What is Sin and how does Free Will play a part?

The ministry God has called me to takes me into places and with people that you might call lost with a capital “L”. You must be incredibly careful how you label those that have yet to discover there is much more to God than salvation. All sin in God’s eyes is equal however some sin has a more obvious effect on our physical bodies as well as our spirit. In studying for my ministry exam, I stumbled upon a well written explanation about sin. I wanted to share with you my understanding in the hope that it will help you have a deeper insight as well.

Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Ouch! I’m going to repeat that statement…Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) with simple words that got her thinking…”I want more, why not?” See Genesis 3:1-6 This is at the center of all sin. It may not look like pride or self-exaltation sometimes because as the sin grows it causes us to keep making poor decisions, mixed with reasoning and rationalizing. Our outward actions reveal our sin and then we “hide” Genesis 3:7-8, cover up. We soon find ourselves hiding through addiction and behavior that disguises the sin even from ourselves. This is why sin and evil are often compared to darkness, we hide in the dark…sin is the absence of light. It is a force that is active and has a harmful effects usually very gradual or subtle.

The Bible tells us that sin originated in an abuse of the freedom given to Adam and Eve who are God’s created beings that He equipped with a will. God did not create evil. Evil disregards the glory of God, His plan or will for us as written in the Word of God. The devil has cleverly sown discontent into our thoughts, he has turned our yearning or spiritual hunger for God into a thirst for self-gratification. This thirst cannot be satisfied in anything not centered in obedience to and faith in God. The result is a decision to step out of God’s protection and enter into moral failure. God permitted this freedom of choice for reasons known only by Him. We are unable to search out and understand God’s reason by human reason. God, in providing us with a mind and spirit truly free to make moral decisions, has allow the possibility of failure. Without that possibility there would not be genuine freedom or true personality.


Sin originated in the free choice of God’s creatures. Instead of believing and trusting God, responding to His love and provision, we have let wrong thinking fed by Satan exalt ourselves above God. I know you are thinking not me…anytime you make a decision and that little voice, your spirit, says not a great idea, yet you still follow your decision; you just made your decision and action over God’s will. So, your decision was better than God’s. That is where self-exaltation happens. The essence of sin is the substitution of the satisfying self for the original and highest purpose in life…seeking God and the relationship we were created to have with Him.

Apostle Paul says this will be a struggle for everyone.
Romans 7:14-25 outlines the struggle we have within ourselves against sin, Paul says “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” NASB


Thankfully, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ who sacrificed Himself so that we have through repentance…forgiveness of our sins. The fight is on, how can we break the stronghold of sin? First, there is no way we can minimize sin even the slightest sin. No sin is too small for us to overlook and fail to seek forgiveness. James 1:13-15 warning us about the origin of temptation and sin…”When you are tempted don’t ever say, “God is tempting me,” for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and he is never the source of temptation. Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lure them away into darkness. Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!” TPT.


We must not let our minds dwell on some temptation or wrong desire, we must stop ourselves from reasoning. Recently, I was ministering to a group of women and one of them boldly spoke about being a homosexual, she went on to say “If all sin is equal and everyone sins then my sin is no worst and acceptable.” Justifying sin never works, if we make sin a habit or a way of life, it will bring spiritual and eternal death, a final separation from God. This lost woman has set her sin and self above God, His protection and love. The Bible says, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.” Philippians 4:8 TPT Sadly, she has let an evil thought and desire incubate into action. She cannot see that she is the glorious work of God, she is blinded from what is real, honorable, admirable, and so much more. I am praying that she will have a supernatural experience of God’s unfailing love for her and that she will come to the cross in repentance.


I know in many of my other blog articles and many times when I am speaking before a group I use my life scriptures. A life scripture is one that you hold dear to your heart and meditate on when your mind moves into wrong thinking. These scriptures break evil strongholds, they will lead you in freedom and moral character pleasing to God and healthy for you. God has given His Word in order for us to have authority over sin and live in peace until Jesus returns.

Here are mine…
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB


Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” NASB

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” NASB


Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” AMP


Hebrews 4:12 “For we have the living Word of God, which is supernatural and powerful, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword(a weapon for good). It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where our spirit and flesh (sinful desire) meet! It reveals and surgically removes any wrong thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.” Personalized and paraphrased

A special thank you to the authors of “Bible Doctrine, A Pentecostal Perspective”, William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton. Their research and insight bring a profound understanding of God’s Word and His desired relationship with each of His children.

My prayer that these words help you to go deeper and run harder in your pursuit of God and live the life He has designed for you.
Blessing,
Laurie

What is Sin and how does Free Will play a part?

The ministry God has called me to takes me into places and with people that you might call lost with a capital “L”. You must be incredibly careful how you label those that have yet to discover there is much more to God than salvation. All sin in God’s eyes is equal however some sin has a more obvious effect on our physical bodies as well as our spirit. In studying for my ministry exam, I stumbled upon a well written explanation about sin. I wanted to share with you my understanding in the hope that it will help you have a deeper insight as well.

Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Ouch! I’m going to repeat that statement…Sin is a desire to exalt oneself above God. Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) with simple words that got her thinking…”I want more, why not?” See Genesis 3:1-6 This is at the center of all sin. It may not look like pride or self-exaltation sometimes because as the sin grows it causes us to keep making poor decisions, mixed with reasoning and rationalizing. Our outward actions reveal our sin and then we “hide” Genesis 3:7-8, cover up. We soon find ourselves hiding through addiction and behavior that disguises the sin even from ourselves. This is why sin and evil are often compared to darkness, we hide in the dark…sin is the absence of light. It is a force that is active and has a harmful effects usually very gradual or subtle.

The Bible tells us that sin originated in an abuse of the freedom given to Adam and Eve who are God’s created beings that He equipped with a will. God did not create evil. Evil disregards the glory of God, His plan or will for us as written in the Word of God. The devil has cleverly sown discontent into our thoughts, he has turned our yearning or spiritual hunger for God into a thirst for self-gratification. This thirst cannot be satisfied in anything not centered in obedience to and faith in God. The result is a decision to step out of God’s protection and enter into moral failure. God permitted this freedom of choice for reasons known only by Him. We are unable to search out and understand God’s reason by human reason. God, in providing us with a mind and spirit truly free to make moral decisions, has allow the possibility of failure. Without that possibility there would not be genuine freedom or true personality.


Sin originated in the free choice of God’s creatures. Instead of believing and trusting God, responding to His love and provision, we have let wrong thinking fed by Satan exalt ourselves above God. I know you are thinking not me…anytime you make a decision and that little voice, your spirit, says not a great idea, yet you still follow your decision; you just made your decision and action over God’s will. So, your decision was better than God’s. That is where self-exaltation happens. The essence of sin is the substitution of the satisfying self for the original and highest purpose in life…seeking God and the relationship we were created to have with Him.

Apostle Paul says this will be a struggle for everyone.
Romans 7:14-25 outlines the struggle we have within ourselves against sin, Paul says “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” NASB


Thankfully, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ who sacrificed Himself so that we have through repentance…forgiveness of our sins. The fight is on, how can we break the stronghold of sin? First, there is no way we can minimize sin even the slightest sin. No sin is too small for us to overlook and fail to seek forgiveness. James 1:13-15 warning us about the origin of temptation and sin…”When you are tempted don’t ever say, “God is tempting me,” for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and he is never the source of temptation. Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lure them away into darkness. Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!” TPT.


We must not let our minds dwell on some temptation or wrong desire, we must stop ourselves from reasoning. Recently, I was ministering to a group of women and one of them boldly spoke about being a homosexual, she went on to say “If all sin is equal and everyone sins then my sin is no worst and acceptable.” Justifying sin never works, if we make sin a habit or a way of life, it will bring spiritual and eternal death, a final separation from God. This lost woman has set her sin and self above God, His protection and love. The Bible says, “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.” Philippians 4:8 TPT Sadly, she has let an evil thought and desire incubate into action. She cannot see that she is the glorious work of God, she is blinded from what is real, honorable, admirable, and so much more. I am praying that she will have a supernatural experience of God’s unfailing love for her and that she will come to the cross in repentance.


I know in many of my other blog articles and many times when I am speaking before a group I use my life scriptures. A life scripture is one that you hold dear to your heart and meditate on when your mind moves into wrong thinking. These scriptures break evil strongholds, they will lead you in freedom and moral character pleasing to God and healthy for you. God has given His Word in order for us to have with authority over sin and live in peace until Jesus returns.

Here are mine…
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB


Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” NASB

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” NASB


Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” AMP


Hebrews 4:12 “For we have the living Word of God, which is supernatural and powerful, and it pierces more sharply than a two-edged sword(a weapon for good). It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where our spirit and flesh (sinful desire) meet! It reveals and surgically removes any wrong thoughts and secret motives of our hearts.” Personalized and paraphrased

A special thank you to the authors of “Bible Doctrine, A Pentecostal Perspective”, William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton. Their research and insight bring a profound understanding of God’s Word and His desired relationship with each of His children.

My prayer that these words help you to go deeper and run harder in your pursuit of God and live the life He has designed for you.
Blessing,
Laurie

How to Fight Worry and Anxiety

Late last year I blogged this message, with everything going on today I felt it fit today’s circumstances… Worry and Anxiety are weapons the devil uses to keep us captive, steal the true joy and peace that God has for us.

These spirits act purposefully to destroy and distract us, they are inhibiting our faith.  So that we cannot rise up and live in victory.

Are you addicted to worry?  When you do not have something to worry about do you take on the worries of someone else?

It is impossible to live in worry and live in peace at the same time…Worry is the root of anxiety. It brings physical manifestation…. hives, illness, disease.  I have been witness to divine healing over many of these manifestations when women caught in the devil’s grip are set free.  Instantly, they have received freedom physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The KJV of the Bible does not use the word “worry” so let us be clear about who and what this spirit is…

Fret – In the Hebrew this means a snare, violently agitated, to grieve, be angry, burn, be hot or provoked – in the Webster Dictionary it is defined as uneasy, distressed or troubled, anxious; to be tormented with distributing thoughts.

Matthew 6:25 is a warning to “take no thought” or don’t let your mind rest in negative thought

Philippians 4:6 tells us to “be careful for nothing” KJV or in the NASB “be anxious for nothing”

Worry does not make anything better…

The devil uses the spirit of worry to torment us!

A description of worry would be “To seize by the throat with teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does to another or to harass by repeated biting and snapping”

After a few hours of worry do you feel beaten up? Worn out? All those destructive thoughts going around and around in your head?  Continually exaggerating and building, more and more until…

Matthew 6:25 – 27 puts it like this in the AMP version “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying can add one hour to the length of life.”

 Let me break it down for you….

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace.  John 15:4 says “abide in me and I will Abide in you.”

No amount of self-control will bring you peace or break your anxiety.  Drugs, anti-depressants, anxiety meds, sleeping aids only “Dumb you down” from hearing from God or receiving His healing, supernatural power.

So what is this abiding Jesus is speaking of?

First, it is a union we are actively pursuing to understand because the work was already done at the cross our part is to be in a personal intimate relationship with Jesus.  We are united to Jesus by faith by believing Jesus has cleansed us by paying the price through the whipping post and cross. He then went to hell and claimed the keys to God’s Kingdom here on earth to give us authority over the devil.  Are you getting the whole picture?

Second, this relationship is built on our obedience and pursuit of Jesus. 

John 17:7 says “If you abide in me and my Word, I will abide in you.”

Colossians 3:36 says “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” 

Ephesians 5:18 tells us “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

You MUST allow His Word to fill out minds, surrender our will to His Will for us…our relationship to Jesus is intimately connected to what we do with our Bibles.

As God’s Word dwells in us and the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, our prayers change – your prayers become God’s Will – truth and revelation will open your eyes!

I read an article by Terri Copeland she made this statement, I will be stealing it and speaking it to others…”The Word is so unchanging and unfailing that He, God has bound Himself and the existence of all things to it. It is God’s most tangible gift of Himself to us.”

Third and last…Abide in My Love John 15:9 says “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love.”  You MUST rest in this love, the love of Jesus Christ in verse 13-16 says “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command.  No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

Peace is not something you can do for yourself in Galatians 5 the Bible says it is a gift of the fruit of the Spirit…Holy Spirit meaning only by abiding in Jesus Christ will we have peace. 

John 15:4 abide in me and I will Abide in you…

Fourth, that authority I spoke of early…we have the authority to cast out this spirit…Jesus told us he would send a helper so that we could act in authority, just as the Acts church did so can we!  Nothing has changed…the Holy Spirit is within you as a believer! Make you stand TODAY!  In the name of Jesus reclaim what you have lost…declare and decree that the devil will not hold you captive through worry or anxiety ! Today, Claim your position as daughters and sons of the Most High King Jesus!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/29/2020

It’s Just TIME to Stop!

I know and understand…taking responsibility…WOW! Stop walking in a state of being offended, blaming, using excuses to justify your thoughts and actions.  We all have those hidden agendas, desires to be right, control the situation, impress others.  Ladies, what God thinks is all that really matters. It takes time to totally drink in what is being offered.  I get that…for me I still am seeking, still learning, still asking God to forgive and reveal. Guess what God answers back…He declares who I am “His Daughter, Valued and Loved!” and with that knowledge it is getting so much easier.  I will offer this…when I started this journey of knowing God the victories were small and sometimes hard to even see. Then one day while reading my Bible I realized I loved God’s Word more than anything else, I love God more than anyone or anything.  In this journey many changes are still happening some exceedingly small and some huge…God remains right there guiding even when I said “Ugh! Really? But?!” He continues to stand right next to me when all I can get out is the simplest praise “Yes God!”  Today Ladies, drink in the goodness of your Savior, continue the journey to know and love Him for He is your Forever Father.

“Set up signposts to mark your trip home, Get a good map, (God’s Holy Word) Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back…Come back!…Dear Daughter, come back to the Lord your God…How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?  How long before you make up your fickle mind?  God will create a new thing in you…A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”   Jeremiah 31.:21 MSG (paraphrased and personalized)

Give up your need to BE RIGHT!

Give up you need to CONTROL EVERYTHING!  Let the Holy Spirit be in control.

Give up on LAYING BLAME!

Give up YOURSELF DEFEATING TALK!  You will get lost if you try to direct your own path, seek God’s face.

Give up COMPLAINING!  Stop complaining and start BLESSING  OTHERS.  Don’t hang out with complainers!

Give up your need to IMPRESS OTHERS. 

Give up YOUR EXCUSES!  Examine yourself and surrender to GOD!

Give up YOUR PAST!  Do not let the past determine your future!

Give up your RESISTENCE TO TRUTH…GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!

Walk in the freshness of TODAY!  You are the daughter of the Most High KING! Find your TRUE IDENTITY IN HIM!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/16/2020

The Weight of Unforgiveness

I struggle with forgiveness how about you?  For years I not only could not forgive my parents as well as others in my life that I suffered physical and mental abuse from but I could not forgive myself.  My self-esteem (identity) was held captive behind a stronghold of unforgiveness and bitterness not only for them but for myself.  I want to blame them for everything that I had experienced without taking any responsibility for my decisions and consequences. It also destroyed my ability to have a healthy relationship with anyone. I was carrying daily an incredibly heavy backpack full of bitterness and hate. If you are suffering under this spirit of wrong thinking come before your God and ask Him to help you forgive yourself and those who hurt you.  Ask God to reveal your part and the wrong thinking that is holding you captive.  It may be painful, but you have a Savior that loves you and is right there beside you to walk through the painful memories and wash you clean in His blood.  That is just the beginning because He also has lifted you up with Him to sit at the Father’s side and use the authority given you to cast down those spirits of wrong thinking!  You see, Jesus’ resurrection and position at the right hand of the father is full of power “Dunamis Power”  to heal your brokenness and forever heal you.  2 Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (lack of courage or confidence), but of power and love and discipline(self-control).”  The Greek word “Dunamis” is where the English word “dynamite” came from, Paul wanted Timothy to know that God had given him the dynamite ability to stand strong in the faith.  This is just as true today; God wants you to know that we have the power over our wrong thinking and the spirits that try to control our mind. Matthew 10:1 also tells us we have this power, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”  Yes, GOD! Thank you for giving us the authority to “cast them out”.  Today, God is speaking to you…forgive those who have hurt you and forgive yourself! Ask God to forgive the people who have hurt you and then forgive them…Jesus last word on the cross reflects the strength and power in forgiveness “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34  Let the gift of “Dunamis” power fill you and give you the strength and courage to step forward in your relationship with your Forever Father and His Son. Who in your life needs your forgiveness?  Do you believe you are forgiven? Finally, unforgiveness in us creates bitterness which in turn creates a hard shell over your soul, how can the Father’s Love reach it with that hard shell upon it?

Dear Sisters, here are a few scriptures on Forgiveness to meditate on:

But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”  Luke 23:34 NASB

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,  For from it flow the springs of life.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  Mark 11:25 NASB

 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. “  Ephesians 4:31-32 NASB

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly  Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. “  Matthew 6:14-15 NASB

“Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:13 NASB

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  Luke 6:37-38 NASB

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”  Matthew 18:21-22 NASB

Blessing, Laurie

Cooperate with God’s Refinement

Hebrews 12:10b says, “He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His Holiness.”

Correction in scripture is sometimes described as troubles, tribulations, hardship, or discipline. I do want to make it truly clear that God does not bring hardship upon you.  You live in a fallen world, trials and tribulation as spoke of in the Bible will come despite all your efforts to avoid them.

God uses your life circumstances to refine you.  Do you ever find yourself asking God why me?  Many times, these circumstances are because of something you have done, our choices, behavior, wrong thinking, selfish desires and motives.

Read Isaiah 53:2-5  written hundreds of years before our Savior Jesus would be born…God reveals His plan.  He knew all along that it would take a Savior Jesus Christ, His very Son to save you from yourself.

“The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field.  There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.  One look at him and people turned away.  We looked down on him, thought he was scum.  But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.  We thought he brought it on himself,  that God was punishing him for his own failures.  But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!  He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.  We’re all like sheep who have wandered off and gotten lost.  We have all done our own thing, gone our own way.  And God has piled all our sins, everything we have done wrong, on Him, on Him.  (Isaiah 52:2–5 MSG)

What is God’s purpose in discipline?  What blessings can you expect when you surrender to it?

Hebrews 12:5-10 says tell you what you need to complete the tasks He has for you.  He is preparing you for something better more valuable to Him!

“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So, do not feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, do not shrug off God’s discipline, but do not be crushed by it either.  It is the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that is why you must never drop out. He is treating you as dear children. This trouble you are in is not punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline is not much fun. It always feels like it is going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (MSG)

Hebrews 12:13 says that your behavior must be refined by Him for His work to be completed in you…”make straight paths (obedience and love) for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint (lacking self-control), but rather be healed (controlled through obedience to God’s Holy Word).

Now let us visit Romans 8:26-39 (paraphrases are my revealed understanding)

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; (1. The Holy Spirit strengthens you.)

27 He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  (2. He teaches  you to pray accurately.  3. He prays perfect prayers through and for you.)

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (4. All things work for your good as you pray, love God, and desire His will)

29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (5. You are destined to be like Christ…living here and now a resurrected life.)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (6. Since God is for you, who can be against you or ultimately do harm to you? What do you need to overcome?  What lie must be broken and truth revealed?)

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (7. God provides everything you need.)

33-34 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. (8. God, the Holy Spirit will show you where you have made a mistake, but He does not and will not continue to beat you up…repent and receive that freedom…stop remembering, let go.  Speak the Word of God out loud…the devil is a liar!)

35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (9. God loves you! He desires a personal relationship with you!)

 36-39 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (10. Nothing can separate you from His love! You are His child loved and valued above all of God’s creation. Your past, your freedom comes through Him conquered through Him because of His love for you. 11. Nothing can separate you from His love!  You are deeply rooted and grounded by His love!)

These days have an air of uncertainty however, my sisters in Jesus Christ you should know without a doubt who you belong to and that nothing can separate you from God! Praise and Worship your SAVIOR TODAY WITHOUT HESITATION! Do not let the devil distract you from your purpose and God’s will for you!

Blessing, Laurie

A New Life

Sometimes the best writing one can share is simple and yet profound…God’s Word.  Today my sweet sister’s in Jesus Christ have hope and courage; meditate upon God’s Amazing Truth and BELIEVE!

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you will have it all—life healed and whole.

I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw Him, yet you love Him. You still do not see Him, yet you trust Him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you will get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory. They clamored to know who and when. All they were told was that they were serving You, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

So, roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Do not lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You did not know any better then; you do now. As obedient children let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and He helps—He is a good Father that way. But do not forget, He is also a responsible Father, and will not let you get by with sloppy living.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood; you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew He was going to do this for you. It is because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Now that you have cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it. Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s Living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! 

1 Peter 1:3-23 MSG

Open up your heart right now.  Listen to Him.  Follow His leading, not just my words.  Man can fail you.  God Cannot and will not ever fail you.  He keeps His promises.  He loves you so very much.  You are His special child, and He wants you to curl up in His arms and feel His eternal, everlasting,  unconditional love.

Blessing, Laurie

The Believer’s Part in the Kingdom…

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you for keys of the Kingdom of Heaven…and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19 emphasis added

You need to pray that God will give you a burden for setting people FREE. Once your heart becomes heavy by seeing the devil hold captive the people with whom you have daily contact, you will have a hunger to see souls not only delivered from sin, but also set free from the demonic control of satan and his evil spirits. There is nothing so wonderful as seeing a person who has been in bondage set free supernaturally by the power of God.

Bind – Deo is the Greek word for binding, to tie or knit together. Deomai means “as binding oneself in prayer and supplications.”

Loosing – Luo is Greek for loosing “to loosen and destroy; to break up or dissolve and make melt.” It also can mean “to breakthrough or make an opening.”

Keys – Kleis is Greek for “having a key that locks, shuts up or closes.”

God has given us direct authority over hell and satan. We connect ourselves through prayer to confront, forbid to operate and tie up anything that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God.

When we loose we cause breakthrough in the spiritual realm. When you loose a thing you release the WILL OF GOD!

“Your Kingdom come, Your WILL be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Matthew 6:10

Truth: The only power the devil has is the power you give him in your mind. Satan has a big magnifying glass that he carries with him wherever he goes. He still wants to “be like” God. Is there something the devil knows that most men do not know? The devil wanted to be like God, but God made you in His image. Can you imagine how angry the devil is? The devil hates you because you are God’s chosen, loved, creation made in His image. God also gave you the power to rule over the enemy. He gave you the power in the Holy Spirit, this power is over all the power of the devil. Thank you, God, for the weapons we have to fight the enemy and break strongholds in our life! Amen!

Thank you Kimberly Daniels for your amazing spiritual insight, my Notes from the book “Clean House Strong House”

Blessings, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 5/18/20

The Woman at the Well

The struggle is real, weekly I meet women who are living in addiction, sexual abuse, mental abuse, self-destructive behavior based in their childhood experiences and more.  From my childhood until I was 47 years of age, I was held captive by my past and struggled under many of the before mentioned circumstances.  I had accepted Jesus as my Savior however nothing in my life changed, I knew God was real however I lacked the understanding that He wanted to be part of my life daily and that through Him I would become free.  I am sharing this with you because Jesus had an encounter with a woman much like me and He not only brought salvation to her, but He changed her life forever. This is my story, it became God’s story, I am forgiven and not forgotten, loved, and valued by my Forever Father God.  I wanted to share with you today through scripture how God wants to encounter each and every one of us in this very way…bringing us into His Kingdom giving us the authority to speak life in what seem like desperate circumstances and walk in the grace and mercy only Jesus can bring.

Walk with me and open your Bible to John 4, identify with this amazing woman and how God changed her life. (Please note that these are my teaching notes, be kind to the grammar.) Pray before you begin and ask God to reveal to you something new about Him and something new about yourself.

The Woman at the Well

Verse 4 we see that Jesus “had to pass” through Samaria. Everywhere and everyone that Jesus visited, spoke to, and healed was a divine appointment not only for that time, but for today and for tomorrow. You even read this is a divine appointment…What is God saying to you?

Verse 6 It was the 6th hour or noon in Jewish time – hot, dusty, a time when everyone was inside resting, seeking shade.  The only time she would go, so that no one would see her…full of shame, guilt, based on her life and her reputation.

Verse 7 Jesus asked her to “Give Me a drink” an invitation to truth, God’s way of putting you to work…Jesus is asking us to give Him something daily, our faith, praise, worship.

Verse 8 no one else was there.  The is a private, personal between meeting between Jesus and the woman…like He desires to have with each of us…one on one…intimate and personal.  His calling to her was not for anyone else but her.

Verse 9 The woman is unsure,  unworthy, she knows who she is and how she lives, the label the world has put on her, the lie that she has no choice. God sees beyond our circumstances, our physical form to our spirit…remember we are all His creation and we all belong to Him.

Verse 10 If YOU Knew…open the flood gates here it comes “truth” gift from God, Jesus is inviting her to ask, an invitation from God the Father. “Living Water” in the Greek means Life Rain…continually feeding us truth, nourishing, growing, steady…provided from heaven for you intimately and personally.  Think about rain and the different ways we experience it…

Verse 11 She is not getting it…”Sir you have nothing to draw with” she is only seeing the physical, worldly way not the supernatural truth of this “Life Rain” how long did it take you? Have you really gotten it, are you experiencing a constant rain?  Are there times of desert, dry, scorching dryness in your life? Are you held captive by the devils lies that you are not worthy of God’s love?  Do you live on the outskirts of Christian Life?

Verse 12 She is asking Jesus. Who are you? This man is speaking to her, there is something different about Him. She is moving from the world truth into the spiritual truth.

Verse 13 Jesus shows her and us that we are all the same, loved and cherish by God who created us. The “Life Rain” he is offering is for everyone.

Verse 14 Now here is the invitation to drink…Whoever drinks…never thirst again…forever changed, transformed…ask Jesus, ask God, forgiven, washed clean by this life rain… it brings, forgiveness, hope, mercy, grace.

Verse 15 The woman is still thinking only in the physical instead of thinking “Yes God”…we must hunger for it, yes taste and drink…this water this rain will fill you up and continue filling you until it spills out on to all of those around you…shared truth…your story is now and forever His story living in you.

Verses 16-18 Jesus now brings the hammer…I know you! Truth of his power and knowledge. This truth is revealed to her by Jesus recounting her life…She thinks how? He doesn’t know me?  You see God know every word that you have ever said, every thought, action, yes mistake, situation, sin…nothing is hidden from God.

Verses 19-20 The woman still cannot perceive who Jesus is and what He is truly offering, she thinks He is a prophet or religious man. She starts in speaking of religious ritual “worshipped in this mountain” conditions for worship…excuses, rules, ritual, specific place.  She knows if she even dared to show herself in the temple she would be rejected even stoned because she is a Samaritan and a prostitute. Are you suffering under a religious spirit? You have told yourself I will never be accepted in church, never belong? Sadly, today there are churches still making religious law their guide and not God’s truth that He loves ALL people. Jesus gave is life for ALL.  I want to say right here that the devil knows scripture as well or better than we do and he uses it to corrupt and distract, man uses rules and ritual, outward appearance and lifestyle to judge when scripture clearly tells us that only God knows the motives of the heart and only God can be the judge. Only God has the power to bring someone to Him, our responsibility is to share His truth, by Loving God and Loving People. Remember, a truth believer and follower of Jesus Christ seeks to have a personal relationship with Him…

Verses 21-22 Jesus rebukes this thought, your thinking is wrong, the truth of God has been corrupted by man’s limited knowledge, God is not a place, He is not found in a pastor, denomination or ritual ”neither in this mountain or in Jerusalem” …He is in His Word, He is Creator, Father, All Knowing and Seeing, Forever…Never Changing, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow…SUPERNATURAL Hebrew 4:12 says that truth is reveal through God’s Word living and active able to separate your flesh (sin, worldly thinking) from your spirit. Our worship for the One True God dwells within us coming through us in our attitude and actions.

Verse 23-24 Now is the time, praise and worship Him who lives in you and brings nourishment to your spirit daily.  This truth is for everyone God calls to worship Him in Spirit and Truth

Verse 25-26 Truth revealed to all…”The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Verse 27 The disciples recognized the importance of this teaching and so they did not question her or disrupt what Jesus was sharing with her…if you are familiar with the disciples they often would attempt to protect or distance Jesus from people.  I believe it is very significant that they said nothing as if they recognized the importance of “this encounter”.

Verses 28-29 At this moment God’s truth became hers and she could not hold back from sharing with anyone who would listen…determined. Her life was forever changed.  Freedom from the shame and guilt, sin forgiven, a new life reborn in Jesus.  Just for a moment close your eyes she her running back to the town and encountering people in the street, no longer afraid of what they would say or do.  The freedom she received from Jesus gave her the authority to walk in God’s righteousness and truth. Verse 29 says “Come and see this man who knew everything about me and has given me a new life, declaring I am forgiven, come and experience this truth for yourself HE IS THE CHRIST! Our Savior! God in the flesh!” paraphrased

Verse 30 The people responded…God used her to share the truth, to bring people to Him so that they might receive the “Life Rain” He was offering.  Later on, in verses 39-42 We see that many came to Him and they asked Him to stay with them. Because of the women bringing them to hear for themselves many were saved.  Not on her word alone, we must believe from our own hearing and come to Jesus as He calls us. Through this broken woman, Jesus brought truth to an entire region and the people of that area declared that “Jesus is the Savior of the world”.

I have saved these verses for now because this truth is for many. In verses 31-38 Jesus disciples still had not grasped who Jesus was and their responsibility as believers and disciples. The woman heard and responded, shared truth, allowed the life rain to change her, she took that truth and sow for the harvest.  Many hear the truth of Christ and even follow that message to church; however it gets hung up right there. The disciples witnessed Jesus in action and yet walked in ignorance of what He was calling them to do…it took the cross and resurrection for them to truly grasp all Jesus had been teaching them as they walked with Him side by side daily.

What can we learn from God’s writing here? This woman responded to God’s call in her life, first she had to allow the “life rain” Jesus was offering to wash away her past and see herself through God’s eyes.  To claim her identity in God not the world.  This claiming is where her strength came from, right now you must let Jesus direct your every thought and action.  Feelings and attitudes often are attached to the past.  The devil will use this to set you off course, distract and teardown the grace God has given you.  Use God’s Holy Word as a guide in every thought and action, let Him show you areas in your life that the devil is using to keep you for your true freedom and purpose.  If God has forgiven you and forgotten you MUST also…there is a tendency to continually analyze yourself, comparing yourself to others around you. To listen to the “well meaning” you must remember that the devil works through Christians as well as the world.  Do not let this endless cycle of self-evaluation kill your confidence and distract you from your unique personality and the special purpose God has given you alone. Jesus is calling you to be His church, to represent and present His truth and love to a fallen world.

I speak these words over myself as well.  Jesus let these Words of Truth sink in deeply and fill my spirit. I claim who God created me to be and I daily speak life into myself and those around me.  Daily we must make sure God is going before us in every decision and that we are walking in His will.

Isaiah 54:17 says ““No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” NASB

2 Corinthians 10:5 says “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NASB

Blessings, Laurie

Fight the Cause and NOT the Symptoms

Are you lost to the symptoms? What are symptoms? When you have a cold, the symptoms can be the running nose, cough, lack of energy, achy body. The word symptom means  “a sign of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable”.

Let us talk about the “existence of something”, I was listening to a teaching by Pastor Rick Renner and I want to share with you how it spoke to me.  Today we will be in Mark 4, Jesus had been teaching and healing throughout the Galilean region and people were coming from all over.  His disciples were with Him. This is important because they had every opportunity to  absorb all that Jesus was teaching, at the very least the truth of who He was and who they were in God’s kingdom. Much like you and I we have the historical account and teaching, the whole truth.  We should know without a doubt our position and authority, yet we let the “symptoms of life” stall and distract us.

In Mark 4 beginning in verse 35 Jesus says ”Let us go over to the other side.” Jesus knows He has an appointment, there is need and He must go and deliver an entire region from a demonic stronghold.  No encounter and no where Jesus went was ever by accident or mishap. Every step, every word had purpose and is still affecting God’s Kingdom today and forever. So, they set out in a boat to cross over to Gerasene. It was a beautiful night, not a cloud in the sky as they left.  They sailed into the night and Jesus in verse 38  was sleeping in the stern of the boat on a cushion. After a while scripture says, “there arose a fierce gale of wind”, this word “arose” in the Greek means something off guard, unexpected, by surprise.  These were experienced fisherman, Jesus’ disciples and they would not have risked going out onto the lake if there was a storm brewing.  In verse 37, the word used in the Greek to describe this “great wind” is a turbulence, invisible force, not natural and this wind caused waves to break over the boat so that it was all the disciples could do to keep water from filling and sinking the boat. It is so important to look at the Greek during this portion of scripture because the truth comes alive here…my Bible says breaking but the Greek the word is “beating” meaning by someone or some unforeseen force, entity, not natural. It is the devil that is attacking and trying to keep Jesus from crossing.  Keep in your mind that the waves and water are the symptoms and the wind is the devil or the cause. Remember earlier I shared that Jesus had an appointment to break a demonic stronghold and free an entire region. Let’s go back to the storm for a moment, the disciples are frantic, Jesus is sleeping and they are at their wits end, not understanding what is truly happening, fear sets in, it’s hopeless, they look to Jesus and He is sleeping through all of it. Jesus is resting, knows the outcome because God has set Him on a mission. Finally, in verse 38 the disciples woke Him, once again my Bible says simply “woke Him” however the Greek says they resurrected Him, demanded and like whining children declared “Don’t you care?” “We are going to die!” This “don’t you care” is translated in Greek to say, we are unraveled, undone, life is coming apart. Don’t you care about our current situation?

Here it is…the true teaching in this scripture the deeper revelation God is showing us today. Jesus’ response…verse 39 “And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.”  And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.”  This word “rebuke” the wind holds the key…Jesus spoke first to the devil and the word rebuke in the Greek is to embarrass or humiliate.  The devil is a prideful creature, so Jesus calls him out…with authority. He defeats the cause and then He hushes all the symptoms…the water.  The disciples thought the problem was the water, that which they could see and touch but Jesus knew the truth, Ephesians 6:12 says we fight against the unseen.  Jesus addressed the source, the devil and once that was accomplished all the symptoms subsided.

Here is the question we must answer daily and the one the disciples had difficulty answering. Verse 40 “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They had witnessed and heard His teaching firsthand, saw with their own eyes the miracles and yet when a spiritual attack came, they were unable to discern and act with authority over it.  The disciples thought the problem was the water and waves, they were fighting the waves, bailing water, trying desperately to find their balance in the waves (symptoms) instead of going directly to the cause and saying “NOT today devil!, I claim the authority that Jesus has given me!”

So here it is…Jesus tells us to call to Him, use your faith, believe without hesitation, do not look at the physical, your circumstances, situation.  Step out in faith and declare who you belong to… Notice that Jesus responded immediately to their request, He didn’t wait, He didn’t wait for them to gain understanding or to take action on their own…He did it! Jesus destroyed the devils attempt to gain a foothold and cause them to be further distracted from the mission in front of them.  Your life is that mission, to represent and to present His truth! To walk in the authority and rebuke the devils attempts.  We MUST learn to let our faith guide us. Whatever the devil does Jesus is going to go above and beyond.  We must believe that once the unseen, the cause is dealt with the seen, our symptoms will be defeated, and peace will come. Do not let fear keep you distracted and unable from receiving and fulfilling your mission.

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruth 5/5/2020