One era is coming to an end and another is about to begin!
This is the last post in the series entitled Seven Invisible Barriers to Spiritual Growth. My original plan was to write a series of posts that would become a small 100-page book (about 25,000 words) by the same title. That isn’t what happened though.
This blog post is part 57 of the series Seven Invisible Barriers to Spiritual Growth
The more I began to write the more I wanted to say. I didn’t want to give just a cursory overview of the barriers, but a more in-depth view of what gets in the way of our spiritual growth. This is the fifty-seventh and final post in the series. I have written and spoken, through the audio blog, 108,708 words, the equivalent of a 435-page book.
What I would like to do with this last post is provide a quick overview of each of the seven barriers, provide you a link that will list all of the posts on one page, and introduce the topic that will start a new era in the Experiencing his Victory journey
The Reality of the Invisible Realm
We started our journey by explaining that there is an invisible world that exists around us. We can’t see it or understand it without the help of a microscope and other technological wonders but it is there. Likewise, there is the invisible spiritual realm that is just as real as the physical.
God created everything that exists. He placed Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them the authority to rule and subdue the earth. All that he created was good. At the end of the six days of creation, God looked at what He made and said that it was very good.
There was a rebellion in heaven and God cast out Satan and a third of the angels that followed him. The devil entered the garden and tempted Eve to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit. Instead of commanding the devil to go, Eve ate of the fruit of the tree and gave it to her husband Adam.
The effects of the fall were instant. Adam and Eve lost the glory of the Lord and knew they were naked. They tried to cover themselves from one another and hid from the presence of the Lord in the garden. God kicked them out of the garden so they could not eat of the tree of life and live forever in their fallen state.
The fall released a curse upon the serpent and upon the work of man’s hand. The position of ruling over the earth was stolen through the deception of Satan. He now becomes the ruler of the world. Satan is opposed to God and his goal is to steal, kill, and destroy everything that God created.
God’s Plan of Salvation
God was not caught off guard by the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the garden. He had a plan in mind from before the foundations of the world. He promised the serpent that there would be one born of the seed of Eve that would come and crush his head.
God’s plan was to send His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to live a life of total obedience Him. He would be tried and tested like Adam and Eve, but would not fail. He would offer His perfect life as a sacrifice for many.
Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world. He would become a curse for us. He would defeat the enemy and forgive our sins, reconcile us with God, make us spiritually alive, and empower us to live life as God intends it to be.
Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly. He came to set us free from the curse and the power of the enemy. Believers are translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are to walk in the freedom and liberty purchased for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Seven Invisible Barriers
Satan still remains in this world. He is a defeated foe, but he still seeks to rebel against God and carry on the fight.
The Apostle Peter warns us that Satan is going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. The Apostle Paul says that we don't fight against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, and against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
God doesn’t want us to be unaware of the invisible forces that can affect our lives. Over the past fourteen months, we have considered seven invisible barriers that can hinder our spiritual growth. Here is a quick overview of each barrier.
Barrier 1: Curses
There are three aspects to a curse. First, a curse is a warning of the consequences that will come about if God’s command is broken. This is what God did when He told Adam and Eve that If they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die.
Second, the curse speaks about the consequences and punishment of sin. It speaks about the binding power of the curse that limits the life and productivity of the one who is cursed. The person is bound and unable to accomplish what he or she was once able to do.
Third, the curse is a withdrawal of the blessing of God, It is the blessing of God that brings freedom, peace, increase, and plenty. The curse speaks of reduction in every area of life.
The main ways that you can experience a curse your life is through willful sin, a word curse from others or yourself, cursed items, or occult participation.
Barrier 2: Past Family Baggage
Some people call this generational curses. Any way you look at it there is “family baggage” that is handed down to us through our family lines. Every family is different and so the things handed down will differ, but one thing is for sure, both good qualities and bad qualities are handed down through both sides of your family.
What we are concerned with when it comes to the invisible barriers are the bad things that are handed down to you. The Bible says the iniquity of our fathers will be handed down to the third and fourth generations.
The idea behind the word iniquity is “to bend”, “to twist”, or “to deviate from a path.” It is a perversion of what God’s desires and calls us to be. It is crooked behavior that violates God’s commands.
Some examples of iniquity are fear, anger, violence, drugs, immorality, cynicism, guilt and shame, manipulation, or, it seems, a million other things that place an invisible barrier in your life.
It’s good to remember that having family baggage does not ensure that you will sin the same manner. It means that you have a bent or tendency to respond in the same manner as your family always has.
Barrier 3: The Demonic Realm
Some people refuse to believe that there is a demonic realm that can affect the life of believers. I just want to remind you that Jesus believed in demons and cast them out of people everywhere He ministered.
Paul says we are not ignorant of the schemes of the devil. We looked at a list of some of the major ways the enemy seeks to enter into our lives and God’s answer for each tactic.
Here is a list of the things we covered. The list includes the strategies the enemy uses, the words in parenthesis are God’s answer:
- Lies and deception (truth)
- Rebellion (righteousness)
- Condemnation (peace)
- Fear and intimidation (faith)
- Doubt and unbelief (helmet of salvation)
- False teachings, philosophies, and religions (His word)
- Prayerlessness (prayer)
Thank God that He has an answer to every single strategy of the enemy.
Barrier 4: Emotional Wounds
Every one of us has been wounded by things that have taken place in our lives. We may look great on the outside, but deep inside there are invisible pains and wounds that scar us emotionally.
We carry these unseen wounds with us everywhere we go. They affect how we view and live life. Each one of us has a different way to try and cope with these wounds. You may
- Ignore them and try and act like they did not happen.
- Stuff them deep down thinking that if they are out of sight they won’t affect you.
- Accept them and believe that this is just the way life is for you.
- Rehearse them and relive the pain over and over again as if it just happened yesterday.
- Medicate them hoping that drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or spending will take away the pain.
- Emulate them by hurting others the same way you were hurt.
The good news is that there is an answer for your pain. Jesus knows your pain. He really does because He Himself experienced a full gamut of pain. He was betrayed, abandoned, denied, falsely accused, slandered, rejected, abused, mocked, shamed, beaten, reviled, maligned, and crucified.
Jesus not only knows your pain. He bore your pain. He took all the stuff you bear upon Himself on the cross. He knows how to heal your broken heart. Come to Him and receive His healing grace.
Barrier 5: Ungodly Beliefs
An ungodly belief may be defined as:
All beliefs, agreements, judgments, expectations, vows, and oaths that do not agree with God (His Word, His nature, His character).
You form ungodly beliefs through wrong views of God, misinterpreting God’s word, believing the lies of the world, receiving negative input from your family and others in your life, and through personal and traumatic experiences.
These ungodly beliefs shape how you see yourself and respond to life in general. Thoughts become strongholds and affect every area of your life. The good news is that God has a solution.
God wants you to renew your mind. He wants you to understand that there is a spiritual battle taking place and that the strongholds that are erected in your mind can be torn down by the powerful spiritual weapons that God provides for you.
You are to rise up in His authority and power to tear down every stronghold and to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. You’re not helpless against the works of the enemy, You are empowered by God’s grace to take authority in every area of your life.
You have the truth of God’s word to defeat the lies of the devil. You Have the word of God as your guide. You can pray purposefully, positively, and focus on the solution in your life. You can pray in the Spirit. You can put off the old man and put on the new man available to you through Jesus and walk in newness of life.
Barrier 6: Unforgiveness and Offense
Unforgiveness is a major invisible barrier that can stop you from experiencing life as God intends it to be, There are many reasons why you may find it difficult to forgive others, many of them are based on wrong understandings of what it means to forgive.
That is why we spent a lot of time busting twenty-four myths about forgiveness while explaining what true forgiveness is all about. We then looked at the destructive power of unforgiveness and provided a long list of things that can impact your life if you refuse to forgive.
Jesus says that unless you forgive from the heart you will be turned over to the torturers. The only way to be free is to forgive. We then looked at various ways the enemy seeks to cause us to be offended and how you should respond if you are offended or someone is offended by you.
Barrier 7: Doubt and Unbelief
The final area we looked at was doubt and unbelief. We looked at how unbelief can stop you from experiencing the miraculous works of Jesus in your life. But also how if you are struggling with unbelief you can cry out to Jesus for help.
Doubt is like having two brains. One brain says yes the other says no. We looked at how you may have doubt in the midst of great faith, how to overcome about and unbelief, and three reasons you may struggle with it in your life.
So there you have it. An era has passed. You can still read all about (or listen to the audio blog). If you want to see every post on one page, all you have to do is go to experiencinghisvictory.com/invisible-barriers
A New Era Begins
Here is a super-quick overview what you can expect in the months to come.
Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory Blog a Book Series
The theme for the upcoming months is going to be eight steps to experiencing His Victory. I believe that there are certain things that must take place in the life of a believer for them to experience the freedom that Jesus promised.
Total freedom in Christ and spiritual growth are not instantaneous. Everything is available, but everything is not experienced. I wish that we were instantly changed to a totally healed and mature believer, but we must learn to walk with the Lord and experience His life-changing influence as He changes us from glory to glory into the image of Christ.
The keyword in each step begins with the letter “r” to make it easy to remember each step. Here is a brief overview of the eight steps:
Step 1 Examine Your Relationship with God.
Everything starts with your relationship with God. God is your creator and desires to have a relationship with you. He is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. Everything you have available through Christ comes through this relationship.
Step 2: Ask God for Revelation
God knows us better than anyone on the planet, including ourselves. We can be deceived, God cannot. It is important to ask God to search and try our hearts to see if there is anything that is harming us. He never condemns a searching heart and will graciously show us the things we need to change.
Step 3: Take Responsibility for Your Own Actions
If you blame someone else for the way you are, you will never change. It is only as you take responsibility for your actions that you can begin the process of change. If you own it. You can change it.
Step 4: Repent and Turn to God
Repentance means that we accept and come to agreement with what God says. Repentance is, as one author put it, “the about-face of a new commitment.” It is where we reject our own thoughts about what is right and wrong and choose to believe what God says is true.
Step 5: Renounce and Turn from Sin
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to renounce something means “to say in a formal or definite way that you refuse to follow, obey, or support (someone or something) any longer.” When you repent (change your mind and actions) to accept God’s truth, you also need to renounce (formally reject) the lies or actions you have turned from.
Step 6: Let Jesus Restore Your Soul
Jesus is our healer. He came to bind up your broken heart. He suffered many things in your place so you don’t have to. Bring each painful situation before the Lord and give Him each and every aspect to Him and let Him heal your wounds.
Step 7: Repulse the Enemy
Even though this is not a common word in my vocabulary, I chose it for its powerful meaning. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word repulse means “to force (someone) to stop attacking you/”
As believers we can stand in the authority and power of Jesus and resist the devil and he will flee. It’s vital to stand up to every attack of the enemy and send him fleeing.
Step 8: Receive God’s Blessing
This is where you open up your heart and receive all that the Lord has for you. The Scripture says He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for sorrow, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It is time to begin to experience life as God intends it to be.
Eight Steps to Experiencing His Victory Video Training
I just started the first of many video courses. I am going to offer this free course to help people prepare for future courses that will deal with specific areas of self-deliverance. These foundational truths will help people better understand their part in the process of walking in victory. You can watch the my introduction to the introduction by clicking on the video below.
Who You Are in Christ Video Series
I just release the first of a series of short videos on who you are in Christ. It’s entitled A Child of God. I hope to put a video out every week or two until I complete the whole series. If you want to watch it, just click on the video below.