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.

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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

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

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