“Love truly is the key, the secret and the answer to the pain in the world today.” Doug Addison
Love is a powerful emotion that can bring healing to others and to ourselves. Learning to love ourselves is very important. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Lord told me years ago that you can’t truly love your neighbor until you love yourself. You can’t even love God until you embrace His love for you. God’s love is so deep and so rich that many can’t comprehend it. It’s seems like foolishness. Why would God come in human form and die for me? The answer is really a simply one – LOVE. God wishes that no one should perish but have eternal life. Eternity is in each one of us. Unfortunately, sin took us out of our intimate relationship with God. It all started with a lie. Satan told Eve that if she ate from the tree of knowledge, she would be like God. There is the lie. She already was like God. Here started our battle with evil, and I find it interesting that it involved eating.
We were born into a battle. At your very conception, the enemy started to devise his plan for your destruction. Why? Simply because you were created in the image of God with the potential to over throw the kingdom of darkness. When your spirit connects to the Spirit of God through the Holy Spirit, you become a weapon for the “Kingdom of Light”. We of course connect to the “Kingdom of Light” by accepting the “Light of the World” Jesus Christ as our Savior. As born again believers, we have been given authority to overcome all the works of the devil. It is in communion with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and growing in maturity that the Father can trust us with more of His authority. Satan’s primary target is our relationship with God and our identity in Christ. He is also after our love walk. He wants us hurt and mad with people because people united in love are powerful. We see his hand at work today with all the fighting and hateful words being spoken. He loves division among people. Our fight is not against people but against Satan and his demons.
As children of God, we are called to release Him (His love) to the broken, dark world. We are called to bring light to the darkness which includes casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Why is the church not walking in this mandate? Put simply: unbelief. The church looks like the world. We are anxious, fearful, sick, depressed, addicted, stressed, and judgmental of others. We do not honor our brothers and sisters and are focused on worldly things or are “double-minded” (James 1:8). Anything we focus on more than Jesus is an idol (stronghold) that must be broken down. An idol can be food, people, sex, people pleasing, negativity, job, ministry, exercise, health, television, video games, or self. Unbelief is a primary entry point for the devil. We don’t take God at His Word. We don’t pray or fast, and worse yet, many don’t even believe there is a devil. The reason evil is progressing is because we the “Body of Christ” have not taken our place as the children of God. We have down-graded grace to stay stuck in habitual sin. We are complacent in our walk with God and are more worried about ourselves than those perishing around us. We say things like “God knows my heart” as an excuse to stay in sin. Grace is the person of Jesus Christ, and He gives us the power to overcome sin. Sin shall not have dominion over us. It’s time to get battle ready. God needs His army to be strong in mind, body and spirit.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
The enemy wants us stressed, sick, and ineffective in the Kingdom of God. He wants to steal our peace and joy. God wants us whole, walking in all that He has given us. He wants a “Body” that can carry the fullness of His Presence to a hurt, sick, and dying world. He wants a people who are emotionally stable, not wavering in the storms of life, but who have their mind and heart fixed or steadfast on things above. Now we are told that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The enemy attacks these three areas. Righteousness is our identity in Christ, Jesus is our peace in whom we find rest for our soul, and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
To be effective in the Kingdom, we must know who we are in Christ, have peace in our inner man as we walk in peace with others, and have and express the joy of the Lord. The lack of inner peace, I believe, is the root of our emotional, spiritual, and physical problems. We seek to obtain peace from things that are only temporary fixes. Food and drink is just one area but I do believe it is probably the one most used by the “Body of Christ”. We involve so many of our functions around food and most of it is not healthy. 1 Timothy 4:4 says that everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. The key word in this passage is “everything God created is good”. It doesn’t say that everything man created is good.
So much of what we eat today is processed and full of preservatives. Studies have confirmed that our American Standard Diet is causing illness and that more than 87% of illness is stress related. Over-eating is a spiritual problem rooted in unhealthy emotions. Over-eating is an attempt to silence the inner man with food that does not satisfy but leaves us empty. The food that satisfies is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the bread of life. Jesus said my Words are Spirit and Life. The Bible says that by not “discerning the body of Christ” that many have fallen sick (1 Cor. 11:29-31).
I believe that not “discerning the Body of Christ” involves three principles:
- not spending time meditating on the Word and what Jesus actually did for us at the cross,
- not partaking in Holy Communion (the bread and wine), and
- not honoring our brothers and sister in Christ.
It is in communion with Jesus, that we are healed, find rest for our soul, and receive the confidence to move in the fullness of what he has for us. In communion with Him, a divine exchange can happen if we will listen to His voice, agree with Him, and obey what he says. The healing of my food addiction did not come by disciplining myself or punishing myself but gradually declined as my knowledge of the love of Christ for me grew. Because I knew he loved me and would never forsake me, I could trust and obey Him. His love lead me to repentance. Repentance is changing your mind for the better. Every time you believe right you are repenting. Repenting is the process of being transformed by the renewing of your mind. God wants a people who can carry His presence. In order to walk in this fullness, we need not to have anything in common with the enemy. This is our spiritual journey. God is calling us deeper into His Love, into a deeper revelation of who he is. This requires letting go of some old ways of thinking. Now let’s talk more about how we fight the battle.
Doug Addison said it best in his October 18 blog entitled: This is Your Time to Step Up and Not Step Down: “People are not our enemy–Satan and his demons are. However, if you try and fight the enemy with the same spirit the enemy is operating in, you will get knocked out.” He goes on to say that if we have anything in common with the enemy then things can backfire on us. Doug went on to say “Jesus had nothing in common with the enemy. We lose our authority in prayer if we harbor things like soul wounds, past hurts, unforgiveness, and bitterness. Allowing God to heal us of these things allows us to take authority over them.” Doug says to give the enemy a “black eye” is to do what Jesus said:
“How can you say to your brother,’Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42
It’s time for us to ask God to search our hearts and quit looking at what’s wrong with our neighbor. Our weapons are not weapons of this world but have divine power to demolish strongholds.
The Lord has shown me weapons we can use to remain at “REST”: worship, prayer, meditation, Identity, and His Word. These are not meant to be in any order but are tools for staying at rest or at peace. Peace is so important. Peace is power and when we remain in peace or rest the enemy knows he is defeated. Internal peace is key to physical health as well.
Worship is the acknowledgment of the Creator of the universe as our source of life, praising Him for His goodness and getting our eyes off ourselves. It is in worship that our chains (bondage’s) are broken. In Acts, 16:25-26, we see the power of prayer and worship at work. Paul and Silas were in jail praying and singing hymns to God. All of a sudden an earthquake shook the foundation of the prison. The jail doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. When we pray and worship, foundations of evil are shaken and not only are we set free but others are set free as well. This is why Satan doesn’t want you praying or worshiping. It’s a powerful weapon. The Israelite’s won many battles never lifting a weapon. The worshipers went out to battle first and the battle was won with no one lifting a single physical weapon.
Meditation is the process of renewing our mind with the Word of God and setting our mind on things above. A mind fixed on Jesus will remain in perfect peace. A mind determined to think Kingdom thoughts will no longer be “double-minded”. Being double minded is simply a mind that wavers or vacillates from one thought to the next. We must set our mind on the Kingdom of God. Right believing will bring about right living.
Prayer is engaging our Lord Jesus in conversation. It is seeking to know Him and His ways. It is in this time of intimacy with Him that we are transformed from the inside out.
Identity In Christ and Declaring the Word of God are keys to living the victorious life. We must know what God says about us in order to overcome every lie of the enemy. Believing and confessing God’s word will bring such peace and joy. His Words are Spirit and Life. I encourage you to study this scripture in Philippians 4:6-9:
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
Though prayer, petition, thanksgiving, and thinking Kingdom thoughts, the peace of God shall garrison and mount guard over your heart and mind. In other words, He fights and protects you. It’s time to get battle ready.