Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My advice to Claudia

This is a continuation from a series of email exchanges with Claudia that began in February of 2015. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, click here to see how it began. 

>>10 February 2015 19:15<<

Thanks for writing to me Claudia.

One of your problems is that you concentrate on what you’re doing (tithing, offerings, midnight prayers, Israel Challenges) and what you got rid of (anger, grudges, impure thoughts) when you need to concentrate on trusting God.

This is hard, especially when you’ve gone through what you have. But that’s not important. It has to be done. The fact that you have these bad dreams about thieves killing you, and homeless people burning you with red hot coals, shows that your mind is full of negative thoughts. Don’t be intimidated by these dreams. Laugh at them! Determine the opposite as soon as you wake up! Determine that God is much, much greater than all the evil around you. Determine that you are victorious and fight against all the negative thoughts and feelings. This is how real faith reacts… You have faith, but you need to learn how to use it.

You can do all the right things in the church, attend lots of meetings, give your tithe and forgive your enemies, but if you hold on to negative thoughts about the past in your mind, all the good you do is cancelled out.

Claudia, I know you can conquer this. You are a woman of faith. You love God. But you’ve given room for negative thoughts and feelings. I know because my wife and I used to be the same way. God wants you to react. He wants you to fight against evil, and trust in His promises like you’ve never done before. He wants to transform all this evil into a great victory!!

I want you to make two columns on a piece of paper. In the first column, make a list of the five most common negative phrases that go through your mind every day. In the second column write the opposite of every phrase next to it, what God would say to you. Then send me both lists and I’ll tell you what to do next…

There’s a lot more I could say about your email, but not now. Little by little I’ll help you to be victorious.

God bless.

>>11 February 2015 22:00<<

Hello Bishop,

I understand your suggestion, but I find it hard to keep affirming a reality that is not yet mine. It seems forced, false, that I’m lying to myself. I don’t know how to explain it, but everything I told you is real, it’s true, it’s what I am actually living. They are not only negative thoughts, they’re my day-to-day reality.

I’m like the young man that was with Elijah in 1 Kings 18:43. God promised rain, and the young man went to look 7 times and saw nothing, and then finally saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand. Only after the man said that he saw the cloud, did Elijah send him to tell Ahab to prepare for rain.  Well I’ve tried to see this cloud 70 times 7 times. For 12 years I’ve been going back and forth, waiting for the answer to promises. I’ve only wanted one sign from God, one small cloud, something that would prove that the promise would start to be fulfilled, like Elijah… Understand? I’m not sure if you understand my logic.

But I’ll obey your advice. You’re a man of God, experienced in the things of God, and you know only too well what I am in need of. Below is the list of thoughts that constantly go through my head concerning my actual life:

1. Nothing is easy for me. Everything is extremely complicated, difficult and slow to happen… when it does happen.
2. I’ve never deserved a family. I’ve always lived in the most cruel and painful loneliness. None of the few relationships I’ve had have lasted. I’ve not even given birth to any children to keep me company.
3. I’ve spent years fighting and trying to remain in the presence of God, in search of a transformed life, and until now, nothing.
4. I’ve been faithful, and yet the fact that I’ve been a tither and an offering giver has never made a difference, I’ve never prospered.
5. All the time and in every social setting I am the least valued and the most humiliated. No one has ever believed in me. No one has ever given me any kind of a chance to show that I am capable.

1. I can do anything. Things will be easy, quick and without complication.
2. I have a family. I’m never alone.
3. My life has been transformed.
4. I am very prosperous.
5. Everyone believes in my potential. I was never humiliated.

I knew what I was asking Claudia to do was a mind bender. How do you start affirming positive things when it feels like a lie? I was proud of her to at least be willing to try even though it made no sense to her. I found though, that though her negative thoughts were very aggressive, she wasn’t able to imagine how to counter them with positive thoughts that were equally aggressive. I had to help widen her vision with that which you’ll see it in the next and final post on Claudia’s transformation. Check in tomorrow for more. 

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is complete.  2 Corinthians 10:4-6, MEV

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