Tag Archive | John 8:32

From despair to freedom!

   There was a time when despair lurked beneath the surface of my thoughts almost constantly. In hindsight and especially after my lessons on fiery dart thinking, I now know that I was being victimized by fiery dart thinking. Or using a term you might relate to easier, negative thinking.

   My schooling in spiritual warfare taught me a lesson that transformed my walk with God.  Being the people pleaser that I was, I cared too much about what others thought of me. I lost my focus as to who I was in Christ. Instead my self worth had more to do with what I thought others thought of me. Obviously, if their treatment of me left me wounded, then my self worth plummeted. 

   I now realize that my temptation to despair had mostly to do with the thoughts in my head. If they were negative (and way too often they were) then a hopeless despair pulled at me constantly. 

   Learning how to reject those negative thoughts (fiery darts) and replace them with God’s Truth thoughts (Ephesians 6:16) set me on a road to recovery and to freedom. A lengthy process, I admit, but one well worth embarking upon; life saving in fact!

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No matter what others thought of me, or what I thought they thought, the Truth thought is found in Isaiah 43:4. I learned to make that my focus.

 

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Defeated?

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The Spanish Armada

   That is a word that rings too loudly and too often in many people’s heads. For some it rings for the sole purpose of influencing defeat, especially in a Christian’s life. It rings so loudly that it drowns out the Truth thoughts of God. Which is precisely it’s purpose. 

   Isn’t it odd that this happens to Christians! Christians have God on their side and He can defeat anyone or anything that is set against His will. But it happens!

Why?

   When we first become Christians we are like infants. And like infants, we must be consistently fed and nourished in order to grow and mature. However, many Christians today have experienced arrested development. This happens because we have not remained constant in feeding upon the Truths of God’s Word. And because we have not remained constant in prayerful communication with God, we have failed to develop in a healthy manner. 

   The unavoidable results of such neglect, produces such a weakened state that Christians  find themselves easily distracted by anything that is designed to keep them from these two disciplines. Eventually, we begin to live our lives not for Christ, but for ourselves. We turn our ears to listen to the World, instead of God. 

If this describes our state of existence as Christians, then Defeated will be the word that will define our existence.

   Do you feel defeated, confused, frustrated?   Please understand that these thoughts stem from your flesh, and Satan uses them to design fiery dart thinking, meant to undermine the wonderful plans God has for you. If these thoughts are ruling your thinking, then you have been cooperating with the enemy. Perhaps, you were unaware of this. But it doesn’t have to continue. 

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The following are Truth thoughts that will ensure the victory God has planned for us!

And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 ESV

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV

Ever been plagued by thoughts such as these?

   The following chart is copied from page 42 of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.This is just a brief example of the type of thoughts that plague many and hold them in bondage; undermining the work of God in their lives. My book will show you how to identify such thoughts, how to reject them, and how to select Truth thoughts to replace them.

FIERY DARTS

GOD’S TRUTH

REFERENCES

It’s impossible All things are possible Luke 18:27
I’m too tired. I will give you rest Matthew 11:28-30
Nobody really loves me. I love you. John 3:16, John 3:34
I can’t go on. My grace is sufficient II Corinthians 12:9,

Psalm 91:15

I can’t figure things out. I will direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6

 

I can’t do it. You can do all things. Philippians 4:13
I’m not able.

 

I am able. II Corinthians 9:8
It’s not worth it. It will be worth it. Romans 8:28
I can’t forgive myself. I forgive you. I John 1:9, Romans 8:1
I can’t manage. I will supply all your needs. Philippians 4:19
I’m afraid. I have not given you a spirit of fear. II Timothy 1:7
I’m always worried and frustrated. Cast all you cares on Me. I Peter 5:7
I’m not smart enough. I will give you wisdom. I Corinthians 1:30
I feel all alone. I will never leave you or forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

The result?

FREEDOM! 

John 8:32, Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”NIV

It’s all about me!

   The temptation of such a narcissistic way of thinking isn’t embraced suddenly. Before it can plant itself into someone’s mind, the soil (so to speak) of the mind must be made ready. This is accomplished subtly, as one fiery dart after another gains entrance. Over a period of time then an individual’s mind becomes ripe for the planting. 

   I want you to understand something though. Satan dangles this choice fiery dart before each and every one of us. But remember, it is what is within us that determines whether we will open our minds to it or not. 

   So, what happens in the minds of those open to an ‘it’s all about me’ mentality?

   Self and what self desires become the rule of thought. Eventually, they will rationalize away anything that keeps them from doing what they want to do–even if what they want to do is illegal or immoral, etc. If doing something makes them unhappy, then they won’t do it, instead they will do whatever it is that does make them happy. Because:

Achieving personal happiness is all that really matters.

   Fiery darts poison the thinking of someone who is driven by this mentality. That thinking fashions and shapes attitudes, then actions, to the point that the very definitions in their mind of right or wrong become challenged. Therefore, right becomes whatever makes them happy (because remember, It’s all about me). Wrong becomes whatever makes them unhappy.

   Truth no longer means what it use to mean! As fiery dart thinking moves and shapes those caught up in it to find ways to justify their self centeredness, it should come as no surprise that a simple act of redefining Truth, would open the doors to the freedom for which they so long desired.

    In recent months and days, we have witnessed the lengths those who are entrapped by fiery dart thinking will go to, in the name of achieving personal happiness. In addition, those whose thinking has been negatively influence by fiery dart thinking seem to be waging a campaign to have punished those whose desire is not to condemn but to live by their religious convictions.  

   Individuals whose minds have been clouded and confused by fiery darts (temptations which they have embraced) are unaware that they have been manipulated to exchange true freedom (freedom that in the past was called license) for a life of bondage. 

There is a pathway that seems right to a man, but in the end it’s a road to death. Proverbs 14:12 (ISV)

The answer to their dilemma, therefore, is found in:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

A Truth Thought when embraced will empower them to deflect fiery dart thinking that has held them in bondage;

Then you (they) will know the truth, and the truth will set you (them) free. John 8:32 (NIV)

Truth vs Lies!

Lies, Truth

The lies of fiery darts are attempting to place you in bondage.

Hope

But Hope in God’s Truth will release you from its bondage,

Jeremiah 29:11

But you must acknowledge that God is Truth!

How can a country know Truth when they have rejected the source of Truth–God?  Of course, you can’t know Truth apart from God. (John 18:37)  But apparently there are many (too many) who believe that it can be done and down through the ages they have attempted to do so. The results of their efforts have given birth to a definition based on lies.  For those who have rejected God’s Truth, darkness has become a way of life for them. They have become so accustomed to the dark that they see the darkness as light and the light as darkness.  Ooh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  (Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness,…)  And the resulting man’s truth has created a climate of fear and bondage throughout our land.

Unless,

we are willing to acknowledge God as the source of Truth, then and only then will the Light of Truth shine down upon us, exposing the fiery darts that we have allowed to plunge us into darkness.  When we acknowledge the Light of Truth, then Hope, and Faith will return and we will be released from the bondage of the lies and the fear they produce.

Take heart Christians,

in the following verse:

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

I write this post because America is in serious trouble. And because so many of our leaders are blinded to the Truth, we must be careful not to be caught up in their deception. We must not allow the lies of their truth to destroy our Hope. Instead we must dig deep into God’s Word and arm ourselves with God’s Truth.  And in obeying that Truth, we will discover that God is in control and man is not. (Daniel 4:35 and Isaiah 14:27) We will discover there is nothing to fear.(Isaiah 41:10)  We will discover He has good plans that we can place solid hope in now and for our future (Jeremiah 29:11).  We will discover that no matter what may come our way God will cause it all to work out together for our good. (Roman 8:28)  I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point!

So, Keep the Faith.

And remember, that other’s lack of faith in God and their disobedience to Him, in NO way diminishes God’s Truth. 

Until next post,

Truth = Genuine Freedom!

Proud of my country's flag!

Proud of my country’s flag!

Today my country is 237 years old.

Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago today, a bunch of ordinary men got together and did something extraordinary and here’s how they went about it:

Before they signed the Declaration of Independence, they went to church for four hours. Then they went to the hall and prayed an hour before they signed it. Several ministers were involved in the decree for independence.

These men knew that freedom wasn’t license to do whatever you wanted to do. They knew that TRUE freedom came through Faith, with Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty, based on Christian values and principals and steeped in the love of God. (Matrix of Liberty)

Our country’s forefathers were fresh from prayer and sacrifice as they signed that Declaration of Independence.  Therefore, the fiery darts had little chance to interfere with or manipulate their attitudes and/or actions.  Most of those men were Christians and I dare say ALL of them respected the Word of God.  Men like this didn’t give the fiery darts much room to mess with their minds.

But through the years this has changed.  No longer is America led by men and women who have a healthy respect for God and His Word.  Many don’t even believe He exists.  Personal agendas trump God’s agenda more often than not. How did we get from 1776 to 2013 and wind up so far from the principals we were founded on?

There are so many ideologies floating around in the halls of our leadership, and each one of them proclaim they want freedom.  Yep, you heard me freedom!  BUT it’s not freedom they really want.  Their freedom is just the fiery dart of license dressed up to look like freedom.  The enemy is so-o-o cleaver, I’m sad to say, and many of us have fallen prey to his deceptions.   

But we do have hope!  Our land can be healed.  It will require something rather dramatic of us, though.

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

This is what is all boils down to:

We need to humble ourselves

Pray

Seek God

Turn from our wicked ways

And there’s something  quite significant as to whom this verse is directed:

My People

(That’s Christians, people)

No fiery dart will tell you to start solving our country’s problems by humbling ourselves in prayer, seek God, and repent!  Nope, it will tell you to demand your rights, deny God, assert yourselves and don’t you dare call it ‘wicked’ (even if God does).  And if anyone comes against you for that, then the fiery darts will convince you that whatever you have to do to shut them up is acceptable.  Do you know why they think like that?

I think the Bible nailed it in the following verse.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

So, fellow Christians we have our mandate.  Don’t expect those who have rejected God to start acting right.  It’s not going to happen.  It’s not their fault our country has strayed so far away from our beginnings, for they are just acting as people like them have always acted.  We allowed it by not standing up for the principals our country was founded on.  We got away from God’s Word, and the further we drifted the cloudier truth became.  

We must get back into God’s Word and allow His Truth to dictate our attitude and actions.  Our country was founded and built upon the Truths of God.  Therefore, no other truths will produce what God’s Truth produces, 

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Romans 8:32

Bad News vs Good News!

You’d think that once a person had written a book about fiery darts (negative thinking) then those troublesome fiery darts wouldn’t be such a problem anymore.  N-O-T !  One thing I did conclude early on was that the fiery darts didn’t let up, if anything they increased! ugh!  The big difference was this:  They don’t rule my thinking like they use to!  And for me, that’s a really big deal.

My struggle of late is that the fiery darts are coming so fast, coming in such abundance, and are so unrelenting (bombarding my mind 24-7) that my spiritual strength is being sorely tested.

That’s the bad news!

But here’s the good news!

The simple truth (simple but HUGE) and one that I fall on my face before God in gratitude for is that because of what God has taught me about the attack of fiery darts, I DO NOT despair.  And I promise you, before God enrolled me in Fiery Darts 101, problems like I encounter today would have sent me spiraling into depression.  Let me share a scripture verse that puts it succinctly:

2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.’

I know that sounds a little heavy but those of you who wrestle with negative thinking that takes over your thinking, influences your attitudes, and spawns negative behavior, KNOW that the above verse speaks a powerful truth.  You know–the kind of truth that sets you free!

John 8:32

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set your free.”

Yes, one does get weary.  Yes, Satan gets more cleaver with every attack.  Yes, the fiery darts can fuel thoughts of despair and hopelessness.  BUT ask yourself the following question,

“Do I want to spend the rest of my life successfully warding off fiery darts, or do I want to remain a victim of them?”(p. 45 from my book)

May I share the final paragraph in Section I of my book? For I do believe you will be challenged and encouraged by it.

  When I am engaged in fighting off these fiery darts it’s not Satan who determines the outcome of the battle.  Remember Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against us will prevail.”(NIV)   The Enemy has already been defeated, and though we may struggle in the battle, the final word from Micah 7:8 is that “we will rise.” I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat.  And know that refusing to choose is a choice to fall and suffer defeat.  Victory is yours as Deuteronomy 20:4 reminds us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (NIV)  It is your choice! We know that Satan’s plans are to destroy us, but take heart for God has plans for us as well.  Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”(NIV)   (p. 45, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice)

Know, my dear readers, while those fiery darts are a powerful force, we have someone fighting for us that can turn the tide in our favor.

1 John 4:4

“…greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

Yes, the attacks are fierce, and at times almost overwhelming.  But hang in there.  Fight back with the Greater Power.  Hide behind your Shield of Faith.  Don’t give up.  Even though you have thoughts that God has looked the other way and your hope is daily dwindling that God is going to intervene, remember–expose those thoughts for the fiery darts they are.  That simple exercise will keep you hanging on and eventually you will see God move.  And when that happens (and IT WILL HAPPEN), I would love for you to share your story with me.

So that God can be glorified and others will be encouraged!