Prepared for the War-Part 5: Secured With Truth

Wednesday Word: March 30, 2016

Prepared for the War-Part 5
Secured with Truth

Ephesians 6:14a – Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…

“Gird” definitions:
*Encircle (a person or part of the body) with a belt or band
*Secure (a garment or sword) on the body with a belt or band
*Surround; encircle
gird (up) one’s loins:
Prepare and strengthen oneself for what is to come.
gird oneself for:
Prepare oneself for (dangerous or difficult future actions).

“Secure” definition: Fix or attach (something) firmly so that it cannot be moved or lost

There are many layers to God’s Word and it can be easy to stay on one level and not go deeper. However, I believe we are in a season where the Lord is calling His people to move in new heights in Him. This is what I believe He is doing with this “Prepared for the War” series. I would be lying if I said writing these were easy. Just like you, I also am being taking to new levels which includes new ways of understanding the Lord and God’s Word by Holy Spirit. I can only give what I have which is why some of these may seem a little shaky. The Lord will not release me from learning these concepts and bringing them to you. Why? Well…

John 8:31b-32 – “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When I look at the definitions above and meditate on the verse “… the truth shall make you free” it helps me to come to a place of peace and stillness. It helps me to realize that there is nothing I have to do; I don’t have to strive for perfection because Jesus is perfection. He is Truth. Girding our waist with truth means allowing ourselves to be fully engulfed in His presence; sitting, resting, and living directly IN Him and through Him. He is our strength.

In today’s world, we use a belt to hold up our pants (ok some do not but not the point here…hahahaha). If our pants are not secure, we become exposed or vulnerable. If we do not have the truth, we become exposed and vulnerable to the enemy. In older times it was a belt that held the sword in its sheath. We already discussed how the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Without the Word of God we do not have the Truth. EVERYTHING points to Jesus Christ; everything IS Jesus Christ. He encircles us. He secures us. He holds us up. We are secured with the Truth; Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (KJV)

This is being secured with Truth.

Other Source:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/gird

Alicia R. Shipe

For other devotionals like this by a team of believers click this link:

http://www.gatheringathisfeet.org

Depression and Anxiety: How to Overcome

Move the Mountain Monday: March 28, 2016

Depression and Anxiety
How to Overcome

There is an epidemic in the world that many know, some talk about, but few truly accept. The epidemic is mental illness. There are many diagnoses but I want to talk about the two that I believe are most common; depression and anxiety. I believe that everyone faces one or both of these at some point in our lives.

I dealt with both of these and have been healed of them by our Lord and Savior. When I was an adolescent I always felt out of place but wasn’t sure why. I turned to exercise and felt better about myself yet still felt out of place.

What I didn’t know at the time was the exercising was keeping my mentality in balance. Once I stopped exercising (and began self-medicating in multiple ways) my behaviors grew worse. After the birth of my first born, I became extremely depressed. A psychiatrist started prescribing me medications for depression and general anxiety but never once told me anything about post-partum depression. Though I was still self-medicating with marijuana, I was also taking the prescribed medication with little results. All the psychiatrist would do was up the dosage of the medication (and yes he knew I was using marijuana). He was not interested in the reasoning behind anything I was going through. I did have therapists that I would see but they did not seem to care about the why behind my behaviors either (few did but that was in my early adult years-none after). I felt trapped. This trapped feeling became a devastating never ending cycle that caused my behavior towards others and myself to progress in a negative way.

I felt desperate. Sometime during this spiral I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ but didn’t put my trust in Him. Due to my lack of knowledge of the Lord, I put my trust in the people and leaders of the church. Big mistake. I once again felt trapped and felt worse than before I started coming to church. I soon started to feel that this was why I stayed away from church in the first place. I never denounced Christ but I did feel I made a mistake in going to church. My depression increased as well as my anxiety to the point that my diagnosis from the psychiatrist changed. I was now diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder. Even though this medical professional diagnosed me with this disorder, he never fully explained it to me. I won’t go into detail about this here except to say that the diagnosis caused me to spiral into the third (and, hallelujah, last) major nervous breakdown of my life.

Because of this and other mistakes I made as my behavior spiraled out of control, I became desperate again. Here is the major point of this all. Remember, by this time I had accepted Jesus Christ into my life. He saved me and started to change me. It was He that started to soften my heart. As I was spiraling out of control, He was bringing me back into control even though I didn’t know it at the time. I started to read my Bible more and more. The more I would simply read it, the less trapped I would feel. The less trapped I would feel, the more I grew to love the Lord. The more I grew to love the Lord, the more I grew to love myself and others. The more I grew to love myself and others, the more I forgave myself and others. Do you see the cycles in this writing; the negative and positive?

I am 8 years healed from depression, anxiety, and schizoaffective disorder and no medication. Some may call that nonsense but my life experiences say otherwise. I no longer use marijuana and I have been back to church and fellowshipping with my fellow brothers and sisters. Are there times when depression and anxiety try to come against me and gain entrance back into my life? Yes. However, my relationship with the Lord and His word have grown tremendously and so has my trust and belief in Him that He will never leave me or forsake me. He will fight my battles that I give to Him to handle.

For anyone struggling with depression, anxiety, or any mental illness, this is what I want to say. Sometimes medication is needed. Never be afraid to talk to your doctors about anything. Never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know what questions to ask start with is it temporary. Sometimes it is a one-time incident that occurred in our life to trigger us into this. Other times it is a biological/hormonal imbalance that must be regulated. Ask questions. That is on the natural level. On a spiritual level know that God created you in His image through His Word which is Jesus Christ Himself. If you do not believe in Jesus yet feel torn to, start reading the Bible. God knows exactly what is in our hearts even when we don’t. If it is in your heart to believe but you are clouded by doubt, the Lord will come to you. He always finds a way because He is The Way. As you start reading the Bible you will start to be cleansed of your past; past thoughts, past hurts, and past doubts and fears. It is a process that will last a lifetime but you will begin to feel His presence and His love.

If you are able to, try to understand this. Depression is rooted in feeling unworthy; not good enough. This comes from our past. Anxiety is rooted in control to avoid negative things from happening; the future. Neither are rooted in the here and now; the present. You only have this moment, the time you are in now. You cannot change the past but you can forgive it. You do not know what will happen in the future but you can help shape how you will react to it by decisions and choices you make in the current moment. Let the Lord in more and more. Learn to understand who He is and what He says about you by His Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit leads and guides us always if we allow Him to. You will begin to become saturated in His love and more able to receive it and Him (Jesus) more and more as your heart is changed. I was not able to sit in silence without my mind bombarding me with evil and negative thoughts against myself and others. Now, I am able to sit in silence and those negative thoughts are few and far between; almost none existent (still a work in progress). I am more peaceful than I have ever been. It started with one choice; to believe and accept Jesus Christ. That one choice along with the choice to be obedient to the Lord in all things is how to become an overcomer.

Isaiah 26:3-4 – You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

Revelation 3:21 – To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Alicia R. Shipe

[Note: I am not a doctor. Please do not use this post as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding any diagnoses. This post is simply my life experience and to help guide anyone on a spiritual level to the Lord and His ways.]

Choice

Free Thought Friday: March 25, 2016

First, I apologize for the lateness of this post to anyone who is following this. I have had a productive day and the time got away from me. Whoever is reading this has the choice to believe that the Lord, by His Holy Spirit, reminded me to write today. That’s what this post is ALL about; CHOICE.

When it comes to how we live our lives, we make choices every moment of every day. The same is true of our spiritual future. We have a choice. This is why God, in His infinite Wisdom, gave us free will. He does not want a people that feel pressured into loving Him. He wants a people that make the choice to love Him.

Yes, He woos us like a lover wanting to be with someone so much that they feel they cannot breathe. He wants a Bride that is absolutely committed to Him above and beyond anything else that may present itself. We have a choice.

Because this is Free Thought Friday I will bear my soul now and allow myself to be vulnerable to anyone reading this. The Christian Church is in trouble. Yes, it is a harsh truth but the absolute Truth is that God is in absolute control. We have a choice to believe He is in absolute control. We have a choice to believe in His control He still choices to partner/co-labor with us; the product of His image which He created. We have a choice to judge one another or love one another.

The end time Harvest has begun. Will you allow yourself to be used by Heaven or to be used by Hell? What is your choice? We never know why people are the way they are. It is not our job as Christians to always know. As Disciples of Jesus Christ it is our job to show His unconditional love for each and every one of God’s children. Whatever choice they make is their choice and not on us. It does become on us when we become a stumbling block and keep them from the Lord. Where are you? What choice have you made? Have you, as a believer, made yourself the ultimate judge of who lives and who dies eternally or have you chosen to love and pray God’s will into yourself and others? Remember, the lost does not understand the things of the Spirit. We are called to go forth and make disciples of the nations. This brings the unbelievers into the Kingdom of God where they can start to understand the things of the Spirit (think about your personal testimony and where you where; none of us where nor are perfect).

Truth: Many believers are still in an unbelieving state of the deeper things of the Lord for whatever reasons. What is your choice?