An Audience of 1

Many times, we are in situations where we are tempted to lie. Some of the reasons we feel the need to be deceptive are going somewhere we shouldn’t be going, doing something that we shouldn’t be doing, being with someone(s) who is ungodly, and/or working to get ourselves out of a potentially difficult predicament that we have gotten ourselves into. “What’s the problem with telling a little ‘white lie’?” you may ask.   I’ll let Jesus answer that Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus is all about the TRUTH and despises lying.

Most of us have been duped by the devil falling for his charades.  2 Corinthians 11:14 describes him this way, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  1 John 5:19 tells us “that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”  The world without Jesus is being fooled by the devil, the master deceiver. 

There are a number of Bible verses that are insightful and challenging to each of us.  Two powerful ones are below:

  • Hebrews 4:13 is clear, “No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” This verse is clear. God is omnipresent (everywhere all the time) and omniscient (all knowing). You can’t hide from God.  There will be a day when each of us will give an account before Jesus.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 validates this, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he/she has done in the body, whether good or evil.”  Payment is due, “whether good or evil.”

What does living a life of a lie (deception) or living a life of truth staying in communion with Jesus end up looking like? 

“Each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death” (James 1:14&15).  Man doesn’t the rosy, lustful pictures that your flesh, the world, and the devil paint look so enticing! Lies may start off so good but always end up in death…absolutely empty of value and full of sorrow.  A hot affair, lustful pictures, status, getting high, or simply telling a lie to get yourself out of trouble may look so good in the moment, but the truth is they end up bankrupt.  What do you lose or forfeit in the process?

Learn to please God and live in obedience to His Word.  Once you do, you will discover that everything else in life takes care of itself.  John 6:33 declares, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”  John 8:31&32 states it this way, “Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  We all have a choice.  I pray that each of us choose to live for an audience of 1…Jesus.

A Bitter Root

Pam and I have seen the results of a bitter root.  We have watched it defile families, friendships, church groups, neighborhoods, social groups, and ball teams disrupting tender and precious events for children, grandchildren, and friends such as birthday parties, weddings, and quite often, holidays. Non-communication, heaviness, ugliness, and darkness in our lives become the debris left over from bitterness.  We have watched a bitter root defile families down to the 3rd and 4th generation.  Frequently, a bitter root becomes overpowering, pervasive, and emotionally hurtful personally and to the ones we love.  Too often the relationships rupture with seemingly no hope of reconciliation. How tragic…but so true!  Many sweet people are living out lives crushed by bitterness. 

Hebrews 12:15 is a forceful verse, 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Grace is based on the sacrificial love of Jesus with a focus of loving, caring, and supporting others.  Opposed to grace, bitterness is focused on me, my wants, my goals, my hurts, and how someone has disturbed my life.   As a result, you determine “pay back” is in order which can be as subtle as a lie, deceptive manipulation, or stonewalling.   Emotions, the devil’s playground, overpower your thoughts then your behavior. Your malintent for this person(s) makes the “jerk” look bad and maybe a bonus of you looking good. “Finally, they will get what they deserve as will I!” What you don’t realize, the root of bitterness negatively impacts not only their life but your life frequently resulting in wounds and ugly scars.  If we “fall short of the grace of God”, it will eat you up and the others around you (“defiling many”).

The Apostle Paul states descriptively in Ephesian 4:26&27, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.”  The devil does not need much time to get a foothold in your life.  Once he does, a root of bitterness grows within you ultimately poisoning you and others.

Later in Ephesians 4, Paul instructs us. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Throw off all the stuff that result from a root of bitterness recognizing this is not what resides in a child of God.  Then, he tells us how to kill the bitter root in verse 32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Forgiveness is the antidote for a bitter root.  There are two roots in this Greek word translated “forgive”.  The first is the Greek word “char” which means joy.  The second is the Greek word “charis” meaning grace.  The outcome of forgiveness is joy and grace.  A constant attitude of forgiveness keeps you from “falling short of the grace of God.” 

The happiest people in the world are forgiving people.  Rather than bitterness and acts of malice, they are “kind and compassionate.”  These people are freed up to act like Jesus. Get rid of the bitter root in your heart with its antidote, forgiveness.  It may take courage but your life as well as the people around you will change.

It’s All About the Ball

Success in most sports is all about the ball.  For example, in football, a “touchdown” or a score happens when the “ballcarrier” runs the ball across the opponent’s goal line.  One of the players can cross that goal line a gazillion times without the ball in his arms, but it does not increase the score at all.   In baseball, a “run” (or score) is determined by how many times a runner touches “home plate” without being touched or forced out by the ball.  In basketball, the winner is decided by the number of baskets shot into a “basket or goal”.  In soccer, success is calculated by kicking the ball in the opponent’s net.  Think about tennis, golf, and bowling. Reduce most sports down to its simplest factor, and you discover that “it’s all about the ball”.

Christ-followers need to understand that our faith is all about Jesus…nothing else. We are eternally saved when we invite Him into our hearts and pray so that we can talk to Him.  Bible Study teaches us how to grow in His grace and mercy and how to conduct ourselves to live more like Him.  We talk to each other in a way that brings glory to Jesus. When we get together, it is referred to as a community of His people who “share Him” as one.  

The Great Commission challenges us to go and reach others to introduce them to Jesus. The Great Commandment is to “love Jesus with all our heart, soul, spirit, and strength.”

John 14:6 is crystal clear about our objective as Christ followers, “Jesus is the way, Jesus is the truth, Jesus is the life…There is no other way to heaven but by Him.” 

We make the Christian life so much more complicated than it is.  “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be taken care of” (John 6:33).  Keep your eyes focused on Him.  Once we get our eyes off Him, we find ourselves loaded down by earthly baggage and paralyzed with deception from the enemy, the devil.  Hebrews 12:1&2 guides us on how to get back on track when we get caught up with this world, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing (or focusing) our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.

1 John 1:7 gives us crystal clear guidance how to walk with Him in life, “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin.” Proverbs 3:5&6 are simple but impacts our every moment in life, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your understanding, in all your ways recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 explains that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” If we are “in Christ”, we look like Jesus.

From the very first moments of a day to the last moment before sleep, keep your eyes on our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus, and share life with Him. It’s all about Jesus…

Rotten Words

The other day, I walked by our kitchen pantry and had to gasp for air.  Something in the pantry was rotten.  Once the door was open, I discovered that one of the potatoes was rotten and had started rotting the other potatoes around it.  Man did it stink!  We ended up cleaning the other potatoes to protect and keep them whole and tossed the infected bag.

Isn’t it interesting in scripture what Paul the Apostle called “rotten”…our spoken words.  If you speak “rotten words”, it is not only symptomatic that you have a rotten heart but most likely have started rotting those around you.  The only way to stop the rotting is for you to get your heart cleaned up by Jesus and then moving forward speak wholesome, edifying words to others. Stop rotting your spouse, your children, and your close friends or associates.  “Confess” your rotten tongue to Jesus, 1 John 1:9 says that He “will cleanse you and forgive your sin.” Since this may have been habitual for a long time, you may discover that this is difficult to clean up.  Work with Him to make your mouth a stream of purity and affirmation.  Ephesians 4:29 is clear about this, “Let no [u]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”  NIV and NASB version of scripture uses the word “unwholesome” but the literal meaning is “rotten”.  Learn to “speak truth in love” (Eph. 4:15), as verse 29 states, your words will “edify” and “give grace to those who hear.”  Your wholesome words will stop the “rotting” process and start building up others around you.

Let’s see in the verse immediately following, verse 30, who else is impacted by “rotten” words. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  Your rotten words “grieve God”.  Why is God so impacted?  The very individuals that Jesus died on the cross for are being corrupted by the profanity gushing out of your mouth. Dear brother or sister, it is time to clean your mouth up. 

James 3:2-10 is a long passage, but the message is crystal clear, “For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as wellNow if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

Today, “take out the rotting trash” that has been habitually coming out of your mouth.

Catching Is a Tough, Dirty Job

The dirtiest job on a baseball field is the catcher behind the plate.  He/she has to put on protective equipment which is hot, clingy, and sweaty.  To boot, it is the most violent position on the playing field.  Winning or losing depends on a team touching home plate more than the opposite team.  Often, the catcher has to stand in the way of the runner before he/she touches home.  Usually, this is a bang-bang play meaning the ball arrives at the same time as the runner intent on scoring.  Many times, this ends up being a very unpleasant, brutal experience.  As if this is not enough to dissuade a player from being a catcher, the pitcher often throws the ball in the dirt and the catcher has to block it, and the batter frequently foul tips the ball.  In both cases, it ofttimes ends up bouncing off the uncovered areas of the catcher. I can tell you from personal experience this hurts!  There is nothing pretty about being a catcher.

On top of the above a catcher has to be an unselfish player.  His/her primary job is to make the pitcher look good.  In fact, the success of a catcher is measured by the success of the pitcher.  The catcher must stay in sync with and trusted by the pitcher.  In fact, an outstanding catcher is called a great receiver.  A good catcher has to be a student of the pitcher and the opposing team.  He/she must know what pitch needs to be thrown to support the pitcher’s success. Consoling and motivating the pitcher when things are not going well is very important for a catcher. At times, firmness without being perceived as attacking is called for to keep the pitcher in the right frame of mind.  By the way, the catcher never embarrasses a pitcher in front of others.

Catching is an accurate, perceptive metaphor for active listening.  For a healthy relationship to grow and flourish, both parties need to become good catchers…not an easy job.  Initially, it is a tough task but can become the change agent for struggling, conflicted relationships. Your job as an active listener is to set your mind on understanding and becoming a good student of the speaker.  It’s not about your own personal success.  The success of active listening is based on the edification of the speaker whether that be a spouse, child, friend, boss, client.  As an active listener, your job is to transcend from your opinions to the feelings of the speaker mirroring back to the speaker what he/she is saying, using phrases like “Let me make sure that I got this” or “So, I understand you to be saying…”  These phrases are meant to understand and encourage the speaker reflecting that you are a trusted listener.  By the way, everything that is personal to the sender must be kept confidential.  Never embarrass the speaker.  During the process, the active listener must validate the speaker with phrases such as “I can understand that…” or “It would make sense to me that you would think that…”  Empathy is essential with phrases used like ““and I can imagine that you must feel…” or “that makes sense.”  Don’t forget the success of the catcher (listener) is measured by the success of the pitcher (speaker). 

Understanding that you may have animosity towards the speaker, why would you give this person the gift of active listening?  “Chew on” Philippians 2:3&4, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”  Active listening can change hurtful relationships forever.  It is hard, unselfish work but good listeners become change agents.  Pam and I know this to be true because active listening changed our marriage.

Passing the “Smell Test”

During my business career, one of my favorite bosses challenged each of us to have our senses open during the deal making process to not only know what was being said but what was not being said.  Is the deal “too” good?  Are the folks desiring to partner with us or wanting to work for us a bit “too” slick?  Our senses were to be alert and watchful ensuring the deal and the people offering it are “genuine, factual, honest, full of character, down-to-earth,” and we were not being “oversold” or” being deceived”.  “Passing the ‘smell test’” became important to the way we did business.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to “pass the ‘smell test’”.  What aroma emanates from the character of our life and lifestyle?  Is our fragrance Christlike?

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 states it this way, “14 But thanks be to God, (as His servants He) uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”  Many so-called Christians are “peddlers” of Jesus for their own gain.  They fail the “smell test”.  True Christians are the “aroma” of His essence “that brings life” to others.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says for us to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  The “therefore” in verse 1 connects us back to the previous verses in Ephesians 4:20-32 which reveal how we are to “walk” in the fragrant producing “way of love.” 

  • “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (v.29).­ ___
  • “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (v.31). ___
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (v.32). ___

Furthermore, Ephesians 5 details the “way of love” producing the aroma of Jesus:

  • “There must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (v.3). ___
  • “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving” (v.4). ___
  • No “immoral, impure or greedy” person nor one who spouts out “empty words” emanates the fragrance of Jesus” (vv.5-6). ___

The world desperately needs to “breathe” the aroma and fragrance of Jesus.  Do you pass the “smell test”? Put an (*) above the ___’s that you need to work on and become the fragrance of Jesus.  Don’t try to change in your own strength but in His.

Don’t Blame Him

Isn’t it easy to blame others?!  Blaming others is an attempt to move accountability off you to another.  From the very beginning of mankind, we have blamed others.  Adam blamed Eve.  Oh, by the way Adam, where were you when Eve chose to take a bite out of the forbidden fruit?  You were looking over her shoulder shirking your responsibility.  But, just as God walked into the garden and found you hiding from His presence, the index finger for the first time in the history of mankind was used to point right at Eve and blame her.  Don’t you hate to be around people who are quick to blame? The following quotes hit the nail on the head when it comes to blame:

  • John Wooden, who won ten NCAA national basketball championships in a 12-year period as head coach for UCLA, says this, “You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes.”
  • “When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding a truth about yourself” (quoting.com).

If you want to look weak-minded, blame others.  You are in essence not stepping up and becoming responsible. 

Let me tell you something that you may not like.  Don’t try to blame God for your problems. He has done everything He possibly could do to put you in a position to know Him personally. John 3:16&17 declare, 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.”  God sent His only Son to die for you to be reconciled to Him.  He has done everything to remove the sin that is keeping you back from knowing Him and has made this an easy proposition.  Confess that you are a sinner, not blaming others, and invite Him into your heart as your Savior and Lord. Verse 3:18a says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned.” This is GOOD NEWS!

Often, we are not willing to surrender ourselves to Him deciding to choose another path.  John 3:18b-20 describes this, “Whoever does not believe (in Jesus) 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.” The truth is, we love the things of the world and don’t feel God is needed.  God paid the ultimate price for you.  Yet, you have chosen the cheapness, lust, and status of the world. When the cares, guilt, and vengeance of the world overpower you, DON’T BLAME HIM. 

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  “He made Him sin for us who knew no sin so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  If you choose not to know God and His special kind of love with peace that passes all understanding, DON’T BLAME HIM! 

Furthermore, if you are His child and have gotten back into the world, “Confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.”  If you choose not to do that, DON’T BLAME HIM!

What Paul the Apostle Called “Dung”

God chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary during her pregnancy and would be called the father of Jesus.  He was not Mr. Successful who graduated from a prestigious private university.  He was a carpenter!  Jesus could have called disciples with any profession, but primarily chose fishermen not a well-educated group of men.  Matthew was a despised tax collector…considered dregs among the Jews.  Simon the Zealot was active in a Jewish patriotic party who resisted Roman aggression and definitely not in the mainstream of society.   Luke was a Physician but would not be considered an esteemed leader in the community.  There were a couple of respected Jewish leaders noted in the Gospels, well educated in the law, Pharisees, and esteemed in their community who became His disciples (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea).  Yet, Jesus did not choose the latter two men to be core to His ministry leadership. Why is that?

1 Corinthians 1:26-27 makes things clear, “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.” The cross of Christ is a stumbling block to the educated who are puffed up by their own knowledge. 

Paul the Apostle was an exception to the rule,If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage (or dung), that I may gain Christ(1 Philippians 3:4-8).

Please don’t get caught up with your accomplishments and prioritize the things of this world marginalizing Jesus. If you have worked hard to have a wonderful education and a career that is considered super successful, I pray that this is not the foremost purpose of your life.  Paul the Apostle was considered extraordinarily successful rocking the Jewish world first with his career.  He came to the conclusion that he had been blinded by stature and his own power realizing that his worldly accomplishments were “dung, excrement, trash or rubbish” (depending how you interpret the original Greek noun).  To him, the things of this world compared to eternity and the joy, compassion, and peace of Jesus are crap! Paul came to the conclusion that “God’s grace is sufficient, for his power is made perfect in my weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Let this Bible verse marinate in your soul and learn from Him what real success is.

Jesus Wept…So Should We

A dear year young thirteen years old girl passed away this past Saturday.  Her Mom and Dad had to make the decision to switch off life support.  I cannot imagine how hurtful that experience had to be.

However, there is some good news for her family and others of us still a mess reacting to the death of a loved one or a traumatic experience.  Psalm 34:18 gives us great encouragement, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Our wonderful Lord and Redeemer is with us in our darkest most painful moments.  How do we access Him to receive this wonderful news?  Just prior to verse 18 above, in verse 17 God tells us how, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God says to “cry out” and He “hears…and delivers.”  He  not only hears the cries of the brokenhearted, He heals them, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Wounds of the loss of a dearly beloved person or a dear loved one still in our midst suffering trauma runs deep in our soul, but the Bible says that our God will walk with us every step of the way.

Weeping is a part of the healing process. God teaches us in His church not to have to weep alone.  Romans 12:15,weep with those who weep.” Don’t let a person weep by themselves, weep with them.  The original Greek word means to “wail aloud” or “sob”.  This is a deep soul cleansing cry. By the way, the Bible says that there are some of us who are gifted uniquely to support the hurting with the gifts of “mercy” and “helps”.

Check out how Jesus handled the loss of a dear one with whom He had a special relationship with his family and him.  Their names were Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Lazarus passed away and had been dead for four days when Jesus came to Bethany. The Bible says in John 11:5, “Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.” Martha had greeted Jesus as He entered their village and immediately went to get Mary.  Verses 33-37 recount the following scene, “When Jesus saw Mary crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you put him?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they told him, ‘come and see.’ Jesus wept (the Greek word here means that He shed tears). So, the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’Shortly afterwards, Jesus full of faith and obedience to His Father brought Lazarus out of the grave.  Jesus didn’t cry because of a lack of faith but because of compassion.

The Christian faith is not a sterile, unemotional faith.  The contrary is true.  When Jesus Himself battled with His own flesh in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46) to be obedient to the cross and to the all-out hell that He would face in the preliminaries before He got to the cross, His emotions were “distress” and “intensely sad”. Like us, Jesus came to earth fully human step by step walking in obedience to His Father. He like us was not a robot.

1 Peter 5:7 exhorts us to “cast all our cares (or anxieties) on Him because He cares for you.”  To others, He instructs us to “put on compassion, kindness and gentleness” (Col. 3:12) as we serve the downhearted.

Fleeing Even When No One Is Pursuing

An enjoyable hour during my week occurs when I meet with the Truth Therapy Group (TTG).  TTG is made up of folks who have had a difficult time “staying out of their minds”.  In our background, there have been hurtful events and/or relationships which have caused fear, anxiety, guilt, trauma, discouragement, pain, etc. Some of us still turn our attention inward “dealing” with dark issues often to the detriment of our closest relationships.  We are a complex group.  People around us have become emotionally fatigued with our “issues” that again and again receive our focus. Important relationships seldom have felt that we are “all there” when engagement occurs. Often, proactivity and desires to grow have been sapped from us. TTG has become our oasis, a safe place encouraging transparency and healing.

Two powerful verses in Proverbs describe and challenge folks who consistently stay in their minds:

  • Proverbs 28:1, The wicked flee when no one is pursuing them, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.  What a powerful statement.  Solomon challenges us to stop fleeing when no one is pursuing.  We are being deceived by our FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real).  Lies from the Deceiver and from unhealthy thought patterns deep within our minds spew out misbeliefs (untruths).  How do we stand “bold(ly) as a lion”? Daily “put on and keep on the belt of truth” (Ephesians 6:14), the first piece of our spiritual armor, fundamental to spiritual victory.  Daily, “chew” on God’s word.  “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).  John 17:17 states for us to be “made pure and holy through the teaching from (God’s) words of truth.” He wants us to stop fleeing and dig into a fruitful life by believing in Jesus Christ in the deepest levels of our minds.
  • Proverbs 18:1, Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. There are tons of unhealthy people who stay in their “cave”.  From their perspective, this is the only safe space.  The results?  Because of their misbeliefs they spend their time in their caves trying to discover the answers to their dark dilemma…one lie after another being told to them inside their minds by spiritual strongholds called neural network.  GET OUT OF ISOLATION!  It is an incredibly unhealthy place.

What are the resolutions for those of us who are locked inside our minds?

  1. Engage the Word of God and allow it to pierce deep into our minds.  Once the Word “penetrates” repetitively into our minds to the depth that it can reveal truth to  “thoughts and intents of our heart” (Hebrews 4:12) and obedience occurs in our hearts, we are made whole… sound and strong in the depths of our being.
  2. Become a part of a recovery group. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). 

Stop running and stop isolating yourself.  You will never grow and get strong until you do.

%d bloggers like this: