Are You a Prisoner of Your Past?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Check out my 2018 Christmas Catalogue to Simply Your Christmas Shopping

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Are you continually looking back on your life with regret over something you did or over a decision you made that changed the course of your life?

Do you find it difficult to move forward because you’re stuck in the past?

If so, take heart. I understand how you feel.

For a very long time, I struggled with a career decision I made before I came to Christ. Satan had me believing that that career decision put me out of God’s will for my life and, therefore, I was destined never to fulfill His purpose for me.

Along with the regret came emotional torment and self-condemnation. Now, had I been more spiritually astute, I would have recognized that torment and self-condemnation come from Satan, not from God. But I was in bondage to a mental and emotional stronghold, and I needed deliverance. Thank God, our Lord eventually delivered me from this lying, deceptive spirit.

Perhaps you, too, are in the grips of regret and remorse over something in your past, and you are having a very hard time letting go. You keep looking back, and each time you do, you are tormented and you beat yourself up. 

I say to you, STOP! 

Stop, and consider these steps that I myself took and that helped me to break free from the tyranny of the past:

1__PRAY. During my struggle, I continually cried out to God to help me break free. As much as I tried not to, I kept rehashing my career decision to the point that it became an obsession. This fact should have been a red flag to me. When a thought becomes an obsession, the thought has become a stronghold.

2__MAKE A QUALITY DECISION NOT TO LOOK BACK. When you are tempted to look back, resist the urge in the power of Christ. Only through His power and strength can you stop looking back. 

“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead….”  Philippians 3: 13

The Apostle Paul had a lot to regret. Before he encountered Christ, he murdered Christians. He could have let that horrific sin destroy him if he had allowed it to torment him. But he didn’t.  In fact, it was the Apostle Paul who wrote theses famous words in Philippians 3: 13: “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”

Paul discovered the secret to overcoming regret. The secret was to stop looking back and to start looking forward. If Paul could do this through the power of Christ, we can do it, too.

3__STAY FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE. Take captive every thought that tries to push you into the past and change its direction to the future. We cannot change the past, but we can shape the future by what we think. We can avoid future regrets by focusing on Jesus, our Lord Who holds the future.

If we are in Christ, He has redeemed every regret and has turned it into a blessing.  Romans 8: 28 tells us that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

If you are in Christ, you have been called according to His purpose, no matter how many regrets you may have. Give all of those regrets to Him–every single one–and let Him bring beauty out of your ashes.

Remember this: God has a plan for your life, and it is a plan for good and not for evil (Jeremiah 29: 11). He also promises us in Philippians 1: 6 that He will complete the good work He began in us. So, expect Him to work out His plan for your life. 

Jesus is the Answer both to the regrets of the past and the hopes of the future. Turn to Him, and He will set you free from your past.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “Are You a Prisoner of Your Past?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (Click to Tweet)


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To be sure you don’t miss any of my future blog posts, you may wish to subscribe to Matters of the Heart. CLICK HERE 

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JOIN MY TEAM

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Check out my You-Tube series, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!, based on my popular book by the same title.  

_______________________________________________

NOW AVAILABLE!

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES: The Complete Trilogy
in a single e-book or print format.

Save almost $4.00 over the purchase price
of the three individual novels.

BUY E-BOOK NOW!

BUY PRINT BOOK NOW!

_______________________________________________

AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW! 

HARDCOVER
SOFTCOVER
E-BOOK

_______________________________________________

Need a break? Read my latest short story, “Fire-Engine Love.” Only $1.99!

Tammie Burke is expecting her second child. But when her husband is suddenly taken from her, Tammie faces the fear of having to raise their two children alone. Will her faith in God help her to put her life back together?

BUY NOW for ONLY $1.99

_______________________________________________

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES TRILOGY

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

_______________________________________________

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“How to Destroy Mental Strongholds”

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

___________________________________________

Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

How to Destroy Mental Strongholds

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Check out my 2018 Christmas Catalogue to Simply Your Christmas Shopping

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

________________________________________________

Are you struggling with negative emotions that control you and keep you from experiencing joy and peace? Are you bogged down in negative behaviors that you can’t seem to overcome? Are you feeling hopeless, powerless, and stuck? If so, you may be in bondage to mental strongholds.

What are mental strongholds?

In his well-known book, Freedom from Fear, Dr. Neil Anderson describes mental strongholds as follows: “Strongholds are habit patterns of thought that have been burned into our minds over time or by the intensity of traumatic experiences. They are revealed in our personalities and greatly influence how we live and respond to life.” *

The more negative events you have experienced in life, the more you may be suffering from mental strongholds. Those negative experiences shaped your perception and your thinking and carved pathways of response in you that may have become unhealthful.  In other words, your experiences from the instant you were conceived have programmed you to perceive and respond to life based on those experiences.

For example, an infant or child who was repeatedly abused by his father will develop a stronghold of fear and mistrust that will, if not dealt with and healed by the power of God, last his entire lifetime. A child who was abandoned by a parent will develop a fear of abandonment and rejection that will, if not healed by the power of God, last an entire lifetime.

Mental strongholds manifest in a variety of ways, but usually as some form of fear. In psychological parlance, these are called “phobias” and are of many kinds and varieties.

Mental strongholds always result from believing a lie. When we identify the lie, renounce the lie, and replace it with the truth, the stronghold will be destroyed. 

So, what should you do if you suspect you have a mental stronghold? Here are some. proven tips:

1__Pray and believe God’s promise in Psalm 23: 3 that the Lord restores your soul.  The mind is part of the soul, so when God restores your soul, He restores your mind as well.

2__Saturate yourself with the Word of God and learn who you are in Christ. Strongholds are always based on lies about our true identity. Studying the Word will give you a clear picture of your identity in Christ as a born-again believer.

3__Seek the wise counsel of a mature and trusted Christ-Follower. Such believers have themselves often been through the process of dealing with and destroying mental strongholds and can be of great help to you.

4__Seek the help of a professional Christian counselor. Avoid secular counselors who have no clue as to the primarily spiritual aspect of mental strongholds.

Bottom line, destroying a mental stronghold means changing our mindset from the world’s way of thinking to God’s way of thinking.

Remember this: Mental strongholds enter the soul when we believe a lie. The solution to tearing down a mental stronghold is to identify the lie, to repent of believing the lie, and to replace the lie with the truth. This is the reason the Word of God commands us in Romans 12: 2 to renew our minds.

Renewing our minds simply means replacing our thinking with God’s thinking. Then, and only then, will we experience the perfect will of God for our lives, which is love, joy, and peace.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “How to Destroy Mental Strongholds” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (Click to Tweet)
_________________________________________________
Source citedFreedom from Fear by Dr. Neil Anderson, p.35.

____________________________________________

To be sure you don’t miss any of my future blog posts, you may wish to subscribe to Matters of the Heart. CLICK HERE 

____________________________________________

JOIN MY TEAM

____________________________________________

Check out my You-Tube series, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!, based on my popular book by the same title.  

_______________________________________________

NOW AVAILABLE!

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES: The Complete Trilogy
in a single e-book or print format.

Save almost $4.00 over the purchase price
of the three individual novels.

BUY E-BOOK NOW!

BUY PRINT BOOK NOW!

_______________________________________________

AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW! 

HARDCOVER
SOFTCOVER
E-BOOK

_______________________________________________

Need a break? Read my latest short story, “Fire-Engine Love.” Only $1.99!

Tammie Burke is expecting her second child. But when her husband is suddenly taken from her, Tammie faces the fear of having to raise their two children alone. Will her faith in God help her to put her life back together?

BUY NOW for ONLY $1.99

_______________________________________________

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES TRILOGY

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

_______________________________________________

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Convergence: Clear Sign of the End Times”

“The Rise of Wicca, Witches, and Warlocks” 

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes!”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

___________________________________________

Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

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Are You Being Squeezed by the Python Spirit?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

________________________________________________

Are you being squeezed by the python spirit? How can you know?

What is the python spirit?

The python spirit is a demonic evil spirit that tries to squeeze the life of Christ out of His saints by distracting them from study of the Word, from prayer, and from worship. Like the python that coils itself around the body of its victim to destroy it, so the python spirit coils itself around the soul of the saint to choke out its connection to God. The python spirit seeks to stifle the breath of the Holy Spirit and to cut off our prayer life, which is our lifeline to God.

We first encounter the python spirit in Acts 16: 16. In this chapter, the Apostle Paul is being harassed by a young slave girl with a spirit of divination. She has the ability to foretell the future and is earning lots of money for her masters. When Paul finally commands the spirit of divination to come out of her, she loses her power to predict the future and makes her masters angry because she can no longer make them rich.

The word divination in this verse comes from the Greek word Πύθων, or puthon, which means python. Hence, the name of the spirit. The python spirit’s agenda is to make us ineffective in the Kingdom of God. The python spirit’s ultimate goal is to stop us from being and doing what God has purposed for us. 

Some Characteristics of the Python Spirit

Following are some possible indicators that one is being squeezed by the python spirit:

___A great desire to flatter others for approval. Those who are people-pleasers, who are starving for affirmation, are most susceptible to the python spirit. We must be so rooted in God’s acceptance of us that we do not look to others to affirm us.
 
___Wanting to be at the center of attention. The young girl in Acts 16: 16 followed Paul for “many days,” continually harassing him. A person with a python spirit continually tries to put himself or herself in the limelight.
 
___Wanting to prove one’s importance. The young girl directed her harassment to Paul and Silas who were leaders in the early Church. Those who try to gain status by seeking out people in high positions may be victims of the python spirit. 
 
___Selling spiritual gifts.  For example, a person with a python spirit may charge people to give them a word of prophecy. Ths is evil. 
 
How Does the Python Spirit Operate?
 
___The python spirit tries to squeeze the spiritual life out of us the way the natural python literally squeezes the life out of its victim.
 ___The python spirit tries to hinder our ability to worship God.
 ___The python spirit tries to mess up our finances and keep us in financial bondage.
 ___The python spirit tries to draw us into isolation and alienation from others.
 ___The python spirit tries to keep us from reading God’s Word by distracting us, making us feel tired, and even causing us to fall asleep while reading God’s Word. 
 ___The python spirit tries to keep us from praying.
 ___The python spirit tries to destroy our hope and thwart God’s destiny in our lives.
 
Signs of Victimization by the Python Spirit ___Continual fatigue or sluggishness
___Continual struggling without ever conquering or overcoming
___Lack of ambition
___Difficulty focusing
___Weariness
___Feeling powerless to overcome
___Apathy or depression; suicidal thoughts
___Difficulty praying and worshipping God
___Hopelessness

 

Now, just because one may be experiencing the symptoms listed above does not mean that one is a victim of the python spirit. We must be discerning and ask Holy Spirit to show us what is going on if and when we experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Prayer for Today: Lord God, we thank You that through Christ, we have authority and power over every evil spirit. Grant us discernment to know what, if any, evil spirits are operating in our lives so that we may cast them out in Your Mighty Name. Amen.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Please share your questions and insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “Are You Being Squeezed by the Python Spirit? by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

To be sure you don’t miss any of my future blog posts, you may wish to subscribe to Matters of the Heart. CLICK HERE 

____________________________________________

JOIN MY TEAM

____________________________________________

Check out my You-Tube series, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!, based on my popular book by the same title.  

____________________________________________________________________

AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW! 


HARDCOVER
SOFTCOVER
E-BOOK

____________________________________________________________________

NOW AVAILABLE!

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES: The Complete Trilogy
in a single e-book!

Save almost $4.00 over the purchase price
of the three individual novels.

BUY NOW!

_______________________________________________

Need a break? Read my latest short story, “Fire-Engine Love.” Only $1.99!

Tammie Burke is expecting her second child. But when her husband is suddenly taken from her, Tammie faces the fear of having to raise their two children alone. Will her faith in God help her to put her life back together?

BUY NOW for ONLY $1.99

____________________________________________________________________

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES TRILOGY

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

_____________________________________________________________________

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Are You on the Verge of Giving Up?”

“How to Stay Sane in an Insane World”

“Is Regret Stealing Your Joy?”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

___________________________________________

Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

BEWARE OF OUTCOME-BASED THEOLOGY!

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

________________________________________________

A new heresy has infiltrated the Church. I call it “outcome-based theology.” 

What is outcome-based theology?

Simply put, it is a false theological position that states that the truth of Scripture depends on the results we get when we pray.


For example, if I pray for healing and I don’t get healed, then something is wrong with the Bible. Perhaps healing is not for today. Perhaps God doesn’t want everyone to be healed. Perhaps God has specific qualifications for healing. 

Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. 

Outcome-based theology is but another instance of Satan’s original question to Eve: Did God really say? (Genesis 3: 1). 

Well, yes! God DID really say!  And we would do well to take at face value what He said and believe it!

For instance, God said this about healing:

___”By the stripes of Jesus you were healed” (1 Peter 2: 24).  WERE healed. We are ALREADY healed!

___”Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases….” (Psalm 103: 2-3).  ALL our diseases. Not SOME, but ALL!

___”As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one” (Luke 4: 40).  Jesus healed EVERY ONE!

God says what He means and means what He says. If we are not receiving what God has already given us through Christ, then the problem is on our end, not His!

If we are not experiencing the blessings God promised us in the Atonement, then we need to ask Holy Spirit to reveal to us the true reason. Maybe it has to do with a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4: 6). Maybe it has to do with a misunderstanding we have of a particular Bible verse. Worst of all, maybe it has to do with our doubt and unbelief.

“God is not a man, so he does not lie” (Numbers 23: 19).  He says what He means and means what He says. It is high time we believe Him.

Outcome-based theology makes man the final authority for Scriptural truth. It exalts man’s reason over God’s Word.

In short, outcome-based theology makes man God. 

Outcome-based theology is the result of false teaching. I urge you to examine everything you hear from the pulpit, everything you hear on TV or the radio, and everything you read. Measure it by the Word of God. If it does not agree with God’s Word, it is a lie.

Remember this truth: God’s Word is our final authority, no matter what we feel or think, and no matter what anyone else feels or thinks or says.

Prayer for Today: Lord God, keep us from the deception of outcome-based theology. Keep us from all deception. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you guilty of outcome-based theology? If so, repent and believe God. Please share your insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “Beware of Outcome-Based Theology? by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

To be sure you don’t miss any of my future blog posts, you may wish to subscribe to Matters of the Heart. CLICK HERE 

____________________________________________

JOIN MY TEAM

____________________________________________

Check out my You-Tube series, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS!, based on my popular book by the same title.  

____________________________________________________________________

AVAILABLE FOR ORDER NOW! 


HARDCOVER
SOFTCOVER
E-BOOK

____________________________________________________________________

NOW AVAILABLE!

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES: The Complete Trilogy
in a single e-book!

Save almost $4.00 over the purchase price
of the three individual novels.

BUY NOW!

_______________________________________________

Need a break? Read my latest short story, “Fire-Engine Love.” Only $1.99!

Tammie Burke is expecting her second child. But when her husband is suddenly taken from her, Tammie faces the fear of having to raise their two children alone. Will her faith in God help her to put her life back together?

BUY NOW for ONLY $1.99

____________________________________________________________________

THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES TRILOGY

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

_____________________________________________________________________

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Are You on the Verge of Giving Up?”

“How to Stay Sane in an Insane World”

“Is Regret Stealing Your Joy?”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

___________________________________________

Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

Are You a Carnal Christian?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

________________________________________________

According to the Bible, there are two kinds of Christians: carnal and spiritual. Which one are you? 

Perhaps you don’t know the difference. No worries. 🙂 This post will explain them to you. Which kind of Christian you are–carnal or spiritual–will make all the difference in the world as to how life turns out for you. So, read on!


What does it mean to be carnal?

The word carnal comes from the Latin word carnem, which means pertaining to the flesh. According to God’s Word, the flesh includes not only our bodies but also our souls. The Bible defines the flesh as our sin nature, our lower nature, our nature before we come to Christ and were born again. To be carnal is to think and act in accordance with the flesh, to think and act in accordance with our lower or sin nature.

When we think and act according to our lower nature, we will experience death, not necessarily physical death (although that is possible) but the death of success in our lives. In other words, if we think and act according to our lower nature, we will be sick, poor, in turmoil, and depressed.

But if we think and act according to our higher nature–our nature in Christ–we will experience health, peace, and prosperity in every area of our lives. 

Now, wouldn’t you like that? I think we all would.

Romans 8: 6-10 clearly describes the carnal mind:

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”


What does it mean to be spiritual?

Contrary to popular opinion, to be spiritual does not mean to be holier than thou or to be flawless or perfect. According to the Bible, to be spiritual means to allow Christ in us to live through us. Plain and simple.

But, easier said than done.

You see, the spiritual Christian has chosen to live according to his higher nature, the nature of Christ that entered into him when he was born again. Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  To be a spiritual Christian is to allow Christ’s life within us to flow through us, pouring out the fruit of His Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

How to Determine Whether You are Carnal or Spiritual?

So, how can we tell if we are carnal Christians or spiritual Christians? Here are some questions to ask ourselves, based on 1 Corinthians 3: 3?

___Am I still controlled by my sinful nature? Do I react to life situations according to my lower nature–in anger, impatience, complaining, revenge, hurtful words, gossip, etc.? 

___Am I jealous of others? Do I compare myself with others instead of being thankful for who I am and for what God has given me? 

___Do I quarrel with others? Do I always want to be right? Am I selfish? 

___Am I living like the world? Do I respond to life’s situations as do those who do not know Christ? Do I return evil for evil, tit for tat? Am I rude and unkind? Do I lack compassion? Do I withhold mercy and forgiveness?

___Is my attitude hostile to the things of God? Do I refuse to obey what God is telling me to do? Do I want to go my own way, do my own thing?

___Do I indulge in the passions of the flesh: sexual sin, gluttony, anger, gossip, addictions? 

If we answered yes to any of the above questions, we need to repent and to begin renewing our minds according to God’s Word.

The way to become a spiritual Christian is to begin thinking as God thinks. In Romans 12: 2, the Apostle Paul taught us how to become a spiritual Christian. Pay close attention to what he wrote: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” 

Do you see it? Paul said that as we change the way we think to align with God’s way of thinking, then—and only then–will we experience God’s good and pleasing and perfect will for our lives. This is what it means to be a spiritual Christian: to think the way God thinks and to act accordingly.

How can we know the way God thinks? By studying His Word. In HIs Word, He reveals to us the way He thinks. As we learn the way He thinks, we can change our thinking to agree with His thinking. When we do, we will become spiritual Christians.

Then and only then will life turn out well for us, meaning then and only then will we know the love, joy, and peace that Jesus wants to give us—no matter what the circumstances.

My Prayer for You Today: Lord Jesus, I ask that You would give my brother and sister a deep desire to renew their minds according to Your Word. Teach them how You think so that they can change their thinking to agree with Yours, In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you learned anything new from this post?  Please share your insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “Are You a Carnal Christian? by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Are You on the Verge of Giving Up?”

“How to Stay Sane in an Insane World”

“Is Regret Stealing Your Joy?”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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