Two Toolboxes

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Two Toolboxes

A year later, this lesson remains!

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Interestingly enough, this blog idea came to me in the midst of a very trying time. I am under stress and my walk as a follower of Jesus has been questioned. However, the Holy Spirit is so wise. During a drive running some errands He began to speak to me about what the christian walk really looks like.
He showed me a picture of two toolboxes. Now, I don’t know if this analogy is one that has been spoken of before, but it surely speaks to me! I saw a brand new shiny toolbox. It was open and silver lined in bright clean metal.  And, it was empty. Then I saw another toolbox. It too was open. It was however, filled with lots of rusty,dirty,  greasy tools. Nothing a good mechanic or fix it man would ever use.

Then I got it! The new toolbox is a gift for us…

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Two Toolboxes

KIMG0785

Interestingly enough, this blog idea came to me in the midst of a very trying time. I am under stress and my walk as a follower of Jesus has been questioned. However, the Holy Spirit is so wise. During a drive running some errands He began to speak to me about what the christian walk really looks like.
He showed me a picture of two toolboxes. Now, I don’t know if this analogy is one that has been spoken of before, but it surely speaks to me! I saw a brand new shiny toolbox. It was open and silver lined in bright clean metal.  And, it was empty. Then I saw another toolbox. It too was open. It was however, filled with lots of rusty,dirty,  greasy tools. Nothing a good mechanic or fix it man would ever use.

Then I got it! The new toolbox is a gift for us. When we come to Christ, He makes us all shiny and new. The bible says: 
New American Standard Bible
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

So, here I saw that it is as if  we are given a new tool box with which to “work out our salvation.” (not work for salvation, when we come to Jesus sincerely, we are saved)
King James Bible
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

As we travel into our relationship with the Lord, he teaches us how to walk in it. This may be through bible study and reading, prayer and receiving teaching from authentic pastors and teachers of the word. As we come upon these truths and they become part of us, we then begin the process of renewing our mind. Old things are thrown out and new things take up residence within our mind.

New King James Version: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable…

Those old truths and mindsets are then replaced with new ones. Some of these truths deal with honesty, how to speak to others, behaviors, habits, forgiveness, repentance, love, trusting God, giving, and the list goes on. As we encounter a new truth, we have the opportunity to remove the old lie from our mind and replace it with the new truth that comes from God.

Those old thoughts come from our experiences before we chose to walk with Jesus. Those lies which we only think are truths are changed and replaced. Those lies may be thoughts about ourselves like, I am stupid, I am lost, I can’t do anything right, they are better than me, I am a failure etc. Some others lead us to behave inappropriately. We may lie, cheat, speak harshly to others, be sarcastic, break laws, hurt other people etc.

When we understand from the Holy Spirit’s teaching and leading that those things we believed before were just filling our old toolbox with dirty, rusty tools, that we would take out each time we were hurt or triggered by an event. We would use them and then replace them with the remnants of the wounds whether we used them on someone else to manipulate them or to hurt them in order to feel better, or unfortunately, we would even us them on ourselves. Our own flesh and blood would be left to rot and dry on those tools as they were replaced back in that old toolbox.

However as we come further and further to the truth of who God is and who He says we are we find that those ugly old nasty, and rusty tools begin to show up in our new toolbox, shiny and clean. They turn into instruments of healing and comfort. Maybe even glowing with some of the glory of God. As we take these new tools out and use them (and yes, if they are not used, they may get rusty again) we will then learn how to walk in the assignment that was given to us originally by our Father, before the foundations of the earth.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has thoughts and plans for us. Plans for our welfare and peace and not for evil.

So, as we continually empty out that old messy toolbox that represents our life before our relationship with Jesus, we will be following the instructions of the Lord himself by allowing Him to free us and heal us from hurts and experiences that left us wounded and injured, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Remember it says that we are three part beings. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 points this out. God provides us healing in all three parts of our being.

Most of us still have two toolboxes, however as we empty out the former one it will become smaller and smaller and the new shiny, clean one will become bigger and bigger.

Do you have two toolboxes? Perhaps you received your new one and it is still empty or maybe just has a few tools inside. Or maybe you just have the old one still lying around within easy reach. When Jesus said step into the yoke with me, He meant it. His burden is easy and light. Oh, we still have to pick up that toolbox and carry it around, we don’t get off that easy, but wow, it sure is light for how big it is and those tools are light too! King James Bible
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

I am still exchanging those rusty, dirty tools for my new ones, this process will go on as long as I live. But, with the exchange comes more and more freedom to be who He called me to be. Jesus is kind, he gives us all that choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Scripture bondage to you? — a testimony from one of our readers

A wonderfully insightful blog!

A Cry For Justice

In the old days some churches occasionally opened up the platform for someone to give a testimony. So if you were expecting a ‘Sunday devotional post,’ we’d like you to switch gears. This is a Testimony.

The following appeared as a comment on our Facebook page recently. The author, an abuse survivor, did an exceptional job sharing her journey and in particular in describing how she had been blind to the bondage her abuser and others had brought her into through the twisting of God’s Word. She also does an amazing job here in specifically naming many of those perversions of Scripture which are so often used to enslave us. Many, many thanks to her. Read and learn:

I was told by my Christian counselor [2012] that “scripture was bondage to me.” I was offended.

  • We ought to esteem others higher than ourselves
  • We have to love the unlovely
  • Jesus opened not his mouth
  • A wise…

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America the Beautiful, limping, torn and bleeding.

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This morning I woke up dreaming. In my dream I saw in the clear blue skies over me clouds, many clouds, and they were beautiful! Remember when you were a kid and you would lay in the sweet green summer grass while the sunshine warmed your face making every muscle in your body relax? The skies were a brilliant blue with white puffy clouds overhead. In my dream there were many many white puffy clouds overhead, but they were not in the usual shapes of clouds, you know, the kind that look like animals or objects when you look at them with your imagination. These clouds were distinct and I knew exactly what they depicting.

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The clouds in my dream were in the shape of tanks, planes, jets and ships. Military equipment that was strong, large and impressive! Positioned in the sky, row after row of them. All lined up in perfect military formation. However, as I was remembering how they looked in the dream, I had a sadness come over me along with a great sense of patriotic emotion. These wonderful majestic pieces of military equipment represented the past. Having long ago surpassed the glory of their missions. Now, tethered in the sky, they were a beautiful shadow of what once was. Sadly, I realized, that what I was seeing was the glory of the United States of America standing tall and proud in the fast fading form of clouds that come and go with the flow of weather.

These remnants of a brilliant, strong and hardy America were reminders that the heyday of this country with its military strength is just about gone. This country that boasted the brightest and the best was now losing its strength and posture in the eyes of the world. Fading into the memories of countless veterans and their families and those who faithfully watched as the USA went forth helping, enabling and supporting other countries when they needed it most.

Just as the picture below shows one of our wounded warriors, dependant on a chair for his mobility, we too have been injured and wounded as a country. We are not the people we once were. This is not the America that once was. Just as the generations after Moses lost sight of the wonderful miracles that God had done for them in Egypt and in the desert, it is with a heavy heart that I ponder what will happen to the generations following mine as they no longer hear the stories of the people and their battles that kept us a free nation.1779073_10152083545299270_741731931_n

I am part of the baby boomer generation, now welcoming grandchildren into our families and linage. Will these children currently being born have even a hint of the patriotic spark that we were raised with? Will they sing the great songs we learned by heart? God Bless America, You’re A Grand Ole Flag, or even America the Beautiful. I wonder how long we will be opening sporting events with our National Anthem. Will the generations following us even know who Francis Scott Key was and why he penned such unusual lyrics? I once had an elderly teacher make sure we knew the lyrics of the last verse:

 O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

Those fading remnants of our military strength that I saw in my dream not only reminded me that there is a crisis here politically, but also, and much more importantly, this country is in a spiritual crisis like none we’ve ever seen before. Our faithful nation has become one that is tarnished and torn. While there is still a remnant, yes, strong and bold who declare daily the faith of God through both prayer and behavior, there is a sinister and malevolent spirit that has overshadowed such a large portion of our “united” states. Lawlessness and murder are rampant, what was once evil is now called good. The bible tells us that this will be happening in the last days. Anyone with eyes and ears can realize that it is now true. We are there now!

The God that helped bring this nation to its feet is still the God he always was. As we chopped away at the goodness that brought us our strength with decisions such as removing prayer from school and allowing sins like abortion and immoral sexual behaviors to override our souls we have stayed the protective hand of God that once held us so securely.

As individuals, we have the power to take back what we have lost. It will only be through repentance that we can regain some sense of unity in this nation. As those figments I saw in my dream of our past strength fade away, my prayer is that we will be drawn to our knees and repent for the sins of the nation and once again invite the God of the universe back to us with contrite  hearts.

Will we ever recover that which has been lost? I doubt it. However, with faith I speak the powerful lovingkindness of God over my family, friends and loved ones and yes even those who persecute me. Will we be reduced to a people who has to deal with lawlessness and disaster? Perhaps, but as Joshua said: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

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What?!?! But I have GRACE! Have we forgotten that God also told us to Repent!

In the book of James, we read this: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:7-10

Wow, does this sound like the sweet words of the gentle savior? Sometimes Jesus comforts us with words of loving kindness and sometimes like a good parent he speaks to us a bit more sternly with words of correction. However, these words although they may sound harsh, will ultimately take us to a place of personal freedom! We don’t always like to be corrected or instructed to do something. We don’t always see things the way God sees them. He is a God of omniscience, he knows everything all at once. He knows the past, present and future. He knows what we need for today and also the days to come. Matthew 3:2 tells us that Jesus wants us to repent because the Kingdom of God is coming. Well, what does that mean? He wants us to know that there will be an end to this world. How will he find us when he returns with that angelic shout at the last trumpet? Will he find us going about his business or our own business? This is a stern word for us all, but we do not want to be tricked into believing that we will go be with him simply because we have been “good.” That is not what he said, he said to repent. Confess your sins.

Let’s take to heart what the bible says, what the Lord of heaven AND earth is saying to us, to those who he says, have ears to hear. When we take the words in James and really apply them, we will see that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of those things in our lives that do not line up to the word of God. When we get serious and really mourn the behaviours and attitudes that need to be rooted out of our lives, it is then that we will receive the freedom we need. By leaving these things in humble repentance at the foot of the cross we enable God’s hand that was stayed, to once again release blessings unto us.

He really is a loving God who wants His best to flow into us. He tells us how that can happen. Obedience is paramount. Obedience to his word brings that freedom and that truth, along with so many other wonderful truths will bring us what we need. He longs for us to come to him and release these things that hinder us. Pride and false confidence brought by the enemy will keep us from repentance. But, really it is so simple. The rest of James chapter 4 will show us what to do. It is our decision if we will do it or not. God won’t force us to repent, but it delights him when we choose to be obedient, and oh how he smiles when we are finally released from bondage by doing so. In order to live that abundant life he tells us about in John 10:10, this must be done, for by repenting we keep the “thief” from stealing from us.

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God WANTS you! He not only loves you, but he really does like you too!

Lately, I have been listening to some teachings about God, the bible and learning some very basic, simple truths. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been walking with the Lord since 1984 and have been a student of the bible for a long time. However, sometimes, we get so bogged down in all kinds of study that we kind of forget the simplicity of the gospel, the “good news.”

In the book of Ephesians, we find the true heart of God. Paul the apostle, wrote the book of Ephesians, or the letters to the Ephesians,  because he was in the city of Ephesus, Turkey. He sure got around didn’t he? In that ancient city the folks worshiped the idol Diana. She actually was not a god. There was a strong territorial demonic presence on that city at the time and an ancient principality (fallen angel) had a stranglehold on the people by counterfeiting God as a deity that tries to mimic the true nurturing and loving God.  Hence, “Diana” is presented to the people. Paul shows up and has the task of undoing years of mindsets and ancient witchcraft and rituals. The people were so ingrained in the false teaching of this little g god that Paul had to go back to the basic truth of the gospel.

The first chapter of Ephesians gives us great insight. He reminds us that all blessings come from God and that they are available to us through the work of Jesus. He also lets the people who are riddled with false teachings which required them to perform rituals in order to receive what they needed from their god, to know that they are loved just because they exist.

So, did you know that God has chosen you? He has set you apart for a specific purpose? That he not only loves you but He really likes you as well? Yep! Ephesians 1:4. God created us for His pleasure, Ephesians 1:5. He wants us and wants to be near us. One author says it like this: He wants our little faces near His face. Thom Gardner: Healing the Wounded Heart.

So think about this, we sit at home and wonder where in the world God is. We stress ourselves out by thinking that we have to do everything under the sun to make him love us. We take precious time and fret about things that have already been settled by the work of Jesus. Jesus did all that needed to be done when he took our punishment for us. We are to live and love in the freedom that has been given to us through what Jesus chose to do. One teacher says it this way: He took the bullet for us! Michael Smith at http://www.hardcorechristianity.com

So, relax, He’s got this! Our only job is to step into the work that has already been done!  Now, the only thing required from us is to believe that and live according to what He says. You’ll find all that you need to be and do in the New Testament. Jesus is all about verbs. You know, he gives us simple instructions about how to live a life of freedom. Our only job is to find out what these are and do them. How simple is that? Stop fretting, stop worrying, stop going to “what if land.” God has you.

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How is God showing you that He has you in the palm of His hand as the bible says in Isaiah 49:16.

You may contact us at lifestationexpress@gmail.com for more information about how to step into the presence of the one who Created you. Also our Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/AngelCounseling