Breaking free from Strongholds…..

Talking about week 3: The infamous Pride…. That ugly word, (it does sound ugly) that makes you even feel all yucky inside! I hate that!  We are talking about removing 5 major obstacles this week! Critical week!

God Always Wills the spiritual captive to be free!

Going back to the first page of the week 3, I just read that little hand written note on the page…. It starts with I was filling out some paperwork in my office, and it hit me!!!!……. now go to your workbook on page 56 in the workbook Breaking Free, to find out what it was…….

I love this, this person realized that they had been sober for six years, “God met me right where I needed HIM too! That’s not to say, I do not struggle… I do, I am still a recovering alcoholic and need God’s love every day! Praise Him, for He is a God who breaks strongholds!” (Workbook page 56)

Do you realize how liberating that statement she just made is?  I will share with you, I do!  I honestly do! Some of you know my story, some may not,…. I used to be ashamed to tell it. I don’t like it, don’t get me wrong, but I tell it! I tell my story because it is living proof to me , my family, my friends and those who know me, that there is a true God, who changes conditions, circumstances, and lives! I really should not even be here today, I have played “Russian Roulette”  metaphorically speaking so many times in my life it is not even funny!  For a period of about two years, after my brother died, I found a very dark, lonely, ugly place…. It is a place that shows no favoritism, no bias, no prejudice, it is an equal opportunity employer for anyone willing to roll the dice, it’s called drug addiction. I can put a pretty spin on it, and say the “Suburban Drug Prescription Problem” but all in all, it is the same destruction that heroin addicts gamble with daily in the streets!

Opiates addiction is the number one killer of young adults now, it has surpassed the number of automobile accidents and continues to climb daily! A long, very painful, very popular, slow way to kill yourself.  (Vicoden, Oxycontin, Hydrocondone)… God is good, he chose not to leave me there, and brought me to Him! Don’t get me wrong it’s a daily process, but it has been almost nine years now clean, so now I use my weaknesses to help other people!

Why do I tell you all this, we all struggle with something! All of us!!!!! Keeping your story bottled up is not using it for God’s Glory. He uses us and our heartbreaks, our losses, and our experiences to help other people! I am SURE that another addict would rather hear it from me, than some author who has researched a problem, on how it really is, How do you get out of the living hell? Same with you, you need to be an example to others for Christ! If you use to cry alone at night, and have walked through  something, share it! There is someone out there right now, who is still crying! If you have been a victim of domestic violence, tell someone, someone right now, is scared to death and hurting! If you are a survival of childhood sexual assault, share you hurt, share your story, most important share your recovery! There is a scared young girl sitting right next to you today, wondering if it will even end, but too paralyzed to tell someone because they think something is going to happen to their loved ones if they do!!!

I love what God says that we can do, “We can know HIM and Believe HIM! Yes, it sounds easy as Beth Moore writes in her book, but it is true, the largest obstacle to believing God is choosing NOT to believe HIM! I love what the author writes, we are not talking about believing in God, but believing He is who He says He is! The Great I AM! Think of this, to paraphrase Beth, “We can believe in salvation, yet spend the rest of our days being HIM for little more…. “ Whew…. Really, that is deep!  What does believing God mean?  (Genesis 15:6 and Romans 4:3- Breaking Free page 58).. so stand firm, and hold on! You got this!

 

 

Breaking Free Study- To Know God and Believe Him (Week 2)

To Know God and Believe Him Beth wrote in her study, “I always viewed myself as a big spot on a white dress. – A spot that everyone saw and pointed in disgust. I thought everyone else was beautiful in God’s eyes except for me. At a wedding- I watched in awe as the stunning bride walked down the aisle. God whispered in my ear, “That is how I see you.” I can’t begin to tell you how free I am! I no longer feel dirty or spotted with guilt. I am true child of God, – without spot or blemish. Page 32. A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundance and effective Spirit filled life God planned for her. As yourself, Am I experiencing the benefits of my covenant relationship with god through Christ, or do the benefits I read in Scripture seem more like warm, fuzzy thoughts? Just as the Israelites were in bondage, a foreign yoke my keep us from realizing the 5 primary benefits God plans for His children to enjoy. 1. To know God and believe HIM 2. To glorify God 3. To find satisfaction in God 4. To experience God’s peace 5. To enjoy God’s presence We will study the benefits, “that you may know what is yours.” Isaiah 43:10-13 I absolutely LOVE, LOVE Isaiah! MY favourite verse is Isaiah 61. Read it if you get time, to me… this is my life message! Ladies, if you read Isaiah 43:10… God is inviting YOU, Us…ME… to know Him! WOW, What an honor, an invite… to know that HE wants us to know HIM! KING of KINGS! Beth ma it a point for us to know that the Hebrew word for know is yadha. This term means a personal level “of intimacy that God wants us to have with HIM, to truly know him, on the deepest level, to know God intimately like a husband knows his wife, and with reverent familiarity.” Wow, what an honor! I love this… “One of the most beautiful elements of salvation is simplicity. Christ has already done all the work on the cross! All you have to do is… 1. Acknowledge you are a sinner and cannot save yourself. 2. Acknowledge that Christ is the Son of God and only He can save you! 3. Believe his crucifixion paid for your sins and His death was in your behalf. 4. Give Him your life and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. (Beth Moore, page 34 Breaking Free) Whether you feel close to God or distant, the point is that He loves you. How you feel about your relationship with God is how you feel. God loves you whole-heartedly, and puts no limitations on his love for you. If you feel like your relationship with Jesus is not strong, it’s because of you! Jesus never changes; it is up to you to see Jesus how Jesus see’s you, with adoration and love! If you are not committed to him, now is the time, Do the steps above and sit still and allow his love to permeate your entire being! “God will mend your heart, your mind, change them, and make them like HIS!” Beth in her study says this, “Our level of trust is a monumental issue in the life of every believer. Many variables in our lives affect our willingness to trust God. A loss or betrayal can deeply mark our level of trust. A broken heart never mended by the true Healer handicaps us terribly when we’re challenged to trust.” I have to be real with you, trusting God and trusting that He loves me has not always come easy for me either, after I lost my brother Daniel, I was very mad at God, I could not understand why he took him from us. I realize that Daniel was never ours to begin with, he was God’s child, and although it took some time God never left me, He never gave up on me, even when I gave up on Him! He understood my anger, my pain, and grieved with me. I realized later that God too lost someone He loved special too, when He had to allow Jesus to die on the cross, He too lost his son. Thank Goodness Jesus is Alive and here, but God had to turn His heart away from his son for the sake of His other children. What a sacrifice! I do not know if I would be able to do that for another person? I don’t think so. “Trusting an invisible God does not come natural to any believer. A trust relationship grows only by stepping out in FAITH, and making the Choice to trust. This Step sometimes seems more than we can take, but God is anxious to help us overcome our unbelief.” The ability to believe God develops most often through pure experience. I found him faithful yesterday. He will not be unfaithful today! (Page 35, workbook)” This is deep, trusting an invisible God does not come natural or easy to anyone! I thought I was the only one, to not be able to see God, something intangible is hard, often times we revert back to something that is more familiar or convenient, something we can touch, another tangible person, sometimes we put other people or items, such as material things above God, simply because we can see them. SCARY!

Seeking Jesus

Have you ever wanted to feel the presence of God so bad, that you were willing to seek him right exactly where you were at the time? Whether it be sitting in a peaceful chair, or walking down a city street, you just had to feel his presence right then and there! Sometimes in those moments, I seek the more inner quiet space within my own soul to wait for Him to appear. I have been in the building with those bright florescent lights and closed my eyes looking up to the ceiling, feeling the warmth of the lights on my face, imaging that warmth, is the warmth and glow of Jesus and His love for me. It is a very peaceful time, almost as if you are sitting outside looking up feeling the warmth of the sunshine on your face, a very tranquil moment.  I desire those moments, and find myself spending more time seeking Him out. I realize that it is not necessary for me to have to find some abandoned quiet room to talk to God. He will meet me right where I am at, doing exactly what I am doing at the time.

 Looking back on my childhood, I realized that I have always felt that where ever I was, I was a visitor. It is no one in particulars fault, I am not blaming anyone, and maybe it was something inside of me that never felt settled.  I know it had to have been me making myself feel this way, because the people in my life always tried to make me feel like I belonged.  I remember growing up my dad would tell me that there is nobody in life that will love you more than your family. I guess after my parents divorced, and our family split up, that statement brought confusion as to what my reality appeared to be versus what I was told. My thinking remained that families are a temporary arrangement in time, ever changing with the status of your marital status.  I understand the concept of unconditional love, my grandparents always told me that they loved me no matter what, I believed that with every human capability that statement is true. I also have learned that My Father, in Heaven truly loves His children unconditionally. In the past, I have to be honest; I struggled with what having a relationship with the Heavenly Father truly consists of. I understand with my limited understanding, what my ideology of relationship defined is, but I am learning that it is a deep, tangible, liberating relationship that changes with time, and maturity. The concept of loving God and being in love with God is more profound.

 

Sometimes I find it difficult to be in relationship with Jesus when I can’t see Him, and cannot audibly hear him. It is during those times that I realize I am not spending enough time in the Word. Once I jump back into the pages of the Bible, I feel his presence again; it is a daily thing for me.

 

Teacher

Letting Go.....Yesterday was freshman night at the local high school where my daughter will be attending next year.  I could see the excitement building in her as we walked down the hallways, each person in our party having their own agenda’s for the night. My husband was looking for the room that talked about college preparation, I was looking for the class scheduling, and Ali was looking down the hallway to see which one of her friends were there so she could socialize. I realized at that moment that my little girl was growing up very fast, and was entering the realm of making adult decisions about her life. She told me later that night, that she was excited to finally make, “adult decisions” with her life.  Reflecting back now on that conversation, I also remember me telling her about a young man in the next town over, a year or two older than she that had recently passed away. I shared with Ali that this was a vibrant young soccer player, who they believe had went to the Emergency room the night before he died because he had hurt his wrist in gym at school and was prescribed pain medications. The rumor in his town is that apparently this child may have taken all of his Vicoden that were prescribed to him, causing his death.   I asked my daughter if she had ever tried any narcotics or drugs? She said to me that she had not, but with further probing stated that she was curious. I explained to her that we do not know why this young man passed away, that in fact, it could be that maybe he had an allergic reaction to the medication, we do not know at this point. The point I was trying to get her to understand is that we often do not know the end result of something until it is out of our control. Our child growing up is another factor out of our control. The child takes all the life component pieces that they have been given and start piecing them together to form their own person, their own personal jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle represents something they have either learned, places they have been, or people who have made an impact on their life linking together piece by piece to create a large visual picture or map of life. 

I thought about this, what have I really instilled in my child? What have other people, often beyond my control instilled in my child? Is she going to know the right way, the right answer to prevent heartache later on for her life? Do I even know what the correct answer was when I gave her guidance in the first place? I am referring in this article to one child, but I am speaking in my heart about all of my children. How do I know? The answer is, I don’t know. It is safe for me to presume that I have probably given her lot of wrong answers through the years, but I know that I have introduced her to Jesus. The One who does know, the maker and creator of life!  The real question is am I continuously feeding her the way to find Jesus when she needs Him?

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”