Trees of Righteousness (Part 2)
Romans 11:16 “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.”
If I were talking in front of you, I would challenge each one reading to ask this question of yourselves, What is your area of weakness? What is your stronghold? Usually every person has one or two things that are areas of weakness, areas that seem to get us down through life over and over. However, we do not have to live in bondage to these strongholds. We can allow GOD to uproot those chains in our lives and sometimes it can be painful.
A. Strongholds MUST be uprooted!
The next thing that we must do is the one that I want to study more in depth for this lesson and that is Focus.
Now we know from Ephesians 6 that all strongholds begin in the mind. They all begin with a thought. Satan knows that so that is why he always attacks our minds first. Here is the process.
Thought produces a
Habit…produces a Stronghold.
Every addiction the same no matter what it is that you are addicted to, it always starts with a thought and it gets exalted above everything else because of the great focus that we have allowed our minds to give it. That is why the Apostle Paul wrote in
Philippians 4:8 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Mr. Paul understood that a strong hold or addiction is a mental obsession. It starts in the mind. Therefore if we get our minds under subjection to The HOLY SPIRIT then we will begin to exalt JESUS CHRIST and HE will rule our minds, otherwise the devil will get us to exalt other things and they will become gods or idols to us, and he doesn’t care what it is, as long as it will hold us and keep us from lifting up JESUS CHRIST is the truly worthy. I thought about some of the strongholds that he will use. They are:
The list goes on and on. What is sad that most of these things, Christians don’t want to talk about them! But we need to be informed and aware of what is going on around us, and the things that plagued us in the past has grown more and more and is now accessible to our young. With technology the world is changing…there are new evils out there after us, our children, and our grandchildren. It is a cold hard fact. I was appalled to see this in the news that happened some months ago.
January 2011, in Oakland California, two second graders were caught in sexual acts together…2nd GRADERS! That is ages 6 and 7 years old. I still can hardly believe it. What is happening in our world that children those ages are engaging in such activity or even know what it is! We have to be careful what we are allowing our children to view on television, what music they are listening to and what their minds are being subjected to. Think about the commercials on TV and in magazine ads. They are terrible. They are sending messages to our children and we are so immune to it, we just go on as if it is harmless and it is eating away at us morally and spiritually. Shame on us for allowing our world to become as it has! GOD help us.
It is our responsibility to restrict what goes into the minds of our children and into our own minds. Be VERY careful what programs are allowed in your home through TV and internet connections. Monitor your children. You and I will stand before GOD for how we raised them. It is our great responsibility. I was at a person’s home once, and there was a kids channel on TV and the two boys very young sit watching. It was a show about a singing contest. These young girls, around 13 or 14 years old got on the stage to sing, and they were singing lyrics that were very inappropriate and dancing in a very provocative way, I was embarrassed. I went into another room and the parents never did anything. The children were allowed to continue watching. Sadly now I wish I myself had said something. Even though it was not my house or my children, still I should have been more bold and took a stand against it. If it ever happens again, I will.
We are so used to seeing such things, it starts to seem innocent…but it plants a seed!
Then before you know it our children are older and they go online if not monitored and begin searching for images of pretty girls on the internet, then it escalates to pretty girls in bikinis and then it goes on more and more until there is an addiction and our children go on in shame unable to talk about it and live their lives in a strong hold of sexual addiction. Pornography addiction is at an all time high in our world. Women have been turned in the minds of so many people as objects of desire rather than human beings with minds and feelings.
I began looking at some statistics for this. Here are ones that I found from the year 2003, and it has gotten worse I’m sure of it. This is for Christian people. Which is very sad.
Statistics for Pornography Addiction
"The statistics say that 50 percent of Christian men have an addiction to pornography.
20 percent of Christian women have an addiction to pornography.
47 percent of families say pornography is a problem in their home.
37 Percent of Pastors admitted that they struggle with pornography addiction.
Pornography Time Statistics 2003
Usually addictions of this sort…grow more and more wicked…it escalates! What are we placing our focus on? The numbers do not lie. How sad this is. We have to help those who are hurting from this. They have to know that there is freedom. Satan would have us to believe that our sexual feelings are need, but they are not a need dear ones, it is a desire, not a need. Satan has perverted something that GOD created for a man and his wife and has used it to get people so in bondage that it seems impossible to ever climb out of that pit. Satan is a liar, in CHRIST there is freedom!
We must focus and teach those that are in addictions to focus MORE on what GOD’S word says about our addictions than the actual action itself. If we make up our minds that we are going to begin to eat more healthy, but then we sit around all day thinking of junk food and candy, we are sitting ourselves up for failure. The more you dwell on those thoughts, the most likely you are going to give in to the temptation, we are weak on our own without The HOLY SPIRIT leading us, but with HIM, we can bring those thoughts under captivity to HIM and focus more on HIM lifting HIM higher than our desires of the flesh! Praise The LORD…there’s victory in CHRIST JESUS!
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through GOD to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of GOD, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Demolish those thoughts with GOD’S word!
Jeremiah 23:29 Is not MY WORD like as a fire? Saith The LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
The weight of GODS Word and HIS TRUTH will crush those strongholds in our lives!.
Now what we can do, is to first identify our own specific strongholds and then spend some time in prayer and going in GODS WORD to find verses that refer to our specific need. Trust me, no matter what addiction you have, GODS Word has something that will speak to it, but you have to be willing to take the time in prayer and research in The Scriptures. If you are new at studying GODS Word ask HIM for help, HE will guide you.
1 Corinthian 2:16 “For who hath known the mind of The LORD, that he may instruct HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.”
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of GOD.”
Ask yourself What is the root of my problem/ addiction? Spend sometime paying attention to how we are feeling just before we do the addictive action!
Were you feeling Fear, Insecurity, Loneliness, and Jealousy? What made you want to run and do the addictive thing that makes your flesh feel better for a moment? When you identify the root of the problem, then you can begin to pray GODS Word of those scriptures you researched over it! It will be demolished!
Now this will take some time and patience but if you will continue in the obedience of GOD, you will begin to be free from it.
When a battle has been long and hard…we will understandably get tired with it. We are human. That is why 1 Peter tells us to put our burdens upon JESUS.
1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all our cares upon HIM for HE cares for you.”
HE NEVER GETS TIRED!
Now we have conversational prayer to GOD everyday, but also we need to Pray GODS Word! When we are been fighting a battle as hard as we can, and the storm is still raging and the night is long. That is when we really need to pray GODS word over our situation and by doing that we are laying that burden on HIS shoulders, and HE is able to carry it.
I love the verses in Psalm 18 and I urge you to read it. When we stand alone in darkness and we cry out to HIM, He will come to our rescue every time! HE is our refuge, our rescue, our comfort and our strength. We can do all things through CHRIST who is our Strength! (Philippians 4:13)
Psalm 18:6-20 “ 6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.”
When we are surrounded by darkness, and we call out to HIM, and HE puts HIS arms around us…the darkness disappears and we are safe. We can go on because HE is carrying us through the storm. Praise The LORD. GOD comforts us even when we don’t realize it! HE IS FAITHFUL! Will you be faithful in return? The choice is ours.
Dear Righteous Heavenly Father,
I bow to YOU once more thanking YOU for YOUR LOVE and MERCY. LORD You are worthy to be praised. I ask YOU today to help us to abide in YOU and to grow and stand tall as trees of righteousness bearing much fruit for Your glory. Help us to get our thoughts under subjection to YOUR HOLY SPIRIT and bring down the things that lord over us. We want only YOU to lead us and be our GOD. You are the ONE and ONLY! Help us to cast our burden on YOU because You are strong enough to carry them. Thank YOU that through YOU we can do all things, no matter how hard they seem. Help us to run to our mountains and proclaim how Big and powerful You are. They are only hills, flat places in comparison to how great YOU REALLY ARE. Help us keep our focus on YOU instead of the things of this world. Help us to worship and love you as we should and as you deserve. You are faithful and You are worthy. In Your name we pray and believe by faith. Amen.
August 28, 2011