Wednesday, May 11, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE

In this cognitive distortion (wrong and carnal way of thinking) a depressed person turns a positive into a negative; they turn gold into lead; they turn joy into sadness; they pour cold water on the good things that happen!
This deceptive, distorted thinking is always looking for the negative, hence the ability to not only not look for the positive, but to actually transform a positive into a negative!
This giant intimidates by convincing a person that the only thing that is real about their life is the negative. Nothing positive will ever come their way.
How then do you slay this giant of disqualifying the positive?
You begin by lifting up the shield of faith and blocking this flaming missile from hell that comes from the devil, the father of lies!
Understand and know that there is one voice behind these ten giants that we are taking down: that voice is Satan, the devil, the father of lies! He is the one who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy both you and your family (John 10:10).
This is the real enemy behind the distorted thinking that leads to anxiety, depression, addiction, and a host of other maladies and problems! (Ephesians 6:12)
So having lifted up the shield of faith to block the devil’s lies, then take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God—the Word of truth and power!
This is how Jesus, the God-man defeated the enemy of our souls: He declared to the devil, “It is written.” And that is where victory over distorted thinking always begins, with declaring the truth of the Word of God, “It is written.” Simple but so very powerful!
As Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . .”
Dear friends, to overcome “the giants” that are robbing us of the abundant life that Jesus died to give us, we MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK!
Why is that so important? Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . .”
Your emotions, feelings and moods are the result of the way you think and not the other way around. You have to think it before you can feel it! Selah (pause and think about that!)

So to defeat “the giant of disqualifying the positive,” you must learn to think differently. And the Word of God is how you do that. Think right and feel right!
Whatever you think about is going to take root. So then, let’s take out the sword of the Spirit and kill this giant who is at work to disqualify the positive in your life.
1.  Let’s begin with Jeremiah 29:11 in which God says to you and about you, “I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Everything about this scripture is positive. There is absolutely nothing negative! And it is the Word of the Lord to you. Say this Word that is forever settled in the heavens with me: God’s Word TO ME IS THIS, “I know the plans I have FOR YOU declares the Lord, plans to PROSPER YOU, AND NOT HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU A HOPE AND A FUTURE!”
Precious ones, it would be good to read, learn, memorize and speak this scripture until it takes root in your mind and produces the good fruit of heaven in your life.
2. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Remember Joseph in the Old Testament)
3. Because you are in Christ:
a. It is grace (unmerited favor) and peace (God is no longer against you but for you). Eph. 1:2
b. You are blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. 1:3
c. You are chosen and blameless. 1:4
d. You have been adopted into God’s family. 1:5
e. You have redemption and forgiveness. 1:7
f. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit Himself until the day of redemption. 1:13, 14
g. You have been made alive in Christ and raised into heavenly places. 2: 5, 6
h. You have been saved by grace. 2:8
i. You are God’s handiwork.  2:10
j. You have been brought near to God through the blood of Christ. 2:13
k. Your life is built on the sure foundation of the apostles, prophets and Christ Himself. 2:20
l. You are the dwelling place of God. 2:2

God’s plan for your life is good and POSITIVE. There is NOTHING negative about God’s will and plan for your life. Believe that truth, confess that truth, live that truth. Kill that giant!

KILLING THE GIANT OF SHOULD STATEMENTS

You try to motivate yourself by saying, “I should do this” or “I must do that.” These statements and wrong kind of thinking will cause you to feel pressured and resentful. And paradoxically you end up feeling apathetic and unmotivated!

When you direct should statements toward others, you usually feel angry and frustrated. “I can’t believe they didn’t even say thank you for what I did for them. They shouldn’t be so unthankful!”

Should statements generate a lot of emotional turmoil in your daily life. When you mess up, there is a lot of self-condemnation. And when others mess up and fall short, you may feel bitter, angry and self-righteous.

You will never be at peace if you are always thinking about what should have been done or what should have not been done! Life simply can’t work this way.

This giant of should statements will keep you bound if you let it. The Good News is that we are going to kill this giant and see you set free from what binds and have restored all that is yours in Jesus!

First, killing this giant begins with the realization that all of us fall short of the mark from time to time. Only one was perfect and that is Jesus!

So when we sin, and all of us sin, we simply do what the Word of God says in I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then we walk in faith in the scriptural truth that we are forgiven. Remember the words of Sister Corrie ten Boom,  “God has buried our sins in the sea of His forgetfulness and posted a sign that says ‘no fishing.’”

When others sin and fall short and do something that hurts you in some way, always be ready to forgive them. Remember the words of Jesus when He said, “blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Dear friends, all people have a sin nature, and as long as that is true, we will do things that disappoint ourselves and others, and others will do things that disappoint us. That’s the truth of scripture. That’s life. Why not leave the judging to the Lord and determine to walk in love and mercy toward yourself and others. This will free you from a lot of unnecessary angst and anxiety.

So let’s pick up a stone and put it in our sling and hurl it at the giant of should statements.

I declare in faith that I will walk in love and mercy toward others and myself and leave the judging to God.

I declare that when I sin I will do what the Word of God says in I John 1:9: I will confess my sins, believing God to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I will then walk in faith as a person who is forgiven—regardless of how I may feel!
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I declare that when others do things that disappoints or hurts me, I will readily show them mercy and forgiveness and leave the judging in the hands of a righteous and loving God.

In this way I will renew my mind with the Word of God and kill the giant of should statements. Jubilee: freedom from what binds and restoration of all that is mine!





KILLING THE GIANT OF MINIMIZATION AND MAGNIFICATION
(Learn to maximize the positive and minimize the negative)

In this distorted cognition or wrong thinking, you either blow things up and out of proportion or you shrink them.

Magnification commonly occurs when you look at your own errors, fears, or imperfections and exaggerate their importance: “I made a mistake! How terrible! How awful! My reputation is ruined!”

In this wrong kind of thinking it’s like you are looking at your faults through binoculars making them look gigantic and grotesque.

But when you think of your strengths you do the opposite. You look at them through the wrong end of the binoculars so that they look small and unimportant.

If you magnify your imperfections and minimize your good points, you’re guaranteed to feel inferior! But the problem isn’t you—it’s the crazy lenses you are wearing or looking through!

Let me remind you again of what Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he!”

This is why we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the power and truth of the Word of God. This is how we kill this giant.

My dear friends, the way we change the way we feel is by changing the way that we think. As we change the way that we think, our automatic thoughts will become more and more positive which will in turn have us feeling good and positive about life again! Feeling joyful and happy will become the norm and not something you have to fight for all the time. Faith doesn’t make it easy but it most definitely makes it possible! You can do this!!! There was a time that you got off track with your thinking. Something happened and you did not hold up the shield of faith and block wrong thinking. Then that wrong thinking became a pattern (your automatic thoughts about life itself) and the result has been negative, anxious and depressive feelings. But the good news is that you can change the way that you think and consequently change the way that you feel! Life is going to become rich again, full again and fun again! Dear friends this is the year of your jubilee! Don’t miss this season in your life!

All of us have imperfections. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) That is the truth.
But the Good News is that the Son of God died on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our sins. (II Corinthians 5:21)

Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus. . .”  Confess this Biblical truth until it takes root in your mind and produces good fruit.

So what do you do when you sin? I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
(Psalm 103:12)

The key is not to deny your sins, but nor should you beat yourself up over them.  Simply confess them to God, repent, and then walk by faith in His forgiveness.

Then make your confession of who you are in Christ:

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (II Corinthians 5:21)

I am a new creation in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come. (II Corinthians 5:17)

I am chosen and beloved in Christ. Christ is in me the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

Don’t minimize who you are: remember who you are IN CHRIST!

Don’t magnify who you are not: instead confess who you are IN CHRIST!

This is how we kill the giant of magnification and minimization.

Yes it is simple, but also very powerful!  The truth can and will set you free from what has bound you and restore to you all that belongs to you in Christ! Receive it by faith and walk in it until it becomes reality in your life; until your thinking is changed and consequently your feelings are changed. Faith doesn’t make it easy, but it does make it possible. You can do this!  Let’s kill this giant!!!

KILLING THE GIANT OF LABELING AND MISLABELING


1.) Personal labeling means creating a completely negative self-image based on your mistakes or errors. The philosophy behind this distorted thinking is this: “the measure of a person is the mistakes that they make.” There is a good chance you are involved in personal labeling whenever you describe your mistakes with phrases such as “I can’t believe that I did that, I’m a loser.” “I’ll never make enough money, I am a failure.”

This kind of thinking is not only irrational, but it is distorted and simply not true! So stop trying to define yourself with negative labels.

Would you think of yourself as an “eater” just because you eat? Or would you label yourself a “breather” just because you breathe? Of course not! So why then would you label yourself in a certain way when you make a mistake? It is simply nonsensical.

Likewise, when you label other people you will invariably create and generate hostility. For example, take the boss who sees his occasionally irritable secretary as “an uncooperative witch.”  Because of that label, he resents her and jumps at every chance to criticize her. She in turn labels him as an “insensitive chauvinist” and complains about him whenever anyone will listen! So around and around they go at each other’s throats, focusing on every weakness or imperfection as proof of the other’s worthlessness.

2.) Mislabeling involves describing an event with words that are inaccurate and emotionally heavily loaded. For example, a woman ate a dish of ice cream and thought, “how disgusting and repulsive of me. I’m a pig!” These thoughts made her so upset that she ate the whole quart of ice cream!

Both labeling and mislabeling can hurt others and yourself. It is wrong thinking that can and should be changed. So let’s kill this giant which keeps you in bondage and robs you from the abundant life that is yours in Jesus.

First, realize that every human being is made in the image of God.  That truth in and of itself should cause us to view each person as special in the eyes of God. And it should motivate us to not want to put a negative label on anyone that God considers sacred—including ourselves.

Then consider that Jesus warns not to call anyone a “fool,”  and of course “fool” would encompass many words that involve negatively labeling other people. And again, this would include labeling yourself with negative labels.

The scripture also tell us in the Book of Proverbs that life and death is in the power of the tongue.  And in the Book of James the Word of God makes it clear how important it is to bridle the tongue, for the tongue has the power to set things on fire!

Therefore, if we are going to kill the giant of labeling and mislabeling, then we must learn to submit our tongue, our words to God. Why should we or others suffer emotional hurt simply because of careless words of labeling and mislabeling?

 May God give us the wisdom and grace to see every person as special and sacred because they have been made in the image and likeness of God. Be intentional about this. Ask the Lord to help you see yourself and others as God sees. This one prayer can and will change your life! And although this is a process, it will be well worth the time and effort!

As you grow in this truth, you will begin to find it much easier to use your words in a way that brings blessing both to others and yourself. So no more labeling and mislabeling!

Let’s kill this giant. The result will be freedom from has bound you and restoration of all that is yours in Jesus!

Always keep this in mind: you are not killing this giant by yourself. God is with you, and He is much bigger than any giant you are facing or ever will face!


KILLING THE GIANT OF PERSONALIZATION


This giant or distortion is the mother of guilt. You assume responsibility for a negative event when there is no basis for doing so. You conclude that what happened was your fault or reflects your inadequacy, even when you were not responsible for it!

For example, when a mother saw her child’s report card, there was a note indicating that the child was not working well. She immediately decided, “I must be a bad mother. This shows how I have failed.”

Personalization causes you to feel crippling guilt. You suffer from a paralyzing and burdensome sense of responsibility that forces you to carry the whole world on your shoulders. You have actually confused influence of others with control over others.

It is true that you have influence with the people you interact with, but you do not have control over them. What another person does or does not do is ultimately his or her responsibility and not yours.

Killing this giant of personalization begins when you understand, truly understand, that every human being has been given a free will by God. You cannot decide for them. God never intended for one person to have control over another person.

Yes, we can pray for others, speak the truth to them in love, and do all that we can to influence them in the right direction. However, it is up to them, and not you, to decide which direction they will go in.

And you will have no peace as long as you feel responsible for what another person does or doesn’t do.

You cannot control what another person does! You can only control what you do. You can only account for you. So then, how do you kill this giant of personalization?

Pray, speak the truth in love and learn to rest in that.
Stop trying to carry the burden for what other people do or don’t do.
Learn to let go and let God. He can do what you can’t. Wait on the Lord.

Monday, February 15, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF EMOTIONAL REASONING

You take your emotions as evidence for the truth. Your logic: “I feel like a failure, therefore I am a failure.”

But this kind of reasoning is misleading because your feelings reflect your thoughts and beliefs. If your thoughts and beliefs are distorted—which is quite often the case—then your emotions have no validity. You think, therefore you feel as you think. Examples of emotional reasoning could be, “I feel overwhelmed and hopeless therefore my problems must be impossible to solve; I feel inadequate, therefore I must be a worthless person.  I’m not in the mood to do anything; therefore I might as well just lie in bed.”

Emotional reasoning plays a role in nearly all depressions. Because things “FEEL” so negative to you, you assume they truly are—that how you feel is reality when in actuality it is not! It doesn’t occur to you to challenge the validity of the perceptions that create your feelings. But that is exactly what we are doing and will do in this message!

One usual side effect of emotional reasoning is procrastination. You avoid cleaning up your garage because you tell yourself, “I FEEL so lousy when I think about that messy garage that needs to be cleaned up. Getting it clean will be impossible.” But a few weeks later you finally give yourself a little push and do it. It turns out to be a good thing and not so tough after all. You were fooling yourself all along because you are in the habit of letting your negative feelings guide the way that you act! Call it having a passive mind.

So then the question is this: how do we overcome being imprisoned by our feelings? How do we kill the giant of emotional reasoning?

II Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”

We could say it this way: We live by faith in God and in His Word and not by how we feel.

As Romans 1:17 declares, “the just (the righteous; those who have been born again and belong to God) shall live by faith.”

For example, the Word of God teaches us to forgive all those who have wronged us. It doesn’t say, forgive others if you FEEL like it. I can tell you, by experience, that 99.9% of the time you don’t FEEL forgiveness toward someone when they have really hurt or wronged you!
You forgive them by faith because you know that this is what the Word of God tells you to do. This is God’s heart for you and them. Therefore you obey God’s Word not because you FEEL like it but because you love and trust God and His Word. You know that it is the right thing to do and that in the long run you will reap the benefits of acting on God’s Word.

Allow me to use an event in Abraham’s life to illustrate what it means to act in faith and not on how you may feel at the moment. When God told Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham acted in faith on what God told him to do and not on how he surely must have felt as a loving father to Isaac!

Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter in the Bible. It is a list of those who acted not on how they may have felt, but in faith on what God said.

That’s one reason why I think that what David did in killing Goliath is so important. While others were paralyzed with fear because of how big and bad Goliath was—they felt that facing him would mean certain death—David was not controlled by fear or by how he may have felt. Instead, he faced the giant with faith in God, and he killed him!

So too must we challenge our thoughts and feelings of emotional reasoning by our faith in God and in His Word, the Bible.

If you will MOVE in faith and trust God and His Word, you will discover that the giant of emotional reasoning will most definitely go down! Replace emotional reasoning with faith in what God has said.  God’s Word is truth. It is inerrant and infallible. Trust it completely!

Believe God’s Word—the Divine reality which is greater than what we can see or not see—and not your feelings which can change with the wind!

Dear ones, if you would experience the fullness of God’s Jubilee year of 5776, then you must make the choice to stop living by how you feel. “Freedom from what binds and restoration of what is mine” will become a reality when we make the choice to stop allowing our feelings to control us!

Pick up a stone and put it into the sling and hurl it at the giant of emotional reasoning by making the determination to walk in faith in the Word of God regardless of how you feel. If you will walk in faith in God’s Word, your feelings will eventually follow.

Make the choice to renew your mind by and with the Word of God!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

KILLING THE GIANT OF JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS


This person jumps to a negative conclusion that is not justified by the facts of the situation. Two examples of this wrong kind of thinking are “mind reading” and “the fortune teller error.”

1. Mind Reading:  This is where a person interprets events in a negative way—without really knowing what is truly going on. For example, a man walks in where two friends are talking and laughing. He automatically assumes that they are making fun of him—when actually they are planning a surprise birthday party for him!

The problem with this kind of negative “mind reading” is that it can cause you to either withdraw or counterattack. It can hurt relationships with others when it shouldn’t.

2. Fortune Teller Error:  It is as if you had a crystal ball that foretold only misery for you! You imagine something bad is about to happen, and you take this prediction as fact even though it is unrealistic. For example, a high school librarian repeatedly told herself during anxiety attacks, “I’m going to pass out or go crazy.” But these predictions were unrealistic because she had never once passed out or gone crazy in her entire life.

Can you relate to this kind of wrong thinking? Perhaps you have had thoughts like this or know someone who does.

This kind of wrong thinking can put you into a place of fear and bondage. It can make living life very difficult and uncomfortable to say the least. But the good news is that you can be free from this “giant of jumping to conclusions!” Let me tell you how.

1. First of all, learn to be secure in who you are in Christ.

     (1). II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come.”

     Declaration of faith: I AM A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. I AM SECURE IN HIM! As you grow in knowing that you are secure in Christ, you will be much less likely to always jumping to negative conclusions in certain situations.

     (2). II Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.”

     Declaration of faith: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” When you know by revelation who you really are in Christ, the temptation of mind reading and fortune telling will become a thing of the past! You will become that secure in who you are in Christ!


2. Secondly, learn to walk in love because walking in love will keep your mind and emotions free.

     (1). I Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

As we grow in the love of God, there will be no place for “mind reading” and “fortune telling.” The love of God will keep us from the temptation of jumping to conclusions!

Walking in the love of God will never fail to kill the giant of jumping to conclusions!

Let me illustrate.  Let’s say that I walk into a situation that looks really suspicious. I can either begin to jump to conclusions or I can do the following: I can say by faith, “God’s love in me is patient; it does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud; it is not rude; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs; love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. IT ALWAYS PROTECTS; ALWAYS TRUSTS, ALWAYS HOPES AND ALWAYS PERSEVERSES. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Now someone may say, yeah, but what if some friends really are making fun of me? What if someone is doing something that they shouldn’t be doing?

What if they are? First of all you don’t know all of the facts. Secondly, this doesn’t change the fact that jumping to conclusions will not solve anything, and it will put you in bondage! So the best thing to do is not jump to conclusions (mind reading and fortune telling), but rather walk in the love of God. And know this, if someone is doing something wrong, God is big enough and God-enough to take care of it and them! So the way to kill the wrong thinking of the “giant of jumping to conclusions,” is to learn to find your security in who you are in Christ and to walk by faith in the love of God.