Be Wise to the Lies of Addiction

Addiction Lies

If you are battling an addiction or have recently broken from an addiction, it’s no surprise that the enemy, the  ”father of lies” will be knocking on your door.  He will use all the tricks he knows to weaken you and convince you to find comfort in your addictions.  You must be prepared and be vigilant for these familiar lies:

1.  I deserve this.  It’s easy to tell yourself that the addiction is a reward because of good behavior or because you’ve been hurt in some way.  But the fact is – you don’t deserve it.  Why would you deserve what is a sin?  What you do deserve is God’s perfect plan for you and what you have is God’s perfect love, His perfect grace and His perfect forgiveness.

2.  It won’t hurt to do it just this once.  It does hurt.  It hurts you very badly.  When you stumble and return to your addiction, you just allowed that stuff back into your life.  “Just once is ok” becomes  “Just a few times is ok”. Before you know it, the addiction has taken control again and you will be in deeper than ever before. When God helps you close the door, keep it closed!

3.  No one will ever know.  Another lie from the enemy! – You know and God knows.  And it seems that everyone else eventually finds out also.  You ALWAYS get caught – one way or the other.  What is the trigger that moves you to your addiction, the need that longs to be filled?  Once you identify that, you can be vigilant and know how to react when that trigger is pulled.

4.  It will be okay, I can stop it anytime.  You tell yourself, “I can lay this down anytime I want.”  In the short run, you may be able to put it down temporarily.  But that doesn’t mean that in the future you won’t pick it up again.  And remember – It’s not about quitting, it’s about getting forgiveness from God, forgiving yourself and finding love in the right places!

I have a very good doctor friend who works with addicts.  He advises the following activities to help you avoid the craving, anxiety and deprivation of addiction.  Here are some things you can do take care of yourself, break the habits and be free when you start looking for love in the wrong places.

  1. Cleaning.  Get out the vacuum cleaner, pick up a dust rag and give your house a good cleaning.  Maybe that garage could use a good once over.  It will distract you and give you a sense of accomplishment at the same time.
  2. Exercise.   Take a long walk outside in a beautiful place.  Focus on the sights and sounds around you and glory in God’s creation.  The exercise will help your body, your mind and your spirit!
  3. Worship.  Listen to your favorite worship music when your soul is agitated.  Focusing on God through worship will comfort you and nurture you.
  4. Counterfeit it. When you’re craving the substance of your addiction, change it to something funny or uplifting in your mind.  When you are ready to light up a cigarette, think about taking a flower out of that cigarette pack and smelling it.
  5. Accountability Partner.  Find someone who can keep you on the straight and narrow, someone you can talk to when you are being tempted.  Just speaking to someone and saying the words out loud can lessen the power of the enemy’s lies.
  6. Sing a happy song.  I know this sounds silly, but the words we speak (and sing)  have great power and that happy song can help make you happy too!

It’s good to have a strategy prepared when you start hearing the lies of addiction. Being wise to the lies and having some simple power tools ready will help you ward off the enemy’s attack!

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When You Can’t Resist…

Addictions IPhoneAddictions are running rampant in the U.S. today.  You can’t pick up a paper or turn on the TV without hearing about the epidemic of heroin overdose deaths.  Did you know that the #3 killer in America is prescription painkillers?  You see alcoholism, cigarette smoking, overeating, gambling, pornography and many other addictions causing damage to peoples’ lives.  But it’s not just these addictions that can affect us.  Smart phones, computer games,  sugar, exercise, sports and any number of others can also become a problem in your life when taken to extremes.

The dictionary defines addiction as “the state of being enslaved to a habit, practice or substance.”  At Restoring Lives International we like the definition  ”anything that you cannot put down by your own free will”.  By either definition, addiction controls you and rules you.  It becomes the master of your life and if the addiction is the master, then God is NOT the master of your life.  Anything that comes between you and God is a sin and that is what the spirit of addiction strives for – to separate you from God.

All addictions have their root in our need to be loved.  Two basic human needs that we all seek to fulfill are: 1) the need to be loved; 2) the need to love.  When you don’t have the need to be loved satisfied, you go looking for it in other places.  You seek your comfort and fulfillment in substances, practices and habits.  You are looking for ways to distract yourself or numb the pain of not feeling loved or not feeling lovable.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV)

When you don’t love yourself, it is hard for you to receive love from God or others.  That’s when you start looking for love and comfort in all the wrong places.  We have all had rejection in our lives from parents, teachers, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and coworkers that opens up the door to the unloving spirit.  There is a gang of spirits who all work together and conspire to keep you in bondage to your addiction.  The spirits of rejection, unloving, fear and occult conspire to steal your life.

The first step to finding freedom is to recognize the addictions in your life.  How do you recognize when addiction has become your master?  Is there something you are doing in secret, that you keep hidden from others, that you are doing in the dark and you are ashamed of? Have you lost control or lost the ability to stay away from a substance or behavior?  Have you been drifting away from socialization, like abandoning commitments or ignoring relationships?  Have you felt yourself drifting further and further away from God?  These could all be signs that you have another master holding the steering wheel of your life.

Electronics are becoming an extremely powerful addiction and influence in people’s lives.  Do you find yourself immediately grabbing your phone when you hear the incoming message tone? Even when driving?  Do you interrupt face-to-face conversations with someone to answer a call on your phone or read a text?  Have you been spending more and more time on Facebook or Instagram?  Maybe you have become a slave to your phone’s demands.

Look for changes in personality and behavior.  Have you lost interest in hobbies or activities that used to be important?  Are you engaged in risk taking behaviors and ignoring the negative consequences of your actions?

The real root of any addiction is not the specific addictive behavior.  Your problem is not the drugs, gambling, food, internet, electronic device or other substance.  The root of your addiction probably lies in the unloving spirit and the gang of spirits it runs with.  You must go to that root of unloving, dig it up and throw it out.

And here’s the good news.  You have hope and you have help!  By the definition above, these are problems that you cannot put down of your own will.  But you have a helper – our almighty, all powerful God!  When God commanded Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites, He sent the angel of the Lord to encourage Gideon and remind him that he had the hand of the Lord at his side….

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12 NIV)

The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”  (Judges 6:16 NIV)

Are you ready to face up to your addictions  - to tear them down and burn them up like Gideon did?  Take authority over them instead of giving them authority over you!

As you are going through this process of recognizing addictions in your life, be sure to consider your generations.  Look at your mother and your father.  Look at your grandfathers and grandmothers.  Are there patterns of addictive behavior through your generations?  In the ministry we often see generational addictions of alcoholism, infidelity and other addictive behaviors.

Take some time right now to take a good, hard look at yourself, your habits and your behaviors.  Look for indications of addictions in your life and then think about the root of those addictions.  That is where your freedom can be found!  We recommend that you attend a Restore Your Life conference if you are ready to start on that journey to freedom!

In the meantime, make this declaration every day. “Temptation, you will not steal my life or my family! Addiction, you will not steal my life or my family!  Spirits of unloving, rejection, fear and occult you will not steal my future and my destiny!

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This is YOUR LIFE. This is YOUR LAND.

Clearing YourLandThis is YOUR LIFE.  This is YOUR LAND.

Has your land fallen into disrepair?   Have things gotten a little rocky on your land?  Are the weeds starting to grow up around your feet?  Maybe you’ve stepped into a patch of mud and you seem to be tracking it all over your home.  Keep your head up!  There is hope!

God used the Israelites to show us the plan for His people – and that includes YOU.  God gives you your land.  God enables you to fight and conquer your land.  Then God lays out the plans and the insights you need to prosper your land.

This is YOUR life.  This is YOUR land.

There are four principles that God has laid out for you about clearing and keeping your land – your body, your soul and your spirit.  God has already prepared your land, just for YOU.  But unfortunately, all too often, the enemy creeps across your borders and occupies your land.

But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.  (Exodus 23:29  NIV)

1.  It is YOUR choice and YOUR responsibility to take back, clear and protect your land.    You need to remove everything that is keeping your land from being lush, fertile and productive.   For example, you might be in a battle with the  unforgiveness, fear and addictions that are occupying your land.  You can either kick those squatters out or choose to cohabitate with them.  Clear your land!  Drive them out!

I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.  (Exodus 23:31 NIV)

2.  Next, you have to keep your land safe.  Always remember, you have the power and the glory of our God Almighty leading the way, by your side and at your back.  God has promised this land to you and God’s promises do not fail.  Don’t let the enemy put you into fear.  Be strong and of good courage.  Don’t be afraid or timid.  Stand up with the Word of God and the power and authority in you and take back your land or prevent it from being overrun again by the enemy!  Build a fence around your land and defend it with all the power and authority God has given you.  The only way you can lose this battle is to quit!

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.  (Joshua 1:5-6 NIV)

3. Learn to prosper and grow your land.  You need to plow it up, get nutrients into your earth and give it plenty of water.  Keep the soil moist and fertile by reading His Word,  experiencing the joy of relationship with God  and producing His fruits.  As you learn and grow, your land will flourish.

Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.  (Exodus 23:29  NIV)

God does this “little by little”, not “all at once”.  Remember that this is a process.

4. Live victoriously on your land in freedom and then God is going to open up another parcel for you when you have learned to live on this one really well.  You never know when He is going to reveal another piece of land that really needs some cleaning up!  You need to learn to appropriate and take exclusive possession of what is legally yours, of what you have inherited.  Experience God’s goodness, character and love.  Grow in faith and develop an intimate relationship with God and others.  Learn who He is in you and who you are in Him.  You are leaning to mature in God.

That is YOUR life!  That is YOUR land!

It’s exciting and wonderful to get freer and freer! No more squatters!  He wants every part of your soul and your body cleared and cleaned and healthy and whole and prosperous.  He wants you to experience ALL that Jesus died to give you.  That’s the process – the salvation and sanctification of your soul, and the renewing of your mind, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors.

This is your responsibility.  YOU are the land of milk and honey.  You are destined to be a holy person, dedicated and sanctified to the Lord Himself.  This is your land.  Jesus Christ died for you, to give you back your land. 

Now, are you ready to take responsibility for your land?  Are you ready to make the journey to health, freedom and relationship with God?   In the Restoring Your Life conference you will learn much more about  taking back your land and caring for it.  We recommend that you attend a conference and start learning about your land!  If you’ve already been to a conference, we recommend you attend another to continue learning about cleaning up your land and making it flourish!

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The Power in His Name

Power Jesus Evening SKy

If Jesus’ words are actually true, have you ever taken a monent to think about the implications? 

Any sickness can be healed. Any demon can be cast out.  Any sinner – you, a friend, a relative, an enemy – can be saved.  The mountains in people’s lives and their circumstances can be moved.  Peace and joy can come into your life.  Blind eyes can be opened. Prisoners can be set free.  All of this and more is promised!

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  (John 14:12-14 NIV)

Whatever you ask … greater things will each of us do.  And His words apply not only to you and your family, but also to neighborhoods, cities and nations!  The ends of the earth await the awakening of our faith to Christ’s promises.  You need to be equipped, empowered, emboldened and trained to bring God’s kingdom from heaven to earth.  You have been called to Jesus’ commission for you to GO preach and teach about His kingdom throughout the world.  To heal the sick, cleanse the unclean from their sins and diseases, raise the dead and cast out demons.

Yet, Jesus will not spontaneously answer your requests until you instinctively obey Him.  Obedience to His requests prepares us to experience His indwelling.  His indwelling in us is where His love finds its fulfillment.  Then we are able to take His love out into the world around us.  It is vital that we obey the Father as Jesus modeled His obedience to the Father.

But Christ’s ultimate goal is not only obedience, but also your oneness with Him.  He would rather dwell intimately in ONE obedient heart who is crying out for more of Him, than to have 10,000 casual believers who only know Him from afar.  He is after your LOVE!  He wants you to be after intimacy and oneness in Him more than anything else.

True love is passion for oneness.  Obedience born of love leads to greater love.  Greater love ultimately leads to the open disclosure of Christ to your heart, putting you into your rightful position as a true son or daughter who the Father can trust in His kingdom.

He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me, and he who loves Me will be loved by the Father, and I will love him and disclose myself to him.  (John 14:15)

Do you want to see and do greater things?  Do you want to walk in answered prayers?  Do you want to bring God’s kingdom from heave to earth? This is what you must do:

  1. Long for HIM and only HIM.  Run after oneness with Him.  Don’t run after more power.  The power follows your relationship and oneness with Him.  Jesus longed for continual loving intimacy with the disciples.  This is His heart towards you … and it should be your heart towards Him … intimacy with Jesus … oneness with Jesus.
  2. Be obedient.  Obedience is love in action.  Do only what the Father is doing and tells you to do.  Obedient, pure, holy hearts are vessels of honor unto the Lord.  Obedience is what prepares us to be vessels of honor, prepared and ready to bring His kingdom from heaven to earth.  Obedience keeps it ALL about HIM and NOT about US.

When your heart is in obedience the Father can trust you with the greater things.  When your heart is in this position, God will release greater measures of His kingdom to be released through you.  Jesus will fulfill His promise to provide, “Whatever you ask of the Father in Jesus’ name.

The key to unlocking that promise is: In MY Name!  All of God’s promises are accessed through the name of Jesus.  Jesus’ name is a divine, kingly seal.  His signature is on all of your marching orders.  As you are one with Him in intimacy, so you become one with Him in purpose.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  (John 20:21 NIV )

You in turn should be praying, “as You were sent, Jesus, so send me!”  Jesus’ name is synonymous with His commission, which is your commission – Heal the sick, cleanse the sinner, cast out demons, raise the dead!

Using Jesus’ name in prayer does not mean you can ask for and receive anything you desire, except where your desires are conformed to the desires of Christ.  To the degree you come to Father God with Jesus’ thoughts, desires and motives, you will receive power to fulfill Jesus’ purposes … not YOURS.  When you attach  “in Jesus’ name” at the end of your prayers, you need to make sure that your heart’s intention is not coming out of a religious spirit, manipulation or selfish desires.  Our heart’s motivation must be pure and motivated by Christ’s desires, THEN our prayers will be empowered with heaven’s resources.

Our oneness with Christ prepares us to mirror Him, His will and to represent His purposes.  Whatever we ask in His name, it shall be done!

Pray this prayer throughout the week to embrace the power in His name.

What name is like Your name, Lord Jesus?  When I speak it in worship it is like sweet honey to my lips.  When I utter it in battle, it is a mighty weapon no enemy can oppose!  Lord I ask grace as I learn Your ways and how to fully represent You in every aspect of my life.  I pray that I will be empowered by Your name to bring healing, freedom, deliverance and Your love to the hurting world around me.

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Disarming the Spirit of Rejection

Little Boy Rejection sqIs this a picture of you in your childhood?  Left outside the circle and feeling rejected, lonely and confused?  Feeling rejected is one of the most emotionally devastating of all human emotions!  It can leave deep, painful, emotional wounds in your soul, spirit, body and heart. There is a little child in all of us that has been rejected numerous times in our lives.  Continually experiencing rejection can be physically, emotionally and spiritually devastating.

Rejection is a SPIRIT that pursues us, looking for an opening to cause pain and destruction.  The spirit of REJECTION has several goals:

  1. Rejection and its gang want to torment you with lies about God’s love and acceptance of you, about your value, worth, and identity. Their assignment is to do everything they can to keep you from believing you are loved, accepted and valued by others. All of this aimed at keeping you in doubt, unbelief, confusion and torment.
  2. Rejection’s goal is to make rejection a normal occurrence in your life.  It sets you up to be rejected over and over again until you believe that you are totally unacceptable … even to God.
  3. Rejection wants to lead you into self-rejection, self-hate and rejection of others.

REJECTION can find his way into your heart in many ways.

  1. Rejection by your father is a destructive open door for this spirit.  The father is the primary love, encouragement and protective source in a child’s life.  In RLI’s Fathers Love ministry we find so many cases of fathers who abuse and neglect their children: physically, emotionally, verbally and spiritually.  All of this opens the door to rejection, abandonment and fear.
  2. A second open door is rejection by your mother.  Just like fathers, many mothers have their own hurts, pains, fears and issues that keep them from being able to love and nurture their children in a Godly, healthy environment.
  3. Rejection by our spouse, children, friends, peers at work, school and church also opens the door.  It is a rare person who has not experienced some rejection from someone close to them.  When rejection roots in your soul, it will influence others to find some area where you are different and reject you.
  4. Once you feel rejection, you will look for rejection and be expecting it, whether it is there or not! The rejection spirit, once it gets a foothold, is always seeking to reject and to be rejected.

 

REJECTION has two popular lies for you!

  1. This spirit never stops telling you that you are unwanted, unloved and unaccepted by your friends, parents, spouse, church … essentially everyone.  Rejection constantly assails us making us feel unworthy, unvalued and full of guilt and shame.
  2. Rejection tells you that you will NEVER belong!  You will never be good enough.  There is something fundamentally wrong with you.  That you are different and flawed.

So let me ask you a question. “WHO TOLD YOU THAT?”  Who told you that no one could ever like you?  Who told you that you would never fit in anywhere?  Who told you that you should reject someone else first so that you can avoid rejection yourself? Who told you that even God doesn’t care about you?

     And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?  (Genesis 3:11 NIV)

We all know the answer to that question – the enemy, the father of lies.  In order to defeat rejection and live God’s truths, you must identify these lies in your life.

The reality is that the Father God wants a relationship with YOU!  He longs for you to make His love and acceptance of you number one in your life, NOT what others say or do – not the lies that you have been believing.  He is your Heavenly Father.  He will always think the best of you.  Even if you are not there now, he destined you to be your best.  He only has the best plans for you.  He never misunderstands you.  He is always there waiting with open arms to love, support, heal, listen, hold and protect you.  Everything you will ever need is in and from Him!

Here are some promises God makes to YOU in His Word.

     But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

     And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.   (Matthew 28:20 NIV)

     Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

So how do you overcome the spirit of Rejection?  This is a good time to put the 8 R’s into practice:

  1. RECOGNIZE these lies for what they are and who they come from.
  2. Take RESPONSIBILITY for believing the enemies lies, and come out of agreement with them.
  3. REPENT for any self-pity, bitterness, fear, rejecting others and any other sins that are tied to the spirit of rejection.
  4. RENOUNCE the spirit of rejection. Refuse to focus on rejection and give it any more power in your life.
  5. REMOVE it.  Tell rejection to go!  It’s assignment is cancelled!
  6. RESIST.  Instead of believing you are rejected, believe in God’s truth.  God’s heart is that we focus our thoughts and attention on how much HE loves and accepts us.  His love is the model for perfect acceptance that defeats all rejection.
  7. REJOICE in God’s love for you!  Thank Him! As we approach the celebration of Easter, remember that the cross of Jesus Christ was God’s ultimate act of love towards us.  You are accepted because through his rejection, Jesus opened the door to our Father God’s total acceptance.  This is the gift He gave you!
  8. RESTORE others. One of the best ways to stay strong yourself is to reach out to others who may be dealing with the same issue.  Pray for them. Invite them to a conference.  Help build someone else up by reminding them of God’s love for them.

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter who has rejected you, what you did or didn’t do.  Stop looking to the world and those around you for acceptance.  God is waiting for you with open arms!  Take one step forward and watch Him run to you!

 

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God is Not to Blame!

God is not to BlameOne of the most frequent questions we hear as Christians is “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  In this world we see evidence of bad things happening to good people all the time.  As a result, many people, both Christian and non-Christian, blame God and push themselves away from Him.  But please hear this:  God is not to blame!  We have to stop blaming God for sickness, disease and suffering.  We have to stop making up excuses for why we don’t see Him in our lives, because God is not the author of sickness and destruction.  It is not in His character or in His nature.

The truth is we live in a fallen world of sin and conflict.  The enemy is continually fighting and contending for us.  That old nature of “self” is constantly rising up in us.  Bad stuff happens.  Accidents happen.  People hurt and abuse each other and themselves, knowingly and unknowingly.  That is a hard, cold fact of life.

The other truth is that God, in His infinite wisdom, has given every human being free will, each and every one of us.  We are all affected by our own and other’s bad choices whether it be in words or actions.  All of us can look at our own lives and see that other’s words and actions have hurt us and that our words and actions have hurt others.   I recommend that you read these two life changing books: Destined to Overcome and Destined for the Throne by Paul E. Billheimer.  These books explain much about spiritual warfare and about our dominion – the power and authority that God has given us.  It is so important for us to understand our dominion and to exercise it in our lives.  We must understand our authority and our responsibility over the earth, ourselves, our behavior, and our choices.  Satan’s plan has always been to tempt us, then steal and destroy our lives through our bad choices in actions, words and thoughts.  Satan wants to use our choices to hurt ourselves and hurt others causing a ripple effect of hurt, pain and destruction.  That is Satan’s plan, not God’s plan.

Back when I was very sick, I was mad at God because I wasn’t getting better.  Part of my problem was that I didn’t even know that I had a choice about my thoughts, and that my thoughts were affecting my emotional and physical health.  I had no clue.  My brain was like the Energizer bunny, going a mile a minute, thinking about all this garbage – and I couldn’t stop it.  It never stopped.  Ninety-nine percent of my thoughts were negative.  I hated myself.  I hated others.  I hated my life.  I was filled with self-pity.   I was jealous, envious and angry!  I had all this stuff going around and around in my head never stopping.  When I heard at the age of fifty-three that I could choose what I did and didn’t want to think about and that I could choose what I wanted to give power to – it rocked my world!  I could choose!  I began to get better, healthier, more at peace!  When you stop thinking about all the bad stuff, and you choose to think and act in God’s kingdom, the enemy is not happy.  So you have to learn to fight the battle to take back your thought life.  It’s YOUR brain and it’s YOUR thoughts and YOU get to choose.  That’s life changing!

What does a warrior do to prepare for battle?  He trains and practices and exercises.  You have to train those brain circuits in your head to stop the thoughts you don’t want to have.  You have to train and exercise the circuits in your brain that you might not have even known you could train!  And here’s some more good news – the Holy Spirit is there to help.  You are not doing this alone.  Ask the  Holy Spirit to help you and teach you.  He helps make the process a lot faster too.

We have a choice as to what we think and what we do.  We always have a choice.  The key is to stop and make the right choice.  God has allowed us free will to affect the events in our lives and in others.  All of those choices will ripple down through our life, through our relationships, through our family and through our generations.

I don’t fully understand all of this stuff, but I do understand that neither God nor His covenant is deficient.  And I also know that God is big enough to use every situation for His glory.  This may get you thinking about all the things that have happened to you in your life; the things that you have done or that people have done to you.  You need to understand that all the bad things that have happened to you in your life, the problems, the challenges, the hurts and the sickness were not God’s will.  None of that bad stuff was God’s will.  Not everything that happens to you in your life is God’s will.  Was it God’s choice that your father abused you?  No.  Is it God’s will that you are suffering emotionally or physically?  No.  Can God use what has happened or is happening in your life for His glory?  Absolutely.  Do you know why?  Because God can win with any hand you are dealt.  I have seen it in my life, in my daughter Kari’s life and in the lives of thousands of people who have come through the Restoring Lives International conferences.  I have seen what the enemy meant for evil, God turned for good because people like you and me opened the salvation package, applied the gifts to our lives, accepted what Jesus has given us and saw our lives changed.

Take a look at your life this week and think about the choices you are making & the fruit they are producing.  Are your choices from God’s Kingdom or Satan’s kingdom? You can’t control other people’s choices, but you can control your own choices, and how you respond to other’s choices.

And remember … God is not to blame!

Read February 21, 2017  #PowerTools:  Can You Hear the Whisper of God

Read February 2017 Newsletter

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#Powertools: The Strength in Stillness

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A key part of a spiritual warrior’s character building is learning the ability to discipline our soul and to STILL the clamor within our hearts and minds.  It is vital that we learn to be quiet and be still, resting in God, even in the face of adversity.   Our first reaction should never be out of panic, but it should always come out of inner peace and rest!  We live in a world that is filled with interruptions, distractions, annoyances and busyness.  This can be a challenge for most of us, especially if we were raised in homes that were far from peaceful.  So let’s visit some of the essential elements of stillness.

1.   Stillness is a discipline.   You need to discipline yourself to think and react out of your inner spirit man and not out of your soul/flesh.  You must learn and practice to always react in peace and confidence while at the same time stilling the panic and the frantic of life exploding around us.  From the stillness of your spirit you release peace into the anxious atmosphere around you.  Demons can roar, people can scream, panic and chaos can reign all around you … but you must practice walking and releasing peace and stillness.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  (Psalm 62:5)

2.  As you develop the quality of resting, God will send you into places where only His grace can protect you.  When you go forth in confidence and stillness, you can walk where others fear to tread.   When you rest on God’s power and majesty, He will give you greater and greater assignments.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  (Isaiah 40:31  NIV)

3.  God is always calm in the face of fury, battles and storms.  When you focus in on Him … His confidence and calm will rub off on you.  Jesus’ quiet confidence will give you strength and energy to keep on fighting no matter what the battle looks like!  And you will be relaxed in the battle!

He stilled the storm to a whisper, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29 NIV)

4.  True stillness opens your eyes to the majestic provision of God on your behalf when everything is against you.  In stillness and quietness before God you can find a confidence, strength and power not available to you outside of stillness.

Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”  Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  (Exodus 14:12-14 NIV)

 5.  Lack of stillness and rest in your soul indicates the presence of fear.  It means that you lack faith in who you believe God is in your life.  It makes you vulnerable to the enemy and allows him to manifest through your soul.  Without the spiritual quality of stillness, fear will keep you from reacting out of your spirit man just like the disciples in the storm.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.  (Mark 4:37-39  NIV)

The disciples were amazed by the peace in Jesus to sleep through the storm and then by His power over the storm.  Out of Jesus’ inner stillness, He released peace and caused stillness to affect their surroundings.   The atmosphere changed!

6.  In stillness and quietness, God will speak to you.  God wants to give you revelation but it’s hard to hear Him when you are functioning out of your soul and flesh … busy, harried, anxious, etc.  Most of the time God speaks to you when your heart is quiet and still, resting in Him … when you are living out of your spirit man.  When Elijah was learning stillness it was to increase his capacity to listen and hear God’s voice on a deeper level.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  (1 Kings 19:12-13 NIV)

God’s voice wasn’t in the earthquake or the fire, but in a whisper!   The power of God’s whisper is astonishing!  God wants to whisper secrets to you, but you can only hear Him clearly when you are in a place of restful meditation on Him and you spirit is still and quiet.

Practice the spiritual quality of stillness this week.  Set aside some quality time to seek that quiet place where you can experience stillness and hear the voice of your God!

Read January 2017 Newsletter

Read January 2017 PowerTools   Five Kingdom Keys for Living

December 2016 Newsletter

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