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Your personal relationship with Jesus: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-1

Divine Note #10 – March 9, 2009

I’ve been fascinated by what the Bible refers to as the thorn in Paul’s flesh. Three times he appealed to the Lord who replied, “My grace is sufficient for you…” The Lord did not see fit to remove Paul’s thorn, yet Paul became a powerful voice in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. I sit here humbled by the way God has powerfully shown up in my life - yet again. Never in a million years did I imagine that He would insist that I “clean up my stuff,” so that I would be free to testify about the grace and love that is available to all of us. As I’ve opened my heart to receive what the Bible says I can have, my Lord wraps His arms around me and shows me those things that must change. I receive only what I can handle, so that I don’t have a chance to fall back into denial and secrecy because that’s what the enemy tells my mind to do.

Strongholds, also known as addictions, are powerful. As I shared, fasting and asking God to clean up my life really works. People who did not need to be in my life have been removed. I’ve also had to clean up emotional and relational issues. Last week I publicly admitted that I was addicted to watching the cable news and shopping channels. After my daughter asked me to fast from such time-wasting practices, the power of God helped me to stop watching television. But I had to take one more step and that is to stop spending my hard-earned money by using credit cards. I thought I could control my spending but when the bottom fell out of my investments as the financial markets went crazy, I realized that I was in trouble.

Now I’m seeking help to get back on solid financial ground. I’m no longer denying that I have a problem. In my weakness, God has made me strong enough to be vulnerable and honest. If you have a problem, addiction, stronghold or whatever you want to call it, please consider getting real with God and seeking qualified professional help to resolve it. Until I faced my failures, I could not receive His grace. I have been trying to work it out by myself! Plus, I also didn’t want anyone to think I was weak, so I kept the secret. The enemy wants us to keep secrets, so that we keep up the vicious cycle of guilt, shame and denial.

When you harbor a stronghold, you stay in personal captivity. Things in this category may include: overspending, alcoholism, eating disorders of any kind, anger, anger toward God, impatience, arrogance, pride, promiscuity, depression, loneliness, unforgiveness, the desire to please all the time, staying too busy, working all the time, staying in unhealthy relationships or fill in the blank. Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays during the Lent season has given me breakthroughs and closeness to God that I had not experienced before. I’m excited that we are going to be addressing issues that keep us in personal captivity -- so we can live the lives that God has planned for us! Please pray for me and I’ll pray for you!

Have a week full of big God hugs! :-)

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Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
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