Your Natural State

Christ makes all things new, right?  (Is. 43:18, Eph. 2:15, Heb. 8:13, Rev. 21:5)

These verses include you! If you belong to Christ, you are new! Your natural state now is in Him. In Him you are the new nature, the new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

Your natural state now is the new nature!

The new nature is no longer flesh, but spirit (Rom. 8:9). The new nature is a spirit being. We hear and receive from the LORD via the spirit. We navigate now in the spirit. We discern in the spirit. Our constant connection with Him is in the spirit. We live and move and have our being in the spirit (Acts 17:28).

The new nature is one spirit with the Holy Spirit of the Living God!

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you (Rom. 8:9).

God has completed the transformation of us in the spirit realm (which is reality, by the way) from darkness to light (Col. 2:11). Because of that internal change, we will notice over time changes taking place in our souls (mind, emotions, will, conscience). These changes are evidence of the Holy Spirit conforming our souls (in this dimension) to the image of our spirits which are now in the image of Christ. (If we don’t notice the subtleties, others will notice the changes over time as they can see us more objectively than we see ourselves.)

 You may wonder…But how do I experience this new nature?

We experience the new nature over time by- 

  1. Believing that you are the new nature simply because God says so. That’s faith.
  2. Acting on that truth more and more in your daily life. Baby steps are fine.
  3. Seeing evidence of your new nature manifest in your life, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant to you. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in you.

Imagine a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. Slowly crawling out. Trepidatious. Astounded at the freedom of movement he feels. Drying off. Moving his wings. Feeling out his new earth suit.

That’s what a believer does after salvation. He gets used to his new get-up! It’s brand new. It takes getting used to. It’s nothing like the caterpillar get-up. Completely different. From crawling around on leaves to flying around in the air! A new life altogether.

ESCAPE CORRUPTION

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, escaping the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

By PARTAKING in the divine nature, the Scripture says, we ESCAPE the corruption of the world (2 Pet. 1:4). Wow! Spirit trumps flesh yet again.

This means that you PARTAKE in the divine nature by believing that you are the new nature. In that participation (agreement with God), you ESCAPE the world’s corruption. Cool!

ENEMY WORK

But the enemy still works against us (1 Pet. 5:8). Of course!

On humans, the devil uses this lie:

“It’s not important what IS true, but what APPEARS to be true.”

The enemy uses this carnal mentality to manipulate the saints. He knows we have been made new by Christ. He knows God’s Word attests to this. He sees it in us in the spirit! What a threat! He also knows that our belief in God’s truth wields tremendous power over him. Barricading us from that power is his motive. Persuading us to rely on what APPEARS to be true is his clever strategy.

The enemy is hostile to us believing God. He trembles at the possibility that we could live by faith in God’s Word. He’s sickened by the threat of us growing up into Christ. He wants to have the upper hand in this. So, he lures and persuades us to believe feelings and circumstances over God’s Word, as if they define reality. Ha!

When we listen to the enemy of our souls, we lean on our own understanding… when the Scripture tells us emphatically NOT to do so (Prov. 3:5). Oops. Our human brains (our natural minds) are not designed to comprehend this spiritual truth. However, the Holy Spirit living inside us enables us to understand it, believe it, and enjoy it.

Truth and circumstances are two separate issues.

Truth never changes. Feelings and circumstances always change.

Growing in experiential knowledge of His grace stabilizes us in grace.

Growing in experiential knowledge of truth stabilizes us in truth (2 Pet. 3:18).

Growing in grace and truth stabilizes us in Christ (John 1:14).

GRACE + TRUTH = JESUS CHRIST.

Come Back to Your Senses!

In 1 Corinthians 13:34, it says, “Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning…” The saints in Corinth believed that they were still caterpillars! That’s why they kept sinning. Sinning is ALL a sinner can do. Get it?

The new nature cannot sin (1 John 4:17).

Sinning is all the unregenerate nature can do (Rom. 7:8).

It’s only when we  -in a split second-  believe that we are still the unregenerate nature that we sin at all. In that illusion, we are truly deceived.

Caterpillars haven’t transformed. Caterpillars can’t eat nectar. Caterpillars can’t fly.

Awake to righteousness (1 Cor. 15:34). In other words, wake up to your new nature! Remember who and whose you are. Shake yourself into reality. God’s reality. God has made you new! Renew your mind and let Him heal your broken heart so that you can agree with Him about yourself.

Isaiah 43:19 says, Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The LORD has done this! He has done a new thing in you! He wants you to believe Him and rely on Him and watch the new nature manifest in your life by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s already happening. Do you have spiritual eyes to see what He’s doing in you?

The old is passing away. Behold, the new has already come (2 Cor. 5:17).

He transferred (past tense) you from darkness to light (Col. 1:13).

A PRACTIAL EXERCISE

Go stand in front of your bathroom mirror. Say out loud, “God says, I am the new creation, because of what He has done” (2 Cor 5:21). Tell your feelings that they are free to tantrum if they want, but that they’re not the boss. Tell your circumstances that they do not define reality; God does.

Continue to die on the hill of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). This is called living by faith (Heb. 11:6). Your feelings will follow along in their own sweet time.

Your belief is the horse.

Your feelings and circumstances are the cart.

Aim to keep your horse BEFORE your cart at all times.

Agree with God by faith. Believe and act AS IF you are the new nature because God says you are. Your feelings and circumstances will follow over time (2 Cor 5:17).

God defines reality and He says you are brand new in Him. And so you are. 

The new nature is your natural state now.

So… what must I to do to be the new nature? you may ask.

That’s the Good News. You don’t have to DO anything to BE who God has already made you in Christ!

Just believe Him (John 6:29).

 

Revelation 21:5 Behold I make all things new

2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; Behold, the new has come.

Ephesians 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

1 John 4:17  In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Col. 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

Col. 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[a] was put off when you were circumcised byChrist,

1 Pet. 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

 Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 Isaiah 43:18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Hebrews 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

John 1:14 We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

 

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Circumcised by and Brought to Fullness in Christ -Col. 2:10

This post goes with Circumcised by and Brought to Fullness in Christ  on my YT channel.

IllustrationCircumcised by and Brought to Fullness in Christ

The first Adam (on the left) is the unregenerate nature we lived in before we were transferred into Christ by God. The last Adam (on the right, standing behind) is Jesus Christ who you’ve been transferred into permanently. You are the new nature now, standing in front of and inside Jesus Christ.

What did Christ do with the first Adam? Colossians 2:11 tells us that in Christ you were(past tense) circumcised by Christ alone, you having nothing to do with it because it was not done by human hands. And He spiritually removed (past tense) in totality your whole self ruled by the flesh, the unregenerate nature (old man).

The black serpent in the unregenerate nature represents the flesh, the old nature.  The blood-red knife represents the circumcision of us by Christ. Also, the cross in the middle of the illustration (between the two natures) and the DNA inside the new nature on the right are in red representing the finished work of Christ’s blood.

1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us that the first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Adam represents flesh; Jesus represents Spirit.

Adam represents death; Jesus represents Life.

Hebrews 9:12b, 10:14  tells us that Jesus Christ lived (under the law of Moses) the perfect life for us, died our guilty death for us, was buried and resurrected. In this, He completed a perfect work for us, making us spiritually perfect. This work of His is perfect and eternal because He is perfect and eternal. Our faith in Him makes us perfect and eternal in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us that all this (perfect and eternal completed work) is from God who (already) reconciled us to Himself through Christ. The sanctification piece of the Christian life is the Holy Spirit conforming with heavenly sandpaper your soul (mind, will, emotions, conscience) to the image of Christ which is already perfected in your spirit. Your spirit being perfected in Him is how you are in Him and one spirit with Him.

The real you (the new nature) is on the right side of the illustration with Christ standing behind you as you are now in Him. Why? Because you’ve been transferred by God from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. The butterfly by your shoulder represents the new creation that you are now because 2 Corinthians 5:1 tells us that if any man or woman is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away. (It’s gone.) Behold! (Wake up and see!) The new (nature) has come! Get used to it, God implies in this verse, because that’s who you are now in Christ. Hallelujah!

The brightness and fullness of the gold color of the new nature represents how full of glory he is as the new nature in Christ. He has been brought to fullness already by God because God’s work is perfect and eternal. The new nature doesn’t have to do anything to be who God has already made him.

However, the new nature does need to believe, ask, seek, knock, study, meditate, internalize, and connect with the body of Christ regularly in authentic venues (Cross Current, Living Waters, Grief Share, Stephen’s Ministry, small group, counseling) where he can receive grace and acceptance, etc. These practices will enable him to experience healing and being the new nature in this dimension.

The new nature is inside of Christ Himself, part of His very being as one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). Wherever the new nature (the real you) goes, Christ is there because you  are one spirit with Him. You are not in yourself anymore, you are in Christ. You’re not in your family of origin anymore, you’re in Christ. You’re not in the world system anymore, you’re in Christ. Jesus Christ is your full and complete identity now.

The large red DNA of Christ inside the new nature is what Christ gives you when He transfers you into His kingdom because you are in Him. In Christ you have already been brought to fullness in Him. This is old news to God…

It’s important for us to learn to realize and accept that Christ already lived the perfect life for us, died the perfect death for us, was buried for us, was raised from the dead for us. He’s checked every box for us! So that means that we don’t have to stress out striving to accomplish what He already has. (Not that we could anyway. We can’t. That’s why He did it for us.)

When you try to live the Christian life, you’re blocking the Holy Spirit. Only Christ can live the Christian life. When you surrender and say, “I can’t live the Christian life. But you can. Please, Lord, live your life through me.” God says, “Ahh! I’m so glad you asked. Of course, I will!”

Every area in your heart that fights this truth or won’t surrender is a personal issue you have. Trying to please that parent that could never be pleased. Trying to live up to some standard that someone told you that you could never do. Trying to get recognition from man. Etc. Those issues are for you to resolve with the Lord’s illumination and healing.

It is conclusive: you are not the old nature any more. Period. That nature is gone and thrown away by Christ’s spiritual circumcision of you. Any parts of you or habits you have that still believe that you are the old nature, bring up with the Lord and ask for illumination and healing. All places that don’t line up with the new nature need grace, truth, connectedness with the body of Christ, and healing.

What about remnants of the old nature I’m struggling with?

If I still lie, I need to realize that the new nature doesn’t need to lie anymore because I’m not guilty or on trial or needing to impress anyone, and because the new nature loves truth and Christ is the truth.

If I still feel like I want to go rob that bank, I need to realize that the new nature doesn’t need to rob a bank because Christ will see to it that all my needs in His riches. He promises!

Every wound in my heart that doesn’t agree with God’s truth needs grace, truth, and healing in the connectedness and authenticity of the body of Christ. Healing is free and abundant in Christ and in the safe members of the body of Christ.

The more you renew your mind and experience God’s grace, truth, acceptance and healing, the more you will appreciate and experience the truth that you are the new nature. Remember, don’t doubt your faith, doubt your doubt.

You were (past tense) circumcised by Christ and brought to fullness in Him by Him. It’s a fact. Get used to it! God’s got your back. He gives you the benefit of the doubt. He’s done everything for you. He’s a perfect good, good Father. I pray that you will come to know Him in that way.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the LORD is one spirit with Him

1 Corinthians 15:45 So it is written: “the first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away . Behold! The new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ

Colossians 2:10 In Christ you have been brought to fullness

Colossians 2:11 Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off the you were circumcised by Christ.

Hebrews 9:12b, 10:14 The perfect and eternal work of Christ

 

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IN Christ Focus Model

IN Christ Focus Model

IN Christ Focus Model YouTube

Living in the age of confusion, technology, stress, violence, and information overload can keep us distracted and overwhelmed much of the time. The IN Christ Focus Model helps you gain a big picture image of how you can stay focused on Christ as you live in this world.

Christ can be your focus one day a week, some of the time, or all of the time. He calls each of His sheep to differing levels of closeness with Him. He will show you where you belong in your relationship with Him. In any case, you want to stay focused on Christ because He is your Good Shepherd and you are His sheep. Furthermore, where you focus is where you go and you want to stay on the straight and narrow.

Where the Good Shepherd goes, you go. When He stops, you stop. When He tarries, you tarry. Psalm 23 shows us the Shepherd’s habits with His sheep. First, He causes them to lie down and rest. He wants them to feel safe and secure. Next, He nourishes them with water and food, and then restores their souls.

Christ is Spirit and you are spirit. He is resurrected and you are resurrected in Him as the new nature. You are one with Him in the kingdom of light. As you focus on Him traveling down the path of life, you will experience more stability because He is your compass and anchor in every situation. When you learn to focus on Him you become like Peter who walked on water, defying his own understanding of what he thought he could do.

You are IN Christ. You’re not in you anymore. You’re in the world but not of the world system. You’re not in your family of origin anymore. You’re IN the body of Christ. That is your true home. The blood of Jesus trumps any biological bloodline. His bloodline binds us closer together than anything else. He has placed us into His sinless, divine bloodline and given us His very DNA.

Whether you understand it to not, whether you like it or not, you are like Him in this world. How? Because you are one spirit with Him. One spirit in the kingdom of light. Like Father, like son. Like Father, like daughter. He is Everlasting Father because He is the exact image of God, He is one with God, and He leads and cares for us as a good father does.

So next time you feel overwhelmed by the chaos and meaninglessness of the world system, stop and focus your eyes and heart on Jesus. He is your compass and your anchor even at this very moment. As you focus on Him, He will settle your soul. As you focus on Him, He will give you His peace and direction to walk in His will (Heb. 12:2).

 

Colossians 3:3 For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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 our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Small Group Model

Small Group Foot Washing Model

Small groups serve as amazing transformational environments where the members of the body of Christ can bond, heal, and grow up into Christ (Jn 13:10; Js 5:16). Small groups act as cellular building blocks for the body of Christ. They operate at greatest efficiency and with most power when they are safe and authentic places for the individual members offering the grace and truth of Christ (Jn 1:14).

Effective small groups are places free of judgment, condemnation, lecturing or verse thumping. They are spaces where individuals can drop their masks, personas, and defenses, and just be real. Individuals are welcomed and encouraged to share their true hearts, including any hurt, pain, struggle, sin or valley experience they are enduring. They can count on the other members to gather around them spiritually and emotionally and hold them up while they limp through their dark valley.

Small group goals can include in order, (1) Acceptance, (2) Connection, (3) Safety, (4)Trust, (5) Vulnerability, and (6) Healing. Once the members feel accepted and connected then the safety of the group grows. Safety builds trust and then opens the door for vulnerability. Over time comes the healing (Js 5:16). Healing is the ultimate plumb line for the success of the group. If healing occurs over time in the hearts of the individual members, then the group has achieved the Biblical goal.

The first two steps, Acceptance and Connection, are foundational and keep the group bonded together. Imagine a branch thrown in the grass. What is it doing? It’s dying. Why? Because it’s not attached to the trunk that gives it life. A member of the body of Christ detached from the body is like that branch, alone and dying. Isolation is dangerous for a believer as wolves gather around isolated sheep. The body of Christ is like the tree trunk that provides the life-giving energy and safety from predators that the member needs to bond, heal, and grow up in Christ.

Small groups are places where hearts unite in the love of Christ to walk with and support one another through the difficulties, challenges, and impossibilities of life. While it is fine to ask for prayer for Aunt Susie’s hernia, it should feel awkward and superficial to the leader if no one opens up to share anything deep and serious related to their own heart. That is evidence that the group does not feel safe.

Educating the group members on the issue of shame can open up the door for many to authenticity.  Shame is an effective tool of the enemy, a remnant dark blanket that his minions throw over the members intimidating and deceiving them to hide. Shame impedes the healing process and success of the group. It keeps the members bound and vulnerable under enemy influence. While hiding one’s humanity prevents healing, opening up to the light of Christ with the truths of one’s humanity facilitates healing. While the enemy would have us believe otherwise, every heart issue is common to man. We are never the only one.

The leader of the group is the one who determines the level of depth, intimacy, and healing that the group will experience. The leader begins sharing at appropriately deeper levels to lead the group in that direction. He consistently sets the example for the others as he models all of the steps. Over time, the members follow his lead.

It may take time for certain individual to share, but as they witness the consistent safe and authentic flow of the group, they will become more open to authenticity. Even the quiet members witnessing others share at a deep level can make a profound healing impact on their deeply wounded hearts. Groups work best when the members refrain from having close relationships outside of the group because their relational issues outside the group can interfere with the success of the group as a whole. The leader must carry discernment to refer serious issues to a professional in addition to the group or instead of the group.

Furthermore, small groups can even take the place of a therapist for those who cannot afford one. Each individual takes turns confessing issues or sins (Js 5:16) in the group as the other members receive them as Christ receives the church (Rom. 15:7). Then the members pray for them (Js 5:16). With this model, the individuals who shared can experience the benefits of therapy for free and receive the powerful healing prayer that most therapists don’t provide (Js. 5:16).

If you’ve never joined a small group, consider connecting to His safe and authentic body to maximize your growth in Christ. These groups are invaluable.  Please don’t hesitate to move around until you find one that fits you.

 

John 13:10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

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FREE WORKBOOK

Please make use of the FREE WORKBOOK I recently added to my Pages on the homepage of this blog. The WORKBOOK is designed to be used in conjunction with my book, My Journey Through the Cross, but is certainly useful by itself. The content will help you to heal and grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally with God, yourself, and others. It will also help you to begin your own personalized journey through the cross.

I pray that you will follow as the LORD leads you to the place He has reserved for you in Christ (Heb. 4:9-11 AMPC). God bless you!

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My Healing Model – Psalm 126:5

My Healing Model is for men and women alike.

My Healing Model Illustration and Text on YouTube at Ashley D. Wille.

Healing Model Illustration

Healing Model Text

The Grey Clock
Psalm 31:15
My times are in your hands
Healing occurs on God’s timetable not our own. The more you invest in healing the more you will enjoy the fabulous benefits. Allow as much time as you need for God to heal you in His perfect way. No worries, no rush.

The Grey Cycle
Ecclesiastes. 1:9
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Allow God to cycle you through emotions, memories, and whatever He brings up inside of you. Remember that He gently leads the sheep around and around the mountain to reach the top. He never forces them straight up.

The Blue Woman
Psalm 145:14
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
This woman is all of us. She is a daughter, sister, mother, niece, aunt, grandchild, grandmother. Even if she has never felt important to anyone, she is extremely important to the LORD. He will care for her and lift her up as she learns to cooperate with Him bowing down to Him in trust.

The Long Blue Road
Matthew 7:13-14
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
The woman’s road of life has been painfully long and very difficult. She has endured and suffered much and is ready to learn a new way, a better way.

The Pink Heart
Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The woman’s pink heart still beats. However, it feels broken, shattered or numb. The faded pink color will turn brighter as the LORD heals her heart with His gentleness and loving care.

The Six Blue Tear Drops
Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The Six Blue Tear Drops are the sorrows that hide in the woman’s heart. The tears hide tightly for fear that there will never be a safe time and place to emerge. Once the woman finds and embraces her tears, the Wonderful Counselor will catch each one with acceptance, relief, and words of comfort.

The Memories of Childhood
Matthew 10:29
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care
Memories of childhood rumble inside the woman’s soul. She doesn’t want to remember them or those who hurt her. But remembering them and releasing them will bring relief and healing. The more she experiences this natural process, the more she will want to remember and release everything.

The Repressed Anger
Proverbs 15:13
a broken heart crushes the spirit.
The Repressed Anger is a thunder in her heart that will rot her bones. That’s why the LORD wants her to release it to Him as she pours out her broken heart to find His understanding and comfort.

The Repressed Rage
Psalm 51:17
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
The Repressed Rage is a dagger that thrusts itself out into the woman’s life without her realizing it. The rage hurts her, wounds others, and saddens God. He longs to hear all about the hurts of her life and embrace her broken heart close to His.

The Hand of the Wonderful Counselor
Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
The Wonderful Counselor waits patiently for the woman to acknowledge her hurting heart, tell Him about it, and allow every memory and emotion to surface spilling into His loving hand. Nothing is ever too ugly or shameful for Him.

The Outbursts, Traumas, and Biohazards
Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all.
All of the emotional Outbursts, repressed Traumas, and quaking Biohazards of the woman’s heart belong in the safe, healing hand of the Wonderful Counselor.

The Holy Bottle of Tears
Psalm 56:8
Record my misery, you put my tears into your bottle, are they not in your book?
The Wonderful Counselor saves every single tear of the woman’s in His individualized Holy Bottle of Tears with her name engraved it. Every tear of hers shared with Him is a holy treasure that He saves forever.

The Thumbs Up
Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory
The more the woman pours out her heart to the Wonderful Counselor and receives His strength and comfort, the more He encourages her to keep progressing down the healing path.

The Golden Scriptures
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
The Golden Scriptures come from heaven in the soul bring beauty out of ashes. The Scriptures shine light into the darkened mind of the woman. As she passes through valleys of pain and confusion, they keep heaven’s clarity and peace in focus.

The Golden Light
Proverbs 4:18
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday.
The Golden Light shines from the Golden Scriptures in the woman’s mind. The Light from the Scriptures stays illumined faithfully in her mind while she passes through long, dark valleys.

The Blue Compass
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight
The Golden Scriptures carry the Blue Compass. As the woman reads the Scriptures regularly, the Compass guides and steadies her soul. As she grows in her healing journey, it keeps her safely on the narrow path.

The Golden Key of Faith
Hebrews 11:6
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
The Golden Key lives inside the woman’s heart. Every time she reads from the Golden Scriptures, her key grows bigger and brighter and stronger. The Golden Key points to and opens the door to the Trophy of Joy and Victory that is hers.

The Golden Yield Sign
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
The Golden Yield Sign reminds the woman to yield to the way of faith and to distrust the enemy’s burdens, her own opinions, and those of others who may mean well.

The Golden Trophy of Joy and Victory
Psalm 126:5
They who sow in tears will reap in joy and singing.
The Golden Trophy of Joy and Victory belongs to the woman already. Jesus Christ gave it to her at salvation. The more she trusts Him progressing down the path of healing, the more clearly she will see her Trophy and be able to enjoy it.

The Dark Grey Moon
Psalm 63:6
I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.
The Grey Moon reminds the woman to lie awake at night to spend time with the LORD letting Him speak to her in secret ways that bring healing to her heart.

The Pink Ear
John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me
The Pink Ear reminds the woman to listen always for the still, small voice of the Spirit of the LORD. He speaks often and soon she will learn to be still, listen, and follow.

The Walking Woman
Proverbs 3:7-8
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
The Walking Woman reminds the woman to accelerate her blood flow regularly with pleasant activities that lift her spirit.

The Blue Badge
Proverbs 22:3
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
The Blue Badge reminds the woman that she is the new sheriff in town. She is the new sheriff of her body, soul, and mind. She has God’s authority and approval to enforce self-protection.

The Pink Community
Galatians 6:2
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
The Pink Community reminds the woman to stay firmly connected with safe, authentic sisters in the faith. They will help her to bond safely, heal quickly and grow strong in her faith.

The Dark Grey Note
1 Samuel 6:23
Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
The Grey Note reminds the woman to play uplifting or worship music to buoy her soul throughout the day and keep her focused on what’s important.

The Grass and Leaf
1 Chronicles 16:33
Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD
The Grass and Leaf remind the woman during her healing to enjoy God’s glory regularly in the sweet, healing properties of nature.

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Reflecting on Mother’s Day

As we approach another Mother’s Day, my daughters asked me the same question they ask every year: Mom, What do you want this year? This year I told them the same thing I tell them every year, that all four of them are my Mother’s Day presents. Four beautiful, intelligent, talented, sensitive daughters, and lovers of the LORD.

What more could a mother ask for?

In the hierarchy of mothers in our family, though, I’ve noticed a gradual release over the years. My mother has released me and I have released my daughters. We honor one another’s choices and God-given freedom.

Unfortunately, I have seen women in my family and in-laws who won’t let go of their children keeping them under their spell and control. Control interferes with the adult children’s emotional development, spiritual maturity, marriages, and families. Control is not love. It’s a cage. It’s a curse. It’s witchcraft. Witnessing these tendencies convicted me deeply to steer clear of that error.

For my mother to release me, I had to “nudge” her with a few unpleasant encounters, one over a family dinner at the beach. These times were necessary to  successfully shift the energy between us. She now knows where she ends and where I begin. Our relationship has been a challenge but has settled in a good place now that we are each living our own lives.

When we are children we obey our parents (Eph. 6:1). Once we become adults, we honor them (Matt. 19:19). Setting boundaries with mothers is one way we can honor them. Boundaries keep their issues from spilling into the rest of the family. Without boundaries, their issues can spill out and take over the whole family.

When we honor our mothers with boundaries we give the LORD room to work in their hearts. When we live enmeshed with them, we interfere with His work in their heart and ours. God works on His children individually.

For me to release my daughters, I had to realize that they’re not mine, they never were, and that God has an awesome plan for each one.  Although I gave each one to the LORD when they were conceived, I had to emotionally release each one in real time as they matured. So, I voluntarily gave them to the LORD with the intention of avoiding repeating the family tendency and watching God work in their  lives.

I don’t know how it was for my mom to release me, but for me to release my children, I found that letting go was simple, but not easy. The bottom line was trust. Trust is usually the bottom line issue we face when we struggle with God. I had to ask myself:

Do I trust Him?

Is He trustworthy?

Is He good enough? 

Is He big enough?

Is He strong enough? 

Is He attentive enough?

These questions put my relationship with the LORD under the light of scrutiny. They forced me to decide who I believe, who I trust in and who I rely on. But mostly, I had to decide who’s God and who’s not.

I’m relieved to have delegated their lives to Him. I have four less burdens to bear. Boundaries make life and relationships easier, and open the cage door for us to do the will of God.

I’ve always heard it said, as our mothers age that we become more like the parent and they like the child. Well, this is happening before my eyes. I pray to be as good a parent, or better, to her as she was to me.

 

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Matthew 19:19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 

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Going Deeper

When God turns up the heat…

When a painful relationship cripples you…

When temptation seems too much bear…

When you feel restless in your faith…

When attaining that lifetime goal leaves you emptier than you were before…

When you can’t find any direction…

When you’re desperate for healing…

When you feel lost and alone...

 

It’s time to go deeper with the LORD.

It’s time to get closer to the LORD.

It’s time to pour out your heart to Him.

It’s time to embrace another layer of brokenness.

It’s time to take one step closer to the end of yourself.

It’s time to bow down so He can lift you up.

 

Your answer is here: 

Matthew 6:33-

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be yours as well.

All these things are everything you want and need in life.

Will you allow the distractions and stimulations of the world system to drag you away and miss God in this?

Or will you listen to the Holy Spirit?

It’s your decision. He’s your true friend.

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Do I Live a Double Life?

“Do I live a double life?” …What a great question to ask ourselves.

A double life means that we behave one way around those we’re accountable to and another way when we’re alone. Some of us may behave honorably at work or school then treat our families with disrespect.

Wherever there is a double life, there is double mindedness. Double-mindedness is “inner duality.” In other words, living in double mindedness means we harbor simultaneously the mind of Christ and the unregenerate mind without Christ (Gal. 6:8).

A double life simply indicates that in our spiritual house we are struggling to manage territory that has not been surrendered to Christ. In other words, we are trying to manage “in our own way” territory that belongs to Him, and it’s causing problems.

 

doublemindsdWhen we live with two minds opposed to each other, we prevent ourselves from living victoriously. Imagine a two headed person, each mind with an opposing agenda. While we try to hold ourselves together, in the soul a war wages causing instability and ineffectiveness at the deepest level.

Surrendering territory is the bottom line goal of the spiritual growth process. We can surrender every last area we are aware of. Yet, there’s always another one to release to Him. Because God desires truth in the innermost parts (Ps. 51:6) in conformity to His image, the Lord always reveals corners or closets that still hide from His light.

When we surrender a territory to Him, we are the ones who benefit! In doing so, we  take one step away from double-mindedness and one step toward single-mindedness. The more hurting places we bring into the light, the less we hurt, and the more we heal. Our fragmented hearts become whole one issue at a time.

But acknowledging that place and presenting it to Him can feel scary. We ask Him to heal a painful area in our hearts that we hide from others, and even from ourselves. We hide it because it scares us. We hide it because we don’t know how to deal with it. We hide it because we don’t want to remember it ever again.

We may be champions at work, heroes at home, but when when we encounter that hidden area of the soul, we deflate into total wimps.

But that’s okay.

How so? Because the LORD understands that place. He saw it happen. He feels compassion on you in your pain. He doesn’t expect you to conquer it and clean it up on your own. You can’t. He’s inviting you into His personalized recovery program (recovery from the Fall) to build you back up where you’ve been torn down.

We may believe that these areas hidden away inside of us are unacceptable to Him. But nothing is further from the truth. Remember, on the cross, He BECAME our sin. So, He doesn’t just know all about it, He’s BECAME it. When you bring it to Him, He feels compassion for you, not condemnation. He is very familiar with it, sees that it’s hurting you, and wants to lead you to a better place.

When the Holy Spirit highlights darkness in our spiritual house, it is a gift from God! Receive the gift! He is inviting us to allow His light inside that dark place to cleanse and heal because He wants us to experience wholeness and freedom. If we wince at the idea of allowing the LORD access to that place to heal us, it’s because we don’t know Him very well yet.

We may not know that He is accepting of us right where we are. He is gentle. He is kind. He is sensitive and thoughtful. He is strong and helpful. He is extremely patient and full of empathy throughout the process.

Where is the LORD initiating healing in your life?

Is a situation recurring?

Is He knocking on the door of your heart?

When the LORD initiates healing in your life through a recurring problem, it’s a good thing. But there are two dangerous and counter-productive mistakes we can make along the way.  Things proceed much more smoothly when we steer around them.

The first mistake is to give ourselves condemnation and guilt over the issue. Since Christ at Calvary removed condemnation and paid for our guilt once and for all, He is not the giver of those spirits. Guilt and condemnation come to us through our flesh from the enemy who accuses us under the Law. And, boy, is he crafty and seductive in this. The LORD gives grace and conviction to those who come to Him for salvation and healing.

Condemnation and guilt are the opposite of grace and conviction.

The second mistake we can make is attempting merely to “perform better behavior.” This superficial tactic is flesh in action. In human understanding, flesh avoids the very issue that Christ wants to address. He wants to address the heart! He sees with empathy past the behavior right down into the deepest recesses of the heart.

Stop wasting your time performing for Him. He is not your earthly parent. He is not interested in your behavior when you think it distracts Him from the truth right there in your heart, fully visible to Him. He knows it all and understands it all from your view point. There’s no need for shame or embarrassment or hiding. He wants the best for you. He wants you to trust Him. He wants healing for your broken heart.

When we experience trouble, sin, struggles or pain, we are receiving an important signal from the Lord: that the heart needs attention in that area. We must not ignore the heart and strain merely to perform differently.

Think about it. When the check engine light blinks on your car dashboard, you don’t put a sticky note over it, do you? Of course not. 

So when we experience trouble, sin, struggles or pain, what should we do?

  1. Stop ignoring your problem. It comes up repeatedly for a reason. It arises as a gift from God for you to deal with it, and the corresponding heart issue.
  2. Stop allowing condemnation and guilt to dwell in your life with Christ. They don’t belong. If Christ doesn’t condemn and guilt us, we must not condemn and guilt ourselves (Rom. 8:1, Amos 3:3; Heb. 1:3b AMPC; 1 Cor. 6:11 AMPC).
  3. Receive God’s overflowing grace and acceptance, His complete and generous forgiveness, His powerful truth and conviction (maybe with tears) to begin heart healing.
  4. Ask Him to lead you to healing. Then be brave and follow Him.

All this takes place in the heart!

 

Stop wasting your time living a double life.

Be yourself and deal with your heart.

That’s what He wants, the real you!

single-mind

When your issues arise, refuse denial and “better performance.” Instead, humble yourself in authenticity. Take a step toward single-mindedness. Pour out your heart to the LORD. Let Him love you in that hurting place.

Be real with Him in your heart.

Through all the situations He leads you through, get to know Him (Matt. 11:29). That’s the whole point of your journey. As you continue following, He will lead you to healing. He will lead you to peace. Ultimately, He will lead you away from the fragmentation and falsity of double-mindedness toward resting in the grace and authenticity of single-mindedness (Rom. 8:9) with Him. 

 

Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

James 1:7-8 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

Job 12:22 He reveals mysteries from the darkness And brings the deep darkness into light.

Job 18:28b The Lord my God illumines my darkness.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

1 Corinthians 6:17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
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Internalizing the Cross

When we wear a cross, it represents our crucifixion with Christ.

But jewelry is only an external symbol of crucifixion. What about internal crucifixion, the crucifixion of the soul?

When we follow Christ, we follow in His footsteps and walk where He walked. He ultimately walked to the cross, right? Likewise, in our walking with Him, we will encounter crosses.

intersectionA cross is where your will and God’s will “intersect.” 

Think of a street intersection. We’re walking in one direction. God’s leading us in another. At that intersection of self-will versus death-to-self, we face inner conflict in our decision making.

But…

Instead of pondering and wrestling in our own human understanding, we can turn to Scripture to light our way.

In fact, you won’t believe it, but Galatians 2:20 actually makes the decision for us:

It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

It says “It is I who no longer live…

Hmmm… I-no-longer-live? Really?

Yes.

If I am no longer living, as the verse plainly states, then there is no self left to disagree with God.

If there is no life (“I no longer live”), then there can be no self.

No life = no self.

No self? Seriously?

How so?

Because “I have been (past tense) crucified” with Him. That’s our own personal past tense crucifixion. So, according to Galatians 2:20, you and I were ALREADY crucified with Jesus Christ, hanging on that cross.

So…

Instead of self-will operating apart from God’s will at that “cross” intersection, Galatians 2:20 reveals that our will is one with God’s will already in Christ on the cross of Calvary.

Our will is one with God’s? Hmm…

How so?

calvaryCalvary is where man’s will (Heb. 2:17; 1 Tim. 2:5) and Gods’ will (Is. 53:10) intersected in the cross of Jesus Christ. Christ was 100% man and 100% God. Man’s will is in the man, Jesus Christ who identified with us in His humanity and in His death. God’s will is in the divine Christ’s obedience to submit to crucifixion. We were one with Him in His full humanity and we were in Him in His divine obedience (Rom. 6:8, 2 Tim. 2:11).

There, He hangs. Lashed, crowned, spiked, and lifted.

And there YOU are. Inside Him. Being crucified together with Him.

Galatians 2:20 It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

It’s clear. We HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED with Christ (Gal. 2:20).

Yet, this reality of oneness with Christ cannot be experienced if we have failed, as Scripture instructs in the previous verse (v. 19), to die to the law:

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

Christ clearly separated Himself from the law in in John 5:45, in one of His heated confrontations with the Pharisees: “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.”

Moses is the “Father of the Law.” Jesus won’t have to accuse any of the Pharisees before the Father because the Pharisees live under the law and will be judged and condemned by the law. For no one can sow the law and reap eternal life.

the law <  > Jesus Christ

Do not be deceived (Gal. 6:7). We can never live for God if we have not first died to the law.

As long as we’re alive to the law, we cannot be dead to ourselves, and thus cannot be alive in Christ.

Living for God <  > Alive to the law

Alive to the law<  > Dead to yourself

Because the law activates self-will and sin (Rom. 7:8), the proportion to which we have died to the law, we have died to ourselves. To that degree, Christ can live His life through us.

Die to law = die to self = empty space=Christ lives through you

To the extent we’re trying to fulfill the law, we are refusing to receive Christ’s finished work for us. Our flesh is trying to fulfill the law (which is impossible), and in that, trying to be God (Luke 18:19).

Self-effort = You will fulfill the law = You will perform righteousness = You are God=You reject Christ’s work for you

This arrogance blocks in us the life flow of Christ’s fulfillment of the law. He has already fulfilled the law for us. So we don’t have to try to. Not that we could.

Flesh is cleverly deceiving us to waste that time, space, and energy that Christ could be using to glorify Himself through us.

You rejoice in your weakness = You can’t fulfill the law = Christ did it for you = Thank you, Jesus!

Flesh = Strives to perform righteousness = Blocks Christ’s life in you

You can’t!–> He did it for you–>Faith IN HIM fuels–>time space energy–>Christ’s life flows freely

The imagery of being crucified with Christ is helpful for some of us to die to, or lay down, our lives and desires that are contrary to God’s (Matt. 16:24).

As a sincere follower of Christ, if we really are crucified with Christ, we can say, “I was in  Jesus Christ when He died. So, ‘Do I (being in Him) feel the spikes through MY hands? Do I (being in Him) feel the crown of thorns on MY head? Do I (being in Him) with every feeble breath feel the rough wooden beam scraping against MY bloody open-wounded back?‘” and so on (Rom. 6:8, 2 Tim. 2:11).

The imagery of the crucifixion can help us die to flesh and bridle our hearts, thoughts, words, and actions to get us in step with His purposes for us (Rom. 6:8).

After the crucifixion came the tomb where self-will and sin were laid forever (Col. 2:11). And remember… the sin nature never resurrected (Acts 13:29). Only the new resurrection life arose three days later (2 Cor. 5:17, Acts 13:30). You and I, the new creations, rose with Him in that resurrection life. That’s how we are one spirit with Him right now (1 Cor. 6:17). Your spirit is the spirit of the resurrected Jesus Christ!

That’s the real you now. Crucified with Christ. Filled with Christ. Led by Christ.

 

WORD MEANINGS– Galatians 2:20 

1) I have been crucified with Christ.

-crucified means to crucify together with (you and Christ), to impale in company with (literally or figuratively), by the death of Christ upon the cross I have become utterly estranged from (dead to) my former habit of feeling and action.

2) It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.

-it is no longer means no longer, no more, never again, logically for it cannot now be said

-I who live– alive, to get their living, holding, Christ is living and operative in me, i. e. the holy mind and energy of Christ pervades and moves me

3) The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

-by faith means faith, belief, trust, confidence, fidelity

-loved means to take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. The love which led Christ to become human and be crucified for us.

-gave– to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray (oneself). In other words, Christ betrayed Himself to save us.

 

Verses

Galatians 2:20 It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

John 5:45 But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.

Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

2 Timothy 2:11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.

Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the Law, sin is dead.

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Acts 13:29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.

Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead,

1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

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The Veil of the Law

 2 Corinthians 3:15-17

15 Yes, down to this [very] day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their minds and hearts.

16 But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom) 

True repentance is a life turned from self to Christ for permanent cleansing and eternal life here and now. We know we have repented if the veil over our minds and hearts has been “stripped off and taken away” (2 Cor. 3:16) and we walk free from sin and the law. If the veil is still intact, we have not truly repented.

Hebrews 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

Romans 8:3 AMPC For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev. 7:37.]

2 Corinthians 3:15-17 makes the same point as Romans 8:3 and Hebrews 10:2.

When the veil of the Law is “stripped off” and “taken away,”

1)sin has no more power over you (Rom. 8:3) and

2)you do not feel guilt for your sins (Heb. 10:2, Rom. 4:8, Ps. 32:2).

If sin still has power over you, you have not accepted the Sacrifice (Rom. 8:3 AMPC) because the veil is still intact. You have need of repentance (2 Cor. 3:16) and spiritual circumcision (Col. 2:11).

If you still feel guilt for your sins, you have not accepted the Sacrifice (Rom. 8:3 AMPC., Heb 10:2) because the veil is still intact (2 Cor. 3:16). You have need of repentance (2 Cor. 3:16) and spiritual circumcision (Col. 2:11).

For either of these, you may also have need to repent of your unbelief (John 6:29).

 

“When Moses is read (2 Cor. 3:15)” means “whenever the Law is read.” This is because Moses is theblood_curtain father of the Law.  Just as the Temple curtain veiled and protected the priests and people from God’s holiness, the Law throws a veil over the minds and hearts (2 Cor. 3:15) of the hearers separating them from God. This is because the Law defines (Rom. 7:7), points out (Rom. 7:5), arouses (Rom. 7:8) and condemns (Rom. 7:11) sin. The Law serves as a REMINDER (Heb. 10:3) of sin, just as the Old Covenant sacrifices and offerings were a reminder of sin to the Israelites.

In the Old Covenant, bulls and goats were sacrificed repeatedly which pointed to the coming perfect and eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. On the Day of Atonement, after the priest laid hands on the bull transferring the sins from himself and his family into the bull, the bull was sacrificed for the sins of the priest and his family.

scape goatThen the two goats, chosen by lot, represented the sins of the people. The priest laid hands on the first goat transferring the sins of the people into it, then sacrificed it to appease God’s wrath for the sin of the people. The second goat was the scape goat. The priest laid hands on this second goat transferring the sin and guilt of the people into it then released it into the wilderness never to be thought of again. This scape goat released the people of any consciousness of their sin or guilt for sin from the previous year.

In this ritual, the priest and his family and the people were “released” permanently from their sin and guilt for sin, but only for the previous year. Because the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin (Heb. 10:4), this had to be repeated annually to maintain their cleanliness before God (Heb. 10:11). It had to be repeated, thus it was not perfected (Heb. 10:1). This repetition pointed to the Once-For-All, Final and Eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the scape goat in the New Testament.JC scapegoat All of our sin and guilt (Heb. 1:3b; 1 Cor. 6:11) fell on Him permanently. This is how He has removed them as far as the East is from the West (Ps. 103:12). He became (2 Cor. 5:21) all of our sin. Our sin, which He became, received the verdict of guilty, the punishment of death. He died that dark and grim death in our place. Our sin remains dead in Him on the cross because we have been baptized into His death at salvation (Rom. 6:2-4).

Stripping off and taking away the veil of the law is how believers are released from the power of sin and the guilt of sin (Heb. 1:3b; 1 Cor. 6:11)

Permanent release is what happens when the veil is “stripped off” and “taken away.” Jesus Christ takes away our sins (John 1:29; Rom. 11:27).

This freedom is the result of true repentance (2 Cor. 3:16-17).

In the New Covenant, Jesus Christ doesn’t want us to stay stuck in reminders of sin, but the just the opposite. He wants us to give Him glory in the fact that He, and He alone, has taken away our sin (Jn 19:30; Rom. 11:27)! Complete removal of sin in spiritual circumcision by God alone is the entire purpose of Calvary -and why we even have Communion at all- to remember HIM and celebrate the liberation that HE has granted us (Gal. 6:15).

If you’re still beating yourself up over your sins, you’ve missed the whole point. You’re  “reading Moses” (2 Cor. 3:15), living under the Law of sin and death, walking in self-righteousness and drudging up garbage from the bottom of the sea that God remembers no more (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 4:8). Thus, in doing so, in Christ, your life and walk are stunted with the unnecessary darkness and garbage that the Law naturally arouses. There’s more for you! Ask Christ to open your spiritual eyes and set your free.

Coming-Out-of-the-Law-of-Sin-and-Death-squareThe Law is not in effect over us anymore in Christ. However, you will experience it as such when you live under the Law according to 2 Corinthians 3:15-17:

When the Law is read, it’s as if…

~the Temple Veil has not been torn.

~the Old Covenant is still in place.

~there is still a separation between believers and God.

~believers must make temporary sacrifices and offerings for sin to appease God.

~Christ’s perfect and eternal sin payment has not been made.

~Christ’s sin payment is incomplete.

~our relationship with God is still based partially on sin, not on faith alone.

After a reference to the Law is made or a passage is read out of context to be under the Law, to compensate for its “veil” effect (2 Cor. 3:15), the Law must be put in context of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is the context that the law must be presented in to refresh the minds and hearts of the hearers on the current relationship between God and man according to its context.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14).” Romans 6:14 is an appropriate verse to read to place the Law in proper context, refreshing the readers, not on their sin, but on just the opposite…on the fact that their sin has been taken away by the One and Only Savior, Jesus Christ! (John 1:29, Gal. 5:1) It is finished! This gives to Him the MOST GLORY ever when we openly acknowledge and RECEIVE into our hearts the liberty He purchased for us.

torn-veil

Romans 6:14 effectively throws off the blinding veil of the Law and reestablishes the hearts of the hearers in the current faith-based (not sin-based) relationship between God and believers under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. This truth of Romans 6:14 in the minds and hearts of the hearers keeps the Temple veil torn and open, maintaining free and open access for all those who believe on Christ’s finished work to come boldly by faith alone to the throne flowing with grace and mercy and help in time of need (Heb. 4:15-16).

 

Hebrews 10:2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

Romans 8:3 AMPC For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice] [Lev. 7:37.]

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (This was written in future tense before the Cross. Today we live after the Cross so we can put this in past tense for proper context. “For I have already forgiven their wickedness and remember their sins no more.”)

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Romans 4:8 and Psalm 32:2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against him.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

 Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Romans 11:27 And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.

Romans 6:2-3 We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Psalm 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Hebrews 10:11 Furthermore, every [human] priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over again, which never are able to strip [from every side of us] the sins [that envelop us] and take them away—

Hebrews 10:4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Hebrews 10:1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.

1 Corinthians 6:11 AMPC And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

Hebrews 1:3b AMPC When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

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What to Do If I Sin

1 John 2:1 But if anybody does sin… 

“Oh no! I don’t know what to do! I feel dirty, guilty, ashamed, cast out… I feel trapped, caught, busted. Help! I’m lost. I can’t find my way back to God.”

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

WHAT TO DO IF I SIN? 

Before you get all flustered, rest assured: Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never, ever leave you. So chill. He’s right there beside you trying to teach you something important. So listen up!

GRACE AND TRUTH

In John 1:14, we read that Jesus Christ, the exact image of the Father, was FULL of two things: 1) GRACE and 2) TRUTH. Those are the main two ingredients in the recipe we give ourselves if we sin.

If Christ is full of grace and truth, then we must be full of grace and truth, to others and to ourselves.

“But how do I give myself grace?”

Good question. This is how:

Go look in the mirror and honestly forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being the person you would like to be. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Confess that you never were. Confess that you will never be. Confess that you cannot be good, no matter how hard you try (Lk. 18:19).  Confess that you cannot please God, even with all of your best human efforts (Is. 64:6). Confess that you have no righteousness at all. None. Zero. Zip. Confess that you simply cannot live the Christian life. Confess defeat. Confess that all you have left is the white flag of surrender found in Romans 7:24. “Belly up” is the first step to victory.

(Hint-hint: Jesus Christ is the only one who can live the Christian life. Ask Him to live His life through you. Then stop trying to, and start trusting Him to. He is Faithful.)

After you give yourself GRACE, you give yourself TRUTH.

Ocean waves are ever-changing. Yet, the deep water below stays smooth and consistent.

ocean depthThe deep ocean water is like God’s Word: true and unchanging. 

While circumstances, thoughts, feelings, relationships, fashions and weather constantly change like the waves of the sea… truth never changes

“How do I give myself truth?”

You tell yourself the truth.

TRUTH is your plumb line to find reality in a deceptive world! But you can’t tell yourself the truth if don’t remember the truth. So…

REMEMBER THE TRUTH!

If we sin, we must remember the TRUTH to guide us to, and keep us on, the right path:

meet my attorney

1 Jn. 2:1 “But if anyone does sin, we have AN ADVOCATE with the Father, JESUS CHRIST the righteous. Jesus Christ is your personal attorney: full time, pre-paid, best friends with the Judge, knows all the ropes, wins every case. Sweet!

Whew! That takes the pressure off of you. If anyone can handle your case before the Father, it’s Jesus Christ! Slam dunk!

 

YOU TRUST CHRIST TO HANDLE YOUR CASE FOR YOU WHILE

YOU FOCUS ON STAYING IN THE YOKE

jesus-hugging1

Remember, regardless of your behavior, you’re already in the light as the new nature. Your behavior is simply an indication of who or what you’re identifying with. Christ has already transferred you permanently into His kingdom of light. If you’re in Christ, the light is your home and reality now. He washed (past tense) you clean at salvation and says you are clean (Jn 13:10, 15:3). But as He said, your FEET are getting DIRTY (Jn 13:10) with the filth of this world. It’s everywhere and He knows it. The filth of this world is called sin.

One of the enemy’s highest priorities is to lure you into confusion about your identity. He lures you to identify with ANYTHING, just not Jesus Christ. All this begins IN YOUR MIND (Col. 1:21-22). And by RENEWING YOUR MIND (Eph. 4:23) and believing the truth, you will remember (Eph. 6:13) that your home is in the light. Then you will act as if your home is in the light… because it is.

 

FORGETFULNESS AND FAMILIAR SPIRITS

Good news! If you sin, you are still the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17)! In the sin situation, though, you have simply FORGOTTEN the truth of WHO you are. When you forget the truth, you’ve allowed familiar spirits to manipulate you. That’s their job.

Familiar spirits include guilt, unbelief, lust, shame, condemnation, depression, and so on. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit never sends a spirit of guilt because Christ already paid for ALL of your guilt (1 Cor. 6:11 AMPC, Heb. 1:3 AMPC). He sends only conviction, sometimes with tears and brokenness. 

Familiar spirits know intimately your history, your wounds, your temperament, your habits, your struggles.familiar spirits

  • They hang around you waiting patiently, and in just the right circumstance, they pounce on your MIND and EMOTIONS tempting, urging, accusing, harassing, shaming and condemning you to keep you in bondage TO THEIR CONTROL.
  • They want you to believe LIES that you ARE the old nature (lie!), that you can perform righteousness but that you failed at it (lie!), that God is now angry or disappointed in you (lie!), that there’s NO way out (lie!), and that you’re on your OWN now (lie!). All lies!!
  • Step by cunning step, their ultimate goal is for you to AGREE with them. 

All this and more. And they manipulate you to do what?

Rely on your flesh, your own understanding, your old patterns. You then walk independently of the Holy Spirit. Not good. What do you do then? You act out the lies they seduced you to believe. You think you know better than God does, don’t you? And such arrogance always precedes a fall (Prov. 16:18). Ouch.

In that deception of your mind, you walk in dead-end pathways that no longer fit your purpose as the glorious new creation. You have FORGOTTEN who you are, Who you belong to, Who already paid your sin debt in full, and Who has delivered to you everything you need to live a life pleasing to God and to yourself (2 Pet. 1:3).

MORE GRACE AND TRUTH

[Jesus Christ = Grace + Truth]

Your Forgiven State= GRACE

You, the New Nature= TRUTH

The Scripture tells us that Christ has already paid your sin debt in full at Calvary (Jn 19:30). “It is finished,” Christ announced. 

“Okay. So, how does that work in all this?”

On the cross, Christ BECAME all of your sin. (What does “all” mean? It means ALL.)

paid-in-full-stamp-vector-19036186All of your sin DIED with your old nature in Christ’s sin-laden body which was laid in the grave forever. This is grace!

When He resurrected, the sin remained dead in the grave, but His new spirit body raised up in new resurrection life. And you were with Him when He did! This is the same new resurrection life you carry as the new nature, a spirit being. That’s what the new nature is– the resurrection life of Christ within! This is truth!

Christ already BECAME the very sin you are struggling with at this moment! That is how it can’t be counted against you in the courts of heaven. He saw ahead and KNEW this sin issue would happen to you before you were ever born and has taken care of it for you! He took all the pressure and all the judgment and all the condemnation and all the punishment for you so you can focus on staying in the yoke. That’s your only job now.

It’s a fact. The old nature and all its sin is dead and buried (Rom. 6:6). 

God says so. Period.

Conclusion….if all your sin is in the grave (it is) and your sin debt has been paid in full (it has) then you’ve merely forgotten who you are. Thus, what you must do is REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. (Who you are in Christ is on this post right below the Scriptures, if you need a reminder.) Remembering who you are is turning the Light back on in your brain, otherwise known as, renewing your mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).

Keep in mind that in this dimension, you face clever “smoke and mirror” shadows of the old nature in the deceptive form of cellular memories which are stored in your neurons,  muscles, behavior patterns and thought patterns. These are NOT the old nature! They are mere shadows of the old nature (Rom. 7:17, 23)! Satan preys on these shadows and any underdeveloped areas in your character. He animates them as if they are you but they are not. He is a master at this deception and will lead you astray when you forget the truth. So that’s how the old nature is truly and factually crucified but can feel like it’s still there (Rom. 7).

trippedThe way Satan trips you up is by subtly and persistently persuading you to identify with the sin– instead of with Christ. He does this because he knows that your behavior will follow your identity. The minute you begin identifying with sin, you will move toward it and desire it and become one with it. The minute you start identifying with Christ, the sin loses its power, healing begins in your union with Christ and victory is already yours.

Identity is everything! If you sin, the root issue is that you mistakenly believed that the sin was who you were. Oops! At some level, you identified with the sin forgetting that you were the new creation in Christ who already has everything he needs. In that deception, you veered off course.

But alas! The LORD is always graciously recalculating your life in His will to work out everything for your good. So instead of condemning yourself, receive the reality of your forgiven status as the new nature, be teachable and learn from it. That’s the goal. Learn to identify with Christ overtime at every level and in every lesson. Wherever you fail to identify with Christ, sin issues will arise. And that’s okay.  That’s how we learn. It’s a lifetime of learning. Overcoming sin issues is how we are conformed to His image. Sin issues are simply opportunities for growth.

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

“Okay. I get it. But I need a procedure of GRACE and TRUTH if I sin.”

Of course! I thought you’d never ask.

Well, since God says your sin is already paid for in full, (Jn 19:30) thank Him for that!

Then take Steps 1-10 (below), a counter-intuitive (your intuition is broken from the Fall), Biblical protocol that leads to freedom. And no, it’s it’s not walking by sight and asking Christ in unbelief to do what He’s already done (Jn. 19:30) Instead…you walk BY FAITH!

 

IF I SIN: STEPS 1 – 10

1) MAKE THREE CONFESSIONS (A, B, C)

A. Confess sin to yourself to break denial (Eph. 4:15) of the problem.

B. Confess sin to God for mercy and help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). As a sincere follower of Christ, you are already completely forgiven!

You may feel “driven to beg” for forgiveness if you are Catholic or believe that…

  • There is a separation between you and Him (Rom. 8:38-39; Heb. 13:5) because of it.
  • You have ceased to be the new nature (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:10; Eph. 4:24) now
  • You believe that can remove your own sin (Heb. 9:22b; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5, 1 Jn. 1:8)
  • He doesn’t know all the ins and outs of your sin problem (Ps. 139:1-4)
  • He hasn’t already paid for that sin (Jn. 19:30)
  • He has no compassion for you in the situation (Heb. 4:15,16)
  • He holds the sin against you with condemnation (Rom. 8:1), guilt (1 Cor. 6:11, Heb. 1:3 AMPC) or accusation (Rom. 8:33 NLT).
  • You refuse to receive His promised grace and mercy in time of need (Heb. 4:15-16)
  • Self, pride, ego, and performance hold you hostage (Eph. 2:8; Heb. 12:1-2, Rom. 7:19)
  • He cannot relate to you (Heb. 4:15,16) in your particular situation
[If you “use” 1 Jn 1:8-9 as a Catholic confessional booth, then use the verses in proper context: 
1 John 1:8 is a salvation related verse. Literal Greek: “If we claim to be righteous in and of ourselves, then we deceive ourselves…” This verse addresses the Gnostics who claimed to “be without sin” because they claimed there was no such thing as original sin, thus they thought they had no need to confess it. They claimed to have a righteousness of their own. Christians never claim to have been without original sin and know they have no righteousness of their own. That’s why they need a Savior.
1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse. Literal Greek: “If we have confessed our sins (at any time in life), He is faithful and righteous to have forgiven us our sins and to have cleansed us from all unrighteousness.” FYI Your 100% lifetime forgiveness and 100% lifetime cleansing were completed in totality over 2000 years ago at Calvary.]

C. Confess sin to a confidant to break isolation and receive healing (Js. 5:16).

When your feet get dirty, get your feet washed (Jn. 13:10)! CONFESS your sin to a confidential member of the body right away and get prayer for HEALING. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins TO ONE ANOTHER and pray for one another SO THAT you may be HEALED.” Do you want to heal from the sin so you can leave it behind you? Of course you do! Then expose your dirty feet for washing. It works! Why would anyone want to keep dirty feet? Yuk!foot washing

Just as the human body is designed to heal itself, the body of Christ is designed to heal itself. Obey this command regularly and stay connected with one or more prayer partners until the situation improves. [OR you may choose to operate as a secretive and independent member of the body which the Scripture says we cannot do (Rom. 12:5). Then you will reap what you sow staying stuck in the muck of your sin.] 

Repeat confidential confession as often as necessary. As always, get professional help for your issue if it is serious or fails to improve over time.

2) SUBMIT AND RESIST James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” The safest place to be in the world is submitted to God. When you submit to God and resist, in His time God takes care of the situation for you in causing the enemy to flee. But you must first line yourself up with the Lord by submitting to Him. And you must also realize that the pain you are experiencing is good pain or growing pains. It is God, the Good Potter, reforming you, the broken clay (Jer. 18:4; Is. 45:9) into His image. It never feels good. But endurance is what a good soldier learns to develop (2 Tim. 2:3).

submissionThe truth is that the LORD has great compassion for you in the sin situation because He can totally relate (Heb.4:15-16)! He was tempted just as you were and knew you would struggle with this before He formed you in the womb. He is using this to conform you to His image. He also knows it’s harming you; that’s why He agrees with you that He doesn’t like it either. Submit to Him and He will show you a better way.

Remember that God’s grace clearly teaches you to say “no” to sin (Titus 2:12). And, remember that the Law brings guilt, shame and condemnation down on your head which triggers more sin entanglement (Rom. 7). On the contrary, God’s kindness leads you to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Receive His grace and kindness (Col. 2:6) to save you from your body of death (Rom. 7:24-25).

Sometimes it’s a seasonal or temporary sin struggle. Other times it’s necessary to remove yourself from the environment, but listen to the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of confidants for your particular situation. With the process of submission and resistance, the support of others will strengthen you to be able to submit and resist. Get a support group, a sponsor, a prayer partner or accountability partner. Two are better than one (Eccl. 4:9) and a three-strand cord is not easily broken (Eccl. 4:12)

 

The deeper down into the heart the sin issue originates, the more support you will need and the longer it may take to totally defeat. But defeat it you can for sure because God is on your side! With Him ALL things are possible.

 3) POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO GOD Psalm 62:8 tells you to pour out your heart to the Lord. Pour out the depths of your broken heart to Him in raw honesty and complete vulnerability. No masks. No games. No holding back. The more deeply truthful you are with Him, the more He will honor you in that. He is the God of truth. He is pleased with your courage to trust Him in opening up with your raw truth. In that, you are opening up to allow Him to help you with it. pour out heart

With tears, allow your heart to grieve and release as a loss (Phil. 3:8) the sin entanglement. You must face the reality of the situation, let it go, and put it behind you.

This process may reveal whatever is below the surface feeding it (such as childhood wounds, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, lusts of the world, fear of facing your situation and following God’s calling in it, feeling overwhelmed, and so on).

When the root issue is revealed, simply deal with it as God leads you. Ask Him to help you find a suitable and healing substitute for the sin. Pray for red flags ahead of sin issues so you can detour and deal with the underlying issue. Don’t be shy about reaching out for help if need be.

4) AGREE WITH GOD Amos 3:3 says you can’t walk with Christ if you don’t agree with Him. Agree with Him that He has already paid for your sin in full. Thank Him for the Sacrifice for you! Agree with Him that you are the new nature, but that you FORGOT who you are. This is His victory to you. Take it!agreement 2

Ask Him to help you remember who you are! Meditate on that regularly. Tell yourself the truth in front of the mirror! Once you remember (Eph. 4:23) that you are the new nature, alas, you’re back in your right mind again (Luke 15:17a). In this Scripturally accurate reality, the healing and growth will come more easily.

5) REPARATIONS Romans 13:10 tells us that love does no harm to a neighbor. Go make apologizereparations or apologies for any wrong you have done to another. This includes sinning against yourself (Matt. 22:39). Forgive others. And forgive yourself.  Apologize to the LORD if you’ve grieved or quenched His Spirit.  Thank Him for forgiving you at Calvary.

6) Renew your mind (Eph. 4:23). daily, or hourly, if necessary. Renewal and meditation on His Word will transform your mind in the area of your struggle. You can never, ever renew your mind too much! In this, you replace destructive lies with God’s truth. Also, remember you are not alone in this struggle. Saints all over the world are struggling with the same issue (1 Cor. 10:13). Take comfort in God’s overarching divine purposes in the sanctification process. Join a support group to strengthen yourself and heal more quickly.renew

I’m reminded of an alcoholic who wanted deliverance from alcoholism so badly that he attended seven (!) Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day. Why? Because while he attended all those mind-renewing meetings throughout the day, there was no time left to even think about drinking…  How badly do you want deliverance?

7) IDENTIFY WITH CHRIST Learning to focus on and identify with Christ is critical. He created you, adores you, has given you new life, has rescued from the jaws of hell, has the perfect plan for you and your life, and is lovingly conforming you to His wonderful image. Wherever you identify with Christ, your behavior there will Jesus saving manfollow. You are designed to get all of your identity from Christ alone. Wherever you identify with something else, there will be problems. When you identify elsewhere, you are trying to force a round peg in square hole. It just doesn’t work no matter how you strain. Don’t waste your time.

In this goal of progressive comprehensive identification, submitting to God will come more naturally, as will resisting. Ask God to teach you how to get free from from the sin, however that may work in your situation. BUT you must always FOCUS on and IDENTIFY with CHRIST, not the sin. Look where you want to go! Worshiping Him throughout the day helps tremendously with your focus and identity. Very important to give yourself grace, truth and time in this process.

8) CONFORMITY Matthew 11:28-30 says when you take His yoke, you are conformed to His image. Agree to take His yoke daily to be conformed to His image. Release anything He instructs you to and receive every yokesingle thing He instructs you to. He knows all about the sin (Jn. 18:4a) because He became that very sin and does not hold it against you (Rom. 4:15b). He has great compassion for you and desires to HELP you (2 Pet. 2:9a, Heb 4:15,16) and GROW you up in His grace and knowledge. Living His yoke, you’re allowing Him to do just that. As you abide in Him, you will also find rest and ease. In His yoke, thank Him for the opportunity to know Him better and for conforming you to His image.

9) CAST OUT Matthew 10:1 says you have authority to cast out unclean spirits. Take your God-given authority and by name, out loud, renounce, bind, and cast out each unclean spirit that harasses you. Then thank God. Stand your ground. Pray over your home and family. Summon prayer partners to join you in this if necessary.

cast outStep 9 is vital because these particular spirits want you UNDER THEIR CONTROL, not Christ’s leading (Eph. 6:12, Js. 4:7). Flesh, ego, self-will and repeated rituals never defeat sin. If they did, we wouldn’t need a Savior! Grace and truth (Jn 1:14), with James 5:16, triumph over sin every time. The Scripture guarantees it.

A sample prayer for Step 9:

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind and renounce the spirits of __________ (guilt/shame/condemnation/lust…) and cast you out of my life! You have no authority here. Get out! Christ has paid for my sin in full and I will no longer listen to your lies. I pray the blood of Jesus Christ over my mind, heart, soul, life, home, family and daily activities…Holy Spirit, I ask you to come into these vacant places in my soul and abide there forever. Teach me Your ways.

And 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, ‘For MY sake God made Christ to be MY sin who knew no sin, so that in him I might become the righteousness of God.’ Lord, I trust Your Word that you have paid for my sin in full and by faith I receive your righteousness as my own…because it is certain that I have absolutely none! I trust that through this sin struggle you are teaching me to depend on and identify with You and not myself, and to walk by faith, not by sight. I trust that You are conforming me to Your image. Thank you for that, LORD. Amen.'”

You’re the boss of every unclean and lying spirit. Do not allow them in your life or in your family. Take authority as necessary until things settle down. Then, remain watchful, discerning and prayerful.

10) REMEMBER THE BIG PICTURE! GIVE THANKS! IN and FOR all things, Scripture tells you to give thanks (1 Thes. 5:18, Eph. 5:20). That includes, yes, this very situation! Christ knew this would happen and is walking through this with you! He has allowed and arranged this lesson to grow you up overtime in the grace and knowledge of Christ. During trouble, thanksgiving escorts you into His gates (Ps. 100:4) at a time when you need Him the most!Freedom Woman On Sunset Sky 

Thank the Lord for this particular circumstance that He has purposefully arranged for you to grow more

D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T

on Him (Phil. 3:8). You are a branch learning to rely on the Vine, NOT your own resources. When God turns up the heat, don’t fight Him, don’t fight yourself; let yourself melt into His arms as the helpless clay that you are (Jer. 18:4; Is. 45:9). Reliance on the Vine is a painful and time-consuming process for stubborn branches to learn.

Give thanks to God that your sin is eternally “paid in full” already (Jn. 19:30) yes–even amidst the struggle of it! Take sincere relief in that! Obey the Scripture and let your sin burden roll off of you and onto Him, the Burden Bearer (1 Pet. 5:7). Release it to Him for healing and believe His truth. Remember you’re not walking by sight, but by FAITH (2 Cor. 5:7). And your faith is, NOT in yourself but in HIM

 

The Scripture doesn’t tell us to “manage” our sin issues. It tells us to “rid ourselves” of them (Col. 3:8; Eph. 4:31). Thus, I have just given you the tools you need to rid yourselves of your sinful behaviors, one at a time.

Now, your job is to put Steps 1-10 to work prayerfully and persistently as the Holy Spirit leads you. You must not only hear but DO what the Scripture says to walk out of the sinful behaviors (Js. 5:16; Js. 4:7; Eph. 4:23). As you do, watch as they, one by one, fall by the wayside. In His perfect timing, God will reward your diligent efforts of obedience in your pursuit of Him and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). If you need any reassurance or encouragement in this endeavor, I am a living proof guinea pig in this application and healing from deep complex trauma.

In your Advocate, Jesus Christ, God has already handled your sin issue perfectly by having forgiven and cleansed you permanently at salvation (Rom. 5:10a). He has also given you the command for healing (Js. 5:16) and the tools to rid yourself of sinful habits and unclean spirits. Obey the command (Js. 5:16) and use the tools. He is on your side in this and you have His ultimate authority.

Take authority

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Js. 4:7). If the enemy knows you will tolerate him at any level, he will harass you there. So if you sin, apply Steps 1-10 as the Holy Spirit leads you.

As you maintain these principles over time, the enemy will flee. God says so. 

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands. Psalm 119:76

WHO I AM IN CHRIST (below)
1 John 2:1 But IF anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 1:8 is a related salvation verse. Literal Greek: “If we claim to be righteous in and of ourselves, then we deceive ourselves…” This verse addresses the Gnostics who claimed to “be without sin” because they claimed there was no such thing as original sin, thus they thought they had no need to repent of it. They claimed to have a righteousness of their own. Christians never claim to have been without original sin and know they have no righteousness of their own. That’s why they need a Savior.

1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse, but if you’re stuck on using it for confession, at least use it in context. Literal Greek: “If we have confessed our sins (at any time in life), He is faithful and righteous to have forgiven us our sins and to have cleansed us from all unrighteousness.” FYI Your 100% lifetime forgiveness and 100% lifetime cleansing were completed in totality over 2000 years ago at Calvary.

Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my way. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

James 5:16 Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

Romans 5:10a For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Romans 8:33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one–for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 7:17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 7:19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.

John 13:10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, 

 

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Titus 2:12 [The grace of God] teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 9:22b For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

John 18:4a Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him

Romans 4:15b And where there is no law there is no transgression.

2 Peter 2:9a if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials

Romans 12:5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Romans 7:24-25 Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Philippians 3:8 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, that I may gain Christ.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;“

Luke 15:17a When he came to his senses…

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 4:23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Matthew 22:29 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Matthew 10:1 Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority and power over unclean spirits, to cast them out,
Jeremiah 18:4 And the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it.
Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker!—a worthless piece of broken pottery among other pieces equally worthless [and yet presuming to strive with his Maker]! Shall the clay say to him who fashions it, What do you think you are making? or, Your work has no handles?
who i am in Christ
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