Why is The Joy of The Lord Your Strength?

Everyone’s heard the verse The Joy of the Lord is my strength. I’ve been meditating on that all week long. However, I decided to read the whole chapter of Nehemiah 8 to understand the context of this first verse. Ezra was reading the book of the law to the people and they were weeping. He told them not to mourn because the joy of the Lord is our strength. He read some more to them and they began to understand what the word of the Lord was saying. They then went out with joy like never before.
Sometimes, all we see are the complicated things in front of us. As a result, we don’t understand life through God’s eyes. But when we understand His Word and Principles and apply it to our life, we can stop our weeping. Because there comes a renewed sense of his strength as we live in his Joy knowing His promises will be fulfilled.

NOW LET THE JOY OF THE LORD BE YOUR STRENGTH!

The joy of the lord is my strength

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“Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. – Nehemiah 8:9-12

The Keys to Hope & Joy – God’s promise to believers

The Word Of God is LIFE if we want it. So many times we go through our day weighed down and wishing things were different, BUT it doesn’t have to be like that!! God wants us to Rejoice Always and Again I say Rejoice.Even in the pits David rejoiced. We do not realize that many of the Psalms we read were written when David was running for his life before he even was put on the throne as king. He knew his destiny, he was anointed by Samuel for the task as a boy, but he had to fight for his life against everyone who is against him. Take time to read through the book of Psalms, especially when you feel overwhelmed. 

There’s nothing like the word of God to pick you up, set you straight, give you hope and assurance of the promises that God’s word will never fail. It’s impossible! It is impossible for the words and promises of God to fail!!! Take THAT lies! You have NO place in my brothers and sisters! You have no place in the body of Christ. Holy Spirit reveal the TRUTH and set Your People FREE!!!

Its all about our Attitude!! A choice. Listen to Peter. This is a Powerful Reminder to Cast Our cares on HIM

1 Peter 5:2-11 

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor. In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. 

And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. 

Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

It is very interesting to me that God said to Cast your cares on him because he cares for you RIGHT BEFORE HE gives a huge warning to Stay Alert!!! Because the enemy is prowling to devour you. 

It is like He knows a secret about not carrying unnecessary hurts & burdens because it opens up the door for the enemy to mess with us. We are supposed to stand firm and keep our heart and emotions not filled with hurt and bitterness. WOW !!! THE WORD OF GOD CAN PREACH!!

Don’t allow your pride to hold onto bitterness and hurt!!! It gives the enemy legal right into your heart and mind! He will mess with you, bind you up, create jealousy, evny, hatred, anger and all sorts of evil to bind you up -UNTIL YOU SURRENDER YOUR HURTS to the Lord. Ask forgiveness for holding on to the hurt and allowing any of the evil attachments mentioned above or others creep in. Receive His forgiveness. Ask for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth for the lies you are believing about the situation and walk out the steps of forgiveness to the person who hurt you. Then RESIST the Devil!!! Draw close to God. You are an overcomer because of the blood of the lamb and the Word of YOUR Testimony! Take Your Freedom BACK!!

Is blood thicker than water in the family of God?

Blood is thicker than water. Most of the time when we think of that phrase we only related it to our blood relatives. But when you become a part of the body of Christ you are united by the blood of Jesus. So why do we think we can treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with any less value than we treat our own relatives. How can we walk out of relationship with them so easy? When someone leaves one church and goes to another church, why is it that relationship seem to be broken off?Nothing has changed according to the blood relation they are just somewhere else. The choice is up to us, every single time. We need to determine to not let ties be broken when somebody moves to another place. The one major goal of the enemy is to bring disunity in the body of Christ. Disunity happens when there are unresolved offenses, bitterness and hurts that have not been healed. Or in some cases it is just feeling awkward and not getting past those feelings. We have all experienced one of those things. However, we always have a choice if we are going to take the easy route and stay in that negative place or choose to take the steps to be healed. If you cannot come to a place of healing between you and God seeks out those who can help you take through those deep places. Believe me I have been through there and it is worth it to be free!

Not only does this place of hurt affect the church corporately and in our city but it directly affects our daily life, our relationship with our spouse and our children. The enemy uses this foothold to torment us, in our mind, will and emotions. We can not live a life of true freedom and joy when we are holding on to bitterness, offense and hurt. IT LITERALLY BECOMES HELL ON EARTH! 

BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY THERE!!!

With all the emphasis of healing in the body of Christ being focused on signs and wonders I know that even more than that Jesus longs to see a healing in the hearts and relationships of HIS family. Jesus told us not even to take communion if we have an offense with a brother or sister. We are to go to them first and resolve our issues before we partake. He spoke directly about that I know it is His heart’s cry that we walk in healing and unity with each other. 

WHATEVER IT TAKES, first we need to pray for humility that God would humble us in our heart to the point where we can approach our brother sister who has offended us or we have hurt. We need to pray that God will give us the desire for this even if we do not have it now. God can do more in our hearts through the Holy Spirit bringing healing in the deep places but it takes a willing heart. 

SECOND WE NEED TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE- if we sit around waiting for people to come to us for us to be healed, we are going to wait for an insanely long time. My dad & Pastor Joel Hjertstedt always says “The one who knows goes.” If the Holy Spirit has brought it to our attention it is our responsibility to approach the other party. If they wanted or not or if they receive it or not, you know before God in your heart you have done what is right.

Third, close every door you have allowed the enemy to enter in your heart. The lies of the enemy and the torment that he brings is only as effective as our determination to tell him to go and get out.

He only has the authority that we give him. 

My heart and prayer is that every church in our cities would unite and connect together no matter what denominations or differences and love each other as Christ loves His church. Only then will we see the revival we are waiting and praying for.

Growing up we would sing this song:

I’m SO GLAD I’M A PART OF THE FAMILY OF GOD. I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood. Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod. I’m so glad I’m a part of the FAMILY OF GOD. 

Let it be God!! Let it be!!

  
 

Wait for the Lord

A week of heartbreaking news for many loved ones makes this verse Ring in my soul. God is our hope, our sure foundation. When we are seated in heavenly places with the King of Kings our focus in life must be from God’s perspective down. When we see life through His eyes- THERE IS HOPE. Let the Prince of Peace fill you with His Comfort, Hope and Joy today!

Blow on the dreams of others

There is nothing that compares to watching a friend who had no confidence in them-self, after encouragement, blossom and product fruit in the areas of their life where they didn’t think they could ever do it. That is pure joy!

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“Blowing on the dreams of others leads to inconceivable joy as you watch them step into the reality of their fulfillment.” – Rachelle Layzell

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Allow Him to Love You

In the insanity of life, at times all it takes is to quiet ourselves down for a couple minutes and allow Papa God to love on us. To be honest, it takes effort when your mind is filled with everything you need to do. But it transformed me this afternoon. I started listening to The Fish Christian Radio and every song that came on was a worship song that melted my heart.

The picture below was drawn for me a couple years ago from a lady at church. She drew it as I was exhorting the church about the flood of Love that God wants to release upon them. It just takes them to let go of the hurts and pain that they are clinging to and allow God to love them. The artist gave it to me and said she saw this picture as I was sharing. She said that just as I was encouraging the church, that God was cherishing me.

This picture has become one of my prize possessions. Allow Papa God to love on you today. Take a few minutes to focus on Him, listen to some worship music and feel your spirit come alive again. He is already waiting to hug you and love on you. He is already speaking to you. Stop. Wait. Listen. He will never let you down!!

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Freedom for your children: Breaking thoughts of agreement

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This morning I had to walk my son through some steps of freedom. Even though he is trying his hardest in school and is getting the work done, it is so intense he feels like he is drowning. For a kids with learning challenges, growing up means everything gets harder. He began agreeing with the lies of the enemy and last night and this morning came into my room because of disturbing dreams. He had a dream that there was a scary lion outside our house looking at him and it came onto our porch. This morning we had a long talk and prayer time. I read with him in

1 Pet 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

I told him that when life is hard the enemy puts thoughts in our minds like we are a failure, life & school is torture, I want to give up, and when we agree with those thoughts and speak them out loud or draw them on our homework, are are coming into agreement with him and allowing him to take a cubby in our mind. We then prayed together and I had him repeat a prayer of asking forgiveness for agreeing with the specific thoughts he was having, Then asking and receiving the Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness & Self-Control (Fruits of the spirit) Of God. His mood completely shifted after we prayed.

When the kids get home we are going to go through Psalms 19 and talk about our thoughts. Parents, take advantage of every opportunity to show your kids the freedom that is found in the word of God and what it means to walk through life in that freedom. Even children can come into agreement with the lies of the enemy. We need to recognize when that happens and walk them through a prayer time of freedom. The dream that my son had, I thank God for!! Even though it scared him, it allowed this beautiful opportunity to share the truth of the word of God. I am so grateful!

Psalms 19: 7-14

 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The Mind of Christ: thinking about “Thinking”

I have been doing a lot of thinking about “thinking”. Our thoughts have a massive amount of influence on our day. No matter what the situation that may arise-our thoughts will determine our emotions and actions. We need to understand what it means to “Have the Mind of Christ” BUT, what is the mind of Christ? Check out the picture below Phil 4:8

We also need to know how to “Take Every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ”.
But what does that mean?
It means 1st of all Repentance– for wrong thinking, for specific things we are focusing on that are not in Phil 4:8, for thoughts that contradict the nature of God and His commandments. When we constantly live with those thoughts and never repent for them, we allow the strongholds that attach themselves to those thoughts to have Legal Access to our spirit. I don’t know about you, but I do not want the enemy to have any legal access to my mind, heart or spirit. We have the authority to stop the enemies access, through our repentance with humility and sincerity.

After repenting for wrong thinking, you need to fill your mind with the good things of God. Philipians 4:8

The next step is constantly living with an attitude of thanksgiving for what God has done for us. This takes our eyes off of ourselves and present circumstances and shifts our attention to him. As we glorify and worship him He releases us from the burdens that we carry in our every day life. This is a true way to walk in joy, freedom and hope.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Here are a couple articles that offer more teaching on “The Mind of Christ”

http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=live_with_the_mind_of_christ

http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-growth/7041-living-the-truth-have-the-mind-of-christIMG_2494.JPG

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How to Receive Freedom by Giving Up

Sometimes we hold on to a stronghold or sin in our life and justify it by saying that it is for someone else’s good. For example, if we hold envy/hatred/jealousy towards someone because, in our mind, they are hurting someone we love. That stronghold then takes root in our life and opens wide the door of our spirit to the enemy and we come into agreement and can then release Anger/Hatred/Strife ect. into other areas of our life or our family.

Parents you have a direct influence over your kids and the atmosphere of your home. If we are not walking in purity and freedom it opens our homes up to strife/anger ect. You are the head of your household. The buck stops here!! We can easily get on our kids case for their attitudes, but sometimes we need to check ours out FIRST. (preaching to myself!!!)

Time to seriously take ourselves before God and repent and renounce the strongholds/sins and receive his forgiveness, righteousness, peace and love. Freedom is possible only after we are willing to humble ourselves before Him, admit our sin, Believe He has the power and authority to forgive us because of the cross and Receive His forgiveness and freedom!

The steps to your freedom require two important things. First of all, you need to repent and ask God’s forgiveness for the strongholds you have allowed to come into your life and the sins that you have committed. Along with that comes the need to renounce, or break off all ties to those strongholds . That is simply stating each of them and declaring that you renounce and break off ties and attachments to those things.
This is just the first step, getting things right between you and God.

However, it does not end there.

If those sins have been towards someone else, even if it is only in your mind or by actions or words then you need to go to them and ask forgiveness for it. This might be a no-brainer, but it is far too easy to skip this step because of the vulnerability you feel towards that person. You may fear they will not receive you, or that they will throw it in your face. But, what is taking place in your spirit is far more important than the resistance you may feel. Bitterness, envy, jealousy, hatred, are all easy strongholds we allow into our life. They sneak up on us especially when we do not realize we are willingly coming into agreement with the sin we are carrying. When we justify our sin, or make excuses for it because we think there is a good reason, we are at the same time holding the power of its influence around us.

Today I can testify that I have just completed the second step above in regards to a situation that I have been going through.
Last night I repented and renounced what I was going through to God, but it does not end there. I had been holding resentment, envy, jealousy and anger towards someone and had to find them today and ask forgiveness face-to-face.

I can’t tell you the joy and especially peace that I have felt all afternoon. My humility, obedience and open heart paved the way for complete restoration between me and the other party and took away the strife and contention in my heart. Now I am waiting to see this peace continue even after my kids get home from school. This is a house where the Prince of Peace reigns!

Bring on the freedom and joy!
Time to Give Up and give it to God!

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