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

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/

It was a dirty job

“And while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. And she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

(Luke 2:6-7)

As we get closer to Christmas, we began to hear the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus.. As a amazing story it is, sometimes I think we forget, to show that it wasn’t this clean nice smelling barn, but that it was a messy place.. This is my favorite way of telling the Christmas story..

God had this messy plan…a plan to save the world, and to do that he was going to send his son. Where does the God of the universe send his son? Where does the King of Kings and Lord of Lords come? To a barn…a stable…a manger of all places! Certainly no place fit for a king. But then again, this wasn’t any ordinary king.

When I say it was messy, I mean it was messy. It was a barn, a stable. So you’ve got animals and animal…stuff, manure and mud. A pitiful place  for people, much less the King of Kings, to be born. Why would God do that? Well, I can’t tell you for sure, because the prophet Isaiah tells us that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways. But that same prophet, 400 years before, said “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us to our own way and that the Lord has laid our  iniquities on him.” (Isaiah 53:6) You see, Jesus came to a messy place. A barn, well, yes that’s messy. But he came to a messy world. Why? Because the shepherd was coming to take care of his sheep and to prepare a way for his sheep to go home. That’s what a shepherd does. He lives where the sheep are, he sleeps where they sleep and he eats where they eat… That got Jesus in trouble… Why did Jesus eat with the sinners? That’s what a shepherd does…

A angel appeared to the shepherds in the field and said “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12). A sign.. Have you ever wondered what that sign was?.. A sign for what?.. Maybe a sign that Jesus, is assailable to everyone.. A sign that the God who owns a cattle on a thousand hills can relate to a homeless person.. because Jesus never had a home, never had a place to rest his head.. Maybe it was a sign it was a sign that God would have nothing to do with the social status of man kind, a sign he detest the splendor of humans because it’s not worthy of him, but it was a sign for us, that we should follow suit. In fact the apostle Paul would later on write that we should have the same attitude as Christ Jesus although he was the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself a servant being made in human likeness..

A servant.. you see being a servant is messy and Jesus set this incredible example for us, he got down on his knees and he washed feet.. The God of the universe, the God who deserved the best of everything, got on his knees, he is the God who came to the world, he was laid in a manger.. a feed trough of all places.. Why such a messy place.. because he was following a messy plan

So needless to say that very first Christmas was dirty…it was grimy…it was filthy. But thank God it was, because without it what a mess we’d be in!

Unconditional Love

Definition of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

1: not conditional or limited : absoluteunqualified, Complete Love

“Then the world will know that you [God the Father] sent me [Jesus Christ] and will understand that you love them as much as you love me” (John 17:23, NLT).

Did you catch that? God loves you as much as He loves Jesus! That’s almost too much to even comprehend!

Scripture records that God’s love “never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]” (1 Corinthians 13:8, AMP). His love for you can never weaken. It’s impossible. His love for you isn’t based on your behavior but on His faithfulness.

God’s love for us is so all encompassing that we simply cannot comprehend its scope.

“For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, the voice).

Why did God give Jesus? The answer is simple: to purchase us back. In Genesis Adam gave himself, and consequently all his offspring (including you and me), to a new lord when he heeded Satan. Adam disobeyed God and separated himself and his descendants from Him. But since God loved each of us so much, He wasn’t willing to assign us the same fate as Satan and his angels.

God purchased our relationship back with Him by giving Jesus in our place. Jesus paid the complete price for mankind’s disobedience to God. He took our judgment.

The price of our soul is so expensive that nothing else could have bought us back besides Jesus Himself. “God bought you with a high price” (1 Corinthians 6:20, NLT). “Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free! We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, the voice translation).

No person or thing is more valuable to God than Jesus. Yet, God saw our value equal to that of what He prized most. Now here is the amazing thing If you and I had been worth one cent less to God than the value of His Son, He wouldn’t have purchased us because God would never make an unprofitable deal. (Recall the above scripture, “God bought you with a high price.”) A bad purchase is when you give something of more value for something of less value.

In God’s eyes, Jesus’ value is the same as yours! Do you see how important you are to God? This is why Jesus prays, “You love them as much as you love me” (John 17:23, NLT).

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.

Do You Remember?

Do you remember when dancing was undignified and just my name could make you cry? when grace was still amazing because it was more than just a song.. Do you remember? Do you remember at all?… Remember, how we use to talk and you would call me ABBA GOD?.. and knowing I love you was the of greatest reward? When worship wasn’t well rehearsed? and Buildings didn’t mean the church? And to be with me a hour didn’t seem like a such chore?.. Do you remember? Do you remember at all?…

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!