Memories: Changing the Cycle of Pain and Automatic Reactions

Sometimes we hold ourselves back from certain people, places, dates and times, experiences and other aspects of life because of a painful or traumatic memory.

Unconscious intrusive triggers might inhibit us from participating in good aspects of life because we get hung up on the somatic (physical) and psychological (mental) effects of remembering. We don’t want a repeat of a painful “last time,” and try to avoid such occurrences. Such memory recall often triggers episodes of reliving an experience adding to and even reinforcing the negative experiences we had.  THis may also act as a reinforcer unhelpful belief patterns. When this occurs, PAIN becomes our counsellor, and even sometimes, our governor. What can we do? 

One thing you often can do is to overwrite an old memory by making a new memory with the present opportunity you have. We are constantly overwriting old memories with new material unconsciously. We can consciously do so too with some intention and belief it is possible. Hope is a strong motivator.

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The Brain is powerful in the cognitive function of plasticity. Scientists used to believe that memory was hardwired and once formed, permanent. However, since then it has been discovered through neuroscience and cognitive psychology that each time we recall a memory, it changes in subtle ways. We unconsciously edit a memory with minute subtractions and additions, and the memory becomes re-consolidated (reconstructed and saved) in a new way. 

This is in part why some parts of memory stand out more than others, some parts fade, others increase in intensity and quality, and sometimes other people’s recall of a same event is different than our own. Occasionally our minds even fill in the blanks with color or other details we have forgotten, aren’t true or didn’t actually occur. E.g. “I could swear that motorcycle Joe had was red, not blue.” 

Particularly salient parts of memory are more likely to stand out and last longer. However, even memories of traumatic events such as 9-11, are, and can be, edited as we remember them. An interesting area of study on salient events involves eye-witness cases, which have high inconsistencies and are now considered as somewhat unreliable evidence in courts of law. We can embellish memories or micro-delete aspects unconsciously or by deliberate choice. Memory is influenced by numerous variables and is an interesting study on its own.

This fact also means we be active in choosing how we want to remember by reconstructing a memory association.  I am not advocating telling ourselves lies or myths to cope. This is what I do mean…

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Memory works strongly with associations such as taste, smell, touch, sight, sound, and other senses such as feelings/emotions. E.g. people may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how they felt when you said it.

I rephrased this popular saying because, regarding emotions (which differ from our physical yet are interconnected) we have power and responsibility in part for our feelings and how we manage or act on them even when another is an initiator of negative events. We may be on a learning curve on how to do this, but ultimately, its within our power to decide how we will allow things effect us long term, and what we will do to begin the process and fulfillment of healing.

When pain and fear anchor as primary emotions in our memory consolidation process, it can create a reinforcement cycle of the memory like a well worn path. Further, painful social situations activate the same nerve and brain areas as physical pain does. This is why we experience heartache as a physical pain, or get pain symptoms in various parts of our bodies (soma-symptoms). However our bodies can learn to release trauma and pain from soma and muscle memory as well.

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We usually have understanding of the problem of our pain, but are often uncertain how to get our minds out of memory holding patterns. This pattern is what needs changed to heal. By the same principle of the well worn path, a pathway barely used becomes overgrown. In the case of brain patterns and memory, when dendrites and synapses (our brain’s tree branches and leaves, or highways and intersections) are not in frequent use, the brain prunes our memory tree, closes road.

Then as we learn or adapt our thinking, it regrows new branches or paves new roads or adds an overpass, which function differently.  This principle of use and disuse is quite noticeable in things like second languages, directions, or placing a name to a face.

We don’t have to revisit every painful memory for this to happen, like scientists and therapists used to believe. We can actively make new memories in place of the old. It is like overwriting old code. This removes old triggering associations, by creating new ones.

This memory flexibility and resilience underlies certain professional psychological treatments for trauma, phobias, and general cognitive restructuring. The brain gets rewired as to what our focus is on, connects to new associations, forming patterns in our memory, which then re-consolidates into a new framework, or schema. Thus we can remember events or other things without pain or triggers when this change occurs.

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What we focus on expands and magnifies.

 If you find certain places, people, objects etc are triggers for you, you might want to give making new memory associations a chance. It may not happen the first time you try, you may feel very uncomfortable at first. It may even feel worse to begin with, but with persistence and support from others, the memories, experiences,  relationships, etcetera that you want to keep but with new healthy associations, can happen for you. I have shared this concept with personal friends and have started receiving good feedback about its affects.

In reality, we don’t ‘unlearn’ things- we learn again- the overwriting aspect. This plasticity is also a mechanic of the spiritual reality of renewing our minds to truth, and shifting belief patterns. You can be free of negative past associations. Let’s get creative.

*Not every memory is one we want to keep; some we are better off losing completely– I don’t mean repression. Depending on the severity of trauma and our personal experiences, this type of overwriting may work great without other’s involvement, or, people may find they need assistance in this process, whether a friend, counsellor, or by supernatural means.

For those of you whose hope has been crushed by being told you have a disorder that can’t be healed, only managed, I encourage you to seek counsel and wholeness through Jesus our Healer. The greatest helper, Jesus Christ, is the master physician and counselor for memories that have crushed one’s spirit. I, and, many others can personally attest to His healing power and loving process to heal memories.

For further interest, this book was recommended to me by my oversight (a practicing psychiatrist) in my undergrad course Abnormal Psychology  regarding my course project: investigating  DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and Depersonalization–Derealization Disorder (DDD–which is in fact more common than generally realized by practitioners). For those who like a little more scientific info, or wonder about the mechanics of how focus affects any number of our systems including spiritual focus see:

New York Times Bestseller, FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, by Daniel Goleman.

 

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Demystifying the Third Eye for Seers

To see or not to see… My friend Aspen Morrow discusses the genuine vs counterfeit ways of spiritual seeing

Aspen Brain Health

Third Eye Sight vs the Eyes of Your Heart

(Excerpt from upcoming book: Demystifying the Seer by Aspen Morrow)

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 (NIV, emphasis mine)

The third eye is also called the mind’s eye, eye of time, or the inner eye. It is a mystical, esoteric ‘invisible’ eye which is said to provide vision, sight, and perception beyond ordinary sight. It is claimed that you can open your third eye by focusing on your third eye chakra, meditating, choosing the right surroundings, flooding it with light, emptying your mind or focusing only on a meditation object, picking a mantra like “um”, and repeating until you “see something”. A list of reputed benefits to opening the…

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Whatever Happens, Be Still!

Dream Applications: Receiving Words of Knowledge and Wisdom for your times.

In the cloak of the dark, under lamplight, my husband and I walked towards a white four door sedan. Around us other people also strolled their own ways. Once in the car things rapidly changed. My husband was in the back seat and I in the drivers seat. With steel in his voice he said, “Whatever happens, Be Still!”

In the next moment a great grizz of a bear smashed through the back window swiping at my husband. I slung my body and huddled against the drivers door with my arm and elbow raised in self protection as a young lion then jumped through the window as well, into the passenger seat beside me. Its gaping jaw opened inches from my face as it roared. Immediately my base survival instincts kicked in and I began flailing at the lion, while my husband wrestled the bear. I felt my bare skin push through warm slime as my arm slipped in the lion’s mouth. I pulled back and did my best to use both thumbs to jab into its eyes and gouge them. This repeated until the lion finally shook itself and jumped out the passenger door window, leaving me with a sense of being stunned. Then the dream abruptly ended.

When I woke, my mind immediately began to process… What was That!? As my thoughts and emotions began to take order, I realized that the skin on my arm had never even grazed those razor teeth. I had only felt the warm slime as my hand and arm slipped through as I tried to hit at it, resisting with all my might.

In the days that followed I began to understand the dream’s purpose. A word of Knowledge and Wisdom had been given to me regarding literal events that were quickly about to unfold. We had been on an wonder filled journey of restoration as a family. (More about that in another post.)

We had sold the house we had bought and restored and planned to build our home on the four acres God had helped us purchase prior. Since it was bare land, we began from scratch and started the shop that would house the cabinet making and finishing business my husband I had started a few years before. We had estimated a couple weeks or so until we would be able to move into the living area we had included in the shop plans, so we moved in with my parents for the short interim.

The couple weeks turned into nearly 8 months. (*8 is the number of restoration, and many such synchronicities had been taking place) By the time we were planning to move out of my parents house, the condo board mailed legal papers stating that we had been there too long and must move out or legal action would be taken. No conversation occurred asking how long we might stay or when we planned to move, just an ugly letter from the condo board– Out or else.

Though it was rude and an unnecessary manner of asking us to go, fortunately, we had already been making plans to move to our own place April Fools day. We packed up and began our move. The weather was beautiful, the kids were running about helping and getting in the way-–perfect. The Peace Officer was an unexpected addition to the chaos that was already underway as we unloaded and squeezed everything into the reduced living spaces.

” You can’t live here.” Come again?–what was he talking about? Its our property, of course we can. “You can’t live here, its illegal.” He noted our blank looks, then began to reveal “people” in the neighborhood complained that there were kids living in the garage and mentioned a restrictive covenant in our purchase agreement. At first I just stared at him. Then my ire began to rise as I processed what he was saying. He began to look nervous and my voice took on a “tone” and I shared a few thoughts with him. Speaking of bears, the proverbial momma bear in me awakened and growled, standing on hind legs.

He explained that the legal covenant we had signed in the purchase of the property had some very fine print.  He stated that holiday campers were allowed to be lived in on the property while we built the house, but we had to apply for a legal suite designation to use the shop as living space. Never mind that it had 1.5 bathrooms, a lunch room with full kitchen, two offices upstairs and a loft area. None of that mattered because we hadn’t known to apply to the county for a legal designation of living quarters or an “in-law” suite before we built it.

He departed leaving us in a stupor of surprise and growing frustration. No names would be given of who had a problem with us living in the shop, and once again, no one had bothered to come talk to us about their concerns.

We couldn’t go back to my parents, and we weren’t allowed to live in the shop quarters. We didn’t own a holiday trailer either. With four rambunctious boys, not just anyone was going to invite us in to stay, and we hadn’t planned to start building the house for another two years. We were caught between two legal entities with nowhere to go.

The dream didn’t immediately come to mind when the peace officer had discharged his duties but filtered into my consciousness at a later point. The community in the dream literally consisted of my parents condo community and our subdivision community. The white sedan represented our innocent actions taken to provide for our family. The peaceable dark summer night symbolized our unwitting motives, and troubling events we were about to enter through underhanded tattle-taling of the community members, and the enemy’s intent to trap us and prevent us from fully realizing our restoration and blessing the Lord had promised. The bear and the lion-obvious enough-our prowling enemies sent to devour us and stop our blessing.

Since we had no where else to go, we went inside our shop for the night. We began investigating the why and to who this mattered, and to see if we could change the designation of the shop living quarters. We were getting nothing but red tape as staff turnover at the county office kept delaying our process, and they wouldn’t share who had made the complaints. We had wanted to express to them we weren’t making our kids sleep on the cement floor, they were being fed and clothed and were perfectly fine, better in fact, than camping in a trailer on the property.

My soul was troubled so I shared at my shop kitchen table with my prophetess friend what was going on, expecting at least a sympathetic ear. What I got was listening nods and then abruptly, laughter.

Laughter.

At first I was taken aback. I inquired. She shook her head and went on laughing, then apologized saying she wasn’t sure why. Afterwards I recalled another occasion where she began to laugh when I spoke. This was another whole new area we were about to learn about warfare and justice (More about that in another post.)

A few weeks went by before the Peace Officer returned with his same lecture. We expressed our attempts to work things out and were informed that we could be forcibly removed and if necessary, they would come with crow bars and rip out the cabinets and everything else in the shop so that we couldn’t remain there, it was our choice. Vacate or the wrecking crew would be sent. Unbelievable right? So much for a sense of community. Now I was angry…and somewhat combative in attitude. You’re messing with my kids!  He took some steps back like he was unsure, my husband intervened, and the officer went on his way again.

“Whatever happens, Be Still.”  I wondered at it, asked for understanding. I knew I was given the instruction for this time and was struggling how to apply it. Feeling powerless was too familiar of a feeling. I’m sure you can relate. It makes even the most amiable person feel a bit driven via desperation.

We had even borrowed a camper and pulled it right out the shop doors, spending most of our time in the shop, but spies weren’t satisfied. Like birds of the air they spread their discontent believing we did not conform to their expectations. Back to the county office we went, only to discover a new person in charge who knew nothing of our process. We had to start over.

As a mother, I expressed our plight to the new guy, saying that “someone” would rather our kids live in a tent on the lawn than inside a furnished and appropriate living space. His flippant reply appalled me. He laughed and said “better put up a tent!” By this time it was nearing late fall, with our now typical earlier arrival of  winter soon approaching– no sane Canadian tents in the winter long term. One look at my face stopped up his laughter. I managed to bite my tongue, but my eyes shot lightening bolts. The process began again.

We do not war against flesh and blood but against powers, and principalities in heavenly realms. Ephesians 6

I had already learned a great deal about how the enemy of our souls works, and how to handle it, but this was a new learning curve for me. I knew it only appeared that my enemy had skin on, but our adversarys were using the powers that be as human puppets to thwart our every effort.

Finally, I suggested that we talk with the person who had turned the land into acreages to see if he had complained about us, or if he knew who had the issue with us. He admitted a part with an Polly Anna “Oh gee maybe something I said created this” type of reply. He had been worried if we lived in the shop, we might decide to stay in it and not build a house, so he had shared the legal caveat in the purchase agreement (though we were well under the time allotment deadline) and bylaws to the authorities. He also mentioned another neighbor who had formally complained.

Now it was clear who and what the bear and lion represented leaving us choices to make.

By this time we felt so harassed and tired like the trees whose leaves were already coloring, we started building the house a year earlier than intended, stretching our finances into minor contortions. We also went back a third time to the county and found we were to deal with yet another new person. This one had more compassion fortunately, and time and the economy drop brought changes to policy so she was willing to try to help us get the suite made legal.

Throughout this process, some of our kids were old enough to understand the problems and were worried. I took one of my worried sons and pointed out the shop kitchen window to a spot, and said, “God will help us. A house is going to be built right there; watch and see.” By this point I had recovered my peace I had let go of when the trouble came. Not only did they watch, they helped with the foundation and other parts of the build.

The bear and the lion were no match for our Heavenly Father who had promised restoration. Before all this issue began, I had been learning about “stillness’ and listening to Graham Cooke’s message on ” Stillness.” Thus, the instructions, “Whatever happens, Be still!

I could have went through the entire process in peace and rest.

In quietness and rest shall be your confidence.

My friends reaction should have been another clue to just calm down and be still, knowing that He IS MY God.

God sits in the heavens and laughs…

It’s true that my flailing resistance to my enemy caused him to turn and flee– just like the word says, “…the enemy prowls around like a lion, seeking who he may desire. Resist the devil, and he will flee.”

However, God was teaching me a new way of warfare that was so polar opposite to what I had learned before. No need to get combative. No need to raise one’s voice and shout down the enemy. No need to for any of the, at times, exhausting manner of warring that I had learned in my early days.

This strategy called for peace. For stilling myself in His presence, confident that He was at work, and would prevail on our behalf. He had spoken and so it would be.

ALL I really needed was to be still and believe. The rest would work out. He had told me to ask for upper and lower springs from him, just like Caleb’s daughter had. So I did. We ended up with two properties, the restored house we sold, and the one we live in now.

In faith I had named our acreage, “Caller’s Springs.” The name is a translation from the book of Judges. When Samson had slain all his enemies, he thirsted. Then he called out for water to refresh him. And God responded, creating a spring to rise and gush before him–amazing kindness. Then Samson drank and was revived. Samson didn’t do everything right either, but God was faithful, just as He promised.

It was such a fitting name for our acreage, since we too had been on a journey of overcoming our enemies and being restored, Revived. This story is somewhere around the mid-point of our journey. IF you were blessed reading it, watch for more posts to come sharing other parts of God’s kindness and creative restoration process in our lives.

May you all experience the restoration you are seeking, and be fully revived in the process. Remember, there is a kind of warfare that engages by being still, and knowing, HE IS OUR GOD.

Check out Worship Mob’s song “Defender” with spontaneous worship on YouTube.

 

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Power in the Stay

lori suiter

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I was a classic runner when I was a teen. Now before you think that means sports…stop. What I mean is that I was a runaway. If things got intense at home, I ran. It was never for long but it was definitely my initial reaction to stress. Now you can only imagine what that turned into as I went through high school. I ran to relationships, drinking, drugs, entertainment, adventure, etc. Thank God at twenty I ran into God!

I have found that runner in me still has a small voice in my thoughts at times.  Thoughts of being harmed by others if I don’t get out of intense situations….right now.  Thoughts of being overwhelmed or caught in a situation that I won’t be able to handle (rooted in childhood). I also battle thoughts that bad things will happen to me if I’m alone (also rooted in childhood). …

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When God seems silent in tradgedy

We are ever discovering who God is. Sometimes He may seem silent when we feel like we most need to hear Him speak.

We might react in feeling abandoned, interpret the sense of void as rejection, or indifference on His part. Feelings influence our sense of interpretation, and schema we develop our world view around. They can be highly effective, or disruptive, and therefore need to be processed through discernment.

One of the reasons I love the written word (scriptures) is that I can go search Him out even when He seems MIA, and  be reminded of the truth of who He is even when feelings and thoughts contradict. And I love the rhema word- the “right now” spirit to spirit communication that comes through relationship with Him and gives knowledge and instruction in a moment.

When my brother (in law) died in March I was in utter shock– my expectation was a physical miracle. The shock that accompanied his death carried a sort of numbing quality with it.

In the days that followed, I came to sit in God’s presence. I didn’t have a lot to say, some things seemed futile to ask or say,  sometimes I just wept–my words forming in tears and deep sighs. At some point I began to think on how I wasn’t hearing Him say anything to me, yet I knew He was actively present.

Still I took time specifically to come sit in His presence. During one of these times, I suddenly understood–

He was sitting in mine.

He didn’t immediately start filling up the air space with words as we often do in an effort to comfort either ourselves or the one’s whose loss is so deep. Just as for seven days Job’s friends had the sense and wisdom to simply sit with Job in his pain and misery without explanation or instruction, just to be with Job in stillness and presence, HE came and sat in mine.

When we experience a deep sense of loss and pain, He doesn’t fill the air with platitudes, and cliches as people often feel compelled to do. He draws us into His arms and rests his kiss on our heads. Lets us soak in His strength, comfort and healing. He prepares our hearts to be able to listen and receive. He gently ministers the salve and healing oil, so that numbness abates and our hearts can hear.

And when we are able and ready to hear Him speak, then He does. The sensitivity of God makes Him the greatest friend anyone can hope for.

When He begins to speak, He doesn’t always speak to the things we are wanting to know. He speaks to who we are. Identity is something we may begin to forget when we don’t see the kingdom and words of God manifest as we desire and expect to. The rawness of pain and loss can cloud “truth reality” with “experiential factuality,” and so He speaks to our identity and reveals again why we believed as we did to begin with. And He speaks of who He is. Still. Even if…

Sometimes God sits with us in silence. He is not withholding, He is not rejecting or disciplining. He is presenting us with His presence, His person. In tender wisdom, He lets us express ourselves and He listens, holding us close, lending His strength.

I began to realize the wisdom He acted in by sitting with me in silence. Silence is powerful. We are often to tempted to fill it all up with words, especially in Western culture. But it has its own purpose and wisdom. It leads us into stillness. In stillness, we find understanding, and renewal. We begin to know what He knows.

When God seems silent, lean in and see if He is really sitting in your presence, drawing you into His arms, placing his lips on your head, letting you pour out your heart, adding the salve and the oil, readying you to be able to hear. Know He is present, even if you can’t yet perceive Him. By faith, you will.

Be still, and Know,– I Am God. [j]Cease striving and know that I am God;

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
[b]A very present help in [c]trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the [d]sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. [e]Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her [f]when morning dawns.

10 [j]Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the [k]nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. NASB

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The Hall of Justice: ordering, judging, cursing  

There’s a still a great deal of talk about the Courts of Heaven in some church circles. To be honest I hadn’t engaged into this newer church trend for a couple of reasons. One being my unfolding understanding of the work of Christ and the function of the believer in the new covenant. I’m not knocking other’s understanding or revelation about such matters, because there are a number of views on it, some with truth and others bordering on new age or rabbit trails. However, I have noticed a general theme as I’ve paid attention and investigated these teachings. This particular aspect is addressed in the following.

The frequently quoted basis of going to the courts of heaven is Matthew 5:25; “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison.” WEB

One of the basic concepts of this teaching seems to be: when the devil confronts you with your failings, its best to agree with him before you get reach the judge (to avoid judgment), or just agree because you both know the accusation is true and he’s going to hammer your conscience until you admit your failing. Then he’ll gloat before the judge and do his best to see you imprisoned. Ready on your defense is your advocate and lawyer Jesus, and the Father holds the gavel.The end goal is freedom.

This agreement between two is true in its proper context. The context here is in reference to disputes between people–not with the devil. Agreeing with him could lead to all kinds of deception. It’s wisdom to try to come to an mutual agreement with someone who has a dispute with you- before it becomes entangled into a legal matter in the earthly courts. What you don’t know can hurt you- see Hosea 4.6 Misunderstanding this scripture’s context seems to have a number of people agreeing with the devil and feeling like they are being drug to or needing to go to heaven’s courts over it.

(See Zechariah 3:1-10 and Job 29: 14 for OT dealings with law and devil accusations)

Here’s what I’ve come to understand. In the new testament, Revelations 12:9-10 says that the accuser and those who joined satan in anarchy  have been cast down from the heavens to the lower airways and earth realm. He no longer is entertained in heaven due to my trespasses. God has clothed me in His own righteousness and I have been justified by Him. Therefore, when it comes to the accuser I turn a deaf ear because he no longer has any input as to my standing before the Lord, nor any space between The Lord and I. That space is now occupied by the fiery Love of God’s indwelling. We are joined as one spirit.

If I need correction or conviction- it is going to come through Holy spirit ‘convicting’ me to my righteousness, new nature, and through love, not by a created, fallen angel who left his post and function of being a covering protector  (note the function of a cherubim, of which he was beforehand).  These fallen beings get no opportunity to accuse me when I understand I have an intercessor who in a continuous manner declares me justified, the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and free from accusation  and condemnation from satan and his cronies. He gets no part of the conversations. Neither does he get the same awe and equality of standing that Jesus has, before the Father, nor us.  He was conquered and paraded, stripped of any authority he had vicariously gained. “No place was found for them (him or his minions) in heaven…” Revelations 12.8

I do not entertain him, his input, etc. He was a liar from the beginning, his native tongue is lying–why would I agree with him at all? Even when he can manage to say something factual, it has a twist in it because he became twisted through his vanity and power seeking.

In fact, the tables have turned. Now through Jesus, I’m a judge. This is what I was reminded of in a time of prayer. I could see (as in a vision) a walkway that I was traveling on which eventually led me to the steps of a court building, yet it was obviously not completely earthly–it had the appearance of two realms overlaid- heaven and earth. Given my present knowledge about my standing in Christ, I was surprised. I asked Holy Spirit what is this place? Hall of Justice. I wondered at it; why I would He show me this? As I thought about it more I began to realize that He was reminding me of a function of believers–to see earth look like heaven through enacting the dominion and authority that was returned to us through Jesus.

I had gotten to a place of feeling like next to nothing I was saying or doing was affecting power to change things. It’s been a couple of years of heavy stuff and being in a university program that demanded a lot of time, focus and effort. Sadly I had let that diminish time I spent in The Lord’s presence and had lost focus on my ability, responsibility and purpose to judge (affect change) aspects of this realm. Paul says do you not realize we (those united with Jesus) will judge the world and judge angels, I was being reminded to believe in the authority and dominion through Jesus, not judge by sight or senses of how things seemed.

We are given authority to forbid and allow, to uproot and plant, but we must use intent as we speak and pray. We are given the ability to create order and arrange things in this world from a position of authority and dominion. We are also given the ability to curse-to cause to recoil- things that do not belong, such as disease.

I had forgotten the the power and purpose of when He’d said, through a visiting prophet, I am a Deborah. She was a judge, a counselor, mother, warrior and more. Deborah or devorah means in part to order and arrange. We decide what we will allow or forbid in our world. God gave the job of managing the earth and ordering to us, his children. We are responsible for causing the earth and all that is in it to be as it is in heaven, and He partners with us to cause it to be so.

All of creation groans for the revealing of the sons of God acting in full maturity, loosing it from its subjugation and pains. Our judging, ordering, or cursing is all for the purpose of liberation and good- when we see something out of place, we speak a judgement and a reordering of how it should be. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (intent, words and voice), therefore we need to have a right heart attitude and take responsibility for what we speak or enact. This comes through practice and maturing. We can also judge out of a wrong spirit and add to the havoc in lives in a unintended or wrong manner. It takes maturity to judge correctly, yet we are entrusted with this responsibility.

Looking at scripture, we can see we don’t need to agree with the devil/satan (adversary), In fact we might seriously want to rethink that practice. We do need to agree with God about our standing, identity and all things. I’m convinced through the scriptures and through people’s experiences that agreeing with the devil simply gives opportunity for a foothold to be gained in one’s conscience by the adversary. He’s wily and looking for ways to input into our lives and bring condemnation.

We can simply trust the Word and works of Jesus that remove the input of that adversary from our lives and turn the tables so we are the ones directing and subduing, not submitting to input from fallen beings we shouldn’t be heeding. Let’s agree with God, for His mercy triumphs over judgement and He has promised to correct us as His children, in love and compassion. Take up your place as a son (daughter), priest and king– turn the tables and make things –as above, so below–

Devorah: the judge, counselor, mother, and proclaimer of victory.

 

Are Those Joined to Jesus “Prone” to sin? “Prone” to Wander?

Prone: Predisposed. Likely to or liable to suffer from, do, or experience something, typically something regrettable or unwelcome. (Google)

Sin: To fall shy of the perfect and complete; to act apart from the original union, holiness and glory God created us to dwell in with Him.

Worship lyrics, spiritual teaching, preaching…I frequently hear a theme within these, in somewhat varied presentations, that we are prone to sin, prone to wander away from the Lord. I understand the sentiment. It seems humble…admitting our need for God.

Yet, is this proneness to sin and wander theme doctrinally and biblically sound truth for new covenant believers in Jesus? Or a misguided trope that weakens the conscience of believers and causes a sense of vulnerability to sin and a falling away?

Let’s look at just a few verses.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 Weust version For the love which Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive, having brought me to this conclusion, namely, that One died on behalf of all in order that those who are living no longer are living for themselves but for the One who died on their behalf and instead of them, and was raised.

So that, as for us, from this particular time onward, not even one individual do we know as judged upon the basis of human standard. Even though we [Paul in his unsaved state] have known Christ as judged by human standard, yet now no longer do we know Him as such. So that, assuming that anyone is in Christ, he is a creation new in quality. The antiquated, out-of-date things [which do not belong to the new life in Christ Jesus] have passed away. Behold, all things have become new in quality.

This scripture reveals that our whole person is radically changed when we join ourselves to Jesus, the Christ. Our nature becomes new, the old ways have died, and like dead, injured flesh, has been cut, and cast away.

When we have only partial understanding about being unified with Jesus, we may think because we are tempted, or because we still have old habits, that we have a dual nature. I’m convinced this skewed belief is what keeps many from walking as new beings.

Many people think Romans chapter seven explains that we have a dual nature, but Paul is truly talking there about his old nature, not the new. This is why reading on to Romans 8-the redemptive chapter- is so necessary.

For instance, if in receiving Jesus Christ we continued in an old nature, Christ’s work is, at least partially, in vain. Or, if we were given a new nature, but retained the old nature as well (dual nature), then we would live in limbo-sinning one time, and standing strong resisting sin another. Though this may seem to be our experience, and a dual nature is often taught as being true, it is not accurate either.

If we believe, after joining ourselves to Christ that our whole nature hasn’t changed, then we will likely believe that we have no power over sin, that we can’t help but sin, that it’s normal to sin, and expect to sin. This belief acts as type of self-fulfilling prophecy, by which we might then fall into a cycle of false profession, and confession of habitual sins.

The old nature is prone to sin; the new nature is not.

Are we still able to sin? Unfortunately-yes. I’m not proposing we are all completely sinless, but that we will sin less. Just as Adam & Eve were created pure, and good, and had ability to choose, we also have this ability (power) to choose now, to sin, or not sin, having died to sin and being raised again as a new being. Reborn or born again.

Our new and present reality is greater than what Adam and Eve knew, having been made living souls of and in the earth; the new birth conjoins us to Jesus, the life giving spirit, and seats us with Him above all things. (See 1Corinthians 15:45, Ephesians 2:4-10.)

Paul shares the antithesis to a cycle of sin in Romans 8.

Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit, that of the life in Christ Jesus, freed you once for all from the law of the sinful nature and of death. For that which is an impossibility for the law, because it was weak through the sinful nature, God having sent His Son in likeness of flesh of sin, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the sinful nature, in order that the righteous requirement of the law may be brought to completion in us who, not as dominated by the sinful nature are ordering our behavior but as dominated by the Spirit.

In Jesus, we have been given a new nature in place of the old. This means we are no longer “sinners.” It is no longer our nature to sin. We have been transformed into a new identity- partaking of the very nature of God Himself. We are living, Being, in the dominion and power of the Holy Spirit, our own spirit made right(eous). If this is true, why does sin still seem to be a problem? And why do so many struggle greatly with sin patterns?

Most of us have yet to grasp the full reality of the work of Jesus and what it literally means to us and our transformation. This realization is continuously unfolding in our understanding.

We are called to renew our mind (restructure our thinking) to the truth of what Jesus has done for us and the righteousness, holiness and justification He’s placed us into by our faith in Him. By agreeing with Him, about ourselves, our mind, beliefs and ways begin to change into His likeness; as the image in a mirror. When Christ is fully formed in us, we look like Him. Like twins.

Romans 6:18+ And having been set free once for all from the sinful nature, you were constituted slaves to righteousness…But now, having been set free from the sinful nature and having been made bondslaves of God, you are having your fruit resulting in holiness, and the consummation, life eternal.

Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, meekness, self-control. Against such things as these there is no law. And they who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the evil nature with its dispositions and cravings once for all. In view of the fact that we are being sustained in spiritual life by the Spirit, by means of the Spirit let us go on ordering our conduct.

2 Corinthians 3: 12-18 Now, as for us, we all, with uncovered face, reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are having our outward expressions changed into the same image from one degree of glory to another according as this change of expression proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit, this outward expression coming from and being truly representative of our Lord.

Examining these verses and many verses like them, we see that though it’s true we were once prone to sin, weakness, rage, lust, deceit etc., in the old nature, but we are now new and prone to righteousness via our new nature-God’s nature! Our spirit DNA that was fallen, has be upgraded, once we join in union with Jesus. We become one–one spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17.

What then, happens when we do sin?

Romans 8:27 Moreover, He who is constantly searching our hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because, according to God, He continually makes intercession on behalf of the saints.

What does this mean?

Jesus (and through his blood and body) is continuously active, present on our behalf, intervening to make us continually clean and righteous before Him. And, the Holy Spirit of God, makes us conscious of righteousness and holiness, drawing us to that mindfulness.

Hebrews 10:21-23…and having a Priest, a Great One, over the house of God, let us keep on drawing near with a genuinely true heart in full assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and having had our body washed with pure water.

1 John 1:7 But if within the sphere of the light we are habitually ordering our behavior as He himself is in the light, things in common and thus fellowship we [the believer and God] are having with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin.

1 John 2:1 My little children [born-ones, bairns], these things I am writing to you in order that you may not commit an act of sin. And if anyone commits an act of sin, One who pleads our cause we constantly have facing the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One.

In truth, He is focussing on our new nature now; whether we are being corrected or celebrated, He is drawing attention to our new nature, not the old (it’s dead). Since His focus is on the new, our’s ought to be too. God is not stuck in sin consciousness and neither should we be. We are to be love, righteousness, and holiness focused. What we focus on amplifies and expands.

It it also necessary to understand, that if we say and believe we are unified with Jesus, then our overall actions will become a proof of this union. We will not want to do the things that seemed natural when we lived in an old nature. We will desire and delight to live out of our new nature.

Though for a time, while we are growing up out of our newborn birth, the old nature may still seem familiar, yet, eventually the more intimate we grow with God, and the more we renew our minds to the truth, the old will seem foreign and unusual, so that IF we sin (not when), we will want to change our stance immediately and turn back to moving out of our new nature, which affects peace and joy.

Gods grace empowers us to say, “No,”to sin (Titus 2:12). People who keep on deliberately living the same old way as before, have not understood the reality of joining to Jesus.

John 14:20-21 In that day you shall know experientially that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you. He who has my commandments and habitually keeps them, that one is he who is loving me with a divine and self-sacrificial love. And he who is loving me thus, shall be loved with this same kind of love by my Father, and I shall love him with a divine and self-sacrificial love, and I shall disclose myself to him.

1 John 2:6 He who is constantly saying that he as a habit of life is living in close fellowship with dependence upon Him is morally obligated just as that One conducted himself, also himself in the manner spoken of to be conducting himself.

This action isn’t gritting our teeth, in self effort and reliance. The Holy Spirit, our helper, partners with us and compels our hearts and minds to act and Be in our new nature. In time, experientially as well as literally, it doesn’t become second nature to us, but First nature.

1Corinthians 2:9-12 But as for us, not the spirit of the world system did we receive but the Spirit who is of God in order that we might come to know the things which by God have been in grace bestowed upon us, which things also we put into words, not in words taught by human philosophy but in words taught by the Spirit, fitly joining together Spirit-revealed truths with Spirit-taught words.

Romans 8:26+ But if that which we do not see, we hope for, through patience we expectantly wait for it. And in like manner also the Spirit lends us a helping hand with reference to our weakness, for the particular thing that we should pray for according to what is necessary in the nature of the case, we do not know with an absolute knowledge; but the Spirit himself comes to our rescue by interceding with unutterable groanings.

Moreover, He who is constantly searching our hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because, according to God, He continually makes intercession on behalf of the saints. And we know with an absolute knowledge that for those who are loving God, all things are working together resulting in good, for those who are divinely-summoned ones according to His purpose.

By examining the inspired scriptures we can be assured that we no longer have a sin nature, nor a dual nature if we have been joined to God. The old died and was cut away. Upon our union of spirit and new birth (reborn/born again) and have a new nature, the nature of God.

We are also given the Holy Spirit who teaches and empowers us how to live out of it, and to reject past sinful ways. If we do sin, we can come to Him, dialogue about how we and others have been effected, and know that He faithfully cleanses us, including our conscience.

Go on out there with Godfidence! You are Prone to the persuasion of God’s Spirit and your new nature in Christ Jesus, not to sin or wandering. Check out the books of Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews, and 1rst 2nd & 3rd books of John for more clarity. Study it out and see for yourself.

*If you stumbled on this post, and have not made your peace and union with God, through Jesus Christ, the invitation to do so is open for every single person. He’s waiting to make you new- into a son, daughter, new being- just reach out to him from your heart. He hears and He rushes to you.

Please let me know if you’ve made this choice and/or if you feel you need further understanding or help: connect at liifetree12@gmail.com

Unmarked photos–Photo credits to Panoramio.com and mzayat.com respectively.

Prophetic word: Losing your Song

I gave this word at my local church assembly this last Sunday, but it is an evergreen type of word, as various people in different places and seasons will experience this type of thing. Feel free to share it so others may receive comfort and encouragement.

Some people, through their experience, have not been singing as they have before, but there is more to this- it is a stratagem to try to steal your song.

Joy brings a song, but sorrow can stifle it or occlude it’s sound in your heart and mind.

(Sorrow can be a place for your song too, for grieving and healing, as long as we don’t let go of our song or lose it there)

Your song of worship is a crucial factor of your experience & connectedness with God. It comes out of our joy of Him, of our victories and belief. It’s also what we offer Him in response and gratitude.

Your song is a part of you, like an essence or matter.

David van Koevering (who made the first digital synth/piano keyboard), & his colleagues discovered that if they took a person’s DNA pattern and put it digitally into the keyboard it played a beautiful song. Each person’s DNA plays a unique and beautiful song.

You don’t just have a song,

You are a song.

I’ve read some various word studies of scripture, and a number of people concluded & interpreted Genesis 1, when God began to speak,

Let there be…” that He actually sang it.

We see this concept again in Zephaniah 3 17, that He sings over us. The song of the Lord resonates in our very molecules as He sings over us with rejoicing. (And He dances -spins or whirls around us singing, more precisely)

Without your song to the Lord, a vital part of you goes into in stasis-you can feel the difference, though not always recognize right away, that it’s your song that’s missing.

If you feel you’ve lost your song, then go into that place with Him- your devotions, prayer closet, etc, and listen until you hear Him singing it back to you. Worship helps bring your song back.

Others, may we guard our hearts with diligence, keep the heart fires of our song well tended, and sing a new song.

Standing in the Heat of Conflict

Much of the time when the Bible speaks of warfare, our part is simply to stand and withstand, immovable. In trusting quietness and confidence we engage His strength (Isaiah 30. 15). In one of the most challenging personal & corporate skirmishes I’d encountered, God had someone send me this word–It’s challenging to summon words to express my gratitude, and how it helped me endure through the length of the difficulty, which is one of the functions of prophetic words. Edification, fortification.

My prayer is that in sharing this vision, your spirit and soul will be emboldened and strengthened to stand, and having done all–stand firm. If it helps you, or you have a similar story to share, please leave a comment!

I was simply acting from a place of knowing, a place of rest, being still in my heart and mind. Being unmoved. Knowing that regardless of what was occurring or the backlash that was coming in the natural through people being influenced, that I just needed to stay in this place of stillness, responding and not reacting myself.

Honestly, there were days it felt more than terrible in the natural, but in the spirit, I was learning how to move with God and keep my stance in the heat of the conflict. This is for those of you who may find yourselves there now, or are wondering what you could have done different.

The Lord is good and kind. I didn’t share to prayer chains or ask for prayer about this (not that it would be wrong- I just didn’t feel that was needed) The Lord Himself had this sister contact me.

“I feel I’m supposed to tell you that you need to stand on whatever promises He’s given you. You need to stand.

And I see you, and I’m not used to having visions/dreams like this, but I see you with flaming red hair and you look like you’re almost dancing the way you are blocking every fiery dart that’s coming your way. There’s no effort in it, just that you seem to know exactly where to move ahead of time to the next position. You’re a warrior- that’s how I saw you.

Details of Dream:

It was early morning and I was just coming out of sleep. Picture a light baby blue background. There is one mountain with airy cloud 3 quarters the way up. It stretched horizontally across the mountain in the vision and the mountain was encompassed in this foggy stretch of cloud.

Now this mountain was very high and there was nothing below other than clear blue. You were in the heavens…this definitely represented spirit realm. The top of the mountain was like a small space. 3 ft by 3ft.

Your hair was long and red and orange and it looked like crackling fire. Now there had to be a wind like force as you rotated around combating. I say this because you hair wasn’t dangling but being fanned back with tension, but not enough to remove the wave/crackle.

Now the angle that I could see this from was way higher. You were wayyy below wherever I was being shown from. I interpret this was from the 3rd heaven. A specific” honing in” on this platform. You were in white straight leg cotton pants 6 inches above your ankles.

I saw your right foot briefly fairly detailed. It was a strong foot. I could see when I prayed this morning a few veins around the ankle. I could see the blood in them was light blue but what I got out of this was healthy in a physical sense. Your toes were gripping and moving firmly as you required them to.

No sign of being shaken or challenged. They were still very much female feet and they really had no sign of wear and tear. Like no dead skin. Fresh. I was going to say like baby skin but that’s not accurate.

The word that cut that thought off was-the foot was alive. Like the foot of Eve before she fell. Able to meet the demand easily because you had done this many times and had the skill and precision as a nature above all instinct to do so. Auto pilot is a good word. I did not see any callouses or abrasions. I only recall seeing the right foot briefly in a staggered stance with your right leg forward.

Because I don’t want you to think that this image was intended for you to think about the feet more than the rest of it. Your top was v necked. Not really low but an inch under the collar bones. It had a 2 inch thicker hemming or additional white fabric. 3 quarter length arms were loose but a thick white material too. Like a cross of cotton and potato sac. The bottom of the top would fall just passed the hips. There were small v slits on each side.

I didn’t see much about the 2nd belt you had on but must have been a 4 inch. The first one just tied underneath built in to pants. white. He also gave me scripture but I’ll get into that.

So what I saw coming at you were wooden arrows traveling by a force that wasn’t made to known to me. So the source of where they came from I didn’t see. But you didn’t actually make contact with them and they were snapped in half from my viewpoint looked like 6 inches. So from where you were was nowhere near as close. They came from far enough away that they were moving quickly but you were prepared before they were close enough to be an issue and were already moving into the next position without looking at the next one.

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What I thought was awesome was the way you moved–like fluid and to me….. what this says is the laws of the natural were not applicable to you. They were overridden.

You’re facial expression was focused but not fearful. Just anticipating, really precisely and quickly. Like as if you were being told what to do…not because you were so focused on the arrow. You were skilled, not so much toward the arrows, but skilled on knowing where to be next. You just had to move to the next position. You’re limbs would just respond to your body’s shift. Your force didn’t even need to be that close to the arrow. But no fear at all, and easily breaking these things.”

This is what “warfare” is meant to look like when backlash or an attack comes. Quiet, attuned, confidence. Sometimes it comes because we have done the right thing, not the wrong thing. We stay focused on His voice and the deep knowing– this is faith. Being in faith doesn’t always immediately shift how other’s react; it does shift how we respond. A number of times, someone that would never know my situation, has commented to me that they had an assignment to help me make it through the heat.

Some times we may feel very alone in our battles, yet He has stirred someone out of their sleep to pray, or has someone composing a prophetic encouragement to share. Sometimes we never know at all, due to the sensitive nature of our struggles, that He has someone praying on our behalf. All we may know is we made it through!

I can think of some situations right now that I have prayed for and never breathed a word to the persons involved–my assignment was only to pray, and safeguard the secret that God was keeping for them. He is faithful. And having been made like us, for a time, a compassionate and powerful strength. May you be encouraged and confident in the heat just as in the cool and calm.

 

 

 

I Have Loved You to Piece/Peace.

It was as a dream. The exception is that it was more than a mere dream. Not even a vision of the night, but an encounter. For those who can believe, I am certain some aspect of me truly was there, even if only in spirit.

Sitting close to the centre in the second row, the speaker was central to my view. One person to my left in the group was debating the truth of the speaker’s words–not to be difficult, but because they didn’t yet know the truth experientially. As for me I sat transfixed, smiling at him as warmth filled my being and nodding my assent.

“I have Loved you to Pie/ace.”

To One Piece, and to Peace. A play on words. The content was about becoming whole, as one piece rather than broken or fragmented, and to peace versus anxiety and fear. I knew it in every way it could be known–I felt whole. This was my reason for smiling and nodding. I am whole. By His constant abiding Love.

Some find it difficult to believe they can ever be whole, they don’t feel whole,

therefore how can they be whole?

Sometimes we are hearing messages that promote this very idea. An idea can be the most dangerous thing if its not true, yet we believe it. If Jesus is telling us that we’re whole, we should question the other information we are receiving; that which is exalting itself against the knowledge of God.

The other person was having a hard time believing his wholeness because his feelings or knowledge were in contradiction to Jesus. It wasn’t Jesus he should have been questioning. Rather that which was contending the truth which would allow him to simply believe Jesus.

I remember a time in my life I felt if one more ounce of pressure was laid on me, I would shatter into millions of pieces. Like glass. Tiny shards and splinters, flying every direction. Trying to hold it all together was an extreme mental and emotional exercise of will and spirit.

Healing wasn’t instant (though for some it is). There was years of injury and malformation, like others born to this planet. It took perseverance and various forms of healing, integrated through various people over time, those with Jesus dwelling in and amongst us.

I began to change, transforming by Love, Truth & Grace…Then came the day, or night, maybe outside of time even, I had been loved to Pie/ace, by Jesus. And as I sat under his teaching, I knew there was even greater things in store.

For every one who is crushed in spirit, for every broken heart or mind, for every one who feels fragmented or even dissociated, Jesus is present to heal you, to make you whole in his love. He is trustworthy, and full of mercy and power. Come sit with him, and he’ll love you to piece/peace.

Today, now, is your healing.

The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent. Psalm 34: 18

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