begin to realize it isn’t about you & your mate. It’s about Who God is and His desire for you both to know Him.

Although it is absolutely true that God will never violate someone’s will, He has every intention of violating fear.

  • Because fear does not belong to us.
  • Although it does get inside us sometimes.

Nevertheless, God’s Loving Spirit is our heart’s Permanent Resident.

Papa, Your love is as powerful as light is against darkness.

We know this is True. Because it’s Who You are!

How can it be?

We’ve been convinced that fear overrides everything.

  • Yet a mother’s love calms a fearful baby.
  • And daddy’s arms make her feel safe.

Papa, Only You are The Perfect Parent. Deliver us from evil. Our Papa, Who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not yet exist as if they did. ROMANS 4:17b

You are Our Hope, Papa.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed … ROMANS 4