Category: Self-improvement

Walking in Love and Enjoying the Benefits

There is a three step process for a happier, more loving, and fulfilled life with your family, friends, and church. The first step is getting rid of the offense/strife. The second step is finding a common cause to move forward in together.   Where there is purpose and unity we can accomplish anything together. The third step is honor, seeing and calling out the good in others.

 

Let’s start with overcoming offense and strife.   That is only possible if you CHOOSE to live free from these things. We need to make an all out war on offense and strife in our homes, and churches.  War meaning, the battle you must commit to, inside yourself.  We can not make others be non offensive.  But we can release them to the Lord, and surrender our own hearts to Him.  Choose today, to say no to offense and strife.  Choose to be quick to forgive, and unoffendable.  Titus 2:12 says God’s Word teaches us to say no to ungodliness.  Therefore we know where to get truth that will drive out the lies that lead us into offense and strife.  You may say,” how is it lies.  That person really did act mean?”.   Yes, I am sure they did, and many more to come may as well.  But their meanness has no control over you, that you don’t give them.  Jesus Himself determined to walk in love, yet many around him were offensive towards Him.  Jesus is our model, and He also lives in us through His Spirit to empower us to walk the way He did.   Your offense, is a defense mechanism, to protect your sense of value and identity. When you go to the Word, and develop an intimate relationship with the loving God revealed in the Word, you will begin to receive your value and identity from Him, not from others.  When you meditate on scriptures telling you who you are to God, and who you are in Him, you can retrieve those truths right at the moment you feel that offense rising up.  Stop, drop, and roll.  Yep, it works here too.  Stop those thoughts, drop to your knees (surrender to God), and roll in the truth of how much God loves you and how full of His love you are, and let those truths consume your heart.  Quickly your emotions will be at peace and whatever you say will put out the fire, rather than stir up.    One of the best books I have read on offense is The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere, Check it out. Literally, from the library.  J

 

Second step to loving and unified relationships is finding a common cause. We see several examples In the Word of God of the power of unity in purpose. In the book of John, Jesus prays to the Father that the body of Christ would be one with each other, and with Him even as Jesus is one with God.  Why? So that we can reveal God to this earth.   Which means we will not complete our mission without love and unity, in our families and body of Christ.  We see at the Tower of Babel, God Himself said, because they had unified in purpose that nothing they put their hearts to do would fail. Wow!!! That is powerful!!  Unity works for good and bad. Therefore the enemy uses it as well.  If you and your husband are in agreement daily that you will continue to accept the strife in your home, guess what?  Nothing strife wants to do will be impossible.  Kick it out now, and agree with God!  Agree with love, and nothing Love wants to do in your family will be impossible. In the book of Nehemiah, we see another story of what unity can accomplish.  Actually it is a good story for all three of these points.  We see repentance of offenses, we see favor come to him, then a common cause, and honor that he continues to give.   You too can rebuild the walls of your family, your church, or even of the larger body of Christ, even as Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.

 

The third step is honor.  You will only become consistently unoffendable, if you on purpose become the one who brings honor to each situation.  Honor is an outpouring of love and humility in your own heart.  Ugh, did I say humility?  Yes, humility is a stronghold for our Christlikeness.  Everything that we are, we are in Christ.  We are presented holy and blameless in Him, we are the righteousness of God in Christ, we are seated in heavenly places in Christ.  We are only fallible human beings, apart from Christ.  The greatest step of humility we can take is to come to God each day, to His Word, to worship Him, and lay ourselves before Him to honor, praise and allow Him to do what He wants in us.  When you do this, it creates greater humility in you towards others. Because you know where your strength comes from, and without Him you would be a much different person.  Stop coming to God praising yourself, wanting yourself built up.  Come to Him to worship Him, and your flesh will die and your spirit will be built up. Then when something comes to your mind that is negative about someone else, choose on purpose to think and speak a positive thing about them, behind their back and in front of them.  Sometimes we think if we praise someone who is screwing up, then we are enabling them to keep screwing up. Those of us who have experienced that, have a real issue with control. Yep, we think we are somehow in control of this person’s destiny.  Let them go,  to God, and start doing what God does towards them, and you will really affect their destiny. Let your love be revealed to them, and honor them.  Love never fails, but control, manipulation, fear, and criticism always fails.  If you walk a life of honor, then God may at times have you speak something to someone, in love.  Do you know how to know if that is what Is happening?  A good way to tell if God is really telling you to do that, is to check your heart.  Is it gushing with compassion for that person?  Are you hurting for the place they are in? Is that really your first thought, or the one you bring up to excuse your judgment?  Take that issue to God, saying “God do you see what they are doing?”  I remember something God told an author Francis Frangipaine.   “Yes, Francis I see that, and I gave my life for them.  Now go do the same”.  That is honor at it’s best.

 

I have an excitement that those  who set themselves on this track, will be tremendous ambassadors for Christ, revealing God’s great love to those around them and shifting the attitude, moods, and atmospheres around them.  This is when the Kingdom of God will spread to every nook and cranny of this earth, and we will see even greater works of God on this earth.              by Lisa Winchell

Identity Struggles

So what are God’s thoughts about identity struggles?  I am sure we would all agree we don’t know all of God’s thoughts, but we would equally agree that He has laid out most of his thoughts about mankind in His Word.  In his Word, identity is a big thing to Him. So much so, that He started out this whole world with making us in His Image!

So what is your identity? Is it where you live, what you wear, where you work, what you look like, who you hang out with, or how well you succeed?  If your answer to any of these is yes, then you may have just found the reason why your sense of self value is ever-changing, and you may be trying to be someone you are not.  Because each of these potential sources for identity, and your perspective of them, are ever-changing.

How important do you think your identity is, to your life and your sense of fulfillment, happiness, and success?   If God started the existence of the human race off with creating us in His Image, making our identity in Him, than that tells us that identity is a powerful force in our lives. The Word of God says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7.  Interestingly, neuroscience is discovering more every day about how much our thoughts of ourselves control our life.  How you see yourself, will be who you act like in life, how you feel, and where your perspectives come from.  The more you follow this truth, in the Word of God, you will find His Word chock full of who He created us to be.  You will also find in there who mankind decided to become as we listened to lies and not His truth.  But His answer to our slipping way, was to restore our identity, through Christ Jesus. At least 50% of the New Testament is about who we now are in Christ Jesus.  He restored us to our original image, through Christ!!!

God created us to live from our identity, and gave us the identity that would make us most fulfilled, happy, and successful. That identity is His image, in us.   He knows our happiness can only come when we get back to that core identity, being created in His Image. Then all other parts of our identity will come into balance and peace.

It takes being transformed by the renewing of our mind, to these truths, to begin to walk in the freedom this identity brings us.  It never changes, it is always who we are, we are forever valued as God’s chosen race, to be created in His Image.  His Image is love, peace, joy, and holiness.

In the press lately we have all seen much about Bruce Jenner and his identity struggles. I would like to say first, that we have all had identity struggles.  They may not always be in sexuality, but we all have dealt with or do deal with a lack of value, insecurity, uncertainly of who we are, and many more value issues.  Many in this world reject themselves every day, by never being able to say no, or by being prideful, and unwilling to change for their own success, or by not loving on those around them and thus producing an environment where people give them a hard time, or by never forgiving, and by putting themselves down, condemning themselves, people pleasing, being someone for someone else, and many more ways.

Could it be that Bruce Jenner moved into the ultimate self-rejection?  That He never accepted himself, his own identity? Therefore, convinced himself he wasn’t supposed to be who he was, and turned away from his masculinity, and male gender?  The unfortunate thing is that when any of us turn away from who we really are, we never find peace until we deal with our core identity issues, rather than our sexual identity, or financial identity, or social identity, etc.

I have spent my career helping people find freedom in life, through their true identities in Christ.  Which always leads them to loving themselves and building stronger, more loving relationships.  It is a glorious transformation!!  It is what God intended, for transformation.  Our path to being happy with ourselves, is not to reject who God created us to be. But it is to embrace who we are in Him, and be transformed by His love, peace, and joy in every other area of our life and identities!

Power of Imaginations Surrendered to God

Testimony of God’s faithfulness!! A client has been struggling with her identity, and value to God, after some sin issues. As we were praying, God showed her, her before His throne; Jesus presenting her to the Father blameless. He covered her in a white veil and the angels were all around her rejoicing!! if you have not opened the eyes of your heart to allow God to give you new imaginations and visions, I encourage you to do so. This gift from God has become a powerful tool in bringing freedom to many, in my counseling sessions and my own walk with the Lord. God told me, “there is too much going on in the heads of my people, just changing their thoughts is not enough for many. But they must allow me to change their imaginations by giving them new ones. I want to replace all the old pictures full of pain, anger, offense or fear, with pictures of my love for them, and pictures of how I am seeing the issue they are dealing with”. I encourage you to do as Habakkuk says, “look and see what He will say to you”. Look and see, what He speaks. Interesting huh? I am writing a curriculum that includes this model of healing as well. So stay tuned. Oh, and no worries, in spite of the fact that religion has told us in the past that visualization is ungodly, remember God gave you an imagination and gave you 66 books in the bible with prophecies and parables that ignite your imagination. Also, we use that component of our brain, all day long for negative thinking, without thinking anything of it. LOL. It is time to own our imaginations and lay them before the Lord, to be fill up with all that He wants in us, truth!!!