Believe…And You Will Have Life

Is there something in your life that you do not like: your dysfunctional personality, the darkness in your mind, the death in your spirit, the painful feelings in your heart, the sickness in your body, or the senseless life you have lived, until now? If you could go to the pawn shop and exchange your dark mind for a new mind, filled with light, would you consider it? If you could ask a surgeon to replace your broken heart with a whole one, would you do it? If you could ask a psychiatrist to give you a pill that would eradicate your spirit of death and grow a new spirit of life, in its place, would you contemplate it? If you could ask a psychologist to replace your dysfunctional personality with a different one, would you try it? If there were a special kind of food that would heal your body from its diseases, would you eat it? If someone who is filled with life, love, and hope offered you her/his life in exchange for yours, would you take it? If someone could bring Heaven to earth, would you receive it?

FOR AS THE FATHER HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF, SO HE HAS GRANTED THE SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF
(John 5:26).

I have GOOD NEWS for you.  There is someone who brought Heaven to earth: into your troubled heart, into your dark mind, into your dead spirit, into your disease-ridden body, and into your broken life.  The Perfect Father has Life in Himself. He gave that Life to His Son, Jesus Christ…to bring YOU that Life, as well. When you receive that Life, in faith, you receive HIS LIFE, complete with HIS MIND, HIS HEART, HIS SPIRIT, HIS BODY, and HIS PURPOSE…and this Life lasts forever.

BUT THESE ARE WRITTEN THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, AND THAT BY BELIEVING YOU MAY HAVE LIFE IN HIS NAME
(John 20:31).

You cannot lead two lives, at the same time. It will either be the Lord Jesus, living HIS LIFE in you, or YOU, living YOUR life in you. The choice is yours.

What do you need to do to receive the LIFE the Perfect Father gave the Lord Jesus to give to YOU?

You give Him yours, in faith. Then, you ask Him for His, in faith.

PRAYER: Father of our Lord Jesus, I worship You with gladness for the Life that You have in Yourself. How encouraged I am that You have granted that same Life to Your Son, Jesus, and for offering that Life to me, as well. In faith, I surrender my life to You, in exchange for Your Life to dwell in me, through Your Spirit. Thank you that this Life lasts forever.

Maintain an Awareness

How much of our misbehavior sprouts from trying to PROVE that we are acceptable, worthy, loved, and wanted, because the OLD MAN character, conveniently formed in us by the father-of-lies, christened us unacceptable, unworthy, unloved, and unwanted?

The Two Counsels

How Do I Live by Faith?

NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: BUT IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK, MY SOUL SHALL HAVE NO PLEASURE IN HIM
(Hebrews 10:38).

What is faith? How do we live by faith, every day, moment-by-moment?

NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN
(Hebrews 11:1).

FAITH is the substance of things-HOPED-for, the evidence of things-not-seen. What are these things-not-seen that we are hoping for? How do we receive these things-HOPED-for that we cannot see? Why do we need to hope for things-not-seen?

CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU AND TELL YOU GREAT AND UNSEARCHABLE THINGS YOU DO NOT KNOW
(Jeremiah 33:3).

In my life, these things-not-seen that I have been hoping for are the personal promises God has given me before He supplies the things-not-seen. My faith becomes the evidence that I am hoping for those personal promises to be fulfilled, in God’s time, even when the FACTS and CONCLUSIONS of my current circumstances show me there is nothing to hope for, because there is no evidence.

But, in order to have received personal promises from God—things-not-seen—I needed to have a deep, personal relationship with God, first. I needed to make Him my eternal God, my Refuge—the One who holds me in His eternal arms, during difficult circumstances.

THE ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE, AND UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS
(Deuteronomy 33:27).

God always tells us ahead of time what to expect, so we may have faith—so we may hope for things-not-seen. Do you live in a real relationship with God? Then, what are the personal promises for which you are hoping—the evidence of things-not-seen? Are your circumstances difficult, at the moment? Find out what God has already promised you in regards to your current circumstances. If you cannot find any promises to hope for, find God. Ask Him to show you something about your circumstances. Anything that God shows you about your circumstances will be a personal promise to you from God—a thing-not-seen that you can hope for. This is how you will live by FAITH, moment-by-moment, every day.

PRAYER: My Lord, I come to You during my difficult circumstances. I seek Your Presence and Your Participation. Show me the things-not-seen for which You want me to hope, today.

Maintain an Awareness

How much of our misbehavior sprouts from trying to PROVE that we are acceptable, worthy, loved, and wanted, because the OLD MAN character, conveniently formed in us by the father-of-lies, christened us unacceptable, unworthy, unloved, and unwanted?

The Two Counsels

But God Will Redeem My Soul

Once upon a time, humans lived according to spiritual principles—indwelled by God’s Spirit and covered by God’s Love, Hope, and Truth.  They thought God’s thoughts and lived in God’s Light, uninterrupted by negative thoughts, far-fetched imaginations, and senseless arguments.  There was no darkness in their minds and no pain in their hearts.  They had LIFE.

FOR WE KNOW THAT THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL: BUT I AM CARNAL, SOLD UNDER SIN
(Romans 7:14).

But then the unthinkable happened.  We decided to disobey God and listen to a different counsel—the oppressing thoughts of the FATHER-OF-LIES. Our obedience to this new counsel sold us into slavery under the control of the father-of-lies and turned off God’s LIFE inside of us. Thus, we became empty—void of God’s Love, Hope, and Truth.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
(John 3:16).

But, we received a second chance—JESUS!  He died to repurchase us from slavery to the father-of-lies and his counsel. Then He became alive to become our LIFE, from the inside-out. Through His Life, we were once again connected to God’s Love, Hope, and Truth.

BUT GOD WILL REDEEM MY SOUL FROM THE POWER OF THE GRAVE: FOR HE SHALL RECEIVE ME
(Psalm 49:15).

Are you perishing? Your Redeemer came to redeem your life from the pit into which you have fallen. Are you too messed up to be FIXED? He did not come to FIX you. He came to REPLACE your life…with His Life. Are you empty—void of Love, Hope, and Truth? God came to redeem your soul from the power of the grave. All He asks is that you believe in Him.

PRAISE THE LORD, MY SOUL, AND FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS—
WHO FORGIVES ALL YOUR SINS
AND HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES,
WHO REDEEMS YOUR LIFE FROM THE PIT
AND CROWNS YOU WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION,
WHO SATISFIES YOUR DESIRES WITH GOOD THINGS
SO THAT YOUR YOUTH IS RENEWED LIKE THE EAGLE’S”
(Psalm 103:2-5).

How would you like to take advantage of your Second Chance—Jesus?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I praise You for being my Second Chance. Come and redeem me from the counsel of the father-of-lies and clothe me with Your Life, from the inside-out.

Maintain an Awareness

Capture that the human mind loves to reason WITHOUT the Holy Spirit.

The Two Counsels

When I Fail

Oswald Chambers once said, “When a person fails in his personal Christian life, it is usually because he has never received anything.”

JOHN ANSWERED AND SAID, A MAN CAN RECEIVE NOTHING, EXCEPT IT BE GIVEN HIM FROM HEAVEN
(John 3:27).

I bless you to sing a new song of joy, today.  Jesus came to give you what you need, so you do not have to fail anymore.

HITHERTO HAVE YE ASKED NOTHING IN MY NAME: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL
(John 16:24).

Do you need acceptance?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need goodness?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need kindness?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need joy?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need faith?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need hope?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need comfort?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need light?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need life?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need healing?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need forgiveness?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need belonging?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need affirmation?  Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need love? Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need strength? Receive it from Jesus!
Do you need a miracle? Receive it from Jesus!

PRAISE THE LORD, MY SOUL, AND FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS—
WHO FORGIVES ALL YOUR SINS AND HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES,
WHO REDEEMS YOUR LIFE FROM THE PIT
AND CROWNS YOU WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION,
WHO SATISFIES YOUR DESIRES WITH GOOD THINGS
SO THAT YOUR YOUTH IS RENEWED LIKE THE EAGLE’S
(Psalm 103:2-5).

What do you need?  At what are you failing?

Come to the Lord Jesus, just the way you are, and ask Him for what you need, in faith. It is as simple as that.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you that I may ask You for anything I need, no matter how small or large my request is, so I may receive, and my joy may be full.

Maintain an Awareness

Sin is not something mysterious…something unexplainable…something that happens to you. Sin does not stand alone. It does not happen by itself. Sinful solutions have a source—the source of the OLD MAN.

The Two Counsels

Seek and You Will Find God

YOU WILL SEEK ME AND FIND ME WHEN YOU SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART
(Jeremiah 29:13).

I have been very encouraged by the ways God has allowed me to find Him after I have sought Him with all my heart.  I have learned to lay my request at His feet…and then look to Him with expectation for the Answer.

He does not always answer in the way I expect Him to answer.  He does not always answer in the timing I allow Him.  He does not always answer in the place I watch for Him.  However, He always answers.

I have become excited about the ways God speaks.  Sometimes, His Power hits suddenly and vividly like a lightning bolt, all at once.  Sometimes, His Counsel blows in smoothly and quietly like a gentle sea breeze.  Sometimes, His Truth trickles in like raindrops, drop by drop, until the bucket is full and the Answer is complete.

HE MOVES MOUNTAINS WITHOUT THEIR KNOWING IT AND OVERTURNS THEM IN HIS ANGER
(Job 9:5).

I bless you to know that when you do not hear from God and it feels like He has abandoned you, He IS working on your case.  Understand that you might not see Him working, but He IS working behind the scenesBe encouraged that He IS busy moving the mountains.  Sometimes, that mountain is an oppressing belief in your own heart.  Sometimes, that mountain is a wrong perspective in someone else’s heart.  Sometimes, that mountain is a circumstance.

Do not always expect an instant answer and instant solution. Mountains are not always moved in a second.  Sometimes it takes time to move mountains. Have faith. Let Him have His way.

AND WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, BECAUSE ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM MUST BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS AND THAT HE REWARDS THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK HIM
(Hebrews 11:6).

Believe that God WILL reward you if you seek Him earnestly.  He has done it for me.  He will do it for you. 

When you seek God, seek Him with all your heart. Present your request to Him, but also expect an Answer from Him. Do not just present your request and walk away. Listen for the lightning bolt. Wait for the sea breeze. Look for the raindrops.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, build Your Faith in my heart, so that I may never forget that the Perfect Father DOES reward those who earnestly seek Him, even if it takes some time.

Maintain an Awareness

The Lord Jesus has always lived His Life for God, the Father. When we invite Him to come live HIS LIFE in us, He will live it for God, the Father, in the same way He has always done.

The Two Counsels

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A Light Has Dawned

THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU; THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE SHINE UPON YOU, AND BE GRACIOUS TO YOU; THE LORD LIFT UP HIS COUNTENANCE UPON YOU, AND GIVE YOU PEACE
(Numbers 6:24-26).

Are you living in the land of the shadow of death?  Are you surrounded by the deepest gloom?  Are you walking in stark darkness?

Is your gloom caused by the belief that you have come to the end of your resources and that everything is in vain?  Is your darkness caused by the belief that it is too late to ask God for help? Are you living in the land of the shadow of death, because you feel your anger and bitterness have made your heart inaccessible to God’s healing?

INDEED, THE DARKNESS SHALL NOT HIDE FROM YOU, BUT THE NIGHT SHINES AS THE DAY; THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT ARE BOTH ALIKE TO YOU
(Psalm 139:12).

Precious Child, do not despair in your darkness. I, the Most High, can see deep inside your wounded heart. Nothing is hidden from Me, for darkness and light are both alike to Me. I am here to bless you and keep you, to shine My Face upon you and be gracious to you, to lift My Countenance upon you, and give you Peace.

HE BROUGHT THEM OUT OF DARKNESS AND THE DEEPEST GLOOM AND BROKE AWAY THEIR CHAINS
(Psalm 107:14).

Be encouraged, Child. I can see what you cannot see. I can recognize what you cannot recognize. I can understand what you cannot understand.  Darkness does not hide from Me.  Gloom does not intimidate Me.  The land of the shadow of death is not unfamiliar to Me.

Take heart! On you who are living in the land of the shadow of death a Light has dawned. I, the God of Light, stand ready to bring you out of your darkness and the deepest gloom and break away your chains. Only, invite Me into your land of the shadow of death.  I will do the rest.

THE PEOPLE WALKING IN DARKNESS HAVE SEEN A GREAT LIGHT; ON THOSE LIVING IN THE LAND OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH A LIGHT HAS DAWNED
(Isaiah 9:2).

If you want to come out of your land of the shadow of death, find the negative, destructive beliefs from the father-of-lies that are causing the doom, dread, and despair in your heart. Then, invite the God of Light into this place. Allow Him to shine His Face upon you and be gracious to you. He will break away your chains and bring you out of darkness.

PRAYER: Most High, how comforting to know that darkness and light are both alike to You. I invite You into my land of the shadow of death. Come and lift Your Countenance upon me and give me Peace. Break away my chains. Then, take my hand and lead me out of this gloom, so I may be set free from my beliefs of doom, dread, and despair.

Maintain an Awareness

Discipline, the training to enter God’s Holiness, cannot be exercised AFTER we have already entered a route of escape to resort to a sinful solution.

The Two Counsels

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Lean on God with Your Entire Personality

IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY NOT GROW DISINTERESTED AND BECOME [SPIRITUAL] SLUGGARDS, BUT IMITATORS, BEHAVING AS DO THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH (BY THEIR LEANING OF THE ENTIRE PERSONALITY ON GOD IN CHRIST IN ABSOLUTE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN HIS POWER, WISDOM, AND GOODNESS) AND BY PRACTICE OF PATIENT ENDURANCE AND WAITING ARE [NOW] INHERITING THE PROMISES
(Hebrews 6:12 AMP).

I bless you to lean with your entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His POWER. Know that He is ABLE to do what He promised you He would do. He has the required Strength to perform the impossible, the Authority to move mountains, the Control to make everything work out for your good.

SO THAT YOUR FAITH MIGHT NOT REST ON MEN’S WISDOM, BUT ON GOD’S POWER
(1 Corinthians 2:5).

I bless you to lean with your entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His WISDOM, as you wait on His Answers. Know that He will give you Words of Wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict, not even the roaring lion…the father-of-lies…the evil one with his negative, destructive beliefs of abandonment, shame, condemnation, and rejection.

FOR I WILL GIVE YOU WORDS AND WISDOM THAT NONE OF YOUR ADVERSARIES WILL BE ABLE TO RESIST OR CONTRADICT
(Luke 21:15).

I bless you to lean with your entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His GOODNESS, which He has stored up for those who revere Him—for those who acknowledge Him in all their ways. Know that God has not forgotten about you. He knows how you have been patiently enduring. The Lord is not slack concerning His Promises. After you have done what He has asked of you, He will give you what He has promised you.

HOW GREAT IS YOUR GOODNESS, WHICH YOU HAVE STORED UP FOR THOSE WHO FEAR YOU, WHICH YOU BESTOW IN THE SIGHT OF MEN ON THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE IN YOU
(Psalm 31:19).

What has God promised you He would do? Has He fulfilled His Promises, yet? If not, do not become discouraged. Do not rest your faith on what people tell you, but lean with your entire personality on God’s Power, Wisdom, and Goodness. In time, with patient endurance, you will inherit all His Promises.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, work Your Faith in me, so I may be able to trust in Your Power, Wisdom, and Goodness with my entire personality, as I wait for Your Promises.

Maintain an Awareness

Many of these untrue childhood conclusions grouped together to raise a spirit of defilement in us—the OLD MAN mentality that duped us into thinking we were doomed and damned, for life.

The Two Counsels

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

FOR THIS PEOPLE’S HEART HAS BECOME CALLOUSED; THEY HARDLY HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES. OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEARTS AND TURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM
(Matthew 13:15).

I still remember when I went through the valley of the shadow of death.  I felt so alone.  I felt so unloved.  I felt so unlovable.  I did not know what to do with myself.  I did not even understand what was going on, only that there was something wrong with me…and that I desperately needed help.  I desperately needed a way out.

But then I heard it—my Everlasting Father’s Comfort through the Holy Spirit.  He asked me to listen with the ears of my heart.  When I had finally calmed down and was listening, He said, “My Child, you are not alone.  I am right here with you.  I am IN you. You can see Me. You can hear Me. You can understand Me.”

EVEN THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME
(Psalm 23:4).

Do not be discouraged when you are going through the valley of the shadow of death. Pause. Take a deep breath. God is close. He wants to meet you in your heart. Listen carefully with the ears of your heart and you will hear your Everlasting Father tell you that you are not alone…that He already knows what you need…that He has already planned a way to provide for you. Focus intently on your heart and perceive the Love God is holding out to you. Listen carefully with your spiritual ears and hear the Hope He is whispering to you. Allow your heart to know the perturbing perception that has unsettled you. Then, invite God’s Perspective to give you understanding.

BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD…I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH
(Psalm 46:10).

Are you going through the valley of the shadow of death, right now? What is it that you need to hear most from your Perfect Father? What is it that you need to see, at this point of your life? What does your heart desperately need to understand?

Become quiet. Train the ears of your heart to listen to what God wants to tell you. Train the eyes of your heart to see what God wants to show you. Train your heart to understand God’s Perspective.

PRAYER: Perfect Father, bring me to the place where I will become still and listen for You with the ears of my heart, so I may know that You are with me during this time of my life.

Maintain an Awareness

Know that you cannot be a friend of the Light and be a friend of darkness, at the same time. Darkness and Light do not mix. They are incompatible. You are either in the dark, or in the light.

The Two Counsels

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God’s Perspective

THE WOMAN SAID TO THE SERPENT, ‘WE MAY EAT FRUIT FROM THE TREES IN THE GARDEN, BUT GOD DID SAY, ‘YOU MUST NOT EAT FRUIT FROM THE TREE THAT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN, AND YOU MUST NOT TOUCH IT, OR YOU WILL DIE’

‘YOU WILL NOT SURELY DIE,’ THE SERPENT SAID TO THE WOMAN
(Genesis 3:2-4).

Notice that there are two sources of counsel available to you: God’s Counsel and Satan’s counsel.

Listen to God’s Counsel:

TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART
AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING;
IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM,
AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.
DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES;
FEAR THE LORD AND SHUN EVIL
(Proverbs 3:5-7).

Notice that Satan’s counsel opposes God’s Counsel…resists God’s instruction…attacks God’s Word:

Do not trust God,
Instead, rely on your own perceptions,
Trust your own interpretations and believe everything you think.
Try and figure everything out for yourself,
for your mind is sufficient to supply all the explanations you need.
Have faith in your own common sense.
Then, everything will turn out OK.

THE MIND OF SINFUL MAN IS DEATH, BUT THE MIND CONTROLLED BY THE SPIRIT IS LIFE AND PEACE
(Romans 8:6).

Do you have Life and Peace? If not, whose counsel do you heed, daily? Who controls your mind, moment-by-moment?

Are you willing to follow a different Counsel? I challenge you to stop trying to figure things out for yourself. Instead, ask God for His Perspective…and see what happens.

PRAYER: Lord God, may I trust YOU with all my heart and refrain from being wise in my own eyes, but acknowledge Your Perspective in everything I do and think.

Maintain an Awareness

The defense mechanism of blaming has been with us since the beginning of time.

The Two Counsels

The Will of the Perfect Father

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
(Matthew 6:10).

The Will of the Perfect Father is the highest Power in Heaven and on earth.  Nothing can withstand it…except our own will.

ARE NOT TWO SPARROWS SOLD FOR A PENNY?  YET NOT ONE OF THEM WILL FALL TO THE GROUND APART FROM THE WILL OF YOUR FATHER
(Matthew 10:29).

On the other hand, the father-of-lies is always ready to persuade us to do HIS will: to follow his negative, destructive thoughts “God does not love you. God only wants to harm you. God only wants to punish you, because He is a villain—someone without principles.” The father-of-lies constantly promotes his own will through your will, because he knows if we chose HIS rebellious will, he would be able to manifest his own sinful nature in us, along with his own deceitful desires, his own accusatory beliefs with their painful feelings, his own evil deeds, and his own destructive purpose.

YOU ARE WORTHY, OUR LORD AND GOD, TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER, FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS, AND BY YOUR WILL THEY WERE CREATED AND HAVE THEIR BEING
(Revelation 4:11).

The father-of-lies will always try to persuade you that HIS rebellious will is good for your life, and that the Perfect Father’s Will is bad for you.  However, whenever you believe the father-of-lies’ negative, destructive thoughts, you will be filled with suspicion, hatred, sadness, confusion, guilt, jealousy, and anger. His beliefs of rejection, shame, condemnation, and abandonment will reign in your heart. His unworthiness will cover your soul. His hopelessness will abuse your heart. On the other hand, the more you submit to God’s Perfect Will, the more you are filled with His Hope, Truth, and Love, for by His Will you were created and have your being. Know that what the father-of-lies has been telling you about Him is not true. The father-of-lies is the real villain. He is the one without the principles. He is the one who does not love you and wants to harm and punish you. Know that when you allow the Father’s Will to reign in your life, the father-of-lies’ will has no hold on your life.  However, this all depends on YOUR will.

Whom do you serve with YOUR will: the Perfect Father…or the father-of-lies?

PRAYER: Perfect Father, with my will I choose Your Will to reign in my life: in my thoughts, in my actions, in my nature, in my desires, in my emotions, and in my purpose.

Maintain an Awareness

If you surrender your pain to the father-of-lies, he will coax you into sinful solutions of hiding, blaming, and running. He will take you down that broad road of destruction where he will kill you from the inside out.

The Two Counsels