Category

Tough Questions

Woman and man dating

Four Signs You’re Dating The Wrong Person

By | Relationships, Singleness, Tough Questions | No Comments

Further Resources

📺 Why God Removes People From Your Life

📖 Bible Reading Plan: Rip Up The List

📝Did I Marry the Right Person?


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V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

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One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

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Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

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Brick wall

How Do I Get Control Of My Mind

By | Tough Questions | No Comments

Further Resources

📝 Why Can’t I Hear God?

📝 How to Overcome Anxiety


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

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PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

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V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

| Prayer | No Comments
One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

| Prayer | No Comments
Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

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Revivalist sweatshirt
He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
We are the wild ones long sleeve tee
Couple holding hands

When Will God Send My Spouse?

By | Marriage, Relationships, Singleness, Tough Questions | No Comments

Further Resources

📝 Bible Verses About Marriage

📺 What Are Soul Ties And How Do I Get Free?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

DOWNLOAD NOW

PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

Your generosity helps others experience breakthrough.

Give a one-time gift, or set up recurring giving.

V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

| Prayer | No Comments
One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

| Prayer | No Comments
Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

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He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
We are the wild ones long sleeve tee
Nativity Scene

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

By | Holidays, Tough Questions | No Comments

Should Christians celebrate mainstream holidays like Christmas and Halloween?  I take a very hard-line stance against Halloween, which you can watch more about here, in my video with Jenny Weaver “You Should Know This Before Celebrating Halloween” and my video with Julie Lopez, “Former Witch Exposes Halloween.”  If you would like a deep dive into my theology behind this, these two videos give the long form of my beliefs about why Halloween is not for Christians.  

Accept, Reject, or Redeem

When it comes to evaluating whether or not we participate in something as believers, we have three options: accept, reject, or redeem. When you examine the roots of Halloween, it’s irredeemable.  We cannot redeem something evil, dark, murderous, and demonic.  In my view, Halloween is something that we as believers should reject. 

When I made a public stance on this, I had a great deal of support from the Christian community.  I even had a viral quote that said, “My favorite Halloween tradition is casting out demons.”  But my stance on Christmas is different.  Even though Christmas has pagan roots, the heart of the Christmas celebration is the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  

The Difference is the Heart

The difference between Halloween and Christmas is the heart and intention behind the holiday.  So I do celebrate Christmas.  I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.  I believe He lived a sinless, perfect life and was crucified and rose on the third day. Was Jesus born on December 25?  No, probably not.  Is there a historical Jewish celebration or feast that co-exists with Christmas?  Not necessarily.   Even though the holiday has pagan origins, historically it was decided that they would celebrate Christ on this day.  So, this is again an opportunity where we have the choice to accept, reject, or redeem. I believe this falls into the category of redeem.  

Don’t Take Christ From Christmas

The world twists the time of the year and tries to call it the “holiday season.” because they want to delete Christ from Christmas.  Therefore, I think the most important thing Christians can do right now is celebrate Christmas!  There is a big difference between Halloween, which is overtly dark and demonic, and Christmas, which ubiquitously celebrates Christ.  

Nativity SceneOf course, you can get caught up in materialism during Christmas, which would mean you’re missing the mark.  If the greatest gift that you give to your kids is a toy and not the gift of salvation through Jesus, you should re-evaluate how you celebrate.  

Approach Christmas With Intention

We celebrate Christ during Christmas!  The whole world is celebrating Christmas, so let’s use it as an opportunity to celebrate Christ. While the world makes it about materialism and the worship of money, as the people of God, let’s make it about generosity.  While the world makes it about family, Jesus said His family is the one who does the will of His father.  So don’t make it about physical family, make it about your spiritual family.  Don’t make it all about material gifts and neglect the great gift of salvation!  

Approach this Christmas with intention and redeem it!  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Further Resources

📺Pastor Mike discusses this as a part of a Q&A in the video Real Pastor Answers Questions About the Spirit Realm

📺You Should Know This Before Celebrating Halloween

📺Former Witch Exposes Halloween


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

DOWNLOAD NOW

PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

Your generosity helps others experience breakthrough.

Give a one-time gift, or set up recurring giving.

V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

| Prayer | No Comments
One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

| Prayer | No Comments
Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

Shop the store

Revivalist sweatshirt
He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
We are the wild ones long sleeve tee

Muslim To Christian: My Interview with Farzana Abraham (The Breakers Challenge)

By | Evangelism, The Breakers Challenge, The Holy Spirit, Tough Questions | No Comments

If you’re a Muslim and you’re curious about Christ and Christianity, I believe that you came to the right place to hear her story.  Farzana’s story is not just about converting from Muslim to Christian, but it’s about finding freedom and healing.  It’s also about breaking through trauma and different pains from the past.  Here’s my interview with Farzana Abraham, who experienced a radical conversion from Islam to Christianity.  

Pastor Mike:  What was it like being raised in a Muslim family in America?

Farzana: Growing up, my parents always believed in Allah, but they didn’t follow the religion. They worked a few jobs to make ends meet. So, because of that, they didn’t have time to teach us, and they would send us to Sunday school and we would learn from other imams.

My parents would fight and argue a lot, and it would turn into abuse.  

My dad’s anger worsened. In the meantime, while that was happening, I was learning from other imams and teachers about the Quran. I felt my parents were forcing their religion on me but weren’t doing their part. So they were like, you need to follow Allah, you need to do this or that, but they weren’t praying or reading the Quran. We didn’t go to mosque. So, that made me think, “Why should I follow the religion if you’re not following yourself, as well?”  And I remember telling my mom that I didn’t believe in Allah and that I didn’t care if I went to hell because I was already living in one.  

I didn’t want to follow a religion just because someone else was following it or just to look like I was following it. It was kind of like oh, what is this person gonna think? What is the community going to think? You’re breaking my heart as a parent if you don’t follow and stuff like that. 

There was one point when I was curious about Christianity, but the way my dad approached it, it was as if I shouldn’t be questioning Quran or Islam. Like, you’ll go to hell if you learn about Christianity.  So, it was just like a lot of fear, but I was still curious about it. I just never really pursued it, because I was worried about what he was going to do. 

Pastor Mike:  I have a question that a lot of people would like to know, especially people that don’t have a window into the Muslim world.  Islam is a global religion, but many people might be watching right now that have never been in a Muslim family. You’ve described your experience, your thoughts, and your beliefs growing up, being forced to go to mosque, but not wanting to be there and questioning and challenging all these things. Do you feel like that’s a common thing within Muslim families, especially in the United States?

Farzana: I feel that it’s very common.  Like, because you’re born into a Muslim family, you have to follow the religion. You’re not allowed to know about the other religions and then it goes back to, what is the community gonna think? You could lose all of your community and your family.  So instead of worrying about your salvation, you’re worried about what everyone else is going to do.  

Especially with 9-11 happening, I began to look at Islam differently, because it didn’t make sense to me. Why would they crash into a building in the name of Allah?  Islam is all about peace. So, when 9/11 happened, I began questioning if it was peace or if it was covering up something.  Pastor Mike:  So you’re dealing with that in the world and then, at home, you’re also dealing with personal pain, and then you’re feeling like you’re forced to learn these things and it’s not even adding up.  And you’re feeling like you’re never good enough, your efforts are never good enough for your dad and your family, never enough for your religion, and you feel the weight of condemnation, guilt, shame, and works.  

Now the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we’ll never be good enough.  We can’t pray enough, fast enough, give enough, or earn enough money.  because you think about Jesus, the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we’ll never be good enough. We can’t pray enough, we can’t fast enough, we can’t give enough, we can’t earn enough money, but we are saved because Jesus was perfect. He died on the cross and three days later, rose again.  If we accept him as our savior, we’re saved and so, it’s the opposite of every other religion. Every other religion’s message is that if you do this list of things, maybe you’ll go to heaven, maybe you’ll have the acceptance of God, but Jesus said, “No, I took your place. You should be punished, you should die, and you should go to hell, but you are going to have eternal life because I took your place. I took the punishment upon me and that’s what it means to be saved, to have a savior.”   

How did you make that transition, Farzana, from being raised Muslim and then almost being an atheist where you’re not even sure God exists, to then now becoming a Christian?  What happened?  

Farzana:  So, when I met my husband, he told me that he’s not an Indian Muslim, he’s an Indian Christian. And I didn’t realize South Asians could be Christians. I thought they could only be Muslims and Hindus.  And after he told me that, I didn’t give much thought to it.  At one point, we went from being friends to the relationship zone.  As things progressed, we were trying to figure out if we should start a relationship.  One of the things he mentioned is that his parents were looking for a Christian girl, so when he told me, I told him I would never convert to Christianity.  Even though I didn’t believe in Islam wholeheartedly, just the idea of converting for a man was not my thing.  

One day I saw him reading the Bible and I asked him what he was reading. He told me about the parting of the Red Sea and I was curious. The Quran talks about that, and it intrigued me that the Bible talked about it too. So I told him that I wanted to know more about it.  So, he bought me my first Bible. 

With him, he wasn’t forcing his religion on me, he was just telling me who Jesus is, and about the Bible. About six months into our relationship, his parents were against our entire thing because they wanted a Christian girl for him.  It’s really rare for Muslims to convert to Christianity and more common for Christians to come to Islam. 

While that was happening,  I told my mom that I was curious about Christianity.  I wanted to learn more about it.  That’s when I found out about V1 Church. The Holy Spirit was really intriguing to me because I had never heard about the Holy Spirit. When I read about the Holy Spirit, the fact that he is someone who can comfort you, who can bring joy and peace, was something that I was craving.  I never really had joy or peace in my life.   With Jesus, you don’t have to be perfect. You can be the most imperfect person, but he’s still going to love you anyway.

Pastor Mike:  Listening to you talk and explain the love of Jesus; no one will ever convince me that His love isn’t real.  The thing about Jesus is He gets to the root.  So when you talked about your dad with anger issues, Jesus wouldn’t just say, well you did ten good things and give bad things, so you still go to heaven.  Jesus would say, why are you so angry? Why are you doing this? And the Holy Spirit would begin to minister to the person, to your dad, and begin to deal with those issues.  

When you came to V1 Church, I watched God deal with the root. You were experiencing so much freedom.  I think there’s a lot of people who question what their family would think if they turned to Jesus.  But that’s not how you make a decision.  You make a decision based on the question, “What does God truly think?”  And Jesus is proof that He loves us and He cares for us. So, if you want to receive Jesus, it’s not about switching religions, it’s about switching from religion to a relationship.  

As we wrap this up, Farzana, what would you say to people who are in a similar place that you were?  

Farzana:  Don’t just follow religion just because someone told you to follow a religion. Follow it because it’s something that you want to do. When you look at Jesus, He isn’t just a prophet, based on what other people are saying. Jesus is actually a real person who really did die and was resurrected three days later.  He’s not just someone that you read about in the books. He’s a living God. 

Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive.” So, if you earnestly ask Him, “Lord, truly show me who You are,” He will show Himself to you. That’s what happened to me. When I said to Him, “I want to see who You really are,” all of a sudden, I got this wild vision. First, I saw colors, and then a  lion popped up, and then the second after that, an eagle popped up. It started turning white, and then it turned green, and then I saw Jesus. His body was there, but his face wasn’t there. Then, I saw a hand reaching out and it changed.  Then it disappeared again and a bigger hand came out right afterward. 

From that moment, I knew Jesus was real because this was the second time He showed himself to me. If you are truly asking for Him, He will show Himself to you.  He’s not just a prophet.  He’s a person.  He’s the real Messiah.  He died and came back to life three days later.  

Pastor Mike: You just said He will show Himself to you. Jesus himself said, “Knock and the door will be open. Seek and you will find. Ask and you will receive.” That’s all you have to do right now is just seek, ask, and knock. Say, “God, here I am. I want You. I know that this is true. Jesus, You’ve revealed Yourself to me as the Savior of the world.”  The Bible says that when you accept Christ, when Jesus becomes your Savior, you actually receive a new family, as well, and now, there are brothers and sisters that you have in the faith, and you’re going to receive a new family.  Welcome to the family.  Thanks for speaking with us today, Farzana.  

Further Resources

📝 Does God Still Perform Miracles?

📝 Supernatural Healing as Evangelism

📺 Does God Still Perform Miracles?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

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PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

Your generosity helps others experience breakthrough.

Give a one-time gift, or set up recurring giving.

V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

| Prayer | No Comments
One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

| Prayer | No Comments
Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

Shop the store

Revivalist sweatshirt
He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
We are the wild ones long sleeve tee
Heaven

What Happens When We Die?

By | Tough Questions | No Comments

In 2016, a patient with epilepsy was under medical observation when he suffered a heart attack and unfortunately passed away. But this is the first time that the moments before, during, and after death were recorded in brain scans. When people speak of death, we hear about the idea of “your life flashing before your eyes,” but science actually confirmed this. This man’s brain showed a flood of memories that recalled the major events of his life for up to 30 seconds after his heart stopped.  This is only one brain scan from one death so we can’t know for sure that it’s a universal experience, but this aligns with what many people have recounted in near-death experiences.

An Athiest After Death

An atheist neurosurgeon was surprised by who he met and what he saw after he died.  Dr. Eben Alexander was a leading Harvard neuroscientist and brain surgeon who didn’t believe in God, heaven, or anything outside of the brain and then he died. He was brain-dead from rare encephalitis of the brain for seven days.  Doctors wanted to discontinue life support and declare him completely dead because he was not registering any brain activity.  But suddenly, he returned to full consciousness and had an incredible story to tell.

With no brain activity, he couldn’t possibly dream or hallucinate, and yet, he experienced the afterlife. What makes this experience important is the first-person account of thinking, speaking, and being without any registered brain function. This confirms that life is processed through the brain, but it is not produced through the brain.

We are triune beings: mind, body, and spirit. Your spirit is the eternal part of you. Your brain is part of your body, but your mind is part of your soul. The most shocking discovery from not only Dr. Eben Alexander, but from hundreds of others, is that you can think, feel, move, and experience existence without your brain.

HeavenNear-Death Experiences in Surgery

I’ve personally read dozens and dozens of first-person accounts of people taken into surgery with their eyes banded shut who died unexpectedly on the table.  In the moments before going to heaven or hell, they see an aerial perspective of the room as their spirit comes out of their body, and then they’re brought back to life through medical interventions by the team.  They’re able to give a full description of the tools that were being used, the layout of the room, and in one case, a scrolling marquee that one doctor put on top of the cabinets in the patient’s room that was intended for those who had near-death experiences to report back what they saw.

Now, there are many scientific discoveries, but what can we learn from the millions that lived before us and how they understood death? Ancient Israelites understood what science is just starting to catch up to. Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us what happens when a person dies.  It says: 

and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

What Happens After We Die?

The only real question now is what happens when our spirit returns to God and we face judgment for how we lived our lives here on earth.

Matthew 25:41 says: 

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Don’t Leave Your Eternity Up To Chance

Too many people who were not Christians have reported dying and then experiencing hell. You do not want to leave your eternal destination up to chance. There’s a reason why millions of people believe what I just said and why science is catching up with the eternal truth.  When we die, we have to give account for our lives.  The only protection that we have is that Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God, The Father, declares you are forgiven when you put your faith in Him.  

Additional Resources:

To learn more about eternity, check out these additional resources:

📝 Does God Forgive Suicide?


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a part of the Breakthrough Community!

Request prayer here.

ACTIVATE YOUR PROPHETIC GIFT

Download our FREE 35-day devotional to learn to hear God’s voice and communicate it clearly.

DOWNLOAD NOW

PARTNER WITH US & SUPPORT MIKE SIGNORELLI MINISTRIES

Your generosity helps others experience breakthrough.

Give a one-time gift, or set up recurring giving.

V1 Marriage Conference

Change Your Marriage at V1 Church Marriage Conference

| Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s time for one of the most life-changing events of the year, V1 Church’s Marriage Conference!  Every year we hear testimonies from countless couples of how God met them at…

Principles For Praying Powerful Prayers

| Prayer | No Comments
One of the most common questions I receive is, “Pastor Mike, what is the proper way to pray?”  People will often witness the miracles, healing, and deliverance in videos on…
PRAY

Five Reasons You Struggle to Pray

| Prayer | No Comments
Do you struggle to pray?  The most simplistic definition of prayer is “talking to God.”  Every relationship is built through communication.  Without communication, relationships weaken and fade.   In Matthew 6:5,…
Heaven

Bible Verses About Heaven

| Heaven | No Comments
Heaven is God's dwelling place, from where He rules the universe.  To be where God dwells, in heaven, is the hope and promise of every believer.  We pray that these…

APPAREL THAT MAKES A STATEMENT

Shop the store

Revivalist sweatshirt
He So Loved the World Long Sleeve T-Shirt
We are the wild ones long sleeve tee
married couple holding hands

Sex and Marriage Questions

By | Marriage, Relationships, Tough Questions | No Comments
married couple holding handsThis is a roundup of some of the most common questions on sex and marriage that we hear.  We’ve also linked some of our best marriage and sex teachings so that you can go back and listen to them.

Q: I’m not attracted to my spouse anymore.  How do I fall back in love with him or her?

A:  Chemistry is a chemical reaction in your brain that makes you fall in love.  It’s that feeling that you have where you can’t get enough of the person you love.  Compatibility is a whole different thing!  You need compatibility to go the distance in marriage.  And chemistry is automatic but compatibility takes work.  

We often counsel couples who are on the verge of divorce and want to end their marriage.  One of the things we’ll say is, “Let’s go back to the beginning – the memory where you knew they were the one.”  You knew something.  You felt something.  You were convinced that he or she was the one.  We urge couples to put their compatibility struggles out of their minds and remember the chemistry.  If you can’t see a future right now, go back to the beginning.  What made you fall in love?   

Check out this video for three ways to fix marriage and restore your chemistry and compatibility:

 

Q:  I’ve been married to my spouse for a while but I still think about a prior boyfriend/girlfriend.  How do I get free from these thoughts?  

If you are married but still thinking about another person you had a relationship with, you have an ungodly soul tie.  A soul tie is when your mind (intellect), will, and emotions become knit together with another person.  God has created soul ties for good, so that husbands and wives, family members, and close friends can form secure connections with one another.  

But whatever God creates, Satan counterfeits.  Soul ties can take something God created that is necessary and pervert it into something designed to keep you in bondage.  If you keep accepting a counterfeit, there’s no room for God to replace it with the real thing.  

God wants you relationship with your spouse to be the strongest earthly connection you have – He wants covenant relationships for you.  The scissors for cutting your soul ties are in your hands.  The scissors are the signs that the relationship is unhealthy and ungodly.   

In this video I give you a few steps for cutting ungodly soul ties: 

Q:  I’m still waiting for an apology from my spouse for something they did that really hurt me.  I know I’m not supposed to hold a grudge, but what do I do?

A:  You don’t have to wait for an apology in order to forgive your spouse.  But it’s your choice.  

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”   Kindness and compassion can dismantle and disarm in a way you never have before.   Forgiveness doesn’t have to wait until an apology is offered.  Christians can forgive when nobody says they are sorry.  That’s so liberating because that means you can be free even if the offending party never offers an apology!  But you choose!  

For more on forgiveness and how to rescue your relationships, check out this video: 

Q:  Things have gotten pretty dull in our marriage, intimacy-wise.  Can I bring pornography into my marriage?

A: Often times one of the spouses says, “Let’s spice things up, let’s take things to another level,” and introduces pornography into the marriage. I have done so many counseling sessions where couples have sat across from me in the privacy of my office and said pornography has decimated and absolutely destroyed their marriage.

Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

When you are in the loving covenant of marriage, the Bible says that the marriage bed should be undefiled, which means sex between a husband and a wife is never a cause for shame.  It should be honored, cherished, and enjoyed as the gift that it is from God.  However, wherever there is God’s designed pleasure, there is a carnal or demonic perversion of that pleasure. 

So let’s talk about pornography within marriage.  Under no circumstance can you ever bring pornography into your marriage, let alone your entire life.  There is never an appropriate context or place for pornography. Why? Because pornography is the digital version of the physical act. 

Pornography is digital fornication if you’re single, and it’s digital adultery if you’re married.   Why?  Because by Jesus’ standard, he said if you’ve even thought it and conceived it in your heart, it’s the same as doing it.  People will say watching pornography is healthy and normal , that everybody does it.  They will even go to the extent of saying that pornography helps with your libido. But I will tell you that it destroys your ability for intimacy.  Sex is more than the mechanics, it’s more than the motion. The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – it’s your brain! Once your brain is affected and infected by pornography, you will experience sexual problems.  

Colossians 3:5

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Pornography is lust, it is definitely not love and it is definitely not covenantal marriage.  Marriage cannot and will not ever satisfy lust because lust cannot be satisfied.  Now hear this – sexual desire is not always lust. As a matter of fact, you were designed to partly be a sexual creation.  God gave you the gift of your sexuality.  So having sexual desires in and of themselves is not wrong. As a matter of fact, those desires point to your design. God designed you to have both pleasure and procreation within marriage, but when you take those desires and you begin to fulfill them through lust, lust will never be fulfilled. You cannot satisfy lust with marriage, pornography, or masturbation.  Lust cannot be satisfied, it only increases.  

For more information on this, check out this video:  

 

Q: Is it ok for my spouse and me to introduce sex toys into our times of intimacy?

A:  Honestly, I can’t tell you what the Bible says about sex toys, because the Bible was written before electricity. But, the Bible can give us principles and insight into what God views as acceptable in marriage. 

The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – your brain.  If you use sex toys in your marriage and there becomes a reliance on the sex toy more than there is on your partner, then you have to ask yourself a question:  “Are we growing in intimacy together or are we bringing in a dependency?” 

There are some people that cannot be sexually satisfied by their partner because they have spent years and years and years being sexually satisfied by a machine or through a screen. They have wired their brain and have practiced and rehearsed sexual satisfaction with something else other than their spouse, so when it comes time to have intimacy with their spouse, they cannot find sexual satisfaction with their mate.  

You really have to ask yourself, “Am I growing in intimacy with my spouse?”  Or are you bringing a level of independence into your marriage and missing out on the fulness of growing in intimacy with your spouse?

To hear more about this topic, check out this blog.


Interested in reading more about marriage from Pastor Mike?  Check out these blogs:

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What Kind of Sex is Allowed In Marriage?

By | Relationships, Tough Questions | One Comment

Do you struggle with trying to be sexually satisfied?   Today we’re going to talk about the types of sex that are allowed in marriage. Let me preface this discussion by saying that most of what we know we have not learned from scripture, we have actually learned from culture.  Unfortunately, culture is very toxic.  It’s either repressive or a false form of freedom which leads to more bondage. So the question that I have for you today is, Do you know what the bible actually says about the types of sex that are allowed in marriage? This is going to be a very sensitive subject matter and so I would encourage you to use discretion while reading.   

What Does the Bible Say About Sex in Marriage?  

Proverbs 5:18-19
Let your fountain be blessed,
   and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
   a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated always in her love.

This passage encourages people to physically appreciate their marriage partner.  What this basically says is that you should physically and sexually enjoy the wife of your youth.  Even though this might be awkward to talk about,and you may not hear it preached on Sunday mornings in the pulpit, this passage is giving us an idea that sex is not just for procreation, but it’s for pleasure.  I think this is important to emphasize because far too often, sex has only been communicated as for procreation by those in religious circles.  The book of Genesis says, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but Proversb 5:18-19 also says to enjoy and be filled with delight and intoxicated by your wife’s love.  

Song of Songs 7:7-10
Your stature is like a palm tree,
    and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,
and your mouth like the best wine

Here we see more of this language in the Bible, so it’s not just isolated to Proverbs.  

Pornography in Marriage

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

When you are in the loving covenant of marriage, the Bible says that the marriage bed should be undefiled, which means sex between a husband and a wife is never a cause for shame.  It should be honored, cherished, and enjoyed as the gift that it is from God.  However, wherever there is God’s designed pleasure, there is a carnal or demonic perversion of that pleasure. 

So let’s talk about pornography within marriage.  Under no circumstance can you ever bring pornography into your marriage, let alone your entire life.  There is never an appropriate context or place for pornography. Why? Because pornography is the digital version of the physical act. Pornography is digital fornication if you’re single, and it’s digital adultery if you’re married.   Why?  Because by Jesus’ standard, he said if you’ve even thought it and conceived it in your heart, it’s the same as doing it.  People will say watching pornography is healthy and normal , that everybody does it.  They will even go to the extent of saying that pornography helps with your libido. But I will tell you that it destroys your ability for intimacy.  Sex is more than the mechanics, it’s more than the motion. The greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears – it’s your brain! Once your brain is affected and infected by pornography, you will experience sexual problems.  

Colossians 3:5
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Pornography is lust, it is definitely not love and it is definitely not covenantal marriage.  Marriage cannot and will not ever satisfy lust because lust cannot be satisfied.  Now hear this – sexual desire is not always lust. As a matter of fact, you were designed to partly be a sexual creation.  God gave you the gift of your sexuality.  So having sexual desires in and of themselves is not wrong. As a matter of fact, those desires point to your design. God designed you to have both pleasure and procreation within marriage, but when you take those desires and you begin to fulfill them through lust, lust will never be fulfilled. You cannot satisfy lust with marriage, pornography, or masturbation.  Lust cannot be satisfied, it only increases.  

I’ve heard many many stories of marriages being decimated by the introduction of pornography.  Often times one of the spouses says, “Let’s spice things up, let’s take things to another level,” and introduce pornography into the marriage. I have done hundreds and hundreds of counseling sessions where couples have sat across from me in the privacy of my office and said pornography has decimated and absolutely destroyed their marriage.

Forced Sex In Marriage 

1 Corinthians 7:3-4
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

This passage was revolutionary when the apostle penned it. In a patriarchal society, it was believed that women had no right over their own bodies.  So to say a wife actually has rights over the husband’s body and the husband has rights over the wife’s body was unheard of.  At the time this was written, over 2000 years ago, it was believed that the husband had rights over the woman’s body, but the woman did not have rights over the husband’s body.  So there was a context 2000 years ago for forced sex, which is rape.  I say that because again my wife and I have counseled many couples over the years that believe that just because they’re married forcing sex is ok and justifiable.  But the truth of the matter is this is not the case. 

1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

So there’s this instruction that it’s okay to not mutually come together for sex for a time perhaps to devote yourselves to prayer, but then you better come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  So what is the lack of self-control? It just simply means that we are sexual beings, given those desires by God both for pleasure and procreation.  But if we do not righteously fulfill those desires within marriage, then we are going to be led into temptation. 

Sex Toys In Marriage

Oftentimes people are asking me, “Pastor Mike, what does the Bible say about sex toys.”  Truthfully, the scripture was written 2,000 or more years ago.  There was no modern electricity the way we have it.  So the Bible is not going to say anything about them per se, but it will give us some insight into what is acceptable. 

I’ve studied a lot of the biology of sex, and there are some pitfalls and some traps. As I mentioned earlier, the greatest sex organ that you have is not between your legs, it’s between your ears, which is your brain.  If  you’re bringing sex toys into your marriage bed and there becomes more of a reliance on the sex toy than there is on your partner, then you have to ask yourself a question:  “Are we growing in intimacy together or are we bringing a dependency?” 

There are some people that cannot be sexually satisfied by their partner because they have spent years and years and years being sexually satisfied by a machine or through a screen. They have wired their brain and have practiced and rehearsed sexual satisfaction with something else other than their spouse, so when it comes time to have intimacy with their spouse, they cannot find sexual satisfaction with their mate.  

You really have to ask yourself: Have you grown in intimacy with your spouse?  Or are you bringing a level of independence into your marriage and as the result of that, missing out on the fullness that you could be experiencing.  

Oral Sex In Marriage 

I believe as you grow in your intimacy and love and communication with your partner there are times where that open communication will give you access to the next level. My wife and I have taken many couples through pre-marital counseling.  One of the portions is a sexual inventory. We have a list of many different sexual positions and many different sex acts, and we ask each person in the couple (separately) to go through them and identify which ones that you would like to do within marriage.  Then, we bring both of them together for the session and have them compare their notes.  Oftentimes these couples have never openly communicated about some of those most personal and intimate physical acts that you can do together. 

You would be surprised how many couples, even after years of marriage, have never communicated openly about what they want how they want it.  Communication is a form of intimacy, and sex is not just the physical mechanics, but it is the mental, emotional, and spiritual intimacy converging. One time in particular, somebody had expressed that they were forced to do one particular sex act in a previous relationship and I hated doing it. Therefore now it’s not about that particular act, it’s actually about the rejection, pain, and emotional trauma that i encountered while being forced to do that act.  Had we not opened up the communication, that husband could have gone years and years either wondering why she didn’t want to do it and didn’t enjoy it, not knowing there’s trauma and abuse connected to it.  As that woman begin to weep bitterly in that meeting, I turned to the husband and said, “You see, it’s not really about the act, it’s really not about the mechanics, it’s about trauma.”   

Many people have been molested, raped, or traumatized and as a result of that, there needs to be healing.  If you’re a husband, understand that your role as a husband is to produce safety.  That’s why when people come to me and ask what the Bible says about oral sex or sex toys or different positions, I take a step back. As a husband, your obligation is to produce safety. Safety produces true intimacy.  Communication produces explosive sexual experiences.   

Sexual Positions In Marriage – Anal Sex

In Genesis 19, we read the account of how a large group of men sought to gang rape two angels who had taken on the form of men.  The term “sodomy” actually comes from the root word sodom which is the location where these men tried to gang rape angels who were in the form of men. We can only assume that sodomy includes anal sex because that’s the only penetration that would have been possible for these men trying to actually sleep with angels in the form of men. 

You’re not going to find any scriptures that strictly prohibit anal sex within marriage. But I do want to give you five reasons why I think it’s probably not a good idea.  I believe that God’s design points to God’s purpose.  Male and female anatomy is incredibly and intricately made to co-exist.  With anal sex, there is no self-lubrication, there is no conception that births life, and there is nothing about the design that points to compatibility.  Here are five reasons anal sex is not a good idea:

  1. For many people, it can create tearing
  2. Anal sex carries the highest risk of sexually transmitted infections 
  3. Anal sex is linked to a higher risk of anal cancer
  4. Infections generally are more prevalent with anal sex
  5. In a 2016 study, The Journal of Gastroenterology found that anall sex may lead to fecal incontinence

I believe that wherever there’s design, there’s destiny, purpose and godly pleasure.

I don’t have scriptures that specifically speak to oral sex, sex toys, or anal sex.  However, I do believe that godly wisdom can direct us.   

I believe in the Genesis account of creation, that in the beginning God created a man.  Then when that man communicated loneliness, God’s response to man’s loneliness was not, “Well let’s hang out more!” No, out of his rib he made a wife and gave him the gift of woman.  That is God’s original design. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

What does that mean? It simply means that with you, your spouse, and God together, there can be sexual freedom, satisfaction, and explosive intimacy. 

When I was in college, I went to the Kinsey Institute, which is the largest sex research institute in the United States. In one of their biggest longitudinal studies across decades, they concluded that the most sexually satisfied people on the planet were married couples. Science continues to prove it over and over and over again – God’s design of monogamous married couples, male and female, works. God has designed your sexuality and has a plan and a path for you to righteously fulfill it. 


My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

By | Pop Culture, Tough Questions | No Comments

What does the Bible say about alcohol? If you were to read every single scripture that talks about alcohol in the Bible, you may end up more confused than you were before reading this blog.  The Bible seems to give contradictory messages about alcohol. I’m going to give you many scriptures that point to both positive and negative aspects of alcohol, and then share with you what I feel God is saying to His people on this subject.  

Man with bottle of whiskeyPositive Biblical Perspectives on Alcohol

I’m going to start by giving you some scriptures that give a positive perspective on alcohol:  

Ecclesiastes 9:7 (ESV)
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

 

Psalm 104:14-15 (ESV)
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
    and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

 

Amos 9:14
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.

 

Isaiah 55:1
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.”

Biblical Warnings About Alcohol

Now, I’m going to give you warnings from the Bible.  

Isaiah 5:11 (ESV)
Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
    that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry late into the evening
    as wine inflames them!

 

Provers 20:1 (ESV)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

 

Deuteronomy 29:6 (ESV)
You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

 

Numbers 6:3 (ESV)
he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.

 

Leviticus 10:9 (ESV)
Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.

 

Proverbs 23:29-35 (ESV)
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast
“They struck me,” you will say] “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”

So What Is It?

We have both types of scriptures – those that seem to encourage or confirm a decision to drink, and those that forbid drinking among certain groups of people within the nation of Israel.  Then we have scriptures that give major warnings against drunkenness.  I want to break these scriptures into a few categories.  It seems they fall into two sets of instructions:

  1. Drink but don’t get drunk
  2. Certain people should not drink at all

There are people who have a genetic and biological predisposition to alcoholism.   Does that mean that they have a demon?  Does that mean that they need deliverance? Many times, yes! Generational curses are real!  Demons are real. Many times people will deceive themselves for years and say, “I can drink and not get drunk.”  But that’s a lie.  People drink to forget.  They drink to lower anxiety or fears.  They can’t sleep without a buzz.  As somebody who was in addiction counseling, many people will say they are not addicts, but meet every single descriptor of an addict.  

Wine in Biblical Times Vs. Now

The Bible is clear that it is possible to drink and not get drunk.  I want to give you the historical context. In New Testament times, the water was not very clean.  Two thousand years ago, sanitation was poor and water was filled with bacteria and contaminants and considered dangerous to drink. People two thousand years ago would often drink wine because it was far less likely to be contaminated. 

1 Timothy 5:23
(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)

Paul instructed Timothy to stop drinking the water exclusively, which was probably causing him stomach problems.  He instructed Timothy to drink wine!  Now in that day, wine was fermented.  It contained alcohol, but not necessarily to the degree it does today.  I have done historical studies on the fermentation process for wine going back to Jesus’ times.  It is very difficult to know for sure, but many historians agree that the wine that Jesus drank and the wine that Paul was instructing Timothy to drink would have taken 22 to 23 glasses to equal the alcohol content of one current-day glass of wine.  

Christian Liberty

I used to be an alcoholic.  I was also a pastor, prophet, Christian, and worship leader. I used to do “Theology on Tap” and go to friends’ houses to drink and read the Bible.  We used to say that we had Christian liberties, but we were getting drunk while we said it.  We used to tell people we could drink and not get drunk, but we were drunk while we said it!   If you are one of the two percent of people that can drink without getting drunk, praise God for your Christian liberty. 

If you can drink and not get drunk, God bless you!  There is a very small percentage of the population who can!  But I have met very few people like that in life. Many more of them drink to get drunk or a buzz. The Holy Spirit examines our motives and we cannot lie to Him.  Paul told Timothy to drink, but he was telling him to drink something that would have taken 22 to 23 glasses to add up to one of what we have today. So, I caution you against convincing yourself that you can drink without getting drunk or using your Christian liberty as an excuse to sin.  

Everything In Its Place

Everything has its rightful place.  If you have a fireplace in your living room and you put the wood in the fireplace, it will warm and comfort you through the winter. But if you take that same wood and fire and move it two feet forward into your living room, out of the fireplace, it will burn your entire house down. This is what drinking is like.  In its proper context, man, it tastes great. It maybe even has some medicinal benefits. But if bring it just one or two feet outside of the jurisdiction it should be in, and it will burn your house down.  Sexuality is the same way.   Sexuality and the boundaries of marriage are amazing, incredibly powerful forces that produce life, intimacy, and bonding.  But if you take sexuality and put it outside the bounds of marriage, it will destroy you. Yes all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient.

1 Corinthians 6:12
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Some of you are such control freaks you don’t want to be dominated by anybody or anything.   You don’t want your boss to control you, you don’t want your spouse to control you, and you don’t want the government to control you. But yet you let alcohol control you.  You need it to calm your nerves. You can’t live without it.  God wants you to be free from all control and domination!

My Testimony

Over 14 years ago, my wife left me and took our newborn daughter with her because I couldn’t get my alcoholism under control. It was dominating me. At the height of my alcoholism I would lay down in my bed all alone at night and I would hear demonic voices calling out my name.  It was very dark.  In every country I’ve been to, they call hard alcohol spirits.   Why? Because demonic activity is connected to the consumption of alcohol that leads to drunkenness.  

When I got free from alcohol, everything else in my life changed. Every other sin decreased dramatically.  As a matter of fact, when I was drinking, there were so many sins that I would have never committed in my sober mind, so I would wait until I was drunk to do them. My conscience was so strong.  I knew the Word.  I knew God’s will and ways.  But I would have to get drunk because I knew I could never commit those sins sober. I never cheated on my wife sober – I always did it drunk.  And we talk about our story openly today.. When I sinned, alcohol was the gateway.   

Trading Good For Great

Many are called but few are chosen.  If you are a chosen one, act like it. If you are a chosen one, there are things that you will have to give up. Oftentimes the road to greatness is giving up what is good for what is great.  The Bible says there’s nothing wrong with wine.  As a matter of fact, it’s us that’s the problem.  We come from backgrounds of trauma, abuse and multigenerational curses. Is wine evil? No, we are evil. We’re full of wounds, hurt, pain, and rejection.  But when you pour wine into a wound, it doesn’t heal it.  It creates an infestation of other sins.  The Lord wants to heal you of your wounds, rejection, and trauma.  God is trying to give you wisdom. The Holy Spirit may be telling you that it’s time to let it go.  

I believe that all you’ve got to do is to make up your mind and say I’m giving up something good for something greater.  When you read Acts chapter 2, these common every day men were not ivy-league educated. They didn’t know hundred-dollar words, they only knew five-dollar words.  These men were filled with the Holy Spirit and it was like being filled with new wine. In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit would begin to fill believers and they would speak in new tongues. They would begin to speak with wisdom and profound knowledge beyond their own education. 

God never removes without replacing. He isn’t trying to take anything away from you that he’s not going to give you something better.  I gave up being drunk off of miller light, craft beer, and whiskey and traded it for being drunk in the holy spirit.  I gave up Jack Daniels so I can hang out with Jesus Christ. It is so much better! You never wake up with a hangover or regrets.  When I used to get drunk on alcohol, I would wake up and my marriage was worse. But now, when I get drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit, I wake up and my marriage is better.  

Should You Stop Drinking?

Here’s the best gauge to determine whether you should stop drinking alcohol or not.  Stop for a pre-determined amount of time and then see how much better your life gets. Do a comparison of life with alcohol and life without.  If life is better without it, then consider abstaining permanently.  Here’s another gauge – ask your family whether or not you should stop drinking.  Ask your children, “Should I stop drinking?”  Ask your wife. See what she says.  If your family says yes, consider abstaining permanently.    

God wants to give you something better than alcohol. He wants to trade what’s good for what is great, and he wants to give you something so much better than you can imagine.  He wants to give you his Holy Spirit.  

 


If you have been involved in the occult or witchcraft, I encourage you to check out my blog “How to Cleanse Your House from Evil Spirits.” 

My Breakthrough Community is full of people just like you who are hungry for more of God. If you are interested in learning more, consider joining the Breakthrough Community!

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How to Overcome Anxiety

By | Deliverance, Tough Questions, Uncategorized | No Comments

The infrastructure to diagnose, treat, and medicate anxiety and depression, including pharmaceuticals and medications, is valued at 42 billion dollars.  Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States and are considered the most common mental illness in the U.S.  If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, I have good news for you: you don’t have to live trapped by anxiety.  

Two Types of Anxiety

There are two types of anxiety: normal anxiety and anxiety disorder.  Normal anxiety is a system installed in your physical being by God to help keep you alive. For example, if you are in the woods and a predator jumps out at you, you have a system built into your body that tells you you need to decide within milliseconds. Do you run, or do you stand your ground and fight? If you are in college and you have a paper due, it is normal to feel a bit of anxiety and pressure.  Normal anxiety regulates your life and helps you to become successful. 

When we talk about anxiety in this blog, we are not talking about normal anxiety.  We aren’t talking about the minor anxiety you may feel if you wake up at 8:59 am and have to be at work by 9:00 am. We are speaking about anxiety disorders in this blog.  Normal anxiety elevates to the realm of anxiety disorder when it becomes out of order (dis-order).  God himself says He is not a God of disorder but peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).  The peace of God, or His shalom, brings order.  When the order, or the peace of God, enters your life, it begins to set things straight. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, God has freedom in mind.  

Normalizing Anxiety

We live in a culture that normalizes anxiety because it is all around us.  The more prevalent a problem is, the more acceptable it becomes. The message of our culture is that anxiety levels are exponentially rising around the world.  We have adapted our theology to anxiety and accepted that it is a part of life rather than pursuing freedom.  God gave you a fight-or-flight system, but He did not give you the spirit of fear.  

1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

As a culture, we have begun to use the personal pronoun “my” when referring to anxiety: “My anxiety.”  God did not give you panic attacks, so don’t take ownership of anxiety anymore!  Your anxiety doesn’t come from God. Instead, he gives good gifts to His children. 

Acts 2:17 (ESV)
And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;

I want to highlight the portion of this scripture that says, “your sons and your daughters will prophesy.”  Prophecy requires speaking using your words.  If Satan knows that God will cause sons and daughters to prophesy, then strategically, to stop the prophecy, he has to pervert the speech of the sons and daughters.  The devil has had to counter the word of God that says, “I have not given them a spirit of fear.” Instead, his strategy is for them to start taking possession and ownership of that spirit of anxiety and calling it “my anxiety.”

Don’t Take My Anxiety

Nobody likes to have something taken from them. One of the first lessons we learn as children is to share because sharing doesn’t come naturally. We lock our car, house, and possessions because they belong to us. If the enemy can get you to take possession of anxiety and say, “This is my anxiety,” you’ll treat it like the rest of your possessions as something to protect and secure so that it doesn’t get taken.  

If you would like freedom from anxiety, you need to determine that you will NOT refer to the spirit of anxiety as yours.   The first thing that has to happen is to change your words.  You have to take captive every thought that exalts itself against the Word of God.  So the Word of God becomes your standard (2 Cor 10:3-6). So if the Word of God has something to say about how you ought to think, talk, and live, and then a thought comes that starts to elevate itself above the standards, you have to take it captive and tear it down.  These thoughts can come from culture, the medical community, the self-help community, the self-esteem community, secular humanism, or any kind of source.  Tear these thoughts down and say, “No, this is what I choose to believe and stand on instead.”  

The Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus, in the moments before the cross, was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying. During this time, the Bible says that his sweat turned to blood, is a medical condition that happens when you are under severe mental duress.  He was starting the process of facing fear. So not only would Jesus’ body be given for our sins, but His mind also had to go through a preparation process in the Garden of Gethsemane.  

No physical torture or pain had happened yet when he was in the garden.  However, Jesus knew what lay ahead and was instead experiencing the pain of imagining what was ahead of him.  He had to win the battle in His mind in the garden first so that when He said, “It is finished,” on the cross, you could have the victory in your mind. He wasn’t only whipped and beaten so that we could be healed from our sicknesses and infirmities and disease. It started in the garden, where His imagination began to conjure up the thoughts of being attacked, ridiculed, and brutalized in such a great way that his sweat turned to blood.  

Jesus Understands Anxiety

Jesus understands your anxiety, worry, and torment because there was a time that His sweat turned to blood.  He said, “God, if there’s any other way, let it pass.”  That goes to show you how powerful the mind is. The enemy knows Jesus was almost broken in His mind in the garden, so when he is trying to bring you down, where do you think he will fight you the hardest? He’s going to fight you in your mind. 

Steps to Reduce Anxiety

A study by Cambridge showed that women from wealthier areas reported lower anxiety levels than women from poorer regions.  This indicated that those who have the resources to cope with and manage anxiety can lower it to normal levels.  I want to help give you some tools to learn how to cope with anxiety when it comes into your life. The Cambridge study indicates that you can bring the levels into a normal range if you know what to do when you feel anxiety rise.  

Step 1: Know God’s Word

G.K. Chesterton, a famous theologian, said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time.”  The anxiety we have in life is often from the fear of being judged by others.  We wonder what people will think about how we speak and look, which increases anxiety.  When we face increased anxiety, we need to draw on the best tool for dealing with anxiety – God’s word.  We remember that, “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4) and, “If God be for me who could be against me” (Romans 8:31), and we begin to take back control.  We don’t live and die by the criticism OR praise of people.  We live in response to the voice of God.  

When I speak in front of a large group of people, I can feel so much fear and anxiety in my flesh.  “What are they going to think?”  “Are they going to judge me?”  “Are they going to receive this word?”  But the Holy Spirit reminds me that the Spirit of God dwells inside of me.  He never leaves me or forsakes me and will be with me even to the ends of the earth. Furthermore, he reminds me that I am loved, approved of, and loved even at my darkest. And this causes my anxiety to reduce.  

Step Two: Forgive Yourself

This Cambridge study said that people’s anxiety directly correlates with how much they forgive themselves. If you constantly beat yourself up, you produce anxiety levels that go from average to disordered. Many people who suffer from anxiety disorder constantly think about what they’re doing wrong.  Thoughts like, “Today I didn’t parent as I should,” and “I didn’t get the best grades in my classes,” and “I didn’t read the Bible” plague them. The Bible says, “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It is so essential for you to learn how to forgive yourself.  Science from just a few years ago says if you know how to forgive yourself, you’ll be free from anxiety, which reinforces what the Bible said thousands of years ago! 

Step Three: Do Something For Someone Else

Proverbs 11:25
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

The study from Cambridge says doing something with someone else in mind will diminish anxiety.  My brother, a nurse, once shared the acronym PAIN with me.  When a patient feels pain, it’s an indicator that they need to Pay Attention Inside Now.  If your heart begins to feel physical pain, no matter where you are, you will pay attention to your insides and get the help you need because you could be having a heart attack.  Some of the most selfish people are the people in the most pain.  Because of their internal woundedness, they can only think of their hurt.  They aren’t able to think of anyone or anything else.  They want to be generous and help other people, but they can’t take the focus off themselves.  

Put on the Oxygen Mask

When you are on an airplane, the flight attendants instruct you that if the oxygen mask descends out of the top compartment, put your mask on first before you place it on your children. Now that’s counterintuitive because a loving parent wants to help their child first, as the child is their most precious thing.  The problem with that way of thinking is that if you don’t put the mask on yourself first, you will probably pass out by the time you even think about getting it on your kid.  When you study your Bible, spend time in prayer, and go to counseling to address your trauma and wounds, you are, in a sense, putting the oxygen mask on first so that you can go out and help other people. 

If you want to lower anxiety, do something with someone else in mind.  I’m going through my struggles right now, as many of us are, but I am refreshed as I pray for others, preach, and reach out to people who feel alone and forgotten.  

 

God asked Abraham to give Him his son, Isaac.  Isaac was Abraham’s most precious thing in life, a long-awaited gift of God.  Abraham could have been selfish.  But because he was a man of faith, he moved forward with the sacrifice of His son.  And as he did, the angel grabbed his hand, and he knew it was a test.  As you pour out your life, God will refresh you and free you from your anxiety.  

A New Song

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the Lord.

Scripture reprograms your mind scripts re-broke programs your mind.  If you’ve got an old script of anxiety running through your mind, allow God put a new song in your mouth.  When you look back at your life, there is no doubt you can see the faithful hand of God written on every page of your life story. To see your anxiety reduced, stop taking ownership of it.  Know God’s word.  Forgive yourself.  And do something for someone else.  

 


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