Did you know that we have all been created with needs?

 The 5 Needs

We have been created to need love, security, adequacy, acceptance, and worth/value.

The Problem

Our feelings about ourselves, can be influenced by how those needs are met or not met.  Those feelings lead to emotional responses which can be either  positive or negative.  When these needs are met, we experience positive emotions.  When these needs are not met, we experience negative emotions. Ultimately, those emotions can impact how we react to people and the situations around us.

The Solution

The good news is, our needs have already been met.  They have not been met by anyone or by anything.  Our needs have already been met by God, and we have been set free.  In The Gospel According to John, Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32).  We are set free when we know that apart from God, our needs can never truly be met.

When we know and believe that Jesus is the only one that can meet our needs, we are set free from Satan using the perception that our needs are not getting met to influence what we believe about ourselves and thus influence our emotions.  Realizing our needs are only met by God also frees those around us from trying to have to meet those needs or from us putting the expectation on them that they have to meet those needs.

As we rely on God and live moment by moment in the Spirit to meet our needs, we are able to live victoriously!


The Gift of Righteousness

Lion Reflection in MirrorTake this quiz to find out who you are in Christ!

Popular on Facebook today are quizzes to determine different aspects of your personality. Ranging from the outrageous, What does your belly button say about your personality, to the more ordinary Which cartoon character are you, these quizzes are a light-hearted and fun way to entertain. In that vein, let’s begin this month’s article with a quiz entitled, Who are you in Christ? Take this short true/false quiz to find out!*

  1. A good description of a Christian is a “sinner saved by grace.” T/F
  2. Christians can sin and not know it. T/F
  3. It is easier for a Christian to do wrong than right. T/F
  4. You get closer to Christ through actions of righteousness. T/F
  5. Sainthood is attained in few Christians. T/F

Would you be surprised to learn that all of the answers are “false”? Curious to know why? Continue reading the article for explanations.

1-A Pitiful Description

If you answered true to statement number one, you are not alone. How many of us have heard Christians describe themselves this way? The truth of the matter is that this is probably the most pitiful description ever of a believer in Christ! Why is it that we describe ourselves in a way totally opposite to the way God describes us? Paul tells us that God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Sinner saved by grace” and “the righteousness of God” are not synonymous terms. Continuing to call ourselves sinners after experiencing salvation is inaccurate.

2-Biggest Lie of All

How many of us have lain on our beds at night in prayer, asking God to forgive us of “all the sins I did not know I was committing”? A kind of blanket statement to keep a “short account” if you will. It may surprise you to learn that this is found NOWHERE in the Bible! How ludicrous to think that we, as temples of the Holy Spirit, could sin unknowingly! This mentality causes us to focus on ourselves and our behavior rather than focusing on Jesus, the One who has forgiven us ONCE AND FOR ALL for ALL of our sins. It is ONLY the blood of Christ that brings forgiveness. Thinking that it is somehow our responsibility to “appropriate” forgiveness implies that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough. Only the enemy of our souls would want us lose sight of the finished work of Christ.

3-Birth Determines Identity

Christian, do you not who you are? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17—If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Just as by birth, we became partakers of Adam’s sinful nature, making us sinners before we had even committed one sinful act, by our rebirth in Christ, we have become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and are saints in God’s eyes before even committing one “righteous” act (Romans 5:19). God exchanged our old Adamic nature for Christ’s. We are who we are by birth, not behavior. In Adam, we were enemies of God, living a life characterized by sin, condemned as children of Satan. In Christ, however, we are friends of God, living a life characterized by faith, innocent children of God who are righteous saints in His eyes. Therefore, doing anything contrary to this new nature (sinning) is not easy! Our struggle as Christians, is not against our new nature, but against our flesh (see prior newsletter for more on flesh). It is the “job” of the flesh to get us to choose to gain our identity from the soul or the body, as opposed to the spirit, where our new identity is found. So when we make the choice “to walk according to the flesh” (sin) in any given circumstance, we are really going against our new nature, and we are miserable. Walking in the Spirit is the “natural” thing for us to do now—it is simply being ourselves, walking in the actions and attitudes that God prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

4-Can’t Get Any Closer

Ever run around looking for your glasses when they’re right on your face? Feels ridiculous, doesn’t it?  Well, that’s essentially what a lot of Christians are doing when they are trying to “get closer” to God. If you are in Christ, you cannot get any closer to God than you are right now. As recorded in John 14:20, Jesus said I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. How much closer can you get than that? Christian, stop trying to get something that you already have!

5-Not Just for a Select Few

What would you say if I told you that you are a “saint”? Feel uncomfortable with it? Perhaps you would regard such a statement as almost blasphemous? Many of us have believed that sainthood is achieved through our performance and reserved for only a few select Christians, like Mother Teresa. Comparing our performance with that of hers and others who have been declared saints posthumously, we feel unqualified for the title. Well, let’s clear up a few things. First of all, sainthood is not “attained.” It is not something we earn on our own merits by good works done in our own strength. It is a gift of God bestowed upon us when we accept and believe in the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. Secondly, it is not a position determined by man, but a position determined by God. Over and over again in the New Testament, believers in Christ are addressed as “saints.” Ephesians 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Philippians 1:1, and Colossians 1:2 are just a few places where the greeting Paul uses to address the Church is “to the saints.” The origin of the word “saint” is “to consecrate”—which is what has been done to us! We have been set apart, declared holy, and been made complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10a) and can stand before God, holy and blameless, as though we’ve never sinned!  We do not need to wait to “become holy” any more than a newborn baby has to wait to “become human”! Thanks be to God!

Now What?

Why is it that we have no trouble believing that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, yet we ignore the fact that he also convicts us concerning righteousness?  In order to live the abundant life found in Christ, we just need to get good at believing what He says is true of us! And what is true of us? We are righteous saints, who don’t want to sin because of the new nature we received at salvation, and who have everything we need for life and godliness because we’re in Him, He’s in us, and He’s in the Father. Can’t get any closer than that! Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are (1 John 3:2)!  Believe it!

*Quiz questions and answers taken from “Turkeys and Eagles” by Peter Lord found in The True Life Discipleship Counseling Notebook.

The Rest of The Gospel“You are not waiting to become holy and blameless and beyond reproach. God sees you as holy and blameless and beyond reproach before Him right now. When He looks at you, He sees the nature of His Son. He sees you as love. He sees you as joy. He sees you as peace. He sees you as righteous. He sees you redeemed. He sees you justified. He sees you perfect. He see you complete.”

Title: The Rest of the Gospel
Author: Dan Stone & David Gregory
Purchase: The Life Bookstore

Walk This Way!

Tightrope BannerHow do I “walk by the Spirit?”

Good question right?  We get asked this question by many early on in their Discipleship Counseling process.  Sure seems like a solid “to do” answer must be out there to solve this one!  However, there’s a better question we could be asking, and that is:

“Why don’t I walk by the Spirit?”

As we discussed in July’s publication…If God takes us spiritually out of Adam and places us in Christ, gives us a new Life altogether, and we are now new creations with a new identity, then why is it so difficult to be and do what should be natural for me now?

The real question: Why don’t I?”

Yes it’s true, our new “natural” bent as a child of God is total dependence on God, allowing Jesus to be our Life Source for everything (Acts 17:28), through our body! In other words, “Walking by/in the Spirit.” I’m certain there are times when you’ve done this right?  When so, there were several things you did well (all by faith!) without even realizing it.  It seems easier to allow Jesus to be your Life for routine things, yet  in more difficult circumstances or relationships it seems so much harder to give God control and let Jesus do it.

Things we do well (by Faith!) when we “Walk by the Spirit”

Knowing what we are doing well (by Faith!) when we are “Walking by the Spirit” can help us understand when and why we don’t. Even more so…specifically where we may be stuck! They are:

  • Proper Perspective: receiving and believing God’s interpretation of life…especially in trials and tribulations.
  • Brokenness: believing and having more confidence in God’s resources (Christ in me), than my resources (flesh).
  • Surrender: believing God is in control, and responsible for my well-being (soul).

Let’s look at these three areas in more detail:

First: Whose interpretation are we walking in?

As we are living life we have two options for how we interpret what’s going on: our human reasoning (mindset of the flesh) consisting of how we have interpreted circumstances throughout our life, which becomes our “filter” for what’s going on, and what to expect. And, we have God’s reasoning based on Who He is, whose we are, and what He wants to accomplish as we trust Him in the moment.  As we “Walk by the Spirit” He gives us His thoughts because we have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)!  Beware though…the Enemy is at work trying to get us to “lean on our own understanding” (Prov. 3: 4), and our emotions seem to confirm that’s what we need to do!  Don’t fall for it! We live by faith with God’s understanding, whether it “feels” true or not.  Be patient – His thoughts will eventually become your experience!

Second: Who’s better equipped and capable?

So by faith, we’re living with God’s thoughts as we “Walk by the Spirit.” The next thing we do well as we walk by faith is believe and have confidence that God’s resources (Christ in you) are sufficient and much better than yours!  Seems simple right?  Technically it is…regarding what we have to get good at realizing.  Getting good at it is hard though, and for good reason.  This is where a widely used term among Christians comes into play—“brokenness.”

Okay, so what’s God trying to break?

We get many well-intentioned answers to this question typically centered on God “destroying us,” or God “dropping the hammer,” all based on our bad behavior.  Well, one of the best verses that describes what God is wanting to “break” is in Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 3 and verse 3 — “for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” There we have it!  Part of God’s plan in sanctification includes us losing confidence in our flesh. It must not come naturally since Paul describes the process, and what it was like for him in the rest of chapter 3. A basic definition for brokenness might read like this:

“Brokenness is a state of being in which placing confidence in my flesh (my way using my resources) as a way to live life is understood to be futile, or useless. I now live by the truth, which says, in effect, ‘Jesus, I can’t do it. Apart from you I can do nothing.’”

So as mentioned earlier, it’s not complicated, yet it is hard to practice. And for good reason. Remember when we were “in” the flesh, it was up to us to live life.  The resources we developed were necessary for us to generate or cope with life, and it seemed like they were working. The result then is that we gained “confidence in them.”  “Whether ugly resources or nice looking resources, we use them because we have confidence in them.”

Consider this, as we’re living we cannot have confidence in two resources at the same time, right?  So God uses the process of brokenness, hoping our confidence transfers from our resources (flesh) for living life, to His resources (Christ in us).

Lastly: Surrender

Generally speaking, surrender is an attitude of the heart that says, “God, you can do with me whatever you want to do.”  Now this attitude is the result of having settled two things:

First… a proper concept of God discussed in June’s publication, which allows me to trust Him in all things.  Second… the issue of who is best suited, God or me, to plan, provide for, and to live the life I’ve been given.

So what am I actually surrendering?

Most would answer this question,“I’m surrendering my circumstances or my relationships.” Others might answer “the outcome of my circumstances or my relationships.” Both answers are good for sure, yet maybe not specific enough in some cases, because sometimes it seems whatever we’ve surrendered, we keep taking back!  Why is that?   The answer to this question is something we call “rights” and subsequently “releasing our rights.”  What are rights?

“These are things that I demand or expect in my circumstance, from God and others.”

Think of it this way — apart from God we need a “system” for living. That system is a list of demands, expectations, or “rights.” It started in our earlier years, all centered on generating love and acceptance, or avoiding pain and rejection. In general they sound like this:

Circumstances must be a certain way…

People must be a certain way…

I must be a certain way…

in order to be okay!

Why would we want to recognize and then release our rights?

You see, God created us with a free will, the ability to choose, which leads us to the ultimate choice of independence from God, or total dependence on God.  A choice of independence is tied to “my rights,” as I perceive them.  Demanding my rights prevents me from trusting in and depending on Jesus. Releasing my rights will shut the door to my flesh. In other words…my flesh will have nothing to do!  Think of it this way–because God has made us righteous (okay!), loved, acceptable, adequate, and valuable through Christ, and our union with Him in our spirit, do I really need any rights?  Of course not! When we release our rights and walk in the Spirit, we will experience true freedom and rest in Christ.

So…aren’t you glad?

As I walk by the Spirit…by faith I’m receiving:

  • God’s interpretation of life…especially in trials and tribulations.
  • Confidence in God’s resources (Christ in me).
  • Knowing God is in control, and responsible for my well-being (soul).

Living from His abundant, unlimited resources is the only way we will experience the “fullness of life” that Jesus came to give!

In our next publication we will be discussing our New Character, centered on the topic of Righteousness.

Losing Confidence in Self-Life=Freedom

Doors Banner

For years I placed confidence in self-life (my way of getting needs met, using my resources).  Through my time at True Life, God opened my eyes and taught me from His Word. I began to understand what the Lord was doing.  Through a time of brokenness came a change of attitude.  Instead of saying, “I got this Lord, I can handle it,” I prayed, “Lord, I am totally dependent on you for everything I need each moment, and this way of life is useless.”  The Lord was teaching me to walk by faith and showing me the futility of living out of my own resources.

BUT, one more thing had to occur.  I needed to surrender and relinquish my rights. One big right for me centered on wanting and looking for a vehicle to replace my old one. I was constantly thinking, “I must have a new car; I need to have this car working, etc.”

I do not remember the day, but it was morning I walked out and got into my Malibu.  Before driving off, I just prayed and came to a place where I said, “Whatever you want to do Lord I am okay with it. I will keep it (referring to the Malibu).” I then drove off, but in my heart I knew that the matter was settled.  My heart had come to a place that said, “God you can do with me and my life whatever you want to do.  I entrust my desires and outcomes of those desires to you and you alone.”  I finally recognized the futility of walking after the flesh – my inability to meet my needs, my way, using my resources– and I believed in the Sovereign Goodness of God.  I had finally released my rights, and the result was true freedom and complete rest in Jesus–no matter the outcome.  The burden had been lifted!

What I had not shared earlier was my prayer for a new vehicle. To top it all off, the Lord over-answered my prayers by providing a really nice vehicle and he got rid of the Malibu for me, which I even got some money for. What a GREAT GOD!!!

Nate S.—York, PA

The Blessings of Brokenness“God does not allow brokenness in our lives because he is ruthless, cruel, heartless, or without compassion. No! To the contrary. God sees the full potential for our lives, and he deeply desires an intimate, loving spiritual relationship with us. He wants to bring about our best, and for us to experience him in the fullness of his love, wisdom, power, strength, and goodness. He allows brokenness in our lives in order to bring about a blessing.”

Title: The Blessings of Brokenness
Author: Dr. Charles Stanley


True Life Institute

We are already several weeks into our True Life Institute! We currently have six students participating in this structured course where they will attend weekly classes and engage in dynamic discussions led by True Life staff. God is doing an awesome work in the lives of all involved!

Please remember to pray for the staff, that we may clearly communicate foundational truths of what it means to live under grace, and for the students, that they may “be given a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” as they seek to deepen their understanding and experience of knowing Jesus in a dependent and intimate way.

True Life is Growing…

New Office in Baltimore County

True Life is pleased to announce that Central Christian ( provided an office at their White Marsh campus in which we have begun meeting with clients from the Baltimore area. Sean began office hours there on Thursday, October 1, and plans to be available every Thursday from 9-4:30 to meet with those seeking Discipleship Counseling. For more information, you may contact True Life at or by calling 410-650-4074.

Speaking at Women’s Conference

We were so excited to have Sean Husemann, one of our counselors, speak at Central Christian’s Women’s Conference on September 19, attended by over 250 women! Sean shared during two mini-sessions on how to break the strongholds in our lives. Many women were equipped, encouraged, and empowered by Sean’s life-changing message.