Tearing Down Strongholds

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Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,”~John 8:31-32.

We demolish arguments (vain imaginations) and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,~2 Cor 10:5.

It is not simply the truth that sets you free. It’s believing the truth that sets you free. There is also the element of tearing down and renouncing lies.

The first step to deliverance isn’t a power encounter, it’s a truth encounter.

Deception is one of the enemies favorite tools. He has power. He has no authority. Jesus stripped the devil of the authority he gained through the sin of Adam and Eve (Col 2:15). Now the enemy needs people to come into agreement with him to accomplish his will in the earth. He wants us to believe his lies. He needs people to do his bidding in the world.

You may be saying, “I’m not evil. The devil is not using me.”

Maybe you’re not doing “evil”, but agreement with lies may be preventing you from fully experiencing the love, joy, peace, confidence, hope, and goodness of God. If the devil can’t get you to do evil. He will try to limit you from doing good or experiencing the goodness of God. He will try to prevent you from having and living the abundant life Jesus paid for (John 10:10).

Common lies (some I’ve believed and some I’ve heard):

God doesn’t love me.
God is always angry and out to get people.
God doesn’t have great plans for my life.
I’m a failure.
No one loves or accepts me.
I can’t do this, even with God’s help.
I’m stuck.
I must change in order to be worthy of love.
God delights in my suffering.
God dislikes me.
I cannot live like Jesus lived, even though I have the Holy Spirit.
I’m not beautiful, handsome, or valuable.
God doesn’t work miracles anymore.
God doesn’t want to heal or restore me or this other person.
God doesn’t want to bless me.
God doesn’t care about what I care about.
I’m not enough.
My dreams can never come true.
This is hopeless.
I will always be this way.
God is not good.
God is withholding something good from me.
My value or worth comes from someplace other than identity in Christ.
I cannot love or forgive this person.
They have more to offer or are more loved by God than me.
I will never get….(fill in the blank).
I will never have….(fill in the blank).
I can never be free.
This will always hurt.
I can’t have bliss/joy this side of heaven.
God doesn’t want to help me.
God is limited in this situation.
I’m too old, young, unqualified to do this, even with God’s help.
What Jesus paid for is for someone else.
God is solely focused on my sin or failures.
God can’t make me new.
God doesn’t want me to enjoy life.
It’s a man thing, I can’t be different.
It’s a woman thing, I can’t be different.
This is just the way I am, there’s no hope for change.
What I feel is truth.
All my passions and desires are truth.
God wants to use only certain people in powerful ways.
My role in God’s body is not as important as someone else’s.
My assessment of myself is 100 percent truth.
God’s love isn’t tailored for me.
My circumstances are bad because God is punishing me.
I can live how I want with no consequences.
Grace gives me permission to sin.
God can’t help me or this other person.
I can’t hear from God for myself.
This situation or person can never change, even with divine intervention.

Truth is without God, nothing is possible. With Him, the possibilities are endless. He’s empowered and is empowering us to live life to the fullest. All these lies have scripture to counter them.

Lies need to be renounced because what we believe, we empower. The Bible says, “As a man thinks, so is he.” Our actions manifest what we believe. The first sin was rooted in the lie that God withholds good things from us. By believing lies we empower strongholds in our lives.

When the ship is sinking, check what you’re thinking. What we believe, we empower.

Father, I ask the Holy Spirit to hover over us and reveal any lies we have come into agreement with. As they are highlighted, help us to renounce them. Replace lies with Your truth. Help us to cling to Your Word and be led by Your Spirit. Help us to repent of speaking negative words and vows over ourselves and others. Cancel all negative effects of all ill spoken words and beliefs. Help us to believe and speak Your truth. Help us to believe ALL things are possible with You (Luke 1:37). In Jesus most powerful name, amen.

No One Counterfeits What Has No Value (Holy Spirit Series Part 6)

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Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves, by their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
~Matthew 7:15-16.

This is part 6 in the series. Funny because 6 is the number of man. Human beings are incomplete without God. Seven (7) is the number for perfection. This post isn’t about numbers. It’s about how there are people who don’t believe God speaks, performs miracles, or the gifts of the Spirit are at work today due to the abuse they’ve seen or lack of evidence they’ve seen or simply because of unbelief.

We will address two issues:

1. False prophets, those abusing the gifts, and counterfeit gifts.

A. The Bible tells us there will be people who can do miraculous things that would not be of God. Just read the book of Revelation (the antiChrist will be able to perform miracles) or how the magicians and sorcerers mimicked the miracles God performed through Moses (they could not do them all-but they could do some).

The Bible tells us to be alert, not dismiss the power of God. God has not ceased being powerful because we don’t think He is. God said, “You will know if someone is representing me by their fruit.” What is being manifest in their lives. Is it pointing to Jesus? Is it glorifying God? Is it fueled by Godly love and compassion? Is it drawing people into closer fellowship with God? Or is it drawing people away from God and to worship someone other than Jesus? There is one Savior. Only God is worthy of worship. We don’t worship the gifts or the people He uses, we worship God alone.

No one counterfeits what’s fake or not valuable. We have companies that make tons of money selling fake diamonds, fake Rolex watches, fake Gucci and Coach bags, etc…why? Because the original has tremendous value or worth. God is Spirit. He is the Creator of all things. The devil can’t be God; he can try to imitate him. God is all powerful. The devil is not. God gave His Spirit to partakers of salvation so we could live as Jesus lived: submitted and empowered.

Just look at the movies. Many are focused focused on the spirit realm-something many churches ignore or shy away from. As the Body of Christ, we serve and are empowered by a Superior Kingdom. Darkness is not more powerful than Light. Jesus is the Light of the world and His Spirit lives in every born again believer.

2. Unbelief.

B. Even Jesus was impacted by the lack of faith of the people around Him. Unbelief is the greatest sin because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I’m almost convinced we don’t see the power of God as fully because we don’t believe or we are relying on ourselves.

When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief,~Matthew 13: 53-58.

There are many unbelieving Christians. It’s acceptable to believe God can save someone from eternal damnation and raise them from the dead for eternal life (a miracle), yet for some to believe that same God will speak to them, heal the sick through them, or do great and mighty things is not acceptable. God has not changed. We may not ever see a parting of a sea like Moses did, but that doesn’t mean God can’t. And then again we don’t know what God will do. He’s not limited to our expectations. He’s God. He can do what He wants.

Restating the Purpose:

Jesus was moved by compassion and love to heal the sick, share the Gospel, and speak for the Father. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is to bless people.

My dad keeps a book of all the miracles he’s seen in his life: cancers healed, deformed children healed, brain deformities healed, miraculous provision, blind eyes opened, reproductive problems healed, even God raising his son from the dead.

My own life has been blessed by the miracle working power of God. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for God. Doctors told my mom she would never have kids due to cancer. My birth was traumatic, I could have died. I’ve had multiple issues God has completely healed me of. He’s saved my life so many times. The most profound was being trapped in a car under water and I couldn’t get out. 911 never came. My last phone call was to my mom and she said, “We are going to pray.” The engine had already flooded. The pressure of the water outside and inside making it impossible to open the door. I told her, “It’s no use, I’m going to die. I just called to say goodbye.” She prayed. She said, “Try the engine again!” I needed to get the window down, since the doors would not open. I had already tried. But I tried one more time. The engine turned over for roughly 60 seconds and I was able to get out. That’s no fluke. That’s a miracle. Once your engine floods and stalls, that’s it.

So sweet friends, believe God can do anything! Pick up your Bible and read all the things He has done. Think about salvation and the resurrection! Repent for unbelief. And remember, no one counterfeits what is fake or has no value. The Holy Spirit is the real deal. He is fully God and all powerful. If you’re a born again believer, He’s living in you. You are empowered!

God bless you!

Love in Christ,

Erin

I Can’t Do It (Killing Insecurity Part 4)

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Have you ever told God you couldn’t do something when He asked you to? I have. There are too many things to put in a blog post. For example, I am not an extrovert. I am an introvert. I don’t really like big group settings, public speaking, and left to do my own will I would probably have minimal contact with anyone other than Jesus. God calls me to engage with people, be involved in community, speak out, teach, and do things I can not do or would not do without His help.

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Moses. I can relate to Moses. Moses had a stuttering problem. He did not have eloquent speech. He did not want to be the mouthpiece for God to Pharaoh. See Exodus 4 below.

And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you shall say, Exodus 4:10-12.

Moses pleaded with God and God appointed Aaron to go with Moses to speak. The passage goes on to say God was upset with Moses. Moses denied God’s ability to use him. He placed the focus on his ability instead of God’s ability. I love this quote, “Even our greatest idea of who God is still makes Him so small.” We somehow think our weaknesses limit what God can do. It is the failure to believe that God is all-powerful, He can be trusted, and He can do anything He wants through anyone.

Like Moses, I have had those conversations with God. The first time I was approached about leading a Bible study. I said, “I am not qualified to do this. I have not been to seminary. There are people in this group who are in seminary-they know far more than I do. I don’t like group activities. I don’t like talking to people. I can’t do this.” God gave me time to muddle through all the insecurities and reminded me of this truth, “I am with you.” It’s about honoring Him and trusting Him. God qualifies the called. He gives us His strength and ability to do what He asks us to do. God’s strength is more powerful than our weaknesses. 

The truth is we are all inadequate to do the great things God placed us here to do. He longs for us to lean on Him. He wants to be the centerpiece of our lives. It’s God in us that does amazing things. I truly believe He calls us to do things outside our comfort zone and realm of ability so we can grow in trusting Him. We can also look back and say, “I know that was God because there is no way I could have done that.

I’d love to tell you when God asks me to do certain things now that there are no more thoughts of “I can’t do this,” but there are. It doesn’t mean I rebel and do my own thing. It means I cling tightly to Him and let Him have His way. It may not always be immediate, but it happens eventually. It also does not mean everything God asks me to do plays out perfectly. Some things I may never understand or they seem meaningless to me, yet valuable to Him.

So dear friends, no matter what you face this week, God is able. He is for you. He has great plans to use you for His Kingdom advancement. He’s offering you His strength. May you and I rest in who God is and what He can do through us! Nothing is impossible for God.

Love in Christ,

Erin

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