Renewing your Mind – Living from a Place of Victory (part 6)

When I first had my children, I really felt God impress on me to live my life with Romans 12:1-2 being paramount.

In the Message version it says in Romans 12:1-2 “Place Your Life Before God – So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

These verses and meditating on them, have helped bring a peace and joy to my life and that of my family. We have tried to base our whole thinking around what is of God versus what is of our culture. The NIV writes Romans 12:2 like this: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This led us to home school our children, an uncommon thing in Australia. I realise that home schooling is not for every family, but all too often people do not even ask God what form of schooling their children should have or who should have the major role in educating and indoctrinating their children.

Several principles I have found that have helped me tremendously in renewing my mind are:

  1. Whatever we focus on, grows.

Thus, if we focus on negative things, they will grow. Thus, be careful what you think about. Also, be aware that what you put into your mind, or feed your mind, will also reap fruit. Deliberately focus on the good. I am constantly amazed by people who continually say negative or depressing things. There is so much good in this world to focus on instead. Thus, be intentional what you look at, read, listen to.

 

                              I challenge you to go on a media fast for a week to a fortnight. Soak instead in God’s Word and see if there is any change in your circumstances and your thought life after the media fast.

 

  1. Change your thoughts

What we believe in our hearts not only determines our behaviour but it directs our lives. Check out Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. Deliberately change your thoughts to positive thoughts.

The key to personal transformation is to change the way you think; to renew your mind (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 John 5:4).

2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about “take captive every thought”. Stop and capture every thought that flitters through your mind that is not of God. Immediately take it captive and get rid of it.

I like to think of a 3 colour traffic light system with my thought life. Very rarely now will I be anxious, worried, sad or depressed. I classify those emotions as the colour red in the traffic light system. I am generally very positive and upbeat – thus green traffic light. I identify, for me, some things that raise an amber warning light in the traffic light system and that prompts me to immediately go back to God to keep in the green. I immediately take them captive and get rid of them. What are your ‘amber’ warning lights?

  1. Meditate on Scripture. Play Christian songs with lyrics that speak life.

Speak life over yourself. Write out a declaration and speak it out over yourself on a regular basis. Speak the Bible over yourself. Pray it over your life. Bless your spirit with words from the Bible.

  1. Don’t second guess or keep asking.

So many times, I know people have heard from God but they don’t like the answer so they waste precious time by continually asking God for (hopefully) a different answer. This does not lead to a peaceful mind.

  1. Watch your words – speak life. Be careful of what you say. Are you speaking words that bring life or words that bring death? Our words have the power to create the outcome. (see blog post from June 2nd, 2018 – http://www.unlockingthegold.com/what-we-say-living-from-a-place-of-victory-part-4/)
  1. Memorial stones

I find that it helps me to stay focused if I am beginning something new to have reminders around the place. Just like the Israelites had the memorial stones (Joshua 4 – stones from the Jordan River that reminded them of what God had done for them), I keep reminders at home for me. Little momentoes that remind me constantly of God’s goodness, kindness and love. These momentoes encourage me to turn my thoughts to Christ, to stay positive.

7. Guard your Peace

Be aware of living in a state of total peace so that when you come against any feeling that is not from this ‘peaceful’ state, you are immediately alerted in your spirit. Guard your peace. Do whatever you have under your control to keep your spirit at peace.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Go around your family/table and ask God to show you a supernatural superhero power that God has given to each family member. Encourage each person in their own superhero supernatural power.

2. Group Activation: In preparation, write an encouraging single word on a piece of paper eg fun, June, special, warm, gold, Holy, grace, laughter, September etc. Write enough different single words so that there is at least one piece of paper for each person expected to be present. During the group time, spread out the pieces of paper and ask people to choose one piece of paper each. Then ask them to find someone the word applies to prophetically and speak a prophetic word over them about that characteristic.

3. Beginner Activation: Keep track of every thought and feeling today, pulling yourself up when you start to feel, say or think anything negative. Capture those thoughts and change them to the opposite. Deliberately try to choose positive and thankfulness instead. Find someone who appears down and not cheerful and give them a sincere prophetic word.

4. Intermediate Activation: Find a house in your neighbourhood with an unkempt front yard. Walk past and spend time blessing the house, the occupants and the owners. Try and do this on a regular basis and take note of any changes.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God how you can be part of the response to your country’s refugee situation. Prophesy over the situation, whether your country or the wider world situation for refugees.

Changing Atmospheres – Living from a Place of Victory (part 5)

Several years ago, my daughter and I were having a drink with a lady whilst waiting for my husband and son to join us. After a good twenty minutes, we both were looking at one another in amazement. The woman was so negative. We were both feeling very uncomfortable because everything we said was turned into a negative complaint. The woman stated that it was such a cold, dreary day. She then went on to say that the café would probably forget her drink (which they did). She then said that the coffee would probably be cold, which it was. Everything she said was so negative.

Suddenly I remembered that we can change or ‘shift’ the atmosphere. As a family we had recently listened to a CD by Dawna DeSilva from Bethel on this topic but we hadn’t yet ‘tried’ it out. Very quietly so that only my daughter and I heard, I said, “Spirit of negativity I see you and I choose not to partner with you. Instead, I release a spirit of joy.”

Instantly this woman stopped complaining and being negative. The atmosphere changed significantly and instantaneously. My daughter and I were gobsmacked. We both realised the results were amazing.

I believe it is important to teach our children that they are responsible for their attitude and the atmosphere they carry and also how they can simply change the atmosphere around them by speaking a few simple words.

We are spiritual beings and the spirit within us has power to change the atmosphere where we are. I have personally used this a number of times in my work situation where I have been nursing a patient who is really upset and the atmosphere will completely change. It is usually so powerful that all my colleagues will notice it and comment on the change with amazement.

Friends, this is a powerful weapon. Whenever you notice an atmosphere that isn’t of God, use this method to change it. Whenever you walk into a room and feel an extremely strong emotion that isn’t you or you didn’t have a few minutes ago and there seems to be no apparent reason, try this method. It works.

An example is friends were walking through the casino from the carpark to the restaurant and the woman suddenly felt a strong sexual urge overwhelm her. She was completely baffled but tried this strategy and the strong sexual urge immediately left her. She had encountered a spirit in the atmosphere that was not of her but had impacted her as she walked through that area.

I encourage you to try it this week and then teach your children how they can also do it. When I teach kids how to do this, I usually frame it as saying, “fear go, peace come”.

I taught it to a Sunday School class last year and that very afternoon at lunchtime, one of the kids was in his kitchen helping his mum who was stressed and the atmosphere became quite tense. The mum later shared how her son said, “I learnt something today. I can’t remember what to say. Oh yes. Stress go, peace come.” The mum shared how they both noticed an immediate change.

Try it when you next encounter something negative “in the air”. It may even be your own children being grumpy, dishonest, defiant etc. You have spiritual authority over the situation, so just quietly say, “I see you spirit of…. and I choose not to partner with you and instead I release the spirit of…..(the opposite)”. See what happens.

If you would like to hear a full teaching on this, Dawna DeSilva from Bethel Church has a  fantastic teaching audio on ‘shifting atmospheres’. (http://store.ibethel.org/p4003/shifting-atmospheres)

Let me know how you go.

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Cut shapes of fruit out of paper. Write negative emotions & characteristics eg fear, anger, bullying, lying, on those pieces of ‘fruit’. Stick to a wall. Get a nerf gun and take it in turns to ‘shoot’ the fruit. When you ‘shoot’ the fruit, you then can turn the fruit over and write on the other side the opposite emotion. Practice saying eg “Fear go, peace come”.

2. Group Activation: Play “Prophetic UNO”. It works best in groups of 6-8 people. Get a pack of UNO cards. One at a time, turn over the top card. Follow the instructions eg if a red card, then you give a prophetic word to the person on your left. This is most effective when you play it quickly ie people need to start giving a prophetic word within 20-30 seconds of turning over the card.

UNO Prophecy Instructions

                     RED            – you give a prophetic word to the person on your left

                     GREEN       – you give a prophetic word to the person on your right

                     BLUE          – you give a prophetic word to the person opposite

                     YELLOW    – you choose who to give a prophetic word to in the group

                     DRAW 2    – choose 2 people to give you a prophetic word

                     DRAW 4    – choose 4 people to give you a prophetic word

                     WILD CARD – Choose whether you give a prophetic word to someone or choose someone to give you one.

3. Beginner Activation: Take notice of the everyone whom you meet who is negative today. Practice changing the atmosphere by saying quietly into the atmosphere “Negativity go, peace and positivity come”. Watch and see the change.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to highlight 3 articles of clothing to you – the colour, type etc. Watch for a person wearing those 3 articles. Be ready to give them a prophetic word to encourage, strengthen or comfort them. Remember, you can give a prophetic word that doesn’t have “christian” language in it.

5. Advanced Activation: Go to an area of your town which is often in the news for negative reasons. Ask God to show you His heart for this area and the people within it. Prophecy over this area for a change towards Kingdom values.

Authority – Living from a Place of Victory (part 3)

Imagine your dad owned a huge company that employed many people. Over many years, your dad has been trying to implement a new method of operating. He has completed just about all the background work and it is nearly ready for the big day when it is going to be officially implemented. You have spent a lot of your time just hanging around your dad whilst he had been working on it. You weren’t an employee, you were the boss’s kid and so you had free reign where you went and what you did. You loved the smell of your dad’s office and being with Him whilst He worked. He often talked aloud of what He was doing and you were passionate about what He was doing since you just loved being with Him. Your dad included you in the brainstorming of the solutions to problems. Your dad often allowed you to implement the changes.

The big day arrives and unexpectedly your dad can’t make the official opening. He asks you instead, as His representative, to be there as His delegated authority. You know the workings of it nearly as much as He does because of all the time you have spent with Him and the intimacy of the working conditions. Your dad has complete faith and trust in you. He knows that you understand what is required to be done and how to solve many of the issues. Thus, he delegates his authority to you.

Imagine this is God and He is asking you to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, change nature. What is your response?

Knowing our authority and the manner in which we walk in it can change our life. It impacts the way we pray, how we pray, what we say, our actions, our lifestyle. In fact, it can completely change how we live our life.

 

                         Authority is delegated power.

 

Jesus has complete authority and He gave us authority to do whatever He did plus more. (John 14:12)

Last week I posted about identity and living from a place of how God sees us as that will always be more accurate and far better than how we see ourself. Out of our identity and our intimacy with Father God comes our authority.

When we have a faulty belief system, it definitely shows up here. How we view and believe what God can and will do, certainly impacts the authority we operate in. When we believe that God is always good and wants to heal and can heal anything, it changes the way we pray for people and what we pray.

I can remember being in a Board meeting of our Healing Rooms and the Director was sharing about a team member needing heart surgery and she went on to explain the condition. I was a Coronary Care specialist nurse for over 25 years so I knew what she was talking about. I just automatically went to the position of the operation would be the best outcome for that type of condition. As we prayed, I said, “Father God, if it is your will to heal this person without surgery…”. The Director stopped me right there and said, “Jane, we don’t pray that way.”. I was rightly reprimanded as that is not exercising my faith and authority as a daughter of the Healing God that we love and serve. God wants to heal everyone. Fair enough, some people’s healing does come through having surgery but we do not pray, “if it is your will to heal”.

I have had to intentionally grow my faith so that it is bold and so that I operate from a belief system that God can do anything, that the impossible can become possible with God.

Some of the ways that I have grown my faith have included:

  • I have intentionally blessed my spirit. I call my spirit to attention and bless it with increased faith. I bless it with knowing beyond a doubt that Father God can and will do the impossible. That Father God specialises in making the impossible the possible.
  • Personally experiencing miracles and healing.
  • Studying the Bible and what it says about faith, healing, God.
  • Surrounding myself with people of great faith, who know the Bible and live by the promises in the Bible.
  • Listening to great teaching about the promises in the Bible
  • Spending time with God asking Him the hard questions and growing in intimacy with Him.
  • Prayer ministry has been another way that has helped me to see some faulty beliefs that I had about God. When I now react in a manner that is inappropriate to a situation eg get angry, I try to take a few minutes to ask God, “Father God, can you please show me why I acted that way. What lie am I believing? After I have my answer, and confess that lie/belief to God, I then ask God, “What truth do you want me to know instead?”

Sometimes we don’t actually realise how much we have grown in a certain area until we are around people who have a different belief system to ourselves. This was very evident to me last week when I was asked to give words of knowledge at a healing course and then pray for people who came forward.  I was gobsmacked by how many people said, “My back’s killing me” and “I’m going blind and there’s nothing that can be done about it” or “God’s never healed me before”. It also struck me how many people assumed that the Doctor’s diagnosis of their condition was true and final.

One of the reasons I was astounded by these words were that I have realised that what we say out of our mouths has a direct correlation with what happens to us in life and whether or not we get our healing. (My next blog post will be on what we say and the impact it has.)

For us to see the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth, it will require us to go after it wholeheartedly. This is not for the faint hearted. Matthew 11:11 says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the Kingdom of Heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force.” I am not advocating violence. Here it is talking about violence as chasing after it with zeal and intense exertion. To press into it with fervour resembling violence and desperation. It expresses the earnestness that we need to have to be rid of all sin and unbelief in our life and to rid this earth of all power belonging to Satan.

Do you want to see God’s Kingdom established here on earth, here in your life? Do you want to see healing restored back to its rightful place as part of the normal Christian life?

Jesus, towards the end of His time here on earth, tells His disciples that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater than these” (John 14:12). Matthew 28:17 has Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go…” He gives us the authority to do what He has been doing.

Matthew 16:18 says, “… I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

Are you chasing after bringing Heaven (& all that is in Heaven eg health, love, peace, joy, extravagance etc) to earth?

How could you change your life or your belief system so what Christ commanded us to do and be, actually occurs within your lifestyle?

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He gave His disciples authority over demons, nature/weather, death, sickness, sin, poverty and everything that wasn’t in Heaven. We are given the same authority but it seems to be unusual to see us exhibiting that same authority that the disciples had and used.

For us to operate from a position of authority requires us to have some experience in that area. Heidi Baker prays with authority for anyone who is blind as she knows that they will obtain their sight. When Heidi Baker first began praying for blind people, she did not see any difference though for the first 100 blind people she prayed for.

 

                         But she persevered.

 

She then saw breakthrough and she now operates in amazing authority whenever eye problems are an issue.

What prevents us as Christians from operating in that realm and with that same authority?

I believe when we spend time with God and are intimate with God and truly know the Father’s heart for us, then we can’t help but know that He wants people healed and has given us that responsibility and authority.

My prayer is that you will ponder these questions and, if need be, make some life changing decisions and actions.

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts.

 

Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:

The purpose of these exercises is to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and recognise God’s voice and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.

1. Children / Families Activation: Draw an outline of a person on a piece of paper. Give a copy to everyone. Ask everyone to colour in or write or draw on a particular are of the body that God shows or tells them. Share what body parts are highlighted. Ask if anyone present has a pain or injury or needs healing for any of those body parts. Pray for those people, preferably getting the people who had the word of knowledge about a body part doing the praying for healing for that body part. If no-one present has an injury or needs healing, keep a look out for the next person you see who needs healing of that body part.

2. Group Activation: Get into pairs. Ask each person to listen to God for what to pray over their partner, particularly in the area of identity, intimacy with God and authority. Ask them to call their partner’s spirit to attention and bless their spirit with what God has shown them. Take turns blessing each other with this.

3. Beginner Activation: Ask God if there is a lie you are believing about operating in your God given authority that you have as a Christian? If He reveals a lie to you, repent and ask God to show you His truth. Then immediately start believing this truth and making it a part of your belief system and life style. Step out in faith in one area this week using your God given authority.

4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a person in authority who needs encouragement. Spend time with God getting a prophetic word for that person. Take time to ask God how (eg written or spoken) and when you are to deliver it to that person. Then do it.

5. Advanced Activation: Ask God to show you a new area and level of authority that He wants you to grow in. Ask God to highlight this to you and begin to contend for this in your life.