Tuesday, August 11, 2020



Do you know the Bible story about Elisha’s servant?  While trapped by the enemy, Elisha prays for God to reveal to his servant the surrounding army of God. (2 Kings 6:17) That story always excites my heart and encourages me when I feel trapped, thinking all is lost.  God reminds me He is still there, even when I can’t see Him.  He is with me, ready to fight my battle.

 

Mark Batterson, in his book The Circle Maker, talks about circle promises.  Those are the ones in God’s word that use the word compass.  This word means to encircle or go around, like when Joshua and Israel marched around Jericho or when Elisha’s servant saw the fiery chariots of God filling the mountains around them.  They were compassed about with God’s protection.

 

Here are a few more verses that use the word compass. 

 

Psalm 5:12 reads, “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” 

The idea is of a group of shields, like a riot squad encircling with shields for protection.  But the verse is talking about favour.  We are encircled by God’s favour, his goodwill, delight, and acceptance!  Sounds to me like a big hug!

 

Psalm 32:7 says, “Thou art my hiding-place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.”

We are surrounded by heavenly music!  We sing the song of the redeemed.  And, as Albert Barnes puts it, “The birds of the air; the wind; the running stream; the oceans; the seasons, hills, valley, groves,--all, to one redeemed, seem to be full of songs.  The feeling that we are pardoned fills the universe with melody, and makes the heaven and the earth seem to us to be glad.  The Christian is a happy man; and he himself being happy, all around him sympathizes with him in his joy.”

 

And Psalm 32:10 reads, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.”

Just as we are surrounded by the air we breathe or the sunlight that brightens our day, we find mercy and favour everywhere.  We live surrounded by the eternal mercies of God which are renewed day by day.

 

It is easy to feel like Elijah’s servant when we listen to the news and watch social media posts.  We begin feeling like we are trapped by the enemy, like our doom is sealed, and we have no help in sight.

 

But that isn’t true.  Is it?  God is always there encircling us with his loving hug, heavenly music in our souls, and eternal mercies.  Let me share with you Mark Batterson’s comment on these circle promises.

 

“Long before you woke up this morning and long after you go to sleep tonight, the Spirit of God was circling you with songs of deliverance.  He has been circling you since the day you were conceived, and He’ll circle you until the day you die.  He is praying hard for you with ultrasonic groans that cannot be formulated into words, and those unutterable intercessions should fill you with an unspeakable confidence.  God isn’t just for you in some passive sense; God is for you in the most active sense imaginable.  The Holy Spirit is praying hard for you.  And supernatural synchronicities begin to happen when we tag-team with God and do the same.”  (Circle Maker p 85, 86)

 

Dear friend, don't forget whose we are.  Let’s ask Him to open our eyes to see flaming swords and the army of God on every hand encircling us with His loving, shielded protection and boundless mercy as we join Him with songs of deliverance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Week Thirty-Two - F.E.A.R.




I’ll admit I coast Facebook more than I did before this pandemic.  My favorite thing is seeing funny posts that brighten my day.  I avoid the political ones, the negative whining ones, and those that try to draw discussion.  I just want to be entertained!  But sometimes, a post catches my attention and makes me think.  Like this one:
 

  “FEAR has two meanings.  Forget everything and run or face everything and rise.”  


That simple post got me thinking and comparing.

 

   Elijah forgot everything and ran when Jezebel threatened.

   The three Hebrew Children faced the fiery furnace and came out unscathed.

 

   King Saul forgot everything and sacrificed instead of waiting for Samuel.

   King David faced the giant and brought him down.

 

   Joseph’s brothers forgot everything – their family responsibility.

   Joseph faced his brothers and showed mercy.

 

I’m sure there could be more, but the point is clear.  Facing our fears has a better outcome than running from them.  When we run, we forget God’s promise.  By our action, we say we are inadequate to the task.  And truly we are, but we are forgetting the power of God within us that counters every fear.

   With all the fear associated with this pandemic, it is tempting to wish it would all go away or dream of escaping to the beach or mountains, but that is not the way to face fear.  Escaping only delays the inevitable.  And, I think of those who cannot escape—the doctors, nurses, and caregivers.  They are facing fear head-on, while we stay isolated in our homes.  I’m so thankful for these people who are not running!

   So how can I face this fear when I am not in the place of responsibility?  I thought of four ways.

1.     We can hold the frontline workers up in prayer.  We face fear through prayer.

2.     We can speak calmly to those around us.  We face fear by exhibiting courage.

3.     We can volunteer where possible.  We face fear by positive action.

4.     We can keep our heads!  We face fear by self-control.

 

  We must remember that we are not the first people in history to face challenging times.  The Greatest Generation, and others before them, who faced their life challenges with courage and dignity saw a rise or a blessing after their conflicts. 

   Our conflict will pass.  How we come out on the other side greatly depends on how we face the challenge before us.  Will we run?  Or will we rise?

  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Week Thirty-One - Math is Logic

Of all the classes I disliked, math was at the top of my list. Oh, I could do it, but I never enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, when I was a freshman in High School, the State of Missouri started a trial in school curriculum. High School students were only required to take math and science in their first year. It was voluntary for the remaining three years. So, guess who never took another math or science class after their freshman year? Yes! Me!

 

My youngest daughter, however, loves math. She is a managing accountant for a large charity and keeps books to the last penny. I’m still happy to round things off!

 

But when it comes to looking for things we can count on, God comes top of the list! We talked about making deliberate calculations last week, the “I Wills” of scripture. Today, I want to show you why we can have such confidence.

 

It is because God is a deliberate calculator. He is total logic. His promises make perfect mathematical sense—in His calculations! To do math well, you learn how to calculate. Right? To add, subtract, divide, and multiply gives starting points for more difficult summations.

 

Let’s see if I can explain this with my limited ability!

 

When I face C, I know that A+B is greater than C.

 

When I face temptation (C), I calculate (A) 1 Corinthians 10:13 and (B) Philippians 4:13 are greater than my temptation.

 

(A)  God says, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

(B)  I rest my faith in Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

(C)  Has no place to go! With the Lord’s promise to help me escape temptation, and the strength I am given through Christ, temptation is out-numbered.

 

When I face afflictions, I add Psalm 34:19 and 34:4 together and they become greater than C – my affliction.

 

(A)  God says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19

(B)  My response? “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

(C)  Afflictions are temporary. When I lay them before the Lord, though they be many, I will be delivered from each one in the Lord’s time.

 

A = the promise of God.

B = my response by faith to His promise.

C = my challenging circumstance.

 

Here’s what I’ve found. There is a promise of God for virtually every situation I face. And, there is a biblical response of faith on my part that activates the promise of God to my life.

 

I can know that 2+2=4, but if I decide I don’t like that outcome or pass it off as inconsequential, I am left powerless to resolve the sum. It is similar with God. I can know His promise, maybe even repeat it, but if I don’t want God’s intended outcome, or don’t have faith in the power of God’s promise, I will be left at zero—without strength.

 

We must do the math. God’s promise plus my obedience by faith equals the desired outcome. The “I Will” of God overrides whatever I face or experience.

 

 

Have a look at these promises – the “A” of the situation. God says:

 

I will be with you. (Isaiah 43:2)

I will protect you. (Psalm 121:7)

I will be your strength. (Psalm 18:2)

I will answer you. (Psalm 91:15)

I will provide for you. (Philippians 4:19)

I will give you peace. (John 14:27)

I will always love you. (1 John 4:16, 19)

 

What is my part – the “B” of the equation?

 

I will live in your presence. (Psalm 16:11)

I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)

I will draw strength from you. (Ephesians 6:10-11)

I will ask, seek, and knock. (Matthew 7:7)

I will let you be my portion. (Lamentations 3:24)

I will rest in you. (Psalm 37:7-9)

I will love you with all my heart, soul, and mind. (Luke 10:27)

 

So, are you doing logical math with God, relying on His promise, obeying by faith? Or are your calculations off?

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Week Thirty - Deliberate Calculations

There’s a little two-word phrase scattered throughout Psalms that always catches my attention, “I will.”  It’s a deliberate choice.  It says, “In the face of whatever circumstance, I choose...” 

 

Let’s look at just a few. 

 

Psalm 5:3 – “I will look up.” 

Psalm 9:1 – “I will praise thee…I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.”

Psalm 9:2 – “I will be glad and rejoice…I will sing praise to thy name.”

Psalm 18:3 – “I will call upon the Lord.”

Psalm 34:1 – “I will bless the Lord at all times.”

Psalm 39:1 – “I will take heed to my ways.”

Psalm 55:17 – “I will pray  and cry aloud.”

Psalm 58:9 – “I will wait upon thee.”

Psalm 119:62 – “I will rise to give thanks unto thee.”

 

This type of deliberate calculation moves us into deeper faith.  Without it, we stand doubting, confused, or self-reliant.

 

Take time to peruse Psalms and mark all of the “I wills.”  You’ll find many more.  Then, look and see how you are doing.  Like one of the personality tests, add up the ones you practice and the ones you don’t and see how willing you are to deliberately calculate with God.

 

The “I will” of the Christian life is essential, especially in the circumstances we face today.  Unless we make a decided choice to continue following by faith, we risk getting side-tracked by the noise of the world and the threats of the enemy.  We need to deliberately calculate that the choice to believe God, follow His Word, and wait upon Him, adds up to the wisest path and the most secure future. 

 

Such was the choice of Daniel and the three Hebrew children.  Their “I will” said, “We will not defile ourselves.”  Or Isaiah, whose “I will” came as his heart melted with conviction and surrender at the vision of God.  “I will go,” he said.

 

“I will” takes you to amazing places.  It bows you in humility at the foot of the cross.  It lifts you up to soar with eagles.  It leads you to the sureness of His call and the great promise of Himself. God reveals His power, His love, and His beauty to the yielded heart. 

 

The walk of faith demands, “I will.”  Isaiah 50:7 reads, “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall (will) I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall (will) not be ashamed.”  Isaiah is saying, “I choose to follow, no matter what.”  What about you?

 

“I will” is why I am where I am today.  Not just serving in England, but also spiritually and in ministry.  I am walking by faith in what He has revealed to me.  If the course needs alteration at any time, He will make the adjustment, and I will know it adds up to my yieldedness to His superior calculations.

 

The walk of faith is not a blind walk.  It is a confident, assured stride based on the knowledge of God’s word, character, and promises.  It is a walk that says, with deliberate calculation, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Week Twenty-Nine - Sorrow is Lent


The subject of my last video, Facing Sorrow, prompted several comments, but one that caused my heart to rejoice was this quote shared from a friend. 

 Amy Carmichael, in The Edges of His Ways wrote, “Sorrow is one of the things that are lent, not given.  A thing that is lent may be taken away; a thing that is given is not taken away.  Joy is given; sorrow is lent.  We are not our own, we are bought with a price, “and our sorrow is not our own” (Samuel Rutherford said this a long time ago), it is lent to us for just a little while that we may use it for eternal purposes.  Then it will be taken away and everlasting joy will be our Father’s gift to us, and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from off all faces. So let us use this “lent” thing to draw us nearer to the heart of Him Who was once a Man of Sorrows (He is not that now, but He does not forget the feeling of sorrow).  Let us use it to make us more tender with others, as He was when on earth and is still, for He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” 

 

Sorrow has to be the word as we look at our world today.  Sorrow due to illness and loss.  Sorrow due to civil unrest.  Sorrow at the language of hate.  Sorrow at the destruction of history.  And sorrow because we seem unable to find our way forward.

 

But I was encouraged as I thought about Amy Carmichael’s thought, sorrow is lent for a while.  Sorrow will pass.  Time will heal our wounds and this whole thing will be reduced to a few chapters in a history book.  But for today, sorrow is very real.

 

There’s a precious little scripture that reads, “O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me” (Isaiah 38:14). And David wrote, “My heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).

 

While we are in the grasp of sorrow, we can still look up.  The Lord continues being the lifter up of our head.  He will undertake for us.  These are precious promises.  And here’s one more to think about, “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:3).  God is perfecting our hearts through this process.  We struggle to understand His method, but that doesn’t deter His truth!

 

Amy Carmichael’s comment on joy brought a few more scriptures to my mind.  She said, “Joy is given.”  Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  And Isaiah 61:3 promises the Lord will “give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

 

My video lesson discussed things we can learn through a time of sorrow, like a deeper intimacy with God, spiritual growth, and empathy for others.  But today, I needed this thought – sorrow is lent; joy is given.

 

O, Lord, help us to endure and benefit from this time of great sorrow.  May the promise of Your eternal purpose rest in our hearts as we wait for the morning of joy. 

 

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  

John 16:33



Light that Shines and Contentment and Captives are available on Amazon as Ebooks and paperback.  These two books each contact twelve devotionals from the videos I have been posting.

 

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Week Twenty-Eight - Calculating Without God

Nahum 1:7 reads, “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

 

What a beautiful verse full of promise and assurance. God is good all the time. His goodness can be seen even in times of great trouble. His mercy remains constant. He is our stronghold.

 

Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

 

Proverbs 14:21 says, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.”

 

When the day of trouble comes, God’s children draw upon this refuge, this strong tower, this safe place. A stronghold is a place of protection, but also a place to stand your ground, a last bastion against the enemy.

 

Proverbs 21:30 “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” The world can rage and say what it wants, but He is the final word, the last stand. We need not live or react in fear to the day of trouble, but stand our ground by faith.

 

My thought today is, “How do we react when faced with trouble?” Nahum 1:7 and Proverbs 14:26 instruct us to turn to our Lord for safety. But more often than not, we move most quickly to fretting. And fretting means we are “calculating without God,” as Oswald Chambers puts it.  

 

“It sounds so easy to talk about resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him until the nest is upset—until we live, as so many are doing in tumult and anguish; is it possible then to rest in the Lord? If this “don’t fret” (Psalm 17:8) does not work there, it will work nowhere. This “don’t fret” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case. Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all but on your relationship to God Himself.”

 

He went on to say, “Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way.” I’m afraid this is too true! We often see trouble and move to think our way through. Have you ever found a Bible verse that teaches thinking through a problem? I haven’t.

 

Instead, we see verses exhorting and instructing us to trust in the Lord. To wait patiently on Him. To live by faith. To cast our cares on Him. To commit our way to Him.

 

If I were in a stronghold for safety, I wouldn’t be strengthened by the fretting and fear of those inside. I’d rather be in lockdown with those whose eyes were on the Lord, speaking of His goodness, and full of faith.

 

Dear friend, which are you? A fretter or a faithful rester? Are you inside the stronghold, or still out there trying to figure your way through?

 

Only God knows how 2020 will work out, and I assure you, you will better survive confident of His goodness in the stronghold of faith.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

N's of the Night Extended

 

The N’s of the Night

Gail Gritts

 

The enemy wants you to think you are the only one who suffers from uncontrolled thoughts.  The truth is, everyone suffers.  Temptations like this are common.  Most everyone has experienced a level of lowness and depression that caused them to struggle with their thought life.  Don’t fall for his lies!

Instead of saying, “God, here’s my problem.  You would be better to say, “Problem, here’s my God.”  God has given us plenty of tools and weapons to defeat the enemy.  We just have to learn to wield them!  I pray God uses what I have experienced and learned to help you.  Don’t stop with only the few verses and ideas I have listed.  Take time to study God’s word for yourself.  Dig out the promises and truth your soul needs.  You’ll be surprised by all God has to say.

                                                                                                                                   

 

NONSENSE

God gave us great mental potential.  Man has the intellect to invent, learn, explore, and improve his world.  Nonsense is an offense to this gift.  When the mind has a steady diet of wasteful thinking productivity and healthy living are inhibited. The heart feeds on what it is fed.  If we are reading, watching, and listening to quantities of nonsense in our waking hours, it is no wonder our hearts embellish upon these morsels at night.  Foolishness in a part of our sinful nature. (bound in the heart of a child - Proverbs 22:15).

 

Scriptural Comparisons

God’s word is amazingly clear on this point.  Proverbs 24:9 “The thought of foolishness is sin.”  That may sound very harsh, but it is a really sound warning.  Entertaining wild, ridiculous nonsense is a waste of our God-given intellect, a place for the enemy, and a non-healthy, potentially hazardous exercise of now eternal value.

Further, see Proverbs 22:15, 9:6, Psalms 53:1

 

Biblical Option

The Biblical option is Praiseworthy, meaning of value as opposed to no value.  It is one of the topics of though listed in Philippians 4:8 (“if there be any praise”). Of course, the praise if not of self, but of God.  Psalms 34:1-5

 

Biblical Practice for Release

  1. Learn to recognize foolish thoughts.

When these thoughts are recognized one good method of sorting them is to try to trace back the thoughts to see how this one arrived.  Many times, the nonsensical thought came out of a more serious thought, maybe one with no relations to where the mind wound up.  Training the mind to recognize nonsense, to be accountable for thought processes, and discerning in what it entertains leads to a healthier thought life.

  1. See what is feeding it and stop that.

Just as our physical health is bettered by disciplined eating, rest, and exercise, so mental health is benefitted by discipline in the thought life.  What are you watching, reading, and listening to?  Are you overtired or malnourished?

  1. Do a Bible study comparing foolish and wise thoughts.  A good diet of Proverbs might help here!
  2. Memorize Scripture to use as weapons in the night.  I Cor 13:11 is a good one!
  3. Exercise self-discipline.  When a foolish thought appears, confess it as sin and refuse to dwell on it any longer.  Remove yourself of situations or places where foolish thoughts are likely to rise in the day time.
  4. Seek Christ’s aid.  Call upon the Holy Spirit to teach you to discern between foolishness and wisdom.
  5. If you are still haunted by these thoughts, it is time to call upon a spiritual brother and practice Open Exposure.

 

 

NEGATIVES

Negative phrases pay over and over in the mind hoping to sound enough like truth that the individual will yield to defeat. Living and working from a negative perspective sets life up for many disappointments and difficulties.  So, learning to overcome negative thoughts is vital for mental health and a happy life.

 

Scriptural Comparisons

Scripture and the Blood of Christ are the most powerful weapons for negativity.  Gloom and doom are no match for the promises of Scripture and the blessed hope of the eternal soul. Philippians 4:13, Psalms 40:17, and a host of other Scriptures deal with negative thoughts and attitudes.

 

Biblical Option

The Biblical option is positive or optimistic thinking. Philippians 1:6 – confident – we can be confident that God is work in our life from the moment we are saved to the moment He takes us home.  He has a plan, and He never deviates from it.  He is never negative!  Never pessimistic!  Never hopeless!

 

Biblical Practice for Release

  1. Use Three Questions
    1. Where did this thought come from?
    2. Where will it take me if I believe it?
    3. How does it compare with Scripture?
  2. Proverbs 3:5,6 Lean not to your own understanding – trust the Lord!
  3. Jeremiah 29:1 – God ALWAYS thinks good of and for me.
  4. Restore your hope – choose to think positively.  Sing.
  5. Write out the negative and write out the positive – it is my choice which one I accept as truth.

My mind says –            But God’s Word says –            So, I will –

  1. Call for covering by the Blood
  2. Invoke Open Exposure

 

 

NARRATING

Narrating is an imaginary verbal debate.  Rehearsing words as dialogue in our minds to vent our feelings is a bad habit.  It sets our hearts on the resentments and builds walls of suspicion and anger.  Eventually, it sets us up for those words to come tumbling out when we least expect them.  Further, it sets an attitude toward that person or situation that will inhibit the resolution of the problem.    We may even come to believe that we are right to blast off at others, or, that we are the victim and should be appeased.

 

Scriptural Comparisons

Matthew 12:34-37 are the key verses.  “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasures bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

            This is a hard verse to accept at face value, for it says that our words come directly from what is in our hearts.  There is no grey area, only good or evil.  And we will be held accountable for those words.  Note: “every idle word.”  Wow!  So, if we narrate, we need to be using caution!  Proverbs 16:27.

 

Biblical Option

The Biblical option is prayer.  Philippians 4:6 encourages us to not worry over things but to bring them to the Lord with an attitude of thanksgiving.  No amount of our own thinking will ever be as beneficial or powerful as prayer.  Taking these things to Him, talking these things over with Him, asking God’s wisdom to be planted in our hearts, all are a more biblical approach to narrating.  Instead of talking to yourself, talk to God. 

Proverbs 16:6-9 also gives us a remedy to this narrating, a measure by which to judge.  “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.”  Stop and listen to yourself.  Are your words full of mercy?  Are your words truthful?  Do your words demonstrate your respect for God and your humility before Him in this situation?  Or, are you trying to devise your way without the Lord?

 

Biblical Practice for Release

  1. Stop and listen to what you are saying.
  2. Judge yourself by God’s Word, not your feelings or opinions. Psalm 139:23,24
  3. Confess your self-righteousness and appeal to God
  4. Begin to thank God for the situation and believe that He already knows about it.
  5. Ask the Lord to give you the right heart attitude.  Psalm 51:10
  6. Agree with God that He is all-wise, and you are not.  Isaiah 55:8
  7. Ask the Lord to put protection upon your heart and mind and to remind you to go to Him first.  Psalm 119:35 “MAKE me to go in the path of thy commandments…”
  8. If there is a grievance that needs resolution, follow the Biblical, and go to your brother in love.
  9. If you cannot resolve the situation personally, cast yourself upon the Lord.  Forgive where necessary, and leave the vengeance to the Lord.  Romans 12:19
  10. Call for the Blood of Christ for protection upon your mind.
  11. Invoke open exposure.  Seek out a spiritually mature brother.

 

 

NOSTALGIA

Our past is made up of unchangeable facts that make up who we are.  These unchangeable facts can become a source of grief for the nightly wanderings of the mind.  “If only I had different parents.”  “If only I had studied better at school.”  Thousands of questions and scenarios play before us as we remember past failures or memories of loved ones long gone.

 

Scriptural Comparison

God has two views on these nostalgic memories.  1) remember them for growth in faith Deuteronomy 8:6-7.  Psalms 25:6. And remember them as a warning and for instruction Psalms 25:7, Rev 2:5 then, 2) Leave them and move on Philippians 3:13 and become that new creature.  2 Cor 5:17

 

Biblical Option

Live in the Present.  What’s past is past.  Live for today.  John 9:4 – work while it is day.  Jeremiah 29:11 – God gives us an expected end, look forward not back.  “Worry looks around, sorrow looks back, but faith looks forward.”

 

Biblical Practice

1.      Isa 61:3 put on the garment of praise. 

2.     Move on – Philippians 3:7, 8 count it as finished and nothing as compared to your current relationship with Christ.  Philippians 3:13, 14

3.     Thank God for who you are now.  Psalms 139 and the promise of His working in your life.  Live in such a way as to honor your heavenly Father.

4.     Seek forgiveness if necessary.  Follow biblical methods, which may include Open E Exposure/Matt 18.  Know that some hurts may never be rectified.  Commit those to God and move on.  Ps 37:5, 1 Peter 2:23, 2 Tim 1:12 ff

5.     Move to the plain of forgiveness by using the Deck of Cards method (see the video entitled: Things I Am Not Thankful For…Yet)

 

 

NASTIES

Nothing should be more alarming to the saint of God than immoral, sexual imaginations.  A perfectly innocent dream or thought can turn into a pornographic image and leave the soul disheartened, annoyed, and fearful.  Continually entertaining such thoughts will bring shame and fear.  It has also been proven that those who indulge in such activities show a weakness in discernment and decision making.  It does not bring us to Christ, but leads to greater bondage and eventually to participation.  The truth is that we are naked and God sees everything (Hebrews 4:12-13).  We need not fear the dark side of our old man; he is not that powerful.  He is dead.

 

Scriptural Comparison

We are a new creature.  2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:14, 17, 18, 12 – I choose what I will think about.

 

Biblical Option

Purity.  Philippians 4:8, 1 Timothy 5:22, James 3:17, 1 John 3:3

 

Biblical Practice

1.      Confess it to God and seek his forgiveness.  1 John 3:3

2.     Ask the three questions (Where did you come from?  Are you true?  Where will you take me if I believe you?) and resist the thought!

3.     Weigh out what may have fed the imagination.  What activities may have prompted the thought?

4.     Confess it to God and take a stand in prayer, especially before you sleep. Cover yourself with the Blood of Christ.

5.     Open exposure for accountability.    

 

 

NURSING

Over and over we rehearse hurts and failures until we are sucked up by the bitterness. The truth is, we are cowards.  We do not have the courage to face the situation biblically.  We are not righteous but guilty. Guilty of seeking vengeance, of unforgiveness, of being a hypocrite because we do not act as we know we should.  Bitterness takes hold and robs us of joy, and it spills over to our family, our decisions, and our tone of voice.

 

Scriptural Comparison

Hebrews 12:15, Luke 2:35

Nurse it and rehearse it or curse it and reverse it!

 

Biblical Option  

Pardon.  We need to forgive any offending party and lay down our anger and bitterness.  Sometimes we may need to assume the guilt, put it on the scape goat and let it go!

 

Biblical Practice

1.     Matthew 18. If there are offenses that need forgiveness, you are called to forgive and seek forgiveness.

2.     If restoration is impossible, then choose to let it go.  Do not see revenge.

3.     Recognize that your nursing is murmuring and disputing.  We are commanded not to do that! Philippians 2:14

4.     Confess it as sin and forsake it.

5.     Fill in the blank.  Lord, I’m tempted to believe ______________.  Your word says, ___________.  So, I will ______________.

6.     Practice reversing the thought. Think good instead of evil

7.     Call for the Blood of Christ and seek truth.

8.     Open Exposure

 

 

NOBILITY

The crowd cheers, the awards are given, and the honor is all yours!  You stand on your pedestal as others bow before you and sing your praise.  You try your best to receive the accolades humbly, all the while your heart is lifted with self-praise.  “Finally, people recognize my true worth,” your hearts sings out.

Or, the scene may be different.  No crowds cheering; no award is given, at least not to you. You watch, as another is on a pedestal. You are left out seething with envy and jealousy.  Your heart tells you that you are being cheated. You deserve to be recognized.  After all, you are smarter, better looking, or more important than the current recipient.

What is the heart exercising?  Pride.  Self-promotion.  Oh, within our own hearts, we are dictators and kings.  Our wisdom reigns supreme, and no power can stand against us!  We actually believe we are great!

 

Scriptural Comparisons 

Proverbs 16:18, 13:10, 29:23, 16:5, 21:4, and the list can go on and on, especially in the book of Proverbs.

 

Biblical Option

Penitence. A word rarely used today, meaning recognition and sorrow for one’s faults and misdeeds.  The proud heart resists saying it is wrong.  It fails to see that promotion of self is demotion of God, and that is just what Satan did.  God hates pride.

He blesses a contrite heart. Contrite means regret, guilt, apologetic, or remorseful.

 

Biblical Practice

1.     1 John 4:7-10   Submit to God and humble yourself.  Psalm 136:23, 40:2-4

2.     Remember the pit from whence you were dug!

3.     Thank God for His mercy toward you.  1 Timothy 1:12-16; Eph 2:1-0

4.     Open exposure and accountability.  Tell the confidant, “I struggle with pride.”  Say it aloud!  Ask him/her to listen, and watch, and remind you when they hear or see pride in your life.

5.     Memorize scripture.  Ps 103:13-18

6.     Do a Bible study on pride.

 

 

NUMERATING

Some people find depression brings on thoughts of counting.  They hear numbers as they do things, they catch themselves listing – things to do, hurts they have experienced, words people have spoken, personal failures.  It’s like they are memorizing and meditating on them, and the numbers never go away.

 

Scriptural Comparison

Psalm 90:12, Isaiah 28:10  God teaches quite a bit about counting.

 

Biblical Option

Plus.  Might sound odd, but instead of counting, start adding!  Count your blessings and make those numbers positive.  Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”

 

Biblical Practice

1.     When the numbers start – say them aloud – hearing them will remind you to Stop!

2.     When the lists start – take each one through the three questions and resist!

3.     Look to see the pattern – what are you doing when this happens?  Are you over-tired?  Over-worked?  Dehydrated?  Hungry?  Worried?  Numerating usually a symptom from something else that is happening.

4.     Call for the blood of Christ to protect your mind and count your blessings instead!

 

 

NOISOME

Like a song that gets stuck in your head, noisome thoughts are repetitive and confusing.  They might not be negative or narrating, but they just play repeatedly and come to no resolution.  Sometimes, they come with images that terrify and leave you troubled. 

 

Scriptural Comparison

Psalm 94:19, Isaiah 38:14, 57:29, 21, 26:3

 

Biblical Option

Peace. The wandering and raging of noisome thoughts come to peace when our hearts are stayed upon the Lord, and we turn those thoughts to thoughts about the Lord.  Noisome thoughts are oppressive, but the Lord will undertake for you.  They cast up dirt and mire and take away our peace.  But God is our peace.  We can find rest in Him.

 

Biblical Practice

1.     Stop.  Stop thinking that thought!

2.     Confront it.  Go ahead and speak out loud if you need to or write it down on a piece of paper.  Then, tell it to stop!  You are not going to waste time thinking that thought again because it is foolishness, and foolishness is sin. (Proverbs 24:9)

3.     Begin reciting truth about the Lord.  If you don’t have any verses memorized, then go to Psalms and begin reading.

4.     Ask the Lord to protect your mind by covering you with the Blood of Christ

5.     If you have written it down on paper, burn it, or shred it!  Silence it!

 

NOMADIC

These are thoughts that keep you from being able to concentrate.  They wander uncontrolled and shift according to every circumstance.  They create too many avenues and make you unable to make decisions.  They camp out in dry places and leave you empty.  Nothing good comes from them.

 

Scriptural Comparison

Proverbs 16:3, Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 17:24

 

Biblical Option

Purpose.  God is a God of purpose.  He created us in His image, so we, too, have a need for purpose.  When nomadic thoughts take us on a desert journey, we lose that purpose. 

 

Biblical Practice

1.      Write down a few simple goals.  It can be as simple as eating three meals per day and making your bed.  Use these and build from there to put structure into your life.

2.     Focus on one task at a time.  Multitasking is often too strenuous for a depressed person.

3.     Learn to say “no” when necessary.  Putting too many things on your list only creates more nomadic thoughts as you wonder how you will get everything done.

4.     Commit these goals to the Lord.  By prayer, ask the Lord to direct your thoughts to the solutions and ideas you need to accomplish your goals.

5.     Celebrate your accomplishments by ticking them off your list, putting stars beside them, or even sharing your victories with a trusted friend.

6.     Keep your eyes looking forward – don’t look around at all the things that are undone or the things that distract you. 

7.     Listen to the Lord’s voice – Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.”  He will direct your steps!

 

 

NEGLECTFUL

Neglectful thoughts tell us to ignore our responsibilities.  They create excuses for our laziness, procrastination, and irresponsibility.  The most common excuse is, “I didn’t feel like it.”  When things do catch up with us, we are not prepared and feel like a failure.  It’s a vicious downward spiral when we allow neglectful thoughts to guide our lives.

 

Spiritual Comparisons

Colossians 3:23, Luke 16:10, Romans 14:12

 

Biblical Option

Pro-active   The whole idea behind winning over neglectful thoughts is to stay one step ahead.  To learn to think about what needs to be done each day and not allow excuses to keep us from putting things off or failing in our responsibilities.  To be pro-active means we learn to plan our day, set goals, and accomplish things that help us meet our responsibilities.  Being pro-active builds hope for us and those around us.  Every success is another step toward healing.

 

Biblical Practice

1.     Get with your prayer partner and talk about the excuses you hear telling you to put things off or that you can’t get things done.

2.     Make a plan.  Start with small goals you can accomplish and build from there.

3.     When you “don’t feel like it,” look to see what you are trying to avoid.  Maybe it is fear.  Maybe it is an uncomfortable situation.  Maybe you are avoiding criticism.  There is usually more of a reason than just feelings.  If you can pinpoint the issue, you can deal with it more directly.

4.     Learn to push through “I don’t feel like it.”  You might not feel like washing the dishes but wash them anyway.  You might not feel like making your bed but make it anyway.  Every time you push through your feelings, you will gain strength.  Every time you yield, your feelings gain ground.

5.     Take time of an evening or first thing in the morning to think through your day.  What needs to be accomplished?  Be pro-active by anticipating your neglectful thoughts before they have a chance to start talking!

6.     Whatever you accomplish each day, do it as unto the Lord.  He is the one who will reward you!  Colossians 3:23, 24

 

 

NAGGING

Nagging thoughts are the ones that push and push reminding us of things left undone, failures, and places where we have let other people down.  They grumble and grimace in the background always trying to assault our gains.

 

Spiritual Comparisons

Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 27:15-16, Colossians 3:22-24

 

Biblical Option

Promoting.   To put a nagging thought to rest, you need to have completed it.  So, if you have completed a goal, accomplished a task, fulfilled a responsibility, or had a spiritual victory, you can promote yourself!  Promoting is not bragging, but it is that sense of accomplishment and self-worth that comes from a job well done.  These accomplishments might seem small, but each one is another step forward!

 

Biblical Practice

1.     Nagging thoughts need to go through the three questions – Where did you come from?  Are you true?  Where will you take me if I believe you?  Most of them can be invalidated by this process.

2.     If they continue, consider what you may have left undone or what the Lord might be prompting you to do.  It might be to ask forgiveness, or to do a kindness, or to make a phone call.  Obey.

3.     False guilt is behind the nagging thoughts most usually.  Nagging thoughts like to create their importance when really, they are just pushing us around.  If you are guilty, then take care of it, and the thought will stop.

4.     Take yourself to Psalm 139:23, 24, and ask the Lord to show you if there is anything you need to do.  Then, let Him lead you.

5.     If they continue, by faith, ask for the covering of the Blood of Christ upon your mind.