October 30 2017

Breaking Spiritual Strongholds

Recently I have been struggling with taking my thoughts captive. I have allowed certain thoughts to really have their way within my mind, gathering power as they roll around, over and over again. Sometimes it’s just very easy to allow thoughts to get a foothold in our mind and not even realize that it is something that needs to be addressed and not allowed to grow. As I was letting my negative thoughts take hold one morning during my prayer time I realized, this is exactly how strongholds begin within us.

Strongholds start in our thoughts and lead to belief systems. It starts with negative thought patterns, such as “today is a terrible day”, or “I just can’t do this anymore”, or “why do these terrible things always happen to me”. These are just a few of the many examples of the thought patterns we struggle with that take root in us without us even realizing it. We are caught up in the emotion of whatever comes upon us, and we allow our thoughts to go in whatever direction our feelings guide us.

It is very important to remember that our soul is where our heart and emotion reside. According to the Word, we are easily deceived when we follow the leading of our hearts, because the condition of man is sinful. Therefore we cannot trust our hearts (aka our souls) to lead us, especially in emotional situations. We can only trust something that is unchanging and steady; Jesus Christ. Jesus does not change and is righteous and holy. Therefore we must compare every thought we have to His Word in scripture, and then give it over to Him so that He can unveil the truth hidden behind the emotion.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

2 Cor 10:3-5

Time and time again I have found myself going into a negative thought pattern and giving it reign over my mind. Little did I know that these were thoughts that had been playing out in my mind like a broken record, year in and year out. Maybe some of the thoughts had changed in some ways, but basically it was the same negative pattern that led down the same road. If God says He is God, then why am I so miserable, and why does the world look so terrible? It finally dawned on me that these thoughts took hold of me long ago and formed roots that went very deep.

Somewhere in my heart, I decided long ago that God was not who He said He was. I just could not come to terms that any part of me really felt that. I know that I love Jesus. I know that God is good. I have seen the miracles He has worked in my life, time and time again. However, if my heart truly believed in the goodness of God and His provision over every area of my life, then why would I constantly come back to these thought patterns that conveyed mistrust of Him?

I could not see that deep in the hidden recesses of my heart I did not believe God’s promises of love and provision. I could not see how I could easily fall apart when things went wrong because I wasn’t standing on the truth. And I could not see that even though in my mind I knew all of God’s promises and of His love, I was really not accepting them as though they were for me. I could tell myself all day long I believed all these truths, but in my heart I truly did not believe.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Roman 12:2

It was not that I didn’t believe in God or Christ, or even love Him with all my heart, mind and soul. It was that the hurt and dysfunction of my life had rendered me heart-broken and unable to accept these truths. My heart was in so much pain that it easily received the lies the devil had been sowing into me all along. The lies that I was unlovable, not worthy of God, and worse yet, that God is a liar and is not able to hold me up when I fall apart.

That is why it is so important to test every thought we have. We need to be willing to discipline our thought life for a time instead of letting our emotions run around like children on the playground. That way if our thoughts do not align with the mind of Christ, we know that we need to allow His Word to renew and transform us from the inside out. Without God’s truth we are susceptible to the lies of the devil, lies we may have already fell prey to years ago.

The devil wants nothing more than to bring us into submission to his will. He stands before the throne of God day and night, hurling accusations against us in the courts of heaven. Unfortunately because the devil brings so much pain and despair with his lies, we fall into submission to these lies and allow them to dictate and even direct our lives in many ways. As long as we believe the lie, it serves its purpose to tear us down and bring us away from God. That is where the strongholds take place.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Col 3:1-4

Years and years of false beliefs grow deeply into our hearts, taking root and establishing patterns of behavior that go unnoticed by us. We blame it on our lives, on others, on our circumstances, and even on God. The one who never takes the blame is the evil one who has set his face against each of us. We need to live by the truth that we are holy and blameless in the eyes of God, and adopted in son-ship through Jesus Christ into His family.

strongholdsThe moment we come to a place to recognize how far from the Word we have fallen, we need to start reigning our souls in and allow the Spirit of the Lord to led us instead. He is here every moment of our lives to guide and protect us. Even though God may not protect us in the ways we deem necessary, He is always with us. As we allow His Spirit to take charge over our lives, He will bring a great depth of healing into our hearts.

Our hearts are where our strongholds lie, and that is where we must begin. It is from our heart that life flows, and God is willing to give us a new heart; one that is purified and refined from the lies of the devil. It all starts with the Word of God. The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit in our Armor, and we must allow it to shape and define us, separating us from all that is unholy and untrue.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12

Where do we start when we want to break down spiritual strongholds? With our thoughts. Our thoughts will be the beginning of the trail that will lead us to the beliefs we hold in our hearts. Our thoughts betray the true intentions of our hearts. When we take our thoughts captive and give them to Christ, we can be sure that He will lead us to the next step. Jesus is more than willing and able to bring us the freedom and healing we truly desire.

So for today, start by acknowledging the worries and struggles that have been filling your mind. Take a mental inventory of those swirling thoughts by writing them down. Then go over them one by one and notice if there is a pattern to them over the next few days. Ask Jesus to guide you in this process as you give these thoughts to Him. Allow Him to gently guide you to the next step of recovering what has been stolen from you. Hope and truth.

Once you begin to take your thoughts captive the real work begins. Jesus can start giving you truth and you can start relying on that as you navigate your heart and search it for where it has gone astray. You can see the places in your life where the lies began to take hold and take root, giving every circumstance over to Jesus. Jesus can reestablish and rehabilitate your heart and mind to reconcile it back to Himself. We only need to be willing.

he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven
Colossians 1:22-23

 

 

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October 23 2017

Hearing The Voice Of God

voice of godHearing the voice of God is something that I think everyone struggles with at one point or another. For some it may seem like a distant promise that can’t really take root in their lives, for others it may be a very real part of their lives. I know I have struggled with this very issue myself, many times.

According to scripture, everyone has the ability to hear the voice of God. We see this reflected in many verses in both the Old and New Testaments.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 8:47

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jer 33:3

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Is 30:21

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you. Ps 32:8-9

 

I believe we are all born with an intimate knowledge and understanding of God. We come from God to earth for a purpose here. Unfortunately the devil works diligently to ensure that he can steal from us as much of that knowledge and understanding as possible. Many are indoctrinated away from the truth of who God is through pagan religions, and others fall away from God because of painful circumstances in life leading them astray. That is why many people do not have the intimate relationship with the Father through Christ they long for.

Often times we also have things working against us in hearing the voice of God, such as oppression. I myself have had many such circumstances where demonic oppression had kept me from hearing God clearly, or at all. It caused me great devastation, as having the guidance from my Father in Heaven has been the only thing that has kept me going on many occasions.

In order to really hear the voice of God we must be willing to make Jesus a priority in our daily habits. We must find that quiet space to connect with Him everyday, where we not only pour out our hearts to Him, but also to listen. It takes time and patience to grow our muscles of discernment. Even then, we must always test every spirit, to ensure the voice we are hearing is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The devil will not stop at trying to deceive us any way he can.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

John 4:1

 

Even the devil knows scripture and can taint our personal time with God if we are not careful. We need to become familiar with His voice in order to discern it from any other voice there is. The devil is quit deceptive and can make us think we are hearing from God when in fact we are not. We need to compare everything we hear to scripture, and pray for confirmation as well. If something doesn’t set right in our spirit that we feel is from Jesus, then we need to keep going back and test it to be sure.

Even Gideon, who heard the voice of God speaking to Him, tested what He heard. It seemed so outlandish to him that he wanted to be completely sure that he was acting in accordance to the true will of God. God was more than happy to allow Gideon to test His will, for He knows how important it is that we are not led astray. According to scripture there will be many false prophets and false teachers coming in the name of the Lord, and they will deceive even the elect.

I know this from personal experience as I have gone through many trials when hearing the voice of God. When I first began to hear God clearly I was amazed and excited. I felt strong and confident as I followed Jesus in many areas of my life. However, there came a time when in the midst of my time with Jesus that things changed drastically. As I spent my precious time with my Lord, suddenly it seemed that Jesus was turning sexual towards me.

At first I was very confused, but it seemed like it was Jesus, so I accepted it. Soon enough I began to really question it, and even Googled it. It turned out I was not alone in this experience. Many people had found themselves with sexual spiritual encounters with Jesus. It was through that searching that I came to realize that what was happening was not right. I was very scared and disturbed at best.

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

John 4:24

I completely quit my time with Jesus then. I did not try to hear from Jesus anymore, as I was just too unsure of what was real and what was not. It was about that time I had my deliverance and started my journey into inner healing. It was through that healing I began to learn that because of my previous abuse I was connected to false Christs who were allowed to speak to me, and yes even make these sexual advances upon me (in a spiritual manner).

voice of godStill it took me over a year before I was willing to attempt to hear from God again. How could I be so deceived and keep trying to hear from God? It was all to scary to even think of. Slowly but surely I began working myself back into a relationship with Christ, accepting His voice as a necessary part of my life again. I still wasn’t testing the spirits in these matters though, as I didn’t even realize it was something I should do.

It wasn’t until I began to pray for answers to things happening in my life with my husband that I realized something was amiss. We would both hear different answers from God, and I knew something could not be right. Finally through guidance of a friend who had understanding of my situation, I was able to understand the importance of testing the spirits when you are hearing the voice of God.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

1 John 4:2-3

I began to test everything I heard so I could better navigate this relationship I was still building with my Lord. Eventually I came to a place where I felt very strong and confident in hearing Him and knowing when it was Him. However, my trials in this were not over yet.

I have gone through more situations where I was positive I was hearing from God but got it wrong. Many times I do here Him very well and accurately, however, the devil has just been sneakier and learned how to interject himself in different ways than before. We all fall short of the glory of God, and no one is perfect. We are never going to perfectly hear the voice of God every time. We all are in need to test what we hear and compare it to the truth of who God says He is.

If you have struggled to hear the voice of God, or you have had problems and have given up trying, I am hear to tell you that it’s OK. No matter where we fail in this, God loves us. He is our Eternal Father and He still communicates with us daily, no matter our misgivings. If we fail to hear Him, or to hear Him accurately, He is still there, finding ways to communicate to us. We need to be open to hearing our mistakes and missteps, and know that we have so much grace on this journey.

This life is about our hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. We are never going to stray so far we cannot be with Him or receive His love. No matter where you are on this journey, be assured that our Lord is there every step of the way.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

 

October 16 2017

Identity In Christ

identity in christHow many times have you looked around the world and wondered why a good God would allow so much evil? Or how terrible things happen to good people? Surely a God of love would never allow these things. This is a common thought that many people have, which leads them away from Christ and into a pit of lies created in hell. If God is Sovereign, but the world is evil, then it looks like God is either evil Himself, or completely impotent to change it.

What we don’t understand is that we are not looking at the world from a heavenly perspective. We are looking at the world, and even at God, from a viewpoint that is not aligned with the Truth. When we compare these thoughts to scripture, we can see some very important realities that we have been lead away from.

We have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Eph 1:3

Examples of spiritual blessing are: the armor of God, treasures in heaven, an armory in our storehouse, spiritual gifts, the fruit of the spirit, eternal salvation, Gods love, grace and mercy, the heart of the Father aka His Holy Spirit, power and authority of Christ, perseverance, righteousness, holiness, being Gods people, being adopted into son-ship, inheritance into the kingdom, right to be called sons and daughter.

He choose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. Eph 1:4

Our citizenship is in heaven Phil 3:20 and we are seated there with Jesus right now Eph 2:6

Hope is stored up for us in heaven Col 1:5 where our inheritance is 1 Pet 1:4

Through Jesus we are more than conquerors, Rom 8:37 and because of that nothing, not even the evil schemes of the devil, can separate us from the love that chose us. Rom 8:38-39

So before time began God created us for adoption through Christ to be sons and daughters, holy, blameless, pure and righteous, forgiven of sins, redeemed through his blood, lavished with His grace, freely given His love. He then sent us here as citizens of heaven with every spiritual blessing. We are seated in the heavenly places right now, with Christ, for His good will.

The reason God brought us here when He knew how evil the world is, because He has already prepared us in advance with everything we could ever need. We are lacking nothing in this world and evil is no match for what God has freely given to us. He prepared us before the creation of the world so that when Lucifer tried to take it over, we would already have everything we need to defeat him.

However, God also gave us free will, in order that we might choose our own course in life. From the very beginning man chose sin. Man chose to do evil in the sight of God. We never gave up our treasures in heaven, we only chose the more difficult path in order to do it on our own and be like god. God was never worried when He created man, because He has prepared us in advance for all of this. The devil can never win, even if he has made it look like he can.

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 12:9

Why would God make people who were going to choose to sin? Some people have a proclivity for sin and evil.  Every spirit was born of God, and every spirit was created with His love. However, some spirits chose to reject that goodness, just as Lucifer did. God did not choose to abort any creation of His, because God is love, and love does not do evil. Love has hope, and believes in redemption and salvation.

When we do not rest the foundation of our belief systems on the truth of who we are and where we came from, we find it increasingly difficult to manage the pain and uncertainty that fill this world. We begin to listen to the lies that surround as at every turn and they slowly disintegrate the voice of our spirit within us. Our soul (aka emotions and thoughts) takes over and leads us by way of what seems right or what feels good. The next thing we know we are lost and full of hopelessness as we forgot the whole reason why we were created and brought here in the first place. Love.

identity in christIt is through our salvation that our spirits are renewed through the blood of Christ. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are again proclaiming our allegiance to the One True Living God. We are baptized into his death and resurrection and become a new creation. The death of this world that threatened to swallow us no longer has a foothold over us. Instead we are alive in Christ, as sons and daughters of the Most High. Our spirit never forgets where we came from. It is through Jesus our spirit is able to lead us through partnership with the Holy Spirit, instead of our souls.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

The devil is always going to try to bring us down. His process is to steal, kill and destroy and he is relentless in his tasks to do so. As long as we focus on what is wrong in our lives and what is wrong in the world, we will never regain the eternal ground that God built inside of us before we were ever born. We will continue to remain in that hopeless state of confusion that has twisted its way like a serpent into our hearts.

If Adam and Eve, who walked daily with God Himself, can lose their way and be deceived, how much more susceptible are we today? We have distractions in every facet of our lives, turning us around and around until we forgot we were supposed to be devoting ourselves to our call here on earth, given by our Heavenly Father. We are called to be set apart in a world that is confused and out of control. We carry the light and the hope of Christ, and we need to return back to the roots of where we came. Heaven.

Heaven alone is our where our focus needs to rest. The next time you feel you are in the midst of a identity crisis, you need to turn to the Bible and allow the truth of the Word to separate you from what is not of God. The Word is the Sword of the Spirit, and essential part of the Armor of God. It is only through the Word that we come to an understanding of these eternal truths that allow us to remain steadfast in the midst of the chaos around us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Category: Christian Life, My Salvation | Comments Off on Identity In Christ
September 25 2017

From Surviving To Thriving

survivingFor most of my life I have been just trying to survive. It’s like hanging on to the back of a speedboat that is cruising through the lake at 50 mph. Surviving is something that takes place of true living. You hunker down and wait for the storm to pass, except that it never really does. So you just keep hanging on as tight as you can, and hope that you make it through to the end.

At some point in time I got tired of surviving. I didn’t want to just survive life anymore. I wanted to be more than a conqueror through Christ. I wanted my reality to be the strength that everyone else saw in me. However, that was just too far away from my understanding of life. Moments of strength are great, but they have been so fleeting, and leave hopelessness in their wake. I needed the kind of strength that was going to allow me to let go of the speedboat, and instead walk on water.

Being a survivor of ritual abuse is a unique experience that is hard to describe. In many ways it is like someone who has been engaged in combat and comes home. You have seen war, death, destruction, and all sorts of evil. You are in a foreign country and away from reality as you have always known it. When you come home, everyone is so happy to see you. They throw a party for you and give you accolades for what you have done. Yet you just want to sit alone in a dark room, because it’s overwhelming to be at a celebration which only reminds you of pain and death.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

You are overwhelmed because you haven’t seen joy in a long time. You don’t even know what to talk about to people who haven’t been immersed in the circumstances of war like you have. They talk about the weather and politics and school and you just stare at them, trying to focus on what their saying and not on latent memories pushing through. At the end of the party they shoot off fireworks and it’s all you can do is run, because the flashing lights and sounds of explosion send you right back into the combat zone.

No one understands why you ran. No one comprehends the level of pain and suffering you now know so intimately. They want to encourage you, but their words roll off you like water. You feel isolated and alone in the midst of a crowd. How can you explain what you feel, what you have seen, when no one even wants to hear the truth in the first place. Everyone means well, but while you have been in your own personal hell, they have been enjoying the freedom that you fought for them to have.

When you have experienced high levels of trauma for a good portion of your life, you are living in survival mode. You know no other way of being. You are on autopilot, just trying to get through every moment of every day and still breathe. Many people are living this way and have no idea that they are doing so. It becomes normal to them, just as it did for me. Before I ever realized I was a survivor, I was living in survival mode. My whole life was spent surviving, I just had no idea. It wasn’t until I was desperate enough to know the reason why I was a huge mess that I began to learn the reasons behind daily surviving.

 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Survival does not equip us to thrive in unhealthy situations, nor does it help us find the truth as to why suffering has followed us wherever we go. Surviving only helps us to get one foot in front of the other. For some, this is how they will have to make it through life, because facing the obvious pain that has been staring at them for so long, is simply more than they can bare. Yet for others, surviving will be a season, not a permanent condition. They will strive to find out the truth in the answers to why things are the way they are. It is through that truth they will find freedom and healing in Jesus Christ.

I have been hanging on for what feels like a lifetime, and Jesus has given me the strength to finally let go. That speedboat has no intention of stopping, so Jesus had to talk me through the steps to let go of it, and allow Him to catch me right where I was. It was extremely hard and painful to even get to that place. Once I was able to let go, the world around me slowed down and I could once again breathe.

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Mark 4:39:41

It’s amazing when you finally come to a place where you are no longer watching your life whiz by you, wondering how to catch up. You can stop and open your eyes without the spray from the boat blinding you. You can focus on taking one step at a time towards Jesus, even though the storm is still raging on around you. The wind and the waves threaten you, and so you learn that sometimes you have to stand perfectly still while you get your bearings, and sometimes you can take that next step, always looking for Jesus.

Here I am, two years into my inner healing therapy and I have finally reached a place where I can breathe. Where I can be at peace with my circumstances and know that Jesus is my Rock and Redeemer. As much hell as I have been through these past two years, it was all worth the fight. There is nothing like the fresh air you breathe when you climb out of the pit. You get used to the stench and the muck of it, and you completely forget who you even are.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21

Yet Jesus has never left my side, not for one minute of my life. He has told me I am His, I am beautiful, I am special. Things I couldn’t believe before now give me hope. Jesus tells me He has never left me and I now know its true. Through every situation I was forced into, and every sin of my own doing, He was there. My proud Papa, who knew the core of my heart, and tells me I am good. I never could have thought I was good before. I believed I was evil, through and through. God knows the truth, about each and every one of us.

The goodness of God cannot be stopped, and His love can never be tainted. No matter what we do, and no matter what happens in this world, the love of God is an unstoppable force that will plow over the enemy every time. The only thing that keeps us from that understanding is believing his lies. If the devil can convince us that God is not who He says He is, then he has his hooks in us for as long as we allow it.

We may have all authority over the evil of this world, but until we recognize where we have allowed it in, we cannot use that authority to expel it. We will always have struggles and suffering as consequences to our choices to deny it. Jesus sees you. He sees your heart. He knows you, and He says ‘You are good.’ Who are you going to choose to believe?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

1 Corinthians 9:24-26

September 18 2017

How To Forgive: Steps To Freedom From Pain And Shame

Last week I wrote a post about forgiveness, and I would like to follow it up with a post on how to forgive. Learning to forgive can be quite difficult for some people. It can seem as though forgiving someone is excusing every bad thing they have done to you. However, that is not how the Lord sees forgiveness. Jesus came to set us free from oppression and death, and when we hold on to unforgiveness, we are holding on to the very things that strive to keep us in bondage.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

For some, admitting that there is a problem is harder than forgiving the ones who hurt you. It is much easier to live in a place of strong denial, where you keep a firm belief that everything is just fine; nothing is wrong at all. You are not hurt or angry. You have moved on and nothing can keep you down.

This is exactly the stance the enemy would love you to keep, because it is in that denial that you are kept in his bondage. Forgiving those who have sinned against you is a cornerstone of Christian faith. To forgive is to be set free. We cannot be set free from anger, pain, spite, vengage, rage, etc, when we refuse to connect to those emotions. We tell ourselves they aren’t there, and when we flare up into a rage and someone calls us out on it, we smile warmly and say we’re not angry.

There is no hiding from unforgiveness. It is bondage that allows the demonic to work through us to keep us in pain and harm those that we love and that we have issues with. You may need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you see where you have unresolved issues causing pain, anger, etc.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Step 2: Repent for your anger

Once we verbally admit we are angry, hurt, jealous, spiteful, envious, hateful etc. , then we are ready for the next step, repentance. Repentance means to turn from evil and turn to good instead. Acts of hate, anger, and all the other feelings that come when we don’t forgive are the same as making agreements with the enemy. It is going against Christ in us, and agreeing with our sin nature, which was born out of rebellion and partnership with the enemy.

When Adam and Eve decided to rebel against God in the Garden, they were actually agreeing with the devil and his lies. Therefore, it was like a contract and partnership, which cost all humanity. We do not understand the depth of what sin means until we see it in these terms. To sin is not just to simply do wrong, and that is why it is so important to repent of it. God has already forgiven us, and we do not repent in order to gain His love or approval. We repent in order to align ourselves to the Spirit of the God Most High, and flee from the devil and his ways.

Have the Holy Spirit lead you through the act of repentance. Repentance should be done out loud, because you are making a declaration for the whole spiritual realm to hear. Repentance can be as basic as “I repent for my anger at ____. I repent for all my evil or negative thoughts about ______. I repent for all my jealousy and acts of division towards ____.”

Just be sure to let the Holy Spirit bring all of it to mind. Do not be ashamed at your actions as He reveals them. Your Father in heaven loves you more than you could know. He is not mad at you. He has already forgiven you. He knows your heart and knows you are not evil. You are repenting because you seek to free yourself from the bondage that has kept you in alignment with hell, not because you are bad.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

Step 3: Forgive those that have hurt you

To forgive does not mean to permit sin. Forgiveness is the act of extending the blood Jesus shed on the cross to pardon us to those who have done us wrong. To forgive is an act, not a feeling. It is like a verbal contract between yourself and God, allowing His grace and mercy and love to flow freely to you and to those who have sinned against us.

The act of forgiving should be spoken aloud. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with the words. It can be as simple as “I forgive ______ for not being there when I needed them. I forgive _____ for not listening to me. I forgive ______ for stealing from me. I forgive ______ for saying hurtful things to me.

You may still have to work through some of the reasons for your pain, anger, etc. towards others after you forgive them. Often times things that happen to us now are a trigger (something that reminds us of a traumatic event from our past) to unresolved pain from our past. When we have traumatic events happen in our lives, which are wide and variable between different people, we store up the pain deep inside our psyche and keep reliving the wounds when they are triggered.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you work through any unresolved feelings that linger. You may find there are more things that need to be forgiven as time goes on. It is important to be patient and loving with yourself, forgiving yourself just as you are forgiving others. God does not expect you to be perfect, and knows you have done wrong in your life. We all fall short of the glory of God, and that is why Jesus came. We just need to keep surrendering and humbling ourselves continually, so that we can break free from this bondage and grow closer to God.

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Romans 12:14

Step 4: Bless those who have hurt you

Once you have forgiven those who have hurt you, it is important to then bless them. People who hurt are most likely just hurting themselves. We are all broken and living in a broken world, trying to make it through the best we know how. Sometimes we do mean to hurt others and sometimes we don’t. Either way, we all deserve the forgiveness of Christ and the cleansing righteousness it brings.

To offer blessing on those who have sinned against us, no matter how severe it is, is the final act when we forgive. It releases us to move forward and know that we have truly aligned ourselves with the heart of God. His heart is so full of love for every one of His children, and He wants to see each one of us come into repentance so we can be who He truly created us to be. We must not fall prey to pride, thinking that to forgive is enough, and to bless is too much.

By blessing those who have hurt us, we are opening our hearts up to be blessed as well, and bringing the gates of heaven to these people who need Jesus so bad. No matter where they are in life, you can never have too much Jesus.

The act of blessing is as simple as “I bless _______. I bless their life, their home, their family, their finances.” And whatever else the Holy Spirit would have you pray. He may have you pray intercession for them, because they may be in dire straights, and we do not know.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:13

We are not striving for perfection, but for the Father’s heart. As we continue to forgive ourselves and others, we can continue to grow in His mercy and love. We are to be ambassadors of His grace and mercy, and as we forgive, we are doing mighty work for His Kingdom. No matter how hard it seems, you can do this. I have had to forgive the most heinous of acts, on many occasions, and it has only brought me more and more freedom.

Your Father in heaven is so very proud of you and where you are at right now. Keep fighting the good fight of faith, my beautiful brothers and sisters!