January 25 2016

What Worship Means

handsMusic has always been a huge part of my life. As far back as I can remember I loved to listen to the radio and sing, or make up my own songs. I always participated in school Christmas programs where I would either sing or play bells or something cute when I was very young. As I got older I was in the orchestra at school for six years. Then I took a year of piano and two years of choir. After I graduated high school I bought myself a drum set and taught myself to play. I tried my hand at the acoustic guitar and bass also, not taking to them quite as well. I have always had at least one musical instrument in my house, even if I didn’t have time to play it much.

If I was too busy to play an instrument I would sing. All the time. In the car, in the shower, around the house. I love to sing. I even had a stint in a garage band for a bit after high school where I played drums and sang. Music has been a direct line to my heart and soul. Something strange happened about 9 years ago that put a huge interference with my singing. While I was pregnant with my third son, my voice just started to go out. I could not sing high notes or even scream for that matter. My voice would just disappear if I tried to go higher.

Not only were any high notes gone, but my voice became gravely and raspy. I should say my voice has always been a bit raspy, but now I was being asked if I was a smoker (which I wasn’t) or if I was a man over the phone. It was horrible. And embarrassing. I didn’t fancy myself some sort of great singer, but now I just sounded bad.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Psalm 103:1

When I became Christian I started listening to the Christian radio station. I was so moved by the music I heard and I didn’t think I could like Christian music. There is so much modern Christian music that it made it easy for me to transition from secular music. In church I heard modern worship music, which I began to love. The worship music would just touch my spirit in ways I had never experienced. One day while I was driving and singing to a worship song on the radio I prayed and asked God to heal my voice. I wanted more than anything to be able to sing the way I used to and to sing in the worship band at church. I didn’t have any confidence in myself unless God was to heal my voice.

A few weeks later worship band auditions were announced in the church bulletin. I knew it was a sign from God, but I was scared to death to even try. I knew I was not “good enough” to sing in the worship band, no matter how passionate I was about worship. Somehow I gathered just enough courage to try out, and was not given good news. I was told I had a good tone, but that my voice needed some work. I was not going to be able to sing in the worship band, but the worship leader was willing to work with me. Unfortunately that didn’t go as well as I hoped because it ended with being told I wasn’t improving enough to sing with a microphone.

I was absolutely devastated. I wanted desperately to sing in the worship band. I saw my dreams come crashing down before me. I don’t know if it was my perception, but all I heard was “you aren’t good enough and never will be”. It haunted me. Yet somehow he must have changed his mind because he asked me to sing in a vocal team (not with my own mic) a few months later, in the classic service. I had to learn hymns for this service, which I found were pretty difficult. I really did not like hymns at first, but soon grew to love them.

It probably took me a year to really get comfortable with worship. The church I belong to is a Presbyterian, and if you have ever heard the term “frozen chosen”, then you know exactly what a worship service is like at a Presbyterian church. No one raises there hands or shows emotion or anything like that. Very stiff. Well so was I at first. That is until my first women’s retreat. On Saturday night of the retreat, there was an extended worship session for whoever wanted to join. It was the longest I had ever been in a worship session. Before at church if I did not know the song, I would not sing, and I would be annoyed. I wanted to be comfortable to be able to participate. I certainly did not raise my hands. Well this extended worship session changed my life. I walked away with a new attitude towards worshiping God.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26

I was really on a high from all the worship. I let go and closed my eyes and listened to the song if I didn’t know it, letting the words penetrate my soul. I told myself that from now on, no matter what, I was going to be an active participant in worship, not just a passive onlooker. So every Sunday I would lift my hands into a posture of submission, where my arms were about waist high and hands turned up. I was opening my arms to my Father, and opening my heart in the process.

Before I knew it, worship began to take on a whole new life for me. It was a deep connection with Father God. He moved me in new and amazing ways. It helped to grow my relationship with Him as I opened up to Him. My love only grew deeper and I would find myself raising both arms high as I could with tears streaming down my face. What a miracle to take this girl who hated God, and turn her into a passionate love of Jesus Christ! What a Redeemer He is!

During this time I was able to sing with the vocal team in the classic service about once a month. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, and I loved it. I brought my new found passion for worship with me, raising at least one hand high to praise my wonderful Jesus, Lord God of All. I was the only one ever raising any hands at any worship services at my church. I did not care. I closed my eyes, sang my heart out, and let God fill me with absolute joy! He is so very good.

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

worshipSlowly I began to see one or two others on the worship team raise a hand about midway. And then a couple of parishioners raising some hands part way. It was a beautiful thing. The glory of God is infectious! And to worship Him and feel His presence on you is spectacular! Over time I have seen more and more people in my church raising hands to praise and worship God.  I have had many more opportunities to sing in the classic service than I ever dreamed, and sometimes even with the microphone I thought I could never hold. God is so loving and wonderful. I have even seen some improvement on my voice, even though God has not healed it completely yet.

Our God is so very worthy and so very wonderful. He has done amazing things in your life, even if He hasn’t taken you out of darkness as He has me. You do not have to have some “big testimony” to see how mighty God is, or what miracles He has done in your life. The fact that you are in a relationship with Jesus Christ right now is a miracle in itself, because the devil wants to steal you away from God and has been trying to do so from day 1 of your life. But God sought you out in His great love for you. He has wooed you and drawn you nearer to Him, day by day. He has given you blessings and strength and love, even when you felt you were completely unworthy.

That is why we worship God. He deserves all honor and glory and praise, forever! Hallelujah! So I urge you, come to the altar of praise and worship your King for all that He is. Give Him all that you are, all your heart, mind and soul as you worship Him. Come before Him unhindered and unbound by what man thinks of you. See what blessings God will pour out on your life when you take that leap of faith to stop being a passive onlooker in worship, and start being a worshiper. God loves you so much! He is not upset with you, if you have not been truly engaging in worship. He loves you right where you are at, no judgement, no anger. Do not be afraid of your Father. He adores you. Come to Him dear children! Come to your Father and forget everything else around you, for that one small moment in time, and be with Him completely.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
 Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come before him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[e] holiness.
     Tremble before him, all the earth!
    The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.

 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”

1 Chronicles 16:23-31

 

Let us Worship our Lord right now – join Him!

 

January 18 2016

Paganism Is Not The Real Enemy

paganismWhen I first became a Christian I was walking away from a life of what I called paganism. To me, I identified as a pagan, because I worshiped the earth, was at one with the universe and practiced ‘magik’. I was also completely against organized religion, so I did not align myself to any one pagan religion, such as Wicca. So I was just a pagan, or a witch. I associated paganism with witchcraft, because to me it was one and the same. What I didn’t understand was that paganism and witchcraft were not the same thing. This is simply how I chose to identify myself so as not to be indoctrinated into a religion. The truth is not all pagans do witchcraft.

It is a common misconception that paganism is inherently evil. It actually is not. Let’s look at the definition of the word pagan, according to dictionary.com:

Pagan: 1) one of a people or community observing polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. 2) a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth; neopagans. 3) a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim; a heathen.

So as you can see a pagan is not someone who practices witchcraft, but someone who subscribes to a religion that is polytheistic or don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, who died to save the world from sin. Now let’s look at the definition of paganism:

Paganism: 1) pagan spirit or attitude in religious or moral questions. 2) the beliefs or practices of pagans.

Paganism is not related to witchcraft. I have researched what the Bible says about pagans or paganism, and these words are not found. The words commonly used are idolaters and unbelievers or gentiles. Let’s look at the definition of these words as well:

Idolaters: 1) a worshiper of idols:  2) a person that admires intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship.

Unbeliever: a person who does not believe something; especially : a person who does not believe in a particular religious faith

Gentile: 1) a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith; especially :  a Christian as distinguished from a Jew.  2) heathen, pagan

So a pagan is basically the same as someone who is not Christian, and who has other religious beliefs that include worship to gods other than the One True Living God. This does not mean that a pagan is practicing witchcraft. So this bears the question, why is paganism so wrong and bad in the eyes of so many Christians? The argument is that  paganism is a problem because it leads us away from the One True Living God. The problem with this argument is that our entire culture in America is pagan, even our Christianity. Christianity is rooted in Judaism, but then took on many pagan practices over time. Our society is filled with paganism, and incorporated into most everything there is. Let’s take a look at some of the examples of paganism in our society today:

The Church Building – There is nothing in scripture that tells us to create buildings for the purpose of meeting together and talking about God. The first Christians met together in homes. Churches began to be built during the reign of Constantine, and they were not called church, but temples. Temples were in all the big cities in that time, but they were dedicated to various gods and goddesses. People would go to meet and worship their gods and goddesses in their temples daily. The very idea of a church is pagan in origin.

Weddings – Almost every wedding practice we have today is based in pagan roots. There is no place weddings are commanded in scripture, nor the use of wedding rings. The bridal veil, flower bouquet, wedding cake, and much more are all practices from the Romans and Greeks and symbolic of their polytheistic beliefs and superstitions. None of these things is Biblical.

Makeup – Ancient Egyptians used makeup because they believed the powders contained magic powers and believed green paint around the eyes protected them from evil spirits. They also used the dark eyeliner to make the almond shape around their eye, because it represented the Eye of Horus. Horus was their patron god and his eye was a symbol of restoration and sacrifice.

Calendars – The Gregorian calendar that we typically use is completely pagan. It is based on the sun, not on the moon as the calendar of God and the Jews. The sun-god was one of the most important gods in Roman and Greek society, so their based their calendar on this, so it would revolve around their holy days. The names of the days of the week and the months are all based on gods and goddesses.

Thanksgiving – Celebration of the harvest has been around since ancient times, and is not something new created by Americans. While the first Thanksgiving was reportedly done by Puritans, it was a custom taken from pagan practices. Other religions commonly offer their first crops to their gods and goddesses in thanks, so as to assure continued prosperity. Thanksgiving is not in the Bible as a mandated festival, and neither are any holidays we celebrate for that matter.

Birthday Celebrations – There is no mention of celebrating your day of birth in the Bible. It is said that the first birthdays were celebrated by ancient kings, who executed people as part of the festivities, as well as drunken orgies and the like.  Did you know that the most important Satanic holy day is one’s own birthday?

This is just a short list of the many practices that are pagan in origin that we do or use on a regular basis. The bottom line is we live in a broken world full of sin, in which the devil has his playground. There has never been a time when paganism wasn’t predominant. If we try to escape paganism, we become legalistic, using the idea that paganism is evil to fight against people we see in the midst of practicing paganism. It become a vicious cycle, in which we lash out with hate and pride, instead of loving people into the arms of Jesus. Am I condoning paganism? No. What I am saying is, paganism is not the real problem or the enemy we should focus our fight against.

When I first began my research two years ago into Christmas and whether or not it was right to celebrate, I came to realize that not only is Christmas full of pagan roots and origins, but so are most things we incorporate into our daily existence. I became despondent, as all I wanted was to remove myself from paganism after coming out of it, and yet here I was still in the midst of it. It is true that other religious beliefs, practices and customs can lead us away from God, but more importantly it is witchcraft that leads us away from God, and into danger. Paganism in itself is not evil, and I propose to you that the real problem is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft?

Let’s look at what the Merriam-Webster has to say about witchcraft:

Witchcraft1)  the use of sorcery or magic 2)  communication with the devil or with a familiar (spirit)

Witchcraft by definition in the Bible: worshiping idols (demons), necromancy (contacting dead ancestors), mediums (contacting the dead, seances), divination or fortune-tellers or omen interpreters (predicting the future), human sacrifice, animal sacrifice to idols (demons) sorcerers, wise men, enchanters, magicians, astrologers, drinking blood, cutting your body for the dead or marking your body i.e. tattoos (blood rituals), curses, spells, magic charms (cursed items), soul selling.

And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

2 Kings 17:17

As you can see, this is quite a comprehensive list I have found, through researching scripture. The reason God hates witchcraft, is because it is the practice of using the power of demons to either harm others for self gain, or to seek to find power, blessing or fortune from demons by worshiping them and giving them rights into our bodies, souls and minds through blood covenants, etc. Opening yourself up to witchcraft can kill your spirit, destroy your relationship with God, and you can potentially give yourself to Satan for life. God does not want to see His children falling prey to the evil devices of the devil. The devil lures many, many people in with promises of fame, fortune, power and more, as they give over their lives, or even the lives of those they love in order to gain these things. In exchange for these things they give the devil the control of their free will and the keys to generations to come.

Magic or witchcraft is extremely dangerous, yet it is also very seductive and deceptive. It comes wrapped up in a pretty package as everything you ever wanted, and more. It comes in the form of music, tv shows, movies, religion, and charms (crystals and other new age trinkets). It draws you in pretending to know your future or give you insight into life or a higher spiritual awakening. It disguises itself as fun and games, and it is the most deadly weapon the enemy has in his hands right now. Witchcraft is everywhere in our society, and just about everyone I know enjoys it in one form or another. Yet they do not label it as witchcraft, but rather their favorite book or movie they love (are obsessed with). I have experienced the danger of witchcraft first hand, and I know how deadly it truly is.

God’s warnings to us in the Bible are not to stay away from paganism, but rather to stay away from magic in all of its forms. In ancient times it was quite common to sacrifice your child to your “god” which was really a demon. It was also quite common to perform sexual rituals or blood rituals to make a sacrifice to your “god”. It was also believed to be necessary in order to appease to gods and receive whatever gain you are hoping to achieve. These gods often were represented by idols or statues which made people feel that their gods were more tangible and real, while the One True Living God was inaccessible. These sacrifices and rituals are witchcraft. Practicing witchcraft is akin to selling your soul to the devil.

No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

1 Corinthians 10:20

The devil is very busy distracting many Christians with the bait of paganism. He tells us how evil paganism is, how much God hates it, and how we need to fight against it with all of our might. Meanwhile we are being completely blinded to the depth and level that witchcraft has pervaded the entire world. Take Christmas for example. There is a group of Christians who believe that God hates Christmas, the Christmas tree, and thinks the whole thing is evil and pagan. Yet the rest of the world is using this as a time of peace, joy, giving, and sharing Jesus Christ. These Christians are actually at war with other Christians yet they believe in their hearts they are being righteous. Pitting yourself against other Christians never brings righteousness. Human anger does not bring on righteousness. We are called to love one another and lift them up to the One who has the power to transform lives. Not condemn them for what we believe is wrong. The devil has a heyday watching Christians fight among each other, whether it be over Christmas, the rapture or whether or not you can lose your salvation.

That is why I say paganism is not the real enemy. We need to stop focusing on paganism because it is only causing us to judge and condemn others, spreading hate and self-righteousness. It is causing us to turn away from God, and make ourselves our own Gods. Paganism is a part of this world, and as long as Satan has free rein here, paganism will prevail. You cannot stop it, but you can love others right where they are, even in the midst of paganism. You can accept them for who they are and love them with the love of Christ. Only Christ can bring these people where He wants Him to be. We have no say in where people need to be with their walk with Christ and we cannot try to control them through our own beliefs. Focus yourself on Jesus Christ, and through Him alone great things will happen.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Romans 14:10

I can say all this because I have spent the last two years judging everyone around me for their involvement in paganism. Everywhere I looked Christians were getting drunk, dressing provocatively, watching television shows about sex and drugs, watching movies about death and destruction, etc., etc. I was painfully aware of every single person being involved in things ungodly and unrighteous, meanwhile unknowingly lifting myself up onto a pedestal above them all. If God convicted me not to do any of those things, if He showed me the Truth of the wrong in those things, then they must be lying to themselves. I was on my way to becoming holy in my own mind, but in reality I was only becoming holier than thou. It was never my intention, nor my heart, but it was only a symptom of something greater.

What I failed to recognize is that people who are involved in paganism are doing so out of pain. Paganism at the core is all about pleasure and self fulfillment. It seems to be an instant remedy to pain, misguided as it may be. And while many people cannot even recognize nor admit their own pain, many are still operating out of it nonetheless. The devil has done a great work in this world to cause us more pain than we can even bear, and then try to numb ourselves to it as we bury it as deep as we can. Paganism is just another symptom of a broken world run by the devil. Witchcraft is the real enemy. Witchcraft will destroy your very soul. Witchcraft can take you straight to hell and you won’t even realize it until it’s far too late

God does not hate anyone who has been involved in paganism or witchcraft. He loves every single person that has ever been, or will ever be. He loves them no matter what – whether they are trying to find righteousness based on the law, or turning completely against Him. God’s love knows no bounds, no constraints, no matter what you have done. Even if you have knowingly chosen to practice witchcraft God does not hate you. He loves you more than you can ever know and wants to save you and bring you home with Him forever. We need to cast of our own constraints of religious thinking and find the truth in God’s own heart. His heart is for all of His people – to save them and bring them restoration. Come to Him now, and see what miracles He has waiting in His storehouse for you!

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 11 2016

Your Sin Does Not Offend God

sinWhen I first came to Christ, I was a big time sinner. Who isn’t right? It seems like I probably have committed most of the sins there are  – drinking, drugs, promiscuous sex, sexual immorality, witchcraft, divorce, adultery, lying, stealing, swearing, taking the Lord’s name as a swear word, blasphemy, hate and violence. Wow! Is there anything else left outside of murder? I’m not really sure. All I know is it was an absolute miracle that I came to God at all. It all started with walking into a Presbyterian church one Sunday morning, after never really have been to a Christian church in my entire life. I am often asked how I came to God, and the only answer that I can come up with is God. It was God Himself who brought my family into that church that morning. No person led us there, and it was completely out of left field that we even considered going to a Christian church. I was steeped in sin and loving it.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

The Holy Spirit did a good work on me once He got me into church. We began going to church every week and started to read the Bible, leading up to a baptism for my husband, one of my sons and myself. I believe this is when the real changes began to occur in my life. I lost all desire to drink or do drugs, to cuss, take the Lord’s name in vain, and much more. It only progressed into changing my dress to be more modest, not watching violence on TV (or sex and drugs, etc.) and more. The Holy Spirit was cleansing my soul in a way that was absolutely refreshing! I felt close to Jesus and was in love with Him. My relationship grew and grew until I came to this great place where I thought I had “made it” so to speak. Wow! Being a Christian was amazing, and the best experience of my life! Being with God was beyond anything I had every known that was supposed to be fun or exciting. He filled my heart and soul and brought me to completion. Could it get any better?

And yet it did! My relationship with Jesus continued to grow as He poured out His spiritual gifts and blessings onto me. It was amazing! Yet there were other problems I had. Problems with anger, and problems with my health. They were plaguing me and causing me suffering. Soon my relationship with Jesus took the back seat as I tried to just function every day. My health problems consumed my entire life. I was miserable and soon began to believe God had abandoned me. Finally I had a deliverance session that cleared up my brain fog and left me able to breathe again, enough to begin to restore my relationship with Jesus (at least on my side, because He really never left me). But my anger was still there. So I decided to try getting help, because I wanted to claim the victorious life that I knew Jesus had for me.

for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

1 John 1:4

I began a journey of inner healing which would completely change my life. For the worse (OK it just seemed that way). Many of the bad behaviors, the sin that I had thought I left behind, came creeping back in to my life. Swearing, hate, anger, revenge, lying, and more popped up on a daily basis. I was in shock – shouldn’t inner healing cause healing?! I was absolutely regressing! How could this be? I was also moving farther away in my relationship with God, as I lived in almost constant pain and anger. I was unable to see outside of it for very long and my favorite thing in the world – worship, was something that was lost to me.

I know this sounds bad, but it is actually very good. How can regressing into so much sin possibly be good? Well, it is a part of the healing process. You see I thought God had healed those things in me and cleansed me of my sin. The problem is, that long list of sins I wrote out, were not simply because I was a sinner. Yes, we are all born sinners, and the Bible makes that clear, but we behave this way for more reasons than just being sinners. Many of these sins, these behaviors so offensive to God, are done out of pain and trauma. As a young child I had experienced extreme abuse and it caused me so much pain and anger that as a young adult I blamed God for all of it, and tried to cover it up with drugs, alcohol and sex. I also had severe demonic oppression that led me into witchcraft, the occult and new age. Demons are able to gain access into our bodies through the false beliefs that come with pain and trauma. Sin is not always as black and white as it seems.

It is so easy to judge those around us who we see sinning. Maybe they are alcoholics, drug addicts, addicted to porn, promiscuous, dress provocatively, gamble and so on. We see this and we get angry and want to judge them. How could they call themselves Christian and behave this way? Don’t they know how wrong this sin is, how offensive to God this is? Or maybe they are not a Christian and are just lost in the world. We look at them and feel sorry for them, because we know they just need Jesus. And it’s true! We all need Jesus. But guess what? God is not offended by their behavior. Shocking isn’t it? Isn’t that what we are taught, God hates sin? You’re right, He absolutely does. But you are forgetting one very important thing – Jesus died to cleanse us all from sin before the eyes of God the Father. Therefore no one is seen before the eyes of our Holy God as sinners, but as His beautiful children. Jesus did not die and suffer so only some of us sinners could be saved, but to clear the name of every person on this earth, and free them from their sentence of capital punishment. Every body. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus died for all. Does this mean every person will be saved? No it does not. But every person’s name has been cleared until the time of their judgement. If God saw us all as sinners, He would have to turn His back on each of us until we repented and accepted Jesus. That is not the God of the Bible, that is a God of condemnation and judgement, who forsakes us. We are the most broken and in need before we come to Christ. God does not turn His back on sinners, looking down on them as they continue to sin, He loves them. That is why Jesus came into the world – because of the intense love of our God, our Father. God can’t help but love us.

And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:15

We are born into a world full of evil. It is the devil’s domain, and he is proud of it. He strives daily to take every single person away from God; to cause them to hate Jesus, turn on Him, and believe God hates them as well. With the help of our natural tendencies to sin, the devil is very successful at his job many times. At least for a season. God is willing that none should perish, and moves heaven and earth to reconcile with each one of His children. Yet because of the prevalent evil and sin in the world, many people suffer and experience, abuse, trauma, pain, disease, death, violence and more. It tears them apart, breaks them down, and causes them to become unable to function the way God designed us to. Many of us are walking around so broken that we can’t help but rely on drugs or sex or lying or other sins to get through our lives. We are so full of pain and despair we don’t even have any idea how deep it runs; like a river that threatens to rise above the shore. That pain is always just below the surface, and because of it, more often than not, we choose to sin in many ways. Does this pain make our sin excusable? No, but it makes it understandable. God knows our hearts and minds, and what we have been through. He has been through it all, with each one of us. He knows how hard it has been, and to what extent we can cope with the things that go wrong in our lives. He sees the sin we commit, but He does not see us as the sin we commit. Instead He sees the pain and brokenness in each of us, and knows why we make the choices we do.

God wants nothing more than to abolish our pain and heal our broken lives. He wants nothing more than to bring us closer to Him, to live in a restored and loving relationship with Him. I have heard many people who view God as a God who is always judging us and make us follow a set of rules to act right and be a certain way. You have to follow all the rules of the Old Testament, you can’t do this and you can’t do that or you are offending God and making Him mad. You need to believe this and not believe that are you are going to hell. I completely understand that, because when I first started reading the Bible, I felt the same way. I was offended by sin, I was offended by sinners and I was convinced that God couldn’t favor those who kept on sinning. That is because I had still yet to come into a deeper understanding of how God loves. God’s love has no conditions on it, ever. You do not need to act a certain way or do a certain thing to receive His love. That is what religion tells us, not Jesus.

Condemnation is not of God but of the devil. He is the Father of Lies and wants only to destroy our souls. So when we are looking down on other sinners of the world and thinking how bad they are, we are not in line with the mind of Christ. Underneath that sinner is a lost soul and a broken heart, crying out for love and desperate for healing. Just like you. They may seem like they have it all together, or they may just seem mean and nasty, but inside their hearts are fractured and crushed into a million pieces. Only Jesus can save us and heal that broken mess inside of us. It is our job to love all those around us, sinners or not. To stop looking at them as a bunch of lowly sinners, and start looking at them as fragile jars of clay that need a little TLC. While it may not be our job to fix the mess, it is certainly our job to love them right in the middle of their mess. Even when we are in the middle of our own mess. We need to take a good look around and realize that the person standing right next to you is crying out for help and hurting just as much as we are. Let each of us reach out and share our burdens’ with the next person, so we can comfort each other and help each other find the heart of Jesus.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8

handcuffsI know many Christians who are living in shame because they are struggling with a particular sin. If you are struggling with a sin that you can’t get rid of, that does not mean God is mad at you, or looks down on you. You have the grace and mercy of Christ! The mercy of Jesus triumphs over judgement. If you are struggling it is seriously time to take a deeper look at the root of where this sin is coming from. You have moved past just being a sinner in need of Jesus to having a deep root of pain or trauma that has led to this sin. And the devil is using this pain to push you further into sin, so you will believe you are not good enough for God. You are enough for God! You are worthy! He wants you, all of you and your sinful self! Jesus is the only way to freedom from this world, and all it’s pain and evil. He is the only way to life in abundance. But you must come unhindered by the weight of sin and shame. There is no place for shame at the foot of Christ.

I also know many non-Christians who won’t even look twice at the cross of Christ because they don’t want to be condemned by being told they are full of sin. They have already been condemned by Christians, telling them they are going to hell. That is not the message of the cross! Jesus came to give us freedom from sin, to give us eternal life, and His amazing love. No one can receive this wonderful gifts when they are being condemned to hell without having a chance to experience the love of God. Not once did Jesus meet people and tell them they were sinners going to hell. He saw right through the pain and brokenness and reached out to them right where they were. How can we hope to heal ourselves or reach the lost if we continue to view sin as a one way ticket to hell. We are not going to hell because we keep sinning, we are going to hell if we don’t accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. His love and atonement covers our sins, every single one of them!

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!

Romans 6:15

January 4 2016

My Journey Of Inner Healing

sadIf you have been following my blog at all, you know a little about my story and my testimony of how God brought me out of the occult and new age and into His saving Grace. It has been quite a journey for me these past two and a half years! I reached a point in life where I had grown tremendously and felt very happy with my relationship with Jesus. Yet I still had so much anger inside of me, and could not stop taking it out on my husband and children. I had no idea why. I knew I had a bad life but it didn’t seem to be enough to cause so much anger all of the time. I have experienced abuse, sexual abuse, and depression, but really, I knew that other people had it much worse than I had. My anger was plaguing me and I began to really feel hopeless to change it. No matter what I did I was always angry. I would always blow up over the slightest things. That is where my journey into inner healing began.

Not to mention the gaps in my memory of my childhood. From my earliest ages up to about late elementary I could not remember much at all. I thought it was normal though, being older and just forgetting things. I did have some memories, so I knew I could remember things. I remember going to my grandmothers to spend the night sometimes and what it was like there. I remembered the apartments I lived in when I was little and sliding down the stairs in my footsie pajamas. I remember playing with potato bugs and my first boyfriend (whom I didn’t even like!) And other little fun things like that. Starting at about age 13, I just remember my life very clearly. I remember all the major events in my life. If you read my story you will see that the story starts at about age 13, except for a little background on my childhood. From there on I could tell you most everything that has happened to me with no problems.

I have never thought twice about why I didn’t remember much of my childhood. I never even questioned why I was so depressed that I wanted to die at such a young age. I just knew it was because I felt my parents didn’t love me. My parents were emotionally unavailable and angry most of the time and I just assumed that was the reason I felt so unloved. I never questioned any of it; it just seemed normal to me. As my life kept going it just continued to spin out of control. This led me to believe I had good reasons to feel crazy, depressed and obsessed with death. I didn’t like it, I just accepted that there were valid reasons in place to cause these awful feelings inside me.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

This never seemed to be a good enough explanation to my anger issues though. As bad as I thought my life was, I knew it was not so bad I should be so angry all of the time. I would blow up at the drop of a hat, and completely lose control to the point of screaming at the people I loved the most. It would usually be over something that seemed like no big deal to others, but to me it seemed like the end of the world. I was always so easily hurt or offended. I did make progress in these areas to some extent, through the work of God. I began to love others when I never could before, and forgive easier. More so with people outside of my family though.

I was desperate for change, but no matter how many people prayed for me or how many deliverance sessions I had, the anger would persist. Finally I decided it was time to do something about it, and so I sought out counseling. I excepted that there was something emotional driving this problem, not just spiritual. I found an amazing Christian counselor who was Holy Spirit led. It was very different from any counseling I had done before. More like an inner healing type of counseling that started with prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I learned during these sessions that anger is a secondary emotion being driven by pain. Pain was a deep root that have been driven into me from an early age. It seemed to come from rejection and abandonment issues with my parents. Instead of identifying myself as an angry person, I started to realize I was a very hurt person, carrying around a deep well of pain inside that had never been dealt with. I had only skimmed the surface so far, and the bottom was still bubbling up and coming out of me. Pain hurts others, when we don’t seek to heal it and stop letting it control our behaviors and beliefs. Signs you may need inner healing.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

After a couple of months of seeing this Holy Spirit led counselor, I had to end our sessions due to the lack of a baby sitter. I was absolutely crushed because I had begun to open up the wounds that I had tried so hard to push down for so long and the pain was now pushing up to the surface, ready to spill out and drown me. I wanted inner healing and peace for my family. God had another plan for me however. He led me to someone else, who was going to begin a journey of inner healing with me like I had never experienced before. She had been down the path of inner healing herself, and was able to use her knowledge to help guide me as well.

My inner healing could not have really made progress if I had not first started with a deliverance session. Deliverance is the beginning to healing and it is like a house cleaning. You get rid of layers of demonic oppression, often caused by generational and ancestral curses, sin and other opened gates. This allows you to make room to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and His leading in your inner healing. Inner healing that is not done by Jesus Himself, is not true healing. Jesus has the power to destroy the bondage your past pain and trauma has over you, and to heal you completely. No one else on earth has that power. The devil wants to keep you broken and in bound to him, so that you cannot make progress in healing and in your relationships.

Before I go on I would like to talk about what inner healing is. Inner healing is completely Christ centered and Holy Spirit led. You always start with prayer and let the Holy Spirit led you in which direction He wants to go in. The purpose of inner healing is to heal your spirit and soul so you can grow closer to God and the freedom that He intended you to have. As you go through life, especially when you are young, you can have traumatic and abusive situations happen to you. These can lead to false belief systems that taint the way you see God, the world around you and other people. We behave through what our heart believes, not through what we actually know. Through inner healing the Holy Spirit guides you into memories of past events that have caused you trauma and pain. Through these you can find out what false belief systems have grown in you and then expose them to the Light of Christ to be revealed and replaced with His Truth. For some people this can open up very deep wounds that are very hard to deal with. Inner healing is something that you should not take lightly, and only accept working with someone in inner healing through prayer and the leading of God. Only God knows the perfect timing in which this should happen, and you must completely rely on Him to led you to the person He wants to use to help you through this.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

I first began inner healing sessions once every two weeks. It brought up memories of my childhood that I had already known about consciously. Memories that were painful and hard to deal with, but that also shed some light into the why of the pain. It was difficult, but not so difficult that I couldn’t deal with it. Soon enough the Holy Spirit began to led me into new directions in my memory recall. Memories that deeply buried and hidden, because the pain of the events was absolutely unbearable. Every week seemed to bring a new memory of horrible pain and abuse, each one related to or connected with the last.

As I started my journey of inner healing the pain and anger seemed to grow and I began to find life harder to navigate on a daily basis. To be honest with you, I had already been struggling a bit, not just with my anger, but with anxiety, stress and other things. It made daily life more difficult than it should have been and caused some bad days. I soon had to move up to a session once per week.  The pain that surfaced was so intense that some days it was all I could do to take care of myself, let alone make dinner for my family. Thank God that I had just enrolled my 3 youngest kids into part-time private school, because we had been homeschooling up until that point. God knew it was time for me to begin this inner healing, and that I was going to need help with the kids.

As the pain of the reality of my childhood began to be revealed my life came screeching to a stop. The world as I knew it was no longer the same. I began to understand the reason I was so angry and wanted so desperately to die at a young age. I had repressed memories so horrible that I really was unsure that they could have happened to me, because I did not want to believe that such horror could be true. It seemed like something from a movie that would happen to someone else, not to me. But the memories explained so much about who I was and what I believed. They explained why I was afraid of people and getting hurt, why I wanted to lash out at those I loved so easily. I knew they were real and not something forced or imagined because Jesus was right there in the middle of it, speaking truth into my heart, where it needed it the most. These memories were deeply repressed for a reason, but they were now coming out in God’s perfect timing for my inner healing.

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:32

I have discovered many things about myself in these past 8 months of inner healing. It has been quite a journey for me. I am now coming into a place where I am finding hope and functioning normally again for the first time in months. I began to gain weight and feel physically awful because I eat nothing but junk because cooking or meal planning was not something I could handle. So we ate lots of fast food and dessert, because it felt good and was easy. I am not done excavating memories that horrify me and bring up deep pain, but the work Jesus has done inside of me is a miracle. I am able to keep moving forward towards the end goal of being whole and complete in Jesus Christ. He has a wonderful plan for me, and Satan has been unsuccessful in thwarting it.

I have discovered many things about myself, my family, and my views of the world and other people. Satan has done a great work at trying to beat me down and steal me from God. It worked for a long time, but those days are over. That is just what he does, and he will never stop trying to rip apart God’s children. There are many people out there who have suffered for so long in shame and silence because they were afraid to talk about the horrible things that had been done to them. There are others who have an inkling somewhere inside, that they have something horrible hidden inside of them, that has caused them suffering for far too long. Satan has kept them in the dark, and bound in pain, but I say no more. You were not meant to live that life. You were meant to live in the light of Jesus Christ, who has died to save you and has a wonderful plan for you. Are you ready to come closer to Him, and see what He has waiting for you?

I am here to tell you that it is OK, and you are not alone. God is here with you right now, and He loves you so much. He knows your pain, your suffering, your guilt and shame, your fears and betrayals, and has experienced them all right there with you. And even though you think He was never there, that you were all alone, that is a lie. He was there. He was protecting you in ways that you cannot even fathom at this moment. But one day you will see how amazing your God is, and how far He has gone to help you. And when that day comes you will fall down on your knees in tears thanking Him for His love because you will be so overwhelmed by the intense love God has for you. It may not seem possible right now, but He truly will redeem all the years the locusts ate, and turn them around to use them for your good, and to glorify Himself!

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.

Joel 2:25

I am not yet ready to publicly open up about the things I have learned during my inner healing. I am not yet done with my inner healing. I have just now come to a place where I can accept that this is who I am and this is my story. For me that is huge. I know that God will have me finish my testimony here on my blog, to share it with the world. For now it would be too painful, and I am waiting for His perfect timing. I can only tell you that I now understand why I was so obsessed with death and was so deep into witchcraft and the occult for most of my life. The devil tried hard to steal God’s purpose for my life, to kill me, and to destroy all my hope. But I am here to say that he failed completely. Sure I have bad days still. I even have days where I find it hard to function sometimes or feel far away from God, and even blame Him, but those days are getting less and less. The devil did not steal my purpose away, because here I am, telling you about it on this blog that God gave me, so that you too can have hope. I did lose my hope for a while, and I may have days where I find it failing, but I believe in God’s promises to me. He has begun to redeem the hell of my life, and He will finish His good work in me.

inner healingIn all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:4-6

Trust in your loving Father and know He will finish His work in you as well. Continue to seek His face and the freedom and healing that He created you for. God has a perfect plan to bring you that place, through deliverance, counseling, inner healing and prayer, He will give you the peace and victorious life you have been promised. Never give up, never stop praying for His help, and never stop searching for His truth. Be as persistent as the widow who continued to ask the judge for justice. God will prevail, you can count on it! Be blessed in His holy name brothers and sisters!!

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Psalm 30:2