"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Better Stronghold? Spending Some Time with Jesus, May He Possess our Hearts

Today, Christ is in one of two places: He is either in your heart and life, because at some time in your life you received His gift of love and forgiveness; or He is at your heart's door right now. My prayer for us today is that we will open our hearts to the healing and transforming power of Jesus, and that He will possess our hearts, our walk in this life, and that He will lead us to victory in 2009. Happy New Year, I am convinced, Jesus is a better stronghold. Your's in Christ, The Albatross
Spend Time With Jesus - "Jesus, my days sometime get busy and I forget to spend time with you. As I was in church last Sunday, a prayer flowed through my mind 'Jesus, I want to spend time with you. I want to be with you. When I get too busy in the day, Jesus remind me to spend time with you.' Spending time with Jesus each day, life becomes easier." ~ Charles J. Breunig
Are you ever haunted by your past? Maybe you had a failure or a bad relationship. Perhaps you were swindled by a friend or a relative. Maybe something that you have done still bothers you. If you will take the time both to contemplate and to act upon the keys that will be given within this writing, then you may very well be on your way to dealing with those memories -- not just masking them.
We need to realize that "strongholds" in our minds are patterns of thoughts that we depend upon to fortify, defend and preserve our personal beliefs, whether they be right or wrong, conscious or subconscious. Many times strongholds can be erected in an effort to preserve our sanity. Although sometimes they are helpful in a temporary situation, strongholds, all too often, become permanent ways of thinking. The problem arises when we take those strongholds and transfer them to different circumstances. Pavlov’s Law becomes operative.
For example, a woman is in a relationship with an abusive man. Then, the relationship is broken off. Another man comes along and marries her. Old habit patterns or strongholds have been well entrenched in the life and the subconscious of this woman. So, when this new husband does something to remind her of the former relationship, the same behavioral patterns or strongholds, consciously or subconsciously surface and cause another break in relationship. The scenario repeats itself time and time again. The woman experiences marriage after marriage, man after man, disappointment after disappointment. Unless something or someone steps in and breaks this stronghold, the cycle of broken relationships will continue. I realize that the preceding example is a simplistic illustration of what can be a very complex problem. The example merely shows that the woman or, by extension, the couple, is in need of a breakthrough. Strongholds might have been developed at a very early age. Often they result from the behavior of our parents. For example, when you trace the life-histories of men like Adolph Hitler, you find that the great evils they engaged in later in life had their roots in deep-seated hurts from early childhood. If our parents or parent were abusive, we might develop a stronghold of failure, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, drug dependencies, etc. If the mother of a young boy is absent or rejects him or does not show him the affection that he needs to satisfy his natural need to be loved and to show love, then effects can be seen the rest of his life. A lust for women or addiction to pornography might occur. On the other hand, if the father of a boy is absent or rejects him, then the need for man’s love might surface in a homosexual lifestyle or in homosexual tendencies. A failed business venture might form a stonghold of fear that would hinder us from living up to our full potentials. Strongholds can be found in many areas of our lives, affecting our finances, our eating habits, our sex lives, our marriages, our parenting, our children, the present, and our futures.
One of the greatest problems that hinders the breakthrough process is that the strongholds in our minds are frequently so interwoven with our personalities that we think that we have certain characteristics. We see ourselves as vengeful, angry, unloving persons, always blaming the other person. Thus, we leave the stronghold unchallenged.
However, my purpose in writing to you is to challenge strongholds with the truth that will set you free, change the course of your life, and affect your destiny for the good. At the outset, we need to realize that our problems are symptoms of unmet needs or of misplaced dependencies. You see, this world can be a very cruel place and has no desire to take your thoughts or feelings into consideration. For instance, if you own or rent a home, and you stop making your payment or paying your rent, then notice how long it is before you will become homeless. It does not matter whether you have broken your back in a car accident and have four children. The system will eat you up and spit you out as refuse. The people who have wronged you have been victims of the system as well, and have been trained by it to be insensitive, most of the time unaware. I am endeavoring to break the cycle of that abuse by writing from a different system of thought. So, what we want to see is the source of the inner conflict that manifests in outer conflict. In seeing the source, we can forgive and release it, thereby finding freedom for ourselves. Take my word for it. It works! You deal with the source or root of the problem correctly and the fruit will wither and die. If the root of the problem has not been dealt with correctly, then problems will crop up in other places. Let me illustrate. A few months ago, my neighbor had a tree in his backyard that was causing problems. He cut down the tree, but left the stump. A few months later, smaller trees were springing up all over the place. The problem was multiplied. My neighbor’s course of action had not helped in any permanent way. So, it is very important that you take the whole truth that is in this writing - not just a few nuggets of truth.
What lies at the root of the problem is what we call the self-biased impulse drive. Simply stated, people are born selfish. If you have children, you know that nobody had to teach them to want what other children had. So, for the most part, if someone has wronged you, then it has been to fulfill a selfish desire of their own, at your expense.
The first step to getting inner healing is realizing that we possess the same drive to be selfish, as does the person who wronged us. For instance, let’s say that you were sexually abused when you were a child. That was a horrible and extremely selfish act on the part of the abuser. It even might have left you feeling as though it was your fault. In your reaction to such abuse, in your heart arose a selfish drive of vengeance or of self-destructive behavior, such as drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders, self hatred, and so on. Selfishness will manifest itself in these ways, naming just a few. The cycle of selfishness must be broken for healing to come fully. Our realizing that selfishness is alive and well in us can help us to release the wound of selfishness that has been inflicted on us. As we see the other person as needy as we are, we are enabled to receive the first stage of healing. As we begin to loosen the grip of our affliction, tremendous insecurity might arise in our minds. Questions might arise, like: Does this mean that what the person did was right? What if I really let go? What is going to happen if I do? You even might think that things are getting worse because what were suppressed emotions are surfacing in order for you to deal with them. Often a grieving period may be necessary before we are able to release the wound that causes our dysfunctional behavior. The next step in finding your healing is admitting that you have a problem. This takes an act of humility. We have to take our eyes off the other person and put them back on ourselves. All excuses for our behavior must be eliminated. When strongholds arise, showing up in the forms of thoughts of revenge, anger, hatred, addictions, depression, guilt, and bad attitudes, we need to admit that they are wrong and are accomplishing nothing. Furthermore, we need to confess that the strongholds are actually both hiding and strengthening our problems. This revelation brings me to the most important step in finding healing.
In finding healing, the most important step is the issue of forgiving. We might say that we do not hold anything against that person who wronged us. We might say that the failed attempt to do something about it, without success, does not affect us anymore. If we think about the person or the past failure by replaying the situation in our minds, then feelings of resentment may arise or that sick feeling in our gut may stir. If so, we are not over the experience and we need to forgive the other person(s) or ourselves. True forgiveness has the ability to reduce bad memories to simple facts of your past. Webster’s Dictionary defines "forgiveness" as "ceasing to feel resentment against an offender." I would like to take that one step further. To me, "forgiveness" requires a conscious act of the will to pardon totally the individual.
So, we see that true forgiveness does not deny the issue or let it drift into a place of neutral co-existence. Rather, "true forgiveness" requires a bold confrontation that can be somewhat uncomfortable, emotionally. Often that requires a telephone call or a personal contact with the person, to whom the unforgiveness is directed. That is not always possible, as in the case of a deceased person. Not long ago, I heard a testimony in which that was the case. The person had been greatly abused by a deceased parent. That person went to the gravesite where the parent was buried. The person began to talk to the parent as though the parent was there alive and listening. Tears were shed as that person began to confess the bitterness she had held against her parent. She found a total release and healing from that wounded heart that day at the gravesite. Forgiveness seldom is an easy thing to do because it requires us to place a verdict of acquittal on the offender. Notice I did not say "not guilty." Releasing the offender does not mean that you condone or approve of what has been done. Rather, it means that the offended releases the offender from the desire to do vengeance from the heart. Now, I have made it to the real issue, "the heart." There is a real need to know what forgiveness is so that you can know how to release it. Understand that we all possess an uncontrollable selfish nature. It has to be dealt with by someone who has had that selfish nature done away with in his own life. That brings me to the focal point of all that I have said. Jesus Christ is the only one Who possesses the power to forgive sins. Through His forgiveness, your past hurts, disappointments, and resentments can be totally removed. The following words come from Jesus Himself. I ask you to consider them and to see whether Christ Himself will speak to you through His Spirit. Jesus is ready and excited to pardon any and all that will ask.
"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents (about ten million dollars in today’s money) was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. "Be patient with me," he begged, "and I will pay back everything." (The master realized that an average day’s wages were about twenty-five cents and that there was no realistic hope of repayment.) The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.(about fifteen dollars) He grabbed him and began to choke him. "Pay back what you owe me!" he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, "Be patient with me, and I will pay you back." But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. "You wicked servant," he said, "I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
You might say that that is a hard passage to live up to and that I do not know whether I can. One of the main splendors about the Lord Jesus is that He will never ask you to do anything that He does not empower you to do. You even might say, "I have tried to do that before and have not succeeded." Seek forgiveness and do not give up seeking it until you know that you have found it. Notice that the unforgiving servant was turned over to the jailers to be tortured. However, it originally was not the desire of the king to turn him over, but the king’s desire was rather a total pardon of that major debt. In a day and age of increased nutritional awareness, I am amazed that we so often neglect the toxins that are released into our blood through unforgiveness. You even might have tried medical or natural ways of ridding your body of its ailment, but never have found a permanent fix. You always fall prey to the "quick fixes" and to every gimmick that comes your way. All that ever comes out of those pursuits is false hope and wasted money. You find yourself always trying the newest things, hypnosis, accupressure, crystals, psycillium husks, wheat grass, and methods that are too numerous to list. I am telling you that many of today’s problems are spiritual in nature. Therefore, they must be dealt with in the spiritual realm. All of this is very much based on the work of Jesus Christ to heal and to restore. There is no disputing the fact that Jesus died for you and has the answers to your deepest needs. The current spiritual system that is now in place in our land has rejected Christ. Because of that rejection opportunities to fall prey to spiritual trickery are everywhere.Allow me to explain. A few months ago I was walking to the beach and I came across a friend whom I had known for decades. I had not talked with him in the past few years. He was the kind of guy whom many of us looked up to as a role model in the surf community. As I talked with him, one of my questions to him was, "How is your life going?" His answer shocked me because of the spiritual nature of it and the total hopelessness embodied within his response. He answered, "My life, my business is all a wreck and failure." He went on to say, "You see, I have done many bad things in my life and the karma is catching up with me." At that moment, I recognized that this man’s soul was in bondage to that Eastern New Age religion. The compassion of the loving God Whom I know rose up in me and pleaded through me to this man. I responded, " My life is great and I have done just as many bad things as you." As I pleaded with him to consider what Jesus Christ had done for me and that Jesus was ready and willing to do it for him also, I saw a stronghold blinding his mind from seeing the truth. The stronghold was a rejection of Jesus, rooted in pride and in his desire for drugs, resulting in a life of guilt consciousness.
The answer is still the same, regardless of who you are or what you are into. Things might seem to be good. So, you might think that there is no reason to consider what you have just read. If that be the case, then file this reading away because one day you will undoubtedly need the truths within this writing. For others, they will need to do something right now. To them, I suggest that they find a place where they can be alone and can come into the arms of a loving and gracious God. Tell the Lord Jesus Christ, in no uncertain terms, exactly how you feel and He will see you through, if you are sincere in your approach for help. There is help and it is free. It is found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. If we are going to have any stronghold in our lives, let’s let it be a stronghold of Christ likeness.
Proverbs 10:29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright.....Accordingly, let us be strong in forgiveness, love, patience, mercy, joy, peace, and righteousness. I hope and pray that this writing helps you to find peace with God, with yourself and with others.
I Will Possess Your Heart, Death Cab for Cutie
How I wish you could see the potential, the potential of you and me. It's like a book elegantly bound but in a language that you can't read just yet. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart. There are days when outside your window, I see my reflection as I slowly pass and I long for this mirrored perspective; when we'll be lovers, lovers at last. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart. I will possess your heart. I will possess your heart. You reject my advances and desperate pleas. I won't let you, let me down so easily, so easily. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart. You gotta spend some time love. You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you'll find love, I will possess your heart...I will possess your heart...I will possess your heart.
"I am your Jesus. I love you with the unconditional and undying love of God. It is true that I have this love for all people. Yet, you should allow yourself to feel that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You should accept that you have a special place in my heart and allow yourself to feel that I have a special place in yours. You must accept me fully for our combined mission to be a complete victory. You must also accept yourself fully and this, of course, is the most difficult. It is only through your acceptance that your life can be transformed into what it truly is in God. My beloved, let us be one that we may call all people home to the one God. To fulfill this mission, you must accept who you are, and you must accept that God has given you, and will continue to give you, everything that is needed for the fulfillment of your personal mission. I, Jesus, am an all-powerful spiritual being. As you let go of all conditionality, I can work through you and use all my spiritual powers for the fulfillment of our combined mission. Fear not. Hesitate not. Drink me as I am drinking thee. Accept me and that acceptance will guarantee our victory. God’s victory is nothing more and nothing less than your acceptance of your divine identity. Accept who you are. Accept who I am. Accept who we are as one, as Above so below. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against our oneness. Instead, the gates of Heaven shall be opened to all who are willing to enter."

1 comment:

kron said...

hey this is really good. why would you think you are crazy for posting this. it is so true in many ways. lots of people needs to read this and examing what is there strong hold. i know as of right now my strong hold is the cutting and the thoughts. i have to be willing to changelling that. thanks for posting it