Approval Addictions and How to be Free of Them

 

freedom from chains

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

This past week was a trying one for me.  This week was not looking any better…until today.  Yesterday I was told by a loved one that I was not as loved as others in my family.  I had always suspected this, but never had this person ever come right out and said it.  You can imagine the hurt this brought to my heart.

Today when I awakened, Satan was right there to remind me of the horrid conversation  that took place the day before.  God warned me an attack was coming and to be prepared for it.  I did not remember that prophecy at the time, but today God reminded me of it.  He cautioned me not to fall into offense because if I did it would lead to destruction…my own.

I thank God for warning me in advance.  Thank God I was not blindsided by it.  As I thought about the prophecy today, and the attack that took place on me emotionally, I was grieved by it.  But God had something to say about it all.   He told me something that would set me free and something that will keep me free from the approval and disapproval of man!  Since a blog is a journal, I am writing it down in its purest form to always remind me.

God said, “If I (God) saw you the way you and the world see others, how would I think?  I could easily say that I have been with you all your life.  You were raised in church, but yet you still miss the mark daily and fail me. 

The things you could do for me and toward me you don’t.  You don’t praise me everyday as I have asked you to.  You don’t read the Bible as you know to do.  You make sure you know what time it is every Tuesday so you can be ready for your favorite television program and can sit in deep concentration for a full hour,  but many days I am fortunate to get thirty minutes.  Life is busy right?  How I would love to have the attention you give to everything and everyone else. 

I am not happy.  Your behavior has made me unhappy, and my happiness is contingent on the way you treat Me and what you do for Me.  If you had given Me the attention I have so craved, if you had met all of MY needs, if you would bother to try to understand Me, then My life would be happy.  Your approval is necessary to my happiness and if you don’t give it,  I won’t have it. I have forgiven you time and again, yet you still miss the mark and don’t do enough to keep me happy and satisfied. 

I can no longer take your behavior.  I have decided My life would be better off without you.  I am not going to be around anymore.  You have become unhealthy for me.  I don’t want to see you, hear from you, or see anything that even reminds Me of you.  I have given you grace before and mercy, but you have used it up.  My life would be better without you since you don’t fulfill me or bring the happiness I require. 

I am not going to allow you into heaven because then I would have to see you all the time, and I just can’t deal with that.  You will have to go to hell so I can be happy without any reminders of you and all the ways you hurt Me over the years.  I wish you the best, but I have to love you from a distance, so don’t call Me and I won’t be bothering you.

Harsh words, but true thoughts.  How many times have I treated those who have hurt and wounded me this way?  Oh I didn’t realize it at the time, but today God showed me the receiving end of this stick.  When He did He reminded me of the debtor who owed millions of dollars to his master who he was indebted to (Matthew 18:23-35).   He knew he would be thrown in a debtor’s prison never to see his family again and begged for mercy and forgiveness.  It was given and his debt was wiped out, just as Jesus’s blood wiped our debts out when we came to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

Not long after the man was freed from the bondage of that debt he saw someone who owed him.  This man owed him very little, yet he grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment in full and threatened his life if it wasn’t paid in full (this is the way we are when we walk in the our way instead of God’s supernatural way). 

When the master who was owed the millions heard of this he was furious and called for the man who had been forgiven of his great debt to be brought to him.  Because of his behavior and lack of mercy and grace toward the one who owed so little the master, who forgave much, withdrew that forgiveness and enforced the original sentence to life in a debtor’s prison…what the man had actually deserved.  Thank God for grace which absolves us of guilt and all we deserve.

When we deal with people by holding their feet to the flames, so to speak, we have positioned ourselves for dire consequences as well.  That path leads only to destruction…not the destruction of the person who did us wrong, but destruction to ourselves.  I am responsible for my happiness.  That power does not rest on you, but on what I choose to feel and think.  As I thought about what God was showing me, I cried out to Him for forgiveness.  I had no idea my thoughts and actions had become so ungracious toward others.  Were the ones who hurt me wrong?  Yes, but so was I.  The irony was I was hurting myself worse than anything anyone else had done because I was moving myself away from God’s will for my life, which carries great promise and great reward.

I remember when Jesse Ventura said Christianity was for wimps.  Show me where doing supernatural things in the natural is even possible, much less ‘wimpy’ or easy.  The Christian walk cannot be done without God, it is such a difficult one.  You have to have God’s super on your natural to forgive the unforgivable, to give grace and mercy when maximum punishment is rightfully due.  To pray for those who use you and persecute you to be blessed is impossible to mean if not for God giving us a supernatural ability to do it…yet, it can be done! 

Now when I look at others, I will ask myself if God were to see me and think toward me the way I am thinking and feeling toward that person, how would I feel. Would it be what I would want done to me? So simple…how did I miss it for so long? 

I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders when I came to this realization today.  I don’t have to be concerned with what anyone is thinking or saying about me.  I don’t have to worry if I am loved as much or less than someone else.  My present and future does not rely on anyone’s approval but God’s.  I have His approval and He is the last say on where I spend eternity.  Whether people think I deserve it or not, I will be blessed if I stay in love.  The only one who can stop His blessing is ME!!!  I don’t have to worry where my needs are going to come from and that includes my most basic needs which is love, for God is my Source!  He will open doors people cannot open and He will do it in the face of my enemies…HE sets a table before me in their presence (Psalm 23). 

Far too long I have worried about the approval of people.  I have sought to find my worth in it.  I have mourned and have allowed myself to feel less than when I was found lacking by one or by many.  How frustrating to seek what is impossible to ever have.  No one can make me happy or that my life is of infinite value except God and me

I have to choose to put on the robe of righteousness (His way of being and doing).  I have to choose to put God first, and that means what He thinks above all others.  I have to choose to let my good character speak for itself, and if I am judged or misjudged it is on God’s shoulders to make it right and He will.  But if there are critics that refuse to see what God sees, and their minds never change I still win because I am exactly as I should be in my Father’s eyes and He will cause everything to work out for my good.  You see it is a win/win, no lose situation.  When you truly realize that, you are free to love, free to forgive, you are free indeed! 

Men die for freedom.  Jesus died for mine and yours.  That is how important freedom is.  It removes fear of people, fear of society and its dictates, and fear of never being all I want to be and should be, the fear of disapproval. 

Fear is a heavy weight.  It stops you and hinders you from joy, happiness and contentment.  It hinders you from leading life to the fullest and stepping out in faith because fear produces the opposite effects of faith which is rooted in God’s way of loving and brings courage. 

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  God never intended for me to walk in the wounds of rejection, nor the need for approval of anyone other than Him.  Thank God He set me free to love not just the loveable, but the unlovable…just like me.

 

 

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Tongues: A Means of Praying Supernaturally

Tongues a means of praying supernaturally

We will  continue our prayer series from Bro. Hagin’s book “Prayer Study Course”.  Grab your coffee and Bible and let us dig in to this wonderful and beautiful truth!

I want every Christian to know the joy of fellowshipping with the Lord in the Spirit.  As we discussed earlier, the Holy Spirit in you can help you with your praying.  The Bible says”…my spirit (by the Holy Spirit within me) prays…. (1 Corinthians 14:14 Amplified Bible).

I cannot overestimate what this kind of praying has meant to my life personally.  There is no way in the world to estimate its value.  I simply could never overestimate the value of praying in tongues.

For example, I have traveled for many years away from home.  And again and again, if anything was happening at home about which I needed to be aware, the Holy Spirit would  immediately alert me in my spirit.  I would wake up in the night and something on the inside of me would say, “Something is not right.  One of the family members is in trouble.  Something is wrong.”

Immediately I would say to the Holy Ghost (no, I do not pray to the Holy Ghost.  But He is a Person, a Divine Personality, and He is within me, and I do talk to Him, ( “I don’t know what is wrong, but You know everything.  You are in me as my Helper.  Help me pray about this condition or situation the way it should be prayed about.)

Then I would begin praying in tongues.  I would pray on and on in tongues.  I  have prayed as many as six hours in tongues.  Many times He will let me know what I am praying about and give me the answer to my prayer in my spirit.  Whether He shows me the answer right then or not, in a few days I see the situation work out fine.  We can do work for God praying supernaturally in tongues. 

I do fifty percent of my praying in tongues.  For instance, if my son or daughter or members of their families are having some trouble, I might not know what the trouble is.  I will tell the Lord that I don’t know for what to pray as I ought, but that I am looking to the Holy Spirit to help me.  Sometimes I pray for my children for an hour in tongues. 

Sometimes I will have a revelation or God will show me the answer.  He will show me just exactly what to do.  Whether or not you have any revelation about the situation you are praying about, just continue to pray in tongues because the Holy Spirit knows and He is taking hold with you against the problem.  That kind of praying gets the job done when nothing else will. 

A friend whom I had known since he was a child, became a minister when he grew up.  When he was in his early twenties he went to preach a service one night, and on the way back home, a fellow who was weaving all over the highway in his car hit this minister’s car head on.

At this time the young minister and his wife were living with the minister’s father who was a pastor.  The father got a call from the hospital and was told that his son had been in  a car wreck.

When the father got there, the doctors told him that his son’s neck and  back were broken, and that he was paralyzed from his waist down and was unconscious.  The doctor said the young minister would always be paralyzed to some extent, and they doubted if he would ever make much improvement.  Actually, the doctors couldn’t understand why he wasn’t dead.  They put him in a full body cast.  The father stayed by his son’s bedside all night.  At one point, his son had temporarily regained consciousness but had again lapsed back into unconsciousness. 

The next night when the father went to the hospital,  the young man was still unconscious.  The father told the nurses he was going to stay and pray at his son’s bedside. 

The young minister regained consciousness for a little while again that night.  The father told his son to blink his eyes if he could understand what he was saying to him, so the son blinked his eyes.  Then the young man lapsed back again into unconsciousness.  The father stayed by his bedside and prayed.  He began to pray at eight in the evening.  At twelve midnight, the father was still praying in tongues.  He heard the nurse come in, but he never opened his eyes;  he just kept praying.  He prayed about ten hours in tongues. 

Early the next morning at about six, the father got up and went over to his son.  He saw that his son was lying there with his eyes open.  He asked his son if he could hear him, and his son spoke up and said he could.  The young man told the father that he was alright and that God had healed him.  The young man began to wiggle his fingers and toes;  he had feeling all over his body. 

The nurse and the doctor came in, and they both said it was truly amazing;  it was a miracle!  The young minister told them that God had healed him and that he wanted the doctor to take the cast off.  He told the doctor that he would find that the two breaks in his back and neck were healed and that he was alright. 

After much persuasion the doctor took the young minister and x-rayed his spine.  The doctor came back and said he couldn’t believe it!  He couldn’t even find where his back had been broken.  God had mended it so that it was just as normal as it was before!  The doctor examined the x-rays again and still couldn’t find anything.  They kept the young man hospitalized for a day or two and kept checking him.  They told him to wear a neck brace for a little while, but he went home and took it off. 

Years later this man was still alright.  He has been out preaching the gospel for years.  The church had prayed about it, but the father got the job done when he began to pray in the Spirit.  He got the help of the Holy Ghost.  You increase your power in prayer 100 percent by praying in other tongues!

Many times I have prayed in tongues for hours, and in that time the tongues have changed and I have spoken half a dozen different tongues or languages.  Many times as the tongues would change, God would let me see foreign people.  I would see foreign houses and buildings.  That vision would stay before me all the time I was praying in tongues.  I didn’t know what tongues I was praying in, but I knew I was praying for those foreign people in their native tongue.

In some cases, I would later pick up a Pentecostal magazine and see the picture of the very folks for whom I was praying.  I would read about a revival that broke out in that area.  I believe the Spirit of God enabled me to have a part in it.  You can stay home and have a part in the work of God around the world.  There are more ways than one to “go” and take the gospel around the world.

I hope you enjoyed this segment on “Praying in the Spirit”!  Tomorrow we will be discussing “Praying in Tongues is Unselfish Prayer”!  Blessings to you, dear reader!!

Tongues: A Means of Magnifying God

Tongues a Means of Magnifying God

Well, dear reader, we took some detours I had not counted on, but the most important thing is to follow the Holy Spirit!  Now we are will continue our series on Reverend Ken Hagins “Prayer Study”.  Grab your coffee or tea and let us delve into this rich and wonderful subject!

Speaking with tongues is a way we can magnify God.   It says in Acts 10:46 concerning Cornelius and his household (Please think about that, precious reader, God spoke about his HOUSEHOLD….his ENTIRE family!)“For they heard them speak with tongues and MAGNIFY GOD….”

I was a Christian minister for several years before I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  I used to go down to the barn and get up in the hayloft to pray.  I prayed and had some wonderful time with the Lord in prayer. 

However, I still went away from those times disappointed, although I was blessed.  I would try to tell God how much I loved Him.  I would use all the descriptive adjectives I had at my disposal to tell God how wonderful He is.  I would exhaust my vocabulary and leave that place of prayer feeling disappointed in my spirit that I had not said what I wanted to say.  My spirit felt like I had cheated it.

It’s just like going to ta restaurant to get something to eat.  I don’t mind paying for food, but I don’t like walking up to the cash register to pay for something when my stomach is still crying, “You cheated me!”  I would go away from that place of prayer unsatisfied, with my spirit crying, “You cheated me!” because my spirit wanted to pray, too, apart from my understanding–my mind.

1 Corinthians 14:14  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, MY SPIRIT PRAYETH, but my understanding is unfruitful.

One of the things I appreciate about being filled with the Holy Ghost is speaking with tongues.  From the day I was Spirit filled to this day, I have worshipped and magnified God, praying and singing in tongues, and I have communicated with God by this means every single day.

I have never again left the place of prayer with my spirit crying,  “You cheated me.”  I have never left the place of prayer with the feeling that I didn’t say what I wanted to say because my spirit had been divinely enabled to say what it wanted to say by the Holy Spirit who indwells me.

I would not argue and fuss about it,  but I simply feel sorry for folks who can’t see the truth of the Bible about praying in tongues.   I want them to enjoy the blessings of God, too.  Praise the Lord!  If I have something good, I want others to enjoy it.  I don’t want to be selfish!

I used to eat quite a lot of ice cream.  My wife had a recipe for cherry nut ice  cream, and  I thought that was the best ice cream I had ever tasted, so I wanted to share it.  Another woman wanted the recipe, so my wife shared it with her. 

When I have something good, I want to share it with someone else.  I wouldn’t argue with anyone about whether that ice cream is the best; I would just share it with them and give them the recipe.  And, spiritually speaking, if I have something good, I want to share it with others, too.

I want to invite you to come on in to this Biblical experience of speaking with other tongues and begin to communicate with God supernaturally through praying in the Spirit.   God want to do so much more for you.  He wants to communicate with you in a more effective means than just by your native language;  He wants to communicate with you supernaturally through the precious Holy Spirit.

I hope you enjoyed and gleaned much from the article today, dear reader.  I love the refreshing myself!  Come back tomorrow when we will talk about “Tongues: A Means of Praying Supernaturally”.   Have a wonderful and blessed day, dear reader!!  I will see you soon!!

What is God’s Grace Exactly?

 

gods grace2

Tonight this blog came about by talking to my husband about a certain “weakness” that really does need strengthening in me.  I have the tendency for people who are Christians and have been for years who still shun the truth of God‘s Word to get me really miffed.  This does more than gets under my skin a little bit.  Well, to make a long story short, I, yes the “gracious” me as you all know me, stirred up a bit of controversy because I did tell the truth about something but I did it a bit harshly.  I tried telling it gently for a long period of time, but for what reason, I am not sure why,  I finally let it fly at a person who just would not “let go and let God”.  As I talked to my husband about how unfair this situation was to me he gave me a really great pep talk that I needed and I am sure will need again!  But, I am determined to learn and I will!  This is what he told me.

Whenever Paul was experiencing his issues of being buffeted by satan, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  In Paul’s weakness he was made strong by God’s grace.  In other words, grace is much more than just our children’s church definition of “unmerited favor“.  It is also undeserved blessing, free gifts.   The Greek for grace comes from the words joy and rejoicing.  In other words,  we have reason or “cause to rejoice” because God’s grace is all-sufficient for every area of our life.  Paul told Timothy to be strengthened by the grace of God in the midst of his trials and tests.   In 2 Corinthians Paul tells the Corinthian church that God’s grace causes us to have all-sufficiency in all things.  That all- sufficiency  in all things encompasses ALL THINGS, more than just in giving.  Like in Paul’s situation and in Timothy’s situation, as well as our situations.   In other words, God’s all-encompassing grace that provided all sufficiency in all things causes us that are mature in Christ TO REJOICE in whatever situation we face! 

I have to remember that the thing that buffets me, or is a thorn in my flesh are people who should know better than to beg God and plead with Him to answer their prayers and I need to realize they are always going to exist.  In my contact with them, I cannot take on their unwillingness to use their authority in the name of Jesus, and the Word of God.  I have to be responsible, however, to love them and pray that one day the truth of God’s Word will become Spirit and life to them. I must be patient and until it becomes a true revelation!! 

Blessings, dear reader!  I will see you soon!

What is God’s Grace Exactly?

 

gods grace2

Tonight this blog came about by talking to my husband about a certain “weakness” that really does need strengthening in me.  I have the tendency for people who are Christians and have been for years who still shun the truth of God‘s Word to get me really miffed.  This does more than gets under my skin a little bit.  Well, to make a long story short, I, yes the “gracious” me as you all know me, stirred up a bit of controversy because I did tell the truth about something but I did it a bit harshly.  I tried telling it gently for a long period of time, but for what reason, I am not sure why,  I finally let it fly at a person who just would not “let go and let God”.  As I talked to my husband about how unfair this situation was to me he gave me a really great pep talk that I needed and I am sure will need again!  But, I am determined to learn and I will!  This is what he told me.

Whenever Paul was experiencing his issues of being buffeted by satan, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  In Paul’s weakness he was made strong by God’s grace.  In other words, grace is much more than just our children’s church definition of “unmerited favor“.  It is also undeserved blessing, free gifts.   The Greek for grace comes from the words joy and rejoicing.  In other words,  we have reason or “cause to rejoice” because God’s grace is all-sufficient for every area of our life.  Paul told Timothy to be strengthened by the grace of God in the midst of his trials and tests.   In 2 Corinthians Paul tells the Corinthian church that God’s grace causes us to have all-sufficiency in all things.  That all- sufficiency  in all things encompasses ALL THINGS, more than just in giving.  Like in Paul’s situation and in Timothy’s situation, as well as our situations.   In other words, God’s all-encompassing grace that provided all sufficiency in all things causes us that are mature in Christ TO REJOICE in whatever situation we face! 

I have to remember that the thing that buffets me, or is a thorn in my flesh are people who should know better than to beg God and plead with Him to answer their prayers and I need to realize they are always going to exist.  In my contact with them, I cannot take on their unwillingness to use their authority in the name of Jesus, and the Word of God.  I have to be responsible, however, to love them and pray that one day the truth of God’s Word will become Spirit and life to them. I must be patient and until it becomes a true revelation!! 

Blessings, dear reader!  I will see you soon!

Ephesians 4…Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

ephesians 4

Ephesians 4

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Unity and Diversity in the Body of Christ

4 Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting[a] one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope[b] at your calling— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

7 Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift. 8 For it says:

When He ascended on high, He took prisoners into captivity;[c] He gave gifts to people.[d]

9 But what does “He ascended” mean except that He[e] descended to the lower parts of the earth?[f] 10 The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill[g] all things. 11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. 14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Living the New Life

17 Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.[h]

20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus. 22 You took off[i] your former way of life, the old self[j] that is corrupted by deceitful desires; 23 you are being renewed[k] in the spirit of your minds; 24 you put on[l] the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.

25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor,[m] because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin.[n] Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need,[o] so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him[p] for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you[q] in Christ.