Losing Confidence in Self-Life=Freedom

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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

My Feelings Don’t Define Me!

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True Life Discipleship Counseling has had an influence on my thinking regarding the difference between having a soul and a spirit. Knowing that I am a tri-part being (body, soul, and spirit) has made the Scriptures come to life for me and has also made it much easier to understand God’s Word, especially where it proclaims my new identity and union with Christ.

In my spirit, the deepest level of my being, I am one with Jesus, who is my very LIFE! In 1 Corinthians 6:17, it is written: “but he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Because Christ is now my very Life, He is my Source for everything. The liberating and exciting truth of this reality truly is infinite and eternal!

True Life has always emphasized to me dependency and reliance upon Christ moment by moment as I walk in faith. So whatever I am thinking in my mind, or feeling in my emotions, does not define me or who I am in Christ. Because Christ is righteous and holy, I am righteous and holy in the deepest level in my spirit. Because Jesus is The Prince of Peace, I already have His peace deep in my spirit even if at times, in my soul(my mind, will, and emotions), I am not experiencing that peace or the reality of Christ living through me. I can cease striving to become what I already am in Christ! I can cease beating myself up with guilt when I get my eyes and dependency off of Christ. What glorious freedom! Living the Christian life is no longer about me living for God, but it truly means living from God!

Applying these foundational truths that True Life has emphasized in my life is now positively affecting my body with the lessening of stress and its various forms, as I am experiencing Christ’s peace more consistently in my life and I am literally more physically healthy and in better physical shape now in my 50s than when I was in my mid 20s! This wonderful ministry has shared these essential truths in my life, and I’ve been brought into the reality and victory of knowing Jesus as my very LIFE as a result.

Dave L. Cedar Lake, IN

From Cacophony to Peace…

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Angry words buzzed around my mind like a kicked hornet’s nest. Loser. Backward. Crazy. They wouldn’t quiet enough for me to hear my counselor’s voice. My mind was so astir with condemnation it could not take in truth. Then she showed me a picture on the paper—a diagram, really. Circles. I could handle circles. Slowly, the bees died off enough for me to hear her speaking. Spirit. Soul. Body. Taking the focus from the words in my head to the lines on the paper brought enough quiet to my mind to listen to her explanation. Sessions went on that way for quite a while—cacophony, drawing, understanding—until I learned I could trust the process. I was to see many more diagrams over the months, even a slide show. God used my counselor, her persistent discipleship, and the curriculum to draw me to His heart in a way I’d never been able to experience. Today I am grateful for the diagrams etched on my brain. When the cacophony comes and I feel alone, God reminds me of those drawings and gifts me peace.

Deb L.—Joppa, MD

Wrong Impression of God – Maria’s Testimony

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Before arriving at True Life, my life had no meaning. Although I knew of Jesus and was grateful for everything he had done in my life, there was a void to fill. I was depressed, frustrated and angry, and there was nothing I could do to change that. No matter how much I tried to believe that I had the power to change things, they got worse and I felt hopeless.

I quickly learned that just because I felt like I was in darkness didn’t mean that God had abandoned me. I began to learn who God is and who I am.

There were many parts of the process that were difficult for me to understand as English is my second language. As I progressed through the process, I came to understand that it wasn’t just a language barrier, it was more because I had the wrong impression of who God really is and didn’t fully understand that my life is “hidden with God.” I thought God accepted me based on how well I performed in every aspect of my life.

It has been a wonderful experience every day discovering who God really is and how He repeatedly reminds me who I am.

I am very thankful to God and True Life for giving me this opportunity.

Maria M., Abingdon, MD

Patterns of self-reliance…

sad businesswomanLast session’s end was exhausting and confusion chased me home.  A week of prayerful homework readings and another tear-filled conversation with my Lord:

“God, I truly love you! Why does this hurt?  What am I missing?  Help me, please.  I’m tired.”

Mary seemed privy to my flare prayers and met me at the door with her signature embrace.  “I’ve been thinking about you, Jul, and I want to ask you something.”  She listed my life roles like a verbal resume: wife, mom, volunteer, small group leader, cook, teacher, daughter, sister, employee, accountant…

She pointed to her head and whispered, “I know that you KNOW that Jesus loves you and died to restore you and accepts you unconditionally.  You read about it and you teach it. ”

Mary slowly moved her hand to her heart and asked, “But do you really believe that He did all that for YOU? Do you know in your heart that YOU are unconditionally loved by the same God who defeated death?  Do YOU rely on Him?”

I fumbled the attempt to answer her question with confidence.  The word “rely” ricocheted in my soul.  The chalkboard of my brain was suddenly peppered with words depicting patterns of self-reliance… an exhausting dependence on personal pronouns, titles, and to-do lists.

Identifying your flesh is the first step of freedom to walk in the Spirit!  Choose daily to rely on Christ and to rest in the truth of His unconditional love.

 

Juli T., Forest Hill, MD

Kim’s Testimony

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I don’t know about you, but I was caught in a web of lies that totally dictated and nearly destroyed my life. I didn’t understand just how powerful the deception and lies about who I believed God to be really were and how these lies resonated deep within in my soul.

I gave my life to Christ in the hope that I would find freedom from the lies that held me captive. I didn’t find freedom, however, because I was still believing lies that Satan had set into motion early in my life.

Lies shaped my beliefs. I felt that I needed to measure up, clean up my life, erase, or do enough good works so that my past could be forgiven. I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused as a young adult. This left me feeling out of control. I fell into promiscuity as way to feel in control of my life.

For as long as I can remember, I have never felt accepted by anyone in my life. I believed I was unworthy of acceptance. These lies became demons, which became my reality, as I believed them. I was tormented by these destructive beliefs and lies.

As a toddler, my father left; this made me feel abandoned. This left a large hole in my heart. So the lie this created was that if my earthly father could find nothing in me worthy of love, then how God could find anything redeeming in me to love and accept?

Once I came to True Life – Discipleship Counseling, this all changed for me through the Truths that I came to understand. Through the counseling and discipleship, I learned to believe and allow these Truths to be written on my heart. They are now replacing the Lies that once nearly destroyed me.

Kim D., Bel Air, MD