Archives July 2020

Be Transformed By The Renewing of Your Mind: 10 Steps That Will Transform Your Life Forever

“Do not conform 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

To be spiritually transformed into the image and likeness of God, we first need to have our minds renewed. In other words, our thinking has to change to be in line with God’s thinking.

After you become a believer and choose to follow Jesus, you go through a process of transformation that leads to a whole new way of thinking, acting, and being. This blog will explain this process in general terms.

Religious or Spiritual?

Recently, I was having a conversation with someone about my work and as I was explaining it, she asked, “Is it religious?” This got me thinking, what do people mean by religious? My feeling is that if I said yes, she would immediately lose interest and not want to hear another word. So, I said, “No, it’s not religious, it’s spiritual.”

Nowadays, it seems to be safe to say, “spiritual”, but not “religious.” I like to break down peoples’ mind-sets around certain words and concepts. Who knows what images and perceptions people have around the word religion? So, I know I must use it with caution. Let’s go a little further.

Is it religious? I wouldn’t say my work is religious, but it certainly is spiritual, there’s no denying that. But, if it were religious, would that be a bad thing for you? To be honest, religious to me is not such a bad word. For me, that means, the pursuit of God. Show me a spirituality without God – is that even possible?

What is Religion?

The Cambridge dictionary defines religion as …

“the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship.”

Can You Be Spiritual Without God?

It seems to be fashionable to be spiritual today, which is a good thing, but what do people mean by spiritual? I believe we are all on a spiritual journey and can learn a lot about the human condition through different schools of thought and disciplines, but that there is only One Ultimate Universal Truth.

After many years of seeking God, I found this one truth in Jesus Christ. I base all my work and teachings on the Word of God (The Christian Bible). I will of course use other resources, but they will be in alignment with the truth found in the Scriptures.

I don’t speak against other religions, but the work I have been called to do is to teach spiritual principles based on the Word of God (The Bible). I know it is politically correct to be open to all religions, but I can’t do that, because then I would not be true to myself, nor would I be true to my faith. I believe Christianity is the way to God.

My work is a form of applied Theology. Your faith is worthless if you do not apply what you learn. Jesus was very strong about this, saying, believers must practice what we preach.

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”  (Matthew 23:1-3)

For anyone reading this blog for the first time, I am teaching on how to move from a life of self, towards a life in the spirit.  The bible refers to this as a the new life in Christ, where the old self is put to death and made new.

But, this dying to the old self is a slow and often painful process that requires  lots of time and patience. You will also need new knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

Depending on where you are on your spiritual journey will determine how much dismantling has to be done. We all grew up in some family or home within some country and culture and were greatly influenced by that environment.

The first thing you need to do is question yourself and your belief system. What do I really believe in? Who am I? What do I know about God? And what is Spirituality?

At some point in our life, we all question the meaning of our existence, and most of us have a spiritual inclination in our soul for more, something greater than the self.

For those of you who have not experienced this longing, it’s possible that you are still looking to the world for satisfaction, but the things of the world will never satisfy your soul for long. You will never feel complete until you reconnect to God through your spirit. You will always feel empty and restless until you find rest in God.

Why do we feel so empty inside?

The emptiness you feel in your heart is the part that needs to be filled by God alone. God’s immense love. The love we experience in the world is conditional and no matter how nice it makes us feel, it is a poor substitute for the Agape Love of God.

What is Love?

The Four Types Of Love (Greek Names)

1. Storge Love: (empathy bond) – this is the natural love and affection between parents and children and siblings. It’s also referred to as family love. This love is based on familiarity, close contact over a long period of time. C. S. Lewis, the author of the book, The Four Loves describes storge love as a dependency-based love that is at risk of extinction if the needs cease to be met.

2.  Philia Love: (friend bond) – this is the love between friends as close as siblings in length and duration. Friendship is a strong bond between people who share common values, beliefs, and interests. Lewis describes friendship as “the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary…the least natural of loves”.

“Our species does not need friendship in order to reproduce, but to the classical and medieval worlds it is a higher-level love, because it is freely chosen.” (Wikipedia.org)

C. S. Lewis feels that friendship is undervalued in modern society and even quite rare to find and many do not even know the meaning of true friendship. He goes on to say that friendships like David and Jonathan in the Bible are almost a lost art.

3. Eros: (romantic love) – Many scholars say, The Song of Songs is a love dialogue between a man and woman, praising and wooing each other and recounting the highlights of their love (erotic love), however, other scholars say it refers to the love between man and God.

For Lewis, Eros meant, ‘being in love’ with someone, as opposed to the raw sexuality of what he called Venus. He goes on to say how Eros in all his splendor…. could lead to evil and is not as neutral a force as ‘being in love’ is.

4. Agape Love: (God’s love) – unconditional

“The highest and most noble form of love is reserved for the love that God has for us. Agape, pronounced uh-GAH-pay, is what Jesus demonstrated on the cross for us by sacrificing his life and taking on the entire burden of sin for all mankind so that we could have life everlasting with Him in Heaven.” (GEB.tv)

Also called Charity, it is the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances. Human love is very shallow, it is limited, whereas God’s love is limitless. It’s never-ending.

This selfless love is the greatest of the four loves. Once we experience and know how to receive this love, all our other relationships will improve and be based less on dependency, but on a desire to love for the sake of loving.

THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS

Spiritual Transformation is Painful

People often think the spiritual journey is an exciting adventure full of such joy! Well yes, maybe most of it, but certainly not all of it. The path is full of peaks and valleys, and usually more valleys than peaks.

What makes the process painful is the task of blending spirit and flesh. To bring the part of us that is of a material nature into harmony with our spiritual nature.

This is what St Paul refers to as the death of the old man. The flesh (self) must be purified and refined so that it learns to obey the spiritually transformed mind.

The two natures (the flesh and the spirit) are always in conflict with one another once the soul has been regenerated. Before being born again, there is less conflict as you are still in the world and so a slave to sin. There’s no battle because the flesh is in control.

St. Paul talks about this conflict that he himself experienced, saying….

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15, ESV)

The spiritual path transfigures the very nature of our being. By treading the path we become an entirely different being from the personality which we were identified with before, undergoing a metamorphosis.

The long term goal is to transcend your lower nature that is completely self-absorbed and to be like Christ. It is in this state that you will be transfigured and the light will radiate out from you. This is as close to perfection as you will ever get in this lifetime. After death, you will transition on into eternity.

How will I feel when I am transformed spiritually?

When you are truly transformed, things won’t bother you the way they once did. For example, you won’t be offended by people’s nasty remarks, you won’t react when people mistreat you or disrespect you because you will no longer be living in the ego. You will be connected to the divine within, and see the world from a completely different perspective.

You will not be the same person. That old personality dies in the process and a new creation emerges, just like the butterfly emerges from the cocoon a transformed creature. Nothing is the same. The caterpillar is gone forever!

Ten Steps to Transform Your Life Forever!

1. Awareness – you know something is wrong and you start to take steps to find out what it is.

2. The Desire for More – a hunger for something more satisfying wells up in you. To ease the restlessness, you get serious about seeking answers.

3. The Search – you start to look for more meaning beyond worldly pleasures.  Jesus said, seek and you shall find.. knock and the door shall be opened onto you. You start to educate yourself on the things of God. You might start to pray or meditate. This is still the exploring stage.

4. Meeting with God – after a while, you notice God starts to respond in different ways. Then you discover a relationship with the living God, who loves you and cares for you. You feel truly accepted for the first time and then there is a letting go, and you put your trust in God.

5. Education –  at this point, God educates you by leading you to the right people, the right churches, meetings, etc. God accepts you just as you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way, so He will teach you in the way you should go. Welcome to the school of God.

6. Training – Now, you have to learn how to change. Yes, salvation is supernatural and happens by grace, but you have to co-labour with Christ in working out all the dark parts of your nature. The old man has to be put to death, but it is a long process because, the carnal man is selfish and without discipline and training, it will destroy you.

7. Practice – once you learn about God’s righteousness and holiness, you will soon come to see how un-spiritual you really are. God is so pure – all His actions are based on LOVE and his motives are 100% pure. There is no bad thing in God because as I said before, He is Light and Truth and Peace and we are all made in the image and likeness of Him. Imagine, I am made like God! I don’t feel like it, but it’s how He sees us, complete In Him. God sees us glorified and that’s what He wants for all of us.

8. Awakening – when you become more conscious or aware, the veil is lifted from your eyes and you come to see that the world you are living in has nothing to do with God’s world. But, there are glimpses of heaven here on earth, especially in the work of regenerated souls. People working in the kingdom of God are looking to bring good everywhere and to leave a fragrance of Christ behind them.  We see glimpses of heaven here, but you have seen nothing yet, compared to what you will see in heaven.

9. Commitment to the path – once you have tasted life in the Spirit, you will not want to go back. For a few years, you will play with the idea of returning to your old way of life, but it loses its appeal after a while. When you experience God and this life, you will eventually make a commitment to it.

10. Serving God – it becomes your life and whoever God puts on your path is part of that life, sometimes to teach them about God, or sometimes to teach us what a life without God looks like, only sealing the commitment more.  At this stage, listening and obeying God is the way you live. Sometimes you will resist, but by going your own way and seeing the results, you eventually see that God’s way is best.

Purification

God is pure and holy

“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:3

How Do We Become Pure?

We become pure like Jesus through our difficult circumstances, we must let these trials and tribulations do their work in our lives, for St. Paul says, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). It is through these testing times that God purifies us, He is refining us so that we come out as pure gold.

The process of making gold and silver is the analogy that’s used to describe this process God puts us through because he wants to makes us pure and perfect, like Him.

Your heart must go through God’s refining fire to cleanse it of all impurities, much as gold is before it is refined in the refiner’s fire. The purpose of the refining process is to produce 24-karat gold containing no impurities that would lessen its value.

Can you imagine yourself totally pure and holy like God? Isn’t that something worth pursuing; to be transformed into His image and likeness? This should be the goal of every Christian, to transcend the lower nature, and live in our higher nature.

The Refiners Fire

“Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people].” (James 4:8, Amplified Bible)

Sanctification

To be set apart / To be made holy

Sanctification is God’s will for us (our life purpose). The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy. Jesus said to sanctify them by the Truth.

When Jesus referred to the converted ones, he said:

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”

Sanctification in Christian theology is defined in 3 senses:

The first sense – is what’s known as Positional Sanctification – separation unto God, for His purposes.

The second sense – is referred to as Progressive Sanctification which is the maturing of the believer, the ongoing work of God in their daily lives. It’s about the application of the Word.

The third sense – is known as Complete Sanctification or ultimate separation from sin. It is also known as glorification.

What’s the purpose of going through this spiritual process?

The purpose of it is the purpose of your life. To be prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ or for your death and life in eternity.

But, not only that, when you go through this spiritual transformation, you will feel amazing. You will have a full, happy, abundant, peaceful life, and the fears you once had will be gone, as you will learn to live with complete trust in God, the All-Sufficient One (El Shaddai).

Out of Darkness, Into Light: The Truth That Will Set You Free

Out of Darkness Into Light

According to the Scriptures, anyone who is not born again is walking in darkness, and the only way to come out of darkness is to repent (turn away from your sins) and follow God.

God wants you back, but you have an enemy, the devil, who wants to keep a hold of you. Until you are reconciled to God, you are in bondage to the evil one.

To be free to walk in the light, you first need to know that you are in darkness. Those who are in darkness are a slave to sin.

If you act on auto-pilot and just do whatever pleases you, then you are in bondage, because you have no guidelines for your life.

Once you know the difference between God’s plan for your life and Satan’s plan for your life, then at least you are aware and can make informed choices. Satan’s greatest trick is for you to think he doesn’t exist.

To be free, you must first know the truth. Jesus said in John 8:32, “know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Out of Darkness and Into Light – The Goodness of God

The Good One – God

Definition of God

“The Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.”  (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

God is all good, there is no bad thing in Him. The bible gives 4 basic descriptions of God’s character.

God is Spirit –  “God is spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)

God is Light – “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5)

God is Love – “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).

God is a Consuming Fire – “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12: 28-29).

The Names Of God

“O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9)

Each name of God in the bible reveals the true character and nature of God. As the Bible was inspired by God, each of His names has a significant meaning and is a revelation of who He really is, The Great I Am.

Below is a list of some of the Hebrew names of God with their meaning:

Adonai –  He is Lord over all (Colossians 1:15-23)

Elohim – He is your Creator (Genesis 1:1)

El Shaddai – the all sufficient God. God almighty (Psalm 91:1)

Abba – Father, He is strong and powerful (Romans 8:15)

Elohim Chayim – He is the living God (Joshua 3:10)

Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14)

El Roi – the Lord who sees me (Genesis 16:13)

Jehovah Ropheka – the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26)

El-Elyon – the Sovereign Lord / The Lord Most High (Psalm 7:17)

Jehovah-Shalom – the God of peace (Judges 6:24)

Jehovah-Tsuri – God is my rock (Psalm 18:2)

El Olam – the everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28)

Jehovah-Tsebaoth – the Lord of hosts (Psalm 46:10-11)

Yeshua – Jesus (Philippians 2:9)

The Evil One – Satan

First of all, Lucifer is not Satan, Lucifer is the name that was given to the King of Babylon by the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah is mocking the King who is puffed up and full of pride.

He is comparing him to the “morning star” as he thought himself to be equal with God… It was meant as a derogatory title.

“How you have fallen from heaven,

    morning star, son of the dawn!

You have been cast down to the earth,

    you who once laid low the nations!

   You said in your heart,

    “I will ascend to the heavens;

I will raise my throne

    above the stars of God;

I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,

    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon

   I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;

    I will make myself like the Most High.”

Isaiah 14:12-14

So then, who is Satan?

Satan was an angel in heaven and he was good, but he changed when he desired to be like God himself. He wanted all the glory and praise that God was getting. God gave the angels free will and so Satan decided that he should be the ruler over all the earth.

In the Book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but they could enjoy every other tree in the garden. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from that one tree or they would die.

“You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (Genesis 3:2)

Satan (the serpent), took this opportunity to deceive Eve and to tempt her into eating the forbidden fruit in the garden.

He said…” but, you will not surely die, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:2-4)

Satan’s plan worked and they ate from the tree that God told them not to eat from. Adam and Eve’s disobedience resulted in their expulsion from the garden.

As God gave free will to the angels and humans, he could not force them to obey him. This is how sin came into the world through The Fall of Adam, the first man.

After man fell, the evil element entered into man causing man to have an evil nature. And the only way God could rectify this problem was by sending His one and only Son (Jesus) to be sin for us.

There Are Real Consequences to Sin – God cannot be mocked, we will suffer consequences for the sin in our life. For Adam and Eve, innocence was lost and it turned to shame, loss, guilt, fear and being found out by God. They hid from God in the garden after they had sinned against Him.

Because of God’s judgement for the sin of Adam and Eve, all of humanity has been affected. Instead of a life of ease and abundance, we have to suffer hardship, pain, suffering, and loss.

So, do not be deceived, Satan still lives and wants you to believe that there are no consequences to sin… ‘surely you will not die.’ It is a spiritual death, separation from God. Without God, you are living in darkness.

The Names of Satan

He is the devil. Satan is the personal name given to him, meaning the adversary. He is the adversary of God and man.

The devil which comes from the Greek word, means, the Accuser. The devil comes to kill and destroy, there is no good thing in him. 

1 Peter 5: 8 reads: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 

Satan is a spirit being, he has no body, nevertheless, he is real. He is our great arch enemy. Satan has also been called the tempter, the father of lies, the wicked one, the deceiver of the whole world. Jesus called him the evil one (Matthew 13:19).

We need to be aware of his power, but also to know that God is more powerful. He is not God’s equal.

It is because of Satan that Christians have such intense spiritual battles. The devil hates the light that is in all believers.

He wants us to trip and fall. He will use anything to distract us from the call of God and lead us into condemnation, but what he forgets is that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), because once you are set free, you are free indeed (John 8:36).

Furthermore, as children of God, we are protected and given the strength and power by the Holy Spirit to resist the tricks and schemes of the evil one.

God does not leave us orphans. He equips us to do battle as He already knows that once you come back to the Father, the devil will wage war against you.

The devil hates the sons and daughters of God. The Scriptures prepare us to do battle, so Christians really have nothing to fear!

Put on the full armour of God

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)

The first thing you need to know about coming out of darkness and into light is that we are talking about spiritual darkness and everyone who is not born of the Spirit (born again, reconciled to God) is actually walking in darkness. The fight to win you back is a fight that happens in the heavenly realms.

This is the Christian teaching, that Satan is the ruler of this world and has no interest in you ever coming into the Light (The Light of Christ). Satan hates man and hates God.

Walking in the Light of God

The secret to walking in the light is to submit to God. In the Book of James, it says, ‘resist the devil and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7).

You will get wiser at recognizing the tricks and schemes of the evil one (and there are many!). All believers have the indwelling Spirit of God which warns them of danger.

The Spirit of Truth Sets You Free

The spirit of truth has nothing in common with darkness, so the way to defeat the enemy is to expose its darkness. He doesn’t want to be found out, so you just have to let your light shine brighter in the presence of the enemy and know that Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“To walk in the light is to have a daily commitment to living out a righteous life. Those who are compelled to walk in the light resist fellowship with the darkness of the devil, the world, or the flesh. Walking in the light renews and refreshes us within so that we are empowered to be a refreshment to those around us.” (www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com)

“If we walk in the light as He is in the light… the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1 John 1:7

The Characteristics of a Christian Who Walks In The Light of Christ

  • Goodness
  • Righteousness
  • Truth

A child of God lives righteously, without sin, detesting what is evil. They have no deliberate or conscious sin in their life. They follow the teachings of Jesus to walk in the light, if they don’t, they will end up in darkness.

God is Light

Only a born again believer really understands what sin is. ‘Sin is what Jesus Christ faced at Calvary. The evidence that I have been delivered from sin is that I know the real nature of sin in me. For a person to really know what sin is, requires the full work and deep touch of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that is, the imparting of His absolute perfection.’ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest.

The revelation of what sin really is comes to the believer through the Holy Spirit. When the truth of darkness touches the regenerated soul, it learns to hate anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness.

Blind To The Truth (2 Corinthians 4:4)

To the unbeliever, this makes no sense whatsoever and so people can get offended when their saved friends no longer want to partake in the things of the world.

St Paul teaches in the book of Ephesians about darkness and light and how believers should conduct themselves.

In Chapter 5, verses 1-2 he says: ‘Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us, and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.’

Transformed Into Light

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:8-9, NIV)

Transformed from darkness to light

Once transformed, you can no longer live with unforgiveness or have an unloving attitude, for the light will not tolerate it.

Everything must be pure in the light of God because there is no darkness in God. Darkness and light are not companions.

You must choose which way you will go. If your friends are in darkness and do not want to seek God, you may have to let them go. It’s that simple. When you come into the light, darkness no longer has a place in your life.

Of course, love your friends, but if they are hindering you from walking in the light of God, then you have to let them go.

If a friend wants to join you, that’s wonderful, then you have done the work of God and restored your friend to wholeness.

Everything dark actually drives you closer to the centre of light. It grieves the holy spirit within you when you are in the presence of darkness.

How To Become A Child Of God And Walk In The Light?

Simply by desiring it and asking God to accept you into The Kingdom of Light. God will never refuse you. All you have to do is repent for your sinful life and make a decision to change your ways.

You need to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The one who died on the cross so that you would be cleansed from all sin (unrighteousness) and made right with God.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

If You Lose Your Life You Will Find It: Follow Jesus and Experience A Powerful New Life In Him

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

The journey towards Salvation is a very personal one and often takes time. We are complex beings, but God works in us, and through us, to try to bring us to that point.

I didn’t wake up one morning and totally surrender my whole life to God. No! it was a long hard struggle with my pride and my strong will to do things my way!

I surrendered bit by bit. I don’t think I even chose it in the beginning. Life just got really tough and it was in my brokenness that I turned to God, and He redeemed me.

Even now, many years after turning my life over to God, I struggle to obey. It’s never easy to keep walking the path that God sets out before us, but if we know it’s the right way and that God is in it, we can endure.

I think we can endure because we come to realize that there is a battle going on between good and evil all the time, and we want good to win out in the end, so we persevere in faith. As St Paul said in the New Testament, we are fighting the good fight!

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12,  NIV)

The spiritual journey is ultimately about the death of the old self. The old self is often referred to as the false self or the old man in Christian terms, or the old sin nature. It is very painful to put this part of us to death.

Following Jesus is not an easy call. That is why Jesus said, you must consider the cost. You have to give up everything to follow Jesus! Many people have considered embarking on the spiritual path only to fall away at the early stages when they see what it means to be a real disciple.

We must die to the self. We are selfish by nature, all of us. We want to do life on our terms.

There is nothing good in the old man (flesh) and as soon as we understand this the better because it is not until you see and believe that there is no good thing in the flesh, that you can see and experience the abundant life that Jesus talks about in John 10:10:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

THE DEATH OF THE SELF

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

The world’s philosophy says LIVE FOR SELF… but The Bible says DIE TO SELF!  ‘Many people came to Jesus and asked to be His disciples, but most of them turned away because they were not willing to give themselves to Christ.’  (Dying to Self, Dr. D. W. Ekstrand)

We are living in an age of self-love, where people are led to believe that happiness is found in their circumstances, and so if they experience any loss or lack, it is perceived as a failure, and they should just try a little harder.

This has also crept into the churches where the goal of prayer is to receive personal favour, blessings, and wealth. And anyone who doesn’t make it probably didn’t pray hard enough, work hard enough, or maybe is not righteous enough to be worthy of God’s favour.

We have to be careful of this because if you choose to follow Jesus, you are no longer in the driving seat and so if He blesses you financially that’s wonderful, but if He doesn’t, does that mean He is not God or that He does not hear you, like you or care about you?

We must be prepared to get to know the real God, not one who fits into our plans, but one who is Sovereign and Lord over our lives. God can use our poverty to work on our character.

Who are you without your job, nice house, family, cars, etc? If they were all taken away, as in the case of Job in the bible, would you have a rock to stand upon? What would sustain you? Hopefully, your faith, because, let’s face it, without faith, what have you really got?

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

God wants to give to his children. Jesus does say in the bible that you do not have because you do not ask correctly. This means you are asking with the wrong motives. You want things for your own pleasure that give no glory to God.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts”. (James 4:3)

God likes to bless us, but He also likes to receive the glory. He says, you will bear fruit, so I get the glory. “By this, My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

Also, when you become a child of God, it means God is your Abba, Father. What does a loving Father do for his children? Does he give them everything they want, whenever they want it?

Of course not, the child doesn’t even know what’s good for him, but the Father does. It’s the same with your Heavenly Father.

Perhaps God has withheld things from you because He loves you and wants to teach you patience, endurance, and trust. God is usually training us and protecting us, so be careful what you wish for! Maybe it’s not what you need. Learn to pray like Jesus, not my will Father, but let Your will be done.

Following God does not mean that all your problems go away, it just means that you will have more strength, peace, and joy in your circumstances. But, don’t worry God will bless you, but in His perfect time! After all, He is God, not us.

If you had no money, would you steal? If you lost your job would you get depressed or anxious or do you put your trust in God? These are important things to ask yourself? Who am I really? What is it that gives me my identity? What do I believe in?

What Does It Mean To Die To Self? What Are We Really Dying To?

We are dying to:

  • Pride
  • Ego
  • Greed
  • Control
  • Manipulation
  • Self importance
  • The need for praise
  • Attention seeking
  • Idolatry
  • Status
  • Reputation
  • Self – obsession
  • Gandiosity
  • Image
  • Vanity
  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Sloth
  • Envy
  • Wrath
  • Materialism
  • Codependency
  • Lies / Falseness

Transformation means restoring the Truth back into our lives that was lost in the beginning during the Fall of Adam.

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

We are all like the first man (Adam), full of pride, wanting to be like God.  Because we are proud, we chase after things to please ourselves and not God. This is what’s known as idolatry.

According to Dr. D. W.  Ekstrand (www.thetransformedsoul.com), ‘idolatry takes many forms – a relationship we value more than God; the desire for material wealth that is greater than our love for God; the desire to draw attention to ourselves rather than directing the attention of others toward God. The world is full of idols that dethrone God from our hearts. Anything that causes one to have a “self-focus” rather than a “God-focus” is a form of pride and is abhorrent to God.’

The two things that keep us from God are:

1. Pride (Self) – the belief that you are better or more important than            other people

2. Idolatry (Desires) –  the worship of a physical object as a god

You might be asking yourself now, why would anyone want to sign up for something like that? Dying to Self sounds absolutely awful, who on earth would want to do that? I get nothing!

What have I to gain from denying myself and following Jesus?

That’s a good question, all His disciples asked the same question. He told them to drop their nets and follow Him. Their nets were their livelihood as they were fishermen and, he also told them to follow Him and to leave their families behind. In other words, all their worldly attachments.

“Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew. 4:19

“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else, by comparison, your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life.

Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27)

But, Jesus explained to his disciples that dying to self is actually a positive thing, that would bring them abundant life. Without death, there can be no resurrection.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”

(John 12:24; Galatians 5:22-23)

St John of the Cross (1542 – 1591) is one saint who understood the paradox of the cross very well. St John of the Cross was a Carmelite friar and priest, a reformer, mystic, poet, and theologian.

He was often referred to as the Dr. of detachment as he mastered the art of detachment. He was able to detach from things of the world to live for God alone.

“His prose works are outstanding in underscoring the cost of discipleship, the path of union with God: rigorous discipline, abandonment, purification. Uniquely and strongly John underlines the gospel paradox: The cross leads to resurrection, agony to ecstasy, darkness to light, abandonment to possession, denial to self to union with God. If you want to save your life, you must lose it.” (Franciscan Media)

So, dying to self is not the goal – Life is the goal

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS

What does it mean to take up your cross? Taking up your cross means that in every minute of every day, you hand over your work, your finances, your relationships, your health, etc. to God.

You have to take up your daily struggles and face them with a positive, grateful attitude and never complain. Instead, we should rejoice in the face of trials and tribulations as they will help us to grow and mature.

St Paul wrote in the book of Philippians, “do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:14-15)

“Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)

Deny Yourself

God is trying to save us from our selfishness because self-obsession leads to death. It’s amazing how many Christians choose to ignore this important command.

Many people wanted to follow Jesus during his ministry, they were excited, and they could see that He was a great person. They listened to His teachings and felt inspired and moved by his sacrificial life.

But, when it came to denying themselves, they just couldn’t push through. They didn’t want to give up the self-life. Nobody wants to give up the self-life, but it’s the only thing that will save you from a life of misery.

COME FOLLOW ME

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

To know God – God really wants to build a relationship with you and He has made a way through Jesus. But, he does not leave you without instruction, for we have The Word of God and The Holy Spirit to teach us all about Him. ‘My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge.’ (Hosea 4:6)

To establish His kingdom here on earth – seek first the kingdom of God. God wants to bring heaven to earth and He does this by choosing us to change our ways and be reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.

To learn how to live a godly life – we do this by applying Jesus’ teachings to our life. We may not be physically following Jesus as the disciples did, but we follow Him by following his ways. We can learn through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

To find your life purpose – our purpose is to shine and to live in truth and love like Jesus did. To be transformed into His image and likeness.

To develop your faith in God – faith is a gift, to believe without seeing is a  miracle. God helps us with our unbelief. Jesus lived by faith, so you can learn from Him and many of the saints in the bible too, such as Abraham, Moses, Job, etc.

To learn to love like God – this is the goal of the Christian to be able to love unconditionally as God does. Agape love is unlike any other love. Love never seeks its own. Love grows in you as you grow. Real love seeks the good of others, regardless of how you feel about them.

To learn how to listen and obey – how can you listen to God? Through prayer, meditation, and reading of the Scriptures. God will test your obedience, so be ready for that.

To learn about the Holy Spirit – every new believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit of Truth will guide you and direct you in all your ways. The Holy Spirit is God’s power given to you by faith.

To learn by example – imitating Jesus. He was a servant leader,  He washed his disciple’s feet. ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you’ (John13:14). He teaches us about humility, how to live with meekness and lowliness.

To be transformed into His image and likeness – walk as Jesus walked, so you can be transformed from glory to glory into His image.

Union with God – communion with God is what you were created for. It was sin that separated you, but once you come back to God you can learn to be in relationship with Him again. You will learn of God’s holiness.

To be healed and restored – as you walk with God each day, you will heal more and more, as only God has the power to do the deep transformational work in your spirit, soul, and body.

To conclude, so when someone decides to follow The Lord, they are essentially saying, ‘I am dying to my self.’ My self-life is no longer the reason for my existence. I am exchanging my old life for a new life.’ It is a supernatural exchange.

This change will be seen more and more in your decisions and actions when you have gone through a process of transformation.

It is in surrendering that you receive power because it’s not your power, but the power of God dwelling in your regenerated soul.

The Lord wants you to be happy. Dying to self sets you free. It is in dying to yourself that you find yourself (when you lose your life, you find it). This is the paradox of the gospel. Come and see for yourself.

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Find Happiness: Self-Acceptance, The Road To A Happier Life

A definition of self-acceptance is a difficult one to nail down. There are different thoughts on it, but in the book, The Strength of Self-Acceptance, Theory, Theology, and Research, Ed. Bernard, Michael E. 2013, it states that:

“defining “self-acceptance” is not simple but, generally, self-acceptance is conceptualized as an affirmation or acceptance of self in spite of weaknesses or deficiencies.”

In clinical psychology and positive psychology, self-acceptance is considered the prerequisite for change to occur. It can be achieved by stopping criticizing and solving the defects of one’s self and then accepting them to be existing within one’s self. That is, tolerating oneself to be imperfect in some parts. (Wikipedia)

Perfection is a Myth

Accept you are not perfect. We are all imperfect in parts, this is our humanness. It is learning to live with these imperfections that matter. Self-acceptance brings us happiness.

We learn to accept ourselves fully both our strengths and weaknesses. Our constant striving for worthiness shows itself in perfectionism.

According to psychiatrist Marc H. Hollender (1965) ‘perfectionism most commonly develops in an insecure child who needs approval, acceptance, and affection from parents who are difficult to please.’

Leon F. Seltzer, supports this view and says that as children we’re able to accept ourselves only to the degree we feel accepted by our parents or caregivers and if they did not meet this need adequately, we inevitably come to see ourselves as inadequate in many ways.

Simply put, we treat ourselves as our parents treated us.

Only when we stop judging ourselves can we secure a more positive sense of who we are. The desire for perfection has always been part of being human, but there must come a day when we realize that perfection is a myth, it simply does not exist.

“The desire for perfection is the worst disease that ever afflicted the human mind.” Marquis Louis Fontanes (1757-1821)

Perfectionism is placing unrealistic demands upon ourselves. It’s a form of self-hatred, being hard on ourselves.

All this chasing after absolute perfection can leave us feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied, inadequate, and utterly burnt out! There has to be a better way.

What Is Self-Acceptance?

According to Shepard L. A. (1979), self-acceptance is an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual’s feeling about oneself that they are of “unique worth”.

Self-Esteem & Self-Acceptance

“Though related, self-acceptance is not the same as self-esteem. Self-esteem refers specifically to how valuable or worthwhile we see ourselves, self-acceptance alludes to a far more global affirmation of self.” L.F. Seltzer Ph.D. (2008)

Self-esteem is generally about feeling good about ourselves, liking who we are. Self-acceptance is much broader and is considered to be the true key to happiness as it embraces all aspects of ourselves; light and dark.

Seltzer goes on to say that.. ‘when we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves – not just the positive, more “esteem-able” parts. As such, self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualification.

We can recognize our weaknesses, limitations, and foibles, but this awareness in no way interferes with our ability to fully accept ourselves.’ Self-esteem, he says rises naturally as soon as we cease being so hard on ourselves (judging ourselves).

Self-Acceptance and Happiness

Research studies are showing that self-compassion is associated with greater happiness, optimism, curiosity, resilience, and reduced depression and anxiety.

Albert Ellis, a renowned psychologist says there are ways to overcome feelings of inadequacy and develop self-acceptance…

  1. Define yourself as a worthwhile person because you exist, because you are alive
  2. You are worthwhile because your individual character strengths and abilities make up your uniqueness.
  3.  Accept yourself whether or not you achieve or people approve of you
  4.  Accept your errors and do your best to correct your past behaviour
  5.  Don’t give any kind of global generalized rating to yourself

There is agreement among leading self-acceptance theorists that self-acceptance needs to be accompanied by both individual determination to self-improve negative behaviour that blocks individual goal attainment (happiness, long life) and a social conscience where one’s action not only does not interfere with rights and interests of others but also contribute to the general welfare of the broader community. (Michael E. Bernard)

They also view self-acceptance as a catalyst for the alleviation of emotional misery as well as an energizer supporting growth towards happiness and fulfillment.

Here are some further daily tips on how to improve self-acceptance..

  • Cultivate self-compassion, let go of guilt and learn to forgive yourself.
  • Certify yourself, to validate your essential ok-ness.
  • Get over the habit of constantly judging yourself.
  • Develop more kindness and goodwill towards yourself.
  • Watch your self-talk, stop self-criticism.
  • Practice daily positive affirmations.

Seltzer reminds us that it’s important to be aware that self-acceptance has nothing to do with self-improvement as such.

It really isn’t about “fixing” anything in ourselves, it’s simply about accepting ourselves warts and all and affirming who we are.

We can continue to work on our personal growth, but we are okay today – we are doing our best and that’s enough.

Overcome Anxiety

How Anxiety Points to An Identity Problem: Knowing Who You are In Christ Restores Balance and Peace to Your Soul

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when people experience regular bouts of high levels of anxiety, it could become a disorder.

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States. However, only 36.9 percent  of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.” Adam Felman, MedicalNewsToday 

What Lies Behind Your Anxiety?

Fear lies behind your anxiety, but what is this fear? The problem with most people is that they stay in the anxious feeling, worrying, and imagining the worst, without learning how to stop it and see what’s causing the anxiety.

When you know what’s causing the anxiety, then you have something you can work with, at least.

So, instead of just feeling anxious and fearful, you can find a new way by standing back and observing your emotions. Start to ask yourself questions like:

  • Why am I feeling anxious right now?
  • What is causing me to feel this way?
  • Why do I think this way?
  • Is there any reality to what I’m thinking?
  • What am I really afraid of?

For example, if it’s a new job and you’re not sure if you’re up to it, now that you’ve passed the interview, and you start to feel anxious.

What goes through your mind at this time? Something like, “I can’t cope, how did I manage to convince them in the interview that I was the right person for the job?, I feel like a fraud, I can’t do it, maybe I should just stay in my current job (it’s not so bad really).”

You start to panic, and you look for ways to run! Fear kicks in. Now at this point, you must stay calm and start to go deeper and ask yourself some more questions“Why do I say I can’t cope now, after passing the interview? Where is this fear coming from?” 

It usually goes back to an experience of failure or perhaps in your childhood, your family did not encourage you to be ambitious or told you you were no good.

By being the observer of your anxiety, you can now look at your training and experience and see that you are well trained for the job and very capable. That’s why they offered you the job!

Maybe you’ve never had such a good opportunity like this before, and you are afraid of failure, which leads to feelings of anxiety.

What Are Your Core Beliefs?

You may have a belief somewhere that is causing you to self-sabotage. You worked so hard to get this job, and now with your anxiety, you are ready to run.

You need to look deeper to see what core beliefs you’ve picked up along the way that say you do not deserve to be happy, successful, or prosperous. Is it really your belief, or was it passed on to you from someone else?

When you detect the core belief that is causing you to sabotage your life, you can replace it with something you do believe today, such as, “I deserve to be happy. I have a right to my own life, I am good enough, I am worthy, I can cope,” etc.

The reason people remain anxious is that they choose to stay stuck in that feeling without exploring what lies behind it.

The treatment you will need will depend on the extent of your anxiety. For some, psychotherapy (CBT) may be helpful, but for others, you can learn to deal with it yourself.

anxiety

Why Anxiety Points Towards An Identity Problem?

Do you know who you are? If you don’t know who you are, then you will be tossed to and fro and unstable in all your ways. One day, you’ll follow this trend, the next day something different. All this leads to confusion, which in turn will trigger your anxiety.

When we know who we are In Christ (a child of God), we feel more secure. In the Bible, the Book of Ephesians puts it this way, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)

Knowing who you are, brings a sense of calmness and assurance. If you are coming from a position where you accept that you are a child of God and that you were created by God for a purpose, that He is in control, then you have nothing to fear.

If God is in control and you have given your plans and ambitions to Him, then you can trust that He can and will get you through it.

Jesus never said life was going to be easy, in fact, he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

So, it’s not a strange thing that life gets difficult. You will have trials and tribulations, it is part of life, and you know what Jesus had to go through, so he does understand your fear, but he didn’t fret when he had trials, He prayed and trusted in The Father.

Jesus was never anxious, but he was concerned and often troubled, but he cast all his cares onto the Father, which is exactly where we are to be casting our cares too. He overcame the world and you can too!

This is your right as a child of God, to be an overcomer. You may struggle and you may fall, but you will get back up again because you have the Spirit of God dwelling in you. “…Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

“Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again”
Proverbs 24:16

Come Back To Yourself

Anxiety is a sign that you are out of balance and not connected to your true self. Your true self is your spiritual self that is connected to God and life. It has a natural flow. You feel comfortable in your own skin and feel at one with yourself and your surroundings.

Anxiety is a sign that there is some conflict going on within you. You are denying yourself in some way. You are not being true to yourself. It can be a signal to turn around.

You may be going in the wrong direction, mixing with the wrong people, doing the wrong job, and just living in a way that is not congruent with who you are at the core, the person God created you to be.

Society is built to drive us far from our true selves. You would wonder how any of us managed to find our way back to God in a world that does everything to distract us from that path to the true self.

God is the one who gets us home in the end, but we have to want to return to Him.

Once you acknowledge that you have been separated from God’s love and grace by following the ways of the world, then you will be able to turn to God and ask him to restore you to a peaceful state and free you once and for all from your anxiety.

Made Alive In Christ

You must realize that as long as you remain separated from God, The Father, you can never know true peace. When you are made alive In Christ through the mercy of God, only then can you experience this peace.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6-8)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Why not trade in your anxiety for Gods’ peace? When you repent of your sins and say to God that you don’t want to live that old life anymore, He will forgive you and restore you to a place of balance, and peace.

He will do it! He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace the world knows nothing of. (Philippians 4:7)

Live As Those Made Alive In Christ

The Bible gives us clear instructions on how we should live this new life In Christ Jesus. It’s plain and simple, put to death your old life.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

Jesus preached peace, but the peace God gives, the world knows nothing of. You must ask God to show you mercy and give you this new life In Him. No one can give you salvation, but God himself.

He is seeking a broken, and contrite heart. So, humble yourself before the Lord and seek his grace, love, and mercy.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:15-16)

Based on Scripture, this article explains that living without God will inevitably lead to anxiety. Your anxious feelings are just a sign that something is wrong and needs adjusting.

When you discover your true identity, In Christ Jesus, you will not be anxious, but filled with His peace.

Overcome Anxiety

How to Know if You Suffer from an Anxiety Disorder: 10 Ways to Manage the Symptoms

Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when people experience regular bouts of high levels of anxiety, it could become a disorder.

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States. However, only 36.9 percent of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.” Adam Felman, MedicalNewsToday

Symptoms of anxiety are: 

  • excessive nervousness
  • fear
  • apprehension
  • worry
  • restlessness, a feeling of being “on edge”

These physical symptoms alter the way a person processes emotions and behaves. It is important to know the difference between normal levels of anxiety and an anxiety disorder that requires treatment.

It is normal to experience anxiety when triggered by a potentially harmful situation. The symptoms of this are, a raised heartbeat, sweating, increased sensitivity to one’s surroundings. But, we should not experience this regularly.

A person with an anxiety disorder usually presents with other intense symptoms, such as; nervousness, worry, fear, or even paranoia that are way out of proportion to the trigger.

The Five Major Types Of Anxiety Disorders

  • GeneralizedAnxiety Disorder
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  • Obsessive-CompulsiveDisorder (OCD)
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away.
  • Panic Disorder
    Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
    Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. (National Institutes of Mental Health).

How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety?

14 Ways To Manage The Symptoms Of Anxiety

Even if you do not find yourself in one of the categories above, these 14 ways to manage the symptoms of anxiety will still be useful for managing day to day stress. They will help to prevent anxiety and make you feel more balanced every day.

1. Try some deep breathing exercises – Meditate in a way that works for you, some people like to sit and meditate in silence, others use mantras. If walking helps you to relax, try that too.

We are all different, so find a way that works best for you. The key is to release the tension in your muscles, and by doing deep breathing exercises, you allow more oxygen into your lungs.

With shallow breathing, you constrict all your muscles, which causes tension in the body, and a lack of oxygen to the brain, which can make it difficult to think straight.

2. Self-care – good self-care is crucial for your well-being. What do I mean by self-care? It simply means taking good care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually regularly.

self care

This is your responsibility, no one else can take care of your health for you. This sounds obvious, I know, but you would be surprised how many adults can’t understand why they feel unwell and out of balance. It’s as if they had nothing to do with it.

Good health and well being is all about making good decisions and choosing what’s best for you in all areas of your life. This takes daily reflection and constant adjustments in your habits and choices.

3. Try to slow down your mind by staying in the present moment – When your mind is not focused, your body can feel uneasy. People with a racing mind can’t sit still, and they often end up pushing themselves too hard. Most of our anxiety stems from future and past thinking. We worry about the future, which we have no control of and feel upset by things in the past.

To be free from anxiety we have to take control of our thinking. If you have the power to correct some past mistakes or make an amend, then do what you can and let the rest go! The past is just that, the past, so leave it there and live in the present moment.

The same for the future, can you know your future? You can make plans and do all that you can to move in the direction of your dreams, but as we all know from experience, life has a way of surprising us and we don’t always end up where we had intended.

The secret is to keep adjusting your sails so that your life is flowing in the right direction with good, positive, loving energy.

4. Don’t worry! – for some of you, this seems impossible because perhaps you have formed a habit of worrying. Maybe your mother or father was a worrier, and you just took it on. You think it’s good to worry, that it shows concern. Well, this is far from the truth, it is not caring, or loving to worry about your life or others’ lives.

When you catch yourself worrying, remind yourself that you are not trusting God in that moment and you are being driven by fear. What does the bible say about worry?  …. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” No, you can’t, so why worry?

Look at the birds of the air

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6: 25-27)

5. Journal – I always recommend journaling as a way of managing your anxiety because it’s pro-active and you are moving your anxious thoughts from your mind onto the paper.

The best way to journal is to write without editing. It can be messy and untidy. If it’s full of emotion, it may be hard to stay all neat and tidy.

Remember, it’s for you and no one else. If you are afraid someone will read it, then you may have to tear it up after or hide it well!

6Watch something funny, something that makes you laugh – many people say this works well for them as it lightens your mood and takes your mind off yourself and your problems. I tried this a few times, but it’s not my favourite way of de-stressing. I prefer to be more active as some sort of movement seems to help me more. But, it’s one way that helps many people.

7. Be creative – this is an excellent way of managing your anxiety as it requires you to focus and in doing the creative work, you have less time to worry. The added benefit of being creative is that you get a nice feeling of accomplishing something new.

https://newcreationok.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/be-creative.jpg

This method of managing your anxiety can be a difficult one to do, as it’s usually the last thing we want to do. People who suffer from anxiety, tend to want to dwell on the thought or situation that’s causing anxious feelings to occur.

But, I encourage you to try to push through and do something creative as many artists’ best work comes from a place of darkness or even anxiety!

You might say, but I’m not creative, I can’t paint or sing, etc. But, there are so many ways to be creative such as playing a musical instrument, writing, dancing, cooking, gardening, decorating your home, making jewelry, pottery, knitting, etc.

8. Get active – walk, cycle, swim, dance, hike, stretch, go to the gym, whatever exercise you like best. Exercise is one of the best ways to alter your mood.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to get active, it’s about moving your body, changing your environment, and distracting yourself from dwelling on the negative.

As with being creative, there is the added benefit of looking and feeling good after the exercise, which in turn makes you feel happy.

9. Eat healthily – this is essential to living a stress-free life. Food plays a very important role in our mental and emotional well being. Think about what you eat daily and ask yourself, is this helping me?

The basic rules are, not too much sugar, fat, salt, or caffeine. Everything in moderation is a good way to start, but there is so much information on healthy eating on the internet, so it’s easy to educate yourself on this.

10. Don’t run from your anxiety – stay with it. When you feel anxious, it feels uncomfortable, right? This is where people often act out to get rid of the anxious feelings, but to turn to an addictive habit will not get rid of the anxiety.

Drinking, taking drugs, or acting compulsively are not the answer. Instead, try to go for a walk, talk to a friend or counselor, or join a support group.

11. Go for a medical check-up – Go see your doctor, you may need to take anti-anxiety medication for a while. There is no harm in taking medication, but I recommend you work with your doctor on trying to live without medication, if possible. But, get a full check-up because there could be something physical going on that could be depleting your energy, causing you to feel low or anxious.

https://newcreationok.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/check-up-2.jpg

12. Practice gratitude – learn to count your blessings every day. It’s very easy to complain, and compare yourself to others. Instead, learn to thank God for everything you have now, and in time, God will add to your life.

Keep a good attitude. Focus on the positive aspects of your life. The bible says, be of good cheer. A grateful heart is a happy heart.

13. Connect with others – Attend a social gathering if you are isolating. If you’re prone to social anxiety, it’s important to make time to go to social gatherings. It doesn’t have to be a party or a noisy place, there are so many different groups nowadays, to suit everyone’s tastes. The Church is a great place to connect with others and get support.

14. Visit a therapist, coach, or join a support group. Sometimes, you just feel too fragile to work or attend social groups. During times like this, it may be best to go for one-to-one therapy. It’s so much easier to share your problems with one trustworthy person. I encourage you to find someone you feel safe with if you are feeling this way right now.

How Anxiety Can Affect Your Relationships

Everyone wants to be happy and have good, healthy, fulfilling relationships, but millions of people around the globe have not found it. People are still seeking love and connection, yet few are finding it.

People with happy, healthy, fulfilling relationships tend to have good self-confidence and awareness. They like themselves and work at managing their unhealthy attitudes and behaviours.

So how can anxiety affect your relationships?

Are you overly dependent or avoidant? 

distant couples

Overly dependent people need others for validation and have an intense need for closeness to their partner or friend, so much so, that it makes the other person feel smothered.

Because they fear the worst and expect rejection, they’re often driven to over connect and feel unloved when the people in their lives are not giving them what they think they need.

It is possible to overcome this dependency, by learning to love yourself more and practicing new ways to manage your anxiety.

On the other hand, if you are avoidant, it means you are afraid of opening up and expressing your feelings in your relationships. So, even though the avoidant person wants to be close, they also fear it.

There are ways of dealing with being avoidant of close relationships, by educating yourself and maybe discussing these patterns with a trained counsellor or psychotherapist. There is hope, so don’t give up.

This article explains what anxiety is and how to know if you have an anxiety disorder. It also goes through the different types of anxiety and its symptoms. It shows you how you can manage your emotions and points you to a path of recovery and healing.

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, it is best for you to consult your doctor and they will recommend a treatment plan for you.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be something you have for the rest of your life. There is usually a cause which I discuss in my next blog. Remember, it is always God’s will for you to be healthy and whole.

Dealing With Life’s Hurts: 10 Ways to Face The Past and Move On

Let’s be honest, life if hard. I don’t know anyone who has not been hurt in life. It’s inevitable, as long as you live on this planet, you are going to get hurt.

Dealing with life’s hurts, and learning how to move on is a difficult task, yet it is the only way to find true peace and freedom.

What are some of the things that hurt us in life?

  • Poor parenting
  • Neglect
  • Rejection
  • Abandonment
  • Abuse
  • Criticism
  • Broken relationships
  • Failure
  • Bullying
  • Betrayal
  • No support
  • Loss of a loved one

How do people usually deal with life’s hurts?

One of 2 ways:

  • Deny them
  • Face them

Denial is very common, people do not want to deal with their past hurts. The perceived pain is too much for them to bear, and they think they won’t be able to cope. Facing past hurts can be painful, and overwhelming too, so it makes logical sense to avoid it. It’s safer.

But, stuffing your emotions does not work either. They’re still there, only hidden away. So denial, although it is comfortable in the short term, it will have more damaging consequence long term.

Face them – this is the better option. It is better to face the pain and learn what it’s all about, and train your brain to say, “hey! I’m an adult now, I can cope with this.” As a child, I could not cope with such rejection, abandonment, or abuse, but now I know what to do. I am not a victim, I have choices today.

As children, we were afraid to stand up for ourselves, because our very existence depended upon pleasing our caregivers. We were not independent and didn’t understand what was going on.

Often parents and caregivers were dealing with their own issues and were probably not aware of how their behaviour was impacting you as a child, but if you were sensitive and absorbed a lot of their stress and pain, it probably damaged your emotions.

Others were victims of physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, neglect, abandonment, or rejection. Forgetting it seems like the best thing to do. At least life goes on and you don’t have to think about it, but unfortunately, this is not how human beings work.

Any hurts that you have incurred in your life, will show up in one way or another, making it difficult for you to live a peaceful, happy, fulfilling life. They show up in your reactions and behaviour.

Your relationships will be affected, either you will be drawn to abusive people and think that that is somehow okay, or you will avoid intimacy altogether to avoid ever being hurt again. Both options are harmful to you and keeping you in a place of pain.

If you don’t deal with the hurts in your life, they will deal with you.

For example:

  • you’ll find yourself in abusive relationships
  • you won’t feel you have the right to say no, because you’ve had no practice at it
  • your pain will get worse
  • you will get physically sick – most cancers stem from unhealed resentments or hurts
  • your life will lack joy, purpose, and meaning
Other possible side effects of not dealing with life’s hurts:
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Cancer
  • Polymyalgia
  • Fibermyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Interpersonal challenges

I’m Afraid To Look At My Hurts

People are often afraid to look at their childhood wounds because of what they might find. It may open a whole can of worms, and they think their life could fall apart if they begin to look. This is the fear, if I go deeper, I will find ugly things that I have wiped from my memory.

These are realistic fears, it will stir up your emotions if you start digging up the past. I’m not a fan of looking for things to dig up. I’m more interested in how you are today and where you want to be in the future. But, unfortunately, if you want to heal, you will have to look back at the painful parts that are keeping you stuck, so you can go forward.

Life is short and digging up the past is time consuming and I would have to wonder if it really works? (perhaps for some), but it’s not the work of a coach to go back, we always look forward.

In coaching, we deal with issues as they arise. For instance, if something from your past is blocking you from going forward today, we examine it.

You can work on it with a coach and if the issues are too deep and sensitive, then you may need to take some time to work on that specific issue with a counsellor.

How are you feeling today?

Are you happy?

Do you have the life you want?

Do you feel stuck?

Are there obstacles in your way, preventing you from moving forward?

Is there a hurtful relationship or situation  that you are currently struggling with?

Are you confused?

Are you feeling angry, bored, irritable or lonely?

Do you feel a bit dead?

The Walking Dead

Sadly, many people today are dead, the lights are on but no one is home. They are just going through the motions of life. They go through life dead, go to school dead, then college, then get married dead, buy a house dead, and even raise a family dead.

You would wonder how they do it, but they do. They are living unconsciously. They haven’t ever taken the time to get to know who they are and why they exist.

There is no life in what they do and they don’t even know that they are dead. The world needs an Awakening!

St Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, teaches the church how to walk in the light of Christ and anyone who is not walking in the light, walks in darkness. In other words, they are dead (spiritually dead).

“Awake, O Sleeper, rise up from the dead and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:14

In the gospel of Luke 9:60, Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead,” in response to a disciple who wanted to spend time at home before committing himself to the Lord. Jesus said, “Follow me.’ But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:59–60).

This man wanted to go home to carry out his duty and obligation within his family, but Jesus was saying, there are plenty spiritually dead people who can bury your father, come with me as this work is more important.

You might think, this is wrong. We must honour the family, but not ahead of doing the work of God. This is the higher work to continue to serve Jesus. Yes, Jesus expects this kind of commitment, so it’s time for you to wake up and live the spiritual life that you have been called to. If family is your God, you need to think again, for even Jesus did not put his family first.

When you are needed in your family, The Lord will make that clear to you. It’s about priorities. It is right to care for your family, but it is also right to lead them and show them how to follow God, and put their trust in Him.

10 Ways To Deal With Life’s Hurts

1. Awareness – this sounds so easy, but you would be surprised just how many people live in denial, simply not acknowledging their past hurts. There’s an expression amongst therapists – if you can’t feel it, you can’t heal it. You must be willing to examine your life.

2. Talk about it – share how you feel with a friend, counsellor, or coach. Get all the support you need. There are many different support groups that can help you depending on your need. You can see a professional counsellor, coach, or therapist.

talk to someone about your hurts

Sometimes you might need more intense support, especially if you are in a lot of emotional pain, or perhaps confused. A therapist will reflect back to you your reality, as we often get confused in our thinking when emotionally disturbed.

3. Educate yourself – it’s amazing how many people struggle with painful life issues, but do nothing to learn more about it. We are living in the information age, so we have no excuse for not finding out more about dealing with our issues. There are hundreds of self-help books, videos, groups, and professionals to help us deal with our hurts.

4. Journal – journaling is one of the greatest ways to work on yourself. I have done this for years, and it’s a lifesaver because there isn’t always someone to discuss your feelings with, but by journaling, you just need to write how you feel on paper. Don’t hold back! Don’t edit your writing, this is not for the public, this is for you to express and release your pent up emotions. Try it!

5. Pray – I don’t know where you are on your spiritual journey, but if you are reading this blog, you might believe in God. The spiritual path is not a race and we certainly should not compete, although even Jesus’ disciples used to compete, but Jesus put them straight.

When you come to understand that God is who He says he is, you won’t want to compete, because we all have blind spots and God doesn’t mind showing them to us.

In other words, you will be humbled, so better to humble yourself first. Pray simple prayers and let the spirit of God lead you into a deeper, richer prayer life.

6. Love yourself – practice good self-care every day. Observe how you care for yourself. Do you neglect yourself in any way? Do you abuse your body with unhealthy food or addictive substances? Do you overwork, leaving yourself exhausted?

Develop new rituals every day that are loving. For example, speak positive, encouraging words to yourself every day, organize your day so that you feel productive. Be careful who you spend time with. Surround yourself with people who make you feel better.

7. Forgive – you must remember, you forgive for YOU. If you have been wronged or abused in any way, you have every right to feel hurt and angry. Forgiveness does NOT mean you return to that relationship if they have not changed their behaviour. If they have not changed their abusive ways, you are just going to get hurt again, right?

So, do what you can to distance yourself from that person. If you live in the same house and for some reason, you can’t move out, then set boundaries within that house. You can have your own room etc.

8. Let Go – letting go is hard. It has to begin with a decision. You must ask yourself, what am I gaining by holding onto this pain? Is it serving me? Does the other person even care that I am hurting? Usually, they don’t care. If you don’t let go, you will end up living in limbo – stuck between the past and the future. Holding on always hurts you, never the abuser.

9. Move on  –  ask yourself, what are the reasons that I absolutely must move on from this?  Often we think we’ve let go, but then we find ourselves ruminating over the situation again. If the person is still in your head, then they still have power over you.

Take control of your life. Start by focusing on what you want and not what you don’t want. Learn to focus on love, joy, peace, balance, harmony and flow. Soon, the thoughts of going back will repel you.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8

10. Choose joy – you are now on the other side and you have let go!! Ahhhh, breathe in that freedom 🙂 This is where your new life begins. You will feel lighter and more hopeful. You can send love, peace, and blessings to all those who hurt you in the past and start to enjoy what’s left of your life.

Letting Go

Letting go is not as easy as it sounds, so I don’t take it lightly. Any of you out there who have had the courage to let go of your painful past, well done! I am so proud of you.

I have just come through a process of letting go of my past hurts which was very painful for me and I don’t think I would have chosen to look at it only I had an encounter with an abusive person recently, who really was quite sweet and charming on the surface, so following that experience I felt led to examine my past hurts.

Letting Go is Difficult

I didn’t enjoy it, but I know it was God’s way of leading me into more freedom, peace, and joy. Letting go is painful because, to heal our past hurt, we have to acknowledge it first and revisit the pain.  As I was revisiting the painful experiences in my past, I was taken back to how it felt, and believe me, it was hard.

Although I was aware that this was just a process and that I was not going to have to experience it again, I still felt the sadness and loneliness of it, and more importantly the injustice. I also had an underlying fear that I was going backward and that I might get stuck in this place. It was exhausting!

Letting go of emotional pain is a tiring process. It’s hard to believe how we cling so tightly to our pain. Let me explain the process as I’ve been studying it while also experiencing it. But, bear in mind this is not the first letting go process I have been through. I’d say this is the final one and if any of if comes back, I now know how to quickly deal with it. I have the tools now and I want to share them with you too.

3 Steps To Letting Go Of Your Past Hurts

1. Accept Your Past

Accept that your pain is preventing you from living a fulfilling life and it is depleting your energy. Accept that you are finding it difficult to let go of the pain from your past. Ask God  / your Higher Power to help you. It takes courage to let go. It is not an easy task and those who do it are the strong ones. It is not a weakness to forgive and let go.

We hold on tightly to our pain for a reason. We must believe somewhere that it is helping us. This is where you need to go deeper and ask yourself, what am I gaining from holding on to the pain? Usually, the child in us (the inner child) thinks that if I hold on to my pain, I am staying safe, that it is protecting me in some way and no one can ever hurt me again.

We also believe that if I let go and forgive the people who hurt me, that I am somehow condoning it, but this is not true either. What forgiveness says is, “I don’t agree with what you did, but I’m going to forgive you anyway.” You are not a doormat or a fool,  no, you are doing this for YOU – to set YOU free.

2. Share Your Story

Express your pain to supportive people in your life or a trained professional, someone who understands the healing process. This will free up some of the strong emotions to help you to use your adult, healthy mind to co-operate with the process. You must remember, the wounded inner child does not want to let go as it’s afraid.

When I say the inner child, what I mean is that part of your mind that stays stuck in the past and is still thinking like a child, and because it is wounded, it is afraid of change. It would rather stay stuck in negative feelings rather than take the risk of letting go and moving into the unknown.

3. Don’t Be A Victim

Take personal responsibility for your part in it. Yes, you were the one that was hurt and you have every right to feel justified in being angry or resentful (I know, I was the same :)). It is true, you were wronged and what they did to you was unfair, but the part you need to take personal responsibility for is to not hold on to it anymore. You are not a victim of it, but rather a survivor.

Being a survivor is a much more empowering position to be in and at the same time, you are not forgetting or minimising the hurtful actions of others. Accept that it happened and that you are powerless over the past, but you are not powerless over your future.

So, you accept it fully and make a decision to let it go. Then, look at all your gifts and talents and focus on building a positive future. Where do you begin? You begin right here and now – in the present moment. You only have today, so choose to be happy, choose to be prosperous and healthy. Choose life!

Dealing with life’s hurts is a painful process, but you can rest assured, you are not alone. Everyone was hurt in some way, by someone. It is always wise to seek help if it’s causing you problems in your life today.

If you decide to face your past, you won’t regret it as it will free you up inside and restore you to your natural, happy self, so you can enjoy life again.

Condition yourself towards a more positive mindset. Set your mind on higher things and train yourself to feel powerful, joyful, energetic, loving, and whatever else you feel called to be each day.

Healing and Restoration: How to Heal Your Spirit, Soul & Body

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV )

In my first blog, How to Find True Lasting Freedom, I talked about what we need to get free from in order to experience a fulfilling life. That list is the working out of your spiritual healing, but it will vary from person to person.

What is the working out your spiritual healing? Well, based on the teachings of the bible and my own healing. We cannot receive full healing without the Spirit of God. It’s just not possible.

Healing and Restoration of your spirit, soul, and body is a work of God, and true healing can only come from God. God saves us, but we must learn how to work out our salvation.

HOW TO WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION

The Scriptures tell us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Salvation is not a one moment experience, “I’m saved! Yes!” Now life is so wonderful! No, it’s a daily walk with God.

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12, NIV)

What do we have to work out? We have to work out, what it is in us that needs to be healed, and then what is the will of God?

We all have different weaknesses, for some, it’s lust, another drug addiction, another jealousy, rage, etc.

The reason the spiritual journey is so long and painful at times is that a lot of these addictions, habits, or attitudes are deeply ingrained in our soul. We are not even aware of them most of the time.

Sometimes they raise their ugly heads when temptation is high, or you are feeling insecure or vulnerable. Dealing with this part of yourself is not easy, and many never even go there.

Instead, we are quick to find fault in others but slow to find it in ourselves. This is just a way of avoiding our issues. If I can focus on your faults, then I don’t have to look at my own.

Jesus said…. “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’, and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First, remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:3-5)

Part of your healing journey is to use the events and situations in your life to see what’s coming up in you. Regular self-reflection will help you to recognize the recurring patterns in your reactions and behaviours.

What comes first, my physical healing, or my spiritual healing?

The simple answer is your spiritual healing, but this does not mean that you can’t do some work before your spiritual transformation.

Try everything, such as improving your diet, exercising, having regular check-ups at your doctors, counselling, coaching, attending church, studying spirituality, etc. All these things will help you, but what needs to be healed first is your Spirit.

Healing is a spiritual work, which will, in turn, lead to a healing of your soul and body too. According to Scripture, you are a created being and you cannot be restored to wholeness until you go to your Creator (God).

Man is made up of 3 parts:

1. Spirit – the part that connects with God (faith, trust, worship). It’s eternal.

2. Soul –  refers to our mind (intellect), will (free choice), emotions (feelings). It makes up our personality.

3.  Body –  the part of us that connects with the outer world. The 5 senses:  sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. They tell us how we feel, but they are temporal.

Healing Your Spirit

Spiritual Healing

The spiritual part of the person is the part that connects with God. It’s the innermost part of your being, the immaterial part that cannot be seen.

The spirit is the part that needs regeneration in the person who does not know God.

You can’t access your spirit through your body or soul, as they are not always accurate. For example, our feelings can lead us astray sometimes, and the body is prone to temptations, which confuse the mind.

The spirit is the only part of us that can really connect with Truth, so it needs to be activated within every person for true healing and restoration to occur.

How To Activate The Spirit Within You?

The nourishment of your soul often leads to the awakening of your spirit. And it is through your spirit that you can connect with God.

Your spirit is always hungry and thirsty for connection with God, but if you are not aware of your spirit, then it might be difficult for you to ever really know God. In Psalm 42, we see an example of the soul’s thirst for God.

“As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?”

Psalm 42 : 1-2

A second way people come to know their spirit is through prayer and meditation. There are many ways to learn how to pray and meditate which I will cover in another blog.

Unfortunately, there is another way. People often discover their spirit in a crisis. It is usually the pain of life that brings us to our knees, but it is better not to let things go that far.

Save yourself all the pain by seeking out God through prayer, study, and meditation. God is always calling you, but are you listening?

Healing Your Soul

Your soul is made up of your intellect, your will, and your emotions, all of which make up your personality. Your likes and dislikes, your opinions, dreams, ambitions, and aspirations.

We talk about the soul when we talk about following our dreams and making our own decisions (self-determination). This is the soul.

The soul is the part where you respond or react emotionally depending on your past experiences, knowledge, or expectations.

Your emotions can be good for helping you to understand other people and what you like or dislike about them.

The reason the soul needs to be healed is that sometimes people are still living out the past into the present, making it difficult for them to enjoy their life today.

You must deal with the past and let go of hurtful feelings or you will carry them on into your future, never really tasting true freedom.

The reason a spiritual transformation has to take place is that the Holy Spirit can go into the deepest parts of your inner being and heal you in an instant, that could otherwise take years through counselling or therapy.

God is a Healer. When your spirit is renewed, God can do things that you didn’t think were even possible.

Healing your soul

So, you must remember that the healing happens in the spiritual realm first and then the working out of it happens later in the soul and body.

Healing Your Body

The first thing you must know about the body is that you are fully responsible for your own health and well being. The body needs to be cared for.

You have to look after your physical health as well as your mental health daily. You must learn to eat properly and spend your time wisely.

The body needs nutritious food every day, adequate water, regular exercise, and sleep. You wouldn’t believe how many people I have nursed with a variety of disorders, brought on from poor nutrition, lack of self-care, and poor habits.

heal your body with healthy food

If you neglect your health, you will pay the price. Good health is something you need to educate yourself on. There are endless websites out there on how to live a healthy life.

Lifestyle Diseases

Lifestyle diseases are commonly caused by alcohol, drug, and smoking abuse. The list of medical conditions brought on from poor lifestyle choices is endless.

Here are just a few:
  • Hypertension
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Ulcers
  • Headaches
  • Angina
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Skin Conditions – eczema, cellulitis, psoriasis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Renal failure
  • Chronic liver disease or cirrhosis
  • Stroke (Cerebral Vascular Accident)
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s

It is God’s will for you to have a healthy body. You must know this because when you know this and speak to God about your health, He will give you lots of ideas and ways to improve it.

It is not God’s will for you to accept your poor health. Yes, you have to accept when you are sick, so that you can take the necessary time off work or whatever is keeping you busy to care for your health. But, you must always aim to get to the root cause of your sickness.

If God loves us, why then are some people born sick?

Many people are born with different diseases and disorders and it is a widely debated topic. Does God care? Why were they born blind or disabled? etc.  I really do not have all the answers to these questions, but here’s what Jesus said:

Jesus was healing a man who was born blind and one of his disciples asked him, “who has sinned, the man or his parents?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  (John 9: 1)

Healing and restoration is God’s plan for all His children. As you begin to trust in Christ as your Saviour and build a relationship with Him through prayer, study of the Scriptures, worship, and fellowship with other Christians, you will start to change from the inside out.

Spiritual healing is necessary if you want a full life. You cannot achieve wholeness on a natural level alone, you must seek the supernatural. God is a miracle worker and wants to heal your spirit, soul, and body.

How To Be Transformed Into A New Creation

New Creation

This is the true miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news that will set you free and transform your life forever! You will be transformed into a new creation once you believe and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

“Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.”

2 Corinthians 5:17

This of course is the greatest news you’ll ever hear in your entire lifetime, but because so many people do not believe, you may not have witnessed it. But, faith is believing what you cannot see.

Explaining the gospel to non believers is often tricky as I know how skeptical people can be. I can’t blame you really, looking at the state of the world today and all the wars we’ve seen over the years. But, if you can suspend your judgement for a short time and bear with me, I will do my best to explain it to you.

The first step on the journey is recognizing that you are in need of a Saviour. You need to come to a point in your life where you see that you are not as good a person as you had once thought. You can honestly admit that you have actually sinned and probably more than once .

What is Sin?

According to the Collins dictionary: ‘Sin or a sin is an action or type of behaviour which is believed to break the laws of God.’

The Law of God in The Old Testament was given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai and is referred to as The 10 Commandments:

  • You shall have no other Gods before me
  • You shall make no idols
  • You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
  • Keep the sabbath day holy
  • Honour your father and mother
  • You shall not murder
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • You shall not steal
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
  • You shall not covet

Have you broken any of these laws? Maybe even one? Well, if you have, you are a sinner. But, don’t worry, we all are.  We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. None of us can reach perfection and the more we try, the more we fail. It is better to surrender and accept that no one is perfect, but God.

So, now you know you are a sinner. What now? Well, it doesn’t feel very nice being a sinner, does it? If you had a choice, would you like that sin and guilt to be taken away?

If your answer is yes, you would like to be free from the guilt and shame of your sin or sins, then God is for you. You are ready!

Becoming a Christian is a choice. God does not take prisoners, so you don’t have to worry. God is kind, gentle, and patient. You are always only invited into the Kingdom of God, never forced. The door is always open. The decision is yours. It’s between you and God. So, no pressure!

The 10 Commandments act as a mirror, so that we can see our sin. As St Paul says in the book of Romans, it was the law that showed him his sin.  He said, ‘I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” The Law of Moses is still valid and good to live our life by, but God knows that because of our weakness we can’t keep it. So, God made a new way through Jesus, His Son.

“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. So, he sent his only Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sins control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” (Romans 8:3, The Bible)

Love – The Greatest Commandment

One of the Pharisees, an expert in the law, tested Jesus with a question:

“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So, because God sent Jesus as an atonement for our sin, we are no longer tied to the Law, but we still obey it, but this time through grace that is given to us by the Holy Spirit

How do I become a Christian?

It’s quite simple to become a Christian, you just have to believe.

So, the first step is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was sent by God to save you, and to wash away your sins. To believe that Jesus died on a cross, rose from the dead, and is alive today.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 , The Bible. King James Version (KJV)

Steps to Salvation

  • Believe
  • Repent of your sins and ask for forgiveness
  • Invite Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour
  • Then turn away from your old life and follow Him.

What is salvation? It’s to be saved from your sinful life and transformed into a new person who is no longer dominated by the sinful nature, but instead controlled by the Holy Spirit to live a righteous life.

It all seems too simple, right? There must be a catch. Why then does the church look so complicated? Well, that’s because some people are practicing a religion full of rules, regulations, and rituals. Jesus hated all that and the more you read the bible, the more you will see this.

You will be shocked at some of the things Jesus said to the Pharisees in the Bible. The Pharisees were the Jewish religious leaders at the time when Jesus was living here on earth.  Remember, the church leaders wanted to kill Jesus! Need I say more?

In Matthew 23:1-3,  we see an example of Jesus talking about the Scribes and Pharisees. It’s a warning against hypocrisy. Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”

I was lost but now I  am found

These are the words of the famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

lost

I was lost, but now I am found

We are are all lost until God finds us and although we do have to search for God, he is the one that choose us, so there is a perfect time when through his divine grace you will be saved. He knows you and he knows your heart.

God is seeking a broken and contrite heart, because it is only with a heart like that the He can mould us and transform us into the likeness of his being.

As St Augustine put it, ‘our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Him.

We must first come to understand that all our deepest longings come from our spirit that hungers and thirsts for reconciliation with God.

While we turn to everything in the world to satisfy this deepest longing, we will not be satisfied until we are right with God, because God is the source of all Love, Truth and Peace. Without God, none of these things exist, for God is Love, Truth and Peace. God is all good for there is no bad thing in Him.

God is Love, Truth and Peace

God is Love  – ‘Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.’ 1 Corinthians 13:6-7

God is Truth  – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

God is Peace – “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6-7

The Goodness of God

God is good and only wants the best for you. He is your Creator, so why would he want to do you any harm? God is always for you, not against you. You can put your trust in Him, he will not fail you.

“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.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Who Is The Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person in God. There’s:

  • The Father
  • The Son – Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth that is given to all believers. Before Jesus was crucified, he promised his disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit and that they would do even greater things than he had done.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-21)

Walk In The Light

Now that you understand the facts, you’re probably wondering, what happens next? Well, you have just begun the greatest journey of your life! It’s a pure Joy to serve the Lord and as soon as you get to know what it’s all about, believe me, you will never want to go back to that old life. Nothing compares!

New Creation – You are Born Again of The Spirit

As you are now a new creation, you will learn about this new life in Christ. You will learn in a few different ways, one by attending a good Christian church and the pastor will preach the Word of God, you’ll also learn from other believers who will share their journey with you.

The kingdom of God is within you

You can learn from your own study of the Scriptures, but the most powerful way, especially for a new believer is to ask God in prayer to help you. The Holy Spirit will speak to your spirit and you will gain new insights and wisdom this way.

It might seem strange to believe this, but it is an act of faith to believe without seeing. In time, things become clearer. It’s really all about trusting in God.

In the book of Galatians (New Testament), St. Paul teaches the church about the new life in Christ and how the sinful nature is still there, but not to give power to it. He recommends that they let the Holy Spirit lead them.

“So, I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

The desires of the sinful nature result in, ‘sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.’ (Gal. 5:19-21)

“But, the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22)

Called For A Purpose

Once you become a new believer, you belong to the family of God. You will find that there are so many people who have walked a similar path to you and came out the other side feeling renewed and restored.

Becoming a New Creation is your miracle story, your story of redemption. God has won you back and the angles in heaven are rejoicing!! It’s a glorious day, the day you say yes to Christ. Welcome to your new family.

You have been called for a purpose and God will reveal it to you as you walk daily in the glorious light of His Presence.