By Norma Guevarra,

normaguevarra@yahoo.com

I grew up in a home where we were taught that the Bible was the word of God and Jesus was His Son. That Jesus died on the cross for us. But even though our life was good, something happened to me when I was about 10 years old. I carried the secret for a big part of my life. The free young girl I was began to change into a very insecure shy person who knew to much for her age. I felt that I was not as good, not as pretty, and not as smart as all the other girls. I carried a lot of shame because I didn’t understand why this had happen to me. I knew ABOUT God but I always felt different from every one else.  When you grow up having sexual things done to you, thoughts that come from these actions, and then too young understand, it takes residence in your mind and spirit.

Then I married my high school sweetheart. Our relationship was good. We had three children, worked hard and bought our home. Every thing seemed good until one night after about 30 years of marriage my husband said he wanted a new life. He left!!!  Here it came again, what is wrong with me, why am I so different and why wasn’t I good enough. I felt shame again, that I wasn’t good enough to hold the marriage together for our family. The rejection was over whelming.

I was held in bondage to these thoughts for a very long time. When these things happen in your life, you become captive to them and it hinders the Spirit filled life God has planned for you. You get STUCK. You don’t realize it because it becomes “your habit.” You can’t experience God’s awesome  love, because you don’t know Him – you know about him, but you really don’t know him personally. Or maybe you just don’t believe in Gods promises to you.

Trust and the ability to believe God is developed by experiencing Him.

The good news is He has a plan for you and this promise and plan is written in His word. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).

“And call upon Me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15).

“He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:19). CHRIST CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE.  SATAN CAME TO MAKE THE FREE CAPTIVE.

Your God says this to you:  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8).

Listen people, Your Heavenly Father is telling you this. The one who put the stars, sun and moon in the sky. He isn’t just your neighbor or some person at the grocery store.

SATAN TRIES TO KEEP YOU BLINDED and HIS FAVORITE TOOL IS SHAME, AND BELIEVING THAT YOU CANNOT BE FORGIVEN FOR YOUR SINS

How many in this room are held captive or held in bondage to something that has happen to you, a hurt that you can’t forget or forgive. It may be negative words spoken to you, and the worst is, it has become a “believing habit,” that you believe. You might say, “that’s just the way is.” You believe that God loves other people but he can’t love you that same way, because you are different. You know the Lord and you are trying to live a spirit filled life. Think about this: you believe people and sometimes hang on to their every word and all their promises to you. But think about this: why is it so hard for us to believe God, our heavenly Father. You think, because what has happen to you, God can’t forgive you, even though you love Him. Something doesn’t connect. What or who are we fighting against?

WHO IS THIS SATAN AND IS HE REAL? He is the master of deception. WHAT DOES GOD SAY IN HIS WORD about this?

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

When we turn to Jesus.. “Then they [meaning us] will come to their senses and escape from Satan’s trap of slavery to sin which he uses to catch them whenever he likes, and then they can begin doing the will of God” (living bible – 2 Timothy Ch. 2:26). The will of God is for our future. Satan is the master of deception. We accept Hollywood actors as role models. The Harry Potter books are about witchcraft. They are held up with such high esteem “because they have made our children read.” The vampire movies are the biggest money making movies now. I have seen in the news where mothers with their kids are staying in line “into the night” to get tickets. We accept the sitcoms that promote fornication, alcohol, drugs, forsaking the sanctity of marriage and killing. We and our children sing the songs of Madonna  and many other singers, with words that are disgusting, and call women degrading names. Spirituals and mediums are popular TV programs now. Yet we accept it all. It has become a natural entertainment. Our mind becomes programmed and desensitized to all these things. Satan is working over time. Who’s fault, Satan’s or ours? We do have a turn off button on our radios and TVs.

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?  “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am your God” (Lev. 19:26).

“So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting witches and mediums?  Don’t listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead?  Why not ask your God? Check these witches words against the Word of God! If their messages are different than mine, it is because I have not sent them, for they have no light or truth in them” (Isa. 8:19-20). It goes on to say you will be held captive and thrust into darkness. Why do we listen and seek these words rather than Gods?

REPROGRAM YOUR MIND.

You need to experience GOD. TALK TO HIM EVERY DAY AND EVERY TIME YOU THINK OF HIM (Rom. 12:12). Make it a new habit to speak His promises back to Him.

LEARN TO TRUST HIM  (not just knowing about Him).

My friend Eric Wheeler says, “The problem today is that Jesus is more real to people as a past figure of history than as a  present reality.”   People God is REAL today for you!!!!

You have to know who he is and what he expects of you and also what He has promised you. Do you know His greatness? He has promised to help you take control of your life, to have victory and to over come the bondage that is holding you back.

Remember the verse we read “He has plans for you”. Now when you read or hear this promise, do you believe it? He will teach you that you are not defined by anything that happened to you or any negative words that have been spoken to you in the past or present, also any sin you have asked forgiveness for. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how long you’ve lived like this, you can be FREE.  Learn to trust Him and He will teach you who you are and who He created you to be, not what you have convinced yourself to be. It is not self esteem – it will become Christ esteem. My self worth does not depend on what others think of me.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes. But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7).

“He who believes in Me, as scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.[this is the Holy Spirit]” (John 7:38).

SEEK HIM!

He listens to us. Diligently seek to find out who He really is. Talk to Him, repent, accept his forgiveness, trust Him, thank Him, ask Him for more faith, for wisdom, praise Him, and ask Him what He is trying to teach you. When you are repenting remember that Peter said to them in Acts 2:38 “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Your heavenly father is waiting to make the man or woman He created, gently come alive. Let your focus be on his promises, NOT your past. Fill you mind and your heart with the promises of God even though you can’t see what you asked for. Believe and trust Him, remember has any one else you trusted ever put stars, moon and a sun in the sky? Speak out the promises. When fear and doubt tries to take over your mind then go seek God. Seek His word and tell Him how much you love Him.

You will hear Him talk to you, through a sermon, His word, a worship song, and He will talk to you when you are quiet and still and if you are listening. Talk to Him about everything. When you are happy, or when you are fearful, lacking faith, wisdom and when you are thankful. What consumes your mind 99% of the time? Your problem or His promises? If it’s the problem, maybe it has become a habit to just WORRY?

ASK HIM. “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him, he will not resent it. But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:5-6, living bible).

Why is it that we can get on a plane or a train, sit back and believe that the pilot or conductor will get us there safely? We have no idea what they did the night before or that morning. But we trust them with our lives. Yet we can’t trust God, and we doubt.

Do you know the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit and you can have more wisdom than you could ever imagine. Knowledge is what WE can figure out, what WE can learn.

No matter what you are going through God says this: “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:28-31).  If He calls you to do something, that means He knows you can do it. Just think, who wouldn’t want God on their side when there is trouble. He will walk you through. If you are going through something and you can’t seem to understand why and how, give it to Him.

God says “all things work together for good.” and “Let your conduct be without covetousness, (wanting things you don’t need,) be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. [That means he won’t abandon or give up on us. Most of the time WE leave Him.] So we may boldly say: the Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it, you are just all talk!!!!

We must change: “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of you mind” (Ephesians 4:22-23).

We have to make a choice. Our strongest motivation will be who we constantly talk to and who we surround our selves with. Staying close to the Lord through constant communication, we receive a continual supply of strength, peace and wisdom to walk through our life. Expect great things from God and learn to do great things for God. Let Him work through you. Be His vessel.

Never forget:  “No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the lord, and their righteousness is from Me. Says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, the shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you fear not, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: Step out in faith.

Faith is letting go of your control, and knowing that God has the control, even when you can’t see it or feel it. Now, ask him what he wants you to do. Some times he just wants you to work on your self. Take the limits off of God. Let Him give you the desires of your heart. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation: old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

So what have I learned? Am I more than a conquer?

God turned my fear into peace, power, and faith.

My unworthiness into, a respect for my self, and a new confidence.

My loneliness into independence, and comfort.

My confusion in to contentment and wisdom.

My weakness in to strength.

My unforgiveness into being merciful and to look at things through Gods eyes.

My control of things into trust, letting go and giving it to God.

God can renew our life if we let go of some things and let Him take over. You might say, “well, I really don’t have any bad habits or addictions.”

See if any of these fit your life that you might have to let go of.….

GIVE UP…….

1. Give up your need to always be right.

2. Give up your need to always be in control. (what ever part of your life is not under Christ’s control is wide open to Satan’s influence.)

3. Give up on blame. Start taking responsibilities for your life.

4. Give up on self-defeating self talk. Negative and repetitive self defeating mind set.

5. Give up on your limiting beliefs. (Believe in what God says not

your traditions.)

6. Give up on your complaining and thank God for what you do have.

7. Give up on your criticism.(You do not know everything.)

8. Give up on your need to impress others.

9. Give up on your resistance to change.

10. Give up your fears.

11. Give up your excuses.  We limit our selves because of “excuses.”

12. Give up your past.  (It’s over and getting old.)

13. Give up attachment to “things.”

14. Give up living your life to other peoples expectations.  By living a life that is not yours, you will become so busy with pleasing everyone, you lose control over your own life and not be able to see the plan God has for you.

So turn to Jesus into your heart today. Know you are a sinner, and your sin separates you from God. Jesus died on the cross for you. Repent and BELIEVE that He will forgive you. Love and obey Him and He will lead your life to fulfill His plan for you.

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