Meet Debbie Holland
Since 2002, Debbie has worked with Nancy Missler as the Ministry Director for The King’s High Way Ministries. She has an intimate knowledge of not only the material that Nancy has written, but also the intent behind the statements. Debbie has conducted seminars and retreats for The King’s High Way for many years and has a wealth of experience to draw upon.
With this background, it was natural that Debbie would be called upon to help respond to questions we get through email. Here is a small collection of some of her answers. We pray that God will use what you read to help you walk out your faith in Christ Jesus!
Click on one of the titles below to see the discussion.
If you have a question, write to us at Response@KingsHighWay.org
1) Casting Down Imaginations
Q. On the outside my life seems to be perfect. I have a supportive husband, two small children, no debt, good health, etc. Yet, I am going through the worst experience of my life. Fear and doubt surround me. Thoughts come to mind concerning the possible loss of my family, death, and every imaginable terror, the worst being hell for me. I also think about God asking me to leave my family (the Scripture that mentions hating your life and family to gain eternal life is probably a top fear). Is it dangerous to dwell on all these possible scenarios? [Heather]
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; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:5-6)
A: Scripture teaches us that we are in a war and that the warfare is for our mind. “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7).” The enemy of our soul, the devil, knows this. That’s why he targets our mind with his poison arrows.
Satan wants you to think contrary to the character of God and to the Word of God. His tactics are to accuse God and others. He wants to persuade you to act independently of God, to walk according to the flesh rather than the Spirit.
Satan uses all of his power and craftiness to cut you off from the favor and presence of the Lord. And that is exactly what he is trying to do right now in your life – attempting to discourage you, make you fearful and wipe you out!
The thoughts that have been put in your mind about death, terror and leaving your family are not of God. How can we tell the difference between God’s thoughts, our own thoughts, and the thoughts that Satan inserts into our soul?
God’s promptings come in that still, small voice. God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit that it is God’s voice, and we usually have an immediate peace, not thoughts of dying, terror and fear. God’s voice encourages us and draws us closer to Him. God’s voice is always in perfect agreement with His written Word.
Any voice that does not corroborate with God’s Word is heresy. So don’t follow it!
The Scripture I believe you are referring to when you talk about fearing that God may be making you leave your family is found in Luke 14:26. It says:
If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
Jesus was boldly saying that nothing should come between you and God – even wonderful things such as family and life itself. All disciples must put Jesus first, then their family and then their life.
This Scripture does not mean that we are to “hate” (despise, loathe) our husbands and children, but that we must be willing to set them aside from being first in our lives and love God first. Then, He will enable us to love them as He desires. God is just saying here that nothing can come before Him.
Is it dangerous to dwell on these negative things? Most definitely – we are in a mind battle. God’s master plan is for us to be “single-minded.” As we show forth His Light (His Life), the Gospel will be passed on. God wants His Life alone to be manifested in our souls.
This occurs only when we yield our complete selves to Him – all our thoughts, emotions and desires that are contrary to His – and, moment by moment, renew our minds.
Satan will do everything in his power to prevent this from happening. He will go to any length he can to get us to give ourselves over to, and follow, our own thoughts and emotions, rather than taking those thoughts captive and dealing with them.
Satan’s goal for us, as Christians, is to keep us double-minded at any cost. To be double-minded means we are living two lives. God’s Life is in our heart, but it has become quenched and blocked because of our emotional choices. Therefore, self-life is being shown forth in our soul.
God promises us in His Word that if we “take every thought captive” and give Him all our fears, hurts, disappointments, anxieties, confusion, insecurities, etc., He will remove them “as far as the east is from the west” and He will “meet all our needs.”
So remember, we are in a mind battle…whoever directs or controls our thinking is also going to ultimately direct and control our lives.
Father God, thank you that He who is within me is greater than he who is in the world…in the name of Jesus, the Shepherd whose sheep know His voice.
2) Christian Hypocrites
Q: If Christianity is so great, why are there so many Christian hypocrites who know and even teach The Truth, but don’t walk it out in their lives? (mail question)
…because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)
A: This Scripture is saying that in the end times (which is now) “because sin shall abound, the Love of Christians will grow cold.” A Christian hypocrite is a person whose words and deeds do not match. They are not living the truth, but are two-faced.
Jesus had some hard things to say to the hypocrites and pretenders. He told them they were like dishes that were clean on the outside but on the inside they were full of greed and self-indulgence (Mt 23:25). In other words, they put on a good show for people. Living our Christianity as a show for others is like washing a cup on the outside only. We come across to others, especially non-believers and teenagers, as phonies. Our lives need to be examples of what we say; otherwise, people are not going to want what we have. The reason many non-believers have rejected the church is because they have not yet seen the real church. When they do see true Christianity, they will desire it because this walk of faith will reflect the way people were created to live. Church is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
So, as Christians, how do we become genuine and allow God’s Spirit to flow through us without being quenched? How do we keep from being phonies and hypocrites?
When we are “born again” we not only receive a new spirit and a new heart, but we also receive a new supernatural willpower. This new willpower gives us the authority and the power to set our self aside and choose God’s Will, even when we don’t want to, don’t feel like it or don’t think it will work. This is why our new willpower is the “key” to our whole Christian walk – it’s what enables us to put God’s Life from our hearts into our lives, regardless of how we feel, what we think or what we desire. Will we yield our choices to God and His Will, or will we yield them to our “self” to do our own will? It’s our willpower – moment by moment – that determines whose life will be lived in our souls – either God’s or our own. When we choose “self,” that’s when we come across to others as hypocrites.
As Christians we can be honest with God and say, “I don’t want to love this person anymore. I don’t want to forgive this person. I hate this person right now. I am fearful of what is going to happen. But, I don’t want to follow what these thoughts and emotions are telling me. I want to follow what You want me to do. So, by faith, I give these negative thoughts to You for I know I have Your authority to say, like Jesus did in Matthew 26:39, ‘Not my will, but Thine.'”
Then we can know, by faith, that we are cleansed vessels and that God has been freed to perform His Will in and through us. We don’t have to “feel” our choices; we just have to be willing to make those choices. God then does the rest. In His timing, God aligns our feelings with our choices. We are not responsible to change our negative feelings and thoughts. There is no way we can do that! We are only responsible to put in charge the Person who can change our feelings, and that’s God.
When we make emotional choices to follow what we want, think and desire, we are at that moment pleasing “self” and not God, which then opens us up to the arrows of the enemy. Our self-life has taken over. We walk saying we are Christians but yet are manifesting our own thoughts, emotions, and desires and not God’s Life at all. This not only grieves God, but it also makes us come across as hypocrites to others.
As Christians we don’t want to “improve,” “patch up,” or “fix” our self-life. That’s psychology! We don’t want to be a better “us” (self). We want to learn how to “set that self aside” so Jesus can live His Life through us. So it’s not that we are to “copy” or imitate Jesus’ Life; rather, we are simply to exchange lives with Him! We give Him our life; He then gives us His. Father God, thank you for showing us what is false in us, yet always making a way for us to become whole…in the name of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb.
3) Far From Perfect
Q. I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years. I’ve been involved in my church as a Sunday school teacher and am currently leading a “Way of Agape” Bible study. Within the last few months, I’ve found myself in a trial I never dreamed I would ever be in. I am having to walk, moment by moment, in my personal life what I am teaching.
My question: Should I discontinue teaching this class because my circumstances are out of my control and have caused my personal life to be “far from perfect”? (Email from Mary)
A: Mary, first of all, if everyone who ministers “jumps ship” when circumstances happen that make their life less than perfect, there would be very few of us ministering. In fact, I want to encourage you because I believe you are the perfect one to be teaching this class. You are walking and living what you are teaching: experiencing firsthand God’s supernatural Power and Agape Love in the midst of your personal crisis. As long as you “keep yourself clean” by confessing and repenting of any known sin and walking, by faith, in His Word, then you are doing what God wants you to do.
The enemy, Satan (and his demons), would like nothing better than to see you give up. Many teachers and leaders of the Word are “throwing in the towel” so to speak, because they do not understand that Satan has declared outright war on them. Whenever Satan starts to see evidence that you are committed to teach and transform people’s lives, the warfare begins.
The personal “storm” you are in right now is developing in you a deepening humility, a greater mourning, a sorrow for sin, and a heightened hunger for God’s righteousness. He is developing a tender heart in you towards the weaknesses and failings of others. Though you aren’t aware of it, the Lord is using this storm to deepen in you the roots of Christ’s compassion. So don’t get down on yourself and get discouraged! The spirit of discouragement is Satan’s most potent weapon against God’s leaders for these end times. He’ll use it to try to convince you that you or your family are not measuring up to God’s Holy standards and that you have no business teaching God’s Word.
You have to see your discouragement for what it really is! It’s a demonic weapon – an arrow that Satan shoots at you to get you to doubt yourself. He knows he can’t tempt you to turn away from Jesus, so he’ll come at you another way to make you think you’ll never be good enough to serve Christ. He wants to get you downcast so that you’ll give up and not want to teach anymore. Peter writes, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12). Discouragement is a trial God’s people have endured for centuries!
God is making you a mighty warrior for His end-time army. He could act at any time to pluck you out of your struggle. But He hasn’t – because He is seeing it produce in you a greater thirst for Him!
Why is God allowing His Servants to go through hard times and be handed over to death and discouragement? He does it so the life of Christ will flow out of us to others! If we allow death to complete its work in us, a manifestation of the Christ-life will come forth in us. And our testimony will produce life in all who hear it. As teachers and servants of Christ-when family heartaches come, when financial problems hit, when physical pain strikes or when your name and character are being defamed-what will people see flowing out of you? Will they see that moment-by-moment faith walk or will they see despair?
God wants you to know that right now, in the midst of your storm, He stands beside you. He is watering your spirit, feeding your soul, putting down His strong roots. So let the winds of struggle blow hard. Your Father is preparing you for a great harvest! Don’t give up teaching and being His servant. Hold on and He will show you great and mighty things…
4) Forgiving Adultery
Q: I am in the struggle of my life since discovering my husband had an adulterous affair. He has repented and really wants our marriage to be restored. However, I still struggle with justified hurts and wild feelings of betrayal and rejection. Is there a time or a situation where feelings are justified and being righteously jealous is appropriate, or is it just plain self-life rearing its ugly head?
When you pass through the water (trouble) I will be with you; and through the rivers, they won’t overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you won’t be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord…You are precious in My sight and I LOVE YOU. (Isaiah 43:2-4)
A: The wounds from adultery run very deep, but Christians have The Healer living in them. He wants to take our deepest wounds and help us not only to forgive, but also to forget. There is no wound too deep, too great, or too damaging that cannot be healed by the Spirit of God working through His Word. The question is: Are you willing to make a commitment to your marriage based on the promises in the Word of God? Choosing by faith to commit to saving your marriage, regardless of how troubled your relationship is, will allow you to receive God’s favor and blessing.
When we suffer unjustly at the hands of others, it’s hard to forgive. God’s Love (Agape) is the only thing that will enable you to unconditionally forgive and forget what was done to you. You can’t do this naturally. Your negative thoughts and emotions won’t go away on their own. God is not asking you to work up a feeling of forgiveness toward your husband, He is asking you to make a choice (no matter how you feel) to forgive him. Forgiveness is a matter of your will – a choice to obey God regardless of your emotions. It’s a faith choice, not a feeling choice. By choosing to unconditionally forgive him, God will pour His Agape Love into your soul; your wounds and hurts will be soothed, healed and removed.
Then, in God’s timing, He will align your feelings with your choices and you’ll begin to “feel” forgiveness.
Corrie ten Boom describes unforgiveness as sitting in a very dark room, in the daytime, with heavy draperies closing off the sunlight and fresh air. When you choose to forgive, the sunshine floods in and dispels every corner of darkness. The air will be fresh and sweet.
Agape Love is a totally unselfish Love that has the capacity to give and keep on giving without expecting anything in return. Only Christians can have this Love because it is Christ in us. Agape is a choice of your will and has no dependence on feelings; therefore, you can bring it into your marriage immediately. It is a Love of action, not emotion. It focuses on what you do and say rather than how you feel. If you choose to cling to your justified hurts and jealous behavior, your marriage has no chance of survival. Also, over time, those negative feelings will take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Because, whoever directs and controls your thinking is ultimately the one who will direct and control your life. In other words, how we think affects how we feel; how we feel influences our desires; and, our desires are what produce our actions.
What do you do when those justified thoughts and feelings just won’t go away? Remember you are in a spiritual warfare. The reason these thoughts keep coming back is because they have become long-standing “strongholds” of the enemy and Satan is not going to give them up easily. His strategy is to besiege your mind until he wears down your resistance and captures your thoughts. When we give God our negative thoughts and emotions, He takes them immediately; however, often our feelings don’t align with that choice for awhile. And this is where Satan tries to make us think that God is not faithful and that He hasn’t really healed us. Now, it’s God’s prerogative as to how long He lets us go before He aligns our feelings with our choices. Will we keep on believing Him, even though we don’t feel any change? Satan, of course, wants us to crumble in confusion and discouragement.
Therefore, if you have confessed, repented and given the jealousies, betrayals, and rejections over to God and they don’t immediately go away, don’t give up! Stand still, submit to the confusion and keep trusting Him. Father God, thank you for strength to forgive today…in the name of Jesus, our Intercessor.
5) God’s Unconditional Love
Q: Can a believer who has turned his back on Christ be forgiven and taken back into the family of Christ? The person I am writing about left the church and went back to drinking, hate, racism, sex and extreme right-wing thinking. Last week, this person confessed and repented of his sins.
Can a person go back and forth to Christ after turning his back on God?
(Internet question from kingshighway.org)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
A: If your friend has claimed the above promise, then Our Precious Lord will not only forgive and cleanse him but will take his sins “as far as the east is from the west” to be remembered no more by Him.
Once we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, regardless of how many mistakes, failures, or errors we make, God’s love for us is unconditional and never-ending. There are no strings attached. He will never leave us. This concept is especially hard to accept for people who struggle with addictions and hurts. The body of Christ needs to love and mentor them the way Christ would: by praying with and encouraging them, one on one, with the Word. “Let us…spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
The greatest ministry need in the Body of Christ today is for encouragers, those who will take the time to love others as unto the Lord. …Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me (Matthew 25:40). One of the reasons we don’t fully realize the extent of God’s Love and forgiveness is that we don’t really see and understand that God uses our failures, our mistakes, and our errors as a means of drawing us closer to Him. God’s view of failure is that He expects it; He forgives it; and then, He uses it. He works all things together for good to those who love and totally give themselves over to HIM.
Your friend needs to understand and be so secure in God’s Love that he will let God use the failures of his past to bind him closer to the Lord. The end result will be seeing God use his mistakes “for good” and realize Christ’s Love to an even deeper degree. God’s unconditional forgiveness in his life will prove to him that He loves him all the more.
If one of my teenage boys were to come to me and say, “Mom, I’ve never once felt as if I have pleased you. I’ve never felt worthy of your love. I feel like I’ve let you down my whole life. You must be really disappointed in me. I’ve failed you so many times!”
Those words would hurt me deeply. How wrong they are! I’ve continually shown this child my love. I’ve spoken it and demonstrated it time after time. My other children feel secure in my love. How could this child carry such a misconception for so long and bear such unnecessary misery and guilt? As a mom, I would probably cry and tell my precious child, “You have always been special to me. You have been the apple of my eye! Sure, you’ve done foolish, wrong things at times, just like your other brothers. But you were forgiven! You were truly sorry, and I never once thought less of you. You are nothing but a joy to me. I will always love you and unconditionally forgive anything you have done that has hurt me in the past. You have been a delight to me!”
So it is with many Christians in their relationship with the heavenly Father! The devil has convinced them they’ve only disappointed God and will never be able to please Him. So they don’t accept His Love. Instead, they live as if His wrath is always breathing down on them. What a horrible way to go through life! How pained God must be when He sees His children living that way.
Perhaps you were raised in an unloving, uncaring family. You never felt special or precious to anybody in particular. Nobody ever put their arms around you and said, “I love you! You’re special to me. I’m so proud of you!” Oh, thank God for Jesus! To Him, you have always been precious. It doesn’t matter what kind of home life you had or what your earthly parents were like. None of that can ever compare to the Love of your heavenly Father. Since the day you were born, you have been special to Him. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Father God, thank you that in Your Love and mercy we are complete in you…in the name of Jesus, the soon-coming King.
6) How To Fight Fear
Q. I have to fight off fears daily. With the frightening reality of war, attacks on our homeland, financial meltdown, and chemical warfare, I find myself sleepless with worry and fear. One morning at 2:00 a.m., I found myself checking all the doors and windows. I know I should be trusting the Lord. But, frankly, things are becoming so frightening, it’s hard to keep all my fears at bay.
How do I get the abundant joy and peace that God promises during these times that we are living in? (E-mail from Ronnie)
A: I believe this precious one is voicing what multitudes of other sincere Christians are going through – they’re struggling to keep fear out of their hearts. As we are hearing about all the terrible reports of what’s happening in America and around the world, we are all striving to rest in God’s promises.
The fact is, no matter how righteous we may be, and no matter how strong our faith is, all these frightful uncertainties coming to pass cannot help but affect our human emotions. It’s all very scary. But, for the overcoming Christian whose sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, there is very good news. We have access to the Father and we can draw near to Him.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. -Hebrews 10:19-22
This passage of Scripture contains an incredible promise. It says God’s door is always open to us, giving us total access to the Father. A few verses later, we’re warned that the day of the Lord is fast approaching: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).” I believe God is telling us that as the time of Christ’s return draws near, we must seek His face. We must go into our secret closet of prayer and get to know Him! We must also assemble ourselves with like believers and encourage one another in the Love of God.
This is not the time to let God’s Truth (His Word) slip away from us. We need to stay awake and be alert. We have an open door into His Holy presence, so we need to go into Him with full assurance of faith, making our petitions known. Christ’s blood has already made a way for us and nothing stands between us and the Father. We have every right to enter into the holy of holies, to receive all the help we need, so we can have that abundant life that Christ so desperately wants to give us!
When we allow “fear” to take hold of our emotions, we can choose to hang on to it or we can choose to renew our minds and have God’s peace. In Nancy’s book, Be Ye Transformed she goes into depth comparing the architecture of Solomon’s Temple structure with the New Testament Believer. The priests of Solomon’s Temple had a ritual for the cleansing and atoning for sin. There were five steps that they went through in the Inner Court when they dealt with sin. As New Testament believers, whenever “fear” has quenched God’s Spirit and blocked His Life in our relationship with Him, we must get alone with God in our prayer closet and go through these steps
1. Recognize, acknowledge and experience the negative thoughts, emotions and desires that have just occurred. Don’t vent these feelings and don’t stuff them. Get alone with God and experience your emotions. Name how you are feeling. (I’m scared, I’m fearful of my future, I don’t understand what’s going on, Lord, etc…) Ask Him to expose the real root cause of your ungodly thoughts and feelings.
2. Confess and repent of any negative thoughts and feelings that are “not of faith” or that you have held on to for awhile. (I confess that I’ve not trusted You and I want to know You more intimately, etc… Choose to “turn around” from following what these things are telling you and choose instead to follow what God is saying. (Lord, I want to trust You. Show me how.) Unconditionally forgive others involved. God will then forgive your sins.
3. Give over to God all that He has shown you, not only the conscious negative thoughts and emotions, but also their root causes. He will then purge your sin and reconcile you to Himself.
4. Read God’s Word. Be sure to replace the lies with Truth. He will then cleanse and heal your soul. (Read 11 Timothy 1: 7, “For God did not give us a Spirit of Fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”)
5. Worship Him….The true worshipers of God worship Him in spirit and in truth. These are the true “lovers of God” who bring the Love that He originally placed in their hearts (when they were born again), full circle back to Him as “love offerings” at the Incense Altar.
Remember, we serve a God who can cleanse us of all our fears. Learn to recognize His voice above all the worldly clamor. If you do this, your fear will be replaced by His Peace.
Thus, it doesn’t matter if everything around us collapses, because this present life is not reality anyway. Our reality is eternal life in the presence of our blessed Lord. Hallelujah!
7) Knowing God Loves Me
Q: Knowing God loves me has been the most difficult thing for me to grasp. There are a lot of things about God that I know intellectually. There are things I’ve accepted just because His Word says so, but they really haven’t made the trip south to my heart so that I can say, “Oh, yes, now I understand.” Do you have any thoughts about this? Thanks so much.
A: Precious “K,”
Knowing God loves us is the heartbeat of His way of Agape. Unless we know He loves us, we won’t be able to lay down our lives to Him. (How can we trust or believe in someone if we don’t think they love us?)
Pray for God to show you the things in your life that He loves about you. He created you and “knit you together in your mother’s womb….”
When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God’s Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. All you have to do is ask. There is no prayer He would rather answer. He yearns to show you how much He loves you. So ask Him. He doesn’t want you in bondage. He doesn’t want you to be a slave to sin, a slave to anger, or a slave to hostility. He wants you freed from those things.
God is always reaching out to us with His Love, but we are the ones who have the choice to receive it or not. God’s Love is a gift that we receive only when we ask Christ into our hearts. God is that Love. But even then, that Love is not automatic. It will only flow through us when we are pure and cleansed vessels.
How do we do this? The Priests of Solomon’s Temple had a ritual that they went through in the Inner Court in order to become cleansed and reconciled to God. These steps have not only changed my life, but thousands of other Christians.
The steps are:
Get alone with God. Recognize, acknowledge and experience the negative thoughts and emotions and desires that have occurred. Vent your feelings with God, don’t stuff them. Experience your emotions, cry, laugh, etc… Ask HIM to expose the real root cause. (Remember the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will not go where He is not asked.)
Confess and repent of any negative thoughts and feelings that you have held on to. Choose to turn around. Unconditionally forgive others involved. Forgiveness is not for them, but for you. Forgiveness releases you from being tied to them. Hallelujah!
Give over to God all that He has shown you, not only the conscious negative thoughts and emotions but also their root causes, and ask Him to purge these things from you.
Finally, be sure to replace those negative emotions or thoughts with the Word. You want to replace the lies with the truth. This is a very important step…. If the Lord is your Savior, then you need to take hold of Him by reading and rereading Scriptures that tell how much He loves you. Put all those Scriptures on 3 x 5 cards. Read them over and over again and receive the Living Word into your Spirit.
We constantly have two choices – either a “faith choice” to unconditionally follow God or an “emotional choice” to follow what we think, what we desire, and what we want.
Anything not of faith is going to separate us (simply cover His Love in our hearts). He’s right there with His arms out, wanting us to feel His love, but we won’t because we’ve quenched His Spirit.
Satan is after our faith. And since our faith is built upon the faithfulness of God, if he can get us to doubt God’s Love and rely on our own choices, then our faith and trust in God will crumble and God’s life will cease flowing.
So it’s our continual choice…to follow our own feelings and our own will, etc., and end up quenching His Spirit. Or to follow God by obeying His Word and humbly surrendering ourselves to Him and experiencing His Abundant Life.
Knowing God loves us is the foundation of our faith. We must constantly choose by faith to believe that He loves us or we will not be able to move ahead in our walk.
Are you willing to allow God to perform a miracle through you? It will constantly be your choice (Matthew 7:14).
In the name of Jesus, our compassionate Comforter.
8) Letting Go Of Fear And Worry
Q: I have been studying “The Way of Agape” and I’m having a hard time letting go of worries and fears. I am realizing that I don’t want to “surrender” my thoughts and feelings to the Lord. Should I pray and ask God to create that desire in me?
A: Surrendering to God can be a very difficult thing to do, especially if you have deep emotional wounds from your past. But, because you are taking the time to study and learn about God’s AgapeLove, you are demonstrating the desire to grow spiritually. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to shine His light on your areas of weakness and sin. And cry out to Him, “Lord, I am struggling with giving these sins of worry and fear over to you. Forgive me. Show me why I am struggling in this area. Please – help me to grasp by faith that You are at work in me, growing me up spiritually! I don’t want to continue doing it my way, Lord, but Your way.”
In 2 Corinthians 3:19 Paul writes, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord…” Having an open face means being totally committed to allowing God to expose every hidden thing in your heart – for the purpose of being delivered and set free, so that you can show forth Christ. The glass Paul speaks of in this passage means mirror. Our mirror is God’s Word. It alone reflects our sins back to us. Tell the Lord you’re on the wrong course, and you want to be changed. Ask His Spirit to humble you and open up His Word to you.
Sanctification is a process by which we learn how to “set aside” our own thoughts, emotions, and desires so that God’s Life can come forth from our hearts. When we make faith choices to follow and do what God wants – regardless of how we feel, what we think, or what we desire, we become single-minded, which is God’s master plan for each of us. To be single-minded means living “one” life, God’s life, which flows freely from our hearts into our souls, and that is what is shown forth from us. Satan, on the other hand, is doing everything in his power to prevent this from happening to you. He is going to great lengths to get you to give over and follow your own thoughts and emotions, rather than take them captive and deal with them. Satan’s goal is to keep you double-minded. To be double-minded means living two lives. God’s Life is blocked because of emotional choices, so self-life is what is shown forth.
Double-mindedness will quench the “light of the knowledge” of Jesus in your life, keeping you unstable in all your ways, and allowing Satan to establish his strongholds, which will cause you to fall. Satan wants to keep you consumed and dependent upon your worries and fears. He wants to keep you swept up in the tide of emotion so that you will be confused, discouraged and depressed. He’ll do anything he can to keep you consumed in your negative thoughts. He wants your feelings to be stirred up, so you’ll be hurt and justifiably angered and hardened to hearing or doing God’s Word. (Nancy writes in greater depth about making choices that go against our emotions in her new book, Against the Tide.)
Satan is the “father of lies” and his goal, Annette, is to keep you disobedient to God’s Word and consumed in your worries and fears. He wants to “eat away” at your confidence in God and get you to doubt God’s Power to perform His Word. Satan will try to get you to be prideful by following what you think, feel and desire, rather than totally giving yourself over to God. Pride is not simply disobeying God’s Word or doubting His power to perform that Word, but it’s being totally unwilling to follow God at all. Pride is being so hardened in your own way of thinking that you refuse to be corrected or to change.
You need to be willing to cry out, “Try me, Lord – see if there is any wicked way in me. Show me where I’m living contrary to your Word. I want to be delivered from everything that’s unlike you. I want to give you all my pride, my worries, my fears, and my desire to be in control. I know I can’t think my way out of my situation. Holy Spirit, I need your power and wisdom. I lay down every hope of solving things my own way.” God desires us to totally give ourselves over to Him so that we might experience His mercy and have intimate knowledge of Him. As we open ourselves up to God, we must always remember just how much He loves us and that He will always be faithful to His promises.
9) Pain Caused by Other Christians
Q: You talk a lot about the healing of relationships in the King’s High Way series. What do you do when all the pain and hurt you receive comes from brothers and sisters in Christ?
…How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like precious ointment poured on the head… (Psalm 133:1,2)
A: Where there is unity, there is power. To be in agreement and unity with fellow believers is the most peaceful and powerful place for a Christian. United we stand. Divided we fall. Satan is well aware of this principle. He knows that if any two of us on earth agree concerning what we ask, it shall be done for us. And, where two or more are gathered together in Jesus’ name, He will be there, also (see Mt 18:19 – 20). Therefore, Satan’s desire is to ruin our relationships by sowing strife among us. Because if he can keep us in turmoil with our brothers and sisters in Christ, then he knows we will be vulnerable and lack God’s power.
Nothing is more hurtful than to have Christian brothers and sisters turn against us. Matthew 24:12, however, tells us that in the “end times” this is exactly what is going to happen, “the Love (Agape) of many will grow (wax) cold.” Christians are the only ones who can have Agape Love. Agape is God “Himself” living inside us, but when we injure one another we block His Love from coming forth.
There are three ways to cope when we’ve been hurt by someone in the body of Christ: flee, fight, or forgive. If we opt to flee, we will usually end up church hopping, content with none — or even worse, forsaking the assembling of the body altogether and being isolated. If we opt to fight, discord, discontentment and tension become a way of life. But if we choose to forgive, we will be totally putting God first and loving Him. To forgive simply means releasing the other person to God. God will then give us His grace, His Love and His ability to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10).
As Christians we can be honest with God and say, “I don’t want to forgive. I am fearful of what is going to happen. But, more than anything else, I want to follow what You want me to do. So, by faith, I choose to give these negative thoughts to You because I know I have Your authority to say, like Jesus did in Matthew 26:39, ‘Not my will, but Thine.'” Then I can be assured I am a cleansed vessel and God can perform His Will in and through me. I don’t have to “feel” my choices; I just have to be willing to make them. God then does the rest. In His timing, He will align my feelings with my choices.
Thus, we are not responsible to change our negative feelings and thoughts. There is no way we can do that! We are only responsible to put in charge the Person who can change our feelings, and that’s God. When we are clean, God can flow His Life through us. Because He has forgiven us, we can forgive others. Because He has a forgiving heart, we can have a forgiving heart. We can have a heart like His.
To have a heart like His means to, “Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ” (Eph 4:32). You might be thinking, “I’m not the guilty one here.” And you probably aren’t, but neither was Jesus when He died on the Cross for our sins. Jesus tells us that the one who is worthy of being served, serves others. The one who is innocent is the one who makes the gesture. And do you know what happens? More often than not, if the one in the right volunteers to wash the feet of the one in the wrong, both parties get on their knees.
God says we must put away bitterness, wrath and anger (Eph 4:29 – 31) by giving things to Him; and then, we must love our enemies and forgive those who despitefully use us. We can’t change the person who has hurt us, but we can change ourselves — deal with our own hurt and anger. If we don’t, we are the ones who end up in bondage. Father, open our eyes to see the good in those who need our forgiveness… In the name of Jesus, the Sanctifier.
10) Pornography and Marriage
Q: “We have been married for two years. My husband is obsessed with pornography. I knew nothing about this until after we were married. He is not willing to commit fully to God or me. What is a wife supposed to do? It’s hard to just ‘give it to God.’ Can you help me and give some Godly advice? Thank you for your time.” (Internet)
A: Pornography is a widespread and growing problem in the Church today. Derived from the Greek word pornea, which means sexually immoral, pornography is defined as words or graphic images intended to excite lascivious or lustful, lewd feelings. Three of the fastest growing markets are videos, the Internet, and phone sex. Pornography is a mistress and an adulteress. The enemy wants to use her to rape your husband’s soul and lead him to the grave. Listen to what Jesus has to say:
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
It is very clear that pornography cannot be viewed as a passive, inconsequential behavior. This is a tragic sin against God, against you and the Body of Christ, and it has to be exposed. Light expels the darkness and this sin can no longer be swept under the carpet, especially in the Body of Christ.
Bringing light into the situation is your only ray of hope to dispel this darkness. Your husband needs to be accountable for his sin and since he’s not willing to get help or seek the Lord at this time, it’s critical that you follow the Biblical approach for dealing with sin as stated in Matthew 18:15-17. It’s important to remember that you speak the truth in love and not out of your own anger and hurt. It’s also important that you have an inner circle of wise, discerning female intercessors who will emotionally support, spiritually advise and pray against this darkness that is trying to destroy your marriage. If you don’t have an inner circle to go to, pray for one, and in the meantime, ask the Lord to direct you to a pastor or a trusted friend. Intercessory prayer with two or more is the beginning of hope in dispelling this evil.
In the darkness, it’s difficult to tell who the enemy is. Is the enemy your husband or the naked image? The real enemy is Satan. Satan’s nature is to lie, deceive, kill, and destroy (John 8:44). He wants to devastate and annihilate you by getting you to believe that your husband is the enemy. Another ploy of Satan is to play with your emotions by having you question your own femininity and your sexuality as a wife. Pornography is a battle for the mind and must be won in the mind. Not only his, but also in yours. Before you can help him, you must make sure your own thinking is sound. One who views pornography will usually try to take the blame off of himself by putting it on his wife and trying to convince her that she is the problem. So you mustn’t let yourself wonder what’s wrong with you or believe that you are unattractive. Recognize it’s a battle and don’t let yourself go down in the pits – this only invites self-pity, which is sin.
Plan a day with God. Get alone with him and pray. Read and, if possible, memorize God’s Word. Ask God to speak to you through His Word. This will give you support and comfort. Also, as you are reading
His Word and praying, ask Him to reveal any negative thinking. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5.
In the natural it would be impossible to let go of the hurts that you are experiencing, but as a born-again believer, you have the indwelling power of the Spirit of God to set you free from those things. You can pray for your husband, encourage him to get help, and seek counsel for this situation, but in the end, God is the only One who can change him. Trust Him to do just that!
Father God, today we give You all our burdens and heaviness and choose to put on a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair… in the name of Jesus, The Overcomer.
11) Saving A Marriage
Q: My wife of many years has left me. I thought everything was going fine and we were happy together. I can’t understand what went wrong. My heart is breaking and I am feeling emotionally confused. Am I wrong to want to try and save my marriage at all costs? My family and friends think I’m crazy. (Email from George)
A: I want you to know how special you are, in the eyes of God, to want to try and save your marriage. By making a commitment to the sacredness of marriage and choosing to love even when there is no response from your spouse, you are exhibiting maturity. Choosing this pathway, regardless of how troubled your relationship is, will ultimately lead you to God’s Agape Love and much spiritual growth.
This last year at King’s High Way, an overwhelming majority of all our correspondence, phone calls and direct contacts have been from men whose wives have left them or are considering divorce. Most of these men are dazed and bewildered by their wives’ actions.
I want to encourage you because the type of relationship you would like to have happen, in your marriage, can happen. Even though you are trying to save your marriage all by yourself, without any cooperation from your partner, it can happen.
Over the years we have received hundreds of encouraging letters from individuals who have seen the Lord do miracles in their marriages because they one-sidedly walked in obedience, loved in faith and unconditionally trusted God. The process was humbling, but in the end, it was well worth all of it. Saving your marriage demands special measures. Someone in the marriage has to take the initiative and begin the loving process. If God is giving you the faith to want to save your marriage, He then will give you His Strength, His Wisdom and His Knowledge to get you through this difficult time. Read and study the book of Hosea. The book of Hosea in the Old Testament will give you the ultimate pattern for love without limits, which eventually reunites husband and wife in spite of great obstacles. (Particularly appropriate for your situation, George.)
The advice that God usually gives us will be opposite to how we feel and totally opposite to everything the world teaches:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly… (Psalm 1:1)
If you want to save your marriage, pride is going to have to be put under the Blood of Jesus. You are going to need His Counsel from the Word and abide in His presence in order to do what needs to be done.
The more you know about the Word of God concerning marriage and love and His abhorrence of divorce, the more you will be equipped to let God work and have His way in your life. The Word will become a lifeline every time you feel like you are going to go under. The Lord will personally reveal sins that need to be confessed and repented of. He will show you how to change to become that husband that He designed you to be. He will take away your bitterness and anger and replace it with His Love.
During this time it will be important to fill your mind with positive Biblical input: teaching, worship tapes, preaching, Biblical counseling, Bible study tapes and friends who will affirm you in your commitment to your marriage. Don’t listen to anyone else!
You may need a couple of Godly Biblical confidants or encouragers that you can call on day or night for a while. Choose them wisely. Never discuss your problems with friends of the opposite sex.
Remember, you become lovable by loving, not by straining to attract love. A husband must be prepared to actively pursue his wife and win her back. Only real love, honesty and repentance will get her back. A husband who is trying to restore his marriage needs to understand that the only thing that will reach his wife is by convincing her that he really wants her and can’t live without her. He needs to persuade her that he wants her for himself, not because it is the right thing to do or because it is best for the children.
When a husband takes positive steps to make his wife feel loved, built up, and wanted, she will open up and begin to trust him again emotionally. A husband’s love can be compared to a warm blanket that he continually wraps around his wife. As long as she feels encircled and sheltered in his love, she will give herself completely to him.
In summary, you need God’s Agape Love for your wife. Agape is not a natural human love, but a “supernatural” Love. It’s God Himself loving through you. In other words, you cannot produce this kind of Love on your own strength and ability. Only when you are a cleansed vessel, with all your hurts, bitterness and anger given over to God, can His Love come forth from your heart.
If you want to learn more about Agape Love, I highly recommend getting Nancy’s book, The Way of Agape.
Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12)
Precious Lord, today I take hold of Jesus, the Shield of victorious faith, and hear and do what He tells me to… In the name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.
12) Horrible Holidays
Q. I dread the holidays. I know this sounds terrible, but for the last few years I’ve gone through the month of December stressed and tired. No matter how hard I try, nothing good seems to happen. I’d sleep through the whole month if I could. I feel like I have a little black cloud hovering over me. Any advice that you can give would really be appreciated….(Internet)
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalm 40:1-2)
A: Depression can be a depressing topic, but we want you to know and understand how important it is to see it from God’s perspective. Please know that depression is a complex affliction and one that should be handled medically if there is a chemical or hormonal problem. And if this is the case, prayer is needed in seeking a doctor and the remedy.
Feeling blue is very common around the holidays. The colorful lights and decorations, the wonderful smells, and the beautiful festive music will bring up memories. Those memories or thoughts stir up our emotions; our emotions then cause our desires; and, our desires produce our actions.
When depression is consuming us during the Christmas season, we are choosing not to deal with our thought life. We are allowing our thoughts to cause us to sink into a horrible pit and land us in the miry clay of depression.
So how do we control our thought life and get out of the miry clay of depression? We must understand that our thought life (mind / memories) is the battleground. We are in a war and the war goes on within us between the Power of God and the power of sin in our souls and our bodies. Romans 7:23 validates this when it says, But I see another law in my members [body], warring against the law of my mind [Law of the Spirit] and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin [power of sin] in my members.
We can make a faith choice and follow what God desires us to do, by saying “Not my will, but thine,” and depend upon God’s supernatural power to take away our depression and fill us with His Love, joy and peace; or, we can make an emotional choice, and choose to follow what we think, what we feel and what we desire and depend upon our own strength to accomplish it in our lives (which will leave us in the pits of depression). If you choose to make the faith choice of giving God your depression, then go to Him in prayer and pour your situation out to Him; it might even be good to write it out. Then cease striving, let go, relax and know that because He is God and because you cried to Him for help, He will help.
Be honest with God. Take responsibility for following the emotional way of thinking (having a pity party, being irritable, having low self-esteem, feeling sorry for ourselves, being stressed, etc.). We can say, “Father, I confess I am depressed (I “own” these emotions). I confess I have chosen to entertain and follow these feelings (hurts, loneliness, fears, hates, etc.) over what You would have me to do, which is give them to You, and it has quenched Your Spirit in me. That’s sin. I now choose to turn around (I repent) from following what these things are telling me to do (which is sleep all the time, be irritable, be angry, etc.) and choose instead to follow You.”
We are not responsible to change our own feelings. We can’t do that. We are only responsible to put in charge the Person who can change our feelings, and that Person is God. As we walk by faith, we’ll find that God is always faithful to align our feelings with our choices. Be assured that when we are in this state, Satan is going to want to keep us consumed in our negative thinking. God promises, though, if we will give Him our negative thoughts, He will take them “as far as the east is from the west” and meet all our needs. Taking time to be with the Lord, in worship and prayer, is the key to getting out of the miry clay of depression and setting our feet upon the rock of Jesus.
Martin Luther wrote a great deal about depression. Because of his unhappy childhood and an overbearingly strict, religious upbringing, he had a constant battle with low self-esteem and depression. Below are listed a few practical steps that he wrote about and a few of my own, which I pray will be helpful.
- Avoid being alone. When we are depressed, we don’t want to be around people and we withdraw. But withdrawing means isolation, and isolation during depression means alienation. Force yourself to be with people.
- Seek help from others. During depression your perceptions change. Seek out a friend or friends that you can pray with. Real friends will keep you accountable and help you see how things truly are.
- Sing and make music. Listen to praise music in your home and car. Sing out loud! (1 Sam. 16:14-23) David’s music was the only cure for Saul’s depression.
- Praise and give thanks. (1 Thess. 5:18) “In everything give thanks…” There’s always something we can be thankful for.
- Get plenty of exercise. Endorphins will kick in and help to fight depression.
- Lean heavily on the Word of God. Where do you focus your devotional time? Is it in a book written by man, or do you get into the Word of God?
- Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water.
Those who belong only to the world have only the wisdom, counsel, and support of the world to turn to. And the world is without hope and without God (Ephesians 2:12). Our hope is in God and all He promises to be for us. The ultimate cure comes always and only from the One whose name is Jehovah Rapha — “the God who heals.”
13) The Unchanging Spouse
Q. I received a copy of your catalog and the two small books, Why Should I Be the First to Change? and The Key. Oh, how blessed I have been! But, I have a question. How am I to handle a situation where the man sees it as the woman’s place to change and he’s not at fault for anything? He feels everyone else is to blame and his temple is clean. The woman is willing, but the man is critical.
Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [love] envieth not; charity [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity [love] never faileth... (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
A. One of the keys that changed Nancy’s and my life is learning what God’s Love is and how it differs from human love. Most Christians are functioning on human love; this is why so many of us have become confused and disheartened. God’s Love is not dependent upon our feelings, our circumstances, or the other person’s responses, as is human love – God’s Love is unconditional. These are the questions we all need to ask ourselves: Are we willing to lay our lives down so that God can pour His Agape Love through us to our spouses? Will we give God our will and our lives to work through to reach them? Are we willing to be the first to change even if our spouses are critical and don’t think they have a problem?
Agape [God’s Love] is a new way of loving. It’s a way of loving that is totally opposite from the way the world teaches and is probably completely opposite from the way you have been used to, even as a Christian. God’s Agape Love is not just for women, nor is it just for married people. Wherever there is a relationship, you need God’s Agape Love! It’s a moment-by-moment choice to “love God” and to lay our lives down to Him so His Love can be manifested through us.
We can’t change the circumstances we are in. We can’t change our past, and we can’t make everything turn out the way we want. But we certainly can:
- 1) Keep our eyes focused on Jesus;
- 2) Yield ourselves totally to Him; and
- 3) Allow His Love to flood our souls and overflow into all our experiences today.
When we are able to keep focused on Jesus, three things will happen:
- 1. We will be able to stop strangle-holding and suffocating our spouses in order to meet our desperate need for love.
- 2. We will stop trying to conform them into our desired image of what we want them to be.
- 3. We will be able to trust God to fix what He wants fixed in them, in His timing and in His way. God always does a much better job of changing and transforming someone than we ever could.
We need to be willing to love with God’s Love, even if our circumstances and our situations never change. Our motivation is wrong if we are loving only to have circumstances or the other person change. That’s conditional human love and not God’s Love at all. Even if what we see happening as a result of our loving is totally opposite from what we would like to see happen, as long as we love “God’s way,” He promises that “His Love will never fail!”
When we love with God’s Love, we won’t feel like doormats! So many spouses are petrified of being “taken advantage of,” or being “stepped on,” or “walked all over.” If God has directed us to love (and we know He has with our mates), then we must know that God will not allow us to be taken advantage of because what we are doing is exactly what He has commanded us to do. God, then, assures us that He will be our armor, our protection, our discernment, and our wisdom. He promises us that if we love Him first, He will give us the Wisdom and the Power to love wisely.
[If there is an adulterous situation or circumstances that are dangerous or abusive to you or your children, then take immediate steps to remedy the situation: seek Godly counsel, temporarily separate if God leads you to and use the time to seek God and His Will.]
Are you willing to be the first to change? Father God, give me spiritual depth and insight into Your ultimate Love…help me to be willing to love and be loved God’s Way…in the name of Jesus – Rabbi, Master, Teacher.
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