How to be healed of a hardened heart

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“I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh…” Ezekiel 11:19

Does it look to you like your heart has grown callous, insensitive? Unable to feel? If you have, you’re in good company. On more than one occasion, Jesus asked his loyal disciples, “Do you have such hard hearts?” I don’t know about you, but the disciples aren’t the first people I would have imagined when I picture someone with a hardened heart. These men were devoted. They had left everything to follow Jesus, and yet they struggled with some of the same things we might today…a heart that can sometimes be dull and unresponsive. Spiritually blind and deaf. Lacking spiritual perception and understanding. But what causes our hearts to become hardened? Continue reading

What is the spirit of Jezebel?

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I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel…” Revelation 2:20

 

During the time when Elijah the prophet lived, there was a Sidonian princess named Jezebel. She married Ahab, King of Israel. She hated and murdered God’s people, especially the true prophets of the LORD.  She was an idol worshiper and a witch.

While the Jezebel of the Old Testament was an actual woman, her life is a type. It is through the account of her life that we are given a picture of what a person who tolerates the spirit of Jezebel looks like. However, most people who tolerate this spirit have not fully yielded to it the way that the woman Jezebel did. If we’re honest, most of us will probably recognize that we have yielded to some of the markers of this spirit at one time or another. The key is that we don’t stay in that place. Continue reading

Letting Go of Mother Wounds

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Unresolved wounding from parents impacts adults on a daily basis. Often the deepest hurts came from the very one that should have protected you the most…Mom.

While it would be helpful if we as parents would take the step to undo the damage that we caused, that doesn’t always happen, does it? Sometimes as parents we just don’t know how to go about it. Or maybe we are unaware that we have hurt our sons and daughters. Sometimes children interpret events that happened to them very differently than a parent does. Perhaps you’ve never told your parents how their actions made you feel. Some of you may have parents that know that they have hurt you but simply refuse to fix it. Maybe your mother has passed on now and the door to healing seems closed off to you.  Continue reading

Finding Comfort In the Midst of Grief

man-walking-on-the-beach-in-slow-motion-silhouette-of-a-boy-moving-along-the-coastline-a-guy-walk-in-the-evening-at-sunset-silhouette-20s-european-male-outdoor-person-move-in-hd_sti65xnnIt is possible to experience God’s healing power in the midst of sorrow.

For those who have longed to feel His comfort but have been disappointed when it seemed absent, I can relate. I’ve been there; and I stayed there unnecessarily for far too long. My disappointment over the lack of comfort I felt from God was on a subconscious level, so it was easy to just keep shoving it down, stuffing it away where I didn’t have to look at it. I think I had expectations of what it should look like for God to comfort me; maybe Him speaking to me in an internal audible voice or through angelic visit. I had to lay those expectations down. While God does sometimes comforts in these ways, this wasn’t my experience at that time.  When God didn’t comfort in the way I thought He should, I assumed He didn’t care enough to help me.  I hope the hard lessons I’ve learned over the years will help others who may be grieving and in need of God’s comfort. Continue reading

Healing From The Heartache of Rejection

so-sad-2551808_960_720There is a way out of the pain.

Feeling accepted goes beyond just something we all would like to experience; it’s a basic human need. Rejection shrinks us, tempting us to pull back from others. It can cause us to seek isolation to prevent further rejection. It tempts us to become invisible so others won’t see our perceived failures and weaknesses. It has the potential to keep us from our destinies. Rejection can be like a contagious virus, infecting everyone it comes into contact with. It ricochets back and forth between people like a cruel game of catch. Rejection is one of those emotions that not only could be described as extremely painful, but a place of agony. Continue reading

When depression settles on you like a thick blanket, KICK IT OFF!

pexels-photo-320007Depression cannot stand in the presence of worship

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to… give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Isaiah 61:1-3

It’s often called a lot of things: depression, mental illness, a chemical imbalance. The Bible has another word for it: a spirit of heaviness. It is also called a spirit of despair, or fainting. The Hebrew word for it means to be dull, dim or faint. Continue reading

The Day Depression Began to Lose Its’ Grip

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It all began with a simple prayer request. Our daughter Lauren and her husband Ray were part of one of their church’s community groups, and this night they asked for prayer for me. They asked their group to pray that God would set me free from depression.

It was right after this that I began to look back over my life and the impact that depression had had upon it. During the 25 years that I felt such bondage to depression I had a distorted view of the effect it had had upon myself and those I care the most about. Now as I looked back, I could clearly see that depression hadn’t just occasionally influenced my life. I could see that there was a consistent pattern of it stealing from myself and my loved ones. It was like looking at the landscape after a hurricane has passed by; the devastation had been there all along, stealing joy, contentment and a sense of well-being.

Continue reading

What does it mean to be given a spirit of power?

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“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever read a scripture a hundred times, then suddenly you come to understand it on a whole new level? Today was one of those times for me. I wasn’t even looking for it, and there it was.

First of all, let’s lay some groundwork. We as human beings are made up of body, soul and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Our spirit has been given power. The Greek word for this power is dunamis. It means ” (miraculous) power, might, strength.”    It is a miraculous power, given by God, to His children.  This power enables His church to perform marvelous works and is, in itself, a miracle. Strong’s concordance suggests that this power energizes us with physical power. It gives us the ability to achieve all that He calls us to do with strength. It implies possessing force that gives us the ability to produce a desired result. This power enables us as believers to be powerful and effective in this world, having an ability to be productive and successful in what God has gifted us to do.

Ephesians 1:18-20 says,

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”

The same Greek word for power (dunamis) is used to describe both the power that raised Christ from the dead and the miraculous power that has now entered our spirits!

What are the implications of this scripture? When the world, or our flesh or the evil one tries to convince us that we just don’t have it in us to accomplish what God asks us to do, we have a sword of truth we can pull out…

“For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power…”

Dunamis is a miraculous power that energizes; it gives us the strength to produce the desired result we are called to. This miraculous power raised Christ from the dead! It was unstoppable! Even death could not overcome it.

Here’s the deal; I want to offer one disclaimer. Accomplishing our calling does not mean that we will never suffer. It doesn’t mean we’ve become immortal.  Hebrews 11 is full of examples of God’s people who, while victoriously accomplishing the call on their lives, still at times suffered. We are no different. Victory in God’s eyes isn’t necessarily success in the world’s eyes. This power from God has been entrusted to God’s people to accomplish God’s purposes on this earth. When we walk in it, we will bear fruit for His kingdom, enabling us to one day hear those precious words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

In His name we overcome,

Arlene

 

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 fatigue came on slowly at first. I didn’t really stop long enough to see what was happening. It was so mild that it didn’t really catch my attention. Like a foggy mist, it had silently crept in. As the fatigue grew stronger, I just dug down deeper into my own determination to keep going. One day I remember feeling exhausted as I came in from gardening. I remember in that moment stopping and asking myself why I did it. Why work so hard? Surely the weariness would let up if I would just slow down. So I did. But when I yielded to the weariness it only grew stronger. 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