Misplaced Trust

Children are naturally trusting. If that trust is violated in any way, it can carry over into every relationship thereafter. It is especially true if our trust was broken by our earthly father. It will affect our relationship with our heavenly Father. It will be hard to trust Him with our whole heart. 


Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 25:19 says, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble, is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.” Psalm 118 says, “It is better to trust in  the Lord than to put confidence in man.”


People may fail us, but the Lord cannot fail. He is absolutely trustworthy. Here is a verse that will anchor your heart in trust. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” I love Hebrews 6:13-19. In verse 13 it says that God had to swear by Himself because there is no one greater. Verse 18 says, “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us.”


Our hope is in a Person, not others, circumstances, or things. Verse 19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” Those who put their faith and trust in Him, have instant access to the Father of Lights.


James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Whatever trial we go through, we can trust that the Lord is acting on our behalf for our best. Each trial is uniquely crafted for His purpose to be fulfilled in our lives. They have His stamp of blessing, favor, mercy, and unconditional love. Ephesians 1:11 says, “…who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”


Misplaced trust is a dead end street, especially if we are trusting in ourselves. It really is ludicrous. We have no power. Our flesh accomplishes nothing except futile activity. Jeremiah 17:5-6 is very explicit. It says, “Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.”


Verse 7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the water, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” It is our choice. We can trust in the Lord and be showered with His blessings. We can misplace our trust and be cursed. 

Reparented By God

No matter how perfect or imperfect our earthly fathers were, they definitely were not infinite. They didn’t know every nuance of our heart’s thoughts. I just love 1 Chronicles 28:9. The Amplified says, “…For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts…”


When we begin to wander in our thoughts away from the things of God, He will bring course correction. He knows exactly what is needed to bring us back to Him. Progressive sanctification is that perfect reparenting that only He can do. Only He knows what is hidden. We can trust His discipline.


Did your earthly father set boundaries for you? Was he consistent in his discipline? Did he ever break his promises to you? Was he absent or attentive? Our Father has set boundaries, He is consistent in His discipline, He is very present and attentive. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”


Our Father has to reparent us. It is the only way that we can be a partaker of His nature. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”


Our past was not erased when we were saved. Our sins, past, present, and future were forgiven. If we were impatient before salvation, those sinful patterns may remain. Luke 21:19 says, “By your patience possess your souls.” James 1:2-4 says that it is our trials that test our faith which produces patience. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. Reparenting teaches us to follow the Holy Spirit, so that we can bear fruit that will glorify the Lord.


We can take any negative characteristics in our life. The Holy Spirit will lead us into the truth that will set us free. That is the reparenting process. The goal is that we might emulate the character of Christ. We cannot emulate Him through any shred of our flesh attached. John 15:5 says that apart from Him we can do nothing. John 6:63 says that our flesh profits nothing. We either are walking in our flesh, or we are walking in the Spirit.


If you are interested in delving deeper into this concept of being reparented by God I have a resource. Chapter 6, in Emotional Freedom: releasing the heart, is entitled Reparented By God. It is available on Amazon in ebook and paperback. Let us walk in Hebrews 12:9 and submit to our Father of spirits and live.

Heart-Response

How we responded to our earthly father can carry over into our relationship with our heavenly Father. What was your heart-response when your dad called your name? Did you immediately stop what you were doing and joyfully go to him? Did you drag out your response? Did you hide?


What did Adam and Eve do when God called out to them? They hid. I want to go back to Moses, Samuel, and Isaiah. Moses was reluctant. He gave the Lord excuses when the Lord called him. Isaiah’s heart-response was quick and open. Samuel, once Eli taught him what to do, was waiting and ready.


Hebrews 3:12 says, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” I want to peer into this word ‘depart’ and bring another facet of understanding. We depart in our heart, though not move away physically. Psalm 119:10 says, “With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments.” Wander in this verse means to go astray. 


Isaiah 53:6 calls us sheep. It says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way…” That is why sheep need a shepherd to lead them. If they are left to their natural ways, they will wander and indiscriminately eat weeds that could poison them.


The Lord is our Shepherd, and He uses the rod of His word to lead, instruct, and protect us. Ezekiel 20:37 was written about Israel. We can make a personal application. It says, “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” Think of when we read God’s word daily as symbolizing this verse.


I imagine the shepherd looks for anything that would be irritating his sheep. He carefully inspects them. A tick burrows under the skin. An attentive shepherd would feel that bump. Our Shepherd looks for things that have burrowed into our heart. Tick-lies can burrow in undetected by us. Nothing is hidden from the Lord. As we pass under His rod, He inspects our heart through conviction.


Does what you read affect your heart? When the Holy Spirit highlights a word or phrase, do you immediately stop, or continue on? Proverbs 24:30-34 was written about a young man who had no understanding. Let’s apply it this way: he neglected his vineyard-heart. Verse 31 says, “And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.”


Mark 4 described thorns this way. Verse 19 says, “And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” These three ‘thorns’ are tick-lies that will cause us to wander off God’s chosen path for us. Psalm 119:9 asked the question of how we can cleanse our ways. The answer, “…by taking heed according to Your word.” Let us read for understanding and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the tick-lies that are tormenting our spirit.

Blocks To Intimate Communion

Hebrews 12:10-11 is a written contrast of our earthly father and our heavenly Father. It says, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”


Here is a quote in chapter 11 of Freedom! From Past Hurts. “How did we respond to our earthly father when he called our name? By honestly answering these questions, we get a clear picture of what perceptions were formed.” Then I listed twenty questions. Here is one: Did he discipline you in anger?


Countless times I have heard folks relate their trial to God’s punishment. How we were disciplined by our earthly father can carry over as lying misconceptions of God. To make this really clear, Jesus bore the punishment that was rightfully ours. Psalm 103:10 says, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.”


Hebrews 12:11 clearly states God’s purpose of discipline. He does it for our profit. It is part of our progressive sanctification. His goal is that we may exemplify Him through our behavior. Verse 12 is key in our understanding of our response. The end of the verse says, “…to those who have been trained by it.” It’s a tragedy to go through a trial and not receive the benefits the Lord desired. Every trial gives us a benefit that we lacked.


Trials are divinely orchestrated. They have God’s purpose for our lives indelibly stamped on them. The Lord uses our trials to expose and purge hidden lies that would undermine our faith. He reveals what He sees, but that we have no conscious knowledge of. My life radically changed when I fell into the six foot ravine in 1977.


The Lord used that deep trial to woo me to Himself. My relationship with the Lord at that time was very superficial. The lies I believed about myself were my reality. The truth of God’s love for me seemed like a lie. My heart-lies thoroughly blocked my understanding. That fall stopped me in my tracks. Through that inability to function, He drew me into a life changing journey of intimacy.


The blocks to intimacy with the Lord will vary with each person. There is a common denominator though. Our parent’s upbringing affected the way they brought us up. Our experiences shaped our perceptions. The lies we believed were planted by satan to war against the true knowledge of God. 


Every trial that the Lord brings into our lives, is essential to our spiritual growth. We never arrive. We will be on a sanctifying journey until the moment He calls us home. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you the lies you believe that are blocking you from intimate communion. Then, as you read His word daily, be on the lookout for His truth that will set you free from the lies that bind you. The Holy Spirit will lead you into truth that will become your reality.

Misconceptions Of God

All misconceptions are in our mind. They are not something tangible. Misconceptions are perceptions based on what we believe, yet they may not reflect reality. All lies that we have believed war against the true knowledge of God. All lies come from satan, who is the deceiver, and the father of lies.


2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…” I republished my first book: Freedom! From Past Hurts in 2005. Chapter 11 is entitled: Misconceptions Of God. Here are two sentences I would like you to think about. “Perceptions are formed by direct acquaintance with anything through our senses. A perception is an understanding based on what we see, hear, smell, feel, or taste.” Texture in food, softness in cloth, and raindrops are felt. When we hear thunder, we perceive a storm.


I want to recount the gold calf that Aaron fashioned out of golden earrings. Why was the calf even made? Moses, the leader of the children of Israel, was on the mountain with God. They believed that he was delayed, and they wanted a god to lead them. They forgot God’s promises. 


Paul wrote some amazing truths that we can apply to our day. Romans 1:21 says, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”


Verse 23 says, “And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man…” This is exactly what we do in our misconception of God. If the god in our minds is not the God of Scripture, we will be disillusioned. He becomes a god of our making, much like Aaron fashioned the gold calf.


It is good to ask ourselves: what do I believe about God? If what we believe does not align with what the Bible says, then we have believed a lie. What we believe affects our relationship with the Lord. I take great comfort in Hebrews 4:13. The Amplified says, “…all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.”


Hidden sin fosters the lie that no one can see it. We only hide our sins in our mind. God sees them, and knows the motives behind them. Sin blocks our relationship with the Lord. We hide instead of running to Him because of the lies that we have believed. David tried to hide his sin with Bathsheba. He built one lie upon another until God sent Nathan the prophet to expose it all.


Psalm 62:8 is a great inner freedom invitation for us. It says, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” If you feel that your relationship with the Lord is blocked, then I encourage you to pray this: Father, You love me unconditionally. What lies are buried in my heart that are blocking my relationship with You? What misconceptions have I fostered that are based in lies? I ask You to set me free, in Jesus’ name.

Impacting Words

The power of life and death is in the tongue. Our words are impactful whether they are life-giving or detrimental. Since all spoken words come from thoughts, we are the ones who are in control. Remember, harmful words that ‘uncontrollably’ spew out of our mouth come from our heart. We might say that they are premeditated.


Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Job was struggling with incredibly painful boils all over his body. When his three friends came, they saw his grief, sat down with him, and were silent. Job 2:13 says, “So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.”


This is my surmise based on their words afterwards. Though they didn’t speak, their minds were very active. Their thoughts formed the accusing words they would later speak to Job. They were not good, but destructive, and crushed his spirit. Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?”


Job 16:2 says, “I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all!” Verse 4-5 says, “I also could speak as you do, if your soul were in my soul’s place…but I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.”


2 Corinthians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” Verse 4 is our mandate. It says, “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”


Why do we turn to David’s Psalms when we are in trials? We drink in his words because they are real, and reflect our own heart’s upheaval. James 1:2 says, “…when you fall into various trials.” Trials stop us in our tracks. They have no warning, and we are often broadsided. We need words that will penetrate and impact our heart. 


How many times have you read Lamentations 3:22-24? They are words that Jeremiah penned in his trial. When we read verses 1-21, we understand how his heart was devastated by his circumstances. Verse 20-21 says, “My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.” What did he recall?


Verse 22-23 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” We were all thrown into a trial through our nation’s upheaval. Let us cling to His word, and let it nourish our heart. David’s Psalm, 18:39 says, “You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.” The Lord is the same faithful God. He will fight for us!

Grace Words

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Corrupt literally means decayed and rotten. Let me give you an illustration of this word.


When I was in high school my dad bought an old house that had been made into apartments. One tenant didn’t pay her rent. When my dad went to her door, he found that she had moved out. When he opened the front door, the stench nearly knocked him over. The lady had thrown her laundry on her closet floor. The cats (plural) had been using them as their litter box. My dad hired a man to pitch fork the clothes out the window into his pickup. They were decayed and rotten. Washing them would have not changed anything.


Corrupt words come from corrupt thoughts. Derogatory, hateful, spiteful, or slanderous words would fit the category of corrupt. The Amplified says, “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth…” Corrupt words are unrighteousness. Isaiah 64:6 says, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags…”


Years ago we had a church split. It was a really hard time for me as I was the secretary. I put a sign on the inside of my back door. Every time I went out to get into my car I saw the sign. I wrote: Impart Grace. I wanted to remind myself that I was to impart grace in every conversation.


Grace words can only come from a humble heart. James 4:6 says that God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. Speaking grace words requires righteous thoughts. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” You cannot look down on someone (thoughts) and speak grace words. That is like oil and water.


Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” If you hold bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart, your words will be corrupt. Matthew 12:34 says that our words are the overflow from our heart. We speak what we think. We need to listen and hear what our thoughts are saying.


2 Corinthians 10:5 says to bring every thought captive. We have the capability to not speak. Words don’t just flow out uncontrollably. They are within our ability to stop them. Here is an interesting verse. Proverbs 30:32 says, “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth.” We would be wise to heed these words.


Proverbs 29:20 says, “Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Psalm 39:1 says, “I said, I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle…” Jesus is our example. Luke 4:22 says, “So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth…” Psalm 45:2 says, “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever.”

Life-Giving Words

Life-giving words come from life-giving thoughts. John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life…The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus said, in John 14:6, that He is the life. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”


1 Corinthians 2:13-14 says, “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”


Life-giving words come from our meditation on His word. That meditation enhances our mindset, broadening it through eternal truth. Romans 8:5 says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”


We open our hearts as we read God’s word daily for understanding. The Holy Spirit highlights what He wants us to discover. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Verse 10 in the Amplified says, “Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit…” 


We may read through our Bible, but each time we come back to a familiar passage, we need to be open. We are in a different season, and the Holy Spirit is always ready to lead us to a greater understanding. Here is the rest of the verse, “…for the (Holy) Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God (the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny).”


We won’t know what God has hidden in His word for us, unless we are diligently searching as we read His word. The Holy Spirit so desires to help us deep dive into God’s wisdom and knowledge. We cannot know them unless He opens our eyes through spiritual discernment. The Holy Spirit yearns to show us. John 16:14 says, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”


Proverbs 3:32 Amplified says, “…His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the (uncompromisingly) righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him).” He does not reveal the hidden truths of His word to those who have their minds set on the things of the flesh. He is looking for those who search the Scriptures to see Him at work.

Words Are Seeds

Jesus gave the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Essentially He said that the seed is His word. Have you ever considered how your words are also seeds? Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.


Here is a fact about sowing. We reap far more than we sow. I was thinking about how a little bird, years ago, dropped an apple seed in the backyard of my old house. That seed became a tree, and produced great apples year after year. Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” 


What fruit are your words producing? We eat the fruit of our words, as do those we speak them to. Proverbs 18:20-21 says, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”


Every word we speak comes first from our thoughts. What we think about will be the seed-words that we sow. Matthew 12:37 says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. David wrote Psalm 19. Verse 14 may be very familiar, but we need to look at it again through the eyes of the words we are speaking. It says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”


David wrote Psalm 141. Verse 3-4 says, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; do not let me eat of their delicacies.” Our words, and the words we are listening to are seeds that are sown.


Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.” Heart integrity does not not walk in grey areas. God’s word is black and white. When He says, ‘Do this’ there are no grey area choices. James 3:2 says, “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”


James 3:10-11 says, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter water from the same opening?” The answer is no. It is one or the other. It is a black and white statement.


Here is a thought I had this morning when I woke up. How many times a day do I say ‘I can’t’ or other words of limitation? Psalm 78:41 says, “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Ask yourself: am I limiting God through the seed-words that I am sowing? Let our seed-words sow righteousness that will bear succulent fruit that others can benefit from. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”