“Dismantling Lies & Restoring with Truths” Series: Part 1

If you’re just checking in to this blog, this post is the first of a new series the Lord has put on my heart. For the details, you can check out my previous entry by clicking this link.

I’m gonna try and keep each entry pretty simple and straight forward. So here goes the first one:

General Lies/Accusations: No one enjoys being around you. No one wants to hang out with you and if they do, it won’t be long until they get sick of you and want to move on. You’ll most likely be rejected when they find out what you’re “really” like. You have nothing to offer.

Truths: You are desirable because Jesus desires you (John 17:24). He felt that way BEFORE you said yes to Him, as a messed up sinner who hated Him (Rom. 5:8). His desire isn’t based on you having your act together. It’s an eternal and everlasting love that we can’t argue with (Jer. 31:3). You are so enjoyable to be with that the Father wants to spend quality time with you all the time (Matt. 6:6). He doesn’t ask us to meet with Him in the secret place because He wants to give you another rule. He loves quality time with you like any Father loves quality time with their kids! And if that’s not enough, you have to be pretty good company for the living God who has Genesis 1 on His resume to settle down inside of you and build a home there (Jn. 14:23).Β  And this just might be my favorite truth to pull out in the face of the lies that make me feel like I have nothing to offer:

“How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, full of delights!” (Song. 7:6)

Trust in His delight and enjoyment over you and watch all those fears of rejection and lies about who you truly are melt away in the truth of His love.

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New Blog Series: Dismantling Lies & Restoring with Truths

So. After about a six month blog hiatus, I’ve been feeling all stirred up to get back into the swing of this thing. The Lord has put a couple of different themes on my heart to blog about so hopefully I’ll be able to keep this thing going a little more steady πŸ˜‰

One of the things I really want to share about is our identity in the Lord. I just want to expose some of the nasty and annoying lies that we are prone to believe about ourselves and then highlight the truths the Lord has been replacing them with in my own life. I’m aware though that simply reading about them may not be enough. Actually, I’m pretty certain that won’t be enough. By the grace of God I pray that help to shine some light and open the door to experiencing them but one thing that’s been made clear to me is that promises have to be fought for. The assurance of them is real and certain, but just as Joshua had to fight for Israel’s inheritance, so do we. But when the stronghold breaks and that truth is actually experienced in our hearts, the freedom that’s there makes every bit of the fight more than worth it. I love what Mike Bickle says about transformation through the word. His little “recipe” if you will is “mind, mouth, heart.” Meaning, if we fill our minds with the Word of God, the truth of who we are to Him, the truth about God, etc, and then we speak it over ourselves, back to the Lord in prayer, over time (that’s key) God will be faithful to drop that truth into our hearts and manifest it to us in an experiential way. And the amazing thing is, it works! If we stick with it and believe even if we still don’t really believe yet, Holy Spirit will do what He does best and lead us into all truth πŸ™‚

That being said, in each blog entry I want to highlight one lie/accusation and then knock it outta the park with the truths of God’s word. I love Jesus’ promise to us, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). It’s His guarantee to us, but we gotta play our part and fix our minds on those truths. As Paul exhorts us, we must meditate on whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, praise worthy, and virtuous (Phil. 4:8). To be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). We spend waaaay to much time and energy meditating on whatever is deceitful, nasty, and just out right not true!! So my heart in doing these blog entries is to partner with Jesus in setting others free as He has set my heart and mind free from so much.

So be on the look out over the next few weeks and let the water of His word wash over you and set your heart free!

Chocolate Cake, Jesus & Sweet Victory

I never thought I would have encountered the Lord, weeping and all, while eating a piece of chocolate cake. This is such a sweet testimony (no pun intended lol).

About a month ago, as I was contending with the Lord for breakthrough with all this stuff going on in my voice, I was baking a chocolate cake. When I tasted the batter though, it tasted all soapy and I realized I could nooooot serve that to people. So I had to run to the closest store but the only kind of chocolate cake they had was “Devil’s Food” cake. I was like, “Lord I really don’t wanna get that.” But I felt like He said to just get it so I asked Him to redeem the name. THEN He reminds me of a scripture He had recently made clear was one of mine to own with all the spiritual warfare stuff and promises He’s given me.

“If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, no fear the people of the land for they are our bread [my bible says this in the margin for that phrase -they shall be as food for our consumption]; their protection has departed from them, as the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:8-9)

So what the Lord told me was that the devil is basically going to be my “food” and that it’s going to be a sweet victory πŸ˜‰ THEN, when I got home I realized the reason the first batter tasted soapy was because I had washed my hands with soap RIGHT before I tasted it so the Lord pretty much tricked me into going to the store JUST so He could give me a prophetic word haha I love Him.

Aaaaaaaall that to say, I got another batch of Devil’s Food cake a couple weeks ago and the Lord told me that I’m gonna be eating that in celebration of the victory He’s given me from what the enemy had tried to steal, kill and destroy. So as school starts tomorrow, I believe that I am going to be 100% restored and to celebrate that in faith, I made the cake for dinner tonight and was overwhelmed with the Lord’s goodness and kindness in how He has lead me in triumph this summer. He is so faithful. I was so weak and broken at times that were in not for His Spirit leading me on, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. This is my declaration as I stand on the edge of a new season, remembering His gentle hand that has upheld me to this very moment and will forever:

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of victory; and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; You made my adversaries bow at my feet. You made my enemies turn their back in flight…The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. Therefore I will praise You among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to Your name. He gives His king [or queen ;P] great victories; He shows unfailing kindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever more.” Psalm 18:32-50

Weapons of War Part 1: Praying in Tongues

When Corey Russell was teaching our class about the power of praying in tongues one week, he made this statement that really caught my attention. He said that praying in tongues for extended times each day has changed his life. You could tell that he wasn’t exaggerating either but that it was a reality that was very true for him. In school he challenged us to set apart 20-30 minutes a day for communing with the Holy Spirit through praying in tongues so I really wanted to take him up on that. I didn’t do it perfectly throughout the semester but did see fruit that really began to convince my heart of the amazing gift that our prayer language is. But it wasn’t until I entered into my “season of war” so to speak that praying in tongues became a major lifeline for me.

When you’re in one of those heightened seasons of warfare where you feel like you don’t even know which end is up, you’ll find that praying in tongues will be one of the weapons the Lord’s given you that you are so grateful for. I would have some serious days where as soon as I woke up, sometimes even in the middle of the night, I could feel the swirl of the enemy around me. Fear, anxiety, pictures of being defeated in my mind, whatever. I had no idea what to pray, what to focus on so I would just pray in tongues until I felt breakthrough. It was the only thing I felt like I could do. SO many times, as I was praying in tongues, Holy Spirit would begin to release truths and lead my heart in fighting back the swirls. I like to picture as if praying in tongues is an antenna on a TV. Sometimes in the midst of warfare you just feel like there’s white noise and you can’t see anything clearly. But as I pray in tongues and focus on the Lord, suddenly things get clear and I’m able to move forward.

This might be a bold statement, but I’m convinced that some of the breakthrough and revelation I received at times would not have been so had it not been for praying in tongues. I’m sure the Lord would have gotten it through to me any way but if I can have it sooner rather than later, I am all in lol. The bible says that when we pray in tongues, we’re speaking mysteries and we’re speaking straight to God (1 Cor. 14:1-2). So as we engage the Lord through it, those mysteries begin to get released around us and it strengthens our spirit to receive those things more clearly.

So here’s my challenge. It’s basically the same as Corey’s. Begin praying in tongues about 30 minutes a day. Focus your mind either on the throne of God (Revelation 4) or on Holy Spirit within you who’s described as a fire, light, water, etc. Don’t be discouraged if you feel distracted. As you keep bringing your mind back to the Lord, eventually you’ll sense a shift. And if you specifically find yourselves in one of these spiritual warfare seasons like I’ve been in, try praying in tongues before you do anything else. It really tills the soil of your heart to become more sensitive to how the Holy Spirit might want to lead you in triumph for that day. You will NOT be disappointed at the fruit this will bring in your own heart. I’m pretty much sold on daily praying in tongues for the rest of my life.

Where Are You Fighting From?

This phrase is one of those “changed my life” phrases;

“We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory.”

To be honest, the phrase “spiritual warfare” had a connotation to me of striving to “try to win” different battles and attacks of the enemy. It always felt like that first part of the quote, “fighting for victory.” But the Lord has been so amazing to reveal to my heart that the latter half of that saying really is the truth!

Ephesians 6 is probably one of the most well known passages of scripture that’s associated with spiritual warfare. In verse twelve Paul makes it clear that the things we are fighting against are powers and principalities of darkness in the heavenly places. In that unseen realm I talked about in the previous post. But when we know that we are seated WITH Christ in the heavenly places FAR ABOVE those same powers and principalities, it changes everything about how we approach the wrestle. When the Lord showed me that, it blew me away! If you’re visual like me, it helps to imagine this in your head. There’s the battle going on in the heavenly places. But you are not fighting from the ground up so to speak. You are fighting from a place of victory in Christ ABOVE those things that are coming against you. You are fighting from heaven down seated with the Man who already disarmed and triumphed those powers and principalities! (Col. 2:15).

In light of that, the question might be raised of, “Well, if we already have the victory, why do we have to fight at all?” And I think the answer is just that it’s because the Lord wants to train us how to fight. The Man we are married to is a Man of war and the amazing thing is that He wants us by His side fighting right alongside with Him, confident in who He is for us and who we are in Him. When Israel was about to enter the promise land, the Lord told Joshua that He had already given them this land. The victory is secure. But they still needed to partner with the Lord in the battles. Knowing the Lord’s promise of victory though makes so much room for confidence and faith to build up within us.

So if you’re feeling kind of weary in the battle, meditate on this truth that you are fight FROM victory. These are some scriptures that the Lord has put in my belt in leading my heart in this reality that I pray will bring the same encouragement they have to me:

“The Lord your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.” (Joshua 1:13)

“…that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19)

“…and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6)

“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He [Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

β€œSo he [Elisha] answered, β€˜Do not fear for those who are with us are more than those who are with them…’” 2 Kings 6:16

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Revelation of Attack

Before getting into how to push back the swirls the enemy throws at us in seasons of war, one of the first things I think needs to be realized is the fact that we actually have an enemy. If there’s a really common thing I’ve heard from different teachers on this subject, it’s that the enemy is banking on our ignorance of the the spirit realm. We see the physical in front of us, but what we may tend to forget is that there’s a whole other realm that has influence upon the physical, good or bad. And we only fall prey and victim to the bad with no revelation of our authority in Christ and the reality of being seated with Him far above all those things that are coming against us.

Paul taught about being aware of this reality in 2 Corinthians:

“…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices [or schemes]” verse 11

As Christians, we’re not to be unaware of the schemes of the enemy and the fact that he wants to take us out. But I believe we’re also not to be unaware of who we are in Christ and who He is to us, especially in times of battle.Β  Without that understanding written upon our hearts, we’ll walk through our lives as victims instead of more than conquerors.

As Paul said, not being ignorant of Satan’s schemes against us is actually what keeps him from taking advantage of us. It’s not to invoke fear, but rather to do what light does best; expose the darkness. If we have no idea that the reason for seasons of heightened craziness around us is actually because of a demonic attack, then they will have the upper hand. But if we already have that understanding, we aren’t shocked by it and can engage the Lord in how He wants to move us forward in victory.

When Corey Russell was teaching us about some of this, a practical thing he shared with us is to just be aware of the way that the enemy comes at us. He knows our trigger points and we know when we get sent into a swirl. And something he shared was that just knowing that you’re under attack is like winning half the battle. So it’s just being aware of that. Not overly focusing on the enemy because honestly, who wants to do that? But like Paul said, just don’t be ignorant of it. Know there’s more going around you than you can see, but also know that there are more for you than are against you. Scripture is clear, Satan prowls around like a lion seeking someone that he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). But that lion shrinks to a little kitten when we realize the Lion that’s on our side πŸ˜‰ (1 John 4:4) .

“So he [Elisha] answered, ‘Do not fear for those who are with us are more than those who are with them…'” 2 Kings 6:16

Training His Bride for War

Over the last few months the Lord has been teaching me a lot about spiritual warfare. It’s been one of those “training my hands for war and fingers for battle” seasons. Recently I’ve felt like the Lord wanted me to share the different tools He has given me as He’s been training my heart through all of this. I feel like a lot of people in the body of Christ might be going through a heightened season of warfare or trials and what not and that this training is something He’s doing in His bride right now.

So I want to try to write as frequently as I can about how the Lord’s been leading me in triumph through my own personal wrestles. I want to share some of the strategies and keys He’s given me over the last few months as well as the different resources He’s put in front of me that have been tremendous blessings. My prayer is that some of these blogs would strengthen anyone who finds themselves in a similar season and to pass the weapons of war along.

For now, I wanted to put a clip of a worship set that Sarah Edward’s and her team did here at IHOP recently that captures all of this. It spoke directly into my current season. I feel like I’m not the only one so I really wanted to share it because it’ll really encourage you and give perspective to the why behind the what so to speak.

What’s on my heart now is to say that if you are in this kind of season, take heart! He is leading you in triumph! Something that Kris Vallotton said that I’ve held onto a lot through this time is that it’s normal for the Christian life to have struggles, but it’s not normal to lose. He already went to the end and said that you won but He just needs you to enter into the battle. His goal is to lead you in victory and He’s faithful to complete it.