The second wish

demotivational-poster-47199
Once upon a time there was a Princess, who had made two wishes without consulting her Father, the King. 

Her life in tatters after leaving the narcissist, the Princess made of the King her first request;

Please bring me a man who is the exact opposite of Silver-tongue, the narcissist.

The King decided to grant her request because she needed to learn.  She should have asked for wisdom.

The next man, a double minded man, was the complete opposite but just as perverse.

The foolish princess still hadn’t learned and asked the King to bring her someone else.

It was another soulish prayer; “Please bring me someone who sees me for who I really am, and desires me.

“Be careful of what you ask,” the King replied, wanted the Princess to see herself through His eyes.

Granting the Princess her wish, he summoned Ishmael, a foreigner from a far off land, a man of a different kingdom and faith.

It was a test.  Would she stand for the King, or fall for Ishmael?

Ishmael loved and desired the Princess, and he did restore her self esteem.  But Ishmael could never be hers.

“Why did you bring me Ishmael?”  the Princess exclaimed, knowing this was not the King’s will.

“You asked for him”  the King replied.

She should have sought the will of the King.

This was not a fairy tale.

The story of the first and second wish are in my book.


Here is wisdom, when we ask God for something, we need to ask according to His will.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14

Ask according to God's will

Fight or flight

fight-or-flight-cartoonIn the Kingdom, we are commanded to stand and fight, with all the armour that God gives us.

Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10

 

But there is a situation where we are not to stand our ground.

When it comes to sexual temptation, we have to run!

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:8

If you remember the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, Joseph ran for it.

She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me! ” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.  Genesis 39:12

Its like the Gambler song;

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run.

My book deals with temptation in different places.  Did I run?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

flee-sexual-immorality

Soul searching and the three treasures

Do you keep meeting the same kind of person?  The root of this problem is in grief.  We are compelled to repeat something until it is resolved.  The best way to avoid being sad is to be mad, at someone else.  If you had a parent figure who let you down, you find someone else like them, and stay mad at them for 40 years!  We are not people who let go of things by nature.

Heart-decisions

There is a proverb about this; As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.  Proverbs 26:11

People with damaged boundaries are perpetually in a state of loss, all the time.  It manifests as depression, rage, resentment, worry.  Depression can keep you on bondage to the person who feels they own you.  Depression is unresolved grief.  I have heard it said that depression is anger without enthusiasm.

Guilt is rage you’re lying about.  People who are really mad at someone, but anger won’t work, put themselves in the victim role.  We like to blame it on someone else, then we can avoid guilt.  If we’re angry at someone who has manipulated us, we have to ask ourselves, “what did I want from them that gave them the power to do that?”

What I have learned is the problem is never the real problem.

The solution is forgiveness, to let go of destructive people so we can receive.  Let it go, cry over it.  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4

We need to take ownership of our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.  These I have learned are called the three treasures.  If you have boundary injuries, so that you can’t take care of these, or you are putting somebody else’s monkey on your back, its because someone has hated your treasures.  Someone wanted your compliance, your going along with something, your being a good student, your helpfulness, your being entertaining or whatever, more than they wanted you to be real, open and grow, and there was a transfer.

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet tells us ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

That’s the human heart.  Deceitful.  Beyond cure.   Not able to be understood.

id ego superego

When I went to back to College to earn my Diploma of Business, the first paper we did was Business Communication.  It confirmed what I’d learned in the years I was rebuilding my life after a marriage breakup and disastrous “relationship” with a narcissist. 

Like an iceberg, most of what affects the soul is submerged.  The decisions we make which are based on our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour are affected by things hidden at an unconscious level.  Isn’t that scary.

God knows how we are wired, even if we don’t.

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives”. Jeremiah 17:10.

The good news is that the Lord is called “Wonderful Counselor” and He can bring to light those secret motives.  We all like sheep have gone astray.  The Shepherd’s goal is to search for the lost sheep and restore souls.

We want to be out of pain, we’re wanting to be in control, we’re wanting love, for the hurt to stop.  We have all these needs that are good, that want life to be better, a hunger and thirst for righteousness not getting answered.

Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

There is nothing more important in growing and recovery than taking ownership in life of your three treasures.  This will determine how you handle everything; finances, work, family, career, body, spouse, friendships, etc.  Boundaries serve as an assistant to protect these three treasures – our feelings, attitudes, and behaviour.

Boundaries are freedom and freedom is love.  We will never get there until we get to grips with our own sin, to receive grace, so we can give it away.  The pain leads us to the grace.  We can never understand truth until we have the grace first.

Most of what I have written about here was from a tape I was given on Boundaries, which I made a passing reference to it in the part of my book where I started to rebuild my life.

I kept the notes from the tapes and have put them on the blog so it can in turn help you.  He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4.

The three treasures deals with what the Lord taught me here about the hidden things of the heart.

The three treasures

Wisdom

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures
.”  Proverbs 24:3

After reading these words, Joanna looked at the King sadly.  The rooms of her house in the Kingdom were empty.  In the bad days before she had boundaries, her treasures were often taken from her.  The people who were nearest to her hated her treasures.

They had wanted her compliance, her going along with something, her helpfulness, her skills, her work, her possessions, more than they had wanted her to be real.

Other people made demands she would be paralysed to say no to, because her conscience blocked her from refusing them.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure,” she read; “Who can understand it?”  Jeremiah 17:9

This was the human heart.  Deceitful.  Incurable.  Unable to be understood.  How could she fix what she could not grasp?  She fought a brief feeling of hopelessness, until she remembered the words of the King;

But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives”. Jeremiah 17:10.

It brought to mind the words of Anna, her Great-Great Grandmother who wrote, “the Lord sees into your heart.

Joanna prayed;
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

“Father, I have a problem. I cannot rely on my own conscience. Conscience; meaning moral sense, principles, scruples, still small voice.  It has loaded me down with all sorts of guilt, failed to protect me, and made me responsible for other people’s rubbish.

Now I am building boundaries to keep the bad out, but whenever I build a boundary I experience a feeling of guilt.  Where was this coming from?  I cannot rely on myself!  Granted, with your teaching and influence I am getting better. You never speak to me the way I speak to myself. Help me to guard my heart, and to stand.”

The King heard her prayer, and joined Joanna next to the wall He helped her build.  She was making progress.

He said “This wall is to protect the treasures that lie within.”

“What are these treasures that you speak of, Lord?” she asked.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34

“Basically there are three treasures; three parts of the heart, the soul,” the King replied;
The first treasure is your feelings; your emotions which serve as barometers of the Soul.  They function as a signal.  People who don’t take ownership of their feelings, whose feelings have been violated, lose their sense of self protection.  Ask yourself, do I own my feelings, or do I let other people own my feelings?  Your feelings are our own.

The second treasure is your attitudes; convictions, what you believe, what is real to you and what isn’t, your doctrinal beliefs, what you think is true about life.  You have to stand for what you believe.  You always used to always question if you were right or not” the King stated.  She nodded.  He was right.  “People without good boundaries around their attitudes do that.”

“The third treasure is your behaviour You went through life feeling like someone else was making you do something, because they had some sort of hold over you.  Is that not true?”

She nodded.

“Many people feel like that.  People that always feel controlled by the outside ‘they made me do it’, tend to be people who don’t set good limits, or haven’t been able to set good limits on other behaviour,” the King explained.

guard-your-heartJoanna was reminded that all citizens of the Kingdom would be judged by the King for their actions.

For all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each person may receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:10

“You are going to be called to account at the Judgement for the Believer and your behaviour will be evaluated.  You won’t be able to accord it to anyone else, you will have to say that you stood alone and you made the decisions.”

She nodded, understanding the King was the Judge.  For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22

Bowing before the King, she asked “For where my heart is, my treasure is.  Please take up the throne in my Kingdom.  Help me to enforce my boundaries so that no one can make me do anything!  I want to be able to own my feelings and trust my decisions.  Teach me to guard my heart so that I can keep the treasures safe.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

Wellspring

Love, not sacrifice

Since time immemorial people have sacrificed to God, or their version of Him.  But did you know that God wants steadfast love, rather than sacrifices?  He told it to Israel in Hosea 6:6 and Jesus confirmed it in Matthew 9:12.

When the King walked the Earth He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:12

Hosea 6-6

What did He mean by desiring mercy, not sacrifice?  Was it because He wanted a free response from us, not one given under compulsion?

Have you ever given to people because you have felt pressured to, or because you can’t say no?  A yes said compulsively, fearfully, angrily, resentfully, feeling like someone’s prisoner, is not a free yes.

Then you have to hide behind a mask because you don’t have boundaries and you don’t have love.

“Compliants take on too many responsibilities and set too few boundaries – not by choice, but because they are afraid.” – Taken from the book “Boundaries”

Compassionate people are compliant from the inside out.  Sacrificial people are compliant on the outside, and resentful on the inside.

God desires our yes to be yes, and our no to be no.  Only in having boundaries are we able to do this.  The best thing we can give to others, besides love, is boundaries.

What did I do with what I learned?  My book tells the story.  Most of the material for this subject comes from the book “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

The way that is blameless

A child that lives with criticism, learns to condemn. It’s from a poem “Lessons from life” by Ronald Russell and also in a poem called “Children learn what they live.

Constant criticism and verbal abuse are devastating for a child.  It eats away with at their self-worth and undermines their self-confidence.   He or she will grow up under-valuing or even hating themselves.

When I grew up, I continued speaking to myself with my parent’s words.  I believed them, condemned myself for my mistakes, and “shoulded” on myself.

lessons1971

The Lord restores souls.  He wanted my future to be better than my past.

He gave me the words to Psalm 101,

“I will walk in my house with blameless heart.”

What do you think a person who has grown up with criticism and verbal abuse will think when they read that?

I pulled back from Him saying I couldn’t BE perfect, know matter how much I wanted to be.  He made me look up what “blameless” means.

Blameless means to be without culpability, fault, guilt, incrimination.  When I realised what God really wanted when He said “blameless,” it set me free and gave me hope for the future.

Have you been hurt by harsh words growing up?  If you have had death spoken over you by a parent or authority figure, Christ wants to set you free.

I want you to know that in Christ there is no condemnation.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1

May you walk in your house with a heart free from blame.

Blessed_are_the_blameless

Out of the storm

Job 38-1Have you ever asked, “Where is God?” 

Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump certainly did, asking Forrest “where’s this God of yours then?” Forrest remarked, “Its really funny that Lt. Dan said that, because right then, God showed up.”  I like the scene because this puny man is having a big fight with God.

“You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; And You dissolve me in a storm.”  Job 30:22

♦◊♦◊♦

 God must have answered Lt. Dan in the storm because when it ended, he was at peace, a changed man.

Sometimes, God’s answer is in the storm.  There is a scripture that says “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.  Job 38:1″  

rainbow

That’s how it happened for me.   I wasn’t as defiant as Lt. Dan, but emotionally I felt just as amputated.

The question “where was God?” caused friction with one of my friends, but its a question I had to ask.  It is okay to question and ask God where He was.  We’ve got to be real.

Some years ago, I had my own storm.  I wasn’t able to call God “Father”, just Lord.   I believe the word “Father” has a lot more trust in it than “Lord”.  Finally, I asked God “Where were you when my only brother died?”

His answer is in my book.

After God answered, I had peace, just like Lt. Dan.  Now I am able to call Him Father.

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms the soul.

Comma, comma, comma,,,, chameleon?

Alpha and exploring the meaning of life

In the next chapter of the Kingdom, I went to an Alpha course with my friend “White Flower”, to further explore the meaning of life and our Christian faith. 

Bear Grylls recommends Alpha.  You don’t have to be a Christian to go to Alpha, although you will probably encounter the Lord while doing the course, if you haven’t already met Him.  The churches running Alpha make all explorers feel very welcome.

DL_beargrylls_flyer

To conform, or transform?

On our last night of Alpha, this is what we were taught;

Monarch chrysalis“There are two types of Christian; the chrysalis and the chameleon. The chrysalis is completely transformed, whereas the chameleon merely changes colour to suit its surroundings.  Make a new start, let God transform you inwardly by a complete change.” 

I had always found safety in conforming.  I would stare out from my camouflage at a world of hurt.  Finally, I came to a place where I had to choose what I was going to be.

Conforming would have been the safe option, but I would have stayed a chameleon.

My transformation happened in steps.

First, the cocoon.  God had been teaching me about boundaries.  Now He wanted me to enforce them.   Transforming myself felt scary and dangerous, but I had to do it if I was to leave behind the things that harmed me.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

So when it came to the last question in Alpha, how can I make the most of the rest of my life?   I had to decide whether to be a chameleon, or a chrysalis, whether to use camouflage, or a cocoon, whether to conform, or transform.

My story about that is told in my book.

Comma comma comma Chameleon

An attack of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt)

I have struggled with unbelief, particularly in the early days, even after I found the Lord and heard what He’d promised me.  On one particular occasion, the Lord dealt with my lack of trust and reminded me of the promise He’d made.  

The story is told in my book.

I think we all struggle with doubt, especially when the Lord is silent.  I copied this Word for the Day from Radio Rhema NZ, that I received around the same time I had the FUD attack.  It helped me, and it may help you or someone you know who is trying to recover from a destructive relationship.  If this helps, God bless, I know what its like and I’m blogging for you.

Rebuilding Trust

When your trust is violated, you become distrustful and you start questioning in areas you never did before.  Sometimes you can’t receive the very love you need because in defense your wounded spirit vows, “Nobody will every do that to me again.”  The real damage is not what you went through, but what you’re left with: terrible doubt.  The woman at the well had been through five broken relationships, and when she met Jesus she didn’t know that He was different.  He had to take down her defenses or she’d have missed that greatest thing that ever happened to her.

Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  Even though you can’t go back, He can.  He can turn on the lights in those dark places and break the chain that binds you to memory.  “The former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17).  You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to experience this; He can do it for you now.  But you’ll never experience a moment of what He’s promised until you learn to trust again.  Trust God, and trust the people He sends to bless you.  Yes, you’ll be disappointed.  Don’t look for perfect treatment from imperfect people.  You’ll get lots of practice in forgiving, but that’s the Christian life.

The people God can use the most are those who have been made whole in wounded places and strengthened in broken places.  Ask Him to help you take down the wall of fear and learn to trust again.

The Temple – spirit, soul, and body

bedazzled-106Bedazzled is a film from the year 2000, based on an earlier 1967 film, in which The Devil attempts to buy a man’s soul in return for seven wishes.

This is the dialogue between the Devil played by Liz Hurley, and Elliot played by Brendan Fraser;

The Devil: “It’s [your soul] like your appendix. You’ll never even miss it.”
Elliot: “Oh, yeah? If it’s so useless, how come you want it so much?
The Devil: “Oh, aren’t you the clever one?”

So what’s so special about our souls?  Lets differentiate between the soul and spirit. The soul is the personality, your “I AM” so to speak (made in God’s image), your “heart.” The spirit is the source of power and control for both your body and soul. (For more on this please reference this page: The Relationship of Flesh and Spirit Physical Things vs. Spiritual Things )

The Temple

The Jewish temple was fashioned after the human spirit, soul, and body. Jesus showed us this after he cleared the temple of the thieves. He was asked “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. John 2:13-19

Temple_of_the_Holy_Spirit_Chart

In the Jewish temple, the Holy of holies, or the most Holy place, represented the Spirit. It was a perfect cube — its length, width and height were all equal to 15 feet.

Beyond the Veil

A heavy curtain known as the “veil” hung in the Jewish temple.  It was made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn with figures of cherubim, a special order of angels, embroidered onto it. The curtain was there to separate God from sinful man, showing man that the holiness of God could not be trifled with. God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil and He can tolerate no sin.  You can read that in Habakkuk 1:13.

In fact, anyone except the high priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die. Even the high priest, God’s chosen mediator with His people, could only pass through the veil and enter this sacred dwelling once a year, on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement, and even then only after meticulous preparation.

As Jesus gave up his life with the word “Tetelestai”, the curtain in the Jerusalem temple was torn in half, from the top to the bottom. ‘Tetelestai’ means ‘paid in full’ or ‘it is done.’ 

Only God could have carried out such an incredible feat tearing the curtain because the veil was too high for human hands to have reached it, and too thick to have torn it.

His death ended the separation between God and man.

Our hope, is firm and secure, an anchor for the soul. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19-20

In order to have this hope, we have to be born again. Because of sin, we were born with dead spirits. That’s why Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’“John 3

Connecting to God

In order for the spirit to become strong it needs to be fed.  There are two ways to edify (build up) the spirit –

1) by reading (hearing) the word of God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word. Romans 10:17.

The Bible can speak to the soul AND the spirit; For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

and 2) by praying in tongues (in the spirit); He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself;
1 Corinthians 14:2

If we can do this, the Holy Spirit can ‘direct connect’ with us (our spirit). This makes it easier to hear God speak to us, easier for the Holy Spirit to teach us, lead us, and operate through us.  If the spirit does not lead, the soul will exalt itself over the spirit and it will overrule the will of the King.

My old life had been led according to the dictates of my mind, emotions, and will, which lead to work I hated and a failed marriage.  I had to “rebuild the temple”, meaning rebuild my life. Now that the King was Lord, I was about to learn another way.  I wasn’t going to go it alone though.  The Lord found me a new friend who had also been given the same word. My book deals with the work God did in me, ‘rebuilding the temple,’ and restoring my soul.