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 Truth (Rewritten)

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Join date : 2010-09-30
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PostSubject: Truth (Rewritten)   Truth (Rewritten) EmptyMon May 28, 2018 10:42 pm

Truth (Rewritten)

This is a rewrite of my original Truth post. Much of the original material is still here, but I added a lot more because really I want bring this topic home as Truth is extremely important in freeing us from our bondage to fear and depression. Why should we understand Truth? Truth alone will free you from all of your fears, depression, addictions, sin, and whatever else has you captive. That is exactly what Jesus said. He says in John 8:31-32, “If you hold to my teachings you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus said that knowing the Truth will set you free. This implies that you are initially in bondage to something that you need to escape from. What is He referring to that we need to be set free from? Thankfully Jesus left it blank. Had He filled in the blank then His entire statement would be limited. Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free from __________. You are to fill in the blank with whatever has you captive. Jesus’ words here works for any stronghold, which we will talk about soon.

There is an important order to John 8:31-32: first obey Jesus’ teachings, then know the Truth, then be set free. If we skip the order we will miss Truth, and ultimately our freedom. Let’s work it backwards: to get to freedom you must first know Truth. To get to Truth you must first obey. To get to obedience you must first study the Bible to know what you need to obey. If you want to be set free today, you must first obey and while you are obeying, God will show you Truth, and that Truth will set you free. Only disciples of Christ have true freedom because only they operate in Truth through obedience. You cannot get to Truth if you live in sin. And please note, it is knowing the Truth that sets you free. That word “know” has to do with intimacy. Intimately knowing Truth—that is, making Truth a part of you will set you free. So at some point in this lesson we must cover obedience because that is what will lead us to Truth, ultimately ushering us to freedom and true peace.

A stronghold, as defined by the Bible, is anything that spiritually enslaves us. A stronghold is anything that has a hold on you that God never intended it to have. A stronghold is something that has you in chains and occupies and diverts your mind away from God’s Word, Truth, and power in your life. A stronghold is a sinful addiction that oppresses you and shows up almost daily. If it occurred once or twice in ten years, it’s not a stronghold. A stronghold is anything that is detrimental that holds your long-term focus on it. It is something not from God that you cannot release from your mind through your own strength. A stronghold is something that has made its priority in your mind greater than God Himself. It makes you think about it more than God. Any sin can be a stronghold. If that sin has you captive it’s your stronghold. Anxiety and fear are strongholds. Depression is a stronghold. Negativity and pessimism are strongholds. Greed is a stronghold. Sex outside of marriage is a stronghold. Drugs and alcohol are strongholds. An irascible, short-tempered disposition is a stronghold. Cussing is a stronghold. Food can be a stronghold. Self-aggrandizement, narcissism, and pride are strongholds. A stronghold is any negative and sinful personality that seems to define you. (But I’ll tell you now that your stronghold is not who you are, for you have a new identity in Jesus Christ and we will talk about that later on.) 2 Corinthians 10:4 reads, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” The next verse reads (paraphrased), “We must take every illicit thought and make it obedient to the Truth of Jesus.” Truth is God’s weapon that sets us free from strongholds. Truth unlocks and drops the shackles of strongholds and fully sets us free. John 8:36 says, “When Jesus sets you free you will be free indeed.” All strongholds are spiritual death, that is, separation from the fellowship and life of God. Truth sets us free from both sin and death. It frees us so that we can see peace and live life more abundantly.

Here are a few quick passages about freedom to show how free we are: Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again to a yoke of slavery.” This verse declares that Jesus indeed has set us free. We have a legal right to freedom. And it is for the purpose of freedom that He disengaged our slavery to bondage. Please note the stronghold clause in this verse: “burdened again to a yoke of slavery.” We must stand firm in Truth in order to be free from the yoke of slavery. And Galatians 5:13 says, “You, brothers, were called to be free.” John 8:36 states, “So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.” Romans 6:18 posits, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:18 is stating a fact. It says that we have already been set free from our sin, and hence our stronghold, and have become slaves to righteousness. God has already set us free. We just have to understand how to access our freedom. And Romans 8:2 avers, “Because through Christ, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Note the legality here. Jesus freed us legally through the Cross, through faith. These verses in Romans are describing our new identities in Christ, which we will discuss a little later still in our lesson.

We have clearly seen that Truth is what unlocks our freedom and opens our eyes to true peace. So what in the world is this Truth?—because I want to be free!!! Let’s define it. Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” Mankind has his own version of truth, but that truth leads to death. There is no such thing as “my truth” or “your truth.” The moment we start our sentence with “I think...” we have already missed Truth. Truth is objective as opposed to subjective. There is a reason I am capitalizing the word Truth throughout this entire lesson—for I am not talking about truth as man sees it. Man does not have Truth. The definition of Truth is—this is extremely important—Truth is simply God’s opinion on a matter. Truth is what God says, not what the culture says. If what God says differs from what everybody else says, everybody else is wrong. It is important that we stop going to our friends for their truth, or even to counselors for theirs. Professional counselors speak only the world’s definition of truth, which does not set us free from strongholds because it has no divine power. Professional psychologists and counselors can only mask strongholds; they cannot set us free from them. Mental health drugs mask the problem to help us cope. God’s Truth sets us free from the problem. Something is true simply because God spoke it. Whenever God speaks it is the Truth. Truth is whatever God says regardless of how absurd it might sound initially. Whatever God says is the Truth regardless of how you feel about it. Whatever God says is the Truth even if what you are experiencing seems to contradict it. Even if something is not true it becomes Truth when God speaks it. God can speak something that doesn’t exist into Truth. Before the universe existed, its existence was not true until God spoke it into being. Once true, Truth is unchanging because the God who is Truth, changes not (Malachi 3:6). God operates only in Truth. He cannot lie. God says in Isaiah 45:19, “I, the LORD, speak the Truth; I declare what is right.” Psalm 119:160 says, “All [God’s] words are true.” Something can be real to you, that is, to your experience, but if your experience does not match the Truth of what God said, then that which is real to you is not real to God’s reality, which is more real than our reality. God is Truth. Jesus said “I am the Truth.”

Since God’s Word is Truth, it should go without saying that to find Truth requires opening the Word of God, studying and obeying it. God’s Word is the absolute source for all Truth. It is a blessing that we don’t have to search out the ancient philosophers for some hidden truth. They don’t have it. God has provided all Truth in His Word. But we must apply God’s Truth, that is, His Word, to us personally. God’s Word says that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you—this statement is Truth. You really can do all things through Christ who is strengthening you because God spoke the Truth. Please note that Truth is a constant. It’s a constant because God is constant. Truth is true all of the time. Therefore, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you all of the time even if you don’t feel like it. Scripture is not about the power of positive thinking. It is about the application of Truth. Understanding Truth will open your eyes to the power of Scripture, even verses that seemed to not have power beforehand.

Faith must accompany Truth. We must believe the Truth to be true in order for it to set us free. Faith that is not tethered to Truth is illegitimate faith. True faith is always tied to Truth. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God’s Word is accessed only through faith. Faith is acting like God is telling the Truth. It must be acted out in the feet, not merely imagined in the mind. Faith must be pointed to the correct, concrete and only source (to God) and not to an abstract, metaphysical serendipity. Faith in faith does nothing. Saying you have faith is not faith. We must have faith in the Person who spoke the Word. We must have faith in the integrity and truthfulness of God. We must have faith that the application of the Word of God directly applies to us personally without fail. Faith is believing beforehand, before seeing. Faith is believing it to be so because God said it before seeing any evidence of it being so. When we apply God’s Word and promises to ourselves, we must have full assurance that God is telling the Truth. Since the Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), we should never have doubt that God’s Word will not work for us. And if we need to, we can be like the Centurion who said to Jesus, “I do believe, but help my unbelief.” We should pray to God for more faith and He will supply us with it. Jesus said “knowing” the Truth will set us free. The more Truth we know, the purer our faith will be. To know Truth experientially requires faith beforehand. Truth will not be fully manifested without faith first escorting it. God veils the Truth to those without faith.

It is important to search out God’s Word for empowering Truth and apply it. First, one needs to meditate on Scripture. God’s Word does not sit naturally with the nature of our flesh. The flesh rejects it. Meditation is important because faith overrides the flesh. We have to meditate on God’s Word until we believe it. Meditation is not merely memorization. Mediation includes picturing the Truth of the message and believing it. You must see in your mind’s eye yourself accomplishing what the Word says. It is even better to speak the Word out loud that it may resonate in you. So going back to Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” To properly meditate on this verse means that you see yourself doing the things that your flesh tells you that you cannot do. This is a mental battle because even your brain that you think with is flesh, which is tainted with sin. The flesh naturally rebels against what God says. Your inner personality, that is, your soul must focus only on what God says and reject what the flesh is telling you. Meditate daily until your faith makes the verse seem real to you. Also meditate on the road where your anxieties and fears are active. Focus on the Truth of God’s Word and reject the lie of what anxiety is telling you whenever you feel the onset of the fear. A panic attack is usually the result of a culmination of false thoughts throughout the day. Meditate on God’s Word early to stop anxiety thoughts from accumulating throughout the day. Meditation must lead to obedience. To make faith legit we have to act out the Word and not just believe it to be true. It is not enough to believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We must act out the Truth. With each success you have you are reprogramming your mind. To lessen the battle of the mind, or the rejection from the flesh, you should truly accept whatever outcome you have with full acceptance even if it led to a panic attack. As long as you believed God’s Word and went with faith that should be regarded as a success, and not something that you mull over. Eventually God’s Word will weaken the flesh and the flesh will have to submit to it.

God sits outside of His creation and He is omnipresent within His creation at the same time. God existed before He created anything. He is not limited or bound to His creation at all. God defines the rules of His creation. Nature and physics have to obey Him. This is important to know because it means that Truth is not dependent on the laws of physics or nature, but rather it is dependent on God. Physics state that man cannot walk on water. But we see Jesus walking on water and allowing Peter to do the same. Physics state that once a person dies and rigor mortis sets in that a person cannot return to life. Yet we see Jesus, Lazarus, and others rising from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. The laws of nature state that humans cannot fly. Yet we see the resurrected Jesus ascend into the clouds in heaven. This means that God can make what seems impossible the Truth. I know that sometimes anxiety and depression seem impossible to overcome—it sometimes feels that way—but God, who transcends His laws can transcend your situation. This also means that we must obey God no matter what He says. Sometimes what He commands might sound absurd and maybe even impossible. Jesus commanded Peter to come forth to walk on water. Whenever God commands something He always empowers us to fulfill the command. Therefore, if God commands something we have to be careful to not rationalize His commands because once we start rationalizing we end up negating the power that He gave us to fulfill the command. Lack of faith always negates the power that God gives us.

To better understand Truth, let’s talk about what Truth is not. Truth has nothing to do with your opinion on a matter. Truth never asks for your input nor cares what you think. Truth can never become outdated. It is never affected by the passing of time, new generations, or zeitgeist. New generations and ideas must rediscover Truth. Truth is not based on the majority consensus. Stop seeking Truth from people or your friends. We often go to the source of Truth last and first turn to our best friend’s opinion. Truth is not even facts. They teach facts in school and those facts can be wrong. Even a true fact can become false if God speaks otherwise. It might be a fact that you are an alcoholic. It might be a fact that you are poor as a pauper. But if God says otherwise, that is, if He says, “I have supplied you with every spiritual blessing in Christ” or “You are no longer who you were, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus” then those facts are not true because God spoke otherwise. It is a fact that men cannot walk on water, yet as we pointed out already, that’s what Jesus and Peter did. Jesus is able to turn facts into incorrect statements because Truth is not based on facts or science; it is based only on what God says. Science is only man’s attempt to observe, catalog, and hypothesize the laws that God created who has complete control over His own laws and is able to break them at any time.

Truth has nothing to do with feelings. We cannot rely on our feelings for Truth because feelings are circumstantial, that is, they conform to what we are experiencing at the moment. Truth is not based on what our eyes tell us, whereas, your feelings naturally respond to what your eyes see and your ears hear. This is contrasted to faith, which is not based on what your eyes see or the news you hear. Feelings can lie. Feelings change, Truth does not. Feelings have no intellect—they respond and change based on happenstance. Feelings can make one happy one moment, then sad the next, then in the next 5 minutes one discovers that he or she won the Super Lotto, now they are happy again. This means that feelings can be retrained. The flesh operates based on feelings. We cannot accept what we feel, see, hear, or experience as Truth if it does not conform to what God is saying. Catch this: Truth ALWAYS overrides feelings—maybe not right away, but eventually it always does. If you can see the Truth clearly, realizing Who spoke it, it will override your negative feelings. Remember what Jesus said, “Truth sets you free.” Truth is obligated to the words of Christ to set you free. When you know and fully accept the Truth, your feelings must submit to it. Feelings are stubborn, so it is not a quick fix. But feelings can be trained as long as we are consistent. Everyone is born into a peaceful mind, but because your feelings have responded negatively based on your experiences, that led to anxiety and depression. Your feelings were trained to respond in fear, and they can be retrained to operate in peace when we learn how to consistently align our minds to Truth. Romans 6:6 says Jesus crucified the flesh and took away its power. Therefore, Truth has power over your feelings and over the flesh. Truth has divine power because God operates only in Truth. We may feel afraid or depressed. The fact that you are feeling afraid or depressed is not a lie. The lie is that you must be afraid or depressed. The lie is that God’s promise of peace somehow excludes you. The lie is that God’s Word does not work for you. Anxiety wants you to think that you cannot rid yourself of it. A moment in anxiety never negates the peace and freedom you really have. Eventually the flesh must submit to Truth and Truth will become your norm and reality.

To further understand Truth, let’s talk about its opposite: a lie. Lies can only feel real, they cannot be real. It is possible to believe a lie into existence, but it is still not true because it does not exist as Truth in God’s eyes. Lies only exist as perceived Truth. It is not THE Truth. When you stop giving attention to a lie and start asserting Truth the lie dies. Stop feeding it and it will starve and become weak. A lie really does not exist because God did not authorize it in Truth; therefore, it has no real power. It only feels like it has power, it does not really have power. All lies originate from Satan because the Bible says that Satan is the father of lies. Satan told the first lie in history. What is important to understand about Satan is that his only true weapon against God’s people is his lies. His weapon of lies is very powerful because they can cause anxiety, depression, cause us to sin and fall out of fellowship with God, cause addictions and many other negative things—but at the heart of it all, these sins originated from the lie that we bought from Satan and we lived as if the lie was our truth. Satan owns his own kids, but he lost his power over God’s people at the Cross. Satan no longer owns us—he cannot get to us like he has access to his own children. His only weapon in his arsenal against God’s people is his lies. The Bible calls his weapon “flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). Arrows with flames do hurt. Satan can hurt us with his lies, as we just discussed the negative affects they cause. That passage in Ephesians tells us to fight Satan’s flaming arrows and his lies with the Shield of Faith. Faith in God with our mind consistently on Truth will block Satan’s flaming arrows of lies. Since a lie does not exist in God’s reality, stop focusing on something that is really not there—or not true (true to God, that is). Know that what God says is true even over what your eyes see. Instead of listening to Satan’s lies, focus on the things of Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Paul tells us to focus on what is true. There is power in Truth because there is power in God. Truth has power because it defines what is really real. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” A lie’s power lay only in its veil of the Truth. A lie’s power comes from one’s belief and acceptance in it. If you don’t believe it, it loses its power. Truth always trumps a lie and defeats it.

I want to expound more on this: The reason why we should reject all lies is because the origin of lies is demonic. Satan and his demons operate in lies. To hang out with lies is to hang out with demons because that is where they are. Since Satan is the creator and father of lies, if you accept and practice lies you have just adopted Satan as your surrogate father. Truth came first. Before a lie, Truth already existed. The universe was created from Truth because the Creator can create only what is from Himself, and there is no lie in God. Truth was the substructure of the universe and the origination of all things. Off of that substructure came a lie that was created and originated from God’s created beings with freewill. Because Truth came first and came from God, Truth dominates and overrides lies. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. Satan can haunt a house. He can possess non-Christians. But his only true weapons against us are his lies. Satan is satisfied when Christians even accept his partial lies or half-truths. Satan can so construct a lie to make it look like Truth. There is no such thing as a half-truth or a white lie. Some poison in the pot spoils the entire pot. Some lie negates the Truth of the whole. 1 John 2:21 says, “No lie comes from the Truth.” To believe Satan’s lie and God’s Truth on the same matter is to believe the lie. Satan wants us to be comfortable in a lie. He wants us to seek coping methods or mental crutches so that we can feel comfortable enough to continue living in and believing his lie. He does not want us to identify and expose the lie and its origin. Once we do that, then we would be set free from it. When we see the Truth, then the lie loses its power. Truth takes away the power of a lie. So we need to take Truth, for example, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and focus only on that and not on your anxiety, fears, depression, entrapment of sin, or inabilities! Pray to God that He reveals and dispels all hidden or unaware lies to you. Pray that He opens your eyes to all Truth and takes away the power of lies from your life. Take a reconnaissance of your own thoughts to identify any persisting lies. And by all means, be aware of the lies from the world, as the carnal receive their truth from Satan. The world calls evil good and good evil. We must be discerners of Truth by having a sound understanding of the Word of God.

When Jesus was tempted in the desert, or the wilderness, Satan used lies to attack Him. Jesus used Truth to fight back. Note that Satan was using some Truth because he was quoting Scripture, though applying it incorrectly. Satan wants us to buy his lies by interjecting it with some Truth, but again, a little lie mixed with Truth is no Truth at all. Truth is always pure and unadulterated. Jesus used Truth, that is, God’s Word to fight Satan’s lies. Notice, Jesus did not try to analyze Satan’s lies and overcome them through reasoning and understanding them. We often do that with fear, anxiety and depression. Fear, anxiety and depression are lies. What we do wrong is try to get into the mind of those three and reason them into peace in hopes that we can somehow solve the dilemma of the peace that seems to elude us. Do not attempt to rationalize irrational thoughts. The thoughts of anxiety are all irrational. Jesus said, “I am not even going to analyze what you said Satan. Instead, I am simply going to quote Truth (God’s Word) back to you and apply it correctly.” If Jesus, the Son of God, quoted Scripture to fight Satan’s lies, how much more should we? Notice that each time Jesus quoted Scripture, Satan had no answer; he just changed the topic! Also notice that Satan didn’t go away after Jesus quoted the first Scripture. It hurt Satan. It was a punch in his gut, but Satan kept attacking with more lies. Satan didn’t go away when Jesus quoted the second Scripture. Satan went away after 3 Scriptures. Also notice, Jesus did not give up using Truth after the first Scripture didn’t make Satan go away. He didn't revert to the world’s way of dealing with problems after Truth didn’t seem to work the first time. He kept going with Truth. By using God’s Word of Truth, Satan eventually goes away! Resist the devil with Truth and he will flee from you (James 4:7). He may return on a later date, but simply resist him again with Truth if and when he does return. Truth always defeats him. He must bow down to Truth because he must submit to God's Word.

Truth is actually our spiritual weapon that we are to use to attack Satan with. Ephesians 6 says that Truth is part of our spiritual armament that God has supplied us with. We are told in verse 14 to “Stand firm then, with the Belt of Truth buckled around your waist.” A belt organizes the wardrobe and keeps everything in order. For a Roman soldier, the belt holds the scabbard or sword. Our Sword, according to Paul, is the Holy Spirit. The Belt of Truth keeps the Holy Spirit by our side so that His power can be accessed at a moment’s notice. Also regarding the Roman soldier, the belt holds strips of leather that droops down to protect the lower body. Truth serves as protection along with your Shield of Faith. (For a Roman citizen, the belt was put on when a person wanted to run and be active because they wore tunics that would trip them up or not stay in place otherwise.) A belt stayed attached to the person wearing it at all times. All of these things apply to Truth: it protects (Psalm 40:11), keeps our lives in order, organizes our lives, makes us ready for battle, and allows us to carry our spiritual weapon. It should always be attached to us wherever we go. Without Truth, the rest of the spiritual armor does not function properly. The rest of the armor includes the Breastplate of Righteousness, Shoes of Peace, Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, Sword of the Spirit, and the seventh (God’s perfect number) piece of armor that many don’t realize we have is our spiritual walkie-talkie—verse 18 includes Prayer as our Spiritual armor. The Belt of Truth is the foundation to all of these as it holds each one in its proper place. Without Truth, the others become defective.

Let’s give a word about your shoes since it includes the word “peace.” Since peace is what we are trying to obtain through Truth, we should expound on this some. Ephesians 6:15 is a clause in the middle of a sentence, which says, “...and [having] your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace.” The New Living Translation words it this way: “For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” The Roman soldier had to always be ready for conflict. Their footwear had to be sturdy in order to navigate the rugged terrain and inclement weather. Their shoes had iron nails underneath for traction. Their shoes were light-weight enough to be swift. They were ready not only for battle, but also for their immediate surroundings. The verse tells us to clothe our feet with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. The Gospel, or the Good News, is peace. We are to put the Gospel onto our feet and walk by faith. The Bible tells us to walk in faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Walking is consistent: it is a consistent pattern of one foot after the next. We walk with our feet with a steady gait. Our faith, therefore, should be consistent and God will make our peace consistent. Peace, just like walking, will maintain its steady level naturally. Walking is natural for most—it doesn’t take us thinking about it to do it. Peace, likewise, is also natural. Peace that is mustered up is no peace at all. The Bible calls peace from God “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Peace is not something that we accomplish: it is something that God gives us. If we have to battle to achieve it, that’s not peace. There is no mental battle with peace. Since peace is God given it is something that we actually have. The reason we might not experience it is because of the lies that are in our minds that is crowding out the peace that we really have. If you rid the lies then you don’t have to do anything to obtain peace because in Christ you have peace. In Christ, you have a legal right to peace because He says that He gives it freely to those who believe. John 14:27, for example, Jesus says, “Peace I leave you, my peace I give to you...” And 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.”

Note above that both faith and peace are tied to walking or shoes. And finally, peace is active, as it says “the readiness” that comes from the Gospel of peace. “Faith” is even intrinsic to the word “readiness.” One is not ready without faith. Our faith has to be ready or mature. Our faith has to be ready for spiritual warfare. Not only does it have to be ready, but our faith has to also be actively moving. To think it without stepping and acting it out is not faith. The peace that this verse is speaking of is the Gospel, or Good News. We cultivate and establish our faith through the Good News. You have to actively seek the basis of your peace from the Gospel. This is equivalent to corroborating with the top general during a war to go over the war plans. The readiness for the war is in the plans that the top general comes up with. The lower officials have to seek out and learn the plan in order to be ready for war. To obtain peace, we have to go to the peace manual: the Word of God. If you don’t go there then you won’t have the “readiness” and will be ill-equipped when the evil one comes to attack you. Even though there is nothing to do to obtain peace, since it is given, we do have to consistently consort with the manual of peace in order for it to crowd out Satan’s lies in our minds. So we must meditate on the Gospel daily to sure up our peace.

What we need to understand about this spiritual war, or battle, is that our battle is not flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). “Flesh and blood” here refers to humans, which, of course, includes you and me. So not only are you not battling people, your battle is not a battle against yourself. We are not fighting ourselves when we are battling sin addictions, fears, and depression. We are in a spiritual battle, fighting angelic beings who are using lies to fight us. They attack the flesh by enticing us to sin, which by nature, agrees with them. By nature, because we inherited Adam’s sin, our flesh naturally wants to rebel against God. We have to always keep in mind that this entire thing is a spiritual battle, otherwise we will be fighting the wrong enemy and accomplish nothing. Since this is a spiritual battle, we can use only spiritual weapons to be effective. Your mustered will-power is not a spiritual weapon from God. Your New Year’s resolutions will accomplish nothing, for they have no divine power. There is no divine power in the flesh and the flesh cannot overcome and tame the flesh. Your spirit and soul has to do the taming of the flesh through the Holy Spirit by submitting to divine help. We must pull out the spiritual weapons that God has provided us with in Ephesians 6 in order to be victorious in this spiritual battle against anxiety and depression.

The first step toward achieving Truth is ridding sin. To skip this step is to negate Truth and to live a lie. Truth must be a lifestyle of obedience to Christ. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the Truth.” Remember the order of things as Jesus stated: First you will must hold to His teachings, and become His disciples and then (and only then) will you know the Truth and have the Truth set you free. Truth is not simply knowledge: it is something to be acted upon. Truth is tied to your obedience to Christ. Even the so-called feel-good verses require obedience. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” requires obedience to actually do the all things trusting that Christ will provide you with the strength to pull it off. You cannot live in a lie of sin and expect to see Truth. God keeps even His own children blinded to Truth and Peace who act in rebellion to Him. Truth empowers us to stop sinning, but we have to first make the commitment to change and turn around. Repentance means to change one’s mind about a matter. Sin itself is a stronghold that Truth sets us free from when we first change our mind that agrees with and wants to sin. Truth reveals to us our new identity in Christ, and that knowledge breaks the stronghold of sin.

One huge lie from Satan regards our new identity in Christ. Satan does not want you to realize the Truth of your new spiritual identity. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The old you, it says, has passed away. The moment you believed in the finished work of Christ, you instantaneously received a new nature, and not only that, but the sinful nature that you were born with instantaneously passed away. Humans are made up of 3 parts: body, soul, and spirit. Your body is your flesh, which is not you—it is only the casing that surrounds you. You are not your body! If you were to chop off your arms and legs, those extremities are not you and it is possible to live on from that. Not only that, but at the Resurrection, you will be resurrected with new arms and legs. This is important to know because the sin resides in your body, not in you—the new creation in Christ. When you die you will drop your casing, that is, your sinful body, A.K.A, your flesh, and will receive a new spiritually glorified body that resembles Jesus’ resurrected body. Only your soul and spirit are you. Your soul is your personality. How you think, act, and move are all directed by your soul. Every living creature has a soul: animals, insects, fish, etc. Those creatures all think, act, and move. The Bible defines the spirit in Job 32:8, which says, “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” Animals, insects, fish, and bugs do not have understanding; hence, they do not have a spirit. The understanding lie in the spirit that God created mankind with. Spirits live on after the body dies; souls without spirits don't. The spirit in a man, the verse in Job tells us, is the breath of the Almighty that He breathed into all of mankind. God breathed into Adam, He did not breathe into the animals when He created them—He simply spoke them into existence. He spoke and breathed mankind into existence.

All of mankind is born into a corrupted body, soul, and spirit. They are corrupted because of sin. The moment we get saved, however, our spirit becomes a perfect creation in Christ Jesus. Our spirit is no longer what it used to be. It is no longer corrupted by sin—it becomes a new creation that is now righteous just like Christ. Our souls, that is, our personalities, are always in the process of becoming saved as we continue to learn to become more like Christ through obedience to His Word and God disciplining us along the way. Our souls will be perfected when we see Jesus in glory in the next life because it will no longer be enticed by the flesh. The Cross did not make the flesh righteous—it made only your spirit righteous. Your flesh is still filled with sin, although that sin is no longer manufacturing or reduplicating itself because its sin manufacturing system got cut off when your flesh became crucified with Christ. Romans 6:6 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” The Christian Standard Bible says, “ that the body of sin might be rendered powerless...” Satan cannot produce more sin in you, he can only work with the sin you had up until the moment you got saved and became a new creature in Christ. Satan tries to use that sin that is left in your body to get you to fall. It has been rendered powerless, that is, cut off from its source when you got saved. That sin producing machine, called the flesh, became crucified in Christ. The sin still resides in your body; however, the moment you drop your body in death, you will at the same time have dropped the sin and be in an instant rendered totally righteous. Jesus does not have to be crucified again to get you into a righteous state. He was crucified once, which was enough to render you completely righteous and qualified for Heaven. What Satan does not want us to know about our new identity is that we are no longer who we were. Sin, addictions, anxiety, etc. no longer have a legal right against you. You are legally free from sin, anxiety and addictions and you now have legal access to God’s peace and freedom in Christ. Please read the “Who We are in Christ” lesson for more information on your new identity in Christ.

Returning to the topic of Truth: Our reasoning must start with Truth. Never start with a lie and then attempt to work your way back to Truth. Don’t say “I am depressed in search of peace.” Instead start with the peace and say, “The Bible says in Psalm 85:8, ‘God promises peace to His people, His saints.’ And Jesus said in John 14:27, ‘Peace I leave you; my peace I give you.’” When we start with Truth, what’s not true will submit. Stop feeding lies. We feed and strengthen a lie when we continually confess it. “I am depressed. I am miserable.” Sure it may be true that you feel that way, but the Truth is God’s viewpoint of who you are. You are miserable because you believed a lie. It may be true that you feel like having a panic attack, but the Truth is that you have the power to live in peace and not have it. Feed Truth only, that is: assert only God’s Word. Do not entertain, meditate on, or fellowship with lies. Focus only on what is true and never on a lie. Let Truth be your starting point and from there rid anxiety or depression through the Truth. The way to be set free through Truth is to fully accept and believe that the Truth is the Truth. Our knowledge of, and then agreement with the Truth sets us free. Our souls must agree with God’s Truth. God has given you all peace in Christ Jesus, so the Truth is you have peace in Jesus regardless of how you feel, and eventually, or as soon as you agree with that, your reality will match His Truth. Also, stop feeding the flesh. The weaker the flesh is, the more optimized the Spirit is within you. The opposite is also true: the further away from the Spirit you are living, the greater power your flesh will have, which includes its desires and tendencies. Galatians 5:16 says, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” The closer in fellowship with God you are, the weaker your flesh becomes, including anxiety. Ridding sin and getting in fellowship with Christ through repentance and obedience is paramount to living the abundant Christian life.

Since Truth sets us free it should never be feared. Some fear the Truth because Truth can bring a person into unfamiliar territory. For example, when I talked with Jehovah’s Witnesses in the past and showed them the Truth of their error, they stopped talking with me for fear of where that Truth might lead them. Truth exposes lies and falsehood. Truth might reveal that what you thought was true is not true. Truth might reveal that what your mother and father told you was true is not true at all. Truth might reveal that you were wrong your entire life. We must never fear where it might take us even if it is into unfamiliar territory. Do not fear or reject Truth even if it is correcting or rebuking us. The correction is necessary for us to grow and get closer to God and His will. Truth is on our side. Truth in love is always good. It leads us into what is right and best from God’s perspective. It might hurt us in the beginning, but it frees us in the end. It sets us free when we accept it unconditionally with open arms. Typically, the reason Truth hurts is because it conflicts with our pride. The more humble we are, the more palatable Truth is for us to accept and grow in. Our spiritual growth will go at a quicker pace if we put away our pride.

Truth is allowed to hurt, but not tear down. The Bible says speak Truth in love. The opposite way of stating this is: “Love without lying.” But don't go out telling people they are having a bad hair day. It may be true, but don’t use Truth to tear people down. Truth must always be attached to an agenda of love. When love is connected to Truth then its intentions are good even if it hurts the listener because it is designed to build up and not tear down. And, be willing to embrace Truth in love even when it hurts you. Proverbs 27:5-6 read, "Better is open rebuke than hidden love." And, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Truth sets you free even if it hurts coming from a friend. Be open-minded and humbled enough to be able to receive new Truth that you were not aware of that might change your entire way of living. Simply compare the “new Truth” to the Word of God to verify that it really is Truth. There is a reason why Jesus said that a prophet is never accepted in his home town: because people don’t like hearing Truth from those they know well. We must be humbled enough, however, to overcome that prideful animosity, because remember, when we reject Truth, that makes Satan happy and God displeased. Truth should be received even if it comes from someone you once didn’t get along with or who you once deemed your lesser (You shouldn’t deem anyone your lesser, by the way). If we are humbled to receive it from whatever source, as long as it is Biblical, then we will mature spiritually at a fast rate.

I personally, by experience, know how the anxiety mind works. When the mind starts racing in fear, it searches for a crutch. It searches for some quote or alleviating thought that will calm it. When we feel that we cannot think of an adequate thing to calm it, we panic and have an anxiety panic attack. Let your crutch be Truth. Therefore, memorize Scripture because this crutch has the power to overcome the attacks and not just get you by for the moment. Envision Scripture having the power to work for you. Know that its source is from the God of Truth who empowered it to work for you.

As you all know from reading about me, my panic attacks resulted in an awkward walk. If I hear a comment about my awkward walk it would often significantly increase my anxiety and incapacitate me for weeks. Therefore I feared hearing such comments, and of course, that itself gave me panic attacks because the apparent best way of avoiding the comments was to achieve a graceful walk each time with great effort, which my mind wouldn’t let me perform because of the fear and negativity that filled it. The negativity repeatedly told me that I can’t achieve peace. I am here to tell you do not fear a comment or reaction about your anxiety from others because others are actually accurately commenting on what they see your flesh is doing. It is the flesh that is wrong, not them. By correcting the flesh you silence the comments. Remember, there is nothing to fear with Truth even if the truth is a comment about what the flesh is doing wrong. Truth is never to be feared because Jesus said that Truth sets us free. Even truth that critiques us should not be feared. If it is not a lie, it should not be feared. We should learn to accept what happens no matter what happens. That will calm the fear thoughts and feelings. Understand also that the flesh is what needs the Truth, and the Truth will override the tendencies of the flesh when our souls agree with Truth. With anxiety, the flesh is wrong. Anxiety is wrong. It tells lies to the flesh that the flesh naturally clings to. Let God be True and every flesh a liar. The flesh’s tendency is wrong because it is not operating in the Truth. The Truth is that Jesus gave us His peace—that is, true peace. Whether someone sees your panic attack and critiques or even laughs and mocks is not relevant. You are to focus on Truth and not on their comments (which might even be true observations) or the lies of the flesh. That’s like Peter taking His eyes off of Jesus and focusing on the storm (which was truly there), which led him to start sinking when he was standing on top of the water victoriously. Fear set in as soon as Peter focused on the storm. Jesus was still standing there (in the storm) waiting to supply him with enough peace and power to continue to stand on top of the water if Peter had just set his eyes and faith back on Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is the Truth.

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