Overcoming the spirit of slumber

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How To Overcome The Chronic Fatigue It Causes

“As it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day.” Romans 11:8

The spirit of slumber is an evil spirit. This is not an evil spirit that influences just one individual, but one that influences groups of people. It falls among the category of the more influential evil spirits listed in Ephesians 6:12 when it says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This evil spirit has a higher rank in Satan’s kingdom than others. An earthly analogy would be a governor over a state having more influence and power than an individual citizen. If a person having the gift of the discerning of spirits were to travel into an area where this spirit is in operation, they would suddenly feel the effects of this spirit. So what are those effects, or markers of this spirit? Continue reading

The Armor of God – Part 2

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“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.” Ephesians 6:13

It has been said that when we are born again, we are born onto a spiritual battleground. Ephesians 6 describes the spiritual warfare that individual believers will face and reassures us that we have been given everything we need in order to walk in spiritual victory. The imagery of war used is a metaphor that highlights the many similarities between a physical, earthly war and the unseen spiritual war that believers are a part of whether we realize it or not; we see territories being fought over, the armor required by the individual soldier, spiritual rank and strategies of warfare. As believers, we have been given everything needed in order to walk in victory over the enemy. Author and teacher Dr. Tony Evans defines spiritual warfare as “The conflict in the invisible realm that affects what you’re going through in the visible realm.” Continue reading

The Armor of God – Part 1

sword-2140940_960_720Understanding authority in the spiritual realm

Spiritual warfare can be kind of a scary topic for a lot of people, but understanding the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the authority that we as believers have goes a long way toward alleviating those fears and will keep us from feeling intimidated by the enemy. Even if we are already familiar with these truths, this might be a good opportunity to do a little self-check, asking ourselves if we truly believe these things on a heart level. First of all, let’s take a look at the authority of Jesus:

Jesus has been seated at the Father’s right hand, and all other authority is lower and less powerful. Continue reading

Is it Wrong for Christians to Judge Others?

As I sit down to write this post, I’ve been processing what the main point is that I hope my readers will walk away with, and I came up with two. First, I want to offer an acknowledgement that that we Christians have at times judged others in a way that Jesus never intended us to. Secondly, I want to make an appeal to our culture to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what the Bible has to say about judging.

First of all, I want to apologize on behalf of the Christian community for every time that we have judged others in a critical, condemning, self-righteous, prideful, or disrespectful way. Jesus himself made it clear that it is possible to judge others in a wrong way, and we as God’s people haven’t always gotten it right. I cringe when I think of some of the ways that I have heard Christians shouting hateful, condemning words to those whose value systems don’t match our own. But it isn’t just “those Christians” who’ve made me cringe. I cringe when I remember times when these same critical attitudes have distorted my own judgments…times when I made judgments which were fueled, not by love, but fear, self-righteousness and a lack of honor for others.

So for those situations, I want to say that I am truly sorry for any pain or injury that we Christians have caused. I want to ask if you can forgive us for not getting it right sometimes. While we may not always agree on every issue, every human being deserves to be treated with gentleness and respect. I am truly sorry for any wounding that you have received from judgments rooted in unloving, critical or condemning attitudes. If you have suffered from cyber bullying by Christians who have not acted out of love, but out of hate-filled words, I sincerely ask if you would be willing to forgive us. If you are a politician who, instead of feeling honored and encouraged by Christians, has been treated in the opposite way, I want to ask if you can forgive us for the lack of respect, prayers and encouragement that we have demonstrated.  While these actions cannot be undone, I pray that the Lord Jesus Himself will heal the wounds that we have caused you and that we will make amends wherever it is called for. It is my sincere hope and prayer that we as Christians will grow in our ability to honor others and have repentant hearts for the pain that we have caused.

If you are one of those who have felt condemning judgment from Christians, I can only imagine that it must be tempting to come to the conclusion that judging others is a bad thing that needs to be eradicated from our society.   I want to ask if you’d be willing to take another look; to resist the temptation to “throw the baby out with the bath water” by taking a closer look at what the Bible has to say about judging. Continue reading

What Are Inner Vows and How Can They Be Broken?

pexels-photo-411213The young man should have protected me, but his indecent proposal did just the opposite.  It all began at that tumultuous time of life when I was just becoming a woman. While the innocence of childhood still lingered over me, I instinctively understood what the veiled proposal meant. Thankfully, nothing happened that day on a physical level. The emotional, however, was another story. I went home, and with an inner steel in my soul, I vowed: “If this is what becoming a woman brings on, I want nothing to do with it.” I bound my chest tightly with cloth, hoping to hide the changes that were happening in my body. I went into denial mode. This wasn’t happening to me. Maybe if I just ignore it, it will all go away. Feelings of shame washed over me. Without a single spoken word, I unknowingly had made an inner vow; a vow that shut down a part of the emotional and spiritual maturing process in my life. It would be years before I came to understand what I had just done and how I could be set free from that vow. Continue reading

What are strongholds and How To Be Set Free From Them

hand-in-chainsA stronghold is a false argument that rises up as a defensive wall behind which a person seeks to find a safe place to escape from the reality of the problems they are facing.

Strongholds form as a result of deciding what we consider weighty or powerful. If there is something or someone that we perceive to be bigger or more powerful than God, then God by default is lowered in our estimation. Since God is seen as unable or unwilling to defend against that which we feel threatened by, we will seek to erect our own “safe place.” When we do this, we often subconsciously come to the conclusion that we need to protect ourselves from God and cut ourselves off from the One True Protector; instead we wall ourselves in with lies that Satan uses to lie, steal and destroy with. Continue reading

What is Spiritual Warfare?

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If Jesus won the war against Satan’s kingdom at the cross, then why do we sometimes still feel like we’re being shot at?

Jesus has triumphed over Satan’s kingdom. The war is over, but the guerrilla warfare continues. In his teaching entitled, “The Invisible War,” author Chip Ingram discusses what happened after the treaty ending WWII had been signed:

“After the war was ended, there was a treaty signed. We were at peace. And yet on multiple islands throughout the Pacific, the battle raged. There was guerrilla warfare. The bullets were just as real. The mortars fired with the same kind of reality and impact, and people died.” {In the same way,} “Satan and his host of fallen angels engage in guerrilla warfare to discourage, deceive, divide and destroy God’s people and God’s program.”

The good news is that we as believers have been given everything we need in order to not only defend ourselves, but also to advance God’s kingdom. We have been given everything we need in order to walk in victory; but in order to do that, we need to understand that a battle exists and how to recognize when we are under spiritual attack. Continue reading

How to have a Powerful and Effective Prayer Life

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Finding empowerment and conquering hindrances to your prayers

Have you ever wanted to see your prayer life expand and have more impact, but just didn’t know how?  Or perhaps you’d just like to learn more about finding intimacy with God through prayer. Here’s a few ideas that I’ve learned through my own prayer life:

Don’t settle for anything less than knowing God.  If we allow our prayer lives to be solely about a list of requests, we’ll miss out on so much. If we allow it to, our prayer lives can become a classroom where we truly get to know God for all of His incredible attributes. When we come to Him in prayer when we’re afraid, we get to know Him as The Prince of Peace. When we come to Him when we’re hurting, we learn to know Him as our comforter. When we come to Him when we don’t understand why He didn’t answer our prayers the way we thought He should, we come to understand His Sovereignty. …And the list goes on and on. There will always be more to learn about our God. The question is, are we invested in the quest to get to know Him. If we are, it means pressing into Him beyond a list of prayer requests and into a relationship with Him.

The second way to develop a powerful and effective prayer life is to get real. It is all too easy to shift into prayer-ese when we begin to talk to God…saying what we think He wants us to say rather than being honest with Him. This is especially important when we’re feeling angry or disappointed with God. Ooops! Did I say that out loud?!? Angry with God? How unspiritual! Yes, it’s true…Sometimes I get angry with God. Being honest with God can be hard for a lot of people, perhaps because it feels dishonoring to tell God that we’re really miffed at Him right now. The reality is, God already knows how we’re feeling. It seems we have two choices: either A: be honest with God and reconcile with Him or B., stuff our feelings, maybe for years, and let that anger toward Him turn into bitterness. The key here is to bring our honesty with Jesus full circle: Tell Him how we feel, confess our own sin of believing that He has failed us in some way, and finally, ending our time with Him by declaring His faithfulness and our trust in Him. If we fail to come full circle and return to a place of trust, our honesty actually is dishonoring to God.

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Rebuilding on the ruins of our lives

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How God can use the most devastating moments of our lives to change the world

As I write this post, my husband and I are climbing the shore of Lake Superior…climbing rather than strolling because we’re not walking on a smooth sandy beach. We’re hiking over huge boulders, driftwood and slabs of cement intertwined with rebar…echoes of the past mixed in with the realities of the present. The cement and rebar remind me of the storms of life that can crash in on a person, leaving what we have worked so hard to build lying in a heap of ruins. Those ruins can be hard to look at, because they remind us of the pain we felt in the midst of those storms.

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