The Cavities in Life Are Not God’s Fault

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When I was young, I got a cavity. I wasn’t nervous sitting in the chair with all the silver tools around me. After a few deep breaths of nitrous the nurse swabbed some numbing cream on my gums. A flash of anxiety washed over me as I glanced at the large needle heading towards my mouth. There was the stick, the sting, and boom – the worst was supposed to be done.

Moments later I noticed a look of concern on my dentist’s face. The room filled with tension as he began to shake my right cheek.

My face went numb, my tongue was double its normal size and my right eye was now closed. My cheek, now swollen to the size of a large softball, was sadly turning black and blue.

Apologetically, the dentist explained to my dad that I had a tiny mouth, and for the first time in this seasoned dentist’s career, he accidentally shot the Novocain into a vein.

The result was I couldn’t enjoy solid food for a couple weeks. From my forehead to my neck, it looked like I had been beaten up and the relentless teasing at school took its toll on me. This trauma took about a month to heal physically, but the emotional hit would affect my life for decades.

Dr. Bettis didn’t mean to cause such trauma as he only wanted to care for my teeth. This was an oddity, not a planned attack, but I blamed him and now feared every dentist in the world. They couldn’t be trusted and wouldn’t protect me. I would battle irrational anxiety that, by my 20s, kept me from being able to walk in an office for a routine cleaning for nearly a decade.

I finally went to the dentist, and much later I realized I saw God how I viewed the dentist. It’s easy to point the finger and blame God for the bumps and bruises, the hard times and the things that happen to us that just are not fair. It’s easy because the voice of the enemy is relentless in his pursuit to get us to doubt God’s goodness.

Accusation is a nasty evil that if not careful, can warp the way we view God. It can be very subtle often using an element of truth to set us up to believe a counterfeit truth. These lies hinder your relationship with God, work to tear down your identity in Christ, and open the door to other strongholds like bitterness, anger and fear.

I fell victim to the enemy because I was not cemented in the Word. I didn’t truly know God’s character or my identity in Christ. I saw Him as a punisher and accused Him of making me pay for mistakes.

I thought of God as I thought of the dentist ­– unsafe and not to be trusted. Why? Because I believed God was responsible for all the good and bad that happened in life. This lie absolved me of owning the poor choices I made, but worse, it took the blame right off Satan. It was God who looked like the bad guy. By all appearances, He was against me, but nothing could be further from the truth.

These accusations would nearly destroy me by the time I hit 40. Satan blamed God for all he was doing to wreck my life. And I ate up every bit of it and grew disappoint in God. This also kept me in denial because I couldn’t see where I bore any responsibility for the mess.

I stewed over all the unmet expectations I placed on God. I wanted what I wanted and when I didn’t get it in my timing, accusations against God surfaced, such as:

  1. He did not hear my prayers
  2. He was not for me
  3. He wasn’t a good father
  4. He was a punisher

So many lies swirled in my mine because I didn’t understand it was my job o take the destructive thoughts captive and defend the Father. The negative thoughts fueled my pain and kept me from forming a solid relationship with God. I was convinced He was responsible for all that was wrong in my marriage, my job, my health, etc.

We had just lost our fourth child, and accusation led me to develop a fear of the Lord that was ungodly. I also felt abandoned by the One who said He’d never leave or forsake me.

I held God responsible for killing my babies as I had come into agreement with the accuser’s grandest lie: God is responsible for all that happens in life. I felt like He didn’t protect them to punish me, and I thought I must not be worthy to be a parent. This destroyer was killing my dream of raising a child, crushing my spirit, attacking my relationship with God and slowly tearing up my marriage.

As a result I rebuked God. I was so angry at Him that I no longer saw a good Daddy, but only saw perceived abuse. Accusation was stealing my peace and joy, making me an explosive mess in my home and robbing me of enjoying the pleasures that come from a man and wife creating life. Accusation was opening door to many other strongmen to come and wreck me. Envy, bitterness, rejection, complaining, control and manipulation… Those were just a few.

One day I found myself on the floor of our church crying to God to take my pain away. I had heard our pastor declare, “What grieves God most was bitterness and iniquity of sin.” He made an alter call, and I flew out of my chair. I was dying inside and wanted a way out. As I walked to the front I felt like a voice was telling me my iniquity was bitterness, and it needed to be ripped out of me. Then I was smacked with the reality I was guilty of accusing God because I didn’t trust His timing.

I repented and renounced all the agreements I had made with the devil. Bitterness with God stemmed from the lie that He killed my babies, but the Word says the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Envy was the result of the accusation that God was blessing everyone but me because I was a bad person. Anger was the by-product of placing expectations on God when Satan twisted the verse that says, “Ask and it will be given to you.”

It was wonderful getting set free. The Lord showed up in a mighty way and filled me with peace. He plucked that envy right out of me, and I was no longer afraid of Him.

This was the beginning of a journey that culminated in the holding my daughter in my arms a year later. It was the full expression of Phillipians 4:4-7.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If you think you are being attacked by an accusing spirit but are not sure, take a look at the following checklist and if these characteristics apply:

  1. You are suspicious.
  2. You project fear and analyze others motives, including God’s.
  3. You are bitter.
  4. You do not trust others.
  5. You consistently believe the worst.
  6. You are easily offended and/or can create an offense.
  7. You make rash judgments based on limited knowledge and misunderstandings.
  8. You turn away from relationships and fellowship even after there has been repentance.
  9. You zero in on the flaws, weaknesses and evil in others while tending to exclude the good.
  10. You live in denial and always find someone to blame.

If you feel like you have been participating with accusing spirits after reading the list above, simply repeat the following prayer out loud:

Father God, I thank you that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ. And it is in His mighty name that I recognize and take responsibility in my life and in my generations for all accusation. I repent for and renounce participating with all spirits of accusation against God, self and others. I release all my guilt, shame, fear, mistrust, judgments and offenses and ask God that you fill me with your peace, love and truth. I ask for forgiveness and receive my forgiveness for participating in and serving accusation. I thank you Father for your mercy and grace. Give me the wisdom to discern your voice and the ability to recognize accusing thoughts so that I can take them captive. In Jesus name, amen.

Next steps:
If you’d like to learn more about Satan and how he can use spirits of accusation to cripple you in your life, click here and listen to the teaching on accusation.

You Are a Force to Reckon With!

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My sister Lisa was a 13-year-old blonde beauty with big blue eyes. With a heart of gold, she was so full of love and was one of the most caring, compassionate and courageous people I’ve ever met. While I was out blowing my allowance, Lisa saved hers all year to buy Christmas presents. She never thought of herself – she was always thinking of others.

I always felt it was my role to take care of my baby sister. And when the worst happened, I was riddled with guilt as I was supposed to be strong enough to save her. While her sickness and death were totally out of my control, the enemy heaped lie after lie upon me, and I believed everyone.

After all, I was her older sister. At the age of 17, how could I let this happen? Even though I was just a young woman excited about the future, my shame would ultimately convince me I shouldn’t look to my future when she didn’t have a future. My world was changed forever with the loss of my precious sister.

The world lost one of the most amazing little girls God had ever created, and I just knew it was my fault. While the angels were rejoicing the day Lisa went to heaven I was drowning in tears. I didn’t understand God’s ways. I accused Him. Why God? Why?

Lisa’s death was one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure in my life. From the moment she drew her last breath, sadly I was never the same.

Has there been a time in your life you ever felt powerless or weak? Have you experienced a time when you didn’t know how you would make it one more minute, never the less one more day? I have, and it was only through God’s strength in me that I was able to endure and move past the mourning season. It wasn’t an easy time for me, but God was there every moment comforting me as only He could.

This was a season I learned the true meaning of Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I needed a refuge, and it was Elohim, the Father, Spirit and Son, that carried me through this most difficult time. I’ve heard it said time heals all wounds, but I have come to understand that time didn’t heal anything… it was Jesus Christ who brought me back to life!

Before this tragedy, I was a carefree, STRONG woman. Full of courage and vigor, I wasn’t afraid of anything. However, after her death, I went from being fearless to fearful. The enemy used my sister’s death to make me afraid and weak. I felt shame for having to go on without her.

Her death left a hole in my heart the enemy filled with lies. I felt lack, defeated and scared. Instability had set in, and I wondered if my life and my family member’s lives would be normal again.

In John 10:10 we are warned the enemy comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy. The enemy killed my sister, destroyed the family I’d known and stole my truth.

But the good news is God made a way for me to be victorious over the enemy when I was able to stand up and fight. Jesus encourages us in the scripture “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

My story didn’t end in demise after I found hope in Jesus Christ and bolstered my faith in His promises.

I’m so thankful for God’s grace. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

This means because of His grace, there is nothing we have to work for. We can rely on His strength in our weakness. It took me a little while to grasp this scripture as I was used to relying on my own strength. When I finally came to the place that I could accept His grace and received it as a gift I grew strong again.

Gaining that strength required me to dig into the deep places in my heart to see the strongholds and lies I had been bought into. The Lord was faithful to protect me and help me every step of the way!

It happened just as 2 Timothy 4:17 described: …the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…

Years later, my daughter went through a traumatic time in her life. She needed a mom who could listen with no judgment, keep an open mind, and would love her no matter what she had to say and no matter how difficult it was to hear.

While I will not share the details of that time, what I can say is that it was the hardest conversation I ever had to hear and the greatest challenge of my life. It was such a blessing that I had learned how to lean on the strength of the Lord during the season of my sister’s death. It was only in His strength that I was able to support, prop up and comfort my daughter! I would be a force to reckon with. I would be strong for her. I would fight the enemy when she couldn’t.

She needed to know irrevocably that I believed in her and in the truth! We stood together, and with many prayers and God’s help we preserved through this time! I not only had to have strength for myself but also was able to pour into my daughter the love that Jesus Christ had poured into me. It was beautiful, and today I can look at how she now pours that strength and love out to others as well.

2 Corinthians 12:10 says “for when I am weak, then I am strong” It was in weakness I was able to access the strength that Jesus Christ provides. He is our strength if we will reach out and receive all He has for us.

I was never weak or powerless just as I was not responsible for the death of my sister. The truth then, the truth when my daughter needed me and the truth now is simple: I am courageous, a tower of strength and a child of the highest God. I am all He says I am!

The good news is that no matter what the enemy whispers in your ear, the truth is you are also strong, courageous and a child of the Most High. You are a force to reckon with!

Courageous one, if you have grown weary in a difficult season of your life, it’s time to receive God’s grace to strengthen you. It’s easy. Simply repeat the prayer below, have faith and trust God’s word will never condemn or harm you in any way. Say out loud the following:

Father God, I thank you that you are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I recognize I have come to agreement with lies. I take responsibility for believing that ______________ (fill in the blank). When I believed the lie, I felt _______________ (fill in the blank). I repent for entertaining negative thoughts and renounce the lie. Father God, I ask you to replace the lie with your truth. I thank you for your forgiveness and for your unfailing love. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I break any agreements I made with the enemy and ask for a fresh revelation of my identity in Christ. Amen.

Questions to pray and ponder over:

  1. Have you ever felt powerless or responsible for something that was not in your control? Repent and ask God to remove all spirits of accusation, false burden bearing, guilt and shame. And then give Him thanks and praise for setting you free.
  2. What are some things you can do to get the strength needed to get through a difficult time?
  3. Do you feel defeated in a situation right now?  How can you replace the lie that the enemy hoisted upon you with God’s truth and find strength in Him?

Pray out loud and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to find a scripture then start meditating on it and let God’s truth take root in your heart. This is a good first step to start living free and victoriously!

If you want to learn more about finding strength through weakness, visit http://sonrisechurchandministries.sermon.net/main/main/20679990 to listen to a great teaching by John Aldridge, Senior Pastor of Son Rise Church and Ministries.

 

Our Freedom Begins and Ends with God

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As we celebrate the freedom and liberty our country enjoys due to the hard work and perseverance of our founding fathers, we also must take a moment to revel in the freedom God blessed us with when He sacrificed His only begotten Son.

John Quincy Adams, this country’s sixth president said that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.

We couldn’t agree with President Adams more.

We live in a great country, and we should be proud to celebrate our nation’s birth along with all of the brave ones that worked tirelessly to make America the land of the free and the home of the brave. But we must not forget to also honor the One who made our history possible – God.

This country’s motto is just as true today as it was when it was first printed on the dollar, “In God we trust.” This motto more than words… it defines our identity as Americans. It is the basis to which the founding fathers built their hopes and dreams of this country on.

John Adams summed it up well when he said, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

The founding fathers declared God has “endowed” all people with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” because He values each of us. The founding fathers desired us to enjoy individual freedom, but they clearly did not have in mind the permissive lifestyle that we see today. They understood that the Bible does not allow us to do anything we please. They knew that true freedom only comes to those people who fear God.

Psalms 33:8 says that all the earth should fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. Sadly, in 2016 this is not happening.

Our founding fathers knew something that many of today’s Americans have forgotten, and that is we cannot accomplish a thing outside of God. Without faith and trust in God, we are not free. Without the willingness and fortitude to keep His commandments and obey His laws, we are bound in chains that are far worse than you can imagine.

That is what Love Not Lies is all about. Bringing freedom to people by going back to the Bible for God’s truth to replace the lies and strongholds that are our destroying our lives and our nation today.

The Bible warns us that many will perish for a lack of knowledge. We believe today’s America looks very different from what the founding fathers had in mind when they dreamed of a great nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. This country is in crisis economically and morally. This “live and let live” idea of freedom is causing this great nation to be anything but free.

Why? Because this way of living has given Satan the legal right to devour us. Many of us are weak, sick and dying. Many are poor and can’t get a leg up in life. Many are criminals and feel they have no other way to live than to live a life of crime. Our government is corrupt and filled with evil people who only desire to serve their own agenda… not God’s plan. And the sad reality is that our poor choices that have led us into heartache and pain get twisted into ways God is not for us. We must become people who take responsibility for our actions. We must stop accusing God for the terrible things Satan does because we allowed him in our lives.

The saddest reality is that today’s Christian is chastised for speaking the word of God… for telling the truth about sin. Encouraging people to repent and turn from evil makes us judgmental and legalistic. Christians are scared to share their beliefs, pray in public, and if we keep going this way, the only ones living in the closet will be those who love the Lord.

We say no. It is our prayer that this blog lovingly brings truth to those who need to hear it. We pray each inspired word gives sight to the blind.

This blog is dedicated to God, and it is our hope that it brings true freedom and liberty to those who are in a spiritual prison. It is only when one breaks agreement with Satan and comes back into the righteous of the Father by proclaiming Jesus is Lord that one can truly experience the freedom that God desires for us and that the founding fathers built this great nation on.

So we chose today – Independence Day – to launch this blog, because we know that freedom does not exist outside of God the Father and His son Jesus Christ.

For it is on Christ the solid rock we will stand… and it is our prayer that through the testimonies and biblical truth we share, you will be able experience true freedom… freedom from sickness, disease, relationship issues, financial problems and more.

May this blog be a blessing to all who God leads to read it.

Happy Independence Day.