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Last week I began a series regarding reasons for your personal stress and depression. For the first five points, please refer back to that article. Here are five more reasons you may find yourself buried in personal stress and depression: 6. Stress management and the "Ball in a box syndrome" Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one through death or alienation. This can change the contour of our whole being, often resulting in severe pain that can be continually triggered by a hurtful memory or by daily life routines and experiences. Severe pain may stay with us for the rest of our life; however, the nature of grieving is that it will eventually dissipate gradually as time elapses.
The Lord is making a new way for us. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV The Lord is bringing us out of a wilderness time. He is going to bring new understanding so that we can perceive what He's doing. A few keys: do not dwell on the past. The Lord is creating new ways of doing things that will break us out of the patterns and attacks that have been holding us back. There will also be a new flow of the Holy Spirit. Refreshment, joy, having fun, laughing, and dancing are keys to break free.
David prayed, "But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory and the one who lifts my head high" (Ps. 3:3, NIV). A shield is a common symbol of God's protection. Shields were used in defensive warfare. According to Smith's Bible Dictionary, "The ordinary shield consisted of a framework of wood covered with leather; it thus admitted of being burnt. It was frequently cased with metal, either brass or copper." Here's the thing: weapons couldn't get past the shield. You are in a major battle with the enemy of your soul. One of his primary targets is your mind. If he can get you wrapped up in faulty thinking and focused on what-ifs and what-thens, you will live a distracted life. Rather than centering your focus on Christ, you'll be focused on all your worries and all that could possibly go wrong. We need to shield our thinking.
The power of sonship releases confidence and purpose into your life. Operating out of the power of sonship means that you receive the love of the Father and step into your identity as a child and heir. The Holy Spirit Himself will bear witness that you are a child of God. The answer to the question, "What is the spirit of sonship?" can be summed up in Romans 8:1, "...and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ..." God wants you to operate out of the power of sonship.
When I was filled with the Holy Spirit many years ago, I knew my Southern Baptist mother probably wouldn't be happy about my Pentecostal experience. She and I shared the same core beliefs in Jesus and salvation, of course. But I knew that some Christian denominations don't encourage believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit or to practice the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament. So, I didn't share my testimony with her for a few years. I'll never forget the day my mother learned of my experience. After she told me a story from her childhood, in which she witnessed some Christians "rolling in the sawdust" at a backwoods Pentecostal meeting, she widened her eyes and asked: "You don't speak in tongues, do you, Lee?"
"My people are shrinking to fit into a space they are not meant for." This morning, the Lord gave me a dream in which round pegs were dropping into square holes. This is an analogy that we usually use where the round peg would not be able to fit into a square hole. However, as I inquired of the Lord about this picture, He said His people are becoming smaller to fit into an expected space.
What's "the word" for 2023? Well, I've read different ones and most all are good! Mostly that it will be a year of retribution. But I did ask the Lord "what the word was" (through me) and He gave me the word, "SHOUT!" For some that is a voice of triumph, for some it is a battle cry, or both, or a pressing through. Shout to the Lord with a Voice of Triumph! It's good for us to hear and speak His Voice. Seems like I hear the Lion's Roar in there too! I've had some dire warnings from the Lord that I don't even want to acknowledge. I'll be honest, some have scared me, even though I know He protects His Own. So, I am GLAD that He just said to "Shout!" Get it out! Get your heart out there that is IN HIM!
Proverbs 4:20-27 includes seven verses that are a written revolution if we walk in them: "My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to My Words. Don't lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart for they bring life to those who find them in healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk. Stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet and stay on the safe path. Don't get side-tracked and keep your feet from following evil."
It's time to boost your trust. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31:5 NKJV) It's time for you to step out of the boat, trust the Lord with all your heart and commit your spirit and time to prayer and understanding. Ask the Lord (the Spirit of Truth) to reveal the solutions you need. Your breakthrough is here, although it might look a little different than what you thought.You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! (Psalm 30:11-12 NLT) Joy is returning, but you might need to take it by force and do things opposite of the attack coming against you.
What is The Secret Place of the Most High? How do we stay in this place? Having dug for gold I found revelation in His Word. Those who dwell in the resting place of God, the place of total obedience and trust having crucified the flesh with all its lusts, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and walk in the place of God's resurrection power, Jesus living through us, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty where no weapon formed against you shall ever prosper.