By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘spirit

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If I don’t have any other testimony, I have this…”I’m still here”.

This past year has brought many struggles, much confusion but also revelation.  Much of the bad stuff was of my own doing, making poor choices and getting myself in trouble.

Once again God saved me from myself.  God’s love for me blows my mind really.

You know the verse that says, “pray for your enemies”?  I tried this with my boss.  Granted, my boss really isn’t my enemy but sometimes the way he treats me it feels like he is.  He can be pretty brutal with his words.  And I can have a pretty bad attitude when it comes to someone verbally attacking me,  or rather I “perceive” it as an attack.  I was becoming pretty miserable and hating going to work every day.  I DREADED it when I saw my boss’s car when I pulled up so I would sit in my car for a few minutes before every shift and ask God to help me get through my shift without getting upset, or storming out, or getting a bad attitude, and I would ask God to keep me tough and help me get through it biting my tongue, help me, help me………..

And then one day I got a smack upside the head!!   The Holy Spirit said flat out, “Michele, you are praying the wrong prayer”.  You should be praying for your boss. So I listened and started praying for my boss.  I prayed with sincerity and that’s when things started to change.  He wasn’t as rude and nasty to me like he usually was.  He wasn’t constantly down my back about stuff.  It changed!!  or was it me who changed?

All I can say is the Lord is an amazing and wonderful God.  He takes my breathe away.  In everything I do I want to bring glory to Him.   Through my prayers, through my mistakes, through my job, and through my daily life I praise Him.

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One of the greatest mysteries of Scripture is what’s known as “The Trinity”.  The Trinity is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Although the word “Trinity” is not found in the Scriptures, the Trinity is at the very heart of the Christian faith. God is a triune God.   God is one in essence, one in Godhead but 3 in person.  He is 3 persons yet one God.

The following 3 statements are taught in Scripture:

  1. God forever exists as 3 persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.

God reveals Himself as 3 persons in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  In Genesis 1:26, He says, “let us make man, after our likeness”. Who is He speaking of?  He is speaking of the Son and the Holy Spirit.  In Romans 1:7, we are told that God is our Father.  In Colossians 2:9, we are told that Christ is all God in a human body. In the book of John 14:16,17, Jesus speaks of giving us the “Comforter”, who is the Holy Spirit.

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal in deity and power yet they have different primary functions when relating to the world and creation.

For example:

  • God the Father planned deliverance and salvation and sent His Son into the world.
  • God the Son obeyed the Father and carried out redemption for us.
  • God the Holy Spirit transforms us after salvation.  He gives us a new spiritual life and dwells inside us giving us strength and understanding.

There are many mistaken views about God and the Trinity.  Scripture is often misinterpreted and taken out of context.  One of these mistaken views is called Modalism.  In Modalism, it teaches that there is only one God but that God appears in different “modes” or forms, such as the Son and the Spirit.  It denies the fact that God is three distinct persons as clearly reflected in the Scriptures.  When Jesus was baptized, the Trinity was represented all at the same time.  God spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove when Christ was baptized.  If Modalism were true, then the baptism of Christ is compromised and doesn’t make sense.

Another mistaken view is called Arianism.  Arianism was developed by a bishop named Arius.   Arius died in A.D. 336 and his teachings were condemned by the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.  Arius taught that Jesus, the Son of God, did not always exist but was “created” by God and also was inferior to God.  He based his views largely on the wording “only begotten” as written in John 3:16.  The word “begotten” is a derivative of the word “beget”.  Beget means to procreate or to generate.  So Arius believed that if Jesus was created than He didn’t always exist.

There is little debate that God the Father is fully God.  But what about the Son and the Holy Spirit?  Although Jesus is called the Son of God, he was not created by God.  Christ is the eternal Son and existed from the very beginning.  There are many references calling Jesus “God” in the Bible.  John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God, and he was God.  He created everything there is.  Nothing exists that he didn’t make.”  Jesus is the “Word”.  Romans 9:5 also states that Jesus is God, “…and he is God, who rules over everything…”.

The Holy Spirit is also a distinct person and not just a force or power.  The Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” in John 14:16,17.  The Holy Spirit has many personal activities such as teaching, bearing witness, interceding or praying on our behalf to God, distributes gifts to believers, and he knows the thoughts of God.

It is interesting to note that all three persons of the Trinity took part in creation. When God the Father spoke, His glory was manifested in creation.  The Bible tells us that all things were created through Christ, the Son of God.  The Holy Spirit hovered over the surface of the earth in Genesis 1:2 as God was forming the world.

We as human beings can never fully understand God.  God is infinite, as we are finite, or limited.  God has always existed and will always exist.  He is eternal just as the Son and the Holy Spirit are eternal.  God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.  That is where our faith comes into play.  We trust God and learn of Him and His ways through the Scriptures.  What we don’t understand we put our faith and trust in the Lord and continue studying His Word and spending time with Him through prayer and meditation on a continual basis.

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

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!

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:9 AMP)

The Bible promises Christians a sound mind.  Mental illness, personality disorders and any form of psychological damage may result from childhood trauma, domestic abuse, demonic activity or disobedience to God (Deut. 28:15,28).  Thoughts are jumbled, chaotic and there is an inner turmoil that feels like torture.  A chemical imbalance in the brain can cause mood swings, aggression and depression.  Sometimes medication is needed.  Sometimes therapy, one-on-one counseling or a support group is needed.  But one thing for sure, CHRIST IS NEEDED!

I believe for some people that going to professional secular help is necessary.  It was for me.  Equally important is help from our pastor and keeping a biblical perspective about our emotions and thoughts.  God desires us to be whole.  This would involve every aspect of our life—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

So how do you get to that point of healing?  Healing is certainly a process.  It can be an ongoing thing, but I also experienced an “instant” healing that changed my life!  I have a earlier post titled The Freedom Of Forgiving Myself .  I will tell you…..I am a hard case.   I don’t know why that is and I wish I wasn’t like this because I could have saved myself from years and years of hardship and suffering if I would have just listened and obeyed!! 

I’m one of those who has to experience everything for myself all the way down to rock bottom before I say “okay, maybe you’re right”.  And in the meantime, I become a self-hater, self-loathing, never understanding why I do the things I do or why I WANT to do the things I do.  Blaming others doesn’t work.  Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t work.  But God’s grace does work!!!

And you know, bottom line is this…..it doesn’t matter what others think you should do or how you do it, or what you do to get well, or how you do it to get well.  What matters is the connection between myself and God.  God is the only One who knows my heart.   He is the only One who knows what I need and how I need it.  So in a sense, for me, being healed and restored involved me being selfish and not letting anything or anyone influence me in the process.  It’s between me and God.  And if my heart is aligned with His heart and my thoughts are aligned with His thoughts, then I am living on purpose and according to His will.

So the healing begins by allowing myself to forgive myself.  To allow myself to put my foot down and say, “this is what I have to do to help me.”  It may seem very self-centered and selfish to those looking from the outside.  But let me reassure you, that once I was able to forgive myself and allow Christ to heal my inner being, I came out a better person and a more likable person.  This opened the doorway for me to get well and stay well for longer periods of time.

I certainly haven’t perfected this whole sobriety thing, but I’m much healthier mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I understand now what God means when He says He wants us to be made “whole”.  And in this wholeness I found inner joy and peace.  I know that God has healed me from the guilt and shame I carried because I am able to open my eyes to things I couldn’t see before.   He has opened my heart to things I haven’t felt before.  He has opened my ears to things I haven’t heard before.  Because of what Christ did for me on the cross, I can be healed and restored.

Kutless – That’s What Faith Can Do

I’ve been slowly feeling this black cloud forming over me.  My thoughts are not what they should be and I feel the enemy attacking me.  I feel like I’m drifting from God and it’s really eating away at me.  For some reason I don’t feel the closeness I was experiencing recently with my Savior.  I know it’s me and I need to do some soul searching and find out where the root cause is coming from.  I’ve been having really horrible violent dreams and there is an inner turmoil going on inside me.  I don’t like it.  The enemy is using my vulnerability against me right now and he knows when I am weak.  Old feelings are surfacing and I’m uncomfortable.  I’m disappointed in myself.  I’m disappointed that my prayer life is lacking.  I’m disappointed that I’m not reading my Bible on a regular basis.  I’m disappointed that I just can’t seem to stop swearing no matter how much I pray about it.  I’m disappointed that I’m not eating healthy food like I use to and have gained 3 pounds.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t go to church the other day just because I didn’t feel like it.

I realize this post isn’t the usual for me, but I need to use my blog today as an outlet and share with you what I’m going through.  I look at all of you who read my blog as a source of strength and encouragement and I have made some wonderful friends in the process.  It probably sounds like I’m whining, and I don’t like being a whiner. 

I think I have to go back to the basics, and just start sitting down and doing my Bible study like I use to.  I always enjoyed that.  I would spread out different translations of the Bible on my table and read about a topic or specific scripture and journal about it.  I hear in my head “practice what you preach, Michele!”.  That’s my name, by the way. Smile  Thanks for reading.

I don’t think anything really happens by chance in my life.  I believe that God is involved with me from the biggest to the smallest detail.  I am in a constant state of awe of how God works in my life, and this is a really good place to be!  I experience joy and it is a heartfelt, in my soul, joy.  It’s a feeling that no drug could ever compete with.  I have never felt such a feeling from any substance I put in my body that can compare to what joy in the Lord feels like.  I am experiencing an overwhelming sense of contentment, that my life is finally on track, and going the course that God has wanted for me all along. 

Of course, because of my free will and terrible choices I’ve made in my past, I have had to come to this place of joy and purpose by doing it the hard way.  But that’s just me, not everyone has to go through the gutter like I did and it is my hope that anyone who reads my blog will not let it get that far.  I’ve had many a chance to turn away from a destructive lifestyle and I certainly wish that I would have sooner.  I know God certainly wanted me to but He remained faithful no matter how far “gone” I had become and I praise Him and honor His name as often as possible because of it.

This past year has been a tough year for me.  But I endured.  And I was patient.  And I cried.  And I doubted.  And I feared.  And I worried.  And I trusted.  And I remained steadfast.  And my God remained faithful and I’m still here.  I am REALLY looking forward to this new year.  This is my year.  No……..this is God’s year.  This is His.  This year I’m going to let the light of Jesus shine through me for others to see.  I want them to see what a beautiful and wonderful thing it is to have God in their life.  I want to be walking proof that the Lord can not only change you but He can COMPLETELY free you from bondage.  I don’t have to live my whole life in recovery because I have recovered.  There is a misconception in some secular recovery programs that we, as former addicts and alcoholics, will never fully recover from addiction.  We can and it is through Jesus Christ that makes this possible.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  He and He alone can make us free from anything that holds us in bondage.  I am walking proof.

So nothing in my life is happening by chance.  All I have to do is keep doing the right things and be obedient to God, to keep Him first in my life and first in my thoughts.  As long as I do that, God will handle all the details.


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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