Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Things that Hinder

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. Ex. 15:13

God wants to lead us to our place of promise! A place of blessing and rest! The road will not be easy. As we have discussed before, our enemy will pursue us and we will have to go to battle! Pick up your sword! Get on your knees!

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

In order to be who God wants us to be we must rid ourselves of our sinful nature and the things that hinder us. Sometimes these things aren’t even sin – but they lead to sin. We must learn to overcome them!

Anxiety / Fear – Did you know that an average person’s anxiety is focused on:
40% things that will never happen
30% things about the past that can’t be changed
12% things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% about health, which gets worse with stress
8% about real problems that will be faced

What? Why would we focus so much time and energy on 90% of this stuff? The enemy is after our mind. Paul says, But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:3

Now, Paul was speaking to the Corinthians specifically about false teachings. But if the enemy is busy filling our mind with useless thoughts – what good is that to the Kingdom of Christ? He wants to lead our minds astray.

I know when the enemy begins to get a hold on me it always begins in my head. He will whisper lies. He will whisper discouragement. If you struggle with fear and/or anxiety, here is some scripture to help you go to battle when the enemy whispers in your ear.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Depression – This is the thorn in my flesh that the Lord will not remove. It does not mean that I am always depressed, but I must be constantly on guard because the enemy knows my weakness. I believe the Lord will not remove it because it is the very thing that drives me to my knees. I can not break free from depression on my own. I must rely on my God. David has many beautiful psalms that speak to me regarding conquering my enemies. Here are a few that I hope will encourage you if you struggle with depression.

2 Samuel 22, He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. (v. 17)

Psalm 18 & Psalm 30

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

Addiction – Let me also tell you a little bit about my problem with addiction (I should say that this is Becky by the way – wouldn’t want anyone else to take the fall for all my junk!) Addiction runs in my family, smoking, alcoholism, and chewing tobacco, just to name a few. My addiction, shopping. Ok, so you think this might be harmless since it’s not like I am addicted to drugs our out gambling my family’s savings away or even eating too much ice cream. But when any thing, and I mean any thing, has such a firm grip on you that you have to lie about it or do it in secret – you need to ask yourself – do I have a problem with this? If it is the first thing you think about in the morning and it is taking hours of precious time away from your family. Ask yourself if it has mastered you.

For man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 2 Peter 2:19b.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

God’s Word is our sword. If you recognize that you struggle with any of these things, memorize these scriptures. They will help us defeat the enemy!

We need reprogramming every now and then. When the enemy whispers lies to us and takes over our minds we need to be transformed! Only Christ has the power to transform us! Only He has the power to set us free from fear, anxiety, depression and addiction!

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