By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘mind

jesus world

In the passage of Matthew 1:18-25, we read of Jesus’ birth.  I would like to stress that these verses not only speak of Mary being a virgin and with-child, but more powerfully it speaks of Mary being with-child by the works of the Holy Spirit.   Going back to the context and the time in which Jesus was born, the Jewish culture thought of the Holy Spirit of having very definite functions. 

According to the Jewish idea, the Holy Spirit was the person who brought God’s truth to man.  It is the Holy Spirit who taught men of God what to do.  The Holy Spirit taught the prophets what to say.  It was the Holy Spirit, throughout the generations and ages, that brought God’s truth to man.  So then, Jesus is the one person who brings God’s truth to men. 

To put it another way, Jesus is the one person who can tell us what God is like, and what God wants us to be.  It is in Jesus alone that we can see what God is and what man ought doveto be.  Before Jesus came into this world, the Jews only had vague ideas and quite often wrong ideas about God.  But Jesus could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9).

In Jesus, we see the love of God, the compassion, the mercy, the seeking heart and the purity of God.  This cannot be seen by anything else in the world.  Before Jesus came into this world, man did not know what goodness really was.  In Jesus alone we see true goodness, true manhood, true obedience to the will of God.  Jesus came to tell us the truth about God and the truth about ourselves as well.

The Jews also believed that the Holy Spirit enabled men to recognize the truth once they saw it.  So it is in Jesus that men’s eyes are opened to the truth.  As humans we are usually blinded by our own ignorance.  Our minds are darkened by our sins and we go astray because of our own prejudices.  Jesus is the one who opens our eyes when  we are ready to see the truth.  Jesus is so glorious in this fact because He knows when we are ready to hear something and when we are not ready to accept something as the  truth.  He knows the perfect time to open our eyes.  Life can be quite different when Jesus teaches us how to look at things.

Ever wonder what God really thinks of you?  How often have we said to ourselves, “if people really knew the real me……”?  God knowsfeel ugly the real you.  He knows your thoughts, your desires, your likes and dislikes.  He knows your past.  He knows your future.  God knows your heart!  It is in our hearts that the real you and me exist.  We may be able to say the right things or get people to believe we are one way when we are not.  But God sees our true character, the part of us that no one sees.

“Nothing in all creation can hide from Him.  Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes.  This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.”  (Hebrews 5:13 NLT)

I’ve been in situations before when no one believed me.  No matter how much I argued or tried to convince them I was telling the truth, they still thought I was lying.  This was very frustrating and in a way, I felt hurt.  This was especially true in the beginning of my sobriety.  My family and friends couldn’t trust me or believe anything that I said.  This mistrust was of my own doing, I realized that.  But I took great strength and comfort knowing that God knew the truth.  God knew my heart.   I eventually would answer back saying, “You can choose to believe me or not.  That’s your choice.  But God knows my heart and whether or not I am being truthful.”

God knows the truth about every one of us.  And yet despite all our faults and mistakes, He loves us unconditionally.  We don’t have to put on a front with God or try to convince Him we have changed.  He already knows.  When God chose us to be His children, He already knew what He was getting Himself into.  We are no surprise to Him!

God sees us as His created children.  Gen. 1:27

God sees us as humans who struggle with sin.  Rom. 7:19

God sees us as capable, loving and strong.  2 Tim. 3:7

God sees our thoughts and intentions.  1 Sam. 16:7

God sees us as valuable.  Matt. 6:26,  10:29-31

God sees our potential and possibilities.  Rev. 3:8

There are so many hurting people in this world.  I come into contact with many different kinds of individuals in my daily life.  I have noticed there is a common thread amongst most of them.  This common thread is the fact that these people are lonely.  They feel rejected.  They are broken.  They don’t like themselves and carry much guilt and anger.  If I can uplift them in any way I would tell them they would feel so much better if they could just see themselves as God sees them.  That He loves them and will never abandon them.  That God is with them constantly, even before they open their eyes in the morning, He is there for them.

“….do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

When I think of someone being “emotional”, I picture in my mind a female crying.  To think of the Holy Spirit as being emotional is a totally different story.  But it’s true, He has emotions.

The Bible tells us that we are capable of grieving the Holy Spirit.  To grieve means a deep mental suffering, usually done alone and in silence.  To mourn is more of an outward display of sorrow but grieving is done inwardly.

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Grieving is an emotion.  Sorrow is an emotion.  Grieving the Holy Spirit by what we say or do is a big deal.  It’s not like just simply hurting someone’s feelings.

The Holy Spirit can be grieved when:

  • we return to the things from which we should have been set free
  • we don’t forgive others
  • we hold onto bitterness and resentment

The Bible also talks about “quenching” the Holy Spirit.  This means “restricting” the Holy Spirit.  We can restrict the Holy Spirit by not doing the things we are suppose to do.  For example,  instead of thanking God, we are ungrateful and question what God is doing.

What are some of the things the Holy Spirit does for us?

~ He gives us assurance of our salvation.  If we have grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit, we won’t feel close to God and may begin doubting our salvation.

~ He teaches us and helps us remember Scripture.

~ He leads us into holiness and moral living.  If the Holy Spirit is restricted then fleshly desires will be more evident.

~ He produces fruit in our lives, such as  love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.  Grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit will produce just the opposite.

~ He reveals the deep things of God to us.

~ He comforts us.

~ He intercedes for us in prayer.

I know when I grieve the Holy Spirit I can feel it.  It doesn’t feel good.  It’s like an aching in the middle of my chest.  The best thing to do is pray and repent of my sins.  And after that, not continue in the very sins I was asking forgiveness for.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”  1 John 1:9

Okay. I got a promotion at one of my jobs.  I am really happy about it.  I WANT a leadership role.  My title is Shift Leader.  I like my new manager at the store….and she likes me.  She’s been with the company for many years and she has turned 5 other stores around to be profitable.   She’s tough, but real.   I am straight up with her…..I am being myself.  My REAL self.  No BS.  No lies.  Just me.

I don’t reveal my past.  My screw ups with drugs and alcohol are NOT ME!!!  How do I finally know that?  By Christ.  By God’s Word.  I am NOT MY CHOICES!  I am a child of God who has made bad choices in life.  I face the fact that I have limited my future because of these choices.  I once had an extremely promising career in the corporate world.  I had no degree.  I proved myself.  But I screwed up.  I fell apart after a breakup of my engagement to a man.  I started doing heavy drugs.  It took me ten years to finally find a way out.

That way out is Jesus Christ.

I have used drugs and alcohol for over 20 years, but I was functional…..until the hard dope came along.  Once you start the pipes and needles…..it ALL changes my friends.

Unless you’re a recovering addict or alcoholic, you may not understand what I’m saying and the way I’m saying it.  If you get it, God Bless You!  God has opened yours eyes to something you haven’t experienced.  He has given you the gift of empathy and genuine insight.

The job and doctor thing….

It’s not always wise to tell your past.  If you are a “raw” addict and have no clue to how the real “sober” world works, let me give you some advice.

You get sober.  You stop your destructive ways.  The meetings you go to tell you to be honest.  Brutally honest.  But its not always wise to tell your employer or even your doctor that you are in recovery.  Let me explain….

You can hinder your growth as a person in recovery.  You get labeled.  You may not get hired and you may not get the true medical treatment you need.  This may sound like I’m telling you to lie.  What I’m telling you is to be TRUE TO YOURSELF. If you want to be sober, then you say what you need to keep your life sober.  We are good at lying.  Fellow addicts….be true to yourself.

If you feel in your heart that you need to expose this part of yourself…..in that you need to hear yourself tell it “out loud’…..THEN DO IT.   This is the first step in getting better…..hearing yourself say out loud can be be very, very healing.  And it gives you courage and strength to face “the world of people that don’t use.”

But once we get sober, the REAL US, comes out.  It can be scary.  But I have found that addicts are VERY special people.  They have a heart and drive that regular people don’t have.  Yes we screw up more.

But when we are on track, we can usually out shine just about anybody.

I feel good about the promotion.  I have to be committed.  That concerns me abit.  I’m not the greatest at being consistent.  I use to be….before the stupid heavy drugs.  I don’t trust myself.  I always disappoint myself.

I can do this.

Why do I keep doubting myself?

Maybe from my track record.

Maybe I’m listening to Satan whispering in my ear.

“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world”.

How did Jesus do it?  Jesus was criticized and insulted but never returned insult for insult.  The witness of Jesus tells us to return evil with good.  Be slow to anger.  Turn the other cheek.

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16)

Where do we draw the line of being insulted by another person and turning the other cheek?  When do we stand up for ourselves?  How many times can we really just turn the other cheek before saying something in our defense?

There is a person in my life that always seems to “get a jab at me” every time we have a conversation.  This is a person that I have hurt from my past actions.  This person has also hurt me.  I have truly forgiven them.  I really have.  I have asked forgiveness for my sharpness and overreaction.  I’m ready to let it go.  I AM capable of forgiveness.  I believe God has blessed me with incredible patience and the ability to forgive.  In my past, I had an ex-boyfriend who grabbed me by my hair, put a gun to my head & shoved me down into an execution type stature.  I even forgave him (and got a permanent restraining order). 

So even though I have hurt this person in my life and it may be justifiable reactions to my past behavior, they still throw an insult at me in a passive aggressive way even though I have changed my life and don’t behave in that manner anymore.  It doesn’t matter how well I am doing.  It doesn’t matter how far I’ve come, I still get that “dig” at least once every time we are around each other.  I get so upset!  I get very defensive.  I get tired of having to stick up for myself.  Yes, I insulted this person last night.  My past was being thrown in my face and in a vulgar manner.  I kept my cool at first, and then I started yelling and verbally did not behave as a Christian nor as a lady.  I asked God to forgive me.  Even though what I said back to them was all true, I did say it in a manner unbecoming.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)

I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”.  I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated.  Will I ever perfect this area in my life?  I sure hope so.  I will just have to keep trying or maybe I just need to choose better friends & end this particular one.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7 KJV)

Jesus Christ provided us a way to have a relationship with God the Father.  Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave.  By believing in Him and becoming a child of God through salvation (who will enter heaven?), we have direct access to God and His blessings. 

God provided a way for Christians to come into His presence.  Prayer is the way we are able to receive what we need from Him.  If we want God to hear our prayers, we must worship Him.   God is seeking prayers from true worshippers, who will worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).  God delights in the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8).

Through prayer, we can receive three things from God:

  1. Help
  2. Strength for our lives
  3. Needed guidance

What does the Bible say is the most powerful type of prayer?  How do we get the greatest results from our prayers?  John 5: 16 tells us it is an earnest prayer.   Other words for earnest are devoted, diligent and heartfelt.  We need to be earnest in our prayers.

If we want God to answer our prayers, we have to make our requests known to HimWe enter into prayer by being thankful and praising His name. (Phil. 4:6)  Start your prayer off with praising and honoring His name.  Give thanks for all He has done in  your life and all He will do in the future.  God can’t help us if we don’t ask Him.  Be specific in your prayers.  Come out and say exactly what you need and want. 

 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 KJV)

3 hindrances to answered prayer:

  1. iniquity (sin, wrongdoing) in our heart –
  2. doubting or wavering trust
  3. wrong motive or purpose

We should always pray in Jesus’ name and with the right motives. Remember, God knows your heart. He will know if you are sincere and what your intent is behind your request.  We should always ask forgiveness of our sins.  Be specific, if possible.  Also, believe He will answer your requests.  God doesn’t want us wavering in our trust of Him.  Don’t doubt.

Just as an earthly father or parent wants to give all they can to their children, God does too!  We are His children and wants us to prosper and be happy while on this earth.  He wants to comfort us, encourage us and uplift us.  Even though God already knows your needs, He wants us to come to Him through prayer and worship.  There is much power in prayer and worship so be diligent and do it daily!

God never leaves us.  It’s hard for my mind to grasp that He is right here with me as I write this post.  But that’s what His Word says so I believe it, even though I may not feel it.   

For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.  (Phil. 2:13 NLT)

How many times have I stumbled and He was there with open arms to welcome me back?  How many times have I grieved the Holy Spirit, yet He always gave me just the right amount of strength to turn from sin and ask for help?  While God cannot look upon sin, how many times has He assigned angels to protect me and see me through?

The answer is…… EVERY TIME!

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.  (1 John 1:9 NLT)

I have struggled with depression as long as I can remember.  I went through many years of my life wondering if God really wants me happy.  In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out that He does want me happy!  I believed Satan’s lies.  I believed the lies I told myself.  Satan had told me for years that I shouldn’t be happy after all the things I’ve done.  I believed the lie that because of my sin, people will think I’m not sincere in my recovery if I walk around happy.

Something was working in me.  I was conflicted about this lie because some part of me told me not to settle for that and to seek out the Truth.  The Holy Spirit was always working in me, I just didn’t recognize it.  Although I was a born again Christian, I was very far from the Lord at that time in my life.  Yet, He was always there and working in me.

NEVER STOP GROWING.

“For it is God who is at work in you, but to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13 NASB)

God wants us happy.  He wants us to never stop growing.  He wants us to draw near to Him in our darkest times and through happy times as well.  He wants us to know Him intimately.  He wants us to hunger for His Word and pray to Him about everything.

I feel God working in me because I’m allowing Him to work in me.  When there is unconfessed sin in my life I feel…….different.  I’m uncomfortable even though I may not know why.  9 times out 10, it’s because He is convicting my heart about something.  I ask Him to convict my heart.  I ask Him to bring to the surface things I need to change, things I need to stop, and things I need to start.  One of the greatest things about God revealing these things to me is that He doesn’t judge me or think I’m a bad person because I have faults and weaknesses.  He gives me the desire to obey Him.  He also gives me the strength (the power) and just the right amount of faith I need to please Him.

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He is a wonderful, magnificent and all-powerful God.

Nothing is impossible through Him.

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A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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