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Stronghold Cycles: Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again?







Have you ever been frustrated because you kept repeating the same failures over and over again? I have. In fact, I have been living there more often than not for most of my life. 



One of the first major steps I've taken toward getting free was joining Gateway Church, Southlake TX; and going to their Kairos event. It's open to all people, all churches, from all over the country. If you are looking for Freedom, I suggest you come.


The following are my notes from: "Kairos - When Eternity Steps Into Time" by +GatewayPeople 




Disclosures

*Originally Posted as notes on my personal Bible Study Blog, adapted for this post. 
*My Notes - This is the type of event you really need to experience, it cannot be explained. These notes below are what I got out of it. You might get totally different things. I strongly suggest you make plans to attend. It's open for all churches. You can register (HERE).


Appetite for the Eternal


The Soul (mind, will, emotions) is the place of temptation.  Our spirit was saved, our soul is being saved, our body is slowly dying now, but will be saved.

 Ecclesiastes 3 - There is an appointed season for every purpose under heaven.


  • Physical Pain is a gift of God to tell us something is wrong with our body and it needs to heal. Ex: If you were to begin slowly cutting your hand off, your body would tell you to STOP IT! Physical Pain awakens us to a physical problem.
  • Soul Pain (mind, will, emotions) is the same thing. It tells you that there is something wrong. Emotional pain awakens us to our soulish problems.
  • Spiritual Pain awakens us to our eternal needs. In the light of eternity, good things on earth should not satisfy us into complacency, nor should bad things pain us into hopelessness.


“Eternity Minded: Good things should not satisfy unto complacency; nor should pain lead to hopelessness.” Tweet That


Question: Do you want God... or just what God can do for you? 

Am I receiving the benefits of God with Gratitude, or treating them as entitlements? 


If I treat God as my servant, saying "Do what I want... now!"

  • Any answered prayer will strengthen my sense of entitlement
  • Any non-answered prayer will cause a deeper sense of pain. 

God cannot win, when you are playing the role of boss. Without gratitude there is no relationship.


What is the nature of sin? What is sin? What is not sin?

SIN = Seeking 2nd things/attachment to the wrong things. 


  • When we seek 2nd things, we loose the 1st things, and the second things are lost as well. 
  • When we seek 1st things, the 2nd things are thrown in for free.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 NKJV 


  • Sin is not: Breaking the Rules
  • Sin is: Heart Condition, Inherited from Adam
  • Sin is not: Bad Behavior
  • Sin is: Falling Short of Glory

...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 NKJV


  • The Sin Solution is not: Better Behavior
  • The Sin Solution is: New Heart/Spirit


Sin came when we chose knowledge of the right vs wrong over the force of LIFE.

The sin solution is not a better knowledge and practice of good, it is connecting to the Source/Force of LIFE itself.


What is a Stronghold?


Strongholds are soulish, and can be recognized when we know that God's word says "A", but we believe "X" based on our experiences. Bob Hamp


  • I know God says "Healing is yours", but I believe I won't be healed... 
  • I know God says that I will prosper by following His way, but I'll just be poor my whole life...


These are the types of statements someone makes when caught in a stronghold.
I know God's Word says... But my experience says... I believe my experience.
 We need to understand "HERE" from the perspective of "THERE"

God gave me a funny comparison. The difference between earth and heaven, is similar to the difference between the 1950's Superman Comic Book, and the 2013 Man of Steel Movie.

Compare the graphics of a 1950's Comic



To the CGI effects of a 2013 Movie.



******************


Establishing Identity/Hearing God


Story One: Deaf Guy -

There was a deaf man, and a new Sign Language (ASL) instructor came in. This man was ignored by everyone, so she took him on. She came to him and signed "My name is Karen", and he signed back in perfect ASL, "My name is Karen". She was surprised. She she signed "No, my name is Karen, what is your name?" He signed back "No, my name is Karen, what is your name?" Puzzled, she began to realize that this deaf man had words... but he did not have language. He did grasp the meaning of words. Words contain images, ideas, concepts. They are containers for thoughts. They communicate thoughts. If you have the words but no language, you cannot communicate, you can only Parrot. She worked with this man until one day he jumped from his chair and signed "I GET IT! This is a chair, things have names!" And he started the slow process of learning language.

Story Two: Pastors Kid -

There was a pastors kid who grew up to be a pastor on staff at the same church his Dad pastored. Do to some things mean church goes had said, there was a lie in his head that he had no real talent or ability, and that the only reason he was on staff was because of who his Dad was. One day God breaks through and tells him: "Listen, you have not gotten where you are because of your talent and ability, you HAVE gotten where you are because of who your Father is... and I AM YOUR FATHER! Because of that, no man can put you in, and no man can take you out."

You cannot think without language. Words connected to ideas are how language takes place, and it takes language to think. Babies and Dogs probably both dream images, but they do not "think" as we do. Thinking requires language.

When we struggle with our walk with God, it is often because we are "hearing" another voice, not the voice of our Shepherd.

Questions to ask God, and listen for Him to answer them.

  1. What are you saying to me today, about me?
  2. What names have I believed about me today that are not from you?
  3. What are the names You, God, would have me believe?
  4. What lie/name have I believed about you?
  5. What name do you want me to know about you?
 Now STOP... listen after each question. Take several minutes if you need to. Listen for His answers.



Anatomy of a Stronghold


Anatomy of a Stronghold





  • Event - Caused by external factors, creates a pain point in your life. 
  • Lie - The enemy took this event as an opportunity to tell you a lie about it, that you believed. 
  • Defense/Comfort - Some action that brings comfort and feels right, based on the lie. 
  • Reaction - Either other people's reaction to my defense, or a natural by-product of the comfort/defense creates a similar event to that which caused the lie, and reinforces the lie, so I go deeper into my comfort, and the reaction happens again. 

Thus the cycle is strong with each turn.


Example One: Financial Stronghold
  1. Event - Financial Set Back
  2. Lie - I perceive that God Doesn't Come Through/Provide for Me the way I thought He would.
  3. Comfort/Defense - Seek to spend money on food/fun. "Oh well"
  4. Reaction - Money Spend unwisely creates another financial setback...
Example Two: Relationship Stronghold (affected friendships, relationships, sex life, etc...)
  1. Event - Rejected/Beat Up/Bullied by a stereo-type Male Jock
  2. Lie - I am Intellectually Superior to most men, and all Jocks.
  3. Comfort/Defense - Seek affection, comfort, and validation from Women. Keep no male friends. Reject sports unless women are there (like gymnastics). Get addicted to relationships with women like a drug, moving from one to the next rapidly seeking validation. Push most forms of male friendship away, in some cases feel greatest satisfaction when I take a woman from a male (especially a jock-type). 
    1. Only friends are women, gay men, or men who show a tendency for favoring intellectual or artistic pursuits over physical ones.
  4. Reaction -  Men keep their distance, or worse bully. Thus, rejected by men, thus reinforcing the lie...

The Painful Event was not the problem, the lie we believed about it is the problem. If you can begin to identify each of the four components of the cycle, you can interrupt the cycle, and start a positive strong hold instead.
  1. Event - Any Event
  2. TRUTH -
  3. True Comfort - 
  4. Positive Reaction -
The problem with negative strongholds, is that they create a wall that doesn't just keep bad stuff from getting in, it keeps good stuff from getting in too.

It also ties you to the very thing you wanted to be free from. Saying " I'll never by like my Dad..." is the best way to guarantee that you will be!

These vows FEEL right, but are WRONG. Nobody can take down your stronghold for you. But neither can you do it yourself. You need the Holy Spirit to show you which bricks to remove, in which order, and let Him empower you to remove them one by one.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,  

Solution:

Repent does not mean to change your behavior. It is a changing of the heart and mind, and behavior is a byproduct of that change. But it's not just a changing of the mind to say "Oh... that' bad, I should stop.". That is a religious change of mind. That is rooted in the Knowledge of Good, not the Tree of LIFE.

Repentance involves a change in how I perceive reality. As I connect to The LIFE, my perspective changes, and I see my current reality differently. 

One of the most fundamental changes in how I perceive reality involves changing the source of truth. I need a new source of truth, and a new source of comfort and protection. You may see in the natural that you are one guy in a house on open land surrounded by armies. Elijah.

Which would you rather be, that guy with a wall built around the house, hoping the enemy doesn't get in? Or that guy with a house on open land, with your own ARMY 10 times the size surrounding the army that surrounds you? Meanwhile, you keep the view unobstructed by walls, and good things can still come freely to visit?
2 Kings 6
New American Standard Bible
Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

  1. Ask God: "Father, reveal a significant event that happened in my life."
  2. Ask God: "Father, reveal the lie I believed about that event."
  3. Ask God: "Father, reveal the comfort/defense I seek after believing that lie."
  4. Ask God: "Father, reveal the natural/people reaction from that comfort/defense."
  5. Father, I confess "insert lie here" as a lie. Forgive me for believing that lie. What truth would you have me believe instead?
  6. Father, what comfort/defense should I believe/seek instead? 
Walk that out... day by day, event by event... building a new positive stronghold.


Grace and Receiving Forgiveness

Nothing we every DO can result in forgiveness. Everything HE HAS DONE resulted in forgiveness. Our part is to receive.

The same thing is true for all of God's benefits. God heals, we receive. God delivers, we receive. God prospers, we receive.

When we pray for people to get healed, our part is to pray in faith, and lay hands. God's part is to heal.

  1. I take responsibility to pray in faith, and lay hands. My job is done. 
  2. They take responsibility to receive healing. 
  3. God's part is to heal. 
I take NO responsibility for God's part. If healing comes I take no credit. If healing doesn't appear to come right away, I take no blame. THAT takes all the pressure off of ME, and puts it where it belongs, on God. "Sir/Madam, I can teach you about God, help you build faith and understand His will. I can pray in faith, and I can lay hands on you... and that is where I stop. I've never healed anybody. Not ever. Only God heals. You receive it. I can't do your part, and I certainly can't do God's. Are you ready to believe?" 
**************


The Worst Sinner EVER...


God showed me something during class today that floored me.
Matthew 27:45-54
45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" 47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, "This Man is calling for Elijah!" 48Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 49 The rest said, "Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him." 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

Jesus had prayed earlier for the Father to forgive them (the men who were killing him), they knew not what they do. Here, at the end, when Jesus dies, there is an earthquake, and major stuff goes down... the centurion, one of the men responsible for actually doing the crucifixion feared saying

"Truly, this was God's kid"... 

I got a picture in my mind of this man being one of the several driving the nails into his hands and feet, and enjoying it, because he took pride in his work.

After all, these men deserve to die, and he was good at his job ensuring it happened.

But when he has the realization that he's just killed God's Son... he has a sinking fear that he's done something wrong... that this one didn't deserve it. He's instantly changed from executioner to murderer.

The Centurion feared not just for his life... but for his soul. And for the first time he comes face to face with his need for eternal things.

I doubt he got saved there, at the cross... maybe he did.

I do think that he recalled "Father... forgive them, they know not what they do..." and I think that phrase echoed throughout his mind and heart. I don't know if it happened right then, or if it was after Pentecost and he was among the crowd that heard the first sermon from Peter.

Maybe he was one of the first 3,000 to get saved? Maybe not, because he was a centurion and not a Jew. Non Jews didn't get saved until Paul came on the scene, or Peter at Cornelius house. But weather it was right there, as Jesus hung on that tree, or days, weeks, or months later...

Did he go back, to the spot where HE killed Jesus...? Did he receive that forgiveness Jesus offered?

And if the man who actually drove the nails into Jesus' hands could be forgiven... couldn't you?

It's hard to say how much of the story is true, but Church History does record the name of Longinus as the head centurion at the Cross, who spoke those words "surely this is God's Son" and he because a Church leader, and fiery preacher.


*
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And now I leave you with a question:

So... what are your thoughts about this? What did this make you think about? 

Comment on this post, or Hit me up on Twitter @DarrellWolfe , Google +DarrellWolfe, Facebook DarrellGWolfe



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By Darrell Wolfe

Storyteller, Creative, INFJIntellection, Ideation, Input, Learner, Achiever





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About Me

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Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).