Food…Food…I love Food….

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You probably don’t have this problem, but I like food!

I don’t think I ever realized how little self-control I have until this week. I have a strong metabolism, so I can eat pretty much whatever I want and stay “sort of small.”

The problem is that I am not fit. I am not making healthy food choices. I have treated my body like a trash compactor, feeding it all the junk!

I cannot eat like a teenager anymore. My body is a temple of the Living God, and the Spirit of my Father dwells in me!

Recently, I have started exercising self-control by writing down a limit for what I will eat a day before I will eat it. I am having a serious mental battle about the foods that I am missing, especially Crunch Bars!

I didn’t realize the lack of self-control that I have had in the past years. I don’t want to be more legalistic about what I eat or drink than I am about being God’s Word.I just want to be more aware of what I am putting into my body to fuel it!

If you want, join me in this prayer.
Father, help me eat when and what you want me to eat. Help me use the mind of Christ to make right choices instead of my fleshly impulses. I pray that everything I do glorifies you!
In Jesus’ name.

It’s Hard Work. You Will Fail.

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It’s easy to eat anything I want. It’s easy to cave in to the desires of my flesh and the cravings of my appetite. It’s hard to say no as I drive past Panera. It’s hard to say no to a cinnamon-crunch scone or cinnamon-crunch bagel. It’s hard to say no to a soufflé and have egg whites for breakfast. It’s hard to say no to the chocolate in the pantry and have turkey instead. It’s truly hard.

It’s hard work to maintain your health. It was hard work to transform and obtain health, but it’s also hard work to keep it. It’s a lifelong journey. It’s a process. It’s forever. It’s forever learning not to give in to every weakness and every desire of the tongue. It’s taking your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ every day. It is saying, “I don’t want to be controlled by impulse. I want to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.”

I can’t remember the last time the Holy Spirit told me to eat a donut. I do know the few times the Holy Spirit has led me not to eat on my plan. It was mostly because I was being blessed by someone’s gift of food or because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would be rude and disrespectful to turn down what I was being offered. Everything we do outside of faith is not pleasing to God. I want to include Him on the journey. 

When I am gluttonous, crazy, and consuming everything in sight—which is what happens once I hit the sugar trigger—I go back into my old patterns. I fall back into that old gluttony. I know when this happens, it’s a train wreck. I’m running, gunning, and making excuses, eating the next pleasurable thing and the next thing and the next. It’s insanity. Inside, it’s not what I want to do.

I’d like to encourage you today by reminding you that everyone struggles. You are going to fail sometimes. It’s okay. Dust yourself off, get back up, and keep pressing forward.

Nothing Should Separate the Love of God’s Children

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A small bit of yeast makes a whole batch rise.

It’s truly sad how friendships grow further and further apart because a little bit of poison, offense, or hurt builds up walls, breaks down relationships, tears apart partnerships, and destroys the intimacy a friendship once had. Maybe you have a friend with whom you once were close, but you slowly grow further and further apart. There is less pursuit of and desire for the things you used to do but don’t do anymore. Before you know it, you’ve got a divided friendship where once it was unified.

I think we should be people who forgive and forget quickly, tear down walls, and destroy barriers so we can stay one in Christ because Jesus’ last words were that we would be one like He and the Father are one. There should be nothing separating us from the love of God’s children. Nothing.

Speak to Your Mountains, Don’t Pray about Them

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There’s a song that says, “I will climb this mountain with my arms wide open.” One day we were singing it in the prayer room, and the Lord said, “I never asked anyone to climb a mountain. I asked them to speak to their mountain. I also told them that I would give them a new threshing tool so they could thresh their mountain into chaff. I also told them that mountains of human obstacles would be made into mere molehills.” God never asked us to climb a mountain, yet we are striving to overcome and become overcomers. We think it’s our religious duty and sacrifice to suffer and climb a mountain.

We say, “Oh, we’ll do it with our arms wide open in worship to You, God. As I worship You and give You everything, I will lay down my life in sacrifice and climb this mountain for You because You are worthy.” That is really what the song is saying. The song is really not about God. It’s about them and what they will do for God.

But what did God ask you to do? He asked you to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and then love your neighbor as yourself. He never said, “I want you to suffer for Me. “I want you to struggle for Me every day.” No. He sent the Holy Spirit to be our guide and comforter, to help us get out of our comfort zone, and to be our teacher so we can learn all the ways of God. We can learn that through the Holy Spirit and His leading in our lives.

Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
— Isaiah 41:15 (KJV)

Jesus replied, “Have faith in God [constantly]. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will]. For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you. Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others].”
— Mark 11:22–25 (AMP)

Then he said to me, “This [continuous supply of oil] is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel [prince of Judah], saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of whom the oil is a symbol],’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain [of obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who will rebuild the temple] you will become a plain (insignificant)! And he will bring out the capstone [of the new temple] with loud shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”‘”
— Zechariah 4:6–7 (AMP)

It’s not through our efforts. It’s not by our sheer will. We have the power and are empowered to do anything because of God’s Spirit. It’s from that close, intimate relationship and knowing Him, knowing He has it covered and His promises are true.

The answer to every single one of His promises is yes and amen. It doesn’t matter what you see with your eyes. His answer is still yes and amen. But our understanding can become a roadblock and a stumbling place where we think, “Oh, it hasn’t left yet. This hasn’t been healed yet. The struggle hasn’t left me. Maybe I’m supposed to be sick. Maybe I’m supposed to be poor. Maybe this is the banner I’m supposed to carry. This is a mountain I am supposed to climb, and I will climb it, Lord. With everything in me and every striving humanly possible in my body, I will climb it with my arms wide open and worship You.”

This is a bold statement that I am making to you. I am saying there is a mountain you are climbing and you weren’t designed to climb it. You were designed to thresh it, to speak to it, to command it to leave. God moves mountains. He is a mountain mover.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]
— John 16:33 (AMP)

We will face trouble, but take heart; the Lord has overcome the world. This doesn’t mean that when you are troubled, you should suffer, struggle, and have pity on yourself. It means that in your trouble, you can look through it almost as if it’s a glass to the other side and see the promises of God. The answer is yes and amen. There is a way out. There is freedom. There is a miracle coming.

Jesus died for you to have life and life abundantly, and only deception can keep you from having that. Our deceived mind, not fully understanding what Jesus Christ has paid for us, can keep us from receiving what Jesus has already provided. What? Yes. It is true. It’s for lack of knowledge and understanding that we perish (see Hosea 4:6). Yet in 2 Peter 1:3, it says we have been given “everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him” (NIV). That knowledge is relational knowledge.

We can be misled by the teaching. We can be taught by believers—people like me or your pastors—who are teaching through their personal filters. Maybe they were hurt. Maybe they were let down. Maybe they didn’t get their miracle. So they teach through that. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes God’s word doesn’t come to pass. Sometimes God doesn’t do that. Sometimes, God intends to put these things on you.

The truth is that we cannot filter God’s word through our own circumstances. We cannot filter it through what we see, what we know, or our own reasoning. These things cannot be a strainer for the word of God in our lives.

If something does not come to pass, if we don’t see the miracle, if we don’t see God’s hand at work in our lives, we cannot question if the promise is true. It is, regardless of whether we see it or not. It is truth beyond truth. It is unchanging. It is black and white. I will tell you: You can stand on it.

There are times when we don’t see it come to pass, but we cannot change our belief in God’s word when we don’t see the miracle happen. You believe it every time. Every time I pray for someone, I believe that God wants them well. Not every person is healed, but I know it’s a desire of His heart. If I begin to compromise and think, “Well, sometimes He heals, and sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes He wants people well, and sometimes He doesn’t,” then I become an ineffective vessel of God because I am doubting His word, and that is idolatry. I am putting my own understanding above God’s word, and that is unacceptable.

Have you done that in your life? Have you faced your own reasoning and reasoned God’s word into a package you can swallow, tolerate, or deal with? That is unacceptable. God’s word is true every time. Scripture says that “by His stripes (wounds) we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5 AMP). What does that mean? Jesus, when He died, took stripes on His back. He was marred beyond human likeness, not only for our sins but also for our physical health. That was two thousand years ago. That was all provided for.

Sometimes I don’t see that come to pass, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. It doesn’t mean it’s God’s will for that person to die. It doesn’t. We are in a true spiritual battle with an enemy who wants to steal our lives. He wants to kill us, destroy us, and infect us with his STDs (spiritually transmitted diseases). He wants to twist the truth, suppress the truth, make us doubt the truth, and then sidetrack us from God. He wants to fix our eyes on circumstances and put our understanding on our own analytical reasoning. He wants us to have a filter that processes our understanding of God through what has happened to us. This is the greatest way we can be deceived.

There is no mountain that can stand in the name of Jesus Christ because His name is above every other name. Either it’s above every other name or it’s not. In Mark 11:23, it says we can speak to our mountains and they will be cast into the sea. When you speak to your mountains, do they move or do they stay? Many times you speak to them and they stay. Does that mean God’s word is not true? Absolutely not. It is truth. You can stand on it. You can bank on it. If you speak to your mountain and it doesn’t move, then you need to ask yourself, “Why do I doubt? What is causing doubt?”

Mark 9:29 and Matthew 17:21 both say, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” I believe, with everything in me, that doubt is eradicated in prayer and fasting. Many people pray and fast to move God, but prayer and fasting move us. It moves our hearts closer to God. It removes doubt because we are focused on the kingdom. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (KJV).

As you fast and starve your body, your body no longer gets to control you or rule you. Suddenly your body learns, “Hey, I need to listen up. I am being retrained here.” Your flesh is no longer your ruler, and instead, you’re fasting and starving it. You’re saying to it, “Feast on the word of God.” The more you do this, the closer you draw yourself to the Lord and the more doubt is weeded out. Therefore, faith can be effective. Your faith can become effective in two ways: by hearing the word of God and by praying and fasting.

Many times, people think, “I’m going to pray and fast this mountain out of here!” They’re really saying, “I’m going to give my sacrifice to God so He will have pity on me and see my great works, and then He will move.” I can tell you right now, God does not move based on you. He moves based on His will and who He is. He is just that good. His love and His grace are irrational. He is uncontrollably generous. It is the kindest love you will ever know. It is so fruitful and so radically true that you can bank on it every time. He moves because of who He is and His great love for you. He does not move based on your behavior. He moves because that’s who He is.

The name of Jesus has been granted to you, for you to use the authority to speak to your mountain so it can be cast into the sea. If you are not seeing that happen, check out those other verses because God did not call us to climb our mountains with our arms wide open. He called us to speak to our mountains. He called us to tear them down using His name and His authority. It’s His power that is behind it. It’s His life. It’s Jesus’ blood. It’s Him being marred beyond human likeness that gives you great authority to use His name.

God has already done it. He has already provided. But will you reach out and grab it and take possession of it? Will you use it in faith, knowing that God’s promises come to pass because His answer to them is always yes and amen?

Unoffendable Heart

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Hey, moms.

Sometimes we get our feelings hurt. As a large and in-charge momma bear, I have seen my kids left out of things or be uninvited to birthday parties. I’ve run into groups of their friends doing things my kids were not invited to participate in. I think, “What is wrong with my child? Why don’t you include her? Why haven’t you invited her?” Those kinds of thoughts run through your head.

Why do people reject? Why don’t they work to be more inclusive? I have spent four years praying my kids would be preferred. I prayed they would have good, godly friends who pursued them and preferred them. It has not been easy. I have wept many tears on my pillow at night.

When I was talking to Spencer one time, she said, “Mom, I am not offended by being left out of this. Don’t take up an offense for me.” I realized that when we become offended at other moms or our husbands or because our children aren’t included or are left out, we teach our children to be easily offended. What they do is what we do. It’s not what we say that they do.

Moms, my question to you is: What are you doing? Are you easily offended? Do you cut people out of your life when you are hurt by them? Do you build walls to protect yourself? Are you your own defender, even though God tells you to love others as you love yourself and He will defend you? When you step up and defend yourself, you lose the best defender. It’s like trading in the best defense team in the country for an accident lawyer. 

Is there someone you need to call today and reconcile with? Is there anyone you need to apologize to for building walls or being easily offended? Why don’t you examine your own heart like I will be examining mine today? Let’s make some phone calls. Reconcile. Kick bitterness in the butt. Let our kids see an unoffendable heart.

I learned a long time ago that being offended isn’t the problem of the person who said something to offend me. It is my sin. Offense is a sin. Being offended is a sin. It’s a sin because it’s saying, “Hey, what you said hurt me.” What you don’t realize is that your own filter has been shaped by life events and makes you sensitive. We must obtain a God filter by cleaning our filters in order to filter through His truth, His Word, and make every thought obedient to Christ. Every single thought. If you are thinking about excuses and making assumptions about people, then you’re not filtering through God’s Word. You are filtering through past circumstances and past behavior.

Give somebody a clean slate today. Start your friendship over. Make those roots deep. Be loyal. Be loyal to a fault. Be kind to people. Friendships should not be discarded like garbage.Don’t throw people away. Be unified. Have a godly heart. Be one with the people. When they hurt you, work through it. Your friendship will actually be sweeter than it ever was before. It has the chance to be like an oak tree with roots that are deeply planted and are not coming up. 

Every time you toss someone out the door, you are uprooting the tree you have planted, and you have to plant a new one. It’s like a new home. It has all new trees planted around it, and none have any stamina or girth. It’s easy to plant new trees. It’s difficult to water them every day and watch them grow to be a century old.

Consider doing this in your life so your daughters and sons can see you have long-term healthy relationships in Jesus’ name.

My Friend, My God

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God, You cover me in cloaks of grace and love.
I will live my life for You.
I have fallen short of Your glory.
Let Your mercy reign and cover my sin.
Let Your grace hide all I have been.
Let Your love consume me now.
Make me new.
Like a hammer, life hit me hard, but You caught me in Your web of love.
I am new.
My heart and mind will change.
Only for You, my heart will sing all of what You do.
You took my life, a life of sin, and said you can start again.
All you need is to ask and receive all I have for you.
My life is not my own, but please let me show I am new.
My life belongs to the Savior of my soul, the Redeemer of my life.
You have done what only You can do.
You have won me.
You love me.
Your love stays with me even when I’m beneath the sin no child of Yours should know.
Can You show me I’m not too far? There’s still hope for me?
You came to me.
I didn’t choose You, but You chose me to be part of Your family.
I want to know, do I show what You did for me?
Do I shine with Your love?
Do I give to the least of us?
Am I a friend to the lonely?
Do I go beyond religion?
Do I show all You want us to know, that You are never mad, never angry, never bitter towards what I’ve done, but You love and still call me son?
Your grace is with me.
I will be a family to those who cannot see; I will be their eyes.
To those who cannot hear, let me be their ears.
To the girl who ran away and lost herself, she needs to know that she can still follow You.
Give her Your hand and save her from sin.
She is Your daughter, and You love her still.
To the boy who lost everything, all your days trust the Lord. He is good. He will follow You, too.
God forgives all we’ve done.
He will still call me son.
He doesn’t want anything more than for us to know His love.
His grace carries us in this rat race.
He covers my sin and will carry me till the end.

• Authored by Josh Pugh •

Afraid of Failure?

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Why are we so afraid of failure?
We learn from failure.
We gain in strength after we fail.
The formal definition of failure is: lack of success; an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing; or the omission of expected or required action.
The origin of failure came from ‘nonoccurrence,’ which I equate to QUITTING.
Dont quit. 
Never quit. 
One failure doesnt make YOU a failure.
It doesn’t define you—unless you allow it to do so.
Don’t let LABELS stick to you!

They cannot stick unless you agree with them. Don’t agree with them.
REJECT the labels!
You are larger than your failure!
In fact, you must fail to grow.

You must fail in order to find your limits so you can SOAR past them!
You are successful because you DO NOT QUIT.
You are a fighter!
You are strong!
You are stronger than your appetite!
You are stronger than the temptations!
You might miss a few marks before you figure out that you’ve GOT this.
Its ALREADY in you!
You are just getting the opportunity to pull it out of you!
So what if you fail again?
Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
Dont spend any time in the past because it will hold you back. 
If youre NOT FAILING, you’re NOT TRYING.
Take a look at this chart I found on how much the usage of ‘failure’ has increased over the years.

… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again … (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Rise again! 

People Pleasers

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People-pleasers—they are dangerous. They will run over someone to make someone else happy. This might be good if you are on the receiving end. But at what cost do you want to be pleased?

They are dangerous because their god is not stable. Their idol is a moving target. Their god is the one they seek the most approval from in the moment.

They are angry. When they disappoint someone, they can easily lose their temper because they feel like a failure; they feel like they are not high and lifted up in your eyes.

People-pleasers live out of their emotions. They need to feed their flesh so they can have the fulfillment of approval.

People-pleasers cannot be a sold-out follower of Christ because it’s impossible to please man and serve Christ. You cannot serve two masters.

Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

People pleasers are selfish. They are self-protecting. They call all of their efforts servanthood, but they’re striving to make themselves look good. James 3:16 says where there is a self-serving motive or selfishness, wherever someone is striving because of their selfish desire to be approved, they will find disorder and every evil work. Wherever there is a self-serving motive, you need to watch your back.

James 3:16 (NIV)
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

People-pleasers are disobedient. We are supposed to work for the Lord in everything we do. But when you work for man, you may cut corners or be deceitful in everything. You are working for man whose expectations are always changing.

Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Colossians 3:22 (NIV)
 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

Numbers 23:19 (NIV)
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

People-pleasers are always seeking praise. They practice their righteous efforts for others.

Matthew 6:1-34 (NIV)
Giving to the Needy
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Do Not Worry
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

People-pleasers are unsafe. They are never safe or stable, because the Lord’s shelter is the only safe shelter.

Psalm 91:1 (NIV)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

The fear of man is a snare. It’s a trap.

People-pleasers are adulterers. Friendship with the world is enmity with God.

People-pleasers take advantage of others. They have a self-protective nature.

Leviticus 25:17 (NIV)
Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.

People-pleasing makes them step on anyone to get what they want to please.

Psalm 1 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

1 Thessalonians 4:6 (NIV)
… and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

They smooth-talk you and try to make what they want your idea so they won’t have any opposition. Once again, they are self-protecting. They deceive the innocent.

Romans 16:18 (NIV)
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

Heed the voice of the people pleaser. Let no man deceive you. They secretly hate having to please you.

Matthew 24:4 (NIV)
 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

1 John 4:20 (NIV)
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

As a man bringing you into bondage. If you are in bondage, you are not free.

2 Corinthians 11:20 (NIV)
In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.

Rebellion comes from bitterness. Rebellion is the sin of witchcraft. Stubbornness is as inequity and idolatry.

Do We Really Have Free Will?

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Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. … By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:19–20, 30 NIV). He said, “I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it” (John 12:49 NIV).

Jesus said that He is just like the Father. He didn’t do or say whatever He wanted but only what the Father willed Him to do and say.

Jesus never made one person sick. He never refused to heal one single person.

If all this is true—which it is—then Jesus would have misrepresented God if God is the One who gives sickness, disease, and problems. If God just allowed it, well then, Jesus misrepresented God because He never refused to heal a single person.

I can, however, show you a couple of instances where people refused to accept healing from Him. 

Look at Mark 6:1–6. When Jesus visited His hometown, “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5–6 NKJV). Notice that it’s “could,” not “would.” It’s that He couldn’t do it, not that He didn’t want to do it. He couldn’t do miracles there because of their unbelief.

Not His unbelief. 
Their unbelief.  

You see, there are a couple of instances where Jesus could not heal people—not because of His lack of power but because of their lack of faith. It says the same thing in the book of Acts and other places. But you cannot find a single person on whom Jesus ever put sickness. He never said, “No, you didn’t learn your lesson, so suffer a bit longer with this disease.” He even healed unbelievers. Check out the story of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11–19). That is how loving our God is!

If you really believe that Jesus is a perfect representation, the exact image, of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), then you have to take Jesus as the example and say, “It’s not God’s will for sickness to remain in our bodies.”

The only time God ever struck people with sickness was in punishment and judgment, and ALL of our judgment has been fully placed upon Jesus in the new covenant. It is no longer our portion! 

Addiction Prayer

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You have to set your mind. Your mind has to be seated firmly on what you have decided to do. You need a plan. If you haven’t prepped your food, you are probably going to fail unless you have a place where you know you can eat safely. You have a plan in which you know what you are going to eat and when you are going to eat it.

I have been failing a lot this past week. I think it is because I don’t have the food prepared. In my mind, I think, “I’ll eat this or that. I can stuff something in at the last minute.” It doesn’t work. When you don’t have the food and you aren’t sure what you are going to eat, you allow temptation to breed. My pastor today preached a great message. He said temptation is an invitation to trust and rely on God, not to fall into temptation.

I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen. I’ve truly convicted myself of that today. I knew it wasn’t right. I am not going to live under guilt and condemnation, but I am not going to be a slave to sugar anymore, either. I’m not going to be addicted to it. I have come to recognize that I went from one slavery to another. There is a middle ground, and I am going to find it. The Lord and I are going to find it.

I want to encourage you. When you are in bondage to something, it is important you have a plan. Prep your food to meet the plan. Know what you are going to eat and know where every meal is going to be. If you are going to give yourself some grace and some bites here and there, decide when they are going to be in advance instead of letting your taste buds and desires lead you to eat on impulse. This is what gets us in trouble—impulse eating and gluttony.

I want to encourage you not to be slaves to anything. Good or bad—don’t be in slavery. You were bought at a price. You are a bought servant of Jesus Christ. That is the only true thing you should have. The one and only God should take the God role in your life, not anything else. Be careful. Tread on the water carefully. Make sure you can endure this race. God has to be in His rightful position. It cannot be the constant, everyday, continual placement of food first. Don’t let that be an excuse not to take care of your temple.

I want you to know where I am. I am in a struggling season right now, but I am an overcomer. My mind is strong in the Lord. I take my thoughts captive. It is right here. It’s not tomorrow. It’s today. I am finding my way through this every day, step by step, in Jesus’ name. I praise Him for that.

If you need me to pray for you to break free from any addiction, note it below and I would love to do so. Thank you.