Relationship with the LORD Comes First

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:30

As we’ve discussed, the key to overcoming any distraction is to anchor our value and worth in God. The block in our ability to have an intimate relationship with Him is often found in our false belief systems (worth equals perfect, body equals worthy) and our inability to receive the truth in who we are and applying it to our daily lives and choices.

Most of the struggles we face are related to one or all the following breakdowns in relationship: A relationship breakdown with God, A relationship breakdown with ourselves, or a relationship breakdown with others.

We need to restore our relationship with God first and foremost, because from Him all things flow. To restore our identity in who God says we are takes intentional work and daily practice of renewing our minds. It takes saying scripture out loud during our struggles because faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). From our restored identity in Christ, we learn how to love ourselves as children of God Relationship with God comes First and come to a place of awe and humility. This approach allows us to be taught by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26)

What Does It Look Like

As we’ve talked about a bit today, we need to take our thoughts captive and present them to God. To practically do this during your day we should become aware of all the thoughts that come into our minds. As we pay attention to them, we will begin to notice the thoughts that are toxic or stuck in an obsessive thought pattern that increases our anxiety, anger, agitation« We need to take our thoughts to God. and we will begin to be able to present them to God and ask for His guidance. For example, when we are thinking negatively about ourselves or another person, we need to stop the obsessive thought and pray. Father please help me see ____ like you do. Open my mind and heart and reveal to me what the root issue is within me causing me to act in such a way. Then listen for Him to guide you in your healing. The number one most important thing is that you don’t continue to allow yourself to think the negative thoughts for a second longer.

Speak truth about the person, situation or yourself (I am a daughter of the king of the universe. ___ is a son/daughter of God and is dearly loved. I will also show love and understanding.) there are so many different examples of how to capture your thoughts and at the end of each section I’ve given some examples of what I do. I encourage you to take the time right now to write down a common toxic thought(s) you have and write down the truth about the situation and pray that the Holy Spirit reveals to you the pain behind your feelings, actions and reactions.

For me, the root cause to my toxic thoughts is feeling a lack of love and fear of rejection if I let my guard down and fully love others without any fear of being hurt/rejected. With each teaching from the Holy Spirit and keeping in step with Him, He is healing this brokenness within me and teaches me ways to quickly take my thoughts captive and learn to trust in His plans more than hurt or rejection. This is what you’ll learn too as He uncovers the roots in your thought pattern that need healing and you’ll be taught how to quickly take our thoughts captive because the Word of God is written on our hearts.

Then, we take that same truth and apply it to others, even our enemies. We have all been dry bones that need life spoken over us. (Ezekiel 37:1-14) From an identity deeply rooted in God, we will no longer be distracted by this world, our health, worth, and identity. It will be increasingly resorted into its true beauty the more we step into truth.

Each day we get to practice stepping into obedience fueled by love for the Lord our God that flows from all of our heart, soul and strength, to love ourselves according to his love for us and to apply that same love and mercy to everyone around us.

Our purpose for life is simple. We are to know God better than we know anyone, we are to let His word and truth transform us into His likeness so that we can make Him known to the world around us.

As we’ve discussed at the end of each section, we must spend time meditating on truth, taking our thoughts captive all day long and speaking out the Word of God. So, the number one thing to do in life is GET IN YOUR BIBLE!

Don’t worry about where to start or how to know what to read, first begin to renew your identity, google has been my best friend in my journey to renew my relationship with God and myself. In this study I’ve provided some of my favorite verses that I use to help renew my mind, but maybe they don’t hit the spot for you, or you have other struggles you’re facing and you need specific verses for your battles – search it: “bible verses about____” I promise you God always gives us a way out and His word is where we need to go. Word of caution though – always read the full chapter, learn about the context a bit and see the message around each passage – You’ll be amazing at what God will reveal to you.

Another key tip, before you dive into the Word, pray that God opens your heart and your mind, put your sins at His feet and forgive those who have hurt you. Pray that He gives you understanding, perspective, and that His Word seeps into every place of your body, mind, soul and transforms the way you think and live. Bringing you closer to Him in relationship and making you a new creation with new default responses that are of God not of this world.

We need to separate ourselves from our sin, forgive ourselves and receive the forgiveness from Jesus’ work on the cross. When we are anchored in Jesus and who we are in Him we begin to live for an audience of ONE. We stop striving to meet the expectations of ourselves, others, the world… and we start to love again. We put on the robe of righteousness that we have as God’s chosen people and we live knowing that we’re dearly loved, created for a purpose, chosen, and that no matter what comes our way – God, the God who created the universe, chose us for today, for a purpose, for these circumstances … all to grow us and mature us into His likeness so that we can walk in the fullness of our destiny.

One of my favorite books put fear and worries into a great visual image. She said trying to gain approval and love is like trying to get into a chair you’re already sitting in. It’s comical to think about, but let that image help you walk in the approval of God every day. With mind renewal and repentance, we will begin our journey with God as He heals us from the inside out through sanctification. As we co-operate with God and His righteous and protective law we will find that, even though sin will always be part of our broken world, you’ll begin to sin less because of the overflow of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and is going before you, putting scripture in the place of the lies and pains that come our way.

We can live under the truth of who we are in Christ, so that we can live obediently and without excuse. We can live knowing that, even in our trials, all things really are pure joy because in the tough stuff, God says He is allowing this to transform us further so that we don’t remain like this world, but live as set apart for Him in the midst of the storms. This is a way that people will see Him. Let’s stop trying to fit in here on this earth. We are sojourners who belong in His kingdom and we can live that way here by the way we treat our time, our resources, our bodies, our worth, others Let’s allow God to be in his rightful position in our lives as the head so that we blossom, mature, and live abundantly.

As a believer and follower of Jesus, John 8:36 says we are free, and we must believe this verse as 100% true! I believe that too often we think the chains that weight us down are locked and we’re trapped, but if we’d just stand up, speak the truth out loud we’d realize that Jesus already broke those chains for each of us.

We’re no longer a slave to fear, but a free and adopted daughter of God. I think it’s time we live like we’re free, don’t you?!

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