Showing posts with label Jesus Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus Christ. Show all posts

Sunday, July 19, 2020

24. Identifying & Defeating Demonic Attacks - "Living in Light" Series

Some of us think demonic attacks are like a scene from The Exorcist. But let me tell you, the majority of demons that live among us, are far more sophisticated and subtle. If you're not fully aware and understand how these extremely intelligent demons work, you could be getting attacked a lot more than you think. I'm not saying that full-bore demon possessions don't exist, they do, and I've seen plenty of real exorcisms to prove that fact. But what I hope to make you aware of, is that demonic attacks can happen to all of us. We just need to learn how to identify them and use the power of God through Jesus Christ to defeat them. 
The devil and his cohorts love to take advantage of us when you're most vulnerable. Whether you're tired, sick, stressed, in pain, or desperate, you name the vulnerability, they will take advantage of it. Sometimes it seems like 3 a.m. is their favorite time of night. They do this on purpose to catch us at our most weak. It's when we're not aware and alert, that they can pounce upon us. And passionate Christians, the children of God, are some of their favorite prey.

Identifying demonic attacks are key in defeating them. If we don't know when they're happening, it's impossible for us to rebuke them. 

Here are 3 main examples of demonic attacks from these extremely clever demons...

1. Negative Thought Bombardment.

Has your mind ever raced with negative thoughts? Has your train of thoughts pulled in one negative thing after another until the train went off a cliff? Were there times when no matter what you tried to do, you couldn't steer your mind back to a positive mindset? Well, if you're human, you probably answered yes to one of these. 

This is a subtle and sophisticated way we can be attacked. These demons get inside our heads where it seems impossible to get them out. When a rampant battle of negative thoughts bombards us, it's extremely difficult to get them to stop. These demons like to remind us of our painful pasts, every mistake we've ever made, and fill us with negative thoughts about ourselves, and even other people, in any way they can. 

They want to plague us with worry, doubt, and fear. So we will dread the unknown, doubt God's presence over our lives, and fear the future with a "terrified" mindset. They want to tell us lies, whispering bad things to us, and using those lies against us. If you haven't read my blog What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me (Sooner) I recommend it to learn how to differentiate the devil's lies from God's Truth.
How to defeat this attack: Our best defense against these demonic attacks is the Word of God. Citing simple scriptures like, "I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, (Romans 3:22)" and "In Jesus' name, I rebuke you, Satan, (Zechariah 3:2)" are two of the most powerful things we can say to get them to run fast. If you don't know these two scriptures yet, memorize them. So that when these attacks come forth, you'll be ready for them. If you have to, write them down and keep them near you or on your phone. You'll be amazed at the results! 

2. Overwhelming Negative Feelings.

Depression and anxiety are two of the devil's favorite poisons. I'm not saying that physical-chemical imbalances don't exist, they absolutely do. And making sure we're as healthy as can be is crucial in spiritual warfare. However, I do believe that when an overwhelming presence of depression and anxiety befall us, especially when they come out of nowhere, can very much be the presence of the demonic. 

This is why we need to be extremely careful about what we expose ourselves to. If you haven't read my blog Cut Out the Darkness yet, I highly recommend it. Sometimes what we watch. listen and pay attention can lead us on a downward trajectory that the devil can take advantage of. Anything that makes you feel sad, afraid, worried, jealous, or dispairing, can be used by the devil to attack you. Be very careful about what you expose yourself to. 

Like I love to say, "Pay attention to what you pay attention to!"

Some of us think we can't control how we feel, but that's simply not true. We can. If we make the right decisions that align with God's Word, our feelings will catch up with our correct decisions and thinking. If we live like the rest of the world, exposing ourselves to the sin that controls the news and social media, we only become a bigger target for demons to creep in and take us over. 

How to defeat this attack: Repeat, "My God is on the throne. He is bigger than anything I'm feeling at the moment and anything that is happening right now. He is in complete control. In Jesus' name, I rebuke you Satan, for it is written, I know you are already defeated." (John 16:33). 

God is greater than our hearts and our feelings, He knows everything, and is above everything. (1 John 3:19-20). 

3. Close & Personal Attacks.

The devil and his minions love to attack our close and personal relationships. Anything to divide us and cause strife in our relationships with the people we love most. He loves it when we fight with each other, especially over right and wrong, sometimes even using scripture to divide us even more. The devil knows the Bible, and he knows it well. That's why we need to make sure that we know the Bible just as well to fight back against him and put him in his place. 

When Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, the devil threw everything he had at the Messiah. And what did Jesus do? He constantly fought back using scripture as His best defense, saying, "It is written..." over and over again to counter the devil's attacks. This is very important for us as believers to understand. This is how Jesus taught us how to defeat the devil. 
The devil would have especially loved it if the Son would have separated Himself from the Father. He would have loved to create the biggest division of all time. But nothing could separate Jesus from God. The love they have for each other is the greatest love of all. This may seem like an extreme example, especially when referring to us in our human relationships. But understand this, the devil would love to divide and take away the people who you most love. 

Spoiler alert: HE HATES YOU. He will use anything and everything to defeat you. Don't fall into his trap.
How to defeat this attack: Tell your loved one, "Even though we may disagree on this issue, I love you and I forgive us for our fighting, disagreements, and quarreling. No disagreement will ever separate my love for you. Just as God loves us unconditionally, I will love you." (1 Peter 4:8).

Side note, I'm not saying that staying in an abusive relationship is what God wants. Of course not. However, the majority of the time when we're dealing with our regular close family and friends, love and forgiveness are paramount. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love. And it gives the devil a black eye. Nothing defeats him like love and forgiveness do. The next time you fight with someone, remember how much you love them and ask yourself, is this disagreement worth it? Chances are, it isn't. 
Now that you know 3 ways you can be demonically attacked, I hope they will be easier to identify and defeat. Above all, let's love and forgive each other so the devil and his demons can't take root. Beware of strong, oppressive feelings that drag you down so the devil can take advantage. Be conscious of your thoughts, investigate every thought to make sure it's not coming from the Prince of Lies. Then, replace the devil's lies with God's truth. When you know who you are in Christ and remind him of it, the devil will flee from you. 
Our best defense is the Word of God. If all else fails... pray, and pray hard. Pray: God, please take these demons out of me, known and unknown. Make the devil shut up and leave me alone. In Jesus' name, Amen. When my own demons were too strong for me to defeat, God was the only One who could take them out. Believe that God can do anything with your whole heart. First, you believe, and then second, you see. This is the pinnacle of our faith

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post! You can follow on Instagram & Facebook too!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Special thanks to YouVersion for scriptures and links!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

23. Living a Spirit-Led Life - "Living in Light" Series

The Holy Spirit is our Guide and our Teacher. It was given to us by Jesus Christ to convict us of our sins and teach us how to be a true follower of Jesus, in every sense of the Word (pun intended). It was given to us to lead us on a Spirit-led journey, give us godly direction, and the grace to live a correct moral life full of love, joy, and peace.
But how do we hear from the Holy Spirit? How do we know it's the Holy Spirit speaking to us, and not just ourselves, or something else? How do we know we are being Spirit-led, instead of self-led?

The Holy Spirit can talk to you in many different ways. Some people say they hear It as a still small voice. Others say the voice might sound like themselves or someone familiar. Others say they are spoken to in signs, or dreams and visions. I do know that God speaks to every one of us in a unique way. He has a truly specialized way of speaking to us individually. This is what makes your relationship with God special. No two people hear from Him in exactly the same way. 

The most important thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit must align with the Word of God. If a voice is speaking to you that does not align with God's Word, then it is not the Holy Spirit that's speaking to you. This is why reading the Bible and knowing God's moral law is of utmost importance in recognizing the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit can only speak Truth because it is Truth.

If a voice is speaking to you that contradicts God's Word, it is coming from the devil. And even possibly coming from yourself, because you've been believing the devil's lies for a very long time. 

I used to believe the devil's lies all of the time. That negative voice that kept telling me I was never good enough. That voice that tempted me to indulge in whatever would make my flesh feel better. Or would seduce me constantly with the external validation of others, relying on people's compliments or comments to make me happy. 

It wasn't until I received the Holy Spirit after being born again, that I began hearing a different voice entirely. A voice that completely contradicted the devil's lies. The Holy Spirit told me I am good enough, and have always been good enough because of my right standing with Jesus Christ. A voice that led me to do what is right, not whatever made me feel good in any given moment. A voice that validated me beyond measure of whatever a human's compliment that may have only temporarily filled me with pleasure, but was always short-lived.  

The devil's lies only leave us wanting more, never feeling fully satisfied, and relying on the acts of others for our happiness. This simply does not work. However, the Holy Spirit fills us with abundancecompletely satiates us, and has us only relying on God's validation, because God's validation is the only thing that matters.
1. Receiving the Holy Spirit's Conviction.

I pray constantly for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to lead me on the right path, the narrow path, so I can become more like Christ as I follow Him. 

Let's be clear, conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, only condemnation comes from the devil. Conviction is the voice that tells us we made a mistake, but also tells us how to fix it, or gives us the grace to correct it. Condemnation also tells us we made a mistake but wants us to feel guilty about it, wallow in self-unforgiveness, so we can stay in bondage to sin. I talk much more about this subject in my previous post: 22. Freedom from Self-Judgment, I highly recommend reading it if you haven't read it yet. 

When we are convicted, it is our job to ask for forgiveness right away, then ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance on how to repent (change) and take the right steps in correcting our offense. We may not get this answer right away, but in my experience, we usually already know what we should have done and it's best to act in the morally correct way in alignment with God's Word.

Example: You know when you're exhausted after coming out of the grocery store, and you go to put your cart away, and there's no cart rack insight? Now your flesh might tell you that's okay to prop it up next to a lamppost, or in a garden median, or simply leave it in the parking lot, but you know deep down you should walk your cart all the way back up to in front of the store or where you originally got it from?

Whether you realize it or not, that's the Holy Spirit talking to you. It's not going to tell you to take the easy route and do whatever feels good at the moment. It's going to tell you to do what's right even if you don't feel like it! Usually, doing the right thing takes more work than doing the wrong thing. 

The devil wants us to be lazy, with a careless "whatever" attitude, but the Holy Spirit wants us to endure and perhaps even suffer for what is right, noble, and honorable because that's what Jesus would do. Pay attention to that voice that always says, "Do the right thing," that's the Holy Spirit! 

2. Do the Right Thing, Not the "Easy" Thing.

I'm telling you, I work sometimes in the grocery store parking lot. Not only putting my own cart away but putting other people's carts away too. Especially if I see a mother with two toddlers and a full pregnant belly! The Holy Spirit will convict me on the spot! But the peace and joy I get after putting her cart away, I'll tell you, it's second to none. I know for a fact that God is very happy with me at that moment. It is so worth it! 

That's why I want the conviction of the Holy Spirit because it makes my life better! It's not just a long list of rules and regulations that I need to be scolded with constantly, in fact, it is a liberation from my sins that releases unimaginable joy and peace that I have never known before. When you simply do what is right, your heart gets filled with God's love and He validates, appreciates, and even rewards you for your good behavior.
To have a truly Spirit-led journey, we must surrender ourselves to doing what's right. This is not always easy, but it is always worth it. And as we further our walk with Jesus, the Holy Spirit becomes louder and clearer in such a way that we can clearly distinguish who is really talking to us in our heads. And the narrower your path becomes, the more the Holy Spirit will speak to you!

The devil wants us to take the easy way so it keeps us dependent on him. The Holy Spirit wants us to completely depend on God. When we lean "not on our own understanding" and trust what the Holy Spirit is telling us, it will never lead us astray. (Proverbs 3:5).

3. Always Let the Spirit Be Your Guide. 

We have a lot of voices in our heads. Whether it's God, the devil, ourselves, and even other people. Constantly talking to us, even going to war in our minds that can steal our peace, and act out of our emotions. And emotions, are a tricky, tricky, thing. They are fickle, and can drastically change from one moment to the next. 

I'm not saying that emotions are always a bad thing, God wouldn't have given them to us if He didn't want us to feel things. But acting out of our emotions can be dangerous. When we only act about how we feel in any given circumstance, it does not mean we are making the right choices. In fact, the devil wants us to stay trapped in how we feel, giving way to our feelings in hopes we won't do what God asks us to do. 

That's why we need to clearly identify and recognize the Holy Spirit's voice and guidance. This is not always an easy thing to do. The devil is clever, and the longer I walk with God, the more clever the devil has become. He likes to use half-truths (John 8:44) sometimes to lead us astray. He'll say, "You're so tired today, you poor thing, don't do what you promised, take a nap instead." Clever, right? 

The truth is you may be tired, exhausted, and beyond worn out, but you know deep in your spirit, you should do as you promised, because that's the right thing to do. The devil likes to sometimes start with "the truth" then close the thought with a lie to reel us in. He wants us to surrender to our emotions and discard the real voice of truth, the Holy Spirit, that always knows better.
This is a constant learning journey, one where we will live and we will learn. When we are Spirit-led instead of self-led, we can take the proper moral steps and exhibit correct behavior, making our best-informed decisions possible. This does not mean we will always get the answers we want, nor does it mean it will make others happy. But that is the true essence of understanding the Holy Spirit! 

Sometimes we're told to do something we don't want to do. It's not always comfortable, easy, or what we feel like doing. And sometimes, our decisions won't make others happy. But doing what we feel like, and living our lives to please others, is not a Spirit-led life. (Acts 5:29). 

A Spirit-led life is one that's pleasing to God. His is the only opinion that should matter because it's the Truth.
Obeying the Holy Spirit from the depths of your heart will give you joy and peace. When you want to obey because of your profound love for God, you will feel what true love is

When you live your life according to the Holy Spirit's guidance, He will comfort you, provide for you, and nourish your true soul in a way no one else, and nothing else, can.

When we do what's right, God will reward us, if not just here on earth, but in heaven. Stockpile your rewards in heaven, for life here, is short-lived, but heaven will be for eternity. (Matthew 6:20). Would you rather do what you feel like doing now? Or would you rather know that what God can give you is better than anything else? 

Being Spirit-led is a gift from our Messiah. We should honor that gift out of our abounding love and gratitude for what He did for us, is doing for us, and will continue to do for us in the future. We should not obey with a "have to" mentality, we should obey with a "want to" spirit! When we do this, we are passionately saying, "We love You!" Being Spirit-led is the right way to live. Pray for the voice of the Holy Spirit in everything that you do and you will be amazed by the results!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post! You can follow on Instagram & Facebook too!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

22. Living Free from Judgment, Part II - "Living in Light" Series

Part II. Freedom from Self-Judgment

Are you too hard on yourself? Have you ever been accused of being a perfectionist? When you make mistakes, do you beat yourself up? Well, if you're anything like me, the above questions ring too true. Sometimes, I am way too hard on myself. I can nitpick every tiny flaw. And when I do make mistakes, I think, what was I thinking?

But here's some good news, when we know the Word of God, we can stop beating ourselves up, raking ourselves over the coals, and constantly feeling like a disappointment - like nothing we ever do is good enough. This bad way of thinking is called condemnation...  

Condemnation is what the devil uses against ourselves, to persecute and judge our every mistake. He constantly finds and points out our faults. He loves to remind us of everything we've done wrong. He wants to keep us trapped in our guilt. He wants us to feel bad all of the time. 

But God wants just the opposite...
When Jesus died on the cross for us, He set us free from condemnation. He took the punishment we deserved and gave us freedom, forgiveness, and His righteousness by believing in Him as our Lord and Savior - we are saved by grace through faith. 

So STOP punishing yourself for all your mistakes, sins, and trespasses. There's a big difference between condemnation that comes from the devil, versus conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Condemnation is what the devil uses to keep us trapped in our sins, but conviction is what God uses to stop sin. When we do make mistakes, and we will, we are to simply confess our sins to God, ask Him for forgiveness, and then ask for God's help to change, to repent. 

Don't get trapped in the devil's cage of condemnation! 

Here are 3 Things We Can Do to Help Us Live Free of Condemnation. 

1. Self-Forgiveness. 
The Bible says God forgives our sins, so why can't we forgive ourselves? Self-forgiveness is essential when it comes to living in freedom. We can forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. This does not mean that we don't learn from our past mistakes and change our ways. But constantly thinking about everything we've ever done wrong, will only pull us down, keeping us trapped in negativity, self-pity, and condemnation.

Joyce Meyer says, "We're not built for guilt." Guilt only puts us into a vicious cycle. When we feel guilty, we're doomed to repeat bad behavior. Because when we constantly punish ourselves, punishment can beat us up over and over again for the same mistake, only adding weight to the first offense. And when we're under the weight of all our mistakes, we can turn to any vice or comforter, which only compounds onto the initial sin. Suddenly we're in a downward spiral, adding sin upon sin.

Unforgiveness only comes from Satan, which leads to constant condemnation, judgment, and punishment. Forgiveness is a gift from God, a gift that we should freely give to anyone and to ourselves.
Remember, the devil wants to punish us and make us feel horrible for all we've done wrong so we will continue to do wrong.

But God wants us to accept His forgiveness through Christ, learn from our mistakes, and with His help, repent. When we forgive ourselves, we can cut loose our bondage to sin and truly change who we are. And with God's help, He will continue to cleanse us from our mistakes and renew us again and again. (1 John 1:9). 

2. Who We Are in Christ. 

When we realize who we are in Christ, we can begin to look at ourselves differently. For believers, since we have accepted Christ, we are clothed in His righteousness. This means when God sees us, He sees us as His loving, faithful children. He looks upon us with love, joy, and acceptance. He knows we will continue to make mistakes, but this in no way makes us horrible, broken, or not good enough. In fact, it's just the opposite. God sees us as good, healed, and more than good enough because of our right standing with Christ.
Okay, ladies... (and some guys too)... this means we really need to stop nit-picking our appearances. When we criticize our outward appearance, it only gives "the world" or the devil the right to do it too. When you constantly ridicule every little "flaw" or "imperfection" you think you might have, you're only listening to the devil. You are not listening to God. God thinks you are beautiful and wonderfully made. Why? Because He made you. Do not give into comparison and jealousy - this too is just another form of condemnation. (This might just have to become its own blog post!) 
Thirdly, the opposite of condemnation leads us to...

3. Self-Love through God.

I used to have a hard time with the entire concept of loving one's self. Thinking, isn't that narcissistic, self-indulgent, pride feeding ego? But when we truly know how much God loves us, it gives us permission to love ourselves in return. We hear John 3:16 all the time, but do we really understand what it means in-depth? It means that God loves us so much, in all our entirety, given all our faults, that He gave His only Son, to rescue us from our imperfection, sin, and death

I emphasize, HIS ONLY SON! God DID NOT have to do this. He could have just called it quits, scorched the earth, wiped us clean off the face of existence, but He gave the MOST PRECIOUS BEING IN ALL EXISTENCE just because He loves us! God gave us His favorite human ever. He made the ultimate sacrifice, putting Jesus through hell and back, because of His profound, deep, and never-ending love for us. 
So the next time you think about insulting yourself, think about how much God loves you and what He did for you. Think about what Jesus went through. When we ridicule, criticize, demean, and condemn ourselves, we are ridiculing and criticizing God's love for us. God doesn't think we're no good. He loves us fully and completely so we should love ourselves fully and completely too. Self-hate, ridicule, and self-punishment, are not what Jesus dies to give us. Learn how to think the way God thinks. Learn how to see yourself as God sees you. 

When we know that God forgives us for our sins, we can forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Even though we're not perfect, but that when we know that we're the righteousness of God in Christ, all that we should really concern ourselves with, is how we appear to God. Loving ourselves is not wrong, for God loves us, so learning how to love ourselves is simply doing what God already does for us. And if God can do this for us given His high standards, we can surely do it for ourselves. 

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Feel free to share with your friends & family! Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

15. From Persecuting Non-Believer to Full-Bore Preacher! - "Living in Light" Series

The story of the Apostle Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus) may be one of the most incredible human transformations ever. You take a strict Jewish Pharisee that believed in the slaughtering of Christians, that turned into the most dedicated, powerful missionary of the Christian faith, let me tell you, you've got something special.

He used to call himself, "the best Pharisee ever" (Philippians 3:4–6; Galatians 1:13–14), a self-proclaimed, egotistical title. However, after his encounter with Christ, he went on to say later, that he was "the best follower of Christ ever" (2 Corinthians 11:22–3; 1 Corinthians 15:9–10) all now by God's glory and grace.

Perhaps your following of Christ was similar to Paul's. Did a miraculous event cause you to go from not really believing in Christ to being a tried and true, full-bore believer?

As written in Galatians 1:15-16, "But when God, who had chosen me and set me apart before I was born, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him..."

What Paul goes on to say, is that it was a Divine Intervention that caused him to become a believer. It was more than just studying the Gospel or even the prior Apostles' influence that caused him to be one. It was a spectacular encounter with Christ that changed his perception, thus leading him to be one of the most awesome followers ever.

So awesome, that in fact, Paul wrote HALF of the New Testament! HALF!!

This goes to show you that God can and usually will use the most "unexpected" and "uncommon" people to work out His glory and His plan for the world.

Is this you? Are or were you an "unexpected" follower? Were you raised with another religion that expected you to always stay that religion? Was your experience that transformed you an "uncommon" experience? 

Paul was raised under the strict Mosaic Law and under the more strict Law of the Pharisees, believing that Christians should be stoned to death and wiped off the face of the earth. But once he literally saw the light he knew what his true path was and how to follow it!

There are people that think they are too far gone for Jesus to forgive them. (Thank you Husband, for this important point!) But what Paul's story teaches us is just the opposite.

Paul was a relentless persecutor of Christians, throwing even women and children in prison for their beliefs. Common "logic" would cause you to think, how could Jesus ever forgive someone like that? But that's just how great Jesus is. He knows our true calling as believers and no one is too far out of His reach.

Do you think you've done too many bad things for Christ to accept you? Do you think you don't deserve God's love?

Paul asked for forgiveness and repented. It's so simple.

God had a plan for you before you were born. He had a plan for Paul and we are blessed to have his words, directions and guidance all given by God's glory. Ask God what His true plan is for you and continually seek His guidance for God will never lead you in the wrong direction.

"God, help me be like Paul and seek to do Your will, walk Your path and live in Your light. For you always know the best way, so I will follow you till the ends of the earth. Amen."


And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

10. How I Became Born Again - "Living in Light" Series

Let's just start by saying I've tried it all. From positive psychology to meditating, to any new-age fad, to "The Secret" and so on. I'm not saying these things "can't work" because they do serve some purpose and did get me through some things.

But... (this is a big but...) when the going got rough, and then got rougher, and ever rougher than that, all those things literally got going.

They couldn't stand up to all the tests, tribulations, pain, suffering and sometimes what felt like pure torture that I was going through. It didn't hold up when I was going through hell, hitting rock bottom or nearly six feet under that.

When my family and I had decided to move halfway across the country mainly for my medical reasons, I thought the move was going to be the answers to all my prayers. I was finally going to get the help I needed from the best of the best.

But after we moved something interesting happened. My medical issues got worse, then worse, then worse than that. I found myself at a complete loss of how to handle it. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life was crumbling and there was no amount of "positive thinking" I could do to stop it.

I had always considered myself a Christian. What that meant back then or how I defined that wasn't always so clear. Let's just say I had believed in God and Jesus as the Messiah. Basically, I tried to do my best to be a good person based on my own standards and tried not to hurt others. But it's only until now, I realize that I didn't have a clue about what it meant to be a true Christian and live the life God had meant for me.

It was only until I was at the lowest point of my life that I came to fully surrender. Surrender every old way of thinking, surrender my perceived notions of the world and myself, surrender myself wholly and irrefutably to God in every way, shape and form. That is when He fully came into my heart and I finally began to heal.

Healing is a "dangerous word" when it comes to someone like me who has multiple chronic diseases. You don't hear it often and you'll never hear it come out of a doctor's mouth either. My old way of thinking told myself that I would never heal...

Chronic means forever. There is no way out. It will only get worse.

That is until God showed up, the ultimate Healer. After I fully let Him into my heart, I actually started to get better. What a thought! I was able to get off of highly addictive medications. My pain started to lessen day by day. I've started to actually reverse the damage that had been done to me physically over the course of ten years.

Every day I am truly getting better and better. I am the healthiest that I have ever been before.

It is truly a miracle.

And here's the thing, this is free to anyone. There is an open invitation to be healed. His hand is extended welcoming you to pure and otherworldly joy. First, we have to believe we can be healed by the Almighty, we have to receive Him and simply do His will. This may seem like a lot and we all can feel the desire to be skeptical, but we first have to believe and then we will begin to see. It's not the other way around.

I can honestly say I am finally being healed. Something I thought was completely impossible. But nothing, I repeat nothing, is impossible with God. He has opened my eyes and now I perceive myself, the world and everything in it in a way I never have before. I finally know I have found the path that was there for me all along. I simply had to start walking it.

There will be much more on this subject in future posts! Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on upcoming posts. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best! Listen to Him and He will never lead you astray.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

6. Let Go of the Past - Living in Light Series


This is a hard one. And I think the reason why it's so hard is that we have had 1. very happy memories and 2. powerful lessons that we've learned. We all have memories that can bring a smile to our faces instantly! And yes, we've all been through a lot that has taught us very valuable things about life.

Just like one of my favorite quotes says:


I think the danger lies very discreetly in the way we think about our pasts. I believe there is a tendency to compare our present moments to our pasts, especially as we get older. The stories we tell ourselves of "I remember when..." or "I looked so good when I was (this age)" can actually cause harm to our present-day outlook.

Constantly comparing our current situations to how we were or how things are now can steal our current happiness and peace. There's nothing wrong with remembering the good 'ol days. But whether or not we choose to admit it, we can become the stories we tell ourselves, either good or bad. So we have to be very careful! More on this in a future post*

Another reason why it's so hard to let go of the past is PAIN. Yes, it is a four-letter word. We have all been hurt by other people, by experiences, and even ourselves. We can tell ourselves the same stories in our heads over and over again. "This happened to me. It hurt like hell. I can't believe they would treat me that way." I used to do this all the time.

But finally, I had to say ENOUGH.

That broken record of everything that's happened to you is an album that needs to get retired and thrown in the trash! Those stories only make you a victim. Not a hero or heroine. That is the past dragging you back to where it wants you to be. Misery loves company and that includes the past!

If you truly want to be happy in the here and now, it's time to let go.

How do you do it? I know how! Let me tell you how to!

I'm going to say this loud and clear: The only way to let things go is through FORGIVENESS.

Think I'm joking? I'm really, really not. I have had to tattoo that word onto my brain. Permanently scar it into my psyche. Etch it into my conscience!

It's the only way, my friends. You have to forgive that person. That thing. And yourself. Over and over, and over, and over again. These are the tips 1, 2, & 3!

Does that person deserve forgiveness? Maybe not. But that doesn't matter. Do you really think by forgiving someone it gives them the power? It doesn't. Forgiving someone means "I'm taking back my power. I will no longer let you have any control of my thoughts, feelings and actions any longer. I forgive you. You are in my past. I'm letting it go."

This is so important. Nothing others do is because of you. It's because of them. Don't get caught up in their drama, their pain, their behavior. It has nothing to do with you.

Now, this is no way means that you have to let that person back into your life, especially if they are abusive. You do not deserve abuse and there is no way you should allow it in your life. By simply forgiving someone, you are taking back your power by no longer even giving them, or the situation, another thought or moment of your precious, short life.

There's the famous quote or some variation of it: “In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” - Anne Lamott

Not forgiving someone is only going to continue to hurt you.

Secondly, can you forgive an experience? This is a little trickier. Unfair things happen. Life goes wrong, sometimes it seems like for no apparent reason. Maybe you have chronic pain, like me. Maybe you even have cancer. Maybe you just got smashed into by a car this morning. Sometimes things don't make sense.

I've learned that you have to forgive your experiences just like you would forgive another person. One way to do this is to acknowledge that we shouldn't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of us and the tragedies that befall us are not punishment for our behavior either. This knowledge comes from Don Miguel Ruiz and "The Four Agreements" something I highly recommend.

For a long time, I thought that I had done something wrong to deserve chronic pain. Now I can't believe I ever thought that. Did a baby born with brain cancer do something wrong? Did a man walking across the street that got hit with a car, do something wrong? No... and neither did I.

Forgive every bad thing that has ever happened to you. If you have to, write it down. There is something magical that happens when you do this. All of a sudden your past will start losing its grip, its power. You can take back your story. You are not what has happened to you. You are so much more powerful than that.

Now thirdly, there are times when we DO have to forgive ourselves. We have all made mistakes. Said things we shouldn't of. We have hurt other people. It doesn't mean that we did this on purpose. Most of the times we didn't. That's why forgiveness is so important. Just like most of the time, other people didn't hurt you on purpose either. It was just a by-product of their actions and perspective.

When we don't forgive ourselves, we can't let go of the past.

Guilt is an extremely dangerous emotion. It can lead to alcoholism, overeating, and even suicide among many other harmful things. The lessons that we learn throughout our lives are very important, yes! But does that mean we are supposed to rake ourselves over the coals again and again for it? Are we supposed to torture ourselves with the would've, should've, could've for the rest of our lives? No.

The past is gone. Let's learn the lessons but then, move on!

Maybe you think you've done something unforgivable and that's a very unfortunate way to think. What has helped me so much is picturing Jesus Christ, on the cross, in unbelievable pain, and still finding the strength to say, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." This is so true. Everyone and everything can be forgiven, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and in your heart of hearts, strive to do better next time.

To live in light, we must forgive others, our experiences and ourselves. It's the only way we will find true peace and happiness in the present moment. And the present moment is all we have.

Thank you so much for reading & make sure to subscribe at: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the latest posts! Have a wonderful day!