30 Day Journey To Emotional Health
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On a journey, it’s important to know where you are going. Our objective is to become emotionally healthy in the next 30 days. It sounds like a tall order; however, in my experience, 30-day programs have proven to be successful in treatments for addictions, the healing of past hurts, marriage counseling, and even personal fitness.
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|Section 1: God's Plan|
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” (Genesis 1:26)
On a journey, it’s important to know where you are going. Our objective is to become emotionally healthy in the next 30 days. It sounds like a tall order; however, in my experience, 30-day programs have proven to be successful in treatments for addictions, the healing of past hurts, marriage counseling, and even personal fitness.
So let us start on our journey today, knowing that our lives can be changed in 30 days. These changes will then create positive movement that will make
So let’s take a moment today to focus on 3 important truths:
Do you believe these statements? If so, why are they true? If not, why not?
Today: Make sure you believe these three statements above.
Re-Define Your Normal Think Differently
Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Have you ever wondered what restoration and wholeness look like? Many of us were raised in dysfunctional homes, and have experienced physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. Alcoholism, drugs, depression, pornography, and eating dis- orders have become a “normal” way of life for so many of us. Some of us have settled into poor self-esteem, shallow relationships, and hopelessness, and have lost sight of what God’s best looks like. We have grown accustomed to broken- ness, discouragement, and fear.
Questions: Are there any areas of your life that need reconciliation and restoration? List them.
What have you considered to be “normal” in your life that needs to be made new?
God wants to restore us to health, happiness, wholeness, prosperity and great relationships. The good news today is that God wants to restore us to health, sanity, love, peace and joy. Do you believe this? He wants to restore the “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25)
Today: When you are emotionally healthy:
1. Loving God, self, and others is natural.
Do you want your life to look like this?
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”’(Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
God really loves you and He has an amazing series of plans for your life. He has designed you with unique skills, gifts and abilities.
God has plans that will help you reach your dreams for health, wholeness, peace, and prosperity. He is not playing a cruel game with you. He wants to show you His great plan for your life, and it is His deepest desire to help you find that plan.
Do you want to know His plan? Do you think that it could be better then your present situation?
Questions: What is hindering you from discovering His plan for your life? What has hindered you in the past?
Do you believe God wants good for you?
Discovering and living God’s plan for our lives requires a deliberate process that starts with a few steps.
Today: Take a look at the VAT.
God Has A Plan
|Section 2: Healing|
“Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.” (Psalm 6:2)
Everyone has experienced some type of hurt in his or her life. We live in a broken world with broken people. Bad decisions, addictions, uncontrolled anger, abuse, neglect, divorce, bullying and teasing are just a few sources of emotional hurt. What do most people do with the hurt of their lives? Did someone give you tools to process the hurt before it turned to anger, resentment or much worse?
Hurt comes from five primary sources:
Questions: What have you done with the hurt from your past? Who taught you to deal with these issues with biblical truths and clarity?
If we don’t deal with the hurts of the past, then they will clog up our hearts and corrupt our thoughts and feelings. So let’s learn how to be healed of our hurts. The image of a filter has helped me understand the need to remove clogged thinking or emotions.
Today: We are going to use a tool that has helped thousands of people identify and deal with hurts from their past.
Create a list of those who have hurt you and the way they hurt you. Review the list and indicate whether or not you feel these hurts have been healed.
In prayer time alone, or in conversation with a friend, admit that you were hurt, and identify the hurt and the person who hurt you. This is the first step to releasing healing into hurt areas of your life.
Healing the Hurts of Our Past Step 1-Admit It
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
Hurts can be very deep and painful. In most cases, hurts are closely related to our self-esteem and sense of personal safety. It is important today to give yourself permission to work through the process of healing. Step one was to admit and recognize the hurts. Step two empowers us to process our hurts bibli- cally. Here are a few helpful tools to help you process past hurts:
• Has the hurt caused you to be angry, depressed, or feel rejected?
This will tell you a lot about how you process hurt.• Getting your hurt out is an important step. King David understood that
and frequently expressed his hurt in the book of Psalms. See a list of
ideas below. Repression can kill you. Get your hurt out in a healthy way. • Talk with someone you trust. A close friend, pastor, or counselor can
help you talk through hurt.
Start working your way through these five steps. Every step is important but the order is not. I usually start with forgiving those who hurt me, and then move on to the other steps.
Questions: What hurts from your past still affect you today? List them.
Today: Get the hurt out in a way that won’t hurt others. Don’t forget that hurt and anger go together. Whether you are aware of the connection or not is irrelevant. Most people are more in touch with one of the two.
Healing the Hurts of our Past, Step 2-Process It
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of recon- ciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were plead- ing through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteous- ness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15)
We were designed to resolve things, to be at peace, and to experience harmony with one another. If our hurt is unresolved, it will quickly turn into anger. For some, this transition is almost instantaneous. For others, anger rarely seems to surface. It is my belief that these two emotions (hurt and anger) are tied togeth- er. If we are going to deal with hurt, we must also address anger.
If anger is unresolved, it will fester and begin to take up more “real estate” in our minds. The Apostle Paul admonishes, “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). When we fail to resolve hurt and anger, the enemy of our souls takes residence in our minds and hearts. Take a moment and think about some examples of what you have done with your anger through the years:
The Word encourages us not to sin when we are angry. Jesus said that we should go and resolve our issues with others (Matthew 18:15).
Have you been reconciled to God?
Today: Continue on your journey of reconciliation by dealing with your anger towards yourself and others.
Is there anyone to whom you feel you need to be reconciled? Is there anyone you need to forgive?
Steps to a successful reconciliation meeting:
Forgive them before you go to meet with them.
If reconciliation is still unsuccessful, then leave it with God.
Healing the Hurts of our Past, Step 3- Resolve Anger
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)
There are personal hurts that can only be healed by the power of forgive- ness and through prayer. Whether we are being forgiven for our failures or are for- giving those who have failed us, forgiveness has the power to remove pain, anger, resentment, and bitterness. It can even help relieve symptoms of depression and poor self-esteem. Unforgiven sin not only separates us from God, but it keeps us in shame and self-loathing. Unforgiveness of others also hinders God from forgiv- ing us and can trap us in pride, and hardness of heart. Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).
There is no magical formula for removing hurts and anger from our souls, but there is a decision we can make: to give and receive forgive- ness. God has given us a tool that is so powerful and practical: forgiveness (see 30 Day Journey to Spiritual Health). Many people have never learned how to forgive. A marriage counselor taught my wife and I these three impor- tant steps of forgiveness: the Act, the Process, and the State. I’ve used these steps countless times so that I can have a heart that is clean and undefiled.
King David understood this reality also when he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). I don’t give up because my heart remains clean.
Questions: Is your heart clean? Are there people that you resent and need to forgive?
Have you forgiven yourself for all your failures and weaknesses?
Review your list of hurts and anger from Day 4, and take these steps:
Today: Make sure that you are completely forgiven by God and yourself for all your failures and sins.
Make sure you have forgiven all those who have hurt you, and ask the Holy Spirit to heal you deeply. Allow Him to fill every part of you with His peace and love.
Don’t forget that forgiveness deals with the anger, bitterness, and resentment that came from the hurt.
Pray that God touches those who hurt you.
Inner Healing and Forgiveness
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, what- ever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:7-8)
What is “normal” for you? Is it depression, drugs, insomnia, fear or anxi- ety? Is it abuse, violence, or relational frustration? Many of us have simply ac- cepted certain things as “normal” that really are not normal. Some live in abusive environments, dead-end jobs, unemployment, addiction, and insecurity. Is this really the NORMAL from God? The apostle Paul re-defined what your daily life should look like in Philippians 4. These steps assure us of the peace mentioned above in verse 7.
Questions: Can you imagine a life with no anxiety, insecurity, or fear?
Today: What have you accepted as “normal” that needs to change? Do you need to think differently (i.e. repent) about anything?
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you like He did to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, revealing your true state. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to you, and help you have a transformed mind. He wants to manifest Himself through you.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:7-9).
Re-Define Your Normal
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
The seven churches in the Book of Revelation were confronted by one real- ity: their “normal” was different from God’s. They were not doing what pleased God. In fact, five of them were severely confronted about their attitudes and behaviors for which they needed to repent. The word “repent” means to change the way you think. In other words, the way we think is as important as what we think. God cares about what we think, and how we think.
The five churches that were confronted in Revelation 2 and 3 needed to change their way of thinking about:
What about your life?
Today: Re-evaluate your emotional and spiritual life.
What areas of your thought-life do you need to change?
Re-Define Your Normal-Think Differently
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praisewor- thy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
It is important to change your way of thinking and the object of the focus of your thoughts. The apostle Paul encourages us to meditate on a list of healthy, positive thoughts. Meditation is a process of focus and separation. Paul under- stood that thoughts and ideas are seeds. You choose the seeds that are planted in your brain by choosing on what you meditate.
Thoughts and emotions take up space in our minds. Neurologists have dis- covered that this “real estate” can become toxic to our bodies if filled with negative thoughts. Thoughts release chemicals, which impact our emotions, which influence our options, and eventually influence our choices.
A toxic thought turns your mind into a toxic factory as it multiplies and pro- duces harmful chemicals in your brain, heart, and body. Toxic thoughts come from lies that we choose to believe. Some lies are unconscious misinterpretations from our childhood
Questions: What lie from the past do you still meditate on?
Take a look at the destructive effect of one lie (toxic thought) on your life: Thoughts
Destiny(This approach is based on the Circle of Progress)
Today: Continue the process of redefining your “normal” by identifying toxic thoughts and getting rid of them.
Toxic thoughts become toxic feelings that can ruin your health, wealth and relationships.
Re-Define Your Normal- Re-wire Your Mind
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Fill your mind with truth.
ate networks in your mind that cause you to be miserable, frustrated, or confused. They can even make you physically sick and ruin your relationships. It is time to get rid of the bad stuff and fill your mind with truth. All thoughts take up space in your brain. Now is your chance to redecorate your mind. Take every thought captive and measure it by the word of God. Healthy thoughts are very powerful because they release powerful chemicals that bring healing, joy, pleasure, and confidence.
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
Questions: What kind of thoughts fill your mind now?
Here are a few ideas to help you redecorate your mind:
Transform Your Thinking
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
The apostle Paul urged the believers in Rome to have their minds renewed. That means that our minds can change in dramatic ways. From the original word for “transform” in the Greek is where we get our word “metamorphosis” (which means a complete change of form, structure, substance or character). We can be transformed into new people who know and live out the perfect will of God if we have transformed thinking. We can experience metamorphosis in our lives as our minds are changed. If we renew our minds and change the way we think, a chain reaction will occur: our new thoughts will create new feelings. New feelings will cause us to have new options. New options will change our choices. Different choices will cause new actions. New actions will help us reach our true destiny.
Questions: Have you ever struggled with your thought life? Have you been guilty of “stinking thinking”?
Have you ever struggled with knowing the perfect, amazing, and wonderful will of God for your life, church, business, city or nation?
I have struggled with each of these! Renewed minds engender renewed thinking. If you can change what you think, and how you think, then your life will start chang- ing.
Today: Here are a few tools that God has given us to renew our minds:
Renewing Your Mind
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
Joseph suffered injustice, violence, wrongful imprisonment, and betrayal. However, he was able to re-interpret everything that happened to him in a positive way. Faith and trust in God empowered him to take horrible situations, reinterpret their meaning, and overcome them.
Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy your life (see John 10:10). People still hurt other people; but we have the power to hand the hurts over to God so that He can transform them for our benefit.
Joseph said: • What you meant for harm • God used for good
Question: List two hurtful events that you need help re-interpreting.
Joseph could not control what happened to him, but he could control how he interpreted and responded to the situations. Dr. Dobbins once said that “we do not live with the facts of our lives but the interpretation of the facts of our lives.” Everything you experience you will interpret. The Apostle Paul also experienced great struggles but maintained an amazing perspective.
Reinterpreting Your Past
|Section 3: Changing Your Thinking|
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Paul spoke like a pre-verbal child.
Can you remember what you were like as a child? You interpreted life ex- periences with limited vocabulary, reality, and perspective. Then you filed these interpretations away and wrapped them in a pretty bow called emotions. These interpretations have been sitting in your VAT for years. They have grown and net- worked with other life experiences to either confirm, ignore, or repudiate the story you told yourself.
Mature thinking helps renew your mind by getting rid of the false beliefs and misinterpretations that you have lived with for years. Mature thinking looks at events in the past that marked you and reinterprets them in light of the Word and the Spirit. You will be surprised to find that you have been living with false interpretations that have become toxic factories in your mind.
Questions: Now that you are an adult, review the pivotal events of your life. List them and write down how you felt about them.
Are any of those interpretations childish that you can re-interpret now with a mature perspective?
You can’t change the events of your past, but you can change THE WAY YOU INTERPRET THEM.
Today: Take a close look at one significant event of your past. How did you interpret that event?
What is the story that goes along with the event?
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’” (Genesis 3:1)
Dr. Dobbins’ model of the mind reveals the process by which we can coop- erate with God to renew our minds, and therefore, be transformed people. There are two spiritual forces that speak to our minds daily to influence our thoughts, feel- ings, and actions. These two forces are powerful.
Satan, the deceiver, speaks to our minds daily, influencing us to think thoughts that are destructive or even demonic. The first example of this was when he spoke to Eve, in Genesis 3, mentioned above.
God speaks through the Holy Spirit to our minds, influencing us to think thoughts that are creative and even divine.
As we take every thought captive, we are the ones who decide which thoughts will dominate our minds and thus generate a series of emotions. Don’t forget that thoughts lead to feelings, feelings to intentions, intentions to options, and options to choices. Choices lead to actions and actions lead to consequences.
Consequences are where we end up: our destination.
Will we live our divine destiny or our demonic potential?
Questions: Most people hear the voice of God in the form of thoughts.
Four keys for turning spirit into what matters:
2. Reject other thoughts that are lies. “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
3. Experience a rush of positive emotions that will empower you to see better options, make better choices, and reach your divine potential.
4. Take actions that will propel you forward for great things.
Today: Apply these four keys to your daily devotions.
You will begin to experience new consequences that will help you achieve your destiny!!!
The Model of the Mind-Turn Spirit into Destiny
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)
King David understood the concept of depression and so did many other great leaders of the Bible (i.e. Elijah, Job, Peter and Judas). Although there are dif- ferent degrees of depression, and different causes, there are a few practical steps that can help you be free forever.
1. Always get a full medical examination.
2.See a trained counselor who can diagnose your condition and help you conquer it.
3.Verbalize what’s really bothering you with a trusted prayer partner.
4.Depression is sometimes caused by repressed anger. Ask yourself the tough questions about with whom you might be upset. (Review Day 6)
5.Depression sometimes grows from a sense of helplessness or hopelessness. Have you become discouraged? Have you lost hope? Remember that positive thoughts give you more positive options.
Questions: Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like there is nothing you can do to change your life, finances, or marriage? Have you had several losses or setbacks lately? If so, it’s time to conquer depression.
Today: Decide to come out of the darkness. Do not suffer alone. Depression is curable. Get some help. God wants to help you get out of these emotions. He’s waiting with the helpers who can help you.
The Bible also teaches us to “put on a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).
Remember that the Holy Spirit is also your Counselor and Comforter. Ask your friends to pray for you. Start declaring good things for your future. “You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you” (Job 22:28).
Overcome Depression and Discouragement
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
In the “30 Day Journey to Spiritual Health,” we spoke about the difference between healthy guilt and condemnation. The Gospel of John tells us that the Holy Spirit will “convict the world of sin” (John 16:8). Guilt is a gift that shows we still have a conscience, by convicting us of sin. However, guilt is only designed to last a very short period of time, a day or less. There is just enough time to confess the sin, repent, and be forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
The Apostle Paul realized that he felt guilty at times for behaviors and attitudes. He states in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” . He knew that he was not supposed to let guilt turn into condemnation. We are not designed by God to be condemned, but forgiven.
Questions: Do you feel guilt or shame for past decisions, thoughts or actions? If so, what have you done about it?
Remember today that Satan is the accuser of the saints (Revelation 12:10). Satan would love to keep you in condemnation. Don’t let him!!!! Get rid of guilt and condemnation.
Today : Identify unhealthy guilt. (condemnation)
Make amends with someone against whom you have sinned.
Guilt and Shame
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21)
Throughout the Bible, God speaks life to His chosen people. He gave them commandments and traditions that were designed to bless and help them for generations. They were taught to memorize and rehearse the blessings and commandments of God. Unfortunately most people rehearse a series of declara- tions that are hurting them and those close to them:
“I’m so stupid”
These mantras need to stop and be replaced with positive affirmations.
“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19)
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Questions: We all know that relationships rise and fall with the power of the tongue, but what about self-talk?
Have you ever criticized your weight, looks, or intelligence?
How often do you empower those around you while dooming yourself? “You are driving me crazy.”
“I can’t live without you.” Yes you can; you can do all things through Christ. “I won’t make it without them.
Your words will give life or death. You choose what words you will use on a daily basis. Every time you speak death to yourself, it releases toxic chemicals in your neurological connections. In other words, your words are literally killing you.
Today: Choose a few positive sentences that you can rehearse throughout the day. These positive statements will help to change your thinking patterns and free you from negative self-talk.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
If we believe that God has these amazing plans for our lives, what is stop- ping us from achieving them? I realized that there are often invisible limits in our lives preventing us from living in our fullest potential. This revelation came to me after one of the greatest harvests I’ve ever seen. Thousands accepted Christ the night I preached in French for one of my first times. I was terrified, nervous, anxious, and limited in my ability to speak French. After the meeting, I lay on my bed thanking God for using me, and I asked Him, “Why now and why me?”
He clearly spoke to my mind and said, “Because you overcame an invisible limit.” I asked Him what the limit was and from where it came. I immediately had a flashback to when I was 13 years old. God reminded me of the hurt that I had felt after being ridiculed for my Quebec accent, speaking French while attending a school in Belgium.
This hurt created an invisible roadblock that stopped me from speaking French. For over 40 years, I rarely spoke my native tongue until that amazing night. Some hurts are so forgotten that they trip up our progress without us ever being aware of them.
Questions: Have you ever felt like you had invisible barriers?
Here are are a few common invisible limits:
-Alcoholism in the home
-Failure in sports, scholastics, or the arts
|Section 4: New Perspective|
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.’” (Psalm 2:7-8)
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
When I was a young believer, someone gave me the book entitled Destined for the Throne. and my brother Mickey gave me The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. As I read these books, the depression and poor self- esteem that crippled my young life lost its grip over me. The Word tells us that “my people perish for lack of vision” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). God wants you to have a great vision for your life so that you will be inspired, focused, and goal oriented.
The truth about God’s plan for you and the access that you have to the throne room of God should radically transform you. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Meditate on these truths and ask the Holy Spirit to give you visions for a better tomorrow. Take some time today to write these reasons down. What would it take to accomplish them? You might want to create a “Bucket List” of amazing progress, achievements and God exploits
Questions: Do you have an amazing vision for your life, ministry and family? Do you seek God’s vision for your future?
God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. God also has an answer for every need and injustice in the world, and for every hurting individual, and lost soul. The answer is often expressed through His people, including you. As you seek the Holy Spirit for your life, He will work through you to help change the lives of others as well.
Today: Allow these truths to take root in your mind.
Vision and Potential
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
God wants to set you free from all addictions and the affect it has had on you. Addictions are symptoms of a much deeper issue. Addictions often cover up deep unconscious hurts and beliefs. It is important to understand that addictions become the focus of an addict’s attention. Whether it is food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or work, these behaviors can dominate a person’s life and even destroy them. An addict’s life can also seriously impact their family and friends. Some of you are adult children of addicts, and have experienced the detrimental effects of addiction.
From my personal experience, I have concluded that most addictions serve as a camouflage for a deeper issue, or a form of self-sedation. Here are a few im- portant steps to help you to be free from addictive behaviors and be healed of their root causes.
Questions: Are you an adult child of an addict?
If so what was this experience like for you?
Are there addictions that trouble you and your family? If so, what are they?
Today: Determine that the addiction will no longer control you. Express it, renounce it, and get some help. Today is the first day of your deliverance.
Many have asked me about the 12-step program. The original 12 steps are amaz- ing and life giving. Throughout the past 30 years, however, many applications of these concepts have lost their power. It is refreshing to hear about wonderful new expressions of these such as “Celebrate Recovery.”
Start your journey by admitting your challenge to someone who can help. Decide that Jesus Christ is your higher power, and has more power than any addiction, and commit to becoming free from every addiction.
Find a Christ-centered small group for those seeking freedom from addictions.
Application: Take a few moments to identify and journal the history of when the addiction started. Journal what you have done to be free from this addiction, and follow the suggestions mentioned above.
Free From Addictions
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:7-8)
The Spirit of God wants to flow through you today and manifest Himself by giving you words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecy, faith, and the discern- ing of spirits. These manifestations demonstrate the interplay between the Holy Spirit and your mind.
A spirit-filled Christian should have an unfair advantage over other people. Like Daniel and Joseph of the Old Testament, you have access to the Spirit who wants to reveal amazing, practical things to you.
The goal of today’s lesson is for you to use your mind to experience the revelations of God. See your mind as the receptor of revelations and inspirations.
Questions: When was the last time you received these manifestations of the Spirit?
Today: Let’s get started by asking for His Spirit to manifest Himself to us through words of wisdom, knowledge, prophecy and faith. Journal these revelations and process them through prayer. Confront any toxic thoughts and meditate on truths instead. Don’t forget that a Spirit-filled mind is more creative, courageous, and in- quiring. Your mind is a powerful resource at school, work, and in your community. Be a problem solver and a solution finder because of your relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Application: Spend five minutes in silent prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to place thoughts in your mind. Record these thoughts on a blank sheet of paper.
Do not filter the thoughts as they flow. Sort through them at the end of the exercise. Sort them by urgency, importance, time lines, and priorities.
Your Mind is a Sad Thing To Waste
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, for- getting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Philippians 3:13).
I have discovered a very simple truth that very few people have mastered: the ability to let go! How successful have you been in letting go? It’s difficult to seize your future while still holding onto regret and destructive experiences. Have you been successful in letting go of:
• Past failures
• Past mistakes • Loss
• Past resentments
• Poor self-esteem
In the 12-step program, originated by Alcoholics Anonymous, a common slogan that has become famous is “Let go and Let God.” I believe that the Apostle Paul had discovered the secret formula for letting go (Philippians 3:13):
In Ephesians, Paul also revealed that we were to get rid of all bitterness.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior” (Ephesians 4:31 NLT).
Questions: Do you pray about everything? When? Have you forgiven everyone?
Today: Take some time to forgive yourself and others. Hand over all losses and mistakes to the grace and mercy of God. Ask God to restore all that you have lost.
Release Stuff to Seize Your Future
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
In the book of Revelations, Jesus helped the seven churches of Asia to evaluate themselves and refocus on a better set of decisions. Even during the Lord’s Supper, we are told to evaluate ourselves: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28)
Notice the five things that Jesus did while evaluating the churches in Revelation:
1. He identified Himself.
2. He shared positive aspects of their faith or life.
3. He critiqued some of their behaviors.
4. He underlined the benefits of making a good choice.
5. He told them to change the way they think.
6. He revealed the consequences of good decisions.
Don’t allow evaluations to become a downer or incredibly negative. Jesus included the good with the bad. Don’t beat yourself up. After you let go of your past failures, mistakes, and shortcomings, you need to let go of the past mistakes, failures, and shortcomings of others. Then you are able to focus on your future. Take a look at the Wheel of Progress. Notice that the circle begins with new revelation. There is no new revelation if you keep looking backwards.
Questions: Spend a little time today evaluating where you are, and where you are going with your life. Write down your evaluations for each area of your life. Are you satisfied with your progress this year?
Today: Take a close look at your life, career, family, and ministry. Focus on those things which need to be corrected and those aspects that are doing well. Take a few moments to list areas of your life that need some work. Create a list of the great behaviors or improvements that you have already made. Create a strategy of change to make the necessary adjustments. Focus on the rewards. The warnings are sobering but the rewards are inspiring.
Goals and Objectives
“Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”(Revelation 4:1)
“For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Refocusing your attention on empowering objectives, goals, and heavenly rewards, will automatically veer you in the right direction. Your mind and the Holy Spirit will subconsciously start leading you in the right direction. You were designed by God to achieve goals, reach objectives, and help others do the same. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Questions: Has your focus been on the past? If so, why?
You were created to have dominion, influence, creativity, love and joy. Once you focus on a series of progressive steps in the right direction, your original de- sign will in fact help you get there. You were designed to achieve the reason for your focus.
On day 23, we let go of all kinds of hindrances. Today we press forward to seize new goals.
You can do it. Dare to dream. Dare to plan.
Today: Prayerfully establish and write a series of goals and improvements that you want to achieve. The Holy Spirit will help you on your new journey. Associate yourself with people who can help you acquire the skills, knowledge, and anointing to be successful.
Make sure that your focus is not all about you.
Goals and Objectives
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:16)
Focusing on new objectives, truths, and improvements releases new en- ergy to accomplish great things or to overcome obstacles. Long ago, neurologists proved that thoughts release chemicals in our brains that can influence our mood, health, and attitude. These findings underline the importance of focusing on Christ, His truths, and His Spirit.
The Bible has hundreds of scriptures that speak of the five different types of power that God wants to give you. He wants to empower you to be transformed and become a transformer of a broken world. The Apostle Paul states that we have been reconciled to God, who “has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). He will give us the energy, power and authority to accomplish the ministry.
In order to fulfill your mission in life, He offers you five powers:
Questions: Have you been lacking energy and passion? Do you know why?
Today: Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the five powers of God.
Re-Energize--Power to Accomplish Great Things
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one an- other. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.” (Romans 12:5-6)
In order to reach our divine potential, God gives us the ability and necessary tools to do so. As you focus on your new goals and visions, don’t forget that gifts are given by God to help you. These gifts are always available. I’ve listed seven that are at your disposal today.
1.You are created in the image of God.
2.Creative and divine thoughts are available.
Questions:Your gifts are attached to your passions. What are you passionate about? Do you know what your gifts are? Are you tapping into all seven listed above? List your 3 primary gifts.
Generally, your gifts are connected to your passions, not your lusts. Passions that are accessed when you do something for which you were designed. When you identify and begin to exercise your gifts, then energy, joy, purpose, and passion will be released.
Today: Review your list of your three most obvious gifts. If you struggle with this task, ask a friend who knows you well. They can probably identify them quite easily. Gift tests are available online at www.iclv.com. Use at least one of your gifts today. Get these tools out of your tool box and get to work for the glory of God.
Application: List your passions and interests. List your gifts. Are you gifts being used?
You Are Gifted
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Fear is one of the most crippling emotions, and one that mankind was never designed to experience. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had no fear, guilt, anger, or even the ability to think evil thoughts. However, after the Fall, Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
Throughout the Word, we find great leaders battling with fear.
• Gideon was told, “Peace be with you; do not fear” (Judges 6:23).
• Timothy was told, “God has not given us a spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7).
The Apostle Paul loved his disciple Timothy so much, and he knew him well. He confronted Timothy in this passage because he recognized a foreign spirit that was influencing his protégé. Paul reminded Timothy what kind of spirit was trans- ferred when he laid hands on him: one of Power, Love and a Sound Mind.
What kind of spirit or emotion influences you the most?
Robert McGee, in his classic book Search for Significance, underlines three fears that hinder many of us from reaching our full potential:
• Fear of rejection
• Fear of punishment
Questions: What are your most troubling fears? How have they affected you in the past?
Today: Identify any fear that has been haunting you. Renounce and reject its hold on you and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a spirit of love, power and a sound mind. Find a close friend to come into agreement with you.
Application: List your fears.
Free From Fear and Anxiety
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Almost everything that people accomplish for good comes from their personal core: who they believe they are and how they see themselves.
Questions: How do you see yourself? How do you feel about who you are, what you do, and where you are going?
The answers to these questions will come from the core of who you are. Your self- concept is how you see and feel about yourself. Your God-concept is how you see and feel about God. These core perceptions affect everything you do in your life. They will impact the interpretation of every event of your life.
Your two concepts are largely developed by the age of 5. They are, in es- sence, the two primary filters through which you see yourself, others, and the world.
If you can change your identity, you will interpret life differently, make bet- ter decisions, and your emotions will change. “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything com- pletely, just as God now knows me completely” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT).
Paul was an expert at redefining his identity. Take a moment today to read these verses and apply them to your new identity.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
In order for you to achieve great things, you must first believe that you are called, capable and empowered to achieve them. A great illustration of a person finding his new identity was Gideon (see Judges 6).
The angel of the Lord addressed Gideon as a mighty warrior. That certainly wasn’t how he saw himself prior to the encounter. Encounters with the Holy Spirit, the Word, and anointed leaders can jar us out of a false identity.
Questions: Do you need a new identity? Do you want a new identity?
Today: Read and meditate on Paul’s words.
Your New Identity
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and plead- ed with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’” (Acts 16:9)
“Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Paul knew that we were all designed to live out the will of God. God’s plan for us is amazing, but sometimes I’ve struggled with knowing what God’s will is. I wanted to do it but I wasn’t sure how to find it.
Questions: Have you ever struggled with knowing what God wants for you?
I felt so much better when I discovered that Paul faced the same problem at an important juncture of his life. He didn’t know where to go next. He was leading a missionary team that was supposed to change the world, but the next step was troubling him. Can you imagine how his team felt about their trusted leader? He didn’t seem to know where he was going. Paul must have felt so vulnerable, but his humility prepared him to see the will of God in a dream.
Questions: What is God’s will for your life, your family, or your ministry? Here are a few practical steps to discover His will.
Today: Dive into your prayer closet and ask God to show you His good and perfect will. Get involved in serving God by serving others. Remember that God loves you. He is not playing peek-a-boo with your future.
Application: What do you believe God has called you to do?
God's Will For Your Life
With a strong apostolic anointing, Pastor Paul has made it his mission in life to impart the power of the Holy Spirit into leaders worldwide. He travels extensively and has established an international network of churches, Bible schools and pastors, with the ultimate goal of building 2000 churches by the year 2020. As Senior Pastor of ICLV and the author of many books, Pastor Paul’s messages of vision and destiny are heard by tens of thousands around the world.