Spiritual Antidotes

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Ways to destroy yourself and waste into nothing, to drift far away from Jesus…and antidotes.

1. Maintain ties — unchallenged and unbroken relationships with children of the devil. (“Children of the devil” is the description that the Bible, and God, call those that have not given Jesus ownership of their lives and become washed in His Blood in a second birth.) Let these relationships lie dormant, or boldly fellowship with the unregenerate, non-disciples of Jesus in your family, your workplace, your past, your neighborhood, or other stomping ground. But, either way, whether you pursue the relationships or just keep them on hold in the background, if you want to commit spiritual suicide, leave the doors open to embrace them as if they are the same as you and part of you and let it be okay to open your heart and affections to them. Have fond memories of them, and the things you did or could do with those that have not bowed before Jesus. Maintain heart ties with unbelievers. Thus saith the lord of darkness.

Antidote

However, if you want to be free to truly Live and find God in depth and oneness with Him and His blood-bought people; to be truly free, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. THEREFORE, COME OUT FROM THEM AND SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM THEM, SAYS THE LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God, (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, NLT).
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2. Keep some secrets back about your past. Don’t say or imply too much to anyone, particularly those that are strong in Christ, about past or current tendencies or temptations — the things that are still “alive” in your bones that you know are not from Jesus. Convince yourself that it is not in anyone’s best interest for anyone to know who you are. If they really knew, they’d reject you for sure, so let’s just keep it to ourselves and, perhaps, solve it ourselves.

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No!! If we expect to Live in the glory and warmth and love of His divine light, we must walk in the light! Let it not be a cliche’ to us! Far be it! The scriptures God has given us for our instruction very clearly state, without question or exception: “This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin,” (1 John 1:5-7, NLT). Amen. Hallelujah! THAT is something to celebrate! We must not think we can get away with hiding a shred or concealing a speck of our weakness and sin. According to the scriptures, we CANNOT solve it on our own. It is impossible. Hell’s gates, or hell’s entrances into our lives DO prevail when we purposefully remain independent with our temptations and un-Jesus like tendencies. It is only against the Church that hell will not prevail, (Matt. 16:18). That means verbalized, mutually honest, heart-exchanged relationships with other real people with real names and real faces. Scandalous to our self-man, no doubt, but it is the ONLY way to be changed and set free and increasingly useful to God – Walk in the LIGHT. Be honest with EVERYTHING, seen and unseen.
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3. Tell half-truths about what you think, how you feel, where you’re going, what you’re doing. Confess things to Jesus only and don’t be open and vulnerable to your brothers and sisters. They don’t understand like Jesus does. Keep everyone guessing and make sure they feel like you are being nosy if they care. Give them impressions that are only partially accurate. Project an image, and don’t let anything or anyone inside of it. Maybe not even yourself. That could be depressing. Resent all intrusions into your space.

Antidote

This is just a dishonest and hurtful way to live. God’s nature is this: “The father of the heavenly lights does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” James 1:17-18. He isn’t “shifty” so we ought not be either! God has asked us to be honest with each other and love each other and honor each other, “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble,” 1 John 2:10 “Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body,” Eph. 4:25. It is unkind and deceitful to put others off or mislead with false impressions. Jesus asks us to take steps of vulnerability and trust with each other so He can touch us and heal us with the washing of His word. What good does it do to project and protect an image? It’s no doubt rooted in pride or insecurity or fear. And we not only hurt others (including Jesus himself – “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”) but we also cut ourselves off from the Life and Peace and Fruitfulness He’s promised us. Instead of that way of living, make specific choices to live your life in the light, transparent from the heart, always loving, always trusting. God will take care of you. No need to try to take care of yourself!
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4. Allow attitudes or judgments, or misery, or lust, or guilt, or weakness, or pain, or loneliness, or self-hatred, or resentment of our circumstance or of others — allow these things to dominate your mind and control your thoughts and emotions. Allow your mind to go where ever it pleases without challenge. Let the “temperature” go up in your mind by toying with radical or sloppy thoughts and emotions — without stopping them intentionally. Let it run until it’s out of control. Let the avalanche begin with little stones of wrong thoughts, unchecked, and let these thoughts build into something immense and unstoppable. Don’t renounce thoughts… because, after all, you’re just being realistic, or that’s just who you are. You thought the particular thought, so it obviously originated inside of you… sooo, that’s who you are and how you think. Revel in the thoughts, or swim in them, or just tolerate them. But don’t change those thoughts, saith the worm.

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HOWEVER… God says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every retension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” 2 Cor. 10:4-5. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope,” Titus 2:11-12. Self-control MOST CERTAINLY applies to our thoughts and emotions. Please understand that we have clear choices to make with our specific thoughts. It is a place where temptation comes. Be aware. Make it your goal to cast down every thought and lie that opposes steps TOWARD JESUS’ HEART or his people. And don’t forget that Jesus lives in OUR HEARTS through faith. Just because a bad thought comes your way does not mean it is who you are! We live by trusting Jesus from the heart. We bring our thoughts into His submission, the submission to our spirits. The mind is a BATTLEGROUND at times but meant to be Jesus’ territory at all times. Our hearts is where he always lives, regardless of what our rotten choices might be. Bring your mind under the submission of Christ. Let not thoughts go unchecked. You will sorely regret it. We all have felt the darkness and torture of letting ourselves “go” like that. YUCK!
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5. Permit yourself to sin without clear repentance. It’s not really your fault. Someone else or your terrible circumstance is to blame. Or, you deserve destruction anyway. Why should He waste His grace on me? So why fight it. Die, saith the twisted lord of the flies.

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“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,” Is 30:15. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus,” Acts 3:19-20. Purposefully taking full responsibility for our sin is the pathway to repentance and Jesus. Make no room for excuses, blame-shifting, ignoring it or giving into unbelieving, lie-infested thoughts about where sin will lead you. Look up toward heaven with an open, honest heart and tell God like it really is! Take on the responsibility of your own fault in the specific matter at hand. Look at Him and say, “I am so sorry for hurting you in that way, Jesus. I will give you no excuse for it. That was me. I was wrong and so would you please forgive me? I offer myself to you as your servant and I ask for your washing that can only come from you and the fact that you shed your blood on my behalf. Thank you for that and for YOUR sake, I ask that you’d sensitize me to future temptations in this specific area and teach me to follow you through the temptations. Give me more chances to glorify you in that area. I don’t want to hurt you in that way anymore. Please change my heart in the way that only you can! You are Lord!” “In repentance and rest is your salvation…”
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6. Be the only true authority in your life. Not the Word of God. Don’t allow it to cause you to drop everything and relent. Don’t give it that kind of authority. That would be taking it too literally. And don’t give any true authority in your life to anyone that the Bible would call “over you in the Lord.” That is a faulty concept. Reserve final judgment, and last say in every matter of importance for yourself. After all, who is better qualified to decide than you? And it’s a fact that no one can be trusted to have authority in your life but you.

Antidote

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it,” (Luke 11:27). Let it sink in that those who “hear” the word AND “obey” – literally DO – the things God requires, those are the ones who will prosper in Christ. Reserving final judgment for yourself will insure disaster. James says to “Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you,” James 1:21. There is something so real about humbling ourselves before God and accepting that His way is the only way. We do not have the way. We do not have good solutions or answers for ourselves. We do not have power to change ourselves or help ourselves. We do not have it within ourselves to please God and draw close to Him. Only by “humbly accepting the word planted in us” can we “make a right judgment” about how to conduct our lives and make decisions, love others and be trustworthy followers of Jesus. To hold on to our “right to decide” is to place ourselves above God’s authority and is both foolish and costly. (Also Matt. 7:21-27John 14:21-24; Deut. 28, James 1:22-25, NLT).

As for those whom God has graciously placed over us, are we not to be a joy, rather than a burden? Do not the scriptures teach us that we are to honor, respect, obey and submit to them? What a privilege to have those who are responsible to care for us! That is not a threat to our existence! Rather, it is a joy to us, peace, provision and protection from God! “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you,” ( Heb. 13:17-19; also, Heb 13:7Php 4:91 Cor. 11:1).
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7. Sow bad seed whenever you’re in the mood. Watch television or do other things that are “on” or “over” the Line of God’s Desire — do it whenever you want, when you’re bored or depressed. Especially do it as soon as you know no one who Cares could find out about it. You can handle it. They may be too weak to handle things like that, but you’re not. Let’s not be so extreme.

Antidote

First of all, to have a mind set that when you close the door you can sin because no one sees you is most foolish. Are you saying the Omniscient One has no eyes? He’s the main one that matters and He doesn’t miss a beat! He cares and He’s always watching, (Psalm 139:7-16).

If the life you want to lead is one where when you feel the slightest bit of discontentment you turn to anything but Jesus, you will find in time your life filled with weeds. You won’t have anything to offer to your brothers and sisters. The seeds you plant today affect your tomorrow. Do not be deceived to think you’re bigger and better than anyone else and won’t be affected by the bad seeds planted. God is not mocked!! A man will most definitely reap exactly what He sows. There is no such thing as neutral seed, (Gal. 6:7-10).
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8. Long to be by yourself. Enjoy your own company best. Prefer to do things by yourself in most cases — at least stay in control of the matter so that you can decide whether you want people or not. The solitude of your own thoughts is preferred to pouring your life out for others. They’ll probably all let you down anyway. Or just waste your time. It’s safe with just you.

Antidote

It is clear from the scriptures that we were bought with a high price – the blood of God Himself was the payment for our lives. Therefore, we are no longer our own. We belong to God AND we belong to His people – each other! And when he purchased us by His grace and love, He did this for the purpose of making us a PEOPLE, not individuals. Selfish, independent, individualistic, separated lifestyle and decision making was banished the day we were baptized into His body. The two ways of approaching life simply cannot coexist when one is part of the whole. “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and EACH MEMBER BELONGS TO ALL THE OTHERS,” (Rom. 12:4-5). And true life in the Son is by living like the Son; that is, we pour out our lives for our friends and it is a consistent part of our fabric with ever-increasing depth and glory to live FOR others, not for ourselves. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake with find it.” Those who “hold on” to their lives, privacy, right to be alone, solitary thought-life, will whither and be sadly empty and disappointed. If you hold on to your life, you’ll lose it…
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9. Always view yourself as “the exception.” It was said a certain way to certain people so it doesn’t apply to you. Though clearly it makes sense for most people, your circumstances are different.

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Rather than looking for a way to skirt or justify or avoid words from God, a lover of Jesus and truth will always try to extract the most convicting truth from each situation. When anything comes his way, a disciple will agape the Truth, (2 Thes. 2:10) and look eagerly to see how it applies to their life the most, not the least. “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God,” John 3:21. To be a learner and walk in true friendship with God, a quality to guard and walk in is this: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Love the truth. Agape it. Don’t make a way out for yourself.
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10. Consider yourself often — your appearance, your rights, the things you have done, the things you can do, the work of your hands, the impressiveness of your speech or thoughts or creativity or clothing or body or skills. Think about yourself (whether good or bad) and about “externals” often.

Antidote

Consider JESUS often! He is the only one of any worth, value, life, love, heart or anything else that is good and right. There is nothing good that comes from mere man. Nothing. Jesus taught us that unless we were part of his life sustaining vine, we could do nothing. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Everything comes from Him, not you. And if we insist on boasting about the things we have and the things we do and the pride of life, we cut ourselves off from the life blood of his life, and all our efforts are in vain, (Is. 5:21John 2:16-17). Only God is good, and none other. How dare we as mere mortals, exalt our puny flesh or our miniscule brains or ideas? Who do we think we are? Please, in the Name of Jesus and before God’s Holiness, empty yourself of everything you think you are or have. It is all from Him anyway. You never gave yourself anything that you have. He is your Maker and Sustainer and Redeemer and Sovereign King. Get your life in its proper perspective. All things come from Him, not yourself. So take no pride or identity or confidence from your flesh or work of your hands. Be one human being on the earth who will give Jesus his Just rights to your life and the glory and honor and praise and thanksgiving that is due Him. Only He is good. God has spoken only a few audible words for man to hear a few He choose to speak were these: “This is my beloved Son. In him am I well pleased.” Amen and Amen.

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts, [not the] things down here on earth,” (Col. 3:1-2, NLT). Fix your thoughts on Jesus… Fix your eyes on Jesus… “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise,” (Php. 4:8, NLT).
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11. Love yourself, or, if you’d prefer, even hate yourself. Either will do if you want to degrade yourself and your Best Friend. Self-awareness, self-consciousness, self-thoughts on an ongoing basis — whether self-love or self-hatred — guarantee that we lose our heart for Jesus.

Antidote

As we consider or ponder ourselves, or the perception we think others may have of us…we rot away our lives from the inside and spend the wealth of our hearts on maggots. The energy that we have spent on loving or hating ourselves, or considering if others do, is lost forever in the abyss of darkness and despair. Instead, if we will entrust our lives and our futures and our reputations to the Father we will do well. Willfully divert that energy we are tempted to spend on ourselves and our own plight…renounce those thoughts and aggressively divert that energy to Worship of the Father and Jesus, His Son. Trust in His Goodness and in His capable and merciful judgments. And pray for others far more than for yourself. DO NOT THINK OF YOURSELF, either to spend thought in the wasteful lust of self-love — or the destructive cancer of self-hatred. Leave all that has to do with YOU on the Altar of God’s Mercy, and instead spend yourself on loving and obeying Him in every detail, and interceding for others. You cannot prosper in Jesus without this antidote for the enemy’s predictable poison.
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12. Don’t do “right” things because you talk to Jesus about them and offer the good choices as a gift to Him. Just do the right thingsbecause everyone expects you to, you might get caught and that would look bad or cost too much, or because it’s just “the good Christian life.” Don’t talk to Jesus about it directly. Let it be a lifestyle choice or a reluctant compromise. And, if you fail, feel bad about it, but don’t apologize to Jesus or confess to others and ask for them to talk to Jesus on your behalf.

Antidote

Translation: Good works which are filthy rags. Empty religious motions. You honor me with lips and actions but your heart is far from me. Please, please be real with Jesus as your living Master and your friend! He longs to hear your words and guide your steps and actions and fill your heart with faith as you turn to Him. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “If we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die,” (Gal. 2:21, NLT). And doing “Right” things for any reason other than in response to Jesus and His leading is to live by a law, or good works in order to please others, or relieve an anxious pressure from within. Jesus did die for us that we might Live in Him and find our assurance and comfort and direction and clarity and purposefulness from Him, the living God. Pity those who live by good works, horizontally and void of the presence of God’s life. Jesus is not looking for the right thing versus the wrong thing. The Pharisees went through those motions and look where it got them. Matt. 5:20.

He wants us to respond directly to Him and with Him moment by moment, from the heart. There is no Life at all in just ‘doing the right thing’ time and time again, without honest and intentional interaction with a Jesus who is alive. When our decisions and priorities are only out of form or habit or reflex or religious principle, not out of looking to and touching Jesus as a King and friend, our good deeds and even morals are only “dead works.” When we eat from that “tree” of right and wrong, without LIFE, it will kill us, little by little, on the inside. Name the “man of God” from David to Moses to Elijah to Jeremiah or Nehemiah, ponder the details of what we know of their lives, and we will have to acknowledge they were often WAY “outside of the box” of conformity to what “everyone knows is the way to do it” and were even known as “troublers of Israel,” all. Even THE Man, Himself, was rejected utterly during His day in the sun due to His “nonconformity” in some respects. There certainly are no “points” for being “different” for the sake of being different, but those who KNOW GOD and relate to Him as a PERSON moment by moment will find themselves swimming against the tide and often “outside the camp” when the Laodicean religious culture barks its orders. Life IN Jesus, not just FOR Him. :)
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13. Shut down your mind and your heart when things are tough. It doesn’t do any good to talk. They’re just words anyway. Why bother. You’ve heard it all before. Just shut down. It’s safer in there if I don’t let anything in, or anything out.

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Our Pioneer who has paved the way for us to follow in His steps faced trial, heartache, temptation and pain of every type imaginable. And it was God’s intent, as the Hebrews writer says that “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered…” Somehow the process of facing the “stuff” that gets in our face, is God’s Way of refining us as we find Him in the midst of the tough times, (Heb. 5:8). And if Jesus was made perfect through suffering, wouldn’t it make sense that we also must find God through that process of heartache and suffering? And God doesn’t expect us to do it all by ourselves. We need one another MOST when the hard times come. Not by whining, but by reaching out to Jesus in others. That’s how he works, by touching us through the lives of others. You may have heard similar helpful words before, but food yesterday is already digested and gone. You NEED fresh food and supply today! New life comes through words today. “I’ve already heard the answers before” may be true, but you need FRESH MANNA TODAY for your life! We were never meant to be self-sufficient, just you and God in your closet grunting it out. No. Spill out your heart to God AND His people. Remember that it is against the Church – the relationships between God’s people that hell will not prevail. Face the pain and work it through with your heart and mind. Spend energy finding Jesus’ life in the midst of the pain, in the midst of His people. This will be God’s work in your life to draw you from one degree of glory to another!
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14. Be so consumed (fear? pride? ambition? family heritage?) with your view of end-time theories, conspiracy theories, conservative politics, church methodology, church government, not “rocking the boat,” avoiding false teaching… that Jesus and people aren’t your passion anymore.

Antidote

The grass roots, bottom line way of Life in Christ is to pour ourselves out for others. The doorway in to knowing Him and living in Jesus is all wrapped up in giving yourself away to Him and to People! If we consume ourselves with “stuff” other than Him and people, we shrink our heart’s capacity to care for others. Getting caught up in religious topics is to waste the soil of your heart that is meant to be seeded with God’s word rather than distractions and junky religious blather. In 2 Tim 2:4, Paul instructs: “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding officer.” And Jesus, our High Commander says that the greatest commandments are these: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” We are to “avoid godless chatter” and stuffing ourselves with socio-political garbage and instead fill our time and mind and energies with loving God and one another.
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15. Maintain your composure at all times. Never be humble. That would be viewed as weakness. Remain proud and keep your head up high.

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God’s Scriptures speak for themselves:

“‘God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.’ So humble yourselves before God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor,” (Jas 4:7-10; NLT also 1 Pet 5:5-6). “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word. But those who choose their own ways, delighting in their sins, are cursed,” (Is 66:2-3; NLT). “For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored,” (Luke 14:11; NLT).
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16. Never tell really revealing things about yourself to anyone. They might use it against you in the future. You will be viewed as weak or immature.

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Someone who loves God and wants to be changed into the likeness of Jesus will see the great need to not only be completely honest with God, but will also be completely honest and transparent with people too, about who they are and what they lack. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” A follower of Jesus will not cover or pretend or hide or keep quiet about who they are or what their weaknesses are; rather, he will run into the open with the truth about themselves, in order to have fellowship with God, with others and to be cleansed and changed from within. Hiding and fearing and not trusting others with ourselves leads to isolation and death. Trusting God and each other with the truth about ourselves is a pathway to freedom and growth together. And also, who cares about what people think of you? The only opinion that counts is God’s!
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17. Interpret God’s Word the way it best suits you for whatever circumstance you wish to manipulate. After all there are contradictions all through out the scripture. Don’t ask wise and true brothers and sisters to help you understand. They wouldn’t see it from your point of view.

Antidote

To love God is to love His Word and loving His word is directly tied to applying, or obeying His word. To insure spiritual growth and health, a lover of God will look for every possible application of truth to their own personal life, rather than twisting words to avoid or “get out of” obedience to God. Like David, God’s word will be our heartcry and longing, rather than an intrusion or threat. With no guile, no twisted contortions, no shifting shadows and motives; rather with honesty, purity, a desire for the whole truth and for a willing and obedient heart, regardless of the cost, we will search for His truth as for silver and gold. “My child, listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to him,” (Prov. 2:1-8; NLT). A good exercise in loving God’s word instead of using it to justify yourself, would be to immerse yourself in the heart of Psalm 119 and the attitude of loving God’s commands, instructions, decrees and laws. Also, do not forget that wisdom is found in the counsel of your brothers and sisters. You can’t understand in a vacuum by yourself!
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18.Think about how other people will view what you say or do instead of what God wants you to say and do. What other people’s reaction and viewpoints to what you do or say are more important than what God has asked you to do. Always think of the consequences of what God has asked you to do and then decide if you should do it.

Antidote

Isaiah’s words capture well the posture of God’s people and the faulty thinking of fearing what men think. “I, even I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator, the one who put the stars in the sky and established the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppression?” (Is 51:12-13; NLT). Men are but mere grass, a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. What has any man ever created or sustained or helped? Jesus said that apart from Him, all our efforts are nothing. To care about what others think is worldly and putting weight on mere flesh and blood. And Paul wrote clearly: “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant,” (Gal 1:10). Part of the healthy antidote here is to bury your security and comfort and affirmation in God’s Son, Jesus, day in and day out. Remember, God spoke from heaven and said, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God’s holiness and satisfaction and pleasure is found only in one place, and that is in His beloved Son Jesus. That is why it is vital that we hide ourselves and our value and our worth in Him only and as we lose ourselves in Jesus, we will find ourselves secure in God and not needing the approval and affirmation of mere men. Actively trust Him as you listen for His voice and follow His lead regardless of “what people might think.” Stay soft and humble and if you’re “off” He’ll show you. Trust God and as the scriptures teach (Rom 8), you’ll find that as you let Him lead you by His spirit (rather than by pressures and imaginations about others), you’ll find your life marked with Life and Peace.
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19. View yourself as the weaker part of the body and therefore don’t contribute to the whole. If you are the “belly button” there is no expectation of participation. So you can stay quiet because you don’t have anything to offer anyway.

Antidote

Right thinking about the miracle God has done in your heart by cleansing you and giving you the deposit of His Holy Spirit will be a help in combating the lie of the enemy. Each of us, no matter who we are has been given the Spirit and Life of Jesus to dwell inside of us and each of us has a part to play in His body that is valuable and worthwhile. 1 Cor. 12:12-31 is very rich in reminding us that each one of us has been arranged in the body by God Himself and none of us is to downplay the importance of our part. Also in Romans 12 Paul writes that “just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Jesus teaches us: “let it be done according to our faith…” so there is definitely our part of believing Him and looking to Him and trusting Him and living wholeheartedly without reserve with everything that has been placed within us. It’s not about us! It’s all about giving Him the glory, whether eye, hand, toenail or bellybutton! All are needed and important in the sight of God and in the body of Christ. And as a reminder, Jesus spoke very specifically to people who would be tempted to bury their talent (Matt. 25). The man with one talent, who buried what he had been given was called a worthless servant and thrown into outer darkness. Live with a faith-filled heart, believing him with each and every seed, letting your light shine before all men. You do matter!
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20. It’s ok if you go two or three days without talking to Jesus. He knows you love Him and if you think nice thoughts, say grace before your meals, and have warm fuzzies about Him, that will help you draw closer to Him and know Him better.

Antidote

Imagine living in the same house with a spouse, roommate, or whomever and for two or three days not saying a word to them. You look at them, have warm fuzzies, and think about them often, but you never talk to them, or interact with them in a real way. You walk by them in the morning smile and leave for work or go about your day simply smiling at them. After two or three days you smile at them tell them you love them, tell them how devoted you are to them, and how you long to be close to them and know them. Another three days goes by the same way, before you basically say the same thing to them again. Are you following me? What relationship do you think will grow and prosper under these circumstances? Do you think the person is going to believe you when you say you love them and want their input after ignoring them day in and day out. Fill in the gaps where you may, I believe you get what I’m saying. Jesus is a person, and if this wouldn’t benefit a earthly relationship, it definitely won’t work you any wonders in the spiritual realm. Tell Him you love Him and mean it.

God yearns for those who would seek Him with all of their hearts and be diligent and energetic about it. Rather than settling for the warm fuzzies of emotion (which, by the way IS NOT fellowship with God but rather a stroking of our flesh), pursue God in tangible ways on a daily basis. Be on your knees in your room in real prayer; digest scriptures and find how their truths apply to your current life; exchange your life with others in word and deeds. Settle it before God in your heart that it will require energy and consistency and diligence and care. Love Him not just with words and generalities but with tangible obedience and expressions of love to Him and His people. We need daily bread and daily fellowship with Jesus and with His people.
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21. Find something spiritual about something you really want to do for entertainment sake… videos, basketball, golf , hunting or whatever. And convince others of its spiritual value for them, too.

Antidote

A good cure for this is making it your aim to actively seek first the Kingdom (the lives of God’s people). Our lives are meant to be built up with others in a Jesus-centered way which bears the fruit of being more tightly knit spiritually, heart to heart, knowing God and each other more deeply. We’re meant to build up the life of Jesus in others and put our hand to those things that will Help God’s people and be of spiritual advantage to God’s purposes. Now certainly, basketball, videos, dinners, or golf may be ways in which we love on each other and spend time with one another, no doubt. BUT, it is of such deep importance that in our own individual hearts, we are not looking for excuses to stroke our lust for entertainment or our flesh’s desire for something “fun” to do. Oh, our hearts can be deceitful in this area and it is something that can be overlooked far too often. The safeguard is that our heart has to be for PEOPLE, not things. And a good test is if you would flinch, or have disappointment about not getting to “do your thing” or if plans get changed or taken our of your control. How neutral are we really? It’s a good question to ask ourselves. Honesty with our motives is definitely part of the antidote here. Let’s ask ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing. Let’s make it our aim to lose our lives, our desires, our personal wants and likes. Let’s live to enlarge Jesus’ love in each others hearts in all our words and deeds and activities and choices. The things we do were never meant to be our masters; rather, they are always meant to be our servants, unto the life of Jesus expressed with others.
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22. If you have questions about something in somebody elses life, or your own life, don’t ask people who can help. Just wonder about it, but don’t do anything about it. Someone else will notice. Someone else will do something. They’re probably more qualified than I am anyway. So, I’ll just sit and watch and not risk contributing anything.

Antidote

Part of loving and caring for each other is looking out for each others blind sides. And the nature of blindness is that our brothers or sisters may not see what it is they are doing that is hurting their own relationship with God. We are our brother’s keeper, so to speak. We need one another to take a measure of responsibility for us, to help us not get caught in snares or thrown off the path. As His people, we all want to be clean and pleasing to our Father, so instead of burying what we might see in another, it is far better to help, contribute and care. Jesus gave us a specific way to care about each other in Matt. 18:15: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” If he doesn’t listen or see, we have resources to turn to in our other brothers or sisters. Jesus went on to say: “But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'” God has graciously given us ways to take responsibility and care for each other. And, yes, this requires sacrifice and care and risk on our part. Isn’t that what true agape love is all about? But the alternative to helping and loving and risking is burying. And burying what we see means we are tolerating leaven in the life of the church. It will work it’s way through our lives and others lives. Let us take our part in God’s body and trust Him. “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, AS EACH PART DOES ITS WORK,” (Eph 4:16).
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23. Be content in your current circumstances and don’t expect to grow in maturity. Don’t do anything too aggresively. Don’t make any hard decisions or act decisively. If your hand causes you to sin, talk to it at length and do a Bible study on it. You’ve always been the same, and you always will be — so why bother? saith the king of hell.

Antidote

DON’T be content in your current circumstances. DO expect to grow in maturity. Be aggressive when necessary, and have convictions. If your hand causes you to sin CUT IT OFF! God is looking for people of action. Be willing to BELIEVE what He has said and act on it. And let it be done according to your faith. It is a lazy, unbelieving, wicked and worthless attitude to sit on your hands, sheepishly boo-hooing about how you’ll never change. That stinks! It is an embarrassment to Jesus for anyone who wears his name to allow your attitude to mirror such shallow, unbelieving, depressing, negative thoughts. We have been given every Spiritual blessing in Christ! We’ve been raised out from the walking dead in this world! We’ve been set free from our past and ourselves and directionless, meaningless existences! Let’s live like God really does have specific plans and changes and challenges and new frontiers in our lives. Jesus came so we’d have Life and have it more abundantly. Life, when living in Him and embracing Him to the fullest, goes no where near monotony.
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24. Always choose your words carefully. Don’t ever say anything that you’re not certain you’re absolutely right about. You don’t ever want to be wrong about anything.

Antidote

This is unbelief, anxiousness and pride. God promises that He will give us words to speak when we need them, but this requires a soft, listening, free heart to hear and express. Jesus was not a pent-up, stalwart, nervous person. He heard the Father freely and spoke freely because His confidence was in God, not in His own reputation or ego.

Speak the truth in love, with confidence in God and if you’re on track, all will be blessed, and even if you’re not on track, God will work that together for the good as well. Place your trust and security fully in His Life within you, be teachable and moldable, humble and soft. Trust Jesus and love others more than your own reputation and you will have no problem overflowing with words of kindness and truth and help to your brothers and sisters.
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25. Build walls between you and others by holding critical thoughts, judgments and opinions. Judge others for their decisions and actions. Reserve your right to criticize in your heart. Let it sit there and then forget about it, believing it really isn’t bad seed, they were just fleeting thoughts (or so you think).

Antidote

This gangrene of the soul, if let to sit, will eat your heart up so fast and separate and cause harm amongst others so fast, it will be a whirlwind before you know it. You won’t be able to tell truth from lies or top from bottom. You’ll be deceived and darkened in your understanding and skeptical of everyone you know. This is no way to protect the precious Holy Spirit who lives in you and the treasures Jesus has blessed you with. Totally demolish, smash, decapitate and pulverize any and every thought that would bring any division or attitudes or skepticism or second-guessing toward your siblings in Christ. Firmly plant good seeds in this area by actively casting down your thoughts and instead trusting and hoping and trusting and trusting and loving others. Don’t bury stuff! When you see or hear of something you don’t like or understand, you have a responsibility from God himself to either 1) smash and reject any negative thought about others. Hebrews 12:15 says “Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison.” or 2) do something godly about it like ask a question, care about them, humble yourself, don’t assume you are right. To have true relationship with God and with His people, there must be absolutely no bitter root. These are very active things you MUST make a part of your life in order to prosper and flourish in Jesus’ love.

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About TJ

In 2015 my family moved from a small village in mid-Michigan to five beautifully forested acres in Northern Michigan. We love the lakes and rivers, the forests, and the billions of stars we can see in the night sky, as well as the many cultural and historical activities in our area. We also love that the deer and wild turkeys come right up to our house. This is where our hearts are! I have multiple cats (six the last time I counted), and a sweet introverted dog who rarely barks and who deeply loves the two adorable ducks and ten chickens that have become part of our family. I enjoy reading, studying, writing, and learning new things. I also enjoy walking my dog, cuddling my cats, and gardening. I love nature. The world fascinates me.

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