Friday, July 10, 2009

The Ability to Love:Getting Rid of the Baggage

Where do you begin to break the bondage of your past? On your knees is the best place to start. Ask God for His help. Ask Him to reveal the areas you need to deal with, and ask Him what you need to do to overcome it. Hand it all over to Him.

If we include God in our journey to discard the baggage, the human steps will come much easier. Remember, He will reveal things to you that may seem overwhelming. He will not give you any more than you can handle though. Take one step at a time.

You need to face the objects of your bondage. Open the door, talk about it. God is an amazing listener. Sometimes, just verbalizing a problem is half of the solution. Discussing it with your spouse will form an intimate bond between the two of you if they’re willing to listen and you’re willing to open up to them.

Understand that the devil wants nothing more than to keep you enslaved. He doesn’t like successful Christians or successful marriages. He wants us to believe that his lies are the truth. Those lies can hold us in bondage.

The devil wants to be “God” to you. He wants you to focus on your SELF and live separate from God. He wants you to desire material things and worldly values over spiritual and eternal values.

Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

We talked earlier about taking your thoughts captive. You need to change your “stinkin’ thinkin’” Recognize the thoughts, people, ideas, and areas of your life that you’ve allowed to pollute your thinking, that have become strongholds in your mind. Sin begins in our minds and we must stop it before it takes action.

Francis Grangipane describes a stronghold as “a demonically induced pattern of thinking - it is a house made of thoughts, which has become a dwelling place for satanic activity.”

Realize the devil will do all he can to prevent your healing from any strongholds. He has no authority over you though. Rebuke him and tell him to flee. Admit that some of the thoughts in your mind are sins. Speak the truth and repent.

Sometimes, you may need to seek the advice of a Christian counselor. It’s okay to do that! Many Christians balk at the idea, believing they should be able to handle it on their own once the decision is made to turn it over to God.

There seems to be an unwritten assumption in most churches that good Christians don’t have marriage problems. That is a lie of the devil. How easy it is to stand up in church and ask for prayer for health or financial problems. Unfortunately, very few of us would stand up and say, "My spouse can't stand the sight of me, would you pray for my marriage?"

Many Christians get caught in a “spiritual bubble”, ignoring relational physics. They believe they are above the human rules needed for a successful marriage. “God will take care of it.” Yes, God will take care of it, but we also need to take the human footsteps to allow Him to work in our marriage. Maybe that’s why the divorce rate among Christians is slightly higher than that of non-Christians.

We need outside help. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by it. We should be taught as Christian couples to actively seek help in maintaining our marriages. Would you continue driving your car year after year without any maintenance on it? How long would it last?

To be able to love as God intended, we need to free ourselves of the baggage we carry and the strongholds Satan holds us captive to. You are in a fight for your life. God is the victor and has supplied you with the power needed to fight the devil. Don’t ever forget that. Put on your spiritual armor everyday!


Next posting - my favorite "Armor of God" prayer.

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