In the Name of Freedom: A Daily Practice in telling Satan to Shove It.

untitled-design-2

Shut it down ladies… that voice in your head that’s been messing with you all day.  It can feel like torture sometimes, can’t it?  That mental suffering or anxiety that keeps you from being present and confident in crowds of people….or before the Lord….Shut. It. Down!

Matthew 5: 25 says, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you’ll be thrown into prison.”

Jesus is ALWAYS talking about things of the heart.  Our hearts and minds are closely connected and anyone in Christ absolutely has an adversary who hates them and wants them in prison; mentally, physically, and/or spiritually.

Satan is our adversary who is ruthless in his attacks as he condemns our hearts and minds.  Jesus is saying to settle these matters quickly! Don’t let them go too far! If you can identify when Satan is jacking with your head and heart, settle it quickly before it escalates! Jesus warns us what will happen if we don’t.

It just gets worse! It says he will hand us over to the judge, who can hand us over the officer, who can throw us in jail! We can go deeper and deeper into the thoughts and lies if we don’t settle it quickly.

Our thoughts turn into actions and attitudes.

Feeling trapped or imprisoned isn’t how Jesus Christ wants us to live!  He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

Anxiety, fear, worry, shame, bitterness, regret, failure, or insecurities…any of these emotions have the ability to make us feel trapped and in an emotional prison if we don’t settle the matters quickly.

The next time those thoughts creep into your mind…. Shut. It. Down. with the truth! Stand tall and speak Romans 8:1 out loud!

Say to adversary (Satan) NO! Jesus says to settle these matters quickly and there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.  There is no prison for me because Christ died to let me out of the prison where sin kept me.  Pray, because of Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. End with….this matter is settled simply because Jesus said it was finished!!

I find it interesting that this passage is sandwiched in between Jesus talking about murder and adultery.  Settling matters quickly with the truths of Christ is the key to properly dealing with ALL issues ranging from hate/anger, anxiety/fear, shame/pride, all the way to lust!  Whatever the enemy uses to mess with you can be dealt with by simply shutting it down quickly in Jesus name.

Jesus said it is finished.  That means no prison for you. Not today. Not any day for those in Christ Jesus.

Galations 5:1 It is for freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

twitter-post-1

Is this you? Have you been listening to the lies of the person who hates you? Do you find yourself trapped again? I pray in Jesus name, you hit the reset button on your life.  I pray you remember that you have been crucified with Christ and that the old is gone! Not some of the old. ALL the old is gone.  I pray that you are restored to the joy of your salvation and you allow Jesus to open up the gates of whatever prison you feel trapped in again.

So shut it down ladies. Whatever thoughts creep into your day that  don’t make you feel loved, seen, safe, and secure in Christ Jesus aren’t from God.  He loves you and wants you to know Him to be a God of Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. It is for freedom, not condemnation that Christ came for us.

Be encouraged and reminded that you don’t have to allow your thoughts to torture you today.  You have been saved and set free by a God who loves you perfectly, and sent you the only Savior you’ll ever need, Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I speak freedom and strength over every eye who reads this. I pray you pour out wisdom and truth to us through your word so that we can know when the enemy comes to steal our joy and try to keep us from walking in freedom.  I pray today is the day every lie is identified that keeps us from walking in the truth of who you say we are; loved, cherished, approved, and redeemed.  Thank you for Jesus and the cross. You are everything.

In Jesus’ powerful name I pray,
Amen.

 

click-here-to-sign-up-to-follow-my-blog-receive-your-free-weekly-prayer-schedule

Advertisements

Dear Fear, We’re breaking Up!

Friends with God

D

Dear fear,

We. Are. Breaking. Up.

It’s not working out anymore… And let’s be clear.. It’s you not me.  You call me names like failure, fake, and screw up.  You keep me in the shadows  instead of walking in the light.  You send my head spinning instead of focusing on what’s true.

You. Waste. My. Time.

You. Kill. My. Joy.

You keep me in the negative “what ifs”

What if my husband gets in a car wreck?

What if my kids get hurt?

What if a bad guy breaks into my home?

What if people really know all the bad stuff I’ve done.

What if I’m making the wrong decision and this turns out badly?

What if I’m hearing you wrong?

What if I’m a really bad mom and My kids end up jacked up?

What if this makes me look stupid?

What if I feel like this forever?

So out…

View original post 498 more words

4 Traits of Peacemakers: Are you One?

laurenbtonge-com

 

Are you a peacemaker?  Jesus says peacemakers will be called sons of God.  There is definitely a difference in sons and children, so what’s it take to become a Son of God?

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 is turning into one of my favorite passages of Scripture. It’s a golden little nugget that everyone should highlight or underline in their Bible.  It covers so many basics of the Christian life, it’s a wonder the world ever gets confused on what God wants us to do!

Peacemakers are active in the Ministry of Reconciliation.

In a nut shell, it describes peacemakers to a T!

4 Traits of Peacemakers:

  1. Peacemakers Fear the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:11 Since then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.

Fear of the Lord is a VERY misunderstood phrase in Scripture.  I didn’t understand it until a few years ago.  Hearing the words, “fear the Lord” used to make me scared and think God was mad at me or “don’t sin because you are afraid of God.”  I was understanding these passages wrongly.

Fearing the Lord is like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and seeing how majestic it is.  Fearing the Lord is being in awe of His greatness.  Fearing the Lord brings you to a place of worship because you are in awe of who He is! And He is great and Holy and we are not. We need a Savior.

Peacemakers fear the Lord.

  1. Peacemakers are compelled by love.

Peacemakers see and know the love of Christ in a way that compels them to seek and give peace. They understand the love, mercy, and grace they have received from God through Christ and are completely humbled by it.

They know the love of the Father and are convinced Christ is the only way. They know He is the only thing that will ever bring peace, hope, and true satisfaction.

2 Corinthians 5:14, “Christ’s love compels us. For we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”

Peacemakers love people.

  1. Peacemakers are Heaven minded.

Peacemakers are heaven minded meaning they see people differently because of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5: 16 “So, from now on, we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”

A worldly point of view lacks patience, mercy, and understanding. A worldly point of view is self serving, entitled, and easily angered.

A heaven minded person sees people in need of a Savior, knows what they’ve been saved from, and can present the gospel in a way that shows God is love and wants to restore/reconcile all things.

Peacemakers look at people in a heavenly way; the way Christ looks at us.  They don’t hold people’s sins against them, but extend grace and mercy.  They understand that everyone isn’t at the same place in their walk with Christ and can be patient.

Peacemakers have a heavenly perspective.

4. Peacemakers know who they are in Christ.

Peacemakers know they are a new creation because of Jesus.  They understand the beauty of God reconciling himself to the world in Jesus.  This beauty of reconciliation increases the love of Father God and overflows out of their hearts, which overflows into their words, which overflows into their relationships.

2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are therefor  Christ’s Ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

This is why peacemakers are called sons of God.  The Sons represent the father.  The sons do their father’s bidding.  The sons (daughters) know the Father so well they can speak for him.

IMG_3086

So are you a peacemaker? Does your life mirror that of a minister of reconciliation?

Let’s continue to ask the Spirit of God to change our hearts so we may be ambassadors of the Prince of  Peace and Thank you Jesus for being the perfect example!

Who do you need to make peace with? Maybe it’s yourself. I remember the moment I became a “son” of God.

It was when I made peace with the wasted years of my life through truly receiving the forgiveness.  Once I extended forgiveness to myself, I received peace, knew peace, and could give peace away.

Is there anyone/situation in your life that is keeping you from truly knowing  what it means to be a son of God due to lack of peace?

Do you carry around bitterness and drama in relationships?  I plead with you to confess! Bring the situation before God and ask Him for His help! He is so faithful. And seek PEACE.

Some of you may be thinking…I’ve tried…well then make peace with the fact that you’ve tried and move on.

Romans 12:18-If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Some people have hearts that are immature and haven’t been changed by the love of Christ yet.

So pray for them and continue to do whatever you can to allow peace into your heart.

Becoming like the Prince of Peace is what we are called to do as believers and followers of Jesus.  I pray you do whatever it takes to be filled with the love of Jesus so that you can walk through life as a peacemaker.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Jesus and his perfect example.  Thank you that you never leave us hanging without instructions.  Help us to be peacemakers. Show us what we need to confess so we can worship you more and extend peace to others. I pray that every eye that reads this comes to know the grace and mercy that only comes through walking life closely with Christ.

Thank you for Jesus.  You are everything.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

See also

Is Being a Peacemaker Optional?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Pray for Your Small Group: Week 1

how-to-gI love the first week of small groups.  I have usually been praying for the people in my group for weeks before the first meeting, so by the time everyone shows up I simply see so much opportunity for Jesus to move in a way that only he can do.  Legit. Life. Change.

Prayer precedes a move of God.  I love watching God move.

I see all these people and secretly laugh because they have no idea what they’ve signed up for.  I love leading with Joel. I’ve partnered with multiple people in the past, but the fact Joel and I lead together is another reason I love the gospel so much.  The gospel makes marriages beautiful.  Leading with Joel also means we will get out of there on time…I can get a little long winded;)

I’m co-leading with this awesome couple this semester because my life is crazy and according to Joel…. I’ve never been flakier.   But the one thing even flaky people can do is pray! And prayer changes things.  With such an array of people in this group, you might wonder how I could possibly pray  for all of them and all their needs!

I’ve spoken about praying through songs before.  When it comes to groups of people, I pray this song over them, All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons and Daughters over them.

Here are the lyrics:

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
Will know that You are holy

And all will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah

And all the hearts that are content
And all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothing left
Will know that You are holy

And all will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah

Shout it
Go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God

We will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah
We will sing out
Hallelujah

Shout it
Go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God

Heck. Yeah. To. This!  I pray that all the poor and powerless, the lost and lonely, the content, those who feel unworthy, the hurt that have nothing left, and the thieves that need to confess, will know that God is Holy.

I pray that God moves in such a way that all they can do is sing and cry out hallelujah (God be praised) for what He has done in their life.

I pray that God invades the dark places in their thoughts, in their hearts, in their lives with the truth of the Gospel in such an overwhelming way that their only words are hallelujah! I pray that God touches the hurt and this is the time where those places are healed in Jesus name.

I pray that those people who need help will find relief in the comfort of people who can be the hands and feet of the Christ who loves them perfectly. I pray strength into them that they continue to come back each week all semester long.

And I pray this with the expectation that God will move because I’ve prayed it before and seen Him move.

So I pray it again in Jesus name and this semester, I’m asking you to join me.

Many people show up to small group as a last resort, so I plea and pray that God breathes life into the hearts of each member sitting in a chair in a small group…in the local church…sitting in houses…all around the world.

I get a little jacked up writing about prayer…if you want your faith to increase….pray…intercede.

Not all prayers get answered, but for the next 12 weeks, I’m forgetting every prayer that hasn’t been answered and I’m pushing forward and praying that God moves and does an amazing work in the lives of  the people sitting in small group and I’m asking you to join me.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I praise you for who you are and for what you have done.  I thank you for Jesus. I pray that every eye who reads this will know that you are Holy and good.  Father, I lift up all the people mentioned and I pray you move in Jesus name.  I pray that dead hearts come to life, that dead marriages come to life, that broken hearts are healed, and the content and broken are overwhelmed by your goodness and faithfulness.

I pray this is Jesus name,

Amen.