Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Breaking Yokes - Part II.
Breaking Yokes - Part II.
Too often, we make things harder and much more complicated than they really are. Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." He did the heavy lifting. Now our job is to 'enter into His rest', by believing what He has already done for us.
6. My life is not as good as others
This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Remember, we are fasting, abstaining from and giving up WRONG THINKING. We have to commit ourselves to give up the thoughts we are fasting from. And we're never going to go back to thinking this way!
We're fasting from the thought that says: "My life is not as good as others." ("I'm not as well off, pretty or successful. My life is not as easy or fun. Things seem to work out for them better than me.")
This is a deadly way of thinking that we are going to stop TODAY. The same people that you think are better off than you, may look at you the same way. You have no idea what goes on on the inside of others. But more importantly, you have the life that God gave you, and nobody can be better at it, than you.
Let's take this thought captive. How?
A. Give up the temptation to compare yourself to others.
Society trains us to compare ourselves to one another. But 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that when we do this, we are without understanding. And understanding is what gives us the power to be happy and free (Proverbs 3:13-19). Free yourself today from the comparison trap. We'll come back to this more later during our fast, but lets start by ABSTAINING FROM COMPARISONS. (her figure, his money, their marriage, their children, their college, she's a better mother, he's a better dad, etc.). When you compare, you despair.
B. Realize God has reserved a special gift and portion for you that no one can take. (1 Samuel 9:23-24) There is a portion reserved for you.
C. Live your life to please God. 2 Corinthians 5:9 says "We have this as our ambition - to be pleasing to God." When you are busy living to please Him, you no longer focus on what other people are experiencing; or how you stack up against them. Stop living for the respect and esteem of others. He is not looking at how you compare to others, but He is looking at whether you believe Him, trust Him, and HONOR Him. Colossians 3:1-2 says "If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." You see, we need to be eternally minded.
D. When you read a promise in scripture, TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Put your name in it, and accept that God is writing to you: take for example Luke 12:42 which says "YOUR heavenly Father, has chosen gladly to give you the Kingdom!" James 1:17 says "Every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of lights, in whom there is no shifting shadow of turning."
E. Stop thinking backwards. This means, stop looking at what you DON'T have, and START TODAY looking at what you DO have. You have eternal life. You are God's daughter. You are part of a spiritual family. You are a part of a REVOLUTION - FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Thinking this way, creates an attitude of faith for all that God has for you.
F. Think this and say this: "I am secure. I have a special gift and treasure that God has given me. There is a portion and a place in God.s kingdom reserved for me. I have a GREAT life, because God is my Father, and He has chosen gladly to give me His Kingdom. I am lacking nothing and therefore I am not jealous or envious of what ANYONE else has!"
7. My life is not that significant
Success or failure in life is created by how we think. We're becoming of one mind, just as Jesus prayed we would. As we address a particular thought, its not unusual for that thought to come back to you. When it does, go back to that day's email or the archived messages. Continue to attack that thought until it doesn't come back.
God is assembling an army of people committed to CHANGING THE WAY THEY THINK, from the inside out! We are fasting from the thought that says: "MY LIFE IS NOT THAT SIGNIFICANT." "What kind of difference can I make?"
A. The first thing you have to do to overcome this thought is believe in your importance to God. You are important to God BECAUSE you are God's highest creation. Psalm 8:5-8 says, "Lord, you have made man a little lower than Elohim (God-Himself). And you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen; Even the beasts of the field. The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas."
B. You are important to God BECAUSE He values you as much as He values Jesus. The value of a thing is determined by how much someone would pay to purchase that thing. God purchased YOU with His own Son. That brings your value up to the same level as Jesus!
C. If you had been the only person in the world, Jesus would have died for you. That makes you significant.
D. You are His workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10.) This is an amazing verse as the word, "workmanship" is translated best as "work of art". You are an original with no one else like you. You're not a copy. You're a work of art to God.
E. You add something to the Body of Christ. Romans 12:4-5 says, "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."
THINK THIS: I am signficant. I bring to value to those around me. I have a specific part in the body of Christ. My life counts for something. The people in my life are better off because of my relationship with them. I am a work of art.
SAY THIS: Lord, I thank you that I am your workmanship. You have made me a work of art. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, according to Psalm 139:14. I am the crown of your creation. You provide for all my needs. If I was the only person on earth, you would have still sent your Son to die on the cross. I bless everyone I come in contact with.
8. Grasshopper mentality
Today's thought that we are fasting from is the "grasshopper mentality" or the "grasshopper complex."
The thoughts that go with this would be: "I feel small. I feel inferior. My opposition is huge. My problems are bigger than me. I"m not up for the challenge."
The 10 spies, sent out by Moses, in Numbers 13:33 gave an evil report. They said, "...we saw the giants in the land and we became like grasshoppers in OUR OWN SIGHT, AND SO we were like grasshoppers in their sight."
The longer they focused on their opposition, the bigger their opposition became. Soon their faith in the God Who had brought them out of the bondage of Egypt, was swallowed up. With it went their ability to believe that they could indeed conquer and possess the land. Others saw them the way they saw themselves.
We're changing the way we see ourselves today!
Let's deal with this:
A. "ROYALTY destroys inferiority." When you know you are in God's royal family, you will no longer feel inferior or think like a grasshopper. Romans 5:17 says "...through the gift of righteousness, we reign as kings in this life." We have received the GIFT of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), therefore we are kings! We are royal!
B. "We live life from His position, His seat." Ephesians 2:6 says, "He raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in heavenly places."
C. "We are made in His image." (Genesis 1:26). We have His divine image, with His divine breath, endowed with His divine authority. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you are looking at the image of God!
D. "Let no man therefore judge you..." (Colossians 2:16) This doesn't mean we avoid accountability or responsibility; but we are inferior to no one. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:5, "for I consider myself NOT in the least INFERIOR to the most eminent apostles - his peers."
E. We are masters over life. Romans 6:14 says, "Sin is not our master." Luke 10:19 says we have authority over all the power of the enemy, so the devil is not our master either.
When we are born again, we are reunited with the original authority God created us to walk in, because we are re-united with the Author. We are reunited with our original mastery over life because we are reunited with the Master.
Here is a revealing name given to Jesus by His disciples - Master. Master means: one who controls or influences events or things. When He healed the sick, they called Him, Master. When He calmed the storm, they called Him, Master. When He forgave the unforgivable, they called Him - Master. He was master over life, and according to 1 John 4:17, "as He is, so are we in this world."
THINK IT and SAY IT:
I am not inferior to anything or anyone, because I am made in the image of God.
I am the righteousness of God, therefore I reign in this life as a king in God's kingdom.
I am in the royal family, and ROYALTY DESTROYS INFERIORITY. I have His divine image, His divine breath and I am endowed with His divine authority. My peers, friends, employers and employees are not superior to me. I respect them because they are made in the image of God, but I will not cower to anyone, be intimidated by anyone or shrink back because of any one.
I am as He is in this life. I am a master over life and its circumstances. I will not be mastered by anything anymore! I am not under man's opinion and judgment. I am under God's.
I am seated with Christ in heavenly places, therefore I see myself from His point of view (a conqueror). I see life from His point of view. I'm bigger than the mountains; taller than the trees; and more a giant than the giants! No grasshopper mentality lives in my head anymore. I shall by all means go up and take possession of the promise land! Remember: Royalty destroys inferiority!
9. What's wrong with me?
Our fast from wrong thinking will release supernatural power in your life. Stay with me through this. I take this very seriously as we identify the truly destructive thought patterns that are producing defeat and lack in our lives. Then we develop simple strategies to HELP YOU overcome those patterns of thought. These seeds will produce the great harvests you have always wanted and needed in every area of your life.
What's wrong with me? Have you ever thought that? Who hasn't? We have all had our bouts with sin-consciousness - a haunting awareness of all that we do wrong, and all that is wrong about us.
We are going to crush this thinking today!
The first problem with this thinking is: it is "me-centered" not "Jesus-centered." It's selfish. We are called to LOOK to Him - the Author and Finisher of our faith. In Hebrews 12:1 God says, "look up" not "look within."
Another problem with this thinking is that it's OBVIOUS! There are many things wrong with all of us. We're flawed people from a natural point of view, but not in God's eyes. But thinking "what's wrong with me" breeds perfectionism, self-centeredness, obsessive introspection and condemnation for our flaws and shortcomings. (Of course, we need to admit our weaknesses, and receive God's forgiveness and strength.)
But it starts with developing a "righteousness consciousness", rather than a "sin consciousness".
The constant awareness of our "falling short" is where the devil and organized religion want to keep us. This keeps us defeated and limited- hemmed in by our human nature, rather than liberated through our divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4 says "Through His promises, we share in the divine nature of God and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust."
A. Understand the gift of righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says "He who knew NO sin, was made to be sin FOR US, that we would be MADE the righteousness of God." This is the greatest EXCHANGE in human history! Jesus took our sinfulness and imparted to us His Righteousness - which means we are RIGHT in God's eyes, not wrong. We are justified. I like the play on words here. Justified = "just if I'd" never sinned.
B. Awake to righteousness.
1 Corinthians 15:34 says "Awaken to what's right in your life; and you will not sin." You are a child of God. You are forgiven. You are a joint heir with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:16). When God looks at you, He sees the blood He shed. He sees His Son. When God thinks of you, He thinks of a victorious, conquering, strong, powerful, wise, and holy daughter. He sees you as a mighty champion. The head and not the tail. Deuteronomy 28:13
Righteousness means: to stand in the presence of God as if sin had never been. To stand in His presence without a sense of guilt, shame, inferiority or condemnation.
C. Eliminate sin-consciousness.
When you are always conscious of what's wrong, you will DO wrong. When you are always conscious of BEING the righteousness of God - you will DO right. You'll act on the outside how you see yourself on the inside. (Whenever you think of your "wrongs", cast them upon Jesus. And remember, His "rights" are now yours!)
D. Ask the Holy Spirit to do what He does best.
1 Corinthians 2:12 says ....we have received the Spirit of God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.. Key ministry of the Holy Spirit is to REVEAL what is already yours (NOT TO REVEAL TO YOU ALL THAT IS WRONG IN YOUR LIFE).
E. Dwell on what's right rather than what's wrong.
THINK IT & SPEAK IT:
I decide to give up thinking about all that is wrong in my life - and I choose to think about what is right.
I am the righteousness of God, through the blood of Jesus. I stand in the presence of God without guilt, shame, inferiority or condemnation.
I awake to what's right and believe it will lead me to a victorious life.
I am a joint heir with Jesus. When God looks at me, He sees His blood. He thinks of me as a conquering, powerful and holy daughter. I will not think of myself as anything less or more than what God thinks of me!
10. That's just the way I am
We are fasting from the thought that says: "That's just the way I am." One of the things that limits us and keeps us defeated is the opinion we have of ourselves. Over time, what other people think of us begins to shape our view of ourselves and what we're capable of.
"He's shy." "She's stuck up." "He's all talk." "She's not the sharpest knife in the drawer." "He'll never change" The list of labels we put on others and others put on us is endless.
We often end up living up to the very opinions and expectations that others have had of us, because it has kind of conditioned us.
Or we feel, "I'll always be average." "I'll always be overweight." "I'm capable of only making "x" amount of money." We're limited by our self-imposed expectations of ourselves.
Today, we are breaking out of the limitations and boundaries we, or others, have put on us. That may have been the way you were, but that's not the way you are.
A. First of all, He is the potter and we are the clay. (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
God is working on you, to make you what He wants you to be. Trust the Artist to make a masterpiece. Be flexible and adaptable. See yourself as a GOOD work in progress.
B. Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Withhold judgment of yourself (or others). Don't pre-judge what your capacity is, what your potential is.
C. Jeremiah 18:4 says, "the clay was marred, so He made it again." God doesn't throw you out. HE NEVER GIVES UP ON YOU.
D. You are changing as you are reading this!
Whatever flaws you have, they are not the final sentence. You are NOW being conformed to the image of Jesus! (Romans 8:29)
Think it & Say it:
I am unlimited in my ability to grow and change.
I am what God says I am.
He began a good work in me, and He will finish it.
He is making me into something GOOD.
I am workmanship - His work of art.
I am not in bondage to my weaknesses and former limitations.
Every day and every moment that passes is making me more and more like Him.