Vigilant Guarding (2)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Are you getting ready for the Christmas season?  We are less than a month away from celebrating the birth of our savior yet somehow the world is focused on the care of this world. Are you prepared for this season? Are you ready for peace, love and joy? Or are you overwhelmed with other things?

Dear Heavenly Father –We continue to desire to go deeper – to have a stronger relationship with you. We desire to shed the distractions that come like an attack during this season and walk in your truth and freedom. Please open our eyes to see and our understanding to know what we are studying today. Please continue to pour out your grace upon us! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

I live in the United States of America and we just had our annual Thanksgiving Holiday.  It usually amounts to a mockery of the concept of giving thanks and an opportunity for pride, competition, putting others down to lift yourself up and oppression.  Eating with our dysfunctional families kicks off the holiday season and usually sets the tone for Christmas (as family member will hold everything from Thanksgiving against you for Christmas).  And we do it all with a smile on our faces and secret text messages to our accountability or prayer partners asking for support. Ah tradition (said in sarcastic tone)!

Yes – we studied what the bible said about oppression last week – and ways to overcome. We talked about bondage to it like being on a dog leash.  But what if you are actually freed from it? What if as soon as your family starts arriving you walk over to that leash and collar and put it back on?

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 ESV

Yes, old habits and all that rubbish about them dying hard. Maybe it is just as simple as us asking God to open our eyes and show us before we put it on – so He can be glorified in helping us stand firm! He wants us to learn to stand in the victory – and when we are weak, He is still strong and will do a mighty work and be glorified in us.

Many of you know I have Asperger’s Syndrome – the hardest parts of family gatherings: my mom and sister hovering and criticizing me constantly in expectation that I will get out of line, have an Asperger’s behavior, or get overstimulated and have to be redirected. I understand that managing me has been a lifelong chore for them.  None the less, I can use it as a good example here of feeling oppressed.
I live in New York and our Governor is prohibiting most family gatherings especially with people out of state. And Thanksgiving was spent with my neighbor and prayer partner who’s been in my inner circle since all of this began – we quarantined together (her family, my son and me). And I will probable enjoy some sort of Christmas with them (I should really make plans).
Regardless, I shall use what is a past example: The constant watching of me and nitpicking of my often awkward social behavior feels oppressive. Not their intention. Their intention is to teach me skills in the moment and keep me from escalating.

As I said last time I spoke about oppression and as we see in this example – sometimes the oppression is a feeling we have that is only perceived by us. (old habits and all that).

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV

In this passage Paul speaks of false prophets swaying your thoughts and literally uses the reference to the devil. So it is applicable to show you that as long as the demons have convinced you that you are oppressed – you do not even need to be oppressed because you thoughts have led you astray.

I had a dream about a friend – in that dream he was chained to all these problems and curses that have run through his family line and these chains were huge and heavy and trailed off so far I could not see the ends.  In my dream I started to pray for his deliverance and I heard a voice say but look how it is not bound to him – it is not shackled to his wrists or feet.  I looked at his feet and the chains were not there. I looked at his wrists and no shackles.  But in his hands he gripped the chains, holding onto them with all his might. Many huge chains. 
I said to my friend: put them down.
He said: no, these are my only connection to my family.
I tried to reason (as his family is all alive and he doesn’t need a “connection”).  But he would not let go of his chains.
Are we sometimes the same way?

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 ESV

Sometimes as we pray for deliverance – we have already been made free and it is time to put down the chains and understand how you were established in faith. Let no man – not yourself, not your family, not a spirit or demon – no man!!! take you captive – especially your own mind! (Remember yesterday – guard our mind and heart!)   

 Let us read the full passage:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” Colossians 2:8 ESV

You have been filled with in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority!! You can be weak, because He is still the head! This is His work and He will complete it in you – you must just stand in the faith, just as you were taught (and abound in thanksgiving)!
Your debt, your sin, your bondage has been nailed to the cross!
And oppression too – since oppression usually comes from someone with some sort of perceived authority over you. Guard your mind and heart!
He disarmed the rulers and authorities and triumphed over them!

All we have to do is believe Him. Not believe in Him. Believe Him and have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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