Breaking Strongholds

Breaking Strongholds

We live in this world, but we don’t act like its people or fight our battles with the weapons of this world. Instead, we use God’s power that can destroy fortresses. We destroy arguments and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ.

– II Corinthians 10:3-5

STRONGHOLD: Anything that exalts itself against God’s Word.  It contradicts the Truth.  It contradicts what God says about you.  It goes against the will of God for your life!

a)      A stronghold begins with a thought, or two or three.

b)      A negative thought unchecked…leads to vain imaginations…and that’s how strongholds are born.

How to Break Strongholds:

1. Go to the source—your thought life.

Proverbs 23:7- For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.

a)      We have to evaluate our thought life.  What wrong thoughts have  we accepted and believed that led to this stronghold?

2. Let go of the past pain.

Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not remember the things that have happened before. Do not think about the things of the past. See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. Will you not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

a)      FORGET the past!

b)      Don’t DWELL on it anymore!

c)      This is a NEW day!

3. Control your thoughts.

Ephesians 6:12-13 Our fight is not with people. It is against the leaders and the powers and the spirits of darkness in this world. It is against the demon world that works in the heavens. 13 Because of this, put on all the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will be able to stand in that sinful day. When it is all over, you will still be standing.

a)       Take every thought CAPTIVE and make it obedient to Christ.

b)       We have to deliberately choose what we allow our minds to dwell on.

c)       Decide Right Now:

d)      I am finished with this battle!

e)       I’m not fighting this stronghold the rest of my life!

f)        I am not going to let suicidal thoughts get the best of me!

g)       I am not going to allow poverty to reign in my life!

h)       I am not going to allow bitterness to control my life!

i)         Divine Weapons To Demolish Negative Thoughts—You Have:

j)         The Word of God

k)       The Name of Jesus

l)         Power and Authority over Satan

m)     At The First Sign Of A Negative Thought:

1. Stop and acknowledge that the thought is not from God.

2. Make a decision: I am not going to take Satan’s bait! I am not going to dwell on this

ungodly thought.

3. Resist Satan in the Name of Jesus!

4. Replace that thought with God’s thoughts about you.

a)     Don’t identify yourself with tempting thoughts.

b)     Instead of turning on yourself and attacking your self-esteem when thoughts come—turn

it around and attack the lies!  Deal with the real culprit that is a lie of Satan.

4. Be PERSISTENT!

A stronghold doesn’t develop overnight.   So you have to be consistent and persistent until you see the victory

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Something is really wrong with the Church….

Something is wrong in the Church today. I don’t say that lightly, or as someone who thrives on criticizing everyone else so as to establish my own spiritual superiority, or as someone who is feeding on sour grapes because things aren’t the way I would like them. I say it because of how many people I meet on a daily basis who are discouraged by traditional church and have chosen not to attend anymore.
Everywhere I turn, I hear people complaining about the same thing. This isn’t something localized to a particular area or limited to a certain social strata or denomination  I hear this from all sorts of people, many with impeccable spiritual credentials.  I have talked to pastors who have spent decades in ministry who are now questioning the vibrancy of the Church. Others just off the streets, armed with little more than a spiritual hunger, who refuse to attend church, not because they don’t believe, but because they are repelled by what they see, they are tired of seeing “Christians” and”leaders” in the church who are out looking like the world and acting like the world, and than acting holier than thou on Sunday mornings.
No matter how you view this issue, no matter what position you have, no matter what church you belong to, you have to admit that something is wrong.
We are supposed to be the salt of the Earth, as something that gives flavor to make a meal taste good. But when we are not attracting the lost, but rather repelling them, then our salt has lost its savor. What makes it even worse is that we are even repelling the saved.
There are opposing extremes to this issue, true, but shouldn’t the middle be closer to the truth? We see on one hand the churches that are so loose and “loving” that they excuse any sin or misconduct, including homosexuality and adultery in the church. On the other hand, there are those in their religious zeal have taken it upon themselves to proclaim their self-righteous judgments on every church around them. Somewhere they read that the Word of God is a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces, so they’ve traded in their fishing pole for a sledgehammer.
But in the middle, where we hope to find something that is more balanced, instead we find a modern church that is socially based, smooth and sensual, sophisticated, and presented like a Hollywood production so that it will appeal to the crowds who flock there. Listen, if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it is most likely a duck, and not a church.
And what, may I ask, ever happened to the Gospel of power? If our churches are supposed to be so good, then why are so many people turned off by them? If the fire that is burning in our churches was from off the altar of God instead of a Wizard of Oz production, then I can guarantee you that hungry souls would be drawn by the Spirit of God, but instead, they are turning away. Something is wrong!
Where are the old-fashioned preachers who used to preach under the anointing of power, and relied not their stack of disheveled notes, but on the power of God to deliver the message? Our pastors today follow the social and marketing formulas they were taught in college and present a Gospel in a multi-media fashion with 7 bullet points, a poem, and three jokes and Worship Leaders singing songs they like, they are the most popular all about “me” and leave Jesus out. Something is wrong!
What happened to the strong calls for repentance that brought thousands down to the altar to repent and ask Jesus Christ to save their souls? This is the litmus test for Christianity; it is the essence of the Cross; it is the Great Commission that Jesus commanded us with.  Something is wrong!
Where did all the miracles go? Not the weak excuses of “if it is God’s will …”, or a reliance on a “gradual healing” with a doctor’s appointment in hand, but the instant manifestation of the power of God? Jesus said to heal the sick, and preach the Gospel. Was He just kidding? Did He really mean it? Yes, He meant it! If there is not a flowing of miracle healing’s in your church, then I’m sorry, something is wrong!
Where is the outpouring of the Holy Ghost? Do we even know what it means anymore to feel the presence of the Spirit of God descend on a service and fill up the room with holiness? Or do we just think that our party atmosphere of excitement when someone plays a cool song, or the excitement that we get when some charismatic speaker works the crowd is the Holy Ghost? It’s been so long since we’ve seen the real thing that we don’t even know what it is anymore. Something is wrong!
Something of deep substance is missing in our church today. But we’ve become so sophisticated and enamored with our social Gospel that we don’t even realize that something is wrong. We are left like Gideon, threshing his wheat in secret by the wine-press of God because our fields have been taken over by a worldly church. And we wonder out loud to the angel, “What happened to the miracles our fathers have told us about?”
Yeah, that’s my question too. What happened?
When we lost our fear of God, we lost our power in God. And at that point, as it says in Isaiah 29, the Book became sealed unto us so that we no longer even grasp how far we have fallen. We read it, but we can’t see past the surface of the page.
I believe in the four R’s, the four steps to revival – Recognition, Repentance, Righteousness, and Revival. The first step to Revival is to realize that we don’t have one, to recognize that something is desperately wrong with our churches, and that we have lost something precious in our pursuit of a super-sophisticated modern Church. We’ve lost it, and we need to get it back…

I breathe in, I breathe out…

“The letters of the name of God in Hebrew… are infrequently pronounced Yahweh. But in truth they are inutterable….

This word {YHWH} is the sound of breathing.

The holiest name in the world, the Name of Creator, is the sound of your own breathing. That these letters are unpronounceable is no accident. Just as it is no accident that they are also the root letters of the Hebrew verb ‘to be’… God’s name is name of Being itself.”

~Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Source – Ann Voskamp

 http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/

He is… A Strong God…

‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. – Jeremiah 32:17

He is a Strong God

“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,extol him who rides on the clouds;rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

 When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.

You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.”

– Psalms 68: 4-10

The Waiting Room

The other day, I was sitting in traffic on 9a and just started thinking about all the time we spend waiting in life. We wait in traffic, wait in line at the grocery store & starbucks, wait for a promotion, wait for a relationship to turn around or wait for a prayer to be answered. It seems we spend a lot of time in the waiting room of life!

God sees us and is saying to us today, “I want you to wait the right way.” What is the right way to wait? If you look up the word “wait” in the original Hebrew, it’s translated to mean “hope and expectancy”. See, God wants you to wait in Him. He wants your hope and expectancy to be in Him. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (NKJ)

God has promised that if we wait the right way, then we’ll have the strength to wait. We won’t feel overwhelmed, frustrated and “zapped” of all of our energy. If you wait in Him, you’ll run and not be weary, walk and be lifted up, and soar like the eagle. This verse tells me there are seasons of waiting. Sometimes we have to walk through some things while we wait. Sometimes we run and the season goes by quickly. And sometimes, we’ll just rise above the circumstances and soar through the season of waiting. No matter what, God promises to strengthen and empower us when we wait on Him.

How do we wait in Him? First of all, we need to wait with praise and worship in our hearts and mouths. Praise always precedes the victory. God says He inhabits the praises of His people, and when God shows up, the enemy has to flee!

Another way to make sure you are waiting the right way is by watching your words, thoughts and attitudes. Your thoughts direct your words which ultimately direct your life. Make sure your words line up with His Words. Come in agreement with Him because your strength comes from your unity with Him.

You’ve probably heard it said that your attitude determines your altitude. If you want to rise high above the storms of life, you have to set your mind on things above, not on the cares of this earth. You have to keep your focus on Jesus because He is the Author and Finisher of your faith.

Today, if you’re waiting, make sure you’re waiting the right way. Keep an attitude of faith and expectancy and a song of praise on your lips. Know that He is faithful, and He will renew your strength and lift you up when you choose to wait in Him.

Integrity

“May integrity…protect me.”
Ps 25:21 NIV

Though repeatedly tempted by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph said no. Faced with similar circumstances, David said yes. But the story doesn’t end there. David married Bathsheba; when their son Solomon grew up he took seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away from God ( 1Kings 11:3). Integrity may not seem like a big deal now, but your lack of it will have far-reaching consequences. Integrity means keeping commitments, even though the circumstances in which you made them have changed. One leader points out that when integrity is the referee, your lips and your life will be in agreement. Your beliefs will be mirrored by your behavior. There’ll be no discrepancy between what you appear to be and what you are, whether in good times or bad. Integrity is not only the referee between opposing value systems, it’s the decision maker between being at peace and being fragmented within. It frees you to become a whole person no matter what comes your way. There’s a story about a job applicant who was asked why he was discharged from his last position. He replied, “Because I wanted to take work home with me.” When asked who he worked for, he replied, “The First National Bank.” We smile, but in a recent survey of employees, 55% said they didn’t trust their top management. Are you trustworthy? Will Rogers said: “People’s minds are changed through observation, not argument. People do what people see. What they hear, they understand; what they see, they believe and follow.” That’s why a corrected and contrite Psalmist prayed, “Guard my life…let me not be put to shame…May integrity…protect me” (Ps 25:20-21 NIV).

Stay Tuned…

Have you ever been riding in your car, listening to your favorite radio station when suddenly it starts to get a little fuzzy? And your tempted to change the station, but then suddenly, it comes back on and it’s clear again. It wasn’t that the station was having a problem, but there was interference with your reception.

Sometimes, that can happen in our relationship with God. We are going down the road of life and everything seems good, and then suddenly, we think we can’t hear Him. But He is still there. He is still speaking. We just have to stay tuned in to Him and not let the distractions of this world pull us away.

You know, there are a lot of other voices we can tune in to for direction. There’s the voice of the world that says, “Just do whatever you want. Worry about yourself.” There’s the voice of “the fear of man” that says, “Put the opinions of others first. Do what everyone else thinks you should do.” There’s the voice of condemnation that says, “You can’t do anything right. You messed it up before!” There’s the voice of fear that says, “Stop! Don’t do anything!” But this is all interference. It’s white noise. It’s not the truth. When you tune in to the voice of God, He will set you free.

His voice says, “Be at peace, I am always with you. I am leading you. You are strong and well able. Your future is secure. You can do all things through Christ. I have a plan. Trust Me. Listen to Me, and I will show you great and mighty things!”

Today, if the voices of the world have plagued your mind, tune in to the voice of God. Set aside time for Him each day. Even now, just take a few minutes to focus your heart and mind on Him. Let Him fill you with His peace. Let Him fill you with His joy. And let Him lead you in the good plan He has prepared for you!

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21, NIV)

I want to go Deeper

I think this says, what I want

 

Lord I wanna touch Your heart
No longer standing on the outside looking in
Lord I wanna see Your smile
And know it’s there because I’m pleasing You
Lord I wanna touch Your heart
So tired of standing on the outside looking in
Wanna be where You are
Lord I wanna see Your smile
And know it’s there because I’m pleasing You

Deeper on
To the place where it can just be me and You
I want to get closer Lord
Gonna find Your heart and lose myself in You
Oh take me deeper on
To the place where it can just be me and You
Wanna be alone with You
Oh oh oh
I want to get closer Lord
Gonna find Your heart then lose myself in You

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer to You
Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer

Deeper

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer to You

I wanna be where You are

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer to You
Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer

Deeper Lord to the place where I can be alone with You
Closer Lord
Gonna find Your heart and lose myself in You
I wanna be lost in You
I wanna be lost in You

Deeper Lord to the place where it can be me and You
Shall I be outside
Closer Lord
I wanna be closer
Just wanna find Your heart then get lost in You

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer to You
Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer

This is my desire

Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer to You
Deeper Lord
Closer Lord
Deeper Lord
Be strong,
Be closer

The Wall I Keep Running Into…

Have you ever felt like you were running into a brick wall? Have you ever said “God why can’t I get passed this wall?” Have you given up because the wall seemed so big? Have you thought “God what am I doing wrong! that I can’t get over this wall?!?!?!”

I’ve felt that way this past week, and I couldn’t see how to get past it, and I’ve learned I was looking at my situation all wrong, I was to busy looking down and defeated, I was to busy looking at the wall in front of me thinking I can’t do this, I until I read Joshua.

In the book of Joshua chapter 6, it talks about the Israelite and how God told them they were going to overtake the city of Jericho. Many of us are very familiar with this story. But this week as I read it, and I’ve been facing this wall not knowing how to get over it, this is what came to me.

The City of Jericho was a city that was completely surrounded by a wall it was completely fortified, and the bible says that no one could go in to it and no one could come out of it. Now here is the part I love God said the the Israelite, But I will give you the land! I will give you Jericho, the king and all the mighty men of valor. You know what that says to us? That no matter how impossible it may seem and no matter how high that wall may seem to be. If God says i’m giving it to you than he means I’m giving it to you.

The Next thing that happens in the chapter God begins to tell them how to over take Jericho. But instead of telling them that he wants them to get on the weaponry they have and instead of telling them he wants them to get all the men they could get to over take the city. Instead of man made things he tells them this I want you to go and just walk around the wall for six days straight and than on the seventh day he said I want you to walk around seven times. Now here is the thing he said the priest will carry the Ark of the covenant Which represents the presence of GOD, you see that is the thing that will give them victory is the presence of God will go before them. Its not by might, It’s not by power BUT its by HIS SPIRIT that we will overtake and that we will overcome!

Now this is the last part! And than God tells them after you have walked around the walls of Jericho, now he doesn’t tell them to go some where and sit down and be quiet. The bible says that he told them to lift up the trumpets and the horns, and than he tells them I want you to SHOUT! I Want you to SHOUT!!! I want you to SHOUT for the VICTORY! I want you to SHOUT before you SEE it. I want you to SHOUT before you know how its gonna work out! I want you to SHOUT now and the WALL will come DOWN.
We need SHOUT for our Victory, it’s time for us to SHOUT unto GOD with the voice of TRIUMPH because he is giving us the victory.

Leave The Past Behind

Stop
dwelling on past events
and brooding over times gone by;
I am doing
something new;
it’s springing up – cant’ you see it?
I am making a road in
the desert,
rivers in the wasteland.

– Isaiah 43:18-19

Reading this Scripture I knew that God wanted me to understand that He was indeed doing something new in my life. In fact I had heard those verses before and really liked the idea of His doing something new that He would make a way for me where it looked dry and wasted. But this time I knew He wanted me to see verse 18 and that the two verses really did go together. That got me to thinking.

I didn’t need to ask if I really was dwelling on past events. I was the queen of brooding over times gone by. When the God brought this to my attention there were a few things that I found interesting. First of all, whenever I would start dwelling on past events, on wrongs done to me or on wrongs that I had done to others, I would start to relive the feelings of the past and get angry, depressed, you name it. If I had either forgiven or asked for forgiveness, then I was purposely going back to the filth of those sins and wallowing in them probably not such a good thing to do. Then there’s the word “brooding.” Now, some people use that word to mean fuss or fume over something, but this is the same word that the God uses in Genesis when He says that the Spirit of the Lord was brooding over the face of the deep during creation. There is a sense of care and nurturing attached with this word. Was I really caring for and nurturing my feelings of pain and frustration that are attached with those times gone by? You bet I was! Lastly, if I really was dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by, if my attention was focused there, could I really see the newness that the Lord was bringing to my life? Very simply, it was extremely difficult to do so because my attention was not on the Lord.

God is indeed doing new things in our lives. He wants to bring us to new places of intimacy with Him. He wants to heal us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But we have to cooperate, let go of what lies in the past, focus our attention on the Lord, and be amazed at what He does for us!