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When All My Strength Has Failed

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140918131138-leicester-skeletons-1-horizontal-large-galleray (2)Chapter Three: Gaining a New Perspective, part I

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord raises up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous (Psalm 146:8, NAS).”

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed (Luke 4:18, NAS).”

 

Definition of Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Definition of Surrender: cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. Synonyms: forsake, deny, stand down, resign, disclaim, relinquish, forgo, cede, abandon, concede, yield, submit, relent, renounce, abdicate, transfer

 

Graham Cooke said, “Obstacles are a part of life. There is often no way to avoid them. However, there is a way to change our perspective so they can be used to our advantage.” Everything we do hinges on our perspective of what’s happening to us, for us, against us and around us. It is common knowledge that, with every action, there is a reaction. How we respond to things around us is always based on what we perceive is happening, be it good or bad.

For example, when my first husband left me with a note on the coffee table, I perceived it as the worst thing that could possibly happen to me. I was raised that Christians do not divorce, no matter what. Even though he had cheated, lied, mocked, neglected, shunned, and altogether broke our covenant vows in every conceivable way, I deemed his departure as a negative. I cried, and cried and cried and cried some more. I begged him to come home and be the man he was supposed to be. I willingly forgave him and was willing to put it all behind us.

When he did not comply, I began tail-spinning into a dark, sad, lonely, angry, desperate place for the better part of seven years, to which I refer as my “seven years of rebellion”. I slept with men not my husband, cussed like a sailor, I spoke harsh words to a long-time friend, and couldn’t stop pretending I was fine. Because I couldn’t see the grace of God causing him to leave, I couldn’t properly respond. My eyes were blinded and I blamed everyone except the culprit: me.

Yes, he did horrible, despicable things but, had I initially sought the face of God, I wouldn’t have married him. Looking back, the signs were evident. I simply refused to acknowledge them. If I could have perceived God’s voice prior to marriage, the marriage would not have happened; hence I would not have experienced undue pain and suffering. It is only when we seek God’s vision in each situation of life that we are able to see as He sees so as to respond according to the Spirit instead of according to the flesh.

Once I returned to and resigned my whole life to Christ in 2000, I began a new, fresh journey with Christ as I had never known or experienced. I began to see that, even though I had made a huge mess of my life due to poor decisions, God’s promise to “turn all things for good for those who love Him” was for me personally. Instead of trying in my own strength to “pick up the pieces,” I was fully able to leave all the pieces behind me and allow Christ to make a whole new me. The old pieces were not required and certainly me having to “pick up” anything of the old was not necessary.

Understanding this, my decisions, little by little, began to morph into something new, something altogether other-worldly. My discernment sharpened and continues to do so today. Every time I need to make a decision and I don’t readily know what to do, I rest in Christ and wait. I allow Him to show me what to do when the time comes.

In the worst circumstances, in the weakest places of life, before you do anything, ask God to grant you His vision, His perspective, and His will so as to go forward in His strength. A changed perspective will change the course of your life because it will change how you respond to everything. When you surrender your fleshly, natural, limited vision to the Holy One, you’ll be amazed at how darkness will be turned to light!

When All My Strength Has Failed

Alexys V. Wolf

 

When All My Strength has Failed

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“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41, NAS).”

“And those being in the flesh are not able to please God (Romans 8:8, NAS).”

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)

“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word (Psalm 119:28, NAS).”

***

The fleshly nature of every human ever to walk the Earth is the same: it wants what it wants and it is weak in every way. One person may appear better than another, but rest assured, all flesh is unholy, unrighteous and is weak even when it appears the most powerful and strong. Galatians spells out the evidence of the flesh:

  1. sexual immorality
  2. impurity
  3. sensuality
  4. idolatry
  5. sorcery
  6. enmity
  7. strife
  8. jealousy
  9. fits of anger
  10. rivalries
  11. dissentions
  12. divisions
  13. envy
  14. drunkenness
  15. orgies
  16. things of like nature

There isn’t a moral enough person on the planet that has not, at some point, operated in at least one of the evidences of the natural man. Because of the rampant weaknesses of the flesh, why would anyone assume they have the power to be strong enough to overcome temptations, weaknesses, or tribulations? Strength is not a part of the flesh, contrary to popular belief. We’re taught to be strong, be tough, as though the flesh can possibly (in and of itself) muster enough power to endure the pitfalls of this condemned, Satan-run world.

Sure, it can definitely have the appearance of strength; after all, it also has the appearance of life even though Jesus crucified the nature of the flesh of all mankind. The Bible tells us we have all been crucified into Christ’s death (all are dead in sin), but not all are resurrected in the life of Christ. The flesh is so weak that, in fact, the first people created in God’s image lived in utopia and still could not control the desires of wicked, weak flesh. There, Adam and Eve stood with power to subdue the entire Earth, but that wasn’t enough. The fleshly nature, at the first sight of temptation, longed for more and purposed to take what it desired even though death was their fate.

We should never be surprised at the ultimate frailty of our flesh because, at it’s core, it can’t be anything else. So, yes, we can have the outward façade of strength; just don’t be astounded when it suddenly crumbles under the pressures of this life. Christ is our only hope, our only strength, our only possible solace in time of trouble. Throughout this book, I have inserted several passages from my first book, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam had to Die, because the topic at hand is in direct correlation to dying to the flesh.

Chapter 2, When All My Strength has Failed

Encouragement for Parents with Chronically Ill Children

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“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (I John 4:1).”

 

One of many issues with having a chronically ill child is feeling bad about questioning their diagnosis and/or prognosis. I have questioned every single doctor at some point in time. Many people struggle with this because they feel as though, because the physician has the education, they can never be incorrect in their analysis. I say to you, “Always question everything!” No one is perfect and no doctor knows everything. I accept nothing at face value because the Word of God demands we test every spirit, bar none.

I am a firm believer in being proactive. Some of the confidently stated diagnoses in the world were 100% inaccurate. People across the globe have received death sentences and lived to tell the story of their miraculous recovery proving their doctor’s prognosis incorrect. God always has the final say. Do your research. Leave no table unturned. The person who takes the best care of a child is the one who loves them the most; more often than not, it’s their parents. We who are in Christ must place our faith in God, conduct spiritual warfare and do our homework. You are the one paying the doctor’s salary; hence, you have the right as well as the responsibility to ask pertinent questions.

Personally, I deem it irresponsible to blindly take a doctors word because that renders their word as gospel. If I had not questioned Sophia’s pediatrician, she’s be in a much worse situation today. I had to get her to the right people who would acknowledge what is seen as well as what I know as a mother. No one knows your child better than you because you live with and care for them day in and day out. No one else witnesses all you encounter daily. If a doctor attempts to intimidate you when you inquire, do not back down. Doctors who are worth their crust don’t mind questions and, in fact, welcome them.

Additionally, even if you recognize what the doctor is saying is accurate, speak the promises of God over them instead of the problem at hand. Just because the diagnosis may be right in the moment, God can turn it around. Speak life over your child and not death; speak wellness over them and not illness. For example, I can be in conversation with someone and respond to their questions, “Currently, Sophia has a condition of _____________.” But I will continue with confidently speaking, “But I know it isn’t forever. I know God has a perfect plan and purpose for her life and I fully expect it to manifest in the days to come. What Satan has devised for evil, God will turn for her good.” Now, I may not say those exact words, but you get my meaning. Always speak life, never death because words are potent, they are fiercely powerful. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Test the spirit from which you are speaking. If it’s negative, full of doubt, depression, or anything of the like, it is not of Holy Spirit.

In fact, I purpose, though I falter occasionally, never to vocalize how arduous this is lest I find myself drifting into depression, sorrow and self-pity. I cannot stress enough that our words matter. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you if you have surrendered your life to Christ. Allow your focus to be on God instead of the circumstances and your words will follow suit.  

 

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”

Encouragement for Parents with Chronically Ill Children

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One of the issues with having a chronically ill child is dealing with discouragement, theirs and ours. As parents, it is our responsibility and privilege to continuously encourage our children no matter how exhausted we are. We are not allowed to speak negatively as that helps no one. Certainly, we all have bad days, but we must focus on who God is, how God is, His promises and on “whatsoever is good” as instructed in Philippians 4:8. For me personally, I definitely have discouraging days; those where Sophia has had a few really good days and then, bam, she can’t get out of bed because of some infection that hit her from nowhere. With confidence, I know that, if you are a parent or guardian of a chronically ill child, you get discouraged. It is our reasonable responsibility to God, ourselves and our child to locate in our lives whatsoever is good, true, honorable, etc. Believe me, it’s present, we must simply try with a bit more effort than others to find it. We must get our eyes off our circumstances and place them where they belong – on Christ and His Kingdom and what God has to say about the matter.

If your child is still breathing, it’s a good day. If they can get out of bed, it’s a good day. If they can actually attend school, spend some time with a friend or someone with whom they can share some laughter, it’s a good day. We must each find our place in Christ where we are so confident He is sovereign, kind, loving and attending to our needs according to His riches in glory that we do not allow ourselves to be swallowed by the spirit of depression, anxiety, or some form of disillusionment. As for me, I can honestly say, it takes a lot, a whole lot, to discourage me. This is only because I keep my focus on Christ, His Kingdom promises, as well as recalling all I’ve ever experienced with Him in times past. I remind myself of things He has spoken to me, directly or indirectly. I recite the Word in my inner man so that all the negativity of the current day does not overwhelm me. I deal with today today because tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. I choose this because it is healthy (spiritually and physically), I choose it because it is good, I choose it because it is right, and I choose it because I must be an example of faith to my kid as well as onlookers.

Over the years, I have had a few people play the blame, guilt, shame and condemnation game, to which I refuse to participate. It’s from those uber-spiritual folks who are certain they could do better than I and that her illness is all my fault; they love to stir discouragement. I have heard, “You must not be praying right”, “you must have hidden sin”, “you must be speaking the wrong things”, “you must be entertaining demons”, “you must be a hypocrite since you’re a minster and believe in supernatural healing yet your kid is still sick” and much more of the like. These are those who believe that, if healing doesn’t come when or how they believe it should, it must be the parents’ fault.

Those words, if I allowed, would discourage and crush me to my core. But, because I am grounded firmly in my identity in Christ knowing I’ve done everything spiritually of which I am biblically aware, those words wash over me like water off a duck’s back. Believe me, I have questioned myself every which way – all these things crossed my mind at some point.

Parents, if you know who you are in Christ, if you know who Christ is in you, if you walk in accordance to His Word, and have surrendered yourself and your situation to Him, know that God will take everything Satan means against you for evil and turn it, one day, for your good, the good of your child, and the good of the Kingdom of God. Do not allow discouragement to overtake you because it benefits no one. Encourage yourself in God’s Word and His promises. In this, you won’t have to force positivity when around your child; it’ll flow freely from a genuine heart of love, faith and hope.

Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren (parents), whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Strategic Foe, Strategic God, part III

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Yes and Amen!

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (II Corinthians 1:20, NKJV).”

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:17-18, NAS).”

Though we are pressed on every side, though we experience sorrows and disappointments of various kinds, we will not be distressed because we know we are one with a God who will not be mocked. God’s wisdom as stated in James 3 allows us to remain at peace in the innermost part of our being. I heard such peace likened unto a deep well. The various storms such as hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, and blizzards will cause ripples, even waves, at the top of the well’s water, but in it’s deepest part, its core, it knows nothing of the storm.

The heart of the well is the same as our peace that passes all understanding. Though the storms of life cause topical tossing and turning, turbulence and wounds, our spirit, our inner man, remains undisturbed. Knowing the nature of our amazing God and walking in His wisdom allows such untouchable peace.

From the beginning, God strategically planned every move He made from materializing the physical from the spiritual, creating Lucifer knowing he would defect, creating Adam and Eve knowing they would fall prey to temptation, all the way to your present situation and beyond. He knows who will die young, who will faithfully remain in the Vine, who will fall away like an exposed seed in the hot sun, and who will flourish in the Earth expanding the Kingdom of God through faith and obedience.

God’s strategy is for you to know His plans through knowing His heart for (the opposite of against) you. You may not always know specifically what He’s doing, but you can trust that, whatever it is, no matter how difficult the situation, He is for you, always and forever. Operating in God’s wisdom will always conquer fiery black hole experiences no matter the external damage they may inflict. Stand in the promises in the evil day and, having done all, stand (Ephesians 6:13). This is core (Spirit to spirit) instruction. God’s heavenly wisdom is a crucial element in the armor of God. His promises are YES and AMEN!

Navigating the Fiery Black Holes of Life, chp 2, part 3

to be released fall of 2016

Alexys V. Wolf, author

www.thefierysword.com

thefierysword@windstream.net

 

Strategic Foe, Strategic Foe, part II

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All Things are Finished:

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, “It is finished” and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:30, NAS).”

“…His works were finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3, NAS).”

Since all things were in fact finished before the foundation of the world, we too must see everything as does He. Our future is already our past, at least from God’s perspective. What is to be has already been. This is how God sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10); He literally sees the end of it before it has begun. Every trial, every heartache; every victory, every triumph – it is all finished. Our purpose is to call the things that are not as though they already are as did Abraham (Romans 4:17) and we do this by walking as one in love with Yeshua and, in such love, walk in total surrendered obedience.

This doesn’t mean we are oblivious to the things we see in the natural but we are to see that and beyond into the spirit realm according to God’s great and powerful promises. Abraham said that he recognized his natural body was as good as dead, but then he went further by accounting the promise that God made: that he would be the father of many nations, as many as the grains of sand. Yes, his body was physically too old to conceive, but because of what God had declared, he kept the faith that the promise would indeed manifest. Awesome! Seeing as does God, we will cease giving the enemy, no matter how strategic, any credit for his attacks because we will know that only God can give permission and therefore God is the one creating everything (darkness and calamity, Isaiah 45:7).

Knowing that God is strategic and so must we be, we can be so only through becoming one with His Spirit and operating in His wisdom from Heaven. In any given crisis, though we feel pain and agony of many shades, we can’t ignore what we see in the natural. But then it is imperative to go beyond that into the spirit realm recognizing the supernatural hand of God. When we know the strategies of God, we will confidently know:

  1. God defeated Satan before he was created so our foe is a dead thing
  2. We have defeated Satan through replacing our life with the life of Christ
  3. We who walk in accordance to the righteousness and promises of God (not whatever we want) have the power and authority to call the things that are not as though they already were just as did Abraham
  4. We can utilize the proper tools to be victorious in any and every black hole experience that comes our way.
  5. Because of God’s completed work before the foundation of the Earth, we realize that we are fighting from victory, not for victory

 

Navigating the Black Holes of Life, chapter 2, part 2

Alexys V. Wolf

Release date, Fall 2016

http://www.thefierysword.com

 

Strategic Foe, Strategic God

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“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation (I Peter 4:12-13, NAS).”

Satan, Divisive and United:

Definition of Divisive: tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people

Definition of United: joined together for a common purpose; mutual action

We have a very strategic foe, Satan, and his sole mission is to destroy mankind. This is his mission because God, through Jesus, removed Lucifer’s authority in the Earth and gave it to mankind. God loves us; therefore, Satan hates us as he always despises that which God loves. He hates us, not because we love God, but because God loves us. Furthermore mankind, unlike Lucifer, was created in God’s image.

Never forget the cunningness of Satan. Just look at the division and derision within the body of Christ with his divisiveness permeating through the spirit realm. He isn’t stupid and neither is he unaware of the natural or the supernatural. He was first in command next to God which means he was “in the know.” He is fully versed in the written Word because he stood by God Himself and in fact, he is bar none, the greatest theologian because of such closeness with the Almighty.

We read in Ezekiel 28 that he was seated on the high mountain of God, he was in the Garden of Eden prior to Adam and Eve and he was full of wisdom. Wisdom does not elude the devil (corrupt though his wisdom may be) but indeed, he uses that wisdom against the foolishness of unsuspecting people. He destroys us because we are ignorant and vastly foolish. Most get a sliver of God and think they know how to overcome in this world with that tiny fragment of God’s Word. Our ignorance and, dare I say laziness, is our downfall.

This isn’t to insult anyone but to state as simply as possible what should be obvious to us all. Hosea 4:6 is well known as it states that God’s people perish for ignorance (lack of knowledge) and it is so because we have rejected (ignored, forsaken, forgotten, neglected) the law (will) of God. The majority aren’t clueless on purpose, but it’s because we haven’t been properly taught how to walk in His provision, Word or love. In our ignorance, Satan has a foothold into our lives even though we have, through Christ, been rescued from such a perverse generation. Once we recognize our error, we can correct our destruction and become the overcomers Christ has accommodated us to be.

Matthew 10:16 clearly instructs, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Why does God instruct us in such a way? Serpents, or in other words, the serpent, Lucifer, has so much wisdom that if we don’t tap the wisdom from above on purpose, we are all as lambs who will be led into anything and everything. We must receive God’s wisdom through His Spirit which requires intimacy with Him day in and day out – no breaks in communion.

When we are praying without ceasing (constant communication with God), we are able to have His mind, wisdom, knowledge, and discernment downloaded into us without measure. In this, as we are led by such Spirit who is all wisdom and the epitome of innocence, we will by default become “wise as a serpent, innocent as doves.” It will no longer be something we must muster from within ourselves, but something that happens in and through us supernaturally by allowing Christ’s life to become our own. Yes, Satan is strategic, but he learned from the Master of strategy!

Never neglect the fact that Satan’s kingdom is undivided, a crucial element in success or defeat. Luke 11:18 makes this obvious when Jesus says, “If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.” The reason God’s people are falling prey to Satan’s tactics is because we, God’s Kingdom, are not united. Never do we read where Satan’s demons fight one another. They have a common goal and a common enemy and they’ll purpose to remain united until they see such victory.

When God’s body finally gets wise to the magnitude of the power of unity, we’ll begin to see a paradigm shift. Until then, we’ll coninue down the path of defeat. If our enemy is strategic, so must we be and more so. The only way to become more strategic than our enemy is through the God of Heaven and Earth who has created all things, planned all things, knows all things, provided all things, finished all things.

 Navigating the Black Holes of Life, chapter 2, part 1

To be released Fall 2016

Alexys V. Wolf

http://www.thefierysword.com

July 3 2016 (7)_pp