Intro to Codependence

Chapter 4: Love Systems

love-never-fails

WE ARE OFF NEXT WEEK! 

This week we covered the topic of love. And what a topic indeed! The class focused mostly on the concept of needing access to God’s love in order to be able to give that love to others. We also looked at some of the faulty systems that can be resurrected when we don’t know how to connect to God. My number one priority in this workshop is to help articulate the need for us to be connected to God through authentic intimacy. The two greatest areas that causes people not to pursue God is a disbelief that He really loves, cares and is involved; and downright fear of what may happen if intimacy were to occur.

Be sure to read the chapter in context in order to get the full purpose of this chapter! What I teach on will not cover the specifics that are covered in the book.

Audio Recording

Webinar Recording

Download Notes

Codependence Workshop 4

Next class: 

Tuesday, December 2nd at 10:30 am PST – We are off next week! We’ll be covering Chapter 5 on Surrender and Control.

Intro to Codependence

Chapter 3: Emotional Strongholds

image24Hello everyone! We made it through a fabulous class! A few technical glitches  caused minor disruptions in the recording, but they are hardly noticeable. For those in our live webinar discussion group, we have a plan in place long-term and also a back-up phone line in the event we experience difficulties with our provider as we did this week. Our desire is to be begin live streaming our sessions beginning in December. Continue to log in as you normally do, and I will provide instructions during the class as to how we will make that transition.

For those of you on-site, thank you so much for continuing to oblige to our parking restrictions! It is NOT deterring anyone from coming and that is such a blessing to witness!

Below please find the webinar recording, audio recoring and two different handouts – powerpoint and a handout on Body, Soul and Spirit.

Next week we will be covering Love Systems in Chapter 4. I can’t think of a better subject! Hope to see you then!

Audio Recording

 

Webinar Recordings

Download Handouts

Chapter 3 Notes

Body, Soul Spirit Handout

Intro to Codependence

Intro to Coda: Chapter 2 – Family Systems

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Thank you everyone who participated in today’s class. Our on-site group participants were troopers, and cooperated with our no-parking restrictions. We are so grateful and thankful for the efforts and understanding. Our live discussion group also endured their challenges, but we were able to pull through and it was a really sweet time. I am considering live streaming software options as opposed to a webinar format as we prepare to move to an upgraded facility. I will keep you posted!

Today’s class dealt with the sometime difficult subject but life changing conversation of Family Systems.  We pray that God will minister to each of you individually as you process through this. What’s pressing on my heart is that so many times people have a faulty concept of God the Father. And in seeing Him inaccurately, it’s hard to embrace His plans and purposes for us. Usually this tainted interpretation of His character comes through our parental or other authoritative figures. Thus we impose a human character on top of God. Through healing and recovery, we seek to do the opposite. We allow God to impose Himself on top of the human relationships that have failed us. In doing so, God can begin to prove that He is enough, that He is sufficient, and that He can deal with both our wounds and the areas where we had a need that was unmet.

Listen to the Audio

Watch the Webinar Video

Download Class Notes

Codependence Workshop 2

Next Week:

Read Chapter 3 and prepare the application points for group discussion!

Intro to Codependence

Introduction to Codependence Workshop

Webinar Video: (You can watch the full size by  pressing play, clicking the “share” button and then clicking “download”)

Download Notes:

To download class notes,click here

Audio:

Welcome!!! I’m blessed and excited to have met you and engaged in our first class! It is a wild ride, but one worth having. I pray that you can strap on your seat belt, lean back and let the journey emerge as God intends. While this is a “process”, God is in control. He works individually and meticulously to personalize this and help us gain access to the needs and areas of healing that are required.

Whether you are on-site or on webinar, our prayer is that you feel included and called by God to begin the journey towards freedom. We all have to begin somewhere, so today we focused upon the theme of freedom versus bondage. Understanding where we are right now is imperative and influential as to what steps are necessary to be taken to bring us from where we have been to where God wants to bring us. Our own “Egypt” entails a set of circumstances and situations that are unique. But the basic concept of living in bondage applies to each of us. The question is…..are you ready to be released and will you let God have His way?

I have a tremendous vantage point. You may see the mountain before you, but I’ve seen the other side: not only in my life but in the lives of hundreds of others. And because of that, I’m here to coach, encourage and edify. By myself, I do not have much to offer. But in Him, I am positive and confident that the mountain can be conquered in Jesus name.

Format: 

I will blog in this format each week and post it under the proper class. You have the choice to watch webinar or audio.

Access: 

Access information will remain the same, and therefore you can jump to the home page and click the appropriate links each week.

Homework: 

Please read Chapter 1 and answer the questions. We will be breaking into groups next week! On-line will have a discussion group just as our on-site groups experience. We have some handy features on the webinar that will assist in this transition.

Next live webinar:

Tuesday, October 28th at 10:30 am

Intro to Codependence, Other

Building Healthy Boundaries

boundaries

Watch the webinar on Chapter 11: Building Healthy Boundaries

http://www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr/EB52DE81884D

Next live webinar:

Tuesday, June 6th at 9:30

Access:

www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr4

I apologize for the delayed blogging this week. I have had quite a week! But I’m SO excited to finish our workshop and hear testimonies from the brave men and women who have chosen to work through this process. We will have a teaching and wrap up session, along with prayer (of course). I want to offer some direction as to the “next steps” and have everyone come up with at least one thing to do following the completion of Tuesday’s class.

I decided to use the blog on this subject from last year, as it perfectly describes what we discussed in this class. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the webinar, I encourage you to catch up. It’s a packed one!

Understanding Boundaries

For most of, we are looking for tangible methods and tools to resolve the problem areas in our lives. When we begin to discover the ways we have allowed negative people and things into our lives, a “boundary” seems like it will hold all the answers! If we could just “figure out” the right boundary formula, then certainly we could master how to fix the things that aren’t working. But in truth, unhealthy boundaries are an effect, not a cause of the troubled areas in our lives. In fact, however we function outwardly in our boundary style is simply a reflection of something that is occurring at an inner level. Most often, we had a distorted understanding of our own identity and sense of worth, thus we didn’t know how to protect the “lines” in our life in a positive way. What we didn’t see as precious, we couldn’t defend. What we didn’t know as definitive of who we were, we couldn’t prevent from losing. In fact, our lives got so muddled down because we weren’t able to differentiate God’s purposes from what the people and circumstances spoke over us. We furthermore often mistook “love” for “compliance, and took on the wrongful attributes of relationships as a guiding point.

Defining and understanding the purpose of boundaries is critical, because from here on out, everything that we will be doing will be in this area. God is preparing to make us functional, whole, complete people in Him – with the capacity to see life, to feel feelings and engage with others in a healthy way. We are going to begin to learn how to transfer our external reference point of people, to the internal reference point of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we will learn to make decisions of what is allowed in our lives based on God’s point of view. When this happens, boundaries begin to automatically emerge. These boundaries will in many ways operate as a gated system. It won’t lock us in, or force people out. Rather, God’s wisdom will enable us to pick and choose what’s right or wrong, allowable or “not okay” in a given situation. Picture Jesus being the guardsman at the gate!

By understanding ourselves, our design, our preciousness, our worth and God’s plan for us, we will recognize the important of the protective nature of a boundary. But take heed! Boundaries will not simply cause us to self-protect, instead they will begin to sort, sift and align us to God’s purposes. And ultimately, that purpose is TO LOVE OTHERS AS HE LOVES US! God won’t mandate that we simply “throw people out” in the name of a boundary, rather, He will teach us how to love them the way He loves them – with a pure and holy redemptive agenda for their lives.
This will not happen immediately, so if you are just beginning, don’t grow weary! We are only beginning!

Intro to Codependence, Other

Embracing Authentic Identity

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Next live webinar: Tuesday, May 27th at 9:30 am

Access: www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr4

 Recording from Chapter 10 on Identity

I missed everyone on Tuesday, but I heard you had a great class! Thanks to our team Cecilia and Lynne for helping out! We only have two classes left! Next week we’ll be discussing boundaries, and the significance of implementing them now and as a long-term prescription to codependent prevention. Sound good? Don’t miss it!

As I mentioned already, Chapter 10 is my favorite chapter. That’s because it encompasses the authentic nature of God’s purposes in our lives. God isn’t seeking to dismantle and destroy our lives, He seeks to purify and restore us into the person He intended we’d become. From there, He needs to begin to teach us how to learn life through His filter, under the guidance of His leadership.

Transitioning from self-effort, self-protection and control to God dependence, God protection and God control is quite a huge change! But it is where that “abundant” life begins that we hear so much about in the Word. Walking in abundance isn’t about what we “get” from God in a material sense. It may not even initially cause a major effect on our relationships. What it secures is a deep, deep sense of love, comfort, acceptance, belonging and purpose. We learn to be in His arms, secured by Him, kept by Him. And since He IS the God of the Universe and owns all power of heaven AND earth, that is a pretty amazing reality.

If you feel you are still sifting and sorting through the issues of the past, God will meet where you are right now. Ultimately, forgiveness needs to be applied before the authentic purposes of your life can be attained. Yes, forgiveness is THAT important. If you are struggling with Chapter 8 and 9, continue to stay where God leads. He needs to release the shame, grant you forgiveness, help you forgive those have violated you and then take your hand and walk you into the life He designed for you. Can He do it? YES! Right now, it may still be a theology. But the God of the Bible wants to be a living, active reality in your life. He wants to swoop you into His purposes. Wait on Him. Trust Him. Believe He can. And not only can He, He wants to. Because He loves you.

Intro to Codependence, Other

Chapter 9: Offering Forgiveness

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View Recording Chapter 9: Offering Forgiveness

http://www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr/EB51D7898347

Next live webinar: Tuesday, May 20th at 9:30 am
Chapter 10: Embracing Identity

www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr4

I have been blessed beyond measure with this workshop, and the willingness of the hearts of those who are participating. May I just say that your willingness determines the outcome, not the program itself? When you become ready to allow God to work according to His ways, He will have to honor His Word and His promises. He will have to be faithful to who He is. He will be obligated to work out what you ask Him to on your behalf. And He will be required to complete what He has begun!  What a wonderful truth!

Letting go of our own self efforts is perhaps the most difficult aspect of any. In other words, we give up our right to continue to manage our life on our own. This week we talked about forgiving others, and this is where we quickly discover that apart from grace, we are incapable.  Unless we agree with God and allow His ways to govern our response to the pain that was done against us, we won’t be able to move forward. This is why we need revelation of the heart of God. When we discover the radical nature of His love for us, we also can become willing to trust and agree with His ways. I loved this picture of people abandoning themselves from a cliff, fully dependent on the parachute to catch them. Imagine if we could abandon ourselves to God in the same manner. To “jump off the cliff” into new areas of healing feeling assured that He will have to catch us.

Forgiveness is at the heart of all forms of redemption, and in fact is the reason why Jesus came.  In our own healing, it’s important to understand that forgiveness extends further than simply letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness furthermore will not require we be “okay” with the violation itself. Never! God hates the violation and so can we! Rather, forgiveness is the ointment that brings healing to our wounds. It places a means to have the wound cleansed, and thus it can now begin to heal. It can allow us to become who God created us to be. Without a spiritual remedy, the sin done against us will be empowered, and it will cause unthinkable levels of damage. We will stay connected to the very violations we had been trying to escape. We will lose our identity and become victims of the past, rather than victorious through the blood of Jesus.

Forgiveness gets delayed for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it’s hard! Second, we have to understand that in some ways bitterness and resentments act as coping mechanisms or drugs. They may not resolve the problems, but they have their own form of “empowerment”. However, the power of resentments will lead us away from God’s purposes, creating a hardened heart. On the other hand, forgiving makes us vulnerable to have to feel and face the violations. It then aligns with God’s healing. It softens our hearts and allows us the opportunity to experience intimacy with God, and eventually with others. It also allows us to begin the process of grieving, where God will further teach us how He desires to literally detox our soul by “feeling to heal.”

Next week is my favorite chapter in the book! We will be looking at Chapter 10: Embracing Identity. I will not be here to share with you, but I know you will be blessed by sister in Christ Cecilia, who has a beautiful way of articulating these truths.

Intro to Codependence, Other

Recieving Forgiveness (Grace)

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Next live webinar Tuesday, May 13th at 9:30 am (Pacific time) on Chapter 9: Offering Forgiveness

www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr4

Chapter 8 Recording on Forgiveness

http://www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr/EB51D887864A

We spent yesterday on the best subject in all the world – we sought to understand grace in the perspective of a relational Jesus. In other words, we didn’t dissect a theology of grace, we tried to gain access to Him in a personal way. It’s amazing to me how difficult this is, and that’s usually because we bring our own faulty confinements and misunderstandings about who He is. My greatest prayer and desire is that you come in contact with Him in a real way, and that you will taste and experience the goodness and ease of living life in Him.

Many times, we have been the treadmill of effort-based Christianity, believing that like human relationships, we must perform, please and be perfect to be accepted. True change, the kind of change that will bring lasting transformation, will only happen when we learn to engage life through grace. Where do we even begin?

  1. Make a relational Jesus the priority
  2. Evaluate your relationship style in accessing your needs. Are you on a treadmill of performance, if so, get off it! Reject, refuse to think you have to “earn” merit and good standing for God to provide and meet your needs.
  3. Enter into a heartfelt dialogue with God – be honest with Him and begin to speak your needs to Him
  4. Give Him the burdens, the pain, the sin, the heartbreak, the invalidation
  5. Receive a full dose of grace and forgiveness for everything you have harbored or ever carried guilt for
  6. Refuse to allow guilt to reign and rule – speak back to it and declare to it “It is finished”.

Well, there you have it. I gave you a list when I just finished teaching that we can’t live by a list. So let me bring some clarity. This list has no ability to do anything unless it comes by intimately connecting to Him. So really, you can scrap the list at any point and just spend some time in His presence hanging out with Him.

Which reminds me, what does intimacy even feel like? I mean, should you feel Him? Well, lest we make it about emotions alone, I hesitate to say “yes.” But can you feel Him? OH YES! A relationship with Jesus will bring an authentic sense of intimacy – that means you will experience the intensity of His love, grace, protection, power, peace and every other spiritual resource and fruit He offers. If you can experience some of this in a human relationship, why on earth couldn’t you experience that with Jesus directly? It would be cruel if God required that we only have access to a head knowledge understanding of Him and could only interpret Him through our mind. Many Christians have spent their entire lives believing this lie. God wants to jump out of the Bible and be a Person you can experience. If you haven’t yet accessed this, you have an amazing opportunity.  So I challenge and ask that you inquire of Him what has been blocking or hindering this from occurring.

Please remember, the enemy doesn’t want you free. He doesn’t want you to come into a deeper understanding of Jesus. If you feel affliction, oppression or other heavy emotions, I also encourage you to use the authority in Jesus name to reject the enemy’s attempt to keep you from God. If you need prayers and encouragement, please reach out to me, someone else in the workshop, a counselor, a pastor or a person you trust.

You CAN be victorious – this is not pretend, and God IS real!

Intro to Codependence, Other

Chapter 7: Removing the Power of Shame

grace is enough

Watch Chapter 7 Recording from Tuesday, April 29th, click here

(Remember to try a different browser if you can’t access it, or copy and paste it directly into the browser)

Next Live webinar: Tuesday, May 6th at 9:30 am

Access: www.instantpresenter.com/nlsr4

Yesterday we had an amazing class, and I’m hopeful that if you missed it you will take some time to watch it. This is where the journey gets at the heart of both the problem and solution. For me, and so many others, we have dealt with inadequacies our whole lives. We have fought against shame and the sense of not being “good enough” with the faulty tools of perfection, performance, people pleasing and other self-efforts. But despite our best attempts, we have often continually ended up with the overwhelming sense of guilt, condemnation and fear. How can this be? As a child of God, we are measured by nothing but grace – the blood of

Jesus made us complete and perfectly right based on what Jesus did on our behalf. Therefore, wherever shame continues to thrive, it means we have allowed shame’s power to overrule Gods’ remedy. This may seem like negative news, but actually it’s quite wonderful. By exposing the faulty and illegitimate source of shame in our lives, we can actually find a solution. But there is no gimmick or quick fix here. We will need to deal with our own situations by learning how to identify the source of shame, and then choose to apply forgiveness to whatever the source or origin of shame occurred. If we have been living with life with a measurement stick, comparing ourselves to people’s standards, we will need to learn how to cast that stick aside, and rest in ultimate assurance that God’s standards already declare us “enough” through Jesus.

As we begin to undo the damage of shame by tapping into forgiveness, I want to remind you that Jesus needs to be a real person in our lives, not merely a principle, ideal or doctrine. I urge you to spend time alone talking to Him, communicating with Him and practicing relationship principles. You might want to picture yourself with Him walking, talking or holding His hand. If that seems unusual or strange, it might be an indication that you aren’t comfortable with intimacy yet. Ask Him to help you let Him jump out of the pages of the Bible and into a real life experience.

Next week we’ll cover Chapter 8 on Receiving Forgiveness – and learn some practical ways to begin to apply it in our lives. The great news is that while there are processes involved, the next two chapters contain things we apply right now. Shame carries a heavy burden, and when it’s given a remedy, we will feel that burden lifted.

Next live webinar: Tuesday, May 6th at 9:30 am

Intro to Codependence

Understanding Denial (Chapter 6)

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Chapter 6 recording on Denial
If you can’t access this recording, try a different browser (Google Chrome works well). Also copy and paste this link directly into the browser.

Next live webinar: We’ll be praying next Tuesday, April 22nd at 9:30. Please join us!

I have taught these workshops for over four years, and each workshop brings something new and different. My heart is stirred this workshop over the subject of Denial, and the exposure of our hidden hurts and wounds. That’s because it is the BEGINNING of ALL freedom! God is the Great Physician, and so His movements have a surgical and healing design. He is not angry or offended by anything that is buried. He is not frustrated or impatient in His pursuit of our needs. He is deeply, deeply stirred to bring freedom and wholeness to us. If you could see Him, He would be like a Warrior Prince, coming to our aid and rescue, cherishing us as a prize. He wants to rescue us from the very things that have harmed us. He is a God who is passionate about redemption. What a wonderful reality to think upon as we enter into Resurrection Sunday!

At times, this process can hurt so deeply we might need to seek an additional resource other than this workshop. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I have included an excerpt regarding the Holy Spirit from Chapter 1 of A House that Grace Built. I ask that you read this to prepare your heart for the remainder of this process. That’s because I feel the biggest distortion and disruption of healing is a misunderstanding of the Person of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to do a further study on your own to get comfortable with relying on Him for assistance.  Next Tuesday we will devote the class to a short teaching on prayer and then we will pray together.  I look forward to having you join!

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of A House that Grace Built

Who is the Holy Spirit?

God is love. Love is something we receive in the form of the Holy Spirit. Just as we access electricity when we plug an appliance into an outlet, our lives are meant to be empowered by God’s Spirit. In fact, apart from Him, we are as ineffective as a broken refrigerator or television set. Our true purpose takes the “energy” resource of the Holy Spirit to make us “work” as our Creator intended.

The Word of God teaches that the Holy Spirit is a person who indwells us as a believer of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the life of God Himself in invisible form, coming to live inside our physical bodies. Since God is holy—His presence and power is only free to move in us in a righteous state. That’s why sin and strongholds can cause His power to be “cut off.” In a little while we’ll learn that doesn’t mean we have to be “perfect,” but we do need to be standing in the covering of grace.

Most Christians (and non-believers) have a distorted understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit. Either they’ve been exposed to Christians who have radicalized it in a scary way, or they have truly never seen the power behind the Holy Spirit at work to verify His influence accurately. It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit has a multitude of functions in our lives. In fact, after Jesus tangibly made His presence on earth, He told His followers that it was actually better for Him to go back to Heaven so that they could receive the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7).

While the Word of God educates, equips, and provides the instruction we need to live this life, it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to make that truth a reality. This means we aren’t merely meant to memorize Bible verses, but to come into contact with an actual person (John 5:29).

Let’s look at what the Word of God says about the purposes of the Holy Spirit.

He leads us into truth.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. – John 14:16-17

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ – John 16: 13-15

He convicts people of sin.
And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin. – John 16:8

He teaches us (using the Word of God as the textbook).
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. – John 14:26

He fills us with His Spirit and resources.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. – Romans 5:5

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

He helps us understand and comprehend truth.
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us . . . Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. – 1 Corinthians 2:10-13

He affirms our identity in Christ.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. – Romans 8:15-16

He places a sense of eternity in our hearts.
And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. – Romans 8:23

He intercedes, comforts, and assists in our weaknesses and pain.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:26-28

Defeating Obstacles
In seeing the purposes of God’s Spirit, we can begin to recognize how our own efforts actually competed and stood in His way. Oftentimes, we unknowingly mimicked His work in our own strength. Thus, our need to control, manage, fix, and manipulate (even though well intended), often caused us to “grieve” Him from being activated and powerful in our lives (Ephesians 4:30). With the power of the Holy Spirit inhibited, we were left vulnerable to exist in the world through our own self-preservation. We lived a powerless lifestyle.

The truth is that life is extremely difficult, and we will always fail if we don’t have the power of God working on our behalf. That’s because life apart from Him doesn’t work—it only produces varying levels of death and destruction. The evidence of that exists all around us in different ways.

But the difficulties don’t end there. The Bible explains that we live in a spiritual realm. As we will learn in Chapter 11, this is a realm that exists simultaneously with the physical realm. In fact, everything here in this world is influenced by that spiritual realm because God is Spirit and He created the physical from the spiritual. Therefore, whether we choose to accept it or not, we are in fact engaged in a battle against a very real spiritual Enemy (Ephesians 6:12).

Understanding the Enemy’s Scheme
Just as the Holy Spirit is a real person who holds real power, Satan is an actual fallen angel who was eradicated from Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-16). The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13, John 15:26, John 14:17, 1 John 5:6). Satan is called the Father of Lies (John 8:44). Although he’d like us to discount his presence in our lives, he isn’t a “pretend” villain. His hatred for God and for righteousness provokes him to try to kill, steal, and destroy the human race (John 10:10). Satan and his army of demons are out to dismantle and discredit God’s truth. They want to tear down anything God is building in our lives in the name of love and pervert it into something that will bring devastation.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. – 1 Peter 5:8-9

A physical army engaged in war seeks to claim a territory of land during a battle. Just the same, Satan seeks to gain “territory” in the battlefield of our hearts (see Chapter 15). This happens when we believe lies about God, ourselves, and others. Whatever lie we believe affects how we think, feel and act. Therefore, our belief stands in direct correlation with the outcomes of our lives. Satan’s lies are strategically placed in our lives to “devour” God’s truths. By doing so, we cannot live and capture the power of God’s promises and truths.

As subtle as it may be, when we reject or discount God’s love, we are performing the exact same behavior that occurred in the Garden of Eden. As soon as we believe Satan’s lies over God, we give him authority in that area of our lives. For example, Satan will come alongside us and point out that whatever God is doing as “wrong,” “invalid” or “not demonstrative” of God’s love. He will also seek to accuse us and tear us down at the core of our identity. His ultimate goal is to take each promise and each action of God’s love and cause us to “water it down,” doubt it, or rebel against. As the motion of God moves towards us, Satan comes ready to “catch” that truth and love and re-arrange it before us as something else.

Some of the ways Satan does this includes:

  • He binds us in the counterfeit version of codependent love, convincing us it’s the “solution.”
  • He tells us that God’s promises belong to other people, but don’t apply to us personally.
  • He points our flaws, shortcomings, and sin issues to accuse us that we “don’t measure up” (shame).
  • He reminds us of our broken, human relationships as evidence that God must not be interested or involved with us—or will reject us in the same manner because we are unlovable.
  • He wants us to believe that God doesn’t really love us, but is more interested in our performance for Him.
  • He invokes fear into our lives and wants us to focus on what God wants to take from us; thus, we never want to fully surrender to Him.
  • He corrupts God’s character and taunts us by saying God has unloving plans for us, is “tricking” us, or has a mean way about Him.
  • He blames God for all the things that are not right in our lives, when it is in fact the result of Satan and sin.

The even greater threat is created when God’s Word loses personal impact. The more we doubt, the less influence God’s Spirit will have in our lives. Therefore, as much as we know and read the Bible, it will have no power to change us. That’s because when our experience doesn’t match our theology, we will be prone to question God’s truth at a core level. We can have a God who claims to love us, but who apparently can’t really do anything for us. In the moment of need, we are dragging around watered-down sentiments, hopeful fantasies, and fairy-tale dreams.

The Lies of Codependence

Codependence consisted of deep systematic lies that eventually became our truths. The lies were subtle enough that we continued believing them and living in them. Unknowing, they kept us away from God’s authentic love. Learning to move over into God’s system of love may take time. However, as we learn to recognize and live in His promises, nothing can change or separate His love from us (Romans 8:39). When God’s system and truths become reality to us, they produce a confident, unshakable foundation in our lives. We will be entirely altered as our lives begin to align with truth. From there, our lives will produce different activities than they did in our codependence. Eventually, we can grow and become who God created us to be.

Choosing Truth

Living God’s way is about a choice we’ll be asked to make every day for the rest of our lives. Since God operates by free will, He won’t impose or force us to live under His terms. Therefore, we must desire and want the changes to occur in order for us to make that transfer. A key tool is learning how to filter our day-to-day choices and issues through truth. In codependence, we unknowingly rejected God’s truth and accepted the Enemy’s lies. In recovery, we must reverse that pattern and learn to accept God’s truth and reject the Enemy’s lies. In the “heat of the battle,” we always have a choice. Exercising that choice will determine the entire outcome of our lives.

A Prayer to Choose

Father God,
Help me have the faith to believe that You are capable of taking care of my life. Help me to see that you are far more sufficient than I am in managing and dealing with the difficulties that surround me. When I’m tempted to do things in my own strength, I pray that You rattle my “crumbling” home enough to make me jump into Your arms. Look inside my heart and show me where I doubt, disbelieve, or live life apart from You. Reveal Yourself to me. I give You my hand in faith and ask that You would pick me up like a child and lead me into the life that You have designed for me. I thank You in advance.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.