She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations. And so are many today.
She had heard frightful and bizarre stories in the past and held on to them in her mind to the point that wherever she was, those thoughts loom out larger than life. She had filled her consciousness with so much fear that in the night, her subconscious mind, an extension of her conscious mind, continued in the fear recorded in her mind.
The mind has an awesome recording power that captures all it is engaged in. It has the ability to play back what it has recorded and that is the source of most dreams.
Imagination is a very powerful thing! Even God attested to its power.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
He was referring to the children of men. (verse 5)
Imagination cannot be restrained! It can see things that are not really there! When you meditate so much on a thing, you give life to that thing.
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25 (KJV)
Meditating on the Word of God brings out the power in that Word.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” – Josh 1:8 (KJV)
Equally too, meditating or dwelling on messages centered around activities of demonic forces brings out the power in their activities.
At one time, my wife and I were sitting under teachings of, and counsels that centered on activities of witchcraft and demonic forces. Our minds became full of negative thoughts that we did not only dream of masquerades and pursuits by demonic forces, we became afraid of nightfall!
At 10:30pm on vigil nights, I would only muster courage as a man to walk to the Church with my wife. We would be looking over our shoulders; and on two different occasions, I thought I saw a figure rounding a corner!
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17 (KJV)
….. to be continued.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart, for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45
Nightfall was fast approaching; she shivered. Her fear of the dark had steadily grown like a colossus; so monstrous that she dreaded it.
Where would she run to? Where would she hide? If only she could lay down without shutting her eyes in sleep. that would be better. But sleep is a natural thing that no man can resist.
Even with her husband in bed with her, the horrors of the dark still haunted her. She thought that once married she became one with her husband; morally and spiritually right to share every intimacy together.
Did God not create them one? Man and woman created he them? To share not only the intimacy of the home, bed, children and office but also the night?
Or does it mean that there is somewhere that the husband and wife cannot share together despite their heavenly permission? A place so intimate that it is lonely?
She just could not understand. Her husband would be fast asleep, peacefully by her side, oblivious of the prey that she had become in her dreams. A quarry to be crushed and exterminated by the marauding beasts from the deep dungeons of hell. While he eagerly looked forward to nightfall, she prayed in futility that it would not come.
They had done all what the Christian belief permitted; so they thought. They had fasted, prayed, tarried, done all to stand but the nightmare persisted. It was so visible, that she lost some weight.
She believed she was haunted. Earlier she had thought it was the house that was bewitched and because of this, they moved from one house to another without any change or improvement. Now, she thought, she was under a curse.
Many a night she stayed awake, watching her husband snore. Tears became her constant companion as her eyes blazed with the pain of sleeplessness. She became tired, confused and discouraged.
That was when a friend brought her to me for counseling.
Listening to her, I found out she was in bondage in her mind.
“But their minds were blinded! For until this day remaineth the same Vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which is done away in Christ.” – 2 Cor. 3:14
She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations.
And so are many today.
…. to be continued.
All of God’s blessings (His full thought for us) has been given to us IN the person of Jesus Christ. But we haven’t attained it all, yet. The Holy Spirit is bringing us into that fullness.
Condition: “If” we surrender our will to His will.
May we humble ourselves to do His will, in Jesus Name. Amen.
John the Baptist said he was not the Messiah; and that the Messiah would baptize men with fire.
The Messiah came and confirmed sending fire on the earth but not until He had been baptized Himself: on the cross.
“I am come to send fire on the earth, and what will; and how am I straitened till it shall be accomplished!” – Luke 12:49-50.
Consequently, He asked the disciples to wait at Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Father, which came on the day of pentecost, turning them into awesome vessels. Fearful men became fearless; they became flames of fire! The fire of Heaven was kindled on the earth and earth has never remained the same.
This fire separates brothers, sisters, families, friends, etc, because like Jeremiah the Word of God is like fire in the bones bringing about the difference between Godliness and worldliness.
In the previous write up we talked about rebuilding the altar of the Lord, to be Living Stones; STONES OF FIRE.
(2) DIG A TRENCH
The second thing Elijah did was dig a trench ROUND the altar.
Do not allow anyother thing go near your heart! Place a check, a garrison, around your heart.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23
You are not only to “keep” or “guard” your heart but expected to decisively deal with any threat that comes close to it!
“Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.” (Proverbs 4:24).
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
“PUT AWAY”, “PULL DOWN”, “CAST DOWN”; these suggest that something should be protected!
If you compromise with the world, it is from your heart. Starve Satan of his desire to have your heart by not allowing worldliness to creep close to it.
Hear God’s instruction to Moses.
“And thou shalt set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up upon the mount, or touch the border of it: whoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through: whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” – Exodus 19:12-13.
The throne of God must be protected, revered and honoured. Be separate; live sanctified and entertain only good thoughts and imaginations.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.
There are family members and friends that stir evil thoughts in us, through suggestions, advice or even by their conduct and character. They will want to lure us back to the life we lived before meeting Christ; a life of immorality. They would make jest of us and ridicule us for our faith and belief, making us angry.
We should note these ones and as much as possible keep them at arms length, yet not hate them. We are not permitted to hate anyone, but rather expected to love them and as much as lie in us, to live at peace with them.
Nevertheless, there should be a limit to whatever interactions we have with them, in the work place, in the community, in the bus, on the street, etc.
Yes, we may meet often, yet not influenced by them.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in season; its leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he doeth shall prosper.” – Psalms 1:1-3.
We cannot avoid interacting with people, however we should not forget who we are, where the Lord brought us from, where He is taking us and how we need to agree with Him to get us there. And one of the “how’s” of getting there is in having no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11).
“No, fellowship”, irrespective of the interaction. We should always remember this no matter where we are or in what company we find ourselves:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.
Before Christ, BC, God spoke through prophets. They were spokesmen for God, relaying only what God said but could not interpret His will. They could explain what they wrote but had no complete understanding of the total plan of God for man.
As an example. If I were to commission artists to draw and paint portions of me: an artist draws my head, another my leg, another my ear, another my eye, every part of my visible body drawn and painted by different artists. At the end when their works are displayed, no one would identify me as the one in the various paintings.
That was exactly what happened concerning Jesus.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” – John 1:10
No prophet had a complete picture of Jesus, God’s plan for man. When Jesus came they could not recognise Him, because non of the prophets gave the full description of the messiah.
But now, (A.D.), God has spoken to us by His son.
He is done speaking through the prophets, those who could not understand the full plan of God. But has chosen to speak through His Son; the one of whom the prophets wrote about. He came, not like the prophets with partial knowledge, but with the “fullness of the Godhead”.
“Has spoken by His Son” means the Son is the final authority, “hear Him” (Luke 9:35). And why? He is the complete mind of God. Where prophets spoke with partial knowledge He has full understanding. He is God’s Word, (full plan) of God made manifest.
“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.” – John 1:14.
A Spirit runs through the Scripture; from Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is that Spirit.
“……. for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” – Revelation 19:10
The full mind of God is called “THE WORD”
“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called, The Word of God.” – Revelation 19:13.
The Word serves as a manual for guidance.
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” – Psalms 119:105.
In Hebrew the Scripture is called “Torah“; which means to thrust out a finger, showing the way.
In our everyday life, how can this be applied? Especially as the Scripture does not seem to address our minute by minute activities of the day? WISDOM!
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom takes knowledge to work. It is the right or proper application of knowledge, backed by understanding.
Before we continue, note the difference between Scripture (the combination of scriptures) and scriptures (isolated books).
The knowledge of the Scripture should guide us in our everyday life!
Even in the choice of house to live, the car to buy, the job to take, the partner to marry, the contract to go for, etc.
Decision taken based on one scripture may not stand. And this is because in the mouth of two or three witnesses -prophets or books of the Scripture – a matter (direction) is established. A scripture that informs a decision should be confirmed with one or more books of Scripture, if it agrees. Where it does not agree with other scriptures, the decision arrived at is not of God!
In John 8:3-11, Jesus saved a woman with the right application of Scripture.
The spiritual leaders of the day came to Him on a decision based on one scripture, which they quoted.
Certainly they were in error. But how would He save this woman from the noose of error threatening her life?
The people did not have a total understanding of God’s mind and were in error.
Yes, that was a scripture they quoted; but judgement passed based on that one scripture alone would at the long run come out wrong.
Moreover, it was not all about the woman. This was a trap set to capture Him!
He had to apply wisdom – a proper understanding of Scripture. How?
(1) BY THINKING.
He took time to think. The process of thinking is the process of asking questions.
“Call to me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” – Jeremiah 33:3
Many do not think before giving answers. But this is the process of interacting with God for direction.
“And thy ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.” – Isa. 30:21
I have come to understand that WISDOM DOES NOT RESIDE in any man, but in God! That is the reason Solomon called the quest for Wisdom “madness” and “folly”.
Jesus wrote on the ground, while His heart was in a discussion with the Father. Remember, Jesus would not do a thing without consulting with the Father.
As the full mind of God, He knew God does not delight in the death of sinners. Yet He consulted with the Father, who must have reminded Him that “the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”; again that “no one is good, no not one”, yet again, “if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”. Scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments must have come flooding His heart giving Him a direction.
Solomon was a great thinker. When the two harlots came to him, each claiming to be the mother of the living child, while asking both THE SAME QUESTION, his heart was probing the heart of God for direction. He was reminded that a woman would always have compassion on her child. (Isaiah 49:15), so he threatened to slay the child!
Take time to think!
(2) BE WATCHFUL!
Many are not careful to watch the reactions that follow their words. Be sensitive, look out for reactions! Even as Jesus wrote on the ground, He watched the reaction of the people while maintaining fellowship with the Father, what answer He might give.
“I will stand upon my watch, and seat myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” – Habakkuk 2:1.
(3) BE PATIENT!
When he finally gave it, Wisdom came pouring forth! Halleluya!
You NEED patience!
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye may receive the promise.” – Hebrews 10:36.
Patience is a need, not a want. You can’t hurry God. He controls time, and beautify things in His time.
Wait for Him, don’t hurry Him and He shall surely direct you. He is never late neither is He early. He comes, and speaks, just on time.
When professionals finish their work they say it is finished. Jesus partnering with God said “it is finished”.
However that is not the end. It only marked the end of an era, the Old Testament and Old Covenant era; and marked the beginning of another. (Rev. 3:7-8)
Picture two rooms. Eternity has two rooms. Christians are in the first room governed by the prince of this world, with all of its trials, persecutions and evil.
When you ask “why me?”, it is because you are in this first room!
For as long as you are in this first room, you will have tribulation.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 KJV
Here in this first room, there is misery, pain, persecution, and trials.
Jesus said “but”.
“But” carries you by faith, into the second room where you are untouchable; where you cannot be sick, a place where you can not fail, a place you can not be defeated, caged or go hungry: a place of victory.
This second room is the place reserved for those who do know their God.
“….. but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b KJV
It is the room of exploits! (Isa. 35:8-9)
If so, why have we all not entered into it? SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS!
“Behold”, see, consider, stare at.
Rev. 3:9; Isa. 43:19
Isaiah, in his days, could not see the ultimate plan in God’s heart. He could only relay what God asked him to write but did not have the fullness of God’s mind like we do today. The “New Thing” did not spring forth in his days. In our days, the Kingdom of God has sprung forth. We ought to “see” (Eph. 1:8) it because “IT IS FINISHED!”
Paul prayed that our eyes be opened for us to see it, implying we do not see it!
Though “it is finished”, we still do not see it, why?
Firstly, our free will is standing against us! How?
In Deut. 30:19, God set a choice before us. He is not forcing us but rather gives us the choice to make. We choose! Jesus had a choice to make in Matthew 4, He rejected the world and its glories. Many of us His followers, on the other hand embrace what He rejected!
Our eyes are not seeing what Jesus saw; what God wants us to see, what Paul prayed that we might see.
In the parable of the sower of seed, the third category of seeds were choked and became unfruitful because of the thorns which by interpretation, means the cares of this world: materialism! This was the reason Lot’s wife looked back.
We are too attached to this world! Materialism has eaten deep into our hearts. We are satisfied with being in this first room, just because of the temporal treasures and pleasures! That is why we are not seeing the door into the second room!
Jesus said “Behold I set before you an open door.” – Revelations 3:9
The door into the second room is standing open before us yet it would take “BEHOLD” for us to see it! “Behold” means focus, attention, concentrate, stare till you see! We need to pull our faces from the distraction or attraction of the first room. The Cross of Jesus is the key that opened up that door but until we reject the “glories” of this world we may not see it.
So many things are behind the Cross, the second room, stored up only for as many as are able to “find” it.
May we strive harder, stare harder to see the OPEN DOOR, that peace and victory be ours. Amen.