Dont Be A Victim

Why We Fall Prey?
There are many reasons why some of us are easy prey for spiritual leaders who do not want to repent and why spiritual leaders fall, below are just a few:
We give in to negative feelings. Negative feelings like self-pity, apathy, rage, and false beliefs concerning our self- worth and abilities, can join with feelings of hopelessness to destroy us. From a spiritual perspective, feelings of hopelessness can lead to the erosion of our trust in God and to the ultimate destruction of our faith. But don’t let this happen to you. Constantly remind yourself that God planned your birth and that He has a purpose for you being here. So continue to hope and to trust in God until you can begin to see your life in the way in which He sees it. Place your hope in Him, and watch Him lead and guide you into a life full of peace and joy. Negative feelings can make you feel that you can’t do what God is calling you to do, negative feelings about yourself can cause you to settle for being the mistress of a married Pastor. Negative feelings about your self can cause you to always need someone else to affirm you.

Mistakes. When we think that we have made too many mistakes we minimize the abilities that God has given us because we think it’s too late or that we can’ try again. But please understand, that God is mindful of our struggles and is very much aware of any limitations that we may have but He is still expecting us to bear fruit. In St Matthew 21:19/20 Jesus Christ approached a fig tree expecting to see figs but instead he only saw leaves. He cursed the tree and it withered away. He cursed the tree because it was a fig tree with no figs and as such was useless. What would cause a fig tree, in the middle of fig season to have no figs? What is keeping you from bearing fruit? Find out and make a change. Don’t be like the fig tree in Mathew 21:20. God created you for a purpose. You do have something to add to this World. No one is better than you. You made a mistake, have a problem, committed a sin last night and think you may sin again tonight. Keep moving in God, don’t give up. We serve a God that can be touched by the feelings of our infirmities, and with the aid of His spirit, we can walk in the Word of God without condemnation. We can live our life to the fullest and He will show us how. Don’t spend so much time helping someone else to build their dream and forget your own.

Not Meditating On The Word Of God -You must meditate on the Word of God and allow it to transform your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into what is written. When you meditate on the Word of God your thoughts will begin to reflect the confidence of God. Remember, the scriptures through the Holy Spirit are designed to lead us and to guide us into all truth, but they can’t do that if we don’t apply the scriptures to our lives. You are going to think something anyway, so why not infuse your thoughts with strength from the Word of God? (Howard, 2000). While, the Word of God will bring peace and hope to your mind please understand that the Word of God is not merely a “positive thinking book,” or a book that ignores the presence of both good and evil. On the contrary, the Word of God is a balanced book that has been inspired by a balanced God. The Word of God is not afraid to confront both the positives and negatives in our lives. Acknowledging both the positive and negative aspects of our lives affords us with an opportunity to seek God for the answer. For example, it may be true that you have a problem or illness that you can’t solve, but it is also true that you serve a God who is able to provide you with a strategy to overcome that problem. But when you pretend that you do not have a problem or try to cover up your feelings with scriptures you are not really balanced in your thinking you are operating in fear. When confronted with a problem, it’s all right to acknowledge it. Acknowledging the problem does not mean that we do not trust God or that we are not operating in faith.

Fear. Fear keeps us from not operating in faith and becoming easy prey for other people: When we allow fear to keep us from acknowledging the challenges in our lives we can lose valuable time trying to devise ideas or strategies that keep us from feeling any discomfort. In contrast to fear, faith is not afraid to acknowledge a problem because it trusts the problem solver. When we are operating in faith we understand that the power of Jesus Christ is able to bring about a miracle and deliverance in our lives. Faith keeps us focused on our deliverance while fear prevents us from moving forward. You may be a wife beater, sexual abuser, criminal, liar etc. you do not have to live in fear. Fear puts you in the position of becoming a victim or prey to spiritual scam artists. You do not have to hide in secret. You can come boldly to the throne of grace just as you are and He through His Word and Spirt will conform you to His will. Uncontrolled feelings of fear can impede your mobility and cause you to be dependent and limited in your life, as opposed to being victorious in Jesus Christ. A spirit of fear will not only stop you from being all that God wants you to be, but it can trigger the development of untrue thoughts concerning you as a person and your abilities.

Walking in Pride – Pride will make us think and feel that we “should” or “ought to have” what we want and that God does not know what He is doing. Pride will make us feel that we are getting the short end of the stick and keep us focused on our needs. But it takes a sense of humility to let go of what we want and to trust God to answer our prayers in the way that He deems necessary. As people of God, we must learn to accept the sovereign plan of God in our lives even when it is not the plan that we desire. God has the final say in our lives and when we get to the point that we can really believe that He is with us, we can accept His will and trust that He has our best interest at heart.

Hopeless Feelings – Hopeless feelings can cause us to act as if our life has no meaning and to give up on our dreams. If you think that your life is hopeless then that is how you will behave and feel. But don’t let feelings of hopelessness have the final say so. Whenever you find yourself engaging in hopeless thoughts stop and ask yourself, what are you feeling hopeless about and what can you do about it? The power of life and death is in your mouth and God has given you power over every enemy. Enemies like low self-esteem, doubt and hopelessness do not have a chance.

Rejection – When you allow a fear of rejection to control your life, you limit your potential and your ability to move forward in the purpose and plans that God has for you. Yes, we may be rejected sometimes but we must always remember that even when man rejects us, Jesus Christ is always in our corner. Feelings of rejection like other negative emotions can trigger or open the door for a host of other unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. For instance, guilt, a poor self-image, a tendency to degrade one’s self, anger, hatred, self-pity, distrust, and a lack of self-confidence, are just some of the negative feelings that can grow out of the seed of rejection. And feelings like denial, avoidance, anger, and hostility are just a few of the man-made emotional defenses that we use to control the pain of rejection. But whatever you cover-up can’t be healed. Covering up our feelings can cause us to go through life being on the defensive, and again easy prey for other people. Skilled manipulators can spot someone who is walking in the spirit of rejection. But please know that God wants to heal you and to make you completely free from the influence of your past. Because of the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ you don’t have to spend the rest of your life being controlled by a fear of rejection or any other negative emotion. Jesus Christ did not rise again just so fear of rejection or the defenses that you have created to deal with your hurts can rule your present or control your future. Living with a fear of rejection can cause you to not only shy away from people and certain circumstances, but it can also keep you from embracing your future and the call that God has for your life. Yes, you do have a call of God on your life and there will be times that walking with God will require you to move out of your comfort zone and run the risk of being rejected for that call.
 
Fear of Failure -Please understand that there may be many times in our lives in which we will experience failure, but because of Jesus Christ, failure does not have to be the end of the matter. We must always remember, that as we continue to trust God in the midst of whatever is going on in our lives, things will work out for our good. But if we allow a fear of failure to keep us from trying again, we may never know the full potential of Jesus Christ inside of us. Allowing fear of failure to control our lives will cause us to hide from responsibility, run away from challenges, or to just give up totally. Nursing a fear of failure can cause us to spend the rest of our lives playing it safe, and trying to protect ourselves from being hurt. But God never called us to play it safe. Past Hurts- Allowing emotions associated with our past hurts to negatively influence our lives can lead to a variety of unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that can prevent us from trusting the Word of God in the now. Living in the shadows of past hurts can cause us to react in the present to something that happened in the past. James 1:8 states that, “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” and St. Mathew 9:17, warns us against “putting new wine in old wineskins.” When we try to cover up our hurts as opposed to allowing God to heal them, we are not free. When we are trying to cover up our feelings and hurts using man-made defenses, we are in a sense attempting to place new wine in old wineskins. For instance, in order to shield ourselves from the hurts of our past, we may find ourselves withdrawing from people, masking our feelings with alcohol, getting into abusive relationships, and or allowing feelings of rejection to control our lives. Additionally, unhealed past hurts can cause us to be oversensitive in certain areas of our lives, and to misinterpret or to react inappropriately to things and people around us. When we internalize the hurts of the past we can spend the rest our lives allowing past hurts to control our present, and cause us to reject people who want to love us.
 
Unresolved Anger – Anger is a normal and mostly healthy emotion that can prompt you to make needed changes in your life or to take action on a particular issue or cause. However, anger is unhealthy when it gets in the way of your relationships with other people, yourself, or even the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Word of God acknowledges the fact that we all may become angry at times, however, some of us have a tendency to either lash out or to suppress our anger more than others. Some of us may have had experiences in our lives that demanded that we protect ourselves emotionally, and sometimes even physically. Because of these experiences, we have had to develop defenses in order to survive. While these defenses may have been helpful in the past they may not be appropriate now. For example, defenses that bring with them additional negative emotional baggage, are problems. However, learning how to control our thinking may be the most important strategy that any of us can develop in our attempt to appropriately manage our feelings, especially our anger. Understand that we all have the ability to get angry, but if we have a problem effectively controlling our anger we must seek God for the root cause and a strategy to manage it.

 

Guilt — Guilt can either be good in that it drives us closer to Jesus Christ or bad in that it pushes us further away. For example, a bad feeling of guilt is one that does not lead to a true change of heart and keeps us separated from the love of God. A bad sense of guilt will generate momentary sorrow, condemnation, and feelings of remorse, but produce no Godly change (Hunt, 2000). Bad guilt will cause us to make excuses, to rehearse our faults over and over again in our thoughts, but still not come to Jesus Christ. In comparison, guilt in which the Spirit of God convicts us will cause us to evaluate ourselves and to make biblically based life changes. Godly motivated guilt will prompt us to repent from the error of our ways and commit to a new way of life according to the Word of God. This guilt will bring about a sense of sorrow, but it will also cause us to bring our behavior in line with the Word of God. Guilt that leads to Godly sorrow will bring about repentance, and repentance will bring an increase in our spiritual life. In contrast, a false sense of guilt will only cause us to focus on what we want and our feelings as opposed to the love of God. You can’ change the past and sometimes you can’t always go back and apologize.
 
Unbelief —Unfortunately, unbelief will prevent you from submitting to God. Unbelief is a counterfeit belief system that is contrary to the Word of God. Unbelief in the flesh resents the truth found in The Word of God. So if you have been using unbelief (any thought contrary to The Word of God) for a certain amount of time you have to pray it out of your spirit. For example, God told you that He would never leave you but unbelief tells you that He will. Your flesh joins in by bringing to your remembrance all of the people who left you and treated you bad. This image reinforces the feelings of sadness and the thoughts of unbelief. Even when you read The Word of God or when someone tries to encourage you, you reject it because your flesh is so focused on maintaining the false feeling that no one loves you and reinforcing the belief that God is not with you. The bottom line, if you don’t use The Word of God on your unbelief it will take you away from God.
 
Poor study habits. Some of us are just don’t study or pray In closing, the enemy operates in our flesh (emotions) and if he can keep us in the flesh we will not fulfill the plan that God has for us. He uses the flesh of all types of people to include those who are in leadership to activate our flesh. He operates in secret and in darkness. He is counting on us not being honest with God and using our own fleshly ideas and feelings. One of the keys to an emotionally healthy church is emotionally and spiritually healthy people. Please pray for our leaders and for our members. The enemy would desire for us to fight each other, when he is really the problem Isaiah 59: 1-2 59: 1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, that he will not hear.


No Excuse Pt 2

The reason we have so much unrepented sin in the pulpit and the pews is because we are being lead to many times by emotionally unhealthy people who are leading emotionally unhealthy people who do not want to allow the Word of God to make them whole. When we become whole spiritually and emotionally then it will be harder for those of us in the pews to be misled by those in the pulpit. And it will be harder for people to become a church leader without being emotionally and spiritually whole. Do you feel like preachers are hypocrites? Do you wonder how a married pastor could preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ every Sunday and have a mistress on the side? How a Pastor could molest children and then lead a prayer meeting? Well ask yourself a few questions. Are you walking in obedience to the Word of God? Are you trying to live your life according to the Word of God as opposed to trying to make the Word of God fit your way of thinking? Are you resisting the urge to pick and choose the scriptures you want to follow? Are you reading your bible for yourself? Are you praying and following the leading of the Holy Ghost? Are you repenting of your sins? Well if you answered No to these questions, then the reason why we have preachers who are hypocrites, abusive, beating their wives, having sex with members, stealing money, sexually abusing children and getting away with it is partly our fault. When we as Christian believers refuse to walk in obedience to the Word of God, when we try to make the Word of God fit our way of thinking, and when we pick and choose the scriptures we want to follow then we are walking in rebellion to the plan of God for our lives. Unfortunately, some of us really do not understand Grace. Grace gives us the ability to overcome our sin not just make excuses. According to the book of Romans we are free from the law of sin and guilt (Please read the Book of Romans). You see, when we do not really want to develop a life of prayer, a life of fasting or a life that conforms to the Holy Spirit then we really don’t demand much from our leaders. We prefer to focus on the music, on the plays, on the entertainment as opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for fear that we will have to live right. Some of us keep getting tricked by spiritual leaders because we don’t want to do what the bible tells us to do. But what a minute, if we are walking in rebellion ourselves can we really in good faith correct anyone else. Some of us are being dishonest with God in our actions, the Preacher is being dishonest with us in his or her actions, and if we become angry at the preacher we need to be angry at ourselves as well. Let me insert this, we can all remind each other of the scripture and point out error. The reason why some of us don’t do this is because we think by doing so we are hypocrites but that is not true. (Ephesians 4:15, Matthew 18-15-18, James 5:19-20). The problem is not the sin but the rebellion or the refusal to repent. When we refuse to repent, then we are open to correction. But when people who are in the pews become grounded in the Word of God then it will be harder for them to be taken advantage of by others. When we become emotionally whole and commit to being honest with ourselves about ourselves then we will not be such easy prey. Again, the issue is not the fact that we have a weakness. We are growing in the things of God and we will make mistakes and sometimes even sin along the way. The problem however, is what we do when we sin. Do we repent or try to cover up our faults? Do we pretend like we don’t have issues, bash people and then when our sin is revealed feel as if no one should talk about it? Whether you are a leader in a local assembly or a member, people of God we have no excuse. We have The Word of God and the Spirt of God to lead and guide us into all truth. Don’t just rely on what you call “discernment” because if you are walking in disobedience to The Word of God then your “discernment” may be deceptive. Instead trust the Word of God. We all have issues, but we have to understand that we all have a God who loves us. We do not have to walk around acting as if we always do everything the Word of God requires. We just have to want to be made whole. You see, it’s one thing to sin and then to repent, it’s another thing to sin and refuse to repent. Its’ one thing to recognize that you are a sinner in need of a savior but it’s another thing to feel as if The Word of God should change for you. Just be honest with yourself and with God. We are all a work in progress.


Part One – Stopping SIn

Do You Want to Stop Church Leaders from taking advantage of members? Do you want members to stop taking advantage of church leaders? Then become an emotionally and spiritually whole Christian.   Emotionally and spiritually whole Christians know that they were created by God for a purpose, have biblically based self-esteem and understand that they have worth. Emotionally and spiritually whole Christians understand that they have problems, issues, sin etc. but they do not let those factors keep them from confessing their faults, desiring to be what God called them to be or make excuses. Emotionally and spiritually whole Christians understand that they cannot allow people to use their unresolved feelings of fear, rejection, anger, past hurts and pain against them as believers. Emotionally and spiritually whole Christians’ understand that they are responsible for reading their word, for praying, for studying and for being stewards over their own relationship with Jesus Christ. They do not solely rely on another human being to tell them what God is saying and what He requires. Emotionally whole Christians bring their issues to the Lord, live a life of repentance and understand just how much the Lord loves them. You see when we understand just how much the Lord loves us we will not be afraid to cast our fears, our sins, our mistakes, our hurts, the pain we caused and our weaknesses onto Him. The stronger or emotionally healthy we are the less chance we will fall prey to the flesh (ideas, emotions, behaviors that are contrary to the Word of God), and emotionally unhealthy and manipulative practices of other people. In contrast, when we are emotionally unhealthy it is hard for us to discern the Word of God both as a hearer and as a speaker. For example, when we are emotionally unhealthy we focus more on some scriptures while ignoring others because we are trying to protect ourselves from being hurt. We confuse the truth of the scripture with words of rejection or we allow other people to prosper off of us because we are afraid to step out on the Word of God and be what He called us to be. When we are emotionally unhealthy we use the scripture as a defense that allows us to live with our weakness as opposed to being the overcomer that God called us to be. When we are emotionally unhealthy we use the scriptures to protect us from being hurt, to manipulate and to make people feel guilty. We separate ourselves from people who are stronger or emotionally healthier in the areas in which we are not and we form groups with other emotionally unhealthy people and call it a fellowship. When we are emotionally unhealthy we misread the motives of others and overlook good spiritual leaders or people who are only trying to help us. Over the last year, many of us have witnessed the public humiliation of some of those in leadership. Those people, who after repeated warnings from God, chose not to repent and as such were publically exposed. Their public exposure caused many people to feel betrayed, hurt and to question God. But to you people, I would say not so fast.   First, please do not get caught off guard or become discouraged by the weakness of others or by your own struggles. It is in the nature of man to be weak, and as long as we live in this body we are going to have fleshly issues to deal with. The issue is not the sin but what we do with our sin or struggles.   Galatians 5:16-21 (Amplified)But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].  For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do.  But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.  Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these   Unfortunately, some people yield more to their flesh than others. Some people not only yield to their flesh, but they also embrace and they live in the flesh, they make excuses, they even try to mix the flesh with the things of the spirit which is why the body of Christ looks the way it looks now. Unfortunately, the Lord would want us to know that His holiness will not and cannot be mixed with anything else, He is pure and He is Holy. Any time you try to mix Him with something that is impure it will not work because He is sovereign and He stands alone.




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