Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chapter 13 Freedom through the Power of God

Chapter 13 Freedom through the Power of God


There is one final point that I must emphasis before I conclude this book. Out of all the techniques, programs, systems and practices that I have learned over the years, there’s nothing more significant than learning how to apply the POWER of God to my life. Without the POWER of God we can do nothing. (2 Tim. 3:5, John 15:5) Many people claim to be Christians and follow God, but there is no evidence of God’s power in their lives. In this final section, I will elaborate on how to apply the POWER of God to our lives, by developing a more intimate relationship with him. I will also share with you the most essential key elements for spiritual growth, which have served to be a rock solid foundation for my life, as well as expand more about my personal “Take Action” program and daily practices.


Detect the Warning Signs early:

In order for me to grow spiritually and fulfill my purpose in life, I need to develop and strengthen my personal relationship with God. He is my source of power, wisdom, knowledge and even life itself. When I walk closely with God, I can detect the warning signs of failure much quicker. He gives me clarity and insight so that I can recognize and react promptly to the complicated issues in my life. When I begin to notice that I am slipping into old self-destructive habits, I am ready and able to quickly respond and manage them according to God’s wisdom and guidance. This requires me to maintain a sharp and keen sensitivity to God’s Spirit. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that I do this.


Filter my soul:

I have overcome many weaknesses by filtering what goes into my mind. The Bible instructs us to be careful with what we allow into our hearts, so I have had to learn how to filter my mind from the garbage of this world. This is one of my favorite passages to meditate on and practice. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”(Phil. 4:8) I use this scripture as a guide for what I will allow myself to focus on, i.e. watch, read, listen to, and even what words I choose to speak with.

Although it’s impossible to block everything evil in this world from entering into my mind, I still make a diligent effort to follow this powerful scriptures and filter my mind and heart. I have to be careful what I listen to, watch and read. I can block most of the vile carnality of this world, the hatred, slander, murder, sexual innuendoes, deceit and debauchery by simply turning off the television and reading the Bible more.

If I only allow things that meet God’s standards to enter into my mind and heart, I am keeping my soul pure. If I continue to plant filthy things into my heart, I will be polluting my soul and working against God’s efforts to transform me. I am cooperating with God every time I filter out the ungodly images, sounds and words from my life and only allow high quality words, images, music, movies and language to enter my mind.

The Bible tells us that we can be transformed by renewing our minds. We are literally transformed by what we put into our souls. If we put evil things into our minds, we will act evil. If we put the teachings of God into our hearts, we will behave righteously. (Rom. 12:2) If we are keeping our hearts clean, it will be much easier for us to hear God’s inner voice and develop a stronger relationship with him.


Spend quality time with God:

The more I get to know God the more amazing he is to me. He is my Father, friend and counselor. He is my provider, my strength, wisdom, desire to live, love, motivation and much more. I am very interested in learning more about God and growing closer to him. I have found that the best way to do this is to spend private quality time with him.

If you want to know about someone you should go directly to that person. So I go directly to God to find out what he is all about. The more time I spend with God, the more intimate my relationship becomes with him and the more he reveals to me. Prayer, meditation and reading his Word are the best ways to spend time with God.


Prayer:

Prayer is a very important way to spend time with God, but we want to make sure that we are effective and not wasting our time. It is important to remember how Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. Since we already examined how to pray in chapter 8, I just want to reemphasize the importance of putting our focus on God rather than on our own needs. God knows what our needs are before we even ask him for anything. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to ask God to meet our needs and depend on him, but if we are going to grow in our relationship with God we have to stop being self-centered when we pray.

Our first priority, when we pray, should be to honor, worship and thank God for his love and grace. Then we should seek what his will is for our lives before we ask him to help us with our problems. If we are only speaking to God when we need something, how do you suppose that makes God feel? Besides, if we are praying properly we could avoid many of the troubles in our lives anyway. Talking with God should be our goal, rather than talking at God. We must also understand that God is our father and friend, not just our problem solver.



Think of prayer as talking “with” God about “his plan” for our lives. I personally pray and talk with God anytime, anywhere, about anything. I just have to remember to love and honor him as he deserves, rather than being self-centered in my prayers. There is so much that he wants to teach us if we would just listen to him.

Also, prayer is a great way to simply thank God for all he has done for us by his grace. I am trying to use my prayer time more to worship and praise him and to seek the things of Heaven, rather than being overly concerned about the things of this world. I am asking him for wisdom, understanding and patience, more often than asking him to help me with my bills. I have learned the more I pray this way the closer I get to God. I also like to spend time with God by meditation on his Word. When I pray and meditate together, my time with God is enhanced and my effort to know him highly rewarded.


Meditation:

There is a slight difference between prayer and Biblical mediation. Biblical meditation does not involve communicating directly with God. When I meditate on his Word I am merely embracing, pondering and dwelling on his spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding, which he reveals through his Spirit and the holy ancient scriptures. I usually combine prayer and meditation at the same time, because it helps me intensify my personal quality time with God. It is also important to distinguish the differences between Biblical Meditation and eastern meditation.


Biblical Meditation vs. Eastern Meditation:

Biblical meditation is the exact opposite of eastern meditation. Stay away from the eastern meditation practices. They do not use faith to build a personal relationship with God, but utilize the efforts of man to create experiences within one’s mind to discover truth. Instead of discovering truth by having a real relationship with God though faith, many people are misled and deceived by eastern meditation and only find false knowledge and counterfeit spiritual enlightenment. Because they refuse to acknowledge their sin and believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation, alternative meditation practices easily seduce them further away from knowing the truth.

Eastern mediation practices, for the most part, involves emptying one’s mind for the purpose of creating an enlightening experience. They do not know until it is too late that what they are experiencing, no matter how real it may seem, is nothing more than a fa├žade of deception. Biblical meditation involves the filling of ones mind and heart with God’s Word. We ponder, dwell and meditate on the spiritual precepts, laws, commands and Word of God. This of course, not only requires faith in Jesus, but strengthens and facilitates a deeper intimacy with God.

Biblical meditation never empties the mind in preparation for some universal experience of enlightenment, we are enlightened by the indwelling Spirit of God through our faith in God. Our meditations and relationship with God are based purely on faith and faith alone. When we put our faith in the sacrificial blood of Christ, which is the only way to be forgiven of our sins, we are able to enter into a real relationship with God and then we meditate only on his eternal precepts and truth. We can only become enlightened by the power of God through the spirit of his Son, the moment we put our trust and faith in his sacrificial work on the cross. It is impossible to know the true and living God outside of this kind of “Perfect Faith.”

Biblical meditation is a wonderful way to fill our souls with the knowledge and precepts of God, but we do not receive God’s Spirit from such meditations. We receive his Spirit when we believe in the Gospel of Christ. When we faithfully meditate on God’s Word, it is not because we want to have a relationship with him, but it’s because we already have a relationship with him. Even though we can not know God through meditation, we can, however, grow deeper in our passion and devotion to his wisdom, knowledge and understanding by filling our minds with his Word. Once again, we do not rely on meditation to experience our relationship with God. It is purely based on walking with God everyday in faith.

My method of meditation is simple. I begin by praying in the pattern that Jesus taught us. (Matt. 6:9-13) Then I will read some of my favorite scriptures that contain God’s Word, knowledge, wisdom and instructions. Finally, I will ponder these concepts and teachings until my spirit absorbs them like a sponge.

Many times God will reveal a deeper truth and increase my spiritual understanding if I wait long enough. I love to meditate and pray together, because I like to talk to God about what I am meditating on. I diligently seek to hear his responses. Many times he will inspires me to do something, such as write a new poem, make a video, or simply pray for someone. As long as we meditate through our “faith” in the Jesus, we will please God.

Remember to never get involved with eastern meditation practices, because they will lead you down the path of destruction in the end, and that meditation is only as good as the things we are meditating on. It doesn’t do any good to meditate, if we don’t already have a relationship with God through our faith in his Son. Also, let us study the scriptures thoroughly, so that when we meditate we will know what to focus on. It is vital that we learn and meditate on the teachings of Jesus and the only way to do that is to spend lots of time reading the Bible.


The Bible is God’s written Word:

Reading and studying are essential for increasing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding, as well as to grow in the power of God. The best way to discover what God has to teach mankind is to go directly to the holy written scriptures themselves. The Holy Bible has proven itself over the years to be the most power book ever written. If you have faith that Jesus rose from the grave, then you shouldn’t have a problem believing that God is capable of writing and preserving a book for us to read.

Any source of knowledge that disagrees with the Judeo-Christian Scriptures is not to be trusted. God will not contradict himself with these agnostic books that are out there, which deny Christ. You can study the Bible for years and never fully grasp the depths of it’s wisdom and knowledge. I am not saying don’t read other books, because I read plenty of them. I am simply saying that we need to make sure that they agree with the Bible. That means we’re going to have to know what’s in the Bible says, so let us study it everyday. God will communicate directly to us through the Bible.


God speaks to us through the Holy Bible.

I’ve had experiences where God has literally spoken to me through the words of the Bible. He has led me to specific scriptures that were perfectly relevant to my immediate circumstance. I have found many powerful and energizing scriptures in the Bible that have saved me from falling back into the pit of Hell. Something miraculous and powerful happens when we faithfully read and meditate on God’s written word. The Bible is more than ink written on paper. God’s living spirit comes forth from the words themselves when we read, speak and hear them.

Also, the more I know what God is saying in his written Word, the more I am receptive and in tune, to his “still small voice” when he is speaking directly from his Spirit into mine. That is why I am devoting more time and effort to prayer, studying and speaking God’s Word in my life. I like to be able to hear God and understand what he is saying to me. (Heb. 11:6, Jer. 29:13, Rom 10:17)


Read and speak the Word of God out loud:

Remember, every time we hear God’s word our faith is strengthened. (Rom. 10:17) There are many ways we can hear it, but the best way is to speak it out of our own mouths. I am learning to develop the habit of speaking God’s word out loud myself. When I read the Bible or meditate on a powerful scripture, I will speak and repeat it out loud until I memorize it. This had been increasing my faith and knowledge of God’s Word. There are many powerful benefits from practicing this.


The Power of God’s Word:

I did not learn this amazing spiritual teaching until later in my life, but it is without a doubt one of the most powerful yet. God’s Word is a Powerful weapon; It is a sharp double edged Sword. (Heb. 4:12) It is the only offensive weapon that we are given. (Eph. 6:11-17) All the other spiritual weapons of warfare are defensive.

We must learn how to take up the sword of God’s Word in order to defend ourselves against the enemy. If we know how to properly utilize the “spoken Word of God,” we will also be able to overcome our own self-destructive thoughts and negative tendencies. The best way to do this is by actively knowing and speaking out loud the Word of God into the circumstances of our lives. Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits of practicing this.

One obvious benefit is that it helps to confirm and strengthen our faith. When we speak the Word of God out loud, our souls tend to absorb the power of his truth more efficiently. We are re-depositing God’s promises and truth every time we speak them into our own ears. As a result we will grow spiritually and be prepared for any test or temptation that may arise.

Speaking God’s Word consistently will also bring his spiritual power into the circumstances of my life. When I agree and cooperate with God, by speaking his words out of my mouth, I will see a manifestation and transformation in my life begin to develop. I will literally receive the spiritual power to say “NO” to a bad habit, or find the motivation that I need to accomplish a goal; all because my faith has increased by consistently speaking God’s word. This is no joke, but a reality for all those who believe and practice this truth.

The practice of speaking God’s Word also helps me to discipline my mind and crucify my flesh. The more I speak and agree with God’s truth, the more I force myself to submit and follow his ways. By constantly speaking his Word, I am diligently reminding myself to stay on the narrow path of life. It prevents me from falling back into my old self-destructive patterns.

As I have already mentioned, we can also defeat the Devil by faithfully speaking the Word of God against his attacks. Even though it is our only offensive weapon for spiritual warfare, the Sword of God’s Word is very effective at overcoming the Devil and his attempts to deceive us. God’s Word will cut down all the spiritually demonic weapons that are formed against us. (Heb 4:12) All the doubt, lies, deception, bondage, insecurities, mental and physical illness, poverty, social and family issue and every problem in this life can be solved by the Word of God. All we need to do is learn what God says, faithfully agree with him and then faithfully speak his Word into our lives. When the enemy tells me that I will always be addicted to drugs, I tell him that “I have been healed by the blood of Jesus and have been set free from the bondage of addiction.”

Not only can we defeat the Devil with the Word of God, but we can build up our confidence and identities as the holy children of God. When we learn, believe, speak and live according to who “we really are in Christ,” there is nothing of this world that can defeat us. (1 John 4:4) The Bible says that we are “more than conquerors.” (Rom. 8:37) All we need to do is believe and speak it into our lives everyday.

The more we speak the POWER of God’s Word, the more familiar we’ll become with exercising our rights and authority as the “sons of God.” When we speak the word of God with faithfulness, the power of God himself moves on our behalf. In time, as we develop and mature, we will be able to speak to the mountains in our lives and they will move. I speak into my own life today, “addiction, be gone from me,” and it flees. (Mark 9:23)


Here are a few more examples of speaking God’s Word into our lives:

Example: If I am feeling lazy, I will speak the scripture that says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) I will do this until the motivation I need is manifested in my heart, causing me to complete the necessary task at hand.

Example: This one helps me remember to remain humble when I notice pride sneaking into my heart. “You are the vine and I am only a branch, without you I can do nothing.” (John 15:5-6)

Example: I speak this one when I notice an old self-destructive habit trying to take over. I remind myself that I’m a new person now and that I don’t do the old things that I used to do anymore. “All those who are in Christ are new creatures. Old things have passed away. (2 Cor. 5:17) If I endure with patience and stand firm in this truth, eventually the old desire will pass.



Quick Note:

Remember it will take time to “See” the manifestation of our faith and spoken words. We have to be patient and live by “Faith,” not by “Sight.” We must not give up to early, before we experience the benefits of our faith. This is the challenge that we all face, but only those who are determined will reap the rewards of God’s Word.


Public Confession:

God has called us to be his witnesses here on earth and to tell the world of his great love. So we must eventually learn to speak God’s Word in public. One way to prove that we believe and follow God is to confess it to others. We should never be ashamed of what God has done for us, so let’s give him the glory he deserves.

When I speak the Word of God publicly, it also helps me to purify my life and live holy. I know that others are listening and watching me, so I am always careful how I live my life; I don’t want to be a hypocrite. As I grow in the Spirit of God and his power, I am overcoming the fear of sharing my faith. It should be obvious to those around me by the evidence in my life that Christ is my God and Savior anyway. If people can’t see Christ in our actions then we should keep our mouths shut.


Write the Word of God:

Along with praying, meditating, reading and speaking God’s Word, I have learned to write it also. There are many ways you can utilize the method of writing Gods Word. I keep some paper and a pen near my prayer area, so that I can write down the impressions I get from God. Many people like to keep a journal, which is an awesome method for prayer and meditation. I have journals, but don’t write in them like I used to.


Post it where you can always see it:

Another thing I love to do is print out my favorite scriptures and post them on the walls of my house, especially my bedroom and bathroom. In every room of my house I can see and read the Word of God. This constantly reminds me of God’s truth and helps keep me on the narrow path.

At this point in my life, I will use anything and everything at my disposal to keep myself motivated, energized and actively practicing my faith. I am learning new ways all the time to remain close to God. I also use the internet quite often. I have a Face Book account, Twitter, You-Tube, Blogs and several web sites that promote my Faith in Christ.


Personal confession:
Everything that I have mentioned to you is exactly what I “DO” practice. Although I make plenty of mistakes, I faithfully work towards the perfection of God’s Spirit. I continually confess my weaknesses and seek God’s power to overcome them.

Here is one of my recent Face Book posts:

I don’t always feel set free from sin,
I don’t always walk Holy,
I don’t always do what is right,
I don’t always practice what I preach.

I don’t always love my enemy
I don’t always forgive right away
I don’t always care about my neighbor
I don’t always give to the poor.

I don’t always pray when I should
I don’t always try my best
I don’t always think about God
I don’t always cry when I should

Don’t give up on me, Lord
Create in me a clean heart
and renew in me a right spirit
Lord, forgive me in Jesus name.


In conclusion, I have realized that my strength, victory, salvation and every good thing in my life depends on my relationship with God. By the grace of God, I am able to practice the key elements for spiritual growth and apply his POWER to my life. I understand that I will face many tests and temptations, but I must remain patient and faithful until I learn to mature.

No matter how many times I make mistakes, I know that he still loves me and he only chastises me when he needs to. When I fall, I know that he will eventually restore me so that I can learn from my mistakes. I will continue to spend quality time with God by praying, meditating, reading and speaking his Word, so that my relationship with God will strengthen. So far, I have been able to hang on to God longer than ever in my life now, because of what God is teaching me over the years.

Can I say that I will never fall back again? Anything is possible. I could certainly fall backwards again, “if” I stop practicing the spiritual principles that I’ve learned and forget how dreadfully painful it is to ignore the warnings of God. But, if I continue to live according to my faith and develop a deeper walk with God, then I will fulfill my purpose in life. I can’t live by my past failures, memories, or mistakes that I “see,” I must believe and “DO” what God is teaching me and press forward into his perfect Spirit.

Only by strong faith in the promises of God, will I have victory in my life. I can do all things through Christ and as long as he is living through me. It is crucial that I always remember who I am now, a child of God, and walk according to his Spirit or I will fall backwards into Hell again.

Because God lives inside me, he is constantly guiding me. His Love will cause me to follow his ways and his Fear will constantly remind me of the painful consequences of following my own. I have learned that I must keep my mind saturated with God’s Word and speak it non-stop or I will naturally fall back into my old habits. In the next chapter I will share with you my favorites scriptures, which I can’t live without. They are my strength and source of power when I apply them to my life.

1 comment:

  1. Keep going Levi! God loves you!..and you're doing a great job

    ReplyDelete