Author: Joyce Tilney

Memories…. some are good and some are bad

 Memories can be inspiration or create anxiety!

Most of our responses to situations in our life are formed in childhood that determine how we do life in this world.

Our outlook and behavior are colored to a degree by our ability to deal with events of the past.  The good news is God can take the sting out of the past!

 I’m so thankful for our Helper, the Holy Spirit!  We need comfort and power to walk through the hurts and heartaches of this world.  I have walked with God 45 years, and I still need help every day to overcome the pressure of this world.

I was reading John 14 today and the first verse, Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”   A reminder, that I had a part to play in keeping my heart in a place where I could hear His voice, daily!

Peace in our life is the bedrock for facing memories that the enemy tries to use to choke the life from us causing anxiety and depression.

The Apostle Paul talked about this in Philippians at a time he was in prison. He had an abundance of time to think!  Choosing what we think on is a key to peace.

Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Walking in God’s peace is a sure protection from destructive thought patterns bombarding our mind.

Peace only comes as we learn to allow the Holy Spirit to be our Helper.

Philippians 4:8 tells us Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

 I feel Paul’s frustration in that word, finally!  This is your part! 

God gave you the gift of choice in the Garden.  You have a choice about what you think on.

You can be humiliated, lied against, deceived and betrayed, and you can get over it when you cultivate a mindset that says, through Christ I can conquer the pressure of this world! (Romans 8:37).

As a born-again child of God, you have a helper, you are not alone. (John 16:7)

If you allow painful memories of the past to  hang over you like a cloud, you will continue to be miserable in this world.

As I was murmuring about a situation in my life, God spoke to me one day, “shut up and be content!”  Wow, that got my attention.  I wanted sympathy.  God knew that I needed truth.

I began to read and study Philippians because I knew that in Chapter 4, verse 11, Paul said “…I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  It did not just happen, he had to learn to be content.  He had to build his faith “in God,” trusting Him to know best and turn the situation into good.

After doing this for some time, one day a verse caught my attention! Philippians 3:13, states …but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind…”

I said, “God how do I forget?”  The enemy is always reminding me of everything I have done wrong!  He instantly responded saying, “you remember!”

Remember, I thought…. He then said, “when you remember, you are choosing your thoughts!”

I got it!  I choose what I am thinking about!  Is it really that simple, YES!

One of my favorite verses is, 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, that somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

It is not hard to follow Jesus and live a Christ-centered life in this world.  You must live intentionally on purpose! Use your gift of choice!

God has always been in the restoration business. It has always been His desire to restore to those created in His image to a right relationship with Himself. We are not meant to be burdened with painful memories that hinder our daily walk with God and experiencing His joy and peace.

The Word of God shares many testimonies of men and women who persevered in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Do not rehearse the trauma or heartache of your past. God can bring healing to those memories as you meditate on His goodness and faithfulness.

Remember, you have a choice on what you think on!

Change your life by changing your thinking.

That is the simplicity that is in Christ!

Mothers are Leaders

As I was thinking about all the controversy about women and their role in society, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Mothers are Leaders.”   As I pondered these words, He brought to my remembrance Jochebed.     

Most Bible readers don’t know her by name. She is mentioned twice in the Bible by her name, Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:39.

Without doubt her life was not a bed or roses. She was raised in slavery, but she never lost hope for her household. Her character was forged in a brutal world, but she never lost her love for the God of Israel, and her faith in Him developed her character which she imparted into her children.

She had the unique position of raising three leaders: Moses, Aaron and Miriam. She is listed in Hebrews Chapter 11 with other great leaders.

After many years of favor in Egypt, Pharaoh became threatened by the children of Israel and inflicted them with hard labor, but the more he did, the stronger they became.  In his effort to stop them, He commanded that all baby boys be cast into the river at birth.

As Jochebed gave birth and the cry of her newborn baby cut through the home, she was distracted by the remembrance of the king’s command. “It’s a boy,” she was told.  “Give me my son,” she responded.

As she held her son, she saw that he was a beautiful child. As she looked him over from head to toe, she had a sudden awareness that this child was a gift from God and was convinced that God had plans for her child.  Hebrews 11:23 tells us, By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.”  By faith….because they saw!  Faith saw the promise of God, that He gives life! By faith they were obedient to God and they were not afraid of man!

During the next three months insecurities tried to plague her, but her assurance and confidence in her God gave her the courage to fight for her son’s life. Because she was not bound by natural thinking, God’s plan in heaven began to form in her mind.  It was simple, waterproof your basket, place your baby in it and place it in the river.

Her motivation was not only the love for her child, but obedience to God.

As Jochebed placed Moses in the basket, she gave Miriam instructions to stand at the river’s edge to see what would happen.

Pharaoh’s daughter just happened to be in the river. When she saw the basket she recognized this was a Hebrew baby and her heart was filled with compassion. She knew what her father had commanded, but God has a way to change the heart of men and women living in this earth. When Miriam saw this, she stepped forward with the same peace of her mother and asked if she should call a woman to nurse the baby. “Go,” she answered, and Miriam called her mother.

When Jochebed came forward, Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So, the woman took the child and nursed him.” (Exodus 2:9) She no longer had to hide her baby and received wages for nursing him.  Only God!

Jochebed’s next step of faith was to return her baby to the house of her enemy!

Moses ultimately led the children of Israel out of Egypt, but his mother set the plan into action by her obedience to God!  Her faith had been tested. Her family saw what a small thing it was for God to change their circumstances and put their enemies under His feet! 

He has not changed!  He is the same God that parted the Red Sea, that changed the heart of a woman and filled her with compassion, and she had no idea she was being used of God for His plan for man on this earth!

There is nothing new under the sun, the same enemy of man is still determined to steal, kill and destroy everything that God has created in this earth!  The same God is searching for men and women that will stand strong in their faith and hear His voice and be willing and obedient to follow His plan to bring His Kingdom to earth.

Psalm 119:111 tells us, “Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, For they are the rejoicing of my heart.”  Testimonies in the Bible tell us our “family history.” They also give us God’s perspective and His version of history, imparting insight and reality from His point of view.

Meditating on the testimonies is a training ground for renewing our minds. The prophetic anointing carried through testimonies brings encouragement and comfort in our time of need giving us that quiet assurance that all things are possible with God!  Read and study this testimony in Exodus 1:22, 2:1-10 and Hebrews 11:23.

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Fatigue Syndrome

Many have grown weary with all the unknowns that surround us. It seems that “suddenly” we were cast into the middle of a pandemic that I do not think anyone was prepared for.

Our enemy wants us to feel isolated, alone, and powerless—we are not!  Jesus is still the head of the Church and the Spirit of the Lord is still moving throughout the earth!  The weapons of our warfare are mighty and have not been diminished by the 21st century technology.

We must not be driven by the storms of life but navigate the storms from a point of orientation. We are a child of God, and God is shaking the earth to prepare us for the events to come. We are being refined and prepared!

I, personally, have had to do some soul searching in my own life.  As a child of God, we must discern the signs of the seasons.  God gives us a clear blueprint in His Word.

I found myself getting agitated and frustrated with the virus, the riots and constant changing news of what was going on. The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,because he trusts in You.”   This was a wake-up call! “Who was I trusting?”

As I began to “think” I saw how easily I had gotten “caught up” in letting the creators of technology determine what is possible. Where was my mind? What is my trust in? As I meditated this scripture, I realized just how easy it was to slip back into the influence of the world.

Jeremiah 32:17 says, ‘”Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”

The Creator of all things, the greatest power you will ever know, the one that created you in your mother’s womb, desires to partner with you as you walk the runway of life, to give you a different set of possibilities and outcome!

Why would we settle for the same life that people who don’t know God have?

I’m not against technology, it has made my life much easier, but I can not allow it to “transform” my mind to think like the world. Science, medicine, and technology tend to limit possibilities!  BUT as a born-again child of God you are a “new creation in Christ Jesus.”

We must understand the mystery of transformation. Only God can transform an ugly thorn bush into a beautiful rose bush! Transform a worm crawling on its belly into a beautiful butterfly that can fly above the challenges in the world.

I cannot transform myself, but I can create the conditions in which spiritual transformation can take place.

 As a born-again child of God, I have the privilege of changing the way I exist in this world—from an ugly thorn bush to a beautiful rose bush. One thing we must remember— roses bloom in season, but thorns are always there.  I call this finding the rhythm of grace.  Only by the grace of God can spiritual transformation take place, from the deepest desire of our heart.

We must choose a way of life that opens us to the presence of God in our deepest desire and longings.  This desire will take us to a place of discipline in our daily life.  The habits and disciplines we use will shape our desire for the basis of our spiritual life.

Romans 12:2 (NASB) says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Renewing our mind is not a onetime experience and it’s done!  It is a daily, intentional purpose to know the ways of God.  We must learn the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven, so God’s desire of bringing heaven to earth can be done.

Your transformation begins with a longing that stirs deep within you, above the noise and activities of your life.  It is not always comfortable to confront pride, selfish ambition, self-protection, and many other motives that lurk from our old life.

Spiritual fatigue syndrome comes from a weary soul with unresolved issues that come from an unrenewed mind. Galatians 6:9 says, And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Your “due season” is coming!  Keep you eyes on Jesus, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews (12:2).

We must heed Paul’s warning in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

The simplicity that is in Christ is, walking in obedience to His Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring “life” to us from His Word, so that we can “hear” the voice of the Lord and follow Him. (John 10:27)

He will lead us by the still waters! (Psalms 23)

 

 

 

 

The Battle for Your Life

We are living in a season that we were not expecting, and it seems to be wearing everyone down.  The bottom line is, we cannot do what we want to do when we want to!

We were enjoying life for the most part, going about our lives without much thought of being prepared for a pandemic to hit our lives!  As a child of God, we are told to be alert!  The enemy roams the earth seeking for an open door!

As a born-again child of God, we have been given uniquely powerful tools to live in this world.   Many of us tend to think of our spiritual life in the context of our church involvement; we are faithful in attendance, volunteer and give money to the church. We confessed our sins and signed for church membership and that’s it.

Our faith is about the basic choices we make every day. It is about the words we use and our relationships. It is about how we manage our resources and how we use our time and talents.

2 Corinthians 11:3 tells us, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

I find it staggering that Eve could be deceived! She lived in a beautiful Garden, God met every need and walked with her and Adam in the Garden. Sin was unknown. Paul was concerned that we would be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  Paul clearly tells us, “it is our minds that can be corrupted!” This should make us stop and think!

Our minds are linked with our emotions and influence our choices. The mind is both a battleground and the key to transformation. Our mind must be trained to think from heaven to earth. It does not come by chance; it takes work and intentionality.

Eve had a fatal attraction; she set her mind on one tree. She had been warned about the tree and knew the consequences, but her appetite won!

Do you understand the power of appetite?  Appetite is a desire to satisfy any bodily need or craving, an appetite for food, power, or pleasure. Addictions are overrunning our world. Addiction to food, drugs,  alcohol, tobacco, porn and gambling to name a few. Addiction starts in our mind.

Eve was willing to risk death to eat from the forbidden tree.  She wanted wisdom and all she had to do was ask God for it.  Esau was also caught at a vulnerable moment, but if he had valued what was his he would not have chosen to satisfy his flesh over receiving a Spiritual blessing later.

Eve could not remove the tree, but she had a choice to remove herself from the presence of the tree. David looked on Bathsheba and allowed lust to fill his heart. Solomon married foreign women and allowed their gods within his home. Yes, the power of appetite has taken over the lives of many as they submitted to it.

There are many examples for us in the Word of God for our learning.  We must value the testimonies in the Word of God, they are to teach us how to live in this world. (Romans 15:4).

Satan’s target is your mind because that is the only entrance he has access to. If we are not sincere in our faith and pure in our devotion to God, we are open to the enemy just like Eve was.

I believe this season of our life is giving us the opportunity to look deep within our hearts and repent where we have allowed a lax attitude in our priorities in life to turn more towards the world for the pleasures of this life.

You must understand the struggle that is going on and where that battle is fought; it is in your mind as Paul warned us. Public officials cannot resolve the problems facing us today because they are spiritual issues.

We must create an environment around us that supports us and where we can hear the voice of the Lord. That is our only safety net! He has promised to lead us beside still waters, to restore our soul and prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

Have you ever thought, what would Jesus say to us in the middle of this pandemic, riots and total chaos in the world system? Why are you afraid? Are you reading the Word of God, wearing the helmet of salvation and using the sword of the Spirit? Are you decreeing my Word into the darkness?  Did you think I would leave you and forsake you? Is my shed blood not enough?

We must understand what happened in the Garden of Eden and what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane to build our Garden of Life in this earth!

The Holy Spirit is your helper and only by the grace of God can we build a wall of protection to guard our heart and mind as we walk the runway of life. You must always fight the good fight of faith and be alert.  Remember, it is a “fixed” fight, we win!

The tools we have been given—prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and the authority of Jesus’ name on the lips of His children can change the course of human history, but to be effective they must be used! Read and study Ephesians 6:10-18 to learn about your spiritual weapons.

 

How to Slay the Giant of Obesity

What giants are keeping you from a happy, healthy life?

Everyone, saint and sinner, knows that David, the shepherd boy, won the battle with the giant Goliath. We always love to cheer for the underdog!

As we walk in the light, living in a dark world, we are going to face many giants. Persecution, trials and the tribulations of life are guaranteed, so it is not a question of if, but how we face them.

 There is a giant in the church today that is destroying health, killing dreams and stealing the potential of God’s people. This giant, obesity and out-of-control appetites, has grown to epidemic  levels, and everyone is talking, trying to find answers.

The enemy has not changed his tactics since the Garden. He is still tempting people to take one more bite! One more bite leads to food addictions that are very hard to break. The world is making money on “a new magic cure for weight loss” and making sure that as we eat their processed foods we become addicted to the taste and not the need for nutrition.

For years, I was on the roller coaster, riding the scales up and down, struggling with guilt and shame, feeling helpless to stay in control. After giving up and coming to the conclusion I would never try one of the world’s new magic cures again, the Lord stepped in.

While visiting a friend, I looked up to see a sign and it simply stopped me in my tracks. It said, “The devil wants you fat!” This hit me right in my heart. I hate the devil, and the last thing I wanted to do was make him happy. I realized that I had a lot of emotional baggage from my weight problem. I had seen the devil try to kill and steal from my family with drugs and alcohol, but I had not seen the truth: that I was addicted to food.

We are dependent on food. God not only created us to need food, but also that we would enjoy food. Eating should be pleasurable while we are benefiting from the nutrition we receive from it.

Food has served the devil well over the years. It started in the Garden, and we can see that for generations food has been a stumbling block. Esau sold his birthright for food. Psalm 78:18 tells us, “They [the children of Israel] willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved” (NIV).

Food is fast overtaking smoking as the No. 1 cause of preventable disease. The problem is when we become emotionally dependent on food to cope with everyday life. When food becomes our source of joy and comfort, it becomes an addiction that traps us and holds us in bondage.

Most Christians don’t drink or smoke, so we feel we have the right to eat. The potluck has been one of our trademarks for fellowship. Unfortunately, the potluck has gotten out of hand and packed the pounds on our body to kill, steal and destroy our health, our mental strength and our emotional stability.

How did this young, unimpressive shepherd boy slay a giant whom everyone in the army was afraid of? He had confidence in the power and protection of God and fought with the strength of the Lord! We must understand that there is a power greater than our taste buds.

Food disorder, whether anorexia or obesity, brings disease to our body and soul—disease that is debilitating to our bodies and depression that clouds our minds, brings death and defeat, and is one of the chief weapons of the enemy. We pray for healing in our bodies but refuse to pick up our cross of out-of-control eating. We have refused to discipline ourselves and have filled our minds with the trash of the world.

I love the question that David asked when his brothers questioned why he was there: “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29, NKJV). I challenge you with this same question: Is there not a cause? If you are serious about the Great Commission, there is a cause. How can we go into all the world and preach the gospel when we are bound to a food addiction or any other addiction? All we can do is get to the refrigerator.

Please hear my heart. I know the struggle, the hurt and the heartache of overcoming an addiction.

I thank God that I had a shock of reality: “The devil wants you fat!” Now, three years later and 80 pounds lighter,it is still a daily walk. Has the journey been easy?  NO! I still have to make daily decisions and still fighting for 20 more pounds!

 Only by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can we defeat the power of the enemy that  steal, kill and destroy!

How Much Do You Value Your Kingdom Citizenship?

“But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).

The Bible tells us that we are aliens, strangers on the earth. Jesus is ultimately going to establish His kingdom with His values on earth. As born-again children of God, we are given the power and privilege of leaving the world’s flawed value system and living for eternity.

But at this time, we are living in a sin-filled world where we are not only overcoming the temptation of sin in our personal lives, but we can see the impact of sin all around us.

Our family moved to the United Kingdom, where we lived for 12 years. When I took my first drive on the wrong side of the street, my first roundabout, I was hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life.

I had gone out to get bread for my family. I was quite pleased to find a parking space right in front of the store. After shopping, I left the store to discover a policeman standing next to my car writing out a ticket. I approached him and asked what he was doing, and he said, “You broke the law. You have no right to park here.”

I tried to explain that I had just moved to the U.K., and he said, “I don’t care where you came from, the laws of the United States don’t protect you in the United Kingdom, and ignorance is no excuse!”

That hurt! But I have never forgotten those words, “Ignorance is no excuse.” I told him I was sorry and promised to study the rules of the road for the U.K. I was a citizen of the U.S., but I was living in the U.K., and I had to learn the laws of the land where I was now living.

When God grants us citizenship in the kingdom of heaven, we become “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). We become citizens of an eternal kingdom where our Father is the King! He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirits, and our bodies become His temple. His goal is to make us as much like Jesus as possible in this life. As we learn to submit our thoughts and ways to Him, the Holy Spirit begins to transform our hearts to glorify God, our Father in heaven.

Our focus turns toward eternal things and storing up treasures in heaven. We are reaching out for something different than the people who are not in Christ, and this means we have another set of values with different goals to attain in this world.

We are finding His ways are higher than the world’s ways. Forgiveness releases us from our past and we now have the power to forgive others who have hurt and betrayed us. This allows us to walk in the freedom of joy and peace in this earth. We do not have to live under the bondage of others, trying to get even.

We must remember, our eyes have been opened to the ways of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:11). Anyone living on this earth who has not accepted Jesus cannot see the kingdom principles that we now live in. If you have not been awakened to this fact, I urge you to step back and evaluate how you are spending your time, who you associate with and how you view the world you are living in. Do you have the peace of God in your heart that comes with being a citizen of heaven?

We are in this world for now, but my citizenship is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world, but I live with my ultimate destination with the Lord firmly fixed in my heart and mind.

We live for a short time in these physical bodies, joyfully anticipating our future in our real home. I value my citizenship in heaven, and daily seek to know God and His principles. His principles are far above the laws of this land; they teach us how to live in this world as we prepare for our eternal home.

The Word of God tells us very plainly why we stumble in this world. Hosea 4:6a tells us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” If you love God and value your citizenship, the only way you can know Him and be led by the Holy Spirit is reading and meditating on His Word. Joshua 1:8 (NLT) gives clear directions for achieving success in this life, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Eve did not value the Word of God and believed a lie. She was in a perfect location physically, but still fell into sin because she believed a lie! When you believe a lie, you empower the liar. You must know the truth to discern a lieAll sin starts with a lie!

As we walk the runway of life, we must keep our focus on our true citizenship and eternal destination, sharing in Abraham’s experience: living “like a stranger in a foreign country … looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:9-10, NIV).

What does God really think about women?

I’m always amazed as I travel and minister that I still have women coming to me saying they are not accepted because they are a woman! “My church won’t let me preach or teach or pray for people. They only let me serve in the kitchen or clean the church.” I always say, “You need to look to God, not man, for open doors for your gift.

What does God really think about women?

Long before He formed the woman’s physical body from the rib of man, He had her in His heart. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth'” (Gen. 1:26-28).

In the New Testament we find the man, Paul, whom some quote as being against women, saying, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

It is very important to understand the beginning of mankind. Women, you are not an afterthought. You were clearly in God’s heart before He formed you according to Scripture. Women have graced this earth with insight, sensitivity and beauty, spiritually and physically. Eve entered the physical world not in a dominant or subservient role, but equal to man. “Let them” is repeated several times in Genesis.

It was God who said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Gen. 2:18). God created woman and brought her to man! Adam had nothing to do with her creation other than taking a nap!

When God formed woman, He took the feminine, the nurturing and tenderness of His nature that had already been breathed into Adam, and gave woman those strengths. Man was left with the stewardship of the earth; to guide, guard and govern; the disciplinarian, the tough one.

When we begin to understand how God originally created men and women, and the uniqueness that was placed within each one, then we begin to comprehend the problems we are facing in the world today. Men and women both have a uniqueness that needs to be fulfilled.

Unfortunately, religion has twisted the scriptures to their ideal to lift up men. In the Jewish culture, women were not treated much better than their Roman and Greek sisters. We know that God used women in the Old Testament with great influence, but in general, women were considered a commodity. Women were not permitted to learn, to speak to men in public, even to her own husband.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and to restore God’s original design for men and women and their purpose in this world. When Jesus saw women crushed and hidden behind closed doors, He flung the door wide open! He took these abused female image bearers and put them center stage to play leading roles in God’s redemptive plan for the world.

God made the way for mankind, including women. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). You, men and women, are children of God if you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

No wonder women followed Jesus. He satisfied their uniqueness as women. He treated them as peers, and joint-heirs with Him. God created man and woman to be unique; and where that is impaired there is division, and division opens the doorway for deception.

Walk in your uniqueness as a Woman and Man of God. You are to honor God with the life He created in you. Men feel they have to perform and women feel they have to conform, but God says we are both to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. When we honor each other as we function in our divine purpose, God commands His blessing.

I thank God every day that my husband has given me the freedom to develop the gift that God has imparted within my spirit. He has encouraged me in every step of my ministry and supported me in everything God has called me to do. Have we had some disagreements? How can two become one without a few good disagreements, and yes, a little shouting!

The Silent Goliath in the Church

Everyone, saint and sinner, knows that David, the shepherd boy, won the battle with the giant Goliath! We always love to cheer for the underdog! As we walk in the light, living in a dark world, we are going to face many giants. Persecution, trials and the tribulations of life are guaranteed, so it is not a question of if, but how we face them.

There is a giant in the church today that is destroying health, killing dreams and stealing the potential of God’s people. This giant, obesity and out-of-control appetites, has grown to epidemic levels and everyone is talking, trying to find answers.

The enemy has not changed his tactics since the Garden of Eden. He is still tempting people to take one more bite! One more bite leads to food addictions that are very hard to break. The world is making money on “a new magic cure for weight loss,” and making sure that as we eat their processed foods we become addicted to the taste and not the need for nutrition.

For years I was on the roller coaster riding the scales up and down, struggling with guilt and shame, feeling helpless to stay in control. After giving up and coming to the conclusion I would never try one of the world’s new magic cures again, the Lord stepped in.

 

While visiting a friend, I looked up to see a sign and it simply stopped me in my tracks! “The devil wants you fat!” This hit me right in my heart. I hate the devil and the last thing I wanted to do was make him happy. I realized that I had a lot of emotional baggage from my weight problem. I had seen the devil try to kill and steal from my family with drugs and alcohol, but I had not seen the truth, that I was addicted to food.

We are dependent on food. God not only created us to need food, but also that we would enjoy food. Eating should be pleasurable while we are benefiting from the nutrition we receive from it.

Food has served the devil well over the years. It started in the garden, and we can see that for generations food has been a stumbling block. Esau sold his birthright for food. Psalm 78:18 tells us, “They (the people of Israel) tested God in their heart by demanding the food that they craved.”

Food is fast overtaking smoking as the No. 1 cause of preventable disease. The problem is when we become emotionally dependent on food to cope with everyday life. When food becomes our source of joy and comfort, it becomes an addiction that traps us and holds us in bondage.

Most Christians don’t drink or smoke so we feel we have the right to eat! The potluck has been one of our trademarks for fellowship. Unfortunately, the potluck has gotten out of hand and packed the pounds on our body to kill, steal and destroy our health, our mental strength and our emotional stability.

How did this young, unimpressive shepherd boy slay a giant whom everyone in the army was afraid of? He had confidence in the power and protection of God and fought with the strength of the Lord! We must understand that there is a power greater than our taste buds!

Food disorder, whether anorexia or obesity, brings disease to our body and soul—disease that is debilitating to our bodies and depression that clouds our minds, brings death and defeat and is one of the chief weapons of the enemy. We pray for healing in our bodies but refuse to pick up our cross of out-of-control eating. We have refused to discipline ourselves and have filled our minds with the trash of the world.

I love the question that David asked when his brothers questioned why he was there: “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam. 17:29, NKJV). I challenge you with this question: “Is there not a cause?” If you are serious about the Great Commission, there is a cause. How can we go into all the world and preach the gospel when we are bound to a food addiction or any other addiction? All we can do is get to the refrigerator.

Please hear my heart. I know the struggle, the hurt and the heartache of overcoming an addiction.

I thank God that I had a shock of reality: “The devil wants you fat!” Now, three years later and 88 pounds lighter, I can enjoy my life and share the Good News of Jesus with the world. Truly, Jesus is the answer, He is the author and finisher of our faith, and only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we conquer the giants in our life.

God knows where you are and if you are ready to destroy the giants in your land. He tests your faith so you will know if you are ready to slay the giants. (Charisma archives)

The Key to Passing the Test of Faith

“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matt. 13:11, NKJV).

A mystery is a truth to be revealed. As a child of God we thrive on revelation. John tells us that the truth will set you free. As always there is that little word with significant meaning. Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32, NKJV).

If you abide in My word, you will know the truth. Only the truth, the mystery that is revealed to you, will set you free. Until we receive the revelation of the truth, we will go around that mountain one more time! It is time to turn, go north. That is what the Lord spoke to the children of Israel. “You have skirted this mountain long enough; turn northward” (Deuteronomy 2:3, NKJV).

Conversion gives you the ability to see. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, NKJV). Jesus also told the disciples in John 16:7 that you have an advantage over the world, and the Helper will come to guide you into all truth. Read John, chapters 14, 15 and 16. It is just as important for you as it was for the disciples when Jesus was preparing them for His departure.

In Ephesians 1:15-17, Paul says, “After I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, [I] do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Notice, it was after he heard of their faith. He knew they now had the ability “to see.”

When you embrace mystery in one hand and revelation in the other one, you are on your way to building a life full of faith and walking in the promises of God. That is where you live, at the corner of mystery and revelation! You must read the Word, meditate the Word, ask for revelation of the Word and then you will live the Word and experience the promises in your life!

In Exodus 23:29-30 (NIV), the Lord told the children of Israel, “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”

God knows where you are and if you are ready to destroy the giants in your land. He tests your faith so you will know if you are ready to slay the giants. James 1:2-3 (NKJV) says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Various trials are in the world. They come in relationships, finances, health and matters of everyday life you face in the world. Faith is a spiritual force. James is talking about your faith being tested so you will know where you are. Are you able to slay the giants?

The “key” to this testing is found in James 1, verse 12, NKJV: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Blessed is the man who endures temptation, not the man who endured the trial or test.

The temptation for the child of God is to doubt God’s Word. If you have a revelation of the promises, you will stand tall and walk in faith and see the end intended by the Lord (see James 5:11).

Time is your most valuable asset, and choice is your only real freedom. When you choose to invest a small amount of time, over time it will bring increase in areas that matter most! God is looking for men and women of God to be intentional and consistent in learning to navigate the pain and disappointments of life.

Finding the Rhythm of Life

I love the Lord, go to church and study the Word, but sometimes things just don’t seem to click.

Jesus promised us an abundant life.  He told us to be of good cheer, He had overcome the world. One day as I was meditating on some things in my life, things that I didn’t understand, I heard a whisper in my heart,  “Find the rhythm of life.”

After meditating on this for months, little by little I began to feel like I was beginning to get a glimpse of that rhythm. I had fallen into a trap, I was busy doing the Lord’s work, but I had neglected my time with Him.

The Holy Spirit began to bring to my remembrance scriptures that I had hidden in my heart years before. One was 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (nlt): “ Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”

We are to keep our whole spirit, soul and body blameless.   I realized in that moment how each area affects the others and that our spirit, soul and body had to flow together in “rhythm” so we would not stumble and fall in life.

It is hard to get out of bed a little early to read the Bible and have some quiet time when you are totally exhausted because you have not taken care of your body, have not exercised, eaten a healthy diet and  are stressed out over money.  It is also hard to be a positive influence on your family and friends when you are discouraged, depressed and disappointed, a reflection of an unhealthy soul.

After serving the Lord on the mission field and traveling to the nations for several years, everything in my life seemed to collapse.  I could not cope with my life. I was totally exhausted, I had no desire to study the Word of God and I felt totally alone. What happened?

After a year in this condition, the Lord sent an “angel” to tell me that God loved me.  I had never met the woman face-to-face, but I had encouraged her with a letter after reading her book.  She was cleaning her desk one day and found the letter I had sent. God spoke clearly to her, “Call her and tell her I love her.”  When I heard those words, I began to weep and the healing process started in my heart.  God had not forgotten me.

I had gained 75 pounds during this time, and  now I was fighting guilt and condemnation in this image-obsessed world.  I cried out to the Lord for help.  “Lord, I need a word from You.”  I love to hear God’s voice, and I knew that Jesus said that His sheep follow Him because they hear His voice (John 10:4,27).

One day the Lord spoke, “Break the habit.”  I knew immediately what He meant –  my food habit.  From that day He began to reveal to me how I had to walk in unity with myself to conquer this battle.  I had to pursue health in my spirit, soul and body to overcome in this world.  I had to keep my temple strong and take care of it, so I had the strength to renew my soul and build a strong spirit.

I believe that is what is missing in this “diet-crazed, body-imaged world,”  which has crept into the Church.

The devil has always used food to destroy God’s people. Why can’t we stop eating when we know certain foods are not good for us? Why does all the information about health seem to go right over our head?  You cannot fix a spiritual problem with a natural solution.  Food addiction is fast overtaking smoking to being the number one cause of death from a preventable disease.

One day, I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat!”  My heart was pierced.  The last thing I wanted to do was please the devil.  “God,” I cried, “please forgive me for not taking care of my body.”  When I submitted my food problem to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out, and took 90 pounds from my body.

  I had found the rhythm of life! My spirit, soul and body had

to walk in unity to overcome in this world.

When Jesus promised us abundant life, it was not an abundance of things; it was an abundance of  joy, peace and righteousness. Romans 14:17 says, For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (NLT).