Author: Joyce Tilney

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).

 

The Simple Way to Access Your Free Heavenly Treasures

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Though we are born again through faith in Christ, we still have the same physical body. We know that if our earthly house, this tent, were to be destroyed, we have an eternal building of God in the heavens, a house not made with hands” (2 Cor. 5:1).

As a new creation in Christ, we still live in the framework of ordinary human lives. Yes, we are “earthen vessels,” frail, vulnerable, inadequate, originally fashioned from dust.

We have been likened to clay pots (see Job 10:9). The Lord fully understands our makeup, and the Lord does not expect anything from us but to be a container for a heavenly treasure. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power being from God and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:7).

When Jesus was preparing the disciples for His departure in John Chapters 14-16, He knew what they were facing, and He knew they were fragile earthen vessels and they needed help! Read and study these verses in John, because you and I need help walking in this world.

John 14:16-17 (NKJV) says: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you..” This truth assures us that we are never alone.

How will the Holy Spirit help us? “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:25-26). Once again, Jesus uses the word “Helper” to describe the promise of the Father. He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance the Word that you need to face any temptation or challenge you face in this world.

In John 16:7, Jesus once again confirms to the disciples He is leaving, but they will not be alone. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” The disciples were full of grief that Jesus was leaving. He was their leader, He was the way maker, the miracle worker!

Jesus understood their feelings. He explains more about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives in John 16:12-14 (MEV): “I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive from Me and will declare it to you.”

These verses are full of amazing promises, Jesus wants to tell them more, but He understands where they are. He also understands where you are in your daily walk with God. You and I, as born-again children of God, have the same promise of the Holy Spirit, a treasure in our earthen vessel!

The bottom line is quite simple: We need help as we walk the runway of life!

First Corinthians 2:12 tells us, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.”

The Word of God is full of treasures waiting to be discovered. We have been given everything for life and godliness through the promises in God’s Word (See 2 Pet. 1-3). These treasures are not hidden from us, but for us so that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God!

You, child of God, have Someone living in you who knows the will of God for your life! You are invited to a friendship with this treasure that is within you. You don’t have to stumble in this world. All you have to do is ask!

John 16:24 says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

God’s plan is to impart heavenly treasures into ordinary earthen vessels so that the attention will go to the contents, not the container, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

The Effect Words Have on Your Eating Habits

“The devil wants you fat!” When I read these words, they pierced my heart.

These words were a jolt to my mind. It became very real to me in that moment what was going on in my life. I hate the devil, and the last thing I wanted was to please him.  There is no doubt about it, the devil wants you fat!

The Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance John 10:10, “The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

For years I had struggled with the roller-coaster ride of weight issues, fighting all the emotional ups and downs that go with this battle. There is much information today on obesity, but as a nation, we get fatter and fatter. Information shows us the need for change, but transformation gives us a desire to change. The power to change comes from the One who created us.

In this moment, when I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat,” I had an  immediate, burning desire  in my heart to change. It was a moment that brought  repentance and an awareness that I was responsible and accountable for  the way I had cared for my body.

Once I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 90 pounds from my body. Yes, I said “addiction.” I did not realize until that moment that I was addicted to food. I had seen members in my family with addiction to alcohol and drugs, but it had not occurred to me that I was addicted to food, and the enemy was using this to destroy my health and well-being. Unlike alcohol and drugs, we must have food to survive. It is what the enemy used in the Garden to tempt Eve, so why should we be surprised that he is still using the temptation of our hunger for his benefit to steal, kill and destroy?

The enemy also tempted Jesus with food. Jesus had been fasting, and when He came off the fast, He was hungry. Satan tempted Him saying, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). Jesus answered him saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” (Luke 4:4b). Job 23:12b says, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

“For the word of God alive and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The Word has the power to bring deliverance to you and cut asunder the thick cords of the enemy. When you study the Word, receive a revelation of the Word and speak the Word, the enemy and his temptations have no power over you!

The food industry also knows how they can cause us to become addicted to food cravings. The Holy Spirit led me to study nutrition. I became aware how certain foods affected my body. I strongly urge you to study how chemicals that have been added to foods to stimulate our taste buds, strip their nutritional value and cause cravings that demand our attention.

Dan. 10:19b says, “When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'” I needed strength! I had a word from the Lord, but I knew this battle was not in the physical world but a spiritual battle against the principalities and powers of the world.

As I began this journey, the Lord spoke several different words that gave me strength to face the battle. One of those words was, “When you get a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” I immediately remembered 1 Cor. 6:19: “What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own?”

“Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it …” (Prov. 16:22). Understanding gives us wisdom and strength to walk in obedience to the Word of God. Obedience is the key; weight loss is a side benefit! He has prepared a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Ps. 23, 34:8).

Denying the Flesh: Break the Habit of Reckless Eating

“Break the Habit.” This was the word the Lord spoke to my heart as I earnestly sought Him for direction in my weight battle.

I had a bad habit of eating the wrong food at the wrong time. I did not “think” about what I was eating or when I was eating. I ate to stop the craving that screamed for my attention. I had opened the door to the enemy through my eating habits and he was happy to take advantage of the situation, planting seeds of thoughts about food until I was totally addicted to certain foods. The cravings were consistently screaming in my head to be fed.

At this time, a big change had come into my life and I was having trouble adjusting to the change. During this time, I gained 75 pounds! I was shocked when I stepped on the scales! I cried out to the Lord, “I need your help!” In His great love and mercy He spoke to my heart, “break the habit.” I knew this was my eating habit.

Food addiction becomes a habit when we eat wrong foods that create cravings that we find impossible to stop in our own strength. A habit is a constant, often unconscious inclination to perform some act acquired through its frequent repetition, an established trend of the mind or character. I soon found out that it is not easy to break a habit and that the enemy is not happy about giving up his territory.

In Romans 7:15, Paul shares about a struggle he was having, “…For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I have, that I do” (NLT). I have heard many people say, “if Paul couldn’t control his flesh, how can I?”

Keep reading! Romans 8:1-2 (MSG) “With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

As a child of God we have a helper. Jesus knew what we were going to face in this world. He came to show us the way and to learn from His walk in this world. He did not forsake us but gave us the assurance to walk the runway of life. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). We have an advantage over the world; we have a helper.

Paul received a revelation, the Spirit of life in Christ, brings freedom to us and breaks the yoke of bondage.

Revelation is the language of the Spirit. We thrive on receiving revelation of the knowledge of God. As Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-18 (NKJV), we must ask for “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

Paul recognized he was practicing a habit he hated and felt powerless to stop. In his own power he could do nothing, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, his helper, he could overcome any trial that tried to destroy his joy and peace.

As I changed my focus from food and weight, the Lord spoke quietly in my spirit one day, “when you receive a revelation of the purpose of your body, you will not abuse it.” Immediately, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own. For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

My body was created in His image and was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. I carried the message of Christ, the gospel of peace in my body! I had been fearlessly and wonderfully made. His thoughts are precious towards me. I began to meditate on Psalm 139 and Philippians 1:20 that Christ would be magnified in my body.

The revelation from these Scriptures gave me the strength to make the choice that I would glorify God in my body and spirit. When I surrendered my food addiction to the Lord, He gave me a battle plan that worked from the inside out and took 80 pounds from my body.

You can read this battle plan in my book, Why Diets Don’t Work—Food Is Not the Problem. The problem is the daily choices that we make. Right choices activate your faith in God to bring deliverance to your challenges of life.

You are made for more. You are not created to survive and be in bondage to anything. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4)

Join the Walk! “…Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

The One Thing That Can Break Your Addiction to Food

Most of us are familiar with the Scripture, “But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). One day as I was preparing for a teaching, I was reading about Martha and Mary. I read the Scripture where Jesus responded to Martha’s outburst of self-pity: “But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42).

The words “one thing is needed” caught my attention. As I pondered these words of Jesus in my heart, I heard the whisper of the Lord: “Most people don’t know what they need.” We live in a sight and sound world. We see and feel only in the natural world and determine what we need by this standard.

As born-again children of God, we are not limited to this natural world. We have total access to the kingdom of heaven through the promises of God. Second Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV) tells us, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

These verses tell us very clearly how we access heaven and live on the earth in the natural realm. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. All the things that we need in this world. We access heaven by reading and meditating the Word of God. This is something all people have to do for themselves (Josh.1:8). When Jesus promised us abundant life in John 10:10, He was not speaking about an abundance of material things: cars, houses, clothes and money. He was speaking about the spiritual needs of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit: “For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). What did Jesus leave to us? John 14:27 tells us, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Why did He leave us His peace? Peace is our greatest need. It is in the peace of God that we hear His voice and follow where He leads us. Peter told us that grace and peace are multiplied in the knowledge of God. As we increase in knowledge, His divine power is made known to us by the Holy Spirit, and we will understand how “things” will follow us as we walk in obedience to His voice. God knows we need things and that we humans like things. He is happy to lead us into a life where we have things when things don’t hold our heart. Matthew 6:33 is the key to obtaining your things in this world: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you.”

Many of us are suffering from discouragement, disappointment and depression because we are struggling to get along in this world. We cannot hear God’s voice because of the frustration and constant changing in the world.

It is not easy living in this world. That is why we surround ourselves with like believers. We also have to learn how to strengthen ourselves in the Lord.

As we look at our needs, remember what Jesus told Martha: “One thing is needed!”—the Word of God. It is life to those who find it and health to their flesh (see Prov. 4:20-22.). When we have the Word of God hidden in our hearts, nothing can take the promise away.

At one time in my life I was drowning in depression. During this time, I gained 75 pounds, which only added to my anxiety. One day I received a phone call from a person I had never met, but God had connected us. When I answered the phone, I heard the words, “Jesus loves you.”  I broke. Those words spoken through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by an obedient woman put a crack in the wall I had built up. My healing began that day. Only the Holy Spirit knows how to give us our breakthrough. You cannot figure it out.

My weight became a big issue in my life. I tried everything the world had to offer. Every magic trick and quick cure. Finally, I said, “I will never try the world’s way again. God, I need a word from You!”

One day I saw the words, “The devil wants you fat!”  Those words pierced my heart. I wept. I repented and said, “God, I need Your help.”  As I meditated on His Word, He gave me a divine strategy that took 90 pounds from my body.

What was my real need?  A word from God. I had to be convicted of my sin and repent. I had abused my body for so long, only a word from God could break the addiction. Repentance is the key to change. I’ve no doubt He was trying to speak to me many times before I surrendered to the Lord and was in the position to hear His voice.

There are many temptations in this world, but the greatest temptation to the children of God is to doubt His Word. We must value the Word of God and understand its place in our everyday lives. What really happened to Eve in the Garden? She did not value God’s Word. When she listened to the serpent and chose his word over God’s Word, she opened the door for deception. We must choose life, and life is in the Word of God.

One day Jesus was teaching and people started to leave. Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave. I love Peter’s response: ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

If you have financial needs, God has provided a way of escape. If you have health issues or relationship needs, any need you have, He has the Word of Life for that situation. You don’t need money. You need a word from the Lord. When God blesses you, He adds no sorrow to it: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22). He has the words of eternal life.

My testimony of sharing His divine strategy for my weight loss is in my book and workbook, Why Diets Don’t Work: Food Is Not the Problem. Both books are available from Amazon.com.