By Faith Not Sight

“Thomas, believe because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

 

 

Is what is really real only what you can see and feel? If we are told to walk by
faith, how do we have our eyes open to “see” the unseen as real as the seen? Can
my head knowledge be enough or does seeing include the heart?
These questions lead to an interesting conversation on what is entailed in our
lives to encourage us to learn the “faith walk.

Recognizing Defenses

“We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 11 Corinthians 5:20

 

When you meet someone there is usually an introduction of your name and then
something about what you do. It takes a name to make what you do important.
Telling someone what you do without a name is incomplete to our identity.
Likewise, part of our identity as members of God’s family is our being an
ambassador to showing people what the family of God should look like in today’s
world.
Many times, we are displaying bad “identity” because we are attempting to make
self look good rather than reflecting our identity of being IN CHRIST. Who we are
reflects what we do. How important is this in our understanding about living?

Walking by Faith

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

 

 

There are a lot of opinions of what real faith is and how it works. Hebrews 11:1 states, “that faith is the substance of things hope for the evidence of things not seen.”
With our advance visual devices and media exposure, we want to see everything and if we look for the unseen, the goal is usually not to explore deepening our faith.
Join our discussion today to gain understanding, God’s way, to “see the unseen.”

 

Self Defense Mechanisms

“The spirit of a man will be his support and sustain him when he is
ill, but a broken and crushed spirit, who can bear.” Proverbs 18:14

 

How do you handle and react to frustration and troubling conflicts? Some explode,
some turn their backs and ignore the hurt and pain, others carry it inside and have
unusual Defense Mechanisms that are hard to recognize.
When we want to be strong in spirit we must be pure in heart. Learning to observe
what sounds good maybe a cover for a heart that is coping and not really caring.
Don’t get trapped in Defense Mechanisms that substitute reality in relationships.
We have been given The Great Escape. Use it!!

A New Creature in Christ

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

 

 

Hearing, knowing, and applying what the Word says regarding our blessings and protection as new creatures in Christ will prevent us from falling into the same trap as Eve did in the Garden of Eden.When she listened to the voice of smooth deception, she set herself up for reaping what she chose. The results of her wanting more for herself proved the heart was deceitfully wicked and who can know it? Only as we listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus expressed in the Bible can we stay clear of the AGONY of deception. Listen as we discuss the Truth in being a new creature in Christ and avoid the pitfalls of bad choices.

Repression

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay
aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with the endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

 

The importance laid out here is that we need to see how those who have gone before lived and overcame the snares of self. If we go against the patterns of freedom provided by our Savior we can hold onto strongholds, repress reality, but eventually will explode, making a mess for ourselves and those around us. Clean-up of these defenses is messy. Are you building steam for an explosion?

How to Pray

“For the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword dividing between soul and
spirit.” Hebrews 4: 12

 

 

When the disciples wanted to know HOW TO PRAY they had to retrain the brain in how they understood the words of Jesus. Knowing what He said and why He said them required a heart adjustment. Today, we look to the Words of Jesus for deeper insights into a guiding light that defines HOW TO PRAY.

Denial and Rationalization

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be healthy to
your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

Denial and Rationalization are two defenses we run to when we believe our own wisdom is the best choice for making decisions. This may not be a deliberate but a place to run to in need to survive and not wanting to work through the difficult disciplines required for change. When scripture is lacking in our life, one of the natural fallbacks is into a pattern of denial and rationalization.
You may be rather surprised as you listen to the comfort zone of unbelief!

The Heart of Prayer

“For the thing I greatly feared has come up me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25

 

 

Do you pray according to the mind of God? Job certainly thought he did. Then, trauma and tragedy hit suddenly with intensity, and he worshiped. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. That was only the beginning of sorrows. How did Job pray when fear and dread lingered and friends became  the enemy. How was his heart tested?

Delayed answers to prayer can expose hidden weakness not revealed except under intense testing. Job praying in anguish cries out from the heart about his loss.

Let’s go back in time and hear Job’s questions and the way God chose to answer.  Was his final outcome worth the trial?

Christian Psychology

“The wisdom of the prudent (sensible) is to understand his way but the folly (foolishness) of fools is deceit.” Proverbs 14:8

Christianity has cracked the door open to ways of the world becoming acceptable in the life of the Church, and we don’t even recognize the tangle web that has been woven into our thinking.

Rather than accepting the fact that we are called to lay down our lives for others in service and caring from a heart of sacrificial love, we protect ourselves from having to bear one another’s pain. We don’t know how to help others  carry the load that plague the soul and spirit. We are great on helping in the physical needs and we are thankful for that blessing. However, we are body, soul, and spirit. All three parts need to be growing and healthy.

Heavenly wisdom give us understanding in tearing down our walls of defense, as we allow the Spirit to make  the heart  of Christ real in our lives.

 

 

Pray Boldly

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ.”  Colossians 3:2

 

 

As we put on the full armor of God according to Ephesians 6 our prayers are answered as we pray boldly. Boldly praying includes being earnest in knowing what is needed, making sure we are vigilant in request with thanksgiving, and never forgetting that the heart must be in tune with all issues requiring praying with boldness. 

 One goal in boldly praying is that doors will be kept open as pressures mount from within and conflicts surround us. Today we discuss the command to know how to pray and the necessary diligence needed to continue in prayer, boldly by faith, for the harvest is ripe, but the workers are few. 

Psychology and Theology

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

Dwelling on the Scripture as our priority will help protect our hearts from false thinking of Psychology. Our soul/spirits will be renewed and refreshed as we sing spiritual songs to one another through worship in music which supports our foundation from Theology. 

 Man cannot fix man no matter how many behavior patterns are applied with different techniques. It is vital that we understand the real reason for failure in finding contentment through man’s agenda.  We are designed by our Creator to know Truth, live Truth, with a joyous heart making melody from within. 

Be still for a few moments as we investigate Truth that transforms.

Simplicity of Diverse Prayer

“I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men” I Timothy 2:1

 

 

This exhortation was made by Paul to Timothy for encouraging him to have the flock pray in public worship.  That is very hard for some people but there was a need for knowing and bearing the burdens of others, listening to heart needs that may be difficult to discuss but easier for others to hear our hearts on their behalf. With a desire to open your heart to blessing others it gives confidence that they are being remembered before God when maybe they “just can’t pray right now, too overwhelmed.  When  Jesus talked to His Father in prayer He made a specific requests submitting all to the Father’s perfect will.  Let us not grow weary in well-doing and do not allow lies to place fears in us to hinder the flow of heavenly answers for earthly problems.

Modern Psychology

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Modern psychology is the perfect substitute for god playing in our lives with our own intellect and reasoning. There are many different facets that mar our thinking and some are so “reasonable” the modern-day church accepts and even endorses them.

The church family – The Body of Christ is the only source of light in the darkness of human reasoning and logic.

One positive note is that even with self-consciousness within weak or carnal Christians there are “pockets” of believers that are standing strong, growing, and ministering to others who are in need. For others;

Some are just too busy to  get involved with helping someone with their entrapment of worldly values

Some are too ignorant of God’s word and unable to assist in helping to set free people in bondage

Some want to help but don’t know-how and fear keeps them silent

Some are being a witness to the Life of Christ within us – Where are you in this line-up?

The Simplicity of Prayer

“So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 

 

To have the freedom to come boldly before the Throne does require being prepared to enter into that room or area. Remember Esther of the Old Testament, where she spent months preparing to go before her king, who was also her lawful husband. We likewise want to make sure our hearts are right so that our prayer, petitions, intercessions may be answered.

Prayer can be super simple in a very young child offering up prayers and petitions only knowing it as “talking to Jesus and God.” Whether we want to believe it or not, nothing happens from the heart and mind of God unless it begins with someone in prayer.

Explore with us the wonderful privilege and responsibility of being able to “talk with God.”