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Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
OpenHeaven.com Forum : Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
Subject Topic: Why Can’t I Stop Using Alcohol & Drugs? - Patrick Conaty Post Reply Post New Topic
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Ron McGatlin
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Posted: 02/19/2005 at 10:20am | IP Logged Quote Ron McGatlin

Why Can't I Stop Using Alcohol & Drugs?

Do you ask yourself this question?

Have you tried treatment & endless meetings ..... And realize, "That's just not me!"

Well, I did too and I came to realize several very important things I will share with you that you will have to REALIZE before you can finally be sick and tired of being SICK and TIRED.!!!

There are vast amounts of information out there on the subject of alcohol and drug addiction, and my goal is to keep it real. I've seen what can work and I know the potential each human has and can choose to use, if the desire is there and the right information and motivation is available.

I must emphasize that I believe in the value of each person, and like myself, each must come to terms with who they are, what they desire, and their own way of finding it. My purpose here is not to convince anyone of how right one way is or better than another, but to share what I have learned in the process and hope that it will encourage others to do the same.

I have often heard the question, “Why do I drink or drug?” Or, “Why can’t I stop using alcohol or drugs?” These questions, I believe, miss the mark. The more important question is the “what” question. “What do alcohol and drugs give me?” “What has life presented to me that I believe cannot be handled without my loyal six-pack or pipe?” “What would happen to me if I could not depend on using alcohol or drugs?”

The answer is simple and nothing new. Those who drink or drug will do anything to avoid fear. "What" they get is a temporary fix or way out. It is human nature to choose what we perceive will give us the most happiness at any given moment. Fear hinders this process.

Fear is often secondary to the disease concept in most recovery programs. I believe this gives people a “false hope” that if they obtain a mastery over this insidious disease they will obtain a life of happiness. However, they find out this is not the case when they are presented with a negative life experience and end up using alcohol or drugs again.

Why? Because they believe (perceive) the situation will be unmanageable if they do not run and hide in a liquor bottle or crack pipe. The avoidance of fear is greater than resolving the conflict in a positive manner.

Addiction is our ability to control fear in a way we perceive as most effective for a particular situation. To control this fear is the motivation and alcohol and drugs serve this purpose well.

In the end, the person struggling with an addiction must come to realize that his/her individual worth is not because he/she is “sober” or “addicted” but because he/she is alive.

The addict will continue to use until he/she is convinced that they can successfully live life without the use of alcohol or drugs.

There Is A Way & You Have A Choice!

I must expand here for I do not believe the alcohol or drug user is inept or deficient in any way. They are not any different than the non-addicted person. Sure they may have a mess to clean up with family and friends, but their desire to avoid fear and obtain happiness is the same as anyone’s. Some overeat, some exercise too much, some close themselves off and become bitter, some work too much, some drink or use drugs, etc. The bottom line is balancing how we cope with our fear in life and still be able to function in a healthy way.

But how do we decide this balance? How do we determine what is healthy or unhealthy for each of us individually?

The question I often ask myself is "What statement do I want to give to the world?" This is individual and powerful for each individual. It cannot be taught to them or forced upon them with consequences and threats. Consequences and threats can be a motivation to change only if the person realizes their current choice of behavior does not match their inner desire and focus of who they want to be and choose for their life.

So the answer lies in our ability to realize who we are and who we want to be.

In the mean time, be Radical for God!!!!

Patrick Conaty
 

Do you want prayer or would you like to talk with someone about your need.

Or if you would like to communicate with someone about knowing Christ and knowing Him better send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.comc or post a reply to this message.

Or you can contact us here: http://www.openheaven.com/contact/



Edited by Moderator on 10/17/2005 at 2:58pm
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Posted: 02/16/2006 at 5:27pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Spiritual Strongholds
by Os Hillman

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. - 2 Corinthians 10:4

One of the great discoveries I made in later years in my walk with God has to do with living in victory over generational strongholds. The Bible speaks of punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations. (See Exodus 20:5.) The only way out of living under the curses of generational strongholds is to acknowledge them before the Father and repent of their reign in our lives. This breaks the curse's future effects.

A stronghold is a fortress of thoughts that controls and influences our attitudes. They color how we view certain situations, circumstances, or people. When these thoughts and activities become habitual, we allow a spiritual fortress to be built around us. We become so used to responding to the "voice" of that spirit, that its abode in us is secure. All of this happens on a subconscious level.

As a businessman, I discovered that I had been influenced by a generational stronghold of insecurity and fear that was manifested in control. This subconscious fear motivated me to become a workaholic, to seek recognition through activities, to control others' behavior to avoid failure, and to have a relationship with God that was activity-based instead of relationally-based. One day God brought about a number of catastrophic events that forced me to look at what was behind these events. I found that the influence of these strongholds was at the core of these symptoms. The Bible speaks of this war on our souls.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3,5-6).

The steps to freedom for me came when someone shared that these were sins that I was harboring, and in order to walk free of their influence, I needed to repent of them. It was through the power of the cross that I no longer needed to be subjugated by their presence. Once I took this step, I began to walk free of their influences. Besides salvation, this became the most important discovery in my entire Christian walk. My relationship to Christ changed immediately. I began to hear God's voice. I began to trust Christ in areas I never thought possible. I could truly experience the love of Christ for the first time.

This knowledge helped me in business as well. One day I was in the middle of a contract negotiation with another Christian businessman. A lawyer had jumped in the middle of the negotiation. My friend began to surface many old feelings that were a source of pain from his past. When I perceived that a stronghold of insecurity and fear was at the core of his response, I interrupted his argumentative discussion with me and said with a very forceful tone, "I am no longer going to listen to the spirit of insecurity that is speaking through you right now! If you don't refrain from this, I am going to leave!" My friend was taken back. He looked at me quite startled. After a few moments, he agreed with my diagnosis. We talked through what he was feeling and completed our negotiation without further incident.

What are the true motivations of your heart? Have you ever looked deeply at these motivations? You might find that these subconscious motivations may be preventing you from experiencing the fullness of Christ in your life. Ask Him to reveal these and then repent of their influences.

To contact Os Hillman, send email to: oshillman@marketplaceleaders.org   For personal prayer and counsel click here.

© 2005. TGIF Today God Is FirstTM is a registered trademark of Os Hillman/Marketplace Leaders.

Do you want prayer or would you like to talk with someone about your need.

Or if you would like to communicate with someone about knowing Christ and knowing Him better send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.comc or post a reply to this message.

Or you can contact us here: http://www.openheaven.com/contact/



Edited by Moderator on 02/16/2006 at 5:27pm
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Posted: 06/29/2007 at 8:19am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Your heart's choice
"He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13-14).
    We have an opportunity. The tide of the Holy Spirit is rising among us as a Church. God’s presence is with us and faith is beginning to rise.
    In contrast, this world is full of chains which bind people in darkness.
    The problem is the human heart which prefers the darkness of wickedness to God’s light. But we can find the solution - as the anointings come God is restoring the authority of His word. His word must reach the heart to bring change (cf. John 1:1-5).
    We face a crossroads. We can take hold of what God has for us or we can turn our backs on God’s word.
    Are you dull to what God is saying? Judgement comes upon all in darkness. Assess yourself. You may think you are all right, but are you really? So many are still bound in chains.
    When God made man and woman, He looked upon His creation and said it was good, yet man thought he could do better than listening to God. That is the problem of the human heart (Romans 1:20-21).
    We have a free will to choose, and this is the choice: will we go on with God or reject Him?
    God throws you a lifebelt. The waters of judgement rise, but by God’s favour His Church is moving out of judgement into life. Man has gone away from God and only one can stand between them: Jesus the Son of God. In Jesus God rescues us.
    What do we do? Here He is identifying with you and me; a bleeding Man upon the cross. In His death He offers you the chance to reach into life. He broke the chains of sin Himself and entered into resurrected life.
    Will you follow Him? Allow Him to break the chains which oppress you and lead you into His new life.

 To learn more visit the Jesus Army  website online


Quote: Secret sins  
"Take heed of secret sins. They will undo thee if loved and maintained: one moth may spoil the garment; one leak drown the ship; a penknife stab and kill a man as well as a sword; so one sin may damn the soul; nay, there is more danger of a secret sin causing the miscarrying of the soul than open profaneness, because not so obvious to the reproofs of the world; therefore take heed that secret sinnings eat not out good beginnings."
--Jeremiah Burroughs
 
Life's Issues prayer counselors  or available send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

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Ann Doupont
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Posted: 06/29/2007 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote Ann Doupont

This is an interesting thought about one of the causes for alcohol and drugs, that of fear. I hadn't really thought about that connection before.

I am a former alcoholic and drug addict. I used every drug that came across my path, before coming to Jesus in 1979.

I was bound with a lot of fear, but had not connected the two things together, that of fear being a cause of alcoholism and/or drug addiction. For me, what seemed to cause the addictions was pain.

Since coming to Jesus, however, I have conquered fear and am even working on a booklet on the subject of overcoming fear.

One thing I know: God can set a person free from all bondages.

With love,

Ann



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Books and booklets available for purchase. More information at www.anndoupont.org.
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Posted: 07/10/2007 at 2:19pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

The Word for Transformation

By George G Delo

""As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby"" (1 Peter 2:2).

Just as in the natural, what a person eats determines how they grow. God has made His word milk, bread, and meat –– a full, well balanced diet for the proper nourishment and development of His children. A daily diet of the pure word of God will ensure our growth as God designed it. The spiritual maturity of any Christian is directly related to his devotion to the word of God. Why are so many Christians spiritually unfit, immature, and fruitless? They are not devoted to the word of God. Jesus summed it up in Mark:

""And He said to them, ‘‘Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you –– and more [besides] will be given to you who hear’’"" (Mark 4:24 Amplified).

Everything God does comes through His word and Spirit. To the degree that we apply ourselves to His word is the degree to which we will receive the transforming power of that word. He has enriched His word with His dunamis power to transform our lives into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Paul understood this truth and when he had to leave the Ephesian elders, he commended them to the word of God’’s grace for their transformation of soul:

""And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’’s set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul)"" (Acts 20:32 Amplified).

The word of God was designed to consecrate, purify, and transform our souls in order that we might partake of the inheritance of eternal life in Christ. To accomplish this, Jesus gave His life on the cross to make us a holy priesthood and a temple of God’’s abiding habitation. He designed His word and Spirit to outfit us for both of these purposes through His divine work of sanctification.

""Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth"" (John 17:17).

""Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’’"" (John 8:31,32).

We must abide in the word of God to discover the truth that sets us free from sin and makes us holy to become both God’’s priesthood and His sanctuary. The word of God acts within us to show us our need of holiness and produce repentance in us as well as to produce the faith necessary to obtain the promise in Christ. The fruits of God’’s kingdom are the result of receiving His word with understanding (see Matthew 13:24). Understanding comes from the mouth of God as we study and meditate on the word.

His priests are also disciples or students of His word. We can only fulfill God’’s purpose as we abide or continuously live in His word. Once the Lord sanctifies us, He then transforms the new man through His word and Spirit.

""And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"" (Romans 12:2).

""And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit"" (2 Corinthians 3:18 Amplified).

We must learn the ways of God’’s kingdom by having our minds renewed through the word of God. As we continuously look into the mirror of His word, He transfigures us into the glory of His likeness. His word reveals that which is not of God at the same time that it reveals what is to be of God. As we respond to His word in the power of His Spirit, we are transfigured before Him.

Our destiny is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in righteousness and holiness in order that we might glorify God on this earth through our service as a holy priesthood. We can only be transformed into a holy priesthood as we abide in the word of God under the unction of the Holy Spirit. The number one reason we do not presently see the manifestation of the glorious church of Jesus Christ is that the vast majority of Christians do not abide in the word of God. The Lord makes this pretty clear in Ephesians:

""Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish"" (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Jesus has already accomplished the necessary work on the cross. It is finished! But if we do not abide in the word we will not obtain His sanctification and therefore we will not be His glorious church without spot or wrinkle.

The greatest deception Satan has perpetuated upon the body of Christ is to make you believe you are all right without a daily devotion in the pure word of God. As long as he can keep you away from the truth, he has a stronghold on your mind which will lead to your destruction. Jeremiah speaks of the results of a wordless life:

""To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it"" (Jeremiah 6:10).

God saved us with a craving for His word. If you did not respond to that craving, it has probably died out and your delight in His word has been quenched. As long as you do not delight in the word of God, you will not abide in it. And if you do not abide in the word, you will not receive the word with understanding. And without understanding, there is no obedience. Without obedience you are standing on shifting sands which will not stand the storms of life. Our strength to stand is found in our obedience to His word and our obedience is the result of our abiding in the word until it produces understanding.

""Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall"" (Matthew 7:24-27).

""And to man He said, ‘‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding’’"" (Job 28:28).

When you understand God’’s word, you will obey it. When you walk in obedience to His word, you also walk in the favor and keeping power of the Lord. But it all begins by becoming disciples who abide in the word of God. Transformation is rooted in His word. Become a disciple of the word so you can become a part of the glorious church of Jesus Christ. If you have lost your delight in His word; if you have no inner hunger for His word; then just ask God to restore your appetite for His word. Ask believing and you will receive.

Life's Issues prayer counselors  or available send an email to: Larry Silverman nhministry@yahoo.com  or post a reply to this message.

Or if you like you can contact us by email here: http://www.openheaven.com/contact/
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Posted: 07/17/2008 at 5:26pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Satan Who Is He?
-
Revelation 12:9 --- Refers to "that serpent of old, called the Devil." Old, because he's been around since before the Garden of Eden.
-
Satan, the Rebel --- A rebel is one who always finds fault with delegated authority. Satan wants God's authority, and he still wants it. He hates all authority. Now and days teenagers are finding fault with his or her parents they are turning into rebellious spirit. That rebellious spirit does not come from God. The church member who constantly finds fault with church leadership is often influenced by demonic spirits for the purpose of bringing discord to the body of Christ. You are either under God's delegated authority or you are acting under the authority of the Prince of Darkness, Satan himself. You're either a slave to Satan or a servant of Christ.
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Satan, the Master of Deception --- Satan is exposed in the Scripture as a "wolf" in "sheep's clothing." He is often like a serpent. He sneaks his way into your life. He is suddenly upon you and attacks furiously at your weakest point in your weakest moment. Listen to this! Satan did not deny that the Word of God was true. Satan also quoted Scripture to Jesus but twisted it in an attempt to get Jesus to jump from the highest point of the temple. Satan will twisted the word to destroy you.
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Satan, the Angel of Light --- Peter describes hi as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
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Satan, the Accuser of the Brethren --- Satan is a rebel, Satan is a master of deception, Satan masquerades as an angel of light, Satan is an accuser of the brethren. When you make accusations against a fellow believer, you are doing the work of the devil. Yes, stand up to evil. Expose the darkness. But God expects us to be forgiving to the brothers and sisters of the faith. He expects us to get along. You can murder another person with your toxic tongue. You can murder their reputation. You can murder their character and their influence. You can murder their marriage relationships by planting words of doubt and suspicion. You can murder their hopes and dreams. This is the work of Satan.
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Satan, the Tempter --- Matthew's Gospel teaches that Satan tempted men to sin. I remember talking about a young drug addict. "And what do you call the stuff you're using? I asked. It's angel dust, he said. There are so many drugs with holy names, but when you get hooked, it's hell.
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Satan, the Killer --- John 8:44 --- Says that Satan "was a murderer from the beginning." This is why he demands sacrifices. This is why he likes innocent blood, they young girls, the virgins sacrificed by the thousands by the Aztecs Indians etc. and the babies sacrificed by the million on the altars of Molech. His delight is the damage done to the soul of the murderer.
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Let me warn you. Satan is a killer. He doesn't like you, "Well," you say, what if I'm on his side? There is no "Satan's side." If you let him, he will use you, possess you, and if he can, he will then get you to commit suicide. There are not two sides. There is only one side, God's side; and you are either on God's side or you are lost, and in danger.
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Now for the good news, If you are a Christian, if you have committed your life to Him and been born again. Satan is a defeated foe. I thank the Lord for His shed blood. I thank the Lord for the blood of the cross, because through that blood we have victory and deliverance; we have freedom from sin and its dominion. Every shackle has been broken.
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If you are addicted to drugs, you can be free today. If you are a servant to alcohol, pornography, you can be free today. If you are controlled by wild emotions of anger, fear, resentment, or depression, you can be free today. We have been made king and priests, sons and daughters in the Kingdom of God by the blood of Jesus Christ.
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The name of Jesus Christ is El Shaddhai, the Almighty One. He alone has all power, and He has given it to us. Before He went to His father, He said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth...and I am with you always, even to the end of the age. When Satan roars against you like a lion, fight back in the name of Jesus and the power of His precious blood. The Bible says that even the demons tremble in fear. The victory is ours. The Bible says, Resist the devil and he will flee from you. There is deliverance from Satan's deceptions (lies).
-
(SPECIAL PRAYER)
Thank You, Father, that Jesus was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. Satan's works are destroyed in our life in the name of Jesus Hallelujah? We walk in the Kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit!
Praise the Lord!
Amen.
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Posted: 12/08/2009 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

In The Tomb?
 
John 11:17,20-21,25-27
17. So when Jesus arrived, He found that He (Lazarus) had already been in the tomb four days.
20. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house.
21. Martha than said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
25. Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believe in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live.
26. And whoever continues to live and believes in Me shall never die at all. Do you believe this?
27. She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believe (I do believe) that You are the Christ (The Messiah, The Anointed One),
the Son of God. Who was to come into the world.
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Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Many times we find ourselves inside a tomb. We ask ourselves why?
We sometimes feel like we are stuck and can't move forward or backward. Then it hit me, the devil uses five (5) very well know tombs to keep us in bondages.
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1. The Tomb of Divorce --- The devil is here to destroy your families.
2. The Tomb of Addiction --- Drugs, alcohol, pornographic, etc. will lead you to the tomb of addiction.
3. The Tomb of Abuse --- There are all type of abuse, mental, physical, verbal. The devil is here to steal your joy.
4. The Tomb of Death --- Many have found themselves completely spiritual death. With no desire to live and with so much pain inside their heart that they wise they were death. 
5. The Tomb of Suicide --- When The Tomb of Divorce, Addiction, Abuse, even Death in your mind are allow into you the final step is the tomb of suicide.
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Satan also use the following strategies to lead you into one of the tombs.
1. Anger
2. Withdrawal
3. Self-Pity
4. Revenge
5. Bitterness
6. Unforgiveness
7. Resentment
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At any given time that you speak negative to any situation in your life you will find yourself knocking at the door of The Tomb.
You will find the devil saying welcome home.
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At any given time you speak positive to any situation and using your faith is like closing the door of The Tomb and bring the light of Life (Jesus Christ) into your life.
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The question today is where do you find yourself with the LORD and what have you done for Him? Many of us have taken life for granted. Many of us have put our eyes on the wrong things as money, material, fame, and anything the world offers.
We all need to wakeup and see how evil is multiplying. We need to get our hearts right with God and make Him first in our life.
-
What should we do?
2 Chronicles 7:14 --- If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
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Exodus 23:25 --- So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.
-


Edited by Moderator on 12/08/2009 at 8:01am
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Posted: 10/12/2011 at 7:06am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Christ in You Can Do What You Cannot Do to Set You Free
 
    To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among you: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
 
    Without the Lord Jesus Christ residing in your heart and life there is absolutely no hope for your future and no eternal glory! The mystery of salvation is the new birth of the divine seed being planted in one's heart and growing up into a vineyard of the sons of God.
 
    After thirty years of ministry I have come to the conclusion that no one can be changed by human means, only by the transformation of the mind and heart of man by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus can the world truly be made a new creation. One cannot change a people politically, by voting. The issues of abortion, homosexuality, child abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, pornography and the like can only be changed by the washing of the blood of Jesus Christ and the anointing of His Spirit.
 
    The world is sin-sick, lost and sinking into a deep depravity, a literal cesspool of filth caused by a defecting from their Creator. Prideful arrogance and selfish ambition and religious ritual have polluted mankind leaving him totally ignorant of the things of God! Science, medical miracles, and the electronic age have further caused man to move farther away from his only hope for redemption.
 
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17
 
IS CHRIST IN YOU?
 
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
 
    When one experiences being born again by the Spirit he begins to live a life outside the confines of the natural world and a spiritual being is created within his soul. Just as an earthly child is born and immediately wants to be fed, so also the spiritual child longs for the pure milk of the Word.
 
    Praying a prayer without conviction, being baptized, joining the church or going to Sunday school or even taking mass or communion does not make a Christian. Only by the "Divine seed" being planted in one's heart can he become a new creation in Christ. One of the signs of one experiencing the new birth is old things begin to pass away. As Jesus begins to set up house cleaning in His new temple He begins to throw out the old and replace it with all new furnishings.
 
    If the Lord Jesus Christ resides within you, your desires will change, your old habits will begin to disappear and you will instinctively want to do the things that Christ does. The true Christian does not live by rules and regulations anymore such as "Thou shall not" because the laws of God have become fulfilled in Christ and they are now written on your heart.
 
    If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have repented of your sins and iniquities and received His cleansing through the blood He shed for you, then you are a brand new born again spiritual being and the Spirit of God now resides within you. You are the temple of God, you no longer go to church because you are the church. You have become a priest of the most high God, anointed with His Holy Spirit and given divine revelation of His word.
 
    Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:4,5
 
A CHOSEN GENERATION
 
    But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. I Peter 2:9
 
    You are no longer a mere mortal barely existing to survive, you have been transformed by the regeneration of His Spirit and His word to become a supernatural generation of priests who are anointed with the Holy Spirit to minister to the Father of lights. Invited to come into the very throne room of God, we as His holy priesthood have been given access to His divine presence.
 
    As spiritual sons and daughters we can come before the Father at any time to receive His mercy and grace, or to speak to Him about our circumstances just as we would with our earthly fathers. In the old testament the priests would offer sacrifices of animals for the people and the high priest would enter the Holy of hollies into the presence of God. Today we have a High Priest who has gone before us to become the sacrifice for us and to reign forever, interceding for His holy priests on earth.
 
    Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
 
LIVING SACRIFICES
 
    I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
 
    Our sacrifice to God is our life, given freely to the One who died and was raised for us. As Jesus was the sacrifice for our sin, we in turn give our life in godly service back to Him. The laying down of one's life is a great sacrifice to make, but in light of what He has done for us, well worth the loss of any worldly gain.
 
    To become a born again Christian is to become Christlike in every aspect of our lives as the Spirit transforms us into His very image. The body of Christ is His presence in the earth, the representation of Jesus alive doing the same things He did when He was in bodily form, setting the captives free! As His ambassadors we have the responsibility to continue His kingdom here on earth until He returns.
 
    Heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the gospel (the good news of His saving grace) to the poor is our mission in life, we no longer are bound to this earthly realm. Our commission as soldiers of Christ is to make disciples of all nations, exact replicas of the Lord Jesus Christ. Freely you have received, freely give!
 
    As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7
 
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
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