Tag Archives: freedom

Repentance: A Real Heart-Shifter

I’ll admit it. Even though I know God will make all things right, I still struggle with resentment and anger toward people that sin against God even though they know better. I realize that this is a character flaw, a sin, to point out the speck in another’s eye while I have a full grown sequoia log in mine, but I really take it personally when I see someone sinning with such determination. As you might imagine, bearing such a heavy load of disappointment and frustration can seem unbearable at times and can turn me into a person I really don’t like. To cope with all this pent up anger, I have discovered a solution.

Back in September of last year a member of my church created a 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting prayer plan for repentance and breakthrough for America. Included in this 40-day plan was repentance for various sins we ourselves have committed as well as those of our families, churches, state, and country. Through this repentance on behalf of others I found my perspective was changed. I struggled less with resentment and disgust for the sinner and felt more compassion and motivation to help.

I’m convinced that the enemy will use sin however he can to harm us. If you start feeling hate or disgust toward an individual that offended you and God, guess what. Satan will use that to produce more and more hate. Even if someone has offended God, He still calls us to love them. He even tells us He blesses the poor in spirit. He gives them the kingdom of heaven. How much more should we bless them? We are called to hate the sin, not the sinner. Oh, how hard that is to do, especially while watching the nightly news.

Perfect Father, we need your help. We are not perfect, and we live in a world that is not perfect. Lord, we know that this is not our home, but regardless of that You have put us here with a purpose. We are called to judge, but that judgment is directed at the sin, not the sinner. Lord, help us to love the least of these, the poor in spirit. Help us to bow our heads and thank You that You love us all. Change our perspectives as we say, ‘Heavenly Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do, and even if they do know what they do, Lord, forgive them and change their hearts.’ Cause a heart-shifting in us, that we may no longer resent, no longer hold grudges, but love the way that You love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Find What Frees You

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn't we be slurping up the Spirit?

My mom refills her feeder twice a day. Shouldn’t we be slurping up the Spirit instead of chomping on worry?

In our everyday lives we experience ups and downs, but as we experience them we often don’t consider their root cause. I have recently reached a three-year goal of becoming debt-free, and now I am embarking on a new challenge of tackling a life long struggle with stress-management. Since my financial plan worked so well, I am going to use the same ideas from that curriculum to develop my own stress-free plan.

The first step in my financial plan was taking an inventory of my spending for one or two months to find out where my money was going. In the same way, I will take an inventory of my energy. Where am I spending my energy? To do this I have begun using green and pink index cards. I record particularly relaxing moments on the green index cards and particularly stressful moments on my pink cards. At the end of this first inventory period I should have encountered many of each experience. I will collect the pink cards and match them up with scriptures that bring truth, clarity, and perspective to that stressful moment. With these recorded in such a practical manner I will be able to refer to them as they come up again during daily life. Will I encounter new stressors in my life?  Of course I will, but God’s Word can be applied to any life circumstance.

I hope that this technique will inspire me to seek God’s truth in times of tension, and to live a life of complete spiritual freedom. I will keep you informed of my progress and any tweaks I apply to my technique.

And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”

Luke 12:22-32

In all circumstances I will not be afraid, I will not worry, but seek His kingdom, and all these things will be added to me. Join me on my journey to becoming stress-free.

“More Heart, Less Attack”
Needtobreathe

Be the light in the crack
Be the one that’s been there on a camel’s back
Slow to anger quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attackBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attackThe more you take the less you have
Cuz it’s you in the mirror staring back
Quick to let go slow to react
Be more heart and less attackEver growing steadfast
And if need be the one that’s in the gap
Be the never turning back
Twice the heart any man could haveBe the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attack
Be more heart and less attackI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m nearly sanctified I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river I’m near the openI stuck my hat out I caught the rain drops
I drank the water I felt my veins block
I’m near the sanctified I’m near broken
I’m down the river I’m near the open

I’m down the river to where I’m going

 

Purifier

Shame and guilt. Most likely, we have all experienced it. There is such thing as good shame and guilt, the kind that tells us not to do something that is bad for us, a conscience, if you will. And while good shame exists, I’m going to address the ugly shame and guilt that can linger for years if not treated by our Purifier.

This evening as I ran my bath I thought about purity. When I think of the word I think of something new, something just out of the packaging, unmarred, clean, fresh, a car with that new car smell. Those things are pure. While we are able to wash most things and bring them almost back to their pure status, do we ever consider purifying ourselves? Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the pain of our guilt and shame that we forget there is a way to not only bring ourselves almost back to pure status, but all the way back to pure status. We are not like the pure white snow that gets trampled and driven on, never to be clean again.

In Marilyn Hontz’s book Shame Lifter she describes toxic shame and how we can purify ourselves.

Shame likes to cover God’s truth with a wet, heavy blanket. It threatens to snuff out life. How was I going to throw back that wet, suffucating blanket? Only by believing and applying God’s truth.

In 1 John 1:9 apostle John writes “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It doesn’t say that he will think about forgiving us or he will hold a grudge against us. No. It says he will forgive us. His forgiveness is guaranteed. To feel toxic shame is to let the guilt of wrongdoing penetrate into your identity. Hontz describes it as letting the external become part of the internal. And as she said in the above quote, we can only be freed by believing and applying God’s truth.

In his book Mr. Jones Meet the Master the late Peter Marshall a Scottish preacher and former chaplain of the United States Senate references this quote from The Historic Jesus: Facts or Fancies:

Christ has suffered for our sins. He has paid the penalty for us, so that there is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. He has, with His own blood, written “Paid” across the ledgers of Heaven.

Jesus’ blood shed for the atonement of our sins is more than enough to cleanse us of our wrongdoing, no matter how big or how little. To hold onto toxic shame is to deny this fact.

To get you started freeing yourself from toxic shame listen to the promise in this song by Big Daddy Weave and meditate on the truth it tells.