Glory & Trial

When the Spirit of God descended on Jesus, it immediately drove him into the desert for a time of testing. When Jesus emerged victorious, he was springboarded into the beginning of his ministry.

– Mark 1:9-12 – At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.

To get from one mountain to the next, you have to go through the valley; a time of testing.

– 2 Cor. 3:18 – And we all having been unveiled in face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.

I can rest easy knowing God’s plan because he’s already told me his promises in the ‘logos’ (written) word and in the ‘rhema’ (spoken) word. Before I was laid off at work I received a prophetic word that God was promoting me, pouring more into my hands, and that my life was changing, but that I should sit still and be unmovable in this season. This is just the valley on the way to the higher mountain. This is just the wilderness experience that comes with receiving the words of the Spirit. This is just the moment when Jesus flips the tables; that paradoxical nature he operates in. He hides his poker hand to everyone for the opportune moment, but he’s already shared the secrets with the one he loves. His promises give us peace and focus in the trial, and his word never returns void, but accomplishes that to which he sent it to do. And at the right moment there’s a royal flush revealed

– Rom. 8:31-34,37-39 – If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one…  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Ps. 40:5 – Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

– Eph. 2:8-10 – this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

He has a plan for every moment of our lives before we were even born. He will bring it about. His plans are good. The enemy intends to harm us, but God works it all out for our good (Gen.50:20 & Rom. 8:28).

– Ps. 139:16-17 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

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Focused on Purpose

Luke 4:42-43 – And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

You need alone time to decide what your priorities are; go to that desolate place for a moment. If someone is demanding too much of you, even hunting you down in your quiet moment, not respecting your time or decision making skills, but instead pressuring you – then even Jesus told them too bad; He just said it all nice and gentle like, ‘I am going to do this thing that I have determined to do.’ He did not tell the people what they should do, and he did not turn down the people; He simply stated what He was going to do.

If people in those days were anything like people today (which they were), then the majority of them got in a tissy about his response. It’s your job to set your goals, boundaries, and have self-control of your decisions. If you don’t want to have control of your decisions, there are plenty of people who would love to take control of you and make the decision for you; they will abuse your time and take you off track of your purpose. If your decisions make someone upset, then it’s up to them to deal with that, and to learn to make the most of the time that they do have with you. This is great advice for work, home, or life in general.


Luke 5:1-5 – On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

Simon had already put up for the day and closed shop. If Jesus was wrong he’d have to redo everything he had just done. It took an act of faith to throw those clean nets back in the water to pick up weeds, and grime, that would rot the old-fashioned (non nylon/non polyester) ropes if he didn’t clean them again. Do you have the kind of faith it takes to do the job twice if it doesn’t come through, and hasn’t come through all day?

When you feel like you’ve failed. When you feel like you’ve already given it your all. When you’re ready to call it quits. Jesus says put out the nets.

Keep your boundaries and purpose, yes, but never avoid something hard. There are those clients who will be nightmares and eat up your time. Set boundaries, but don’t quit on them. 50 designs later, are you still working with all your heart?

– Matt. 18:22 – Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

– Col. 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

– Eph. 6:7 – Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people

Domestic Abuse

I’ve watched several friends stay in abusive marriages, and several divorce because of abuse. There are many reasons why people choose to stay in these relationships, though it’s hard to image why. I’ve listed some reasons at the bottom of this post, but lets attack the topic of boundaries for a moment:

We need boundaries. Without boundaries we will become victims of abuse and adopt a powerless mindset. We should have a standard set for ourselves of how we will allow others to treat us. If people do not treat us as we have designated, then we should not listen or continue in relationship. Here are some things that we should require, and reject, in relationships and conversations. These actions will encourage hope and self-control (empowerment), and help us escape abusive relationships. Boundaries cause the abuser to face the consequences of their own decisions while empowering us with the choice to leave if they don’t treat us with respect.

– 2 Chron. 7:14 – IF my people, my God-defined people, respond by (1)humbling themselves, (2)praying, (3)seeking my presence, and (4)turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.

What we should require & reject:

  1. Humility instead of pride & arrogance 
    Verbal abuse, or other means of belittling you, should not be tolerated.

  2. Requests (prayer) instead of demands
    Use of fear tactics, physical abuse, or other means of control, should not be tolerated.

    God gave us dominion over everything but people. We need to respect others and protect their ability to make their own choices. If their choice is to abuse you, then you need to make the choice to leave.
  3. Seeking presence instead of things
    If someone wants something from you, without wanting a relationship with you, then its un unhealthy relationship. This should not be tolerated.

    If you are married and your spouse habitually has sex with you without trying to connect on an emotional level, it’s abuse.

  4. Turn away from wrongdoing instead of continuing to wrong you
    Refusing to change, though you respectfully ask and show them how they are hurting you, should not be tolerated.

Notice also that God waited for these 4 things from His safe place, Heaven.

– Heb. 10:26 – For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins


If you are in an abusive marriage, you need boundaries. Consider a temporary separation if you do not want a divorce. Once faced with the consequences of their choices, if they repent then go back to them:

– 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins

If they do not repent then divorce them:

– Rom. 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death


There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Here are a few:

– My partner will kidnap the children and disappear.
– My partner will spread horrible rumors about me.
– I’m nothing. I don’t deserve better.
– I was brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t cope without my partner.
– I’m more comfortable with what I know, than the unknown out in the world.
– My children will blame me and resent me.
– My partner will turn the children against me.
– My partner doesn’t let me out of the house.
– I have no friends or family to call for help anymore.
– I believe my partner when he or she says that it will never happen again.
– My marriage vows.
– My religion.
– I love her or him.
– My partner has all the money.
– My partner charges up all my credit cards.
– My partner will lose her or his job if I report this.

Other reasons why women stay in abusive relationships


Make a list of your reasons and confront them. Get out of the situation. There are churches, programs, and safe houses designed specifically to help you. It’s scary facing these reasons, but its wisdom to escape the cause of these abuses. Say no to the abuser and leave them today.

– Prov. 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight

– Ps. 18:6-19 – In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

– Ps. 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Fear

Big things come from small thingsChristians like to make hot topics out of ‘big’ sins and ignore ‘small’ sins, but everything big starts from something small. God says sin is sin (1John5:17). All sin grows, and all sin leads to death (James1:5). Trying to get rid of ‘big’ issues is often met with failure. We can pick up broken branches everyday, or we can cut the tree down and pull up the root once and for all.

Because the church isn’t talking about small sins, people often live under fear, competition, suspicion, and a variety of smaller sins their whole lives. They want help with their problems, but can’t pinpoint the issue, because no one is talking about the issue. Many of our smallest problems are the culprit for our giants. Today I want to show you how fear took root in my life and caused branches of immorality, broken relationships, dishonesty, and many other issues. Fear is a hidden killer, and this ‘small sin’ called fear is just as dangerous as the ‘big sin’ of murder. Lets look at how fear can hurt other, self, and our relationship to God.


1. Fear hurts others.

One day, in high school, I saw a girl crying. I had compassion, but I walked past her anyway. God kept nudging me to turn back, and eventually I did. I went and talked to her; she accepted Jesus, and a few years later she died in a car accident.

Don't fear man. Fear God

Don’t fear man. Fear God

I had the choice that day whether I would be a murderer or a lifesaver, and only by the grace of God did I make the right choice. It was just like the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke10), except it looked like the road from the cafeteria to the classroom. The Samaritan found a person half dead; he helped him, where a religious leader had passed by ignoring that voice of compassion.

Don’t you think if the Samaritan had passed by this half dead man, God would have held him accountable? If I had passed by this girl, wouldn’t I been held accountable? If they had died from our lack of help, wouldn’t we have the blood on our hands from our decisions?

I’ve missed many right choices and that puts the fear of God on me. I can see now that my fear is equal to murder, and it’s time for it to go to hell. Fear is just as deadly as any other sin.

– Rev. 21:8 – but the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Those who fear cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. God doesn’t have a hierarchy of sin; He sees fear as equal to murder – and it is. I was barely alive myself, in those days; barely making it. More times than not, I was scared to go out on a limb, and say anything, for fear that it would bring on even more pain. I was fighting suicide. I didn’t feel like I had the ability to help that crying girl, but Jesus was dying on the cross, and He didn’t fear piling on more rejection from people, or harm from the soldiers – He still spoke the truth. He talked to the two criminals hanging next to Him. It was a 50/50 shoot. Jesus was suffering the same thing they were. He took the chance and He saved one! One criminal accepted Jesus as his savior. The other, more or less, said, ‘Get yourself off the cross and I’ll believe what you have to say; why should I trust you if you are in the same position I’m in?’ It didn’t faze Jesus.

We feel like we don’t have the right to try to help others when we are going through the same struggle that they are. Jesus shows us otherwise. People don’t care about answers as much as they want to know someone understands what they are going through. God doesn’t want us to go through hard times, but since He gave people freewill, we often suffer for other people’s bad choices. He could save us, and often He does, but sometimes He ships us out to the front lines of a battle so we can help the people fighting there. This time I helped and we won; but my fear, my silence, my disobedience to God’s law (to share the truth with all people) meant death for someone else. Those times I made the wrong choice, I became a murderer. I left them half dead and something might have come behind me that took them out. Jesus has washed my wrongs away. He can forgive you of anything–even murder; you just have to ask Him. Don’t let fear hold you back. On your worst day, and in the middle of your worst situation, you can still speak Life to someone else.

– Is. 58:10 – if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

When you help someone else YOU get light in your life. Help someone and it brightens up your own dark places.


2. Fear doesn’t only hurts others; it hurts self.

My previous church split; it was a horrible thing to happen. The body of Christ being cut in half… Ouch, we cut Him in half… Yeah, its damaging. Our pastor was seeking God fiercely, and biblically, and I stayed. Many of my closest friends left with their families and  a spirit of fear came over me and said, ‘If my friends rejected the pastor, and part of the bible, they will reject me too’; so I stayed silent. Like I said, I was barely surviving in those days, and I let fear take over my relationships. I stopped opening up, sharing, or telling my perspective. I had no intimacy in my friendships, because I wouldn’t let them: into-me-see. This led me into problems like looking for intimacy in the wrong places, anger from not being understood, and loneliness which grew into suicidal thoughts. I was dying and I wouldn’t let anyone help, because I let fear of rejection take over. I had many friends and still felt utterly alone; fear stole my intimacy, and kept me from having someone to help me when I needed it. My enemies had a field day with me, because I wouldn’t let anyone see where I was and help guide me out. Jesus was there for me and my love for His laws kept me from going over the edge. The strand of fear was broken, but I was still strong in other areas. He saved me, and brought many teachers and encourages to me in those seasons. 

Fear can shut you down. It can steal your identity. It can open the door for other problems too.

Knowing Jesus as protector gives me courage to be vulnerable

One friend said the things the church believed were crazy. They didn’t know that the only reason I was still alive was because one of the people, with that crazy idea that God still speaks today, saved my life. They didn’t know I believed in the prophetic, or why I would believe in it; but today they do. Now I don’t have to live in constant fear of losing my friend. Their reaction will show me what our friendship is made of. Either they will love, respect, and accept me, or I need a better friend. And now they have heard part of my testimony of what God has done in my life. That prophecy, though it sound crazy, has held unquestionably true in multiple parts of my life.

“The standard has got to be set at such a high level that you have to be so uncompromising, and so unyielding in your convictions, that you make up in your mind that I would rather be my myself, than have somebody fall in love with a me that’s not me.” – Jamal Bryant

Acquaintances have often said hateful things about me to other people. Many assume that I am too prideful to talk to them. That’s why God tells us not to judge with our eyes. We can’t see what people are going through, unless we ask God to show us what He sees. Those people saw me as confident and arrogant. They had no idea that I felt beneath them. They didn’t know that fear had shut me down. I had a false confidence; one that used to say, ‘I don’t care what they think; screw them, because they look down on me.’ Now that God is tearing down fear in my life and helping me see through His eyes, I know that He sees all of us as equals. I ask Him to help me see myself as equal to others, and to help me speak when people walk by. I ask His Spirit to give me boldness, and power, to speak when I have fear. My introversion was full-blown, but even the Myers-Briggs is a witness of how God is transforming me. I am becoming less introverted. While people can cut me down with their words and actions, only God can kill my soul. He is my protector, healer, redeemer, and He has called me to be a light to others. I cannot be a light if I am hiding.

Hide it under a bussel? No! I'm going to let it shine

Hide it under a bussel? No! I’m going to let it shine

It’s foolish to hide who you are, then live in constant fear of what would happen if someone knew the real you. Just let what’s going to happen, happen and get over it. Either your relationship gets stronger, or you get to trust God to bring you a better friend. I’m slowly choosing life instead of fear. I’m casting down every idol of fear and it is making my life so much better. I feel free. I can be known and put myself out there, whether it be for rejection or acceptance. Now people can learn more about God through my openness and experiences, and I can be intimately known by those who love me. Win, Win. Who knew that fear could shut down intimacy? No one told me, so let me tell you! If you don’t have healthy friendships where you can be intimate and vulnerable, then you are going to look for the wrong kind of intimacy somewhere else, and it is still not going to fill the need of being known. God is Love, and in Love there is no fear. To have true, loving, intimate relationships, you have got to pull the plug on fear. God even gives us a helper to bring us out from under fear:

– 2 Tim. 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us fearful and timid, but gives us power, love, and good judgment.

People are looking for someone who understands more than they are looking for answers. That’s why you shouldn’t wait till you have come through a situation before you try to help someone else. You can help someone while you’re in the midst of your hard situation. Jesus gave up His life, and He gained it. He made a friend who was going through the same thing He was. It probably comforted Jesus to have a friend hanging there next to Him, going through the same pain He felt; especially after all his so-called friends had rejected Him that very day.


3. Fear hurts our relationship with God.

The root to all sin is not trusting God. When you don’t trust God for provisions, you’ll steal. When you don’t trust God where your marriage is concerned, you’ll commit adultery. When you don’t trust God plan, you fear and make your own.

Fear God not man; respect God above man.

– Matt. 10:28 – Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul

David trusted God, and God gave him victory over his giant

David trusted God, and God gave him victory over his giant

Most people aren’t going to kill you, so just do what God asks you to do. Even if they kill you, you don’t answer to man but to God. The judgement of God determines our eternal freedom or condemnation. He asks us to be fearless in taking the kingdom. Take the kingdom with force. Be a soldier. Don’t hide. The brave, and the valiant, gain great honor and wealth.

– Jos. 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

– 1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

– 1 Sam. 17:24-25 – As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him.

– 1 John 5:3-5 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. Forwhatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Put your trust in God’s words. They are here to guide you in every situation. Renew your mind and allow God to show you how He would do things. Leave no stone unturned. Question every aspect of your life to see if it lines up with God’s ways. He will give you victory over everything. Even the smallest sin in your life could be the cause of your biggest problems.

– Gal. 5:9 – A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough

Sin grows, just like yeast works through dough. Don’t let sin sit in your life. Confess and turn away from even the least bit of it. Tear down fear today, because I am a living witness that it leads to death.


Worship: Voice of Truth, by Casting Crowns

“The stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them lookin’ down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth”

Prayer: Lord, start to show your people the destruction of the seeds. Bring forth more understanding of how small things can cause big problems. Raise up voices to talk about these issues so your people don’t live in confusion and ignorance. Help us see the problems so that we can overcome them by your strength. Help us hear your voice above all the others and know your truth when the enemy is coming against us. Increase our discernment of your voice. Teach us your ways. Tear off fear from each person; put a spotlight on it, so they can remove what they were stumbling on in the dark and so they no longer have to walk in darkness. Sign your light and let your word illuminate every mind and bring peace to every situation fear has affected. Help us chase after you without hinderance. Tear down this giant and take us that much closer to stepping into our promised land. Let us no longer fear being known. Let us no longer fear speaking in your name. Let us shout praise to you as you bring us through the battle; a war cry, and a shout of victory, for all to hear. Just as David took down Goliath – and he opened the eyes for others to see that you can bring them victory – many people were strengthened and later took down Goliath’s brothers. Grow and develop us. Help us work together, as your church, and take down every enemy, in the name of our crowned victor, Jesus; our God is mighty in battle, and at His name every knee will bow. Your kingdom lasts through eternity Father; Amen.

Because I Said So

'Because I said so'

‘Because I said so’

No child likes hearing the phrase: ‘Because I said so.’

This phrase can work with a child who knows, and trusts, their parents, but it is not a great response for a child who lacks relational connection to their parents.

‘Because God said so‘ can, occasionally, be an okay answer for a Christian who trusts God, but to an unbeliever it is like eating fire; likewise, to a disconnected child it is going to mean absolute rebellion.

Rules without Relationship = Rebellion

Rules without Relationship = Rebellion

Many children who have been abused, whether emotionally, physically, or sexually, have a hard time trusting authority. Something as simple as not spending quality time with your child (avoidance), can damage a child emotionally. If a child feels like you do not care about them, you are going to have a hard time with discipline. If you are already in this position, try to put quality time above the law for a little while and see if it makes a difference. Children who love their parents will automatically want to please them.

Understanding that, rules without relationship is a recipe for rebellion, we can start to see why unbelievers typically hate Christians. For years Christians have stated the ‘rules’ to God’s wayward children, instead of portraying His love to them. We need to rethink our outreach plans. Relationship is the most important thing to God.

A father gave his son his inheritance, to do what he wanted to with it. The son made some bad choices, and ended up remembering how good his father was. We need to be the people reminding the prodigal son how good and loving the Father is. The son already knew he was in a mess. When the son returned, the father didn’t get onto him for his bad choices, he hugged, accepted, loved, and celebrated his return.



The child without relational connection, or with damaged trust, will ask ‘Why?‘, so they can see if they can trust the reasoning. The unbeliever needs us to show God’s reasoning of why something is wrong or right. This is called teaching and gaining trust. The unbeliever is the prodigal son, and the mistrusting/damaged child. They need to know they can trust God’s rules. They need to be able to see that God’s plan for them is good. Thankfully, God tells us why. Instead of tweeting ‘Divorce is sin‘ or ‘Homosexuality is sin‘, realize that you are quoting rules to a disconnected child that will result in rebellion. Instead say ‘Divorce causes deep emotional trauma‘ or ‘Homosexuality results in disease and illness. God says it’s wrong because He doesn’t want you to be in pain.‘ God is concerned for you and deeply cares about you.

A ‘b/c I said so‘ message tells the child, I don’t care about our connection or teaching you how to make decisions for yourself. Why then are Christians still preaching sermons with a ‘b/c i said so‘ mentality toward the lost? God gives us His reasoning. He shows us why right is right, and why wrong is wrong. He wants to teach us and build relationship, not command/control us, and keep us ignorant. His first goal is to build relationships and trust. Once we trust him ‘b/c I said so‘ becomes an okay answer here and there.

The Heart of Eve

I’m going to a group study with some girls from work and we are reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. It’s about the fall of man and its affects on the human heart; particularly a woman’s heart.

Woman, in the garden, was made to be a helper, a beautiful life-giver. Women want to know that we are beautiful; and we were. We were the crown of creation, until the fall. Since the fall we have been cursed with dominating and desolate spirits; leaving us trying to control others, or leaving us with an overwhelming sense of loneliness, or a combination of both. That combination, is a recipe for ugliness. Let’s explain this phenomenon so we can start feeling beautiful again.

What made us fall?
The question of trust.

Can we trust God? Eve was convinced God was holding out on her. She wondered if she could trust God’s heart toward her. She wondered what God’s reasoning was when he told her not to eat this one fruit.

Eve couldn’t see that God’s request was out of love.
“Don’t eat the fruit, because you will die; and I want you to live.”
(Like telling a child not to touch something hot, because it will hurt them.)

Instead, she chose to see it as God withholding love.
“Don’t eat the fruit, or I will kill you.”
(Like telling a child if they touch something hot, you will kill them. Which is ridiculous!)

We continue to believe the exact same thing. We continue to question Gods commands and His motives! Why does he ask us not to covet, or lie, or have affairs? It can’t be that he loves us enough to warn us, because he knows that it will bring us death. It has to be because he wants us to suffer, and struggle, and fear his punishment. Well, which of these sounds like God and which sounds like the lies and perverted/twisted half-truths of the enemy?

What was the curse for our actions?

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” – Gen. 3:16

“the product of sin is death” – Rom. 6:23

Stasi, while contemplating this curse, states,

These things were not supposed to be so, but our sin caused them. Women today still struggle with this curse. We are cursed with loneliness (relational heartache), with the urge to control (especially her man), and with the dominance of men (which is not how things were meant to be, and we are not saying this is a good thing-it is the fruit of the Fall and a sad fact of history.)

Is your vast capacity for intimacy ever filled in a lasting way? Are you comfortable trusting your well-being to someone else? Most women hate their vulnerability. We are not inviting-we are guarded. Most of our energy is spent trying to hide our true selves, and control our worlds to have some sense of security. That self-protective way of relating to others has nothing to do with real love, and nothing to do with deeply trusting God. It is our gut level response to a dangerous world.

The lonely women are certain that if others really knew us, they wouldn’t like us-and we can’t risk the loss of a relationship, so we hide. We hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. We hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. Bringing us into many damaging relationships.

The controlling women, feel like they can’t trust anyone but themselves to do anything. Not allowing children to play, because they might make a mess. She believes that she had to take things into her own hands to get what she wanted. She took the fruit herself, because in her mind, God couldn’t or wouldn’t do it for her, and certainly a man could not.

Are we looking in the right place?
Whether we dominate and control, or withdraw in our desolation and hide, still the ache remains. When we feel the pain, we fill it with shopping sprees, second scoops of ice cream, romance novels, gossip, or anything else that can substitute-for a while-the real thing. But they never satisfy, so we have to continue to fill the emptiness with our indulgent bad habits; forming addictions and wondering if its possible to live without them. We take the fruit. We choose not to trust God. We get taken along the path to sin and broken relationships; And not until we finally break, finally realize that these substitutes will never cure us, do we look to God.

“I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” – Gen. 3:10

We hide from him and others. Masking our pain and unfilled desire for love, for freedom. And He seeks us out! He sees his lover and comes to the rescue

“God called to the Man: “Where are you?” –
Gen. 3:9. “Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” – Gen. 3:21

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

God had mercy on us, to clothe us and to give us a hope in the image of the first sacrifice, foretelling his plan to come die in our place; to take on the price of our sin on the cross. Now Christ has cleansed us with his blood and clothed us in righteousness through his death. We now have his blessing, and the way out from under the curse that Eve’s/our sin brought. By looking to him we can find wholeness and abundant life.

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him – Col. 2:9-10

“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” – John 4:13-14


Personal Testimony

This past week, of seeking God, has filled every void of loneliness and every void for intimacy. The hunger to know Him, and be known by Him, has been more than enough to fill me up. Luke 24 tells us that a couple of the disciples were walking along talking about Jesus, then Jesus showed up and started explaining things. I had a similar experience yesterday. After thinking and studying the word for a week straight, giving God as much time as I would a boyfriend, He started talking to me. He told me one of his purposes for my life, which blew me away. He showed me the path that he’s had me on and how it would play into this role. He brought up talents that I have thrown away, that He wants to restore and use for His glory. He even taught me more about them and how to use them. He brought up, and cleared up, issues of confusion from past gifts. He is all-knowing. He is intimate. He wants to give me a good life. He has prepared the way. He is guiding me into it even now; even before, when I could not see. I can trust His plan for me. I don’t have to take control of the situation, and I don’t have to hide from him, because he is here to bring healing and break down walls and set up banners of victory. I don’t have to keep him out, because he is safe. He is love. And he is my fortress of protection.

The Process of Renewal

The process of renewal is:

  • Salvation: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Cor. 5:17
  • Renewing your mind, so that it can catch up to your spirit: “Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” – 2 Cor.10:5

The following study is on the renewal of the mind; how we get hurt followed by how we get renewed.


A curse is the opposite of a blessing and if we believe that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21), then speaking a curse is much like speaking death over someone. As we all know, from experience, words can bring harm and destruction almost immediately, and sometimes when they just go unchecked. In my mind the word ‘curse’ always connotes voodoo magic or something, so for the rest of this post lets agree to use the alternative definition as our basis:

Curse:
1. something that brings or causes great trouble or 
harm
2. to abuse (someone) with obscenities or oaths
3. to bring harm upon

Example: A father says to his son:“You are so stupid. You are never going to amount to anything in life.”


Often the most damaging curses come from those in authority or the ones we love: parents, teachers, coaches, friends, and fellow christians. Those who speak them are usually not intentionally putting a curse on you; they just don’t realize the power that their words have. A curse does not always take effect immediately, but when we believe and receive the words, they become lodged into our soul and become a force for harm. When we first hear, or realize we believe, a curse we need to “destroy every obstacle, and take every thought captive to Christ.” – 2 Cor.10:5.


To break free from these hurtful words:
1. Recognize the curse
2. Choose not to believe the curse
3. Forgive and forget
4. Replace the curse with truth from God’s word

Prayer & bible study are the backbone of this process.


1. Recognize the curse

  • Take a few minutes to write down every hurtful comment that has been spoken over you, with the name of the person who spoke it. Write down any negative words you’ve spoken about yourself too.

Example:You are so stupid. You are never going to amount to anything in life.” – Name


2. Choose not to believe the curse

  • Think about each curse and how it has affected your life. I’m sure it initially caused pain, but after that, did you believe it? Did it alter your life? Can you see the effects of it in how you live today? Does it still effect you and those around you?Example: “You are so stupid. You are never going to amount to anything in life.” Because I believe this comment I stopped believing that I can amount to anything. I stopped trying to better myself. I refuse all compliments that don’t line up with this belief. When I am met with failure, I do not treat it as an obstacle I can overcome with dedication, but as a reminder that I will never succeed thus making me quit trying. So on…
  • Choose not to believe it anymore! If you can’t quit believing it, at least choose that you would like to not believe it and ask God to show you how He sees you; and to help you see yourself in the same light.

3. Forgive and Forget In a prayer to God, cover the following topics:

  • Forgive the person who spoke the curse over you
  • If you judged them for it, ask God to forgive you too
  • If you blamed God for their behavior, ask God’s forgiveness
  • If you returned evil for evil, ask for forgiveness for your own sin
  • If you believed the lie, forgive yourself for believing the lie

4. Replace the curse with truth from God’s word Ask God to show you His truth and to tear down the lie that is keeping you from receiving his love.

  • Next to each curse, write down scriptures that negate it. If you can’t think of any, take the time to do a bible study on the particular subject.Example: The curse that “You are never going to amount to anything in life” is negated by the biblical truths that God looked at me in my broken/sinful/worst state and decided I was worth everything; so I’ve already amounted to being the most important thing to God. He also says that through Him all things are possible, and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I was made in His image to bring Him honor and glory with my life. So on…
  • Next time the lie comes to mind, take it captive to God’s word. Choose to believe God’s truths not Satan’s lies. Don’t let him hold you back from God’s amazing love and gifts!
  • Continue getting to know God. The more you know God, the more you’ll believe Him. If you can’t trust God and His good will for your life right now, just keep seeking Him. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer. 29:11. Some of these hurts can be very deep, and it may take time to heal, but just take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Eph. 6:16-17.
  • Be on the lookout for curses, for “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. – 1 Peter 5:8. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33. And we have overcome the world through Him!

Example Prayer: “Lord, I want to be set free from the hurtful and demeaning names I have been called, such as (curse) and (curse). I forgive (persons name) for speaking this curse over me. I ask that you bless them and show them your love. I ask forgiveness for blaming you for the situation. I repent for believing the lies of (curse) and (curse) instead of taking them captive and making them submit to your truth. Lord, free me from the bondage of these lies and help me believe your Word which says, (opposite of curse).” “Lord, I repent of the lie I spoke over (persons name) that they are (curse) and (curse). They are great at (compliment) and your word says they are (opposite of curse).


When you forgive, also forget. Don’t go tell someone that you forgive them unless they ask for it. Make a list of the hurtful things you’ve said to other people, and ask God’s forgiveness. If you feel led, then ask the person’s forgiveness as well. Make sure you do this with a loving heart; not all people are ready to forgive.


Personal Testimony: Lord, I want to be free from the curse that was spoken over me, that, I wasn’t as pretty as someone else. I ask that you free me from this lie and help me believe your truth that we are all beautiful and are all made in your image. I ask that you forgive me for the jealousy and competition that arose from it. The next time jealousy and competition arise in me, I ask that you help me take a step back and realize what is really going on. I ask that you continue to show me things that may be attached to this hurt. Help me to trust you. I know that you alone can heal the brokenhearted.

I choose to forgive ‘person A’ for speaking this idle word curse over me. I see that it was simply the work of the enemy and that they meant no harm. Lord, I ask that you show them your love and your healing from any pain they experienced that could have distorted their view of the truth of your word. Help them to see you clearly as the loving God that you are.

Lord, I ask for forgiveness for treating ‘person B’ with jealousy. Please forgive me for my sin, which drove a separation between us. Lord, I ask that you help ‘person B’ work through any problems that I caused, and that you help them forgive me for my sins against them. Lord, I ask that you continue to heal any hurts from this situation on both sides and continue to reveal any other needed truths about the situation so that we can see you clearly.
Lord, teach me how to turn jealousy into love. When jealousy arises in me, help me to see that as a trigger, as an opportunity, to show your love.
Lord, when competition arises in me, I ask that you help me see your will. I know your will is not for competition, but for love. Help me take a step back, and see your plan and then execute that with love and trust in your plan instead of taking things into my own hands.
I ask this in Jesus name, for the glory of God, and for the healing of his people. Amen