Sunday, October 26, 2014

How God Used Inner Healing to Transform My Life and Ministry


Anita Albert Watson
 This weeks' blog is the testimony of Christian Life Coach Anita Albert Watson. Thank you Anita for courageously sharing your story.

~ Healing the Coach ~
 
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

The enemy of our souls is always at work to deceive, diminish, and destroy our sense of self and our understanding of who we are in Christ, and early in my own life, the enemy used my circumstances and experiences against me.

I grew up in a Christian household, daughter to immigrant parents from India, who weren’t available to me emotionally, and who were working out their own inner issues and struggles. The result of this, for me personally, was devastating. I felt unloved, worthless, never able to do anything right, and by the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I began to be plagued by thoughts of suicide.

In my early twenties, I experienced the Holy Spirit and spiritual transformation began to take place. God instantaneously healed many of the broken places, and began a process of healing in other places of brokenness. It was liberating!

So it was much to my surprise when earlier this year, many of the thoughts and emotions that had been healed came back with shocking force! This attack occurred a few weeks before I was launching an online class through my Christian coaching ministry. I was dumbfounded by what was happening on my insides and was unsure about how I could deal with it all.

As God would have it, my husband had recently been given a copy of A Guide to Listening and Inner Healing Prayer, and I snatched it up and began to read. The process described in the book was transformative. I followed the guidelines and God once again reached in and healed my brokenness, and He did so in such a way that it extended to previously hidden places!

I truly believe that working my way through this book saved my life, and that God intended for my complete healing to occur this way. I also believe that God allowed me to experience my brokenness again so that I could go through the inner healing prayer process in order to share it with others.

I launched my coaching class and included inner healing prayer as one of the topics. I shared the book with my class and have been recommending it to other Christian coaches.

Coaching, along with counseling, are tremendous helps to those who need to deal with spiritual and emotional issues, but there are those things that can only be healed by God through prayer!

I believe that all who know or are seeking God amd especially those who work with others for healing should have a copy of A Guide to Listening and Inner Healing Prayer. This is the kind of book that can make all the difference. It did for me!

MEDITATIONAL WORSHIP VIDEO
~ I Wanna’ Be Free ~
 

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Anita Albert-Watson is a Christian life coach who helps women who are feeling stuck in a rut, or feeling joyless, to discover their God-given design so that they could live passionately and on purpose for the transformation of their lives, the Kingdom, and the world. Learn more at www.passionandpurposecoaching.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Worshiping the Only Great Worker of Miracles


"Only God works great miracles.
God’s love never fails. With wisdom He made the sky.
God’s love never fails. The Lord stretched the earth over the ocean.
God’s love never fails. He made the bright lights in the sky.
God’s love never fails. He lets the sun rule each day.
God’s love never fails. He lets the moon and the stars rule each night.
God’s love never fails!"
Psalm 136:4-9 CEV


“When all else is changing within and around,
In God and His mercy no change can be found.”

“Jehovah is the great Miracle Maker, the unrivaled Wonder worker. None can be likened unto Him, He is alone in wonderland, the Creator and Worker of true marvels, compared with which all other remarkable things are as child's play.”

"All the works of His unrivaled skill are wrought by Him alone and 
unaided, and to Him, therefore, must be undivided honor.”

"Even when the Lord uses men as His instruments, yet the wonder of the work is His alone; therefore let us not trust in men, or idolize them, or tremble before them.”
The last four quotes were penned by
Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David
(Written in weekly installments in London from 1865-1885)

                               “There are three things here declared of God;
1.    That He doeth wonders,
2.   That the wonders He doeth are great;
3.   That He only doeth them.” 
    Augustine on Psalm 136, in Neale and Littledale

“Whatsoever instruments the Lord is pleased to use in any of
His wonderful works, He alone is the worker, and will not
share the glory of the work with any creature.” 
    David Dickson, 1583-1663, Scottish Theologian

“When you ask great things, you ask such as it becomes God to give,
‘whose mercy is great above the heavens!’ Nothing under heaven
can be too great for Him to give. The greater things He
bestows, the greater glory redounds to his Name.” 
    David Clarkson, 1622-1686, British Theologian

Lord Jesus, would You reveal a recent miracle:
  •  You accomplished in my life so I can give You the glory?
  •  You wrought through my life so I can give You the praise?

Or, Jesus - would You work a miracle in this area of my life? 

Leave your comment below or at L2G.Forum@gmail.com

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Blessedness of Affliction & Suffering


“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth” — let Israel now say — “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me Psalm 129:1-2 ESV.

As I read Psalm 129 this morning, I was perplexed and disappointed. Within myself I thought, I was looking for a word from God that would bless and encourage me. A Psalm about affliction was not meeting my expectations.

As I was trying to come up with a title for this Psalm I decided to turn to the free internet edition of the Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon. I was blown away by what I discovered.

“As it is only in affliction God is sought, so by many it is only in affliction God is known. When Manasseh was brought to affliction, then he knew that the Lord he was God: 2 Chronicles 33:12-13.”

This caused me to realize afresh how painful and unwanted times of affliction and suffering have been principle instruments God has used to force me to go deeper and deeper in my pursuit of Him.

Spurgeon's exposé of Psalm 129:1-2 continues:
“But, further, it is only by affliction we ourselves are known. It is only when they (people) are crushed as the worm they are made to feel that the dust is their source; only when earthly props are withdrawn will they take hold of that arm of omnipotence which Jesus offers, and which He has offered so long in vain.”

Tears came to my eyes as I read and recognized that it has only been as God has allowed my earthly props and fortunes to be stripped away that I have been enticed to go deeper and deeper into the loving arms of my Jesus.

“God's children, who had forgotten him, arise and go to their Father when thus smitten by the scourge of sorrow; and no sooner is the penitent ‘Father, I have sinned’ spoken, than they are clasped in his arms, and safe and happy in his love. 

It is, further, by affliction that the world is known to God's children. God's great rival is the world. The lust of the flesh, pleasure; the lust of the eye, desire; the pride of life, the longing to be deemed superior to those about us, —comprise everything man naturally covets. Give us ease, honor, distinction, and all life's good will seem obtained. But what wilt thou do, when he shall judge thee? This is a question fitted to alarm the happiest of the children of prosperity.

What so frequently and effectually shows the necessity of piety as the sharp teachings of affliction? They show what moralists and preachers never could, that riches profit not in the day of death, that pleasures most fully enjoyed bring no soothing to the terrors which nearness to eternity presents, and that friends, however affectionate, cannot plead for and save us at the bar of God. ‘Miserable comforters are they all,’ and it is for the very purpose of inspiring this conviction, along with a belief that it is Jesus alone who can comfort in the hour of need, that affliction is sent to God's children. — Robert Nisbet.

I was overwhelmed with gratefulness and a tangible sense of the nearness of God ...  From the bottom of my heart I give You thanks, my Three-in-One, for drawing me ever closer and deeper in love with You through the disappointments and loses You have allowed me to experience. I affirm the Truth that it has been because of Your great faithfulness that You have afflicted me (Psalm 199:75). 

Would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Maturing Laboring Disciple – Part 1 of 3


Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”
Peter Scazzero, Emotional Healthy Spirituality

What does spiritual maturity look like for the person who is following Christ while seeking to minister to others?  This post is the first of three dichotomies that the Apostle Paul experienced as a mature laboring apostle in 2 Corinthians 6:10.

As sorrowful yet always rejoicing 

In early 700 B.C. the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah described the life of the coming Messiah as accurately as if he'd seen Him face-to-face:

He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus, the only perfect man, clearly saw the incredible lostness and brokenness of the people of His day. One of His disciples, Matthew wrote,

As He (Jesus) looked at the vast crowds He was deeply moved with pity for them, for they were as bewildered and miserable as a flock of sheep with no shepherd.

As we walk with Jesus and mature in Him, it’s not unusual to become increasingly saddened by the brokenness of the world we live in. This is especially true when we experience the shatteredness of our dreams in our own the lives, in the lives of our children, or with close friends.

Around 50 AD Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi about an aspect of the Christian life that is neglected by many:

And now, you have been given the privilege of not only believing in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, but being chosen to suffer for Him as well.

The pain we experience in the midst of our distresses can enable us to forge a deep connection with the sorrow, grief and rejection of the Savior. There is a knowing of Christ in the midst of suffering that can be more profound and transformative than power of the resurrection experiences.

At the same time there are victories, celebrations, and occasions for deep connection with others that cause us to delight and experience great gladness. John explained his reason for writing his epistle to the early church:

These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 1 John1:4

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Love, joy, and peace are meant to be a fruit of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  These three by-products of our union our Triune God are very different from their worldly expression.

·        Love: As Jesus was fond of saying, what benefit is there if you only love those who love you in return?
·        Joy: The joy of the world is best illustrated in the winning of the lottery. The joy God promises us often wells up inside of us in the midst of difficult circumstances.
·        Peace: The peace Jesus promised was not the absence of turmoil that the carnal yearn for, but a deep inner peace in the midst of difficulty.
 
Where are you in your journey?

1.     Are you habitually sorrowful yet always rejoicing or characterized primarily by murmuring and complaining?

2.     The core of grumbling and complaining is often a demanding spirit (see demandingness).

3.     If God reveals that you have a demanding, grumbling spirit, are you willing to confess it as sin and repent?

4.     Lord Jesus, what do You have to communicate to me about sorrow and rejoicing?

       Would love to know your response to this devotional. Drop a comment below or @ L2G.Forum@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Intimacy with God - It's a journey

From a letter I wrote over 14 years ago:

"Learning to listen to God is a process that starts awkwardly and grows slowly but develops and matures until it is hard to see how you could ever have lived without it."  A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer 

We are on a journey. "And all who receive Me will experience everlasting life, a new intimate relationship with You (the one True God) and Jesus the Anointed (the One You have sent)" John 17:3 Voice. 

If you are a believer the Three-in-One resides in your innermost being. His indwelling presence makes deep intimacy with Your Creator a real possibility.
"I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now ... when that One I have spoken to you about comes—the Spirit of truth—He will guide you into everything that is true. For He will not be speaking of His own accord but exactly as He hears ... He will bring glory to Me for He will draw on My truth and reveal it to you. Whatever the Father possesses is also Mine; that is why I tell you that He will draw on My truth and will show it to you." John 16:12-15 J.B. Philipps
We'd love to hear about your journey. Please leave a comment, question, or insight below or drop an email to L2G.Forum@gmail.com Click on this link to pick up your copy of "God Guides."
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Laboring to enter His rest

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Hebrews 4:10 NASB
True inner freedom arises when a man or woman doesn’t have anything to prove, when what he or she does isn’t an attempt to earn something missing or to impress others. When service isn’t motivated to make up for personal deficits and an individual moves towards others motivated by a sincere interest in their welfare, this person is entering into His rest (Philippians 1:15-16) (Philippians 2:20) (Philippians 3:19)

Rest is a by-product of not being on a desperate search to meet my yearning for security, significance and self-worth by who I know or what I do. It comes from the experience of having my longings met by in an ever-increasing intimacy with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Rest frees a person to be able to do what he or she does by faith that expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). It liberates a person to genuinely care about what is best for others as in Philippians 2:3-4.

Entering the rest permits me to draw near to God because of who He is rather than for what I can get. Rest is freedom from the tyranny of the self-oriented focus that deficit motivation creates, and the birth of a focus on sincerely loving God and others from the heart (1 Peter 1:22). It has to do with recanting unwise vows and giving up my self-protective strategies (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). It is related to His magnificent power being revealed in my paralyzing weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). It means taking my place as a sheep and giving over the reigns to the Shepherd. Rest is Christ being formed more and more fully, and completely deep within me (Galatians 4:19).
        
Rest is not being completely free from struggle and difficulty. It is not a vaccination against misfortune. It does not mean things will turn out just as I had hoped in every situation. Rest does not guarantee that I will not fail or be hurt by others. It carries no warranty against disappointment, nor does it mean that what I do will not require personal sacrifice and discipline. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

From God’s perspective, the desired by-product of the trials and crisis we go through is to draw us closer and closer to the realization of the utter foolishness of trying to satisfy our deep innermost longings with our good works (Philippians 3:8-9), productivity, and polluted well-drilling (Jeremiah 2:13). It represents a unique opportunity in our lives to see the futility of our carnally motivated pursuits and come to a much greater and purer dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:20-21). It's an invitation to resolve unfinished business from the past (Psalm 147:3-5) that we somehow never got around to, face hidden pain, feel it, examine it, dialogue with God about so He can heal it (Isaiah 61:1), and triumph over it by faith through the grace revealed at the Cross (Romans 8:37).

At first, the idea of laboring to enter rest doesn't quite compute for most of us. Rest somehow doesn’t seem compatible with living and laboring among the lost (Matthew 11:28-30). However, when we consider the deep day-to-day struggles most of us go through, we see that without diligent work, devoting ourselves to time alone with God, getting help where we need it, and dealing with the past; we will never come to the point of entry. We may make external readjustments, change jobs, replace one strategy for another, change life-styles or other external things … but unless we uncover and deal with root issues (Hebrews 12:14-15) we will not enter the rest.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:8-10

Listening Prayer Exercise

     The satisfaction of our spiritual thirst is an extremely powerful and driving force behind most of what we do.
  • When we say that people thirst for security, we mean that we yearn to be loved and accepted completely for who we are.
  • The yearning for self-worth carries with it the idea that in the core of our being we desire to experience ourselves as valued and having real worth.
  • We also hunger to have our lives count for something that we consider to be important: we thirst for significance. 
Thirst is not at first recognized in most people (John 4:13-15). We may have chosen to deny it, disguise it, satisfy it illegitimately, reduce it, or minimize it in some other way.   

After praying through the Listening to God Guidelines, dedicate 15 to 30 minutes listening to God over the following questions.

 
1.   What is my deepest longing (security, significance or self-worth)?
 __________________________________________________________________ 

2.   What do I usually look to satisfy my yearnings? (i.e. other people, people pleasing, my performance, perfectionism, my work, my spouse, my family, my intimate relationship with God, etc.) ___________________________________________________________________

3.   Lord Jesus, what do you have to say to me about quenching my thirst? ___________________________________________________________________