KEYWORDS: change, things, faith, way, life, power

Shooting Straight, Part 6--Letter Links: Judging People on the Past

September 21, 2004

(ML #3505, GN 1094)

FD/MM/FM August 2004

Lessons of Love

ML #2975:37-48‚ 55, Lifelines 22

The Danger of "Labeling"!

37. (Mama:) The Lord not only dealt with me about my self–righteousness but also about some of my judgments of people that were not righteous judgments. They were not righteous, because I had not gotten down to business and asked the Lord about them, but instead had based them on things that I had heard about Matthew in the past. In spite of the fact that Matthew obviously had come a long way, still‚ in the back of my mind, some of those past sins had followed him and my attitude toward him was a little "tainted" by my remembrance of what had been problems in the past.

38. He had a reputation for being a bit overindulgent in the things of the flesh. But just because a person likes the comforts of the flesh and has strong fleshly appetites does not necessarily mean he is not spiritual. Look at the way the Lord made Dad. He very much enjoyed the sensations of the flesh, but he kept the spiritual things in first place. The Lord just doesn't want us to put more emphasis on the physical things than we should, at the expense of the spiritual. Thinking that to be spiritual precludes the idea of any kind of fleshly appetites is a doctrine of devils emanating from the Devil via the church system.

39. So that was another reason why I saw that the Lord had to stop me and make me have personal contact with Matthew, so that I could see what he was really like. Even then I had to desperately ask the Lord to show me how I was supposed to look at him, how I was supposed to see him. Should I judge on what I heard him saying, which was very precious and showed depth and dedication? Should I judge him on some of the weaknesses that I knew he had in his daily life? Should I judge him on his past record and reputation?

40. It was a dilemma for me because some of his present weaknesses seemed to be connected with the problems he'd had in the past. But what I heard him saying seemed to override those small slip-ups in the daily course of events. What he said showed depth and conviction and loyalty and love for Jesus and for others. And getting to know him helped me to see this whole other side, which I wasn't aware of before.

41. For example, I had heard from Gabe that Matthew sometimes said things to others which were a bit unloving. In getting to know Matthew better, I realize that the reason for this is not that Matthew is unloving, it's just that he needs to learn more about how to practically apply love in his daily interactions with others. People can have a loving heart and a love for people, as does Matthew, but it doesn't always translate into their day-to-day actions.

42. Some people need help learning how to put their love into action. They need to realize that when they talk to people or ask them to do things‚ that they can either do so in a way that is curt or blunt‚ or in a way that is loving. Two people can ask someone the same question, but one can make the person feel bad about it and the other can make the person feel happy. So in Matthew's case I discovered that he does love people‚ he just needs help in his practical application of love.

43. I became quite desperate to know how I was supposed to see him. I wanted to know what the Lord thought of him. It seemed too confusing for me to try to figure out. The Lord was giving me checks that in the back of my mind I was tipping the scale on the negative side. Because I had already made a subconscious judgment of him, what we commonly call "labeling," I got very desperate to know what my attitude should be. I said, "Lord, You've got to help me to see what the truth is. I can't teach or instruct him unless I really know where he stands, so I can help him in what he needs." I said, "Please give me something. Please give me a verse or just something to help me to know."

44. The Lord answered me in a little prophecy which was one of the few that I have gotten. The first thing He said was‚ "This My son has seen the light and the error of his ways." In other words, he had seen where he had been wrong in the past, and he had repented. The Lord went on to issue a rebuke to me: "Beware that thou call not unclean what I have cleansed; call not sinful that which I have made holy."

45. I would venture to say that when we label people with a certain problem, more often than not, we still think of them in this way long after they have gotten great victories and have been delivered from the problems. Christ, by His cleansing, has made them a new creature, but we are still calling them "unclean." It's very easy to do if you have known them in the past, and then go your separate ways and don't partake with them in the succeeding changes that they have gone through. Or perhaps you live with them but don't take the time to hear their heart and look carefully at their progress. Needless to say, I was very convicted for misjudging this dear man. Not only had I misjudged him‚ but because of my misjudgment I had made statements to him that had hurt him, for which I needed to apologize.

46. The Lord drove home four very major points to me through this: 1. The hurtfulness of labeling. 2. The importance of not jumping to conclusions or blindly accepting what you hear, or even think you know about the past, either years in the past or a week in the past. 3. The importance of fully listening to the individual and finding out firsthand where he stands; how he sees things now, as well as the things he has gone through in the past. 4. Most important of all, the importance of asking the Lord what He thinks and how He sees the person.

47. My attitude was so far off that at one point I even questioned Matthew's spirituality and his strong faith. Whew! No wonder the Lord had to come out so strongly and give me such a strong rebuke, saying, "Beware, lest thou call him unclean whom I have cleansed."

48. All this sounds very bad!—And it was!—In the spirit! These things which had seemed small things to me and which I had not even realized‚ and which might seem small to others, were very big to the Lord. He knew that if I got off track‚ and if I did not give the right sound of the trumpet, it could be very serious. Judgment in the house of God had to begin with me. …

55. I saw firsthand the danger of "labeling" people and not seeing them as God sees them. Brethren‚ I fear that this has happened on innumerable occasions in the Family, on a greater magnitude than I even care to think of. We must cry out desperately to the Lord to forgive us for this misjudgment of people which discourages them and hurts them and has caused many of them to give up in despair and hopelessness. If we, their shepherds, don't understand them and we are looking down on them and misjudging them, it is a serious matter indeed. If we have no hope for them, how can they have hope for themselves? Or if we even question their dedication, how can they have confidence that the Lord can use them?

The Day of Renewal

ML #3164:3-45, Lifelines 24

3. (Mama:) In this … message the Lord gives some very important practical advice about how you can find the fresh start and new beginning that you desire. I understand how daunting it can be when you want to have a radical change in your life, yet you find yourself in the same circumstances‚ living and working with the same people. It's much easier if you can have a complete change, including a change of your surroundings, your working relationships and even your ministry. But that's hardly practical or possible in most situations, so the Lord has given us the following wonderful counsel which offers the keys to overcoming, changing and progressing‚ even if the relationships and physical circumstances that you find yourself in remain the same.

4. I know how difficult it is to change‚ to become the new creature that you want to be, when you have a lot of preconceived ideas about the people that you live and work with, or when you feel that they have labeled you negatively, or when you feel that you've had a lot of unpleasant experiences in the past which have created rifts in the spirit that seem almost impossible to heal.

5. But the Lord knows that it is possible to change, to begin again, to forgive and forget‚ to learn lessons and become a new creature. With Him all things are possible! He can give you a fresh start if you'll just follow the simple loving counsel He gives below.

6. (Jesus speaking:) If you really want a fresh, new start with someone, in the way you interact with them and how you look at them, if you really want to break out of your old habits and ways of doing things‚ your old way of looking at a person, then all you need to do is the humble thing. You need to be humble and realize that I love that person very much, and I've been working in their life, too.

7. They feel your interaction. They feel the way you look at them, what you think about them, and how you treat them. They feel it in the spirit. So if you want to change anything about the way you work with someone, the way you relate to them and communicate and talk with them, then you just need to ask Me for new eyes.

8. Just be desperate and ask Me to change things, and I will. Fight for it and work for it in all that you say and do. Ask Me to give you a brand-new spirit‚ a fresh, new outlook on the people around you, a good, new way of thinking about them and talking to them. The only thing that will hold you back is the past and the old dead habits, the old dried-up interactions‚ the same old stale habits that you don't like anyway. You want the fresh! You want the new! You want to be able to express the new creature that you are. You want to be able to interact with the love, understanding and joy of My Spirit—and you can!

9. You are a new creature if you want to be, for I have made you new! I've given you new ways of thinking, new ways of behaving‚ new ways of loving, new ways of seeing Me, new ways of seeing others, new ways of looking at yourself. It's only the Enemy that tells you, "It won't work; you're not new. You're not able; you'll never change. You'll never be able to treat this person or that person any differently. They're not new. They haven't changed; they'll never change. It's just the same old uninspired relationship, and nothing's ever going to be able to help." But I don't tell you that, because it's not true!

10. Anyone who wants it—who wants a fresh new start, a fresh new approach to life, or to people, or to their work, or to their ministry, or to their husband or wife or children, or to someone that they don't get along with—can have it! You can be what I want you to be! You can give the love that I have inside of you‚ that's just waiting to burst out! You can give good‚ Spirit-filled reactions. You can give inspiring, encouraging words. You can give love and affection without partiality. You can think positive, uplifting thoughts. You can resist the attacks of the Enemy. You can let My Spirit flow through you and make you different!

11. You don't have to live in the past or let the past dictate how you live today. You don't have to be what you were yesterday, and you don't have to look at others and think about them the way they used to be. They want to change and have changed just as much as you want to change and have changed. You can be part of the changes that they desperately seek by treating them as new creatures. And you can treat them as new creatures by asking Me to give you the faith for new eyes for them.

12. It's humbling to step out by faith and make a fresh new start with someone who you have old habits with. It can be very humbling‚ and the Enemy will use your pride to persuade you not to do it. He will really try to get you to never take that first step, and keep you in the same old treadmill of the old mindsets. But look beyond all that, and grab My hand that is reaching out to help you.

13. If you take the first step to react with new eyes and a new spirit‚ then every other step after that will be much easier. But the first step is very important, the first reactions of the day, because they set the standard and the spirit for every other step. When you start off on the right foot, with the right spirit and the right outlook‚ you make it much easier for yourself, and you make it much easier for Me to pour through you, because you're doing the right thing. But if you start off on the wrong foot, with the wrong reactions and the wrong way of looking at things, I can't give you the new, because you're working with the old ways.

14. So let Me pour the new through you—all that is new and beautiful and wonderful in your life! Let Me use it to the full! Let Me shine through you! Let your new ways be a testimony to others of the power of My Spirit and of your yieldedness. Let Me give you a clean slate so you may write new things on it. All you have to do is erase all the old that is written on it and draw on My Spirit to write it afresh. It will be so beautiful!

15. But you say, "How can I do this? I just can't! It's so hard. I've tried so many times to change and make a fresh start, and it just doesn't work. I keep doing the same old things that I hate and that I don't want to do‚ and I just can't seem to get out of these old habits. I desperately want to be new and different in my interactions with people."

16. If you're desperately seeking Me for a change, that's all you need, and that will be the key to open the doors that you can't open by yourself. You don't have the love in yourself to do it. You don't have the humility or the grace or the strength or the understanding, but I do! You just need to draw on My strength and ask Me for help each step of the way.

17. It takes time to break old habits, and you must not get discouraged if you sometimes revert to your old ways. You have to keep the vision and believe that what I tell you is the truth, and you will have great victory. The greater your desperation, the greater the victory. The bigger the step of faith you take, the closer you are to bigger victories. The tighter you hang on to My Word‚ the more it will work for you. The harder you fight, the less the Enemy wants to fight the power of My Spirit in you.

18. You have great power of My Spirit at your disposal! All you have to do is believe and receive and live in it, and it will be so beautiful! (End of message from Jesus)

19. When you have a chance, I suggest you discuss the practical things you can do to help bring about the changes you desire personally and as a Home. The above message has quite a few good tips, which I want to list briefly here, but there are probably others, some that are more specific, that the Lord will give you for your unique situation if you'll just take the time to think and pray about it.

Tips to Help You Change the Way You Are and How You Relate to Others

20. Be desperate and ask the Lord to change things, to change you!

21. Do the humble thing. Even if it kills your pride and makes you feel uncomfortable‚ do whatever the Lord is leading you to do to reach out‚ show love and take the first step.

22. Realize that the Lord loves the other person and He has been working in his or her life, too.

23. Ask the Lord to help you let go of the way you used to see someone so you can see them with new eyes—eyes of love, understanding, faith and forgiveness.

24. Work for the changes you want by praying about the way you relate to others and talk to them. Consider whether you need to do things differently. If you do‚ then take the time to go a step further and make some specific concrete decisions about how you would like to change.

25. Make a conscious effort to let go of the past and your old habits.

26. Don't listen to the Enemy when he tries to tell you that you and the people around you will never change. Recognize that that's a lie!

27. Don't live in the past. Don't look at others or think about them the way they used to be. Realize that they want to change, just as you want to change.

28. Treat those around you as new creatures by asking the Lord to give you the faith to see them with new eyes.

29. Take the first step to communicate, make things right, ask for forgiveness, spend time with someone, listen‚ share your heart, ask for a date, etc.

30. Try to begin each day in a positive spirit with a new outlook.

31. Realize that it takes time to break old habits. Don't get discouraged if you fall into your old ways sometimes. Just get up and try again.

32. Fight! Don't give up!

33. Realize that you are a new creature if you want to be. The Word says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2Cor.5:17). This includes new ways of thinking, behaving‚ loving and looking at yourself and others.

34. It's humbling to treat people differently than you have in the past. Remember that the Enemy will try to use your pride to persuade you not to do it.

35. You can help others make the changes they need to by employing the principle Dad taught us of, "Tell her she's beautiful and she'll be beautiful." Treat others like they are changed, like they are different, like they are making progress in their weak areas‚ and it will help give them the faith that they can be that way.

36. Let it be your goal to be a vessel for the Lord's Spirit and love, and a testimony to others of the power of yieldedness.

37. Don't just forget the old, but replace it with the new.

38. Ask for prayer.

39. Drink deeply of the New Wine. Accept it, believe it and live it!

40. Hear from the Lord personally in prophecy, and try with all your heart to do what He says.

41. Remember, "The greater your desperation, the greater the victory. The bigger the step of faith you take, the closer you are to bigger victories. The tighter you hang on to the Word, the more it will work for you. The harder you fight, the less the Enemy wants to fight the power of the Lord's Spirit in you."

42. Don't label people negatively, and if you have already done so‚ get rid of those labels! On this subject, the Lord gave the following message:

43. (Jesus speaking:) It's difficult to wisely judge others' feelings, motives or desires. It takes supernatural insight—and you gain that insight by looking at others through the eyes of love, hoping for the best‚ looking for the good.

44. One of the things that most effectively hinders people making progress is their being labeled negatively by their shepherds, parents or peers. I want to erase those labels, to knock them off from around the necks of those who are burdened with them. And if there are people who don't want to change, who haven't changed at least in spirit through receiving the Word given during the Feast, then that's their problem. They will have to bear that responsibility. But at least their lack of change will not be the fault of others and the negative, unloving, lacking-in-hope way they are viewed by others.

45. Oh, if you could just realize the power there is to hold people back, to squelch their desire and motivation to change and improve when they are looked upon by others negatively and as if "they'll never change." It's a tool of the Enemy. It's a weight that I want people to get rid of—both those who carry those negative labels and those who have placed them there. Love has creative power. Look on others with love and hope! (End of message from Jesus.)

You Can Make It, Part 1

ML #3277:7–18, 115-132, GN 880

Anybody Can Change!

7. (Mama:) You can change! ... It doesn't matter what you want to get the victory over, it doesn't matter how long you've had the problem‚ or how many times you've tried and failed to overcome it. It doesn't matter at all to Jesus! If you can get that basic lie of the Enemy that "change is impossible for you" out of the way, you're on the road to victory! If you want to change, the Enemy cannot stop you! He might try to make it difficult, but if you don't give up, you have the victory promised to you! It was already won 2000 years ago when our precious Lover died on the cross to save us, and won the victory over the Enemy forever! Remember, anyone who wants to make it can make it! Our wonderful Husband, Strength, Provider and Defender has promised it! Amen?

8. (Jesus speaking:) Anybody can change, and the change that you desire in your life is possible too. It doesn't matter how you feel or don't feel. It doesn't matter what you've been like for years or how long you've been the way you are today. It doesn't matter if something you're trying to change is even a part of your personality, your nature, or something that you feel is inborn or unchangeable. Even if you don't think you can change, you must believe that you can, because I promise that you can.

9. I know that many of the feelings and thoughts of your heart have been the same for many years now. Some things about the way that you are have been the same for a long time, and you were almost convinced that you would stay the way you are forever. But haven't I been working in your life? I've been slowly but surely speaking to your heart, and now there is a spark of faith‚ a spark of belief—belief that I want to change you and that I can change you, even though in the natural it seems like such a change is impossible.

10. It takes that first step of faith, that step of believing—even if the belief is smaller than a mustard seed—for Me to begin to work in your life. But this is a miracle that I need your help to perform. I need you to give Me your full cooperation, and only then will it come to its full fruition. The complete miracle of all the changes that you desire will not be an overnight change, but certain aspects of this miracle can happen in an instant, as you believe and yield.

11. For a miracle in your life, you have to have a believing heart. You also have to have a yielded heart. The last ingredient is a willing heart—willing to do the things that I'm asking of you, willing to do your part, what is necessary in order for this miracle to become a reality in your life. You ask, "What is this miracle?" It's the miracle of a new life, a new heart, a new spirit—a complete and total change, through which I will be able to bless you with the happiness you seek.

12. No, you were not destined to be forever miserable, forever sad. You're not just one of the "unlucky" ones that got the "leftovers." You can be anything that you want to be—as happy as you want‚ as fulfilled as you want, as challenged as you want, as content as you want, as positive as you want—because these things are within My power to give! If I made the world and every living thing that surrounds you, don't you see that it's a small thing for Me to change a heart and a life, to transform it into something new, something even better?

13. I know that it's easier for you to believe that I can change a caterpillar into a butterfly than it is for you to believe that I can change your life and give you all of the beautiful and wonderful things you desire. You've seen the course of nature, how a caterpillar goes into a cocoon and then comes out as a dazzling butterfly—totally different, totally beautiful, totally changed, a completely different creature. But then you think about yourself, and since you've never seen such a drastic change in your life and it would go completely against your nature, you wonder if it's really possible.

14. But think back on the first caterpillar in the Garden of Eden. I'll go back in time and tell you the story of what happened. In the Garden of Eden the animals could talk to Adam and Eve‚ and the caterpillar was very sad, because he thought that he was destined to be ugly and worthless forever. If you had told him then that he would go into a cocoon and then emerge transformed into a beautiful creature with colored‚ patterned wings, a creature that could fly in the air rather than just crawl along the ground, do you think he would have believed you?

15. Well, let Me let you in on a secret: The first caterpillar that I created didn't believe it when I told him that he would be a beautiful flying creature—they weren't yet called butterflies, because Adam hadn't seen one and named it yet. But I told the caterpillar to give Me a chance and see if he wouldn't be pleasantly surprised. He agreed, and so I instructed him to spin the cocoon. He had to do his part. He had to put his faith into action by spinning the cocoon. He had to do his part so that I could do the miracle and transform him.

16. It wasn't long before he emerged from that cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. How surprised he was to see the drastic, complete, total change that had taken place—and how happy he was too! He could then fly in the air‚ his wings were beautiful, and he was no longer destined to scoot along the ground. Adam named him "butterfly," and from that day until this, it's been natural and normal for caterpillars to turn into butterflies. So if I can perform this miracle, this total transformation, for one of the least of My little creatures, doesn't it seem logical that I could do the same for you?

17. I can do just as big a miracle in your life and spirit, for you are worth much more to Me than all of My other creatures combined. I can't even compare you with them because you are a living soul. You have a heart. You're My wife, a special part of Me. And so‚ My love, if you're willing, I am able. If you're willing to do your part, as the caterpillar must spin the cocoon, then I'll do what you can't do.

18. Everything is possible, My love! It doesn't matter how long you've been the way you are or how bad you think you are. It doesn't matter how you feel or what you think about yourself, because I am able. If you give your whole life to Me—your heart, your mind‚ your soul, your body—then I can do a miracle in your life. It's possible, because all things are possible with Me—even what may seem impossible. I'll say it again: All things are possible if you believe. (End of message from Jesus.)

How to Change Bad Habits and Attitudes

115. (Mama:) When you've had a weakness with something for a long time, a bad habit‚ or even a spiritual problem, you can begin to wonder if you'll ever be able to change—because you've been that way for so long. It's easy to just consider it part of your character—just "the way you are," and feel that you shouldn't be expected to change. Granted, long-standing problems are very difficult to overcome, because the habits, reactions and thought patterns are so deeply engrained. But it is possible to change! Here are a few messages the Lord gave about changing long-standing problem areas and old habits in your life. I pray they're encouraging and motivating for you!

116. (Jesus speaking:) Yes, a person's background‚ their training even in early years, can affect them today. But I have promised that if any man be in Christ, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. It is possible to change and to become new. It very much depends on the attacking initiative, the desire, the awareness of the need, the willingness to be reminded and corrected again and again.

117. It is possible to change even long-standing bad habits provided there is enough incentive and desire, and the person is willing to invest the time and prayer needed, and provided the person is willing to receive instruction. Because more often than not, people are not aware of their bad habits‚ and that's why especially in the beginning when people are trying to improve in certain areas they need reminders; they need things pointed out, because they just don't see it. Then little by little they become more aware and they start to be able to receive the checks more easily themselves and to see the error of their ways and to be self-correcting and self-shepherding.

118. But that's why there must be a great desire for change, because with that desire comes receptivity and openness to reminders and to correction from others. Otherwise, there's too much sensitivity and pride. Because if the reminders are met with resistance, then those doing the reminding eventually get weary. It takes too much time, too much work, and they figure that the person they're reminding doesn't want it anyway.

119. The most important factor to change long-standing bad habits is prayer. It's not enough just to pray yourself, but you need to ask for prayer from the body. There's great power in united prayer! Also, after you've had united prayer, then your loved ones and your mates are aware of your struggle. They know of the challenge that is ahead of you and they're able to pray for you during their private times of prayer and meditation. They're also able to encourage you in your fight.

120. Pray also for the desire to change, and that you will not become weary in well doing. Ask Me to show you the goal to strive for, and pray that you can keep your eyes on that goal. Overcoming a bad habit or a long-standing weakness is possible, with My help—but it takes fight, receptivity, and openness to suggestions and reminders and correction. It takes a desire to persevere and a genuine desire for change. Above all, it takes My love and humility. But it is possible! (End of message from Jesus)

121. (Jesus speaking:) O beloved ones who suffer in heart, thinking that I cannot change you or help you to change in spite of long–standing NWOs—those which have become almost like a part of your personality. And who do I speak to that does not have an NWO that fits this category? No, not one. Neither do I condemn you. I say, "Go and sin no more." You say, "But, Lord‚ that's the trouble. I keep sinning. I keep falling. I keep failing." Man sees not as God sees. For as the Heavens are above the Earth, so are My ways above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.

122. So many struggle, so many feel condemned, so many lose faith. But this is not My plan. It is not My plan that you feel condemned and lose faith. I know it is a struggle, yes, but it is not a struggle without an end. The caterpillar will burst forth into a beautiful butterfly. I will do what I have promised. I will fulfill My Word. My Word will not fail. Be not faithless but believing. Simply believe. Be faithful, even if it means being faithful unto death. For many believed on Me, having never seen. It's all a matter of faith, My dear ones—faith in Me, in My Word.

123. Remember Hebrews chapter 11? Let Me remind you about a verse from it: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" (Heb.11:39). They went through a lot. I commended them for their faith, but they didn't receive the promise on Earth. Why? Because I had planned something better—a better reward. Those folks died in faith, but do you think they lost out? No! And don't think you will lose out for remaining faithful to fight and do your best to let Me change you and help you in all the areas that you have to grow in.

124. It can't be a work of the flesh. You can't do it. Only I can as you give yourself to Me‚ as you cry out to Me, as you pray. You pray for your illnesses. You pray for your day-to-day situations. You pray for deliverance from your weaknesses, and I am thankful for this. But‚ My loves, do you pray for Me to change you? Yes, I know you do in the privacy of your room or in your beds, but I'm talking about before your other mates—the ones in your Home who you live and work with‚ the ones who are affected by your actions and you by theirs.

125. Humble yourself in My sight and I will lift you up and give you all the help you need. When you're gathered together during prayer, don't feel ashamed to ask for your needs. It doesn't have to be elaborate or detailed or long. It can be a simple, "I'm battling today with negative thinking. Could you please pray for me?" Or "I'm feeling out of it today, and I don't even know why. Could you please pray for me?" Or "I'm having trouble with my menopause symptoms and I'm feeling depressed. Could you please pray for me?" Or "I'm battling my old NWO of whatever–it-is. Could you please pray for me?"

126. Prayer is powerful‚ beloved! Prayer moves mountains—mountains of obstacles, mountains of lack of faith, mountains of obstructions that hinder My Spirit from moving and changing you! Prayer is the key. It is a mighty weapon and holds great power. When you pray, things change and things will be different! There is great, and I mean great power in united prayer. That is why the Enemy fights it so. Stir yourselves up and rebuke the Enemy, who hinders the use of this great weapon.

127. I prayed many times to My Father, and not once did He fail to give Me what I needed. But if you look at My life through the eyes of the flesh, to many who do not know Me, it looks like I failed. But I arose from the dead that man might have eternal life and that you may know that faith is the victory. It is the victory that overcomes the world. It is the victory that overcomes your NWOs, even if you never see in this life the changes you expect or think should happen. Remember, I see not as you do, I think not as you do, and My ways are not your ways. What you may think is a weakness that is practically part of your personality and that there is no hope of changing‚ when given to Me in prayer and committed to Me does change. You will make progress if you believe My Word and do all you can, being faithful to follow My instructions and admonitions, then trusting Me for the rest. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, and not according to that he has not.

128. So, My dear loves, be assured of My love for you, and that I can change you and will help you. Read Hebrews chapter 11‚ ponder it, and be encouraged by it! I love you! Keep the faith! Keep fighting! Keep on keeping on‚ and keep praying! (End of message from Jesus.)

129. (Jesus speaking:) With God, nothing shall be impossible. When I ask you to change in an area, rest assured that I have the strength and the power and the fight needed to overcome it. I don't expect you to do it by yourself. I don't expect you to pull out your own weapons and try to fight the battles on your own. All I expect you to do is yield to Me and let Me fight through you. Look to Me and take up My weapons of the spirit, which are mighty. I have the strength, the power and the Words you'll need along this journey. I will provide for you at every turn. I will strengthen you when you feel down and helpless. I will come to your aid when the battles are too fierce for you.

130. It doesn't matter how long you've had this problem or how long you've been fighting‚ I never give up hope in you. I never quit believing that you will pull through‚ and you shouldn't give up either. No matter how long it has been, don't give in. No matter how tough the fight may seem, hold on. No matter how little progress you may see‚ keep at it. Don't give in to the battle. Don't sit down and mope that "it's no use," because that's when the Devil wins. He can't win as long as you're fighting. As long as you're doing your best to fight and as long as you are yielded to Me, he can't win. It's only when you give him the victory that he can win anything. The victory belongs to you, and you can either claim it and hold on to it or you can give it away. The only way he can win a victory over you is if you give in.

131. So as long as you keep fighting and you refuse to quit‚ he's doomed. Some battles in history have been fought for years. Look at the Hundred Years' War [a long series of armed conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 between England and France]. That's a good example of those who refused to quit. The reasons they were fighting may not have been right, but they refused to quit. Unfortunately for them, they were fighting for the wrong thing, the wrong goals. But you're fighting for something that is worth fighting for‚ so don't quit. If they could keep fighting for that long for the wrong reasons, surely you can keep fighting for the right ones. And with My help you'll win the victory, and it won't take 100 years!

132. So don't quit, okay? You won't‚ will you? Remember that the only time you start going backwards is when you stop pressing forward. So as long as you're still fighting, you're making progress—even if it seems slow progress, it's still progress. And you can overcome by My power if you keep fighting. Amen? (End of message from Jesus.)

Changing Deeply Ingrained Habits and Mindsets

ML #3324:4–24, GN 929

How-tos of Change!

4. (Jesus:) Change is a word of tremendous power! Change affects every sphere of the Earth and the Heavens‚ and is, in great part, the driving force behind all things. Almost everything that is a great accomplishment, a forward advancement, a noble achievement, is a product of change. Change has been the wings of every great man or woman—famous or in­famous—throughout history. Those who have launched out to do new things, to experiment, to remedy problems, to find solutions‚ to pioneer‚ to achieve the impossible, to take great strides for mankind, have all been embracers of the word "change."

5. How is it then that so many dread change when it comes to their personal lives? Yes, change is difficult and can be a battle. People can even change for the worse rather than the better. But in this case I am speaking of change in its true sense‚ the purpose for which the word change and its power was created—as a tool for any man, woman or child to take ahold of their life, heart‚ mind, soul and spirit and cause an effect, to make a difference, to help another, to better themselves, to allow Me to bring about forward motion‚ movement and progress through them. That is the root of the word change.

6. I have given change to all My children through the ages as a special gift. You don't have to accept your circumstances. You don't have to be satisfied with the way you are, the way you think, or the way you feel. You can change things! You can change anything, with My help! Your weaknesses can be strengthened, your faith can grow, your spirit can soar, your endurance can be prolonged—anything you wish is possible with the gift of change. And this gift is given to all. There's not one person on this Earth, saved or un­saved, who can't take ahold of the gift of change and change something in their life or world for the better.

7. However, for you‚ My children, change takes on an even greater power, because not only do you have the physical and natural power of change at your disposal, but you also have the supernatural and spiritual power of change available to you. This leaves you holding a raw power that has no limits! Do you see what this means? It's a tremendous gift, yet many of My children cringe at the thought of change. This is because they see through a glass darkly and do not have the Heavenly vision—perfect faith and trust in Me that anything I do and any change that I effect will be for their good.

8. Those who are able to rest their lives in My hands see more change than those who try to hold on to themselves, to keep themselves safe and secure and free from change. Those who let go and who fling their arms wide open in wild abandonment of self are the ones who see great change—mental change, emotional change, physical change—changes mani­fested in many physical ways, through healing, happi­ness‚ health, love, natural enjoyment, trust, confidence, assurance, peace, delight, joy, laughter‚ company of friends, fulfillment, satisfaction, and on the list goes!

9. The true benefits of godly change are always good. The fruits of change make up a list longer than the fruits of the Spirit, and these are gifts and blessings that each of My children wants and sincerely desires and seeks. So ­often My children pray for these gifts that come as a result of change, but they don't want the change itself. They don't see that the two are interlocked, that the change comes before the gifts and blessings. They want the cart before the horse, but they won't get anywhere that way. In order to receive the personal blessings of change, you have to let go of self and fear and worry, and entrust your life to My hands.

10. Many pray and cry out to Me for help to overcome their sins, weaknesses, and inabilities. I want to help them. I long to help them. I love to help them. But they have to allow Me the opportunity to change them. Depending on the request and the situation‚ some change can be effected quickly; other changes take more time. Some changes people have faith for; other changes seem to be more miraculous and even impossible.

11. Nothing is impossible for Me! It's true that many people have deeply ingrained personal habits, weaknesses, or lacks that are very much a part of their nature or being‚ but even those can be changed and altered with My miracle-working power of change. Nothing is too hard for Me. But I must have your cooperation in order to do such miracles.

12. When it comes to very long-standing problems and difficulties‚ there are more steps that a person must pass through in order to re­ceive the blessing. First, I must have your per­mission to effect change in your life. This takes great faith and yielded­ness, because when a habit is long-standing and negative, many of My children have difficulty letting go of it. They may want to get rid of it and obtain victory, but because it's been a part of them for so long‚ they lack faith for the change. They lack faith that they can actually make the change. This is because they think that somehow they have to do it.

13. But this is where they're wrong. I do the miracle and change them. Yes, they have to do their part, but their part is not to make the change—it's simply to be yielded, willing‚ receptive, obedient, humble, and open to My voice. I will give clear instructions to the one seeking change and deliverance over a great and long-standing weakness or habit. If they follow My counsel and do what I tell them, they will find the change that they seek.

14. Second, they must believe. It does no good to come before Me and cry out for a change and help and a miracle to overcome, when in your heart you don't believe that it's possible. It's not enough to pretend you have faith for the benefit of others or because they have the faith that you can change. You must come to grips with whether you believe I can change you or not. I've given clear promises that I can, and in order to work such a great change in your life, I require you to believe those promises and come to Me with your heart full of them‚ claiming them and standing on them. That's a requirement to receive such great personal change in your life. The one who believes and believes and continues to believe is the one who gets great answers and sees great changes.

15. If you've seen some people pray repeatedly for change or desire it for a long time, yet not receive the blessing or see the fulfillment of it, this is often the reason why. They want the change, they desire it, and they may partially believe that they can receive it‚ but they lack full faith. They're too negative about themselves. They don't feel they'll be able to follow through, they think others lack faith in them, or they want the change without any pain or difficulty, so I'm unable to answer their prayers and effect change.

16. Change is not an easy road, but it is a road of great reward. Those who are willing to fight and struggle through the land of change are those who inherit the promises and see the fulfillment of their labors. There's hardly a greater joy than to see a beautiful change in someone's heart and life, to see the manifestation of such a powerful miracle. It's not what they've done, or what I alone have done, but what we have done together—a teamwork and close partnership of one who yields to his or her Master‚ and the Master who gives them a gift. They then take the gift and utilize it, and reap the blessings and benefits.

17. Even then, as I've just told you, the con­tinued effects of change remain a partnership between you and Me. This explains why you've seen some have a marvelous change in their life, one that is clearly supernatural, and then they do well for a time, but later lapse back into their old ways, losing the victory, losing that beautiful change, and reverting to their former state. This is because they lost their connection with Me; they lost their yieldedness. They gave up what I required of them to keep making progress and keep walking down the path of change. Change is a gift that must be exercised and honed. In order to hone this gift to the full, there are requirements which you must fulfill if you are to avail yourselves of My miracle-working power that will help you make the necess­ary changes in your life.

18. Another requirement in order to exercise this gift of change is not only the person believing that it is possible, but desiring it wholeheartedly and desperately. The person must want change and want it badly. It's not enough to think, "Oh, sure‚ that would be great if I could change to being a more considerate person, or someone who is less sensitive." You have to want it, be desperate for it, and be willing to do any­thing in order to get it. Change is not handed to you on a silver platter; you must actively exercise this gift. You must, through diligence and desperation, hone it if you are to make progress and reap the good results. I give the power to change to those who are desperate.

19. So, how do you get it? What are some simple steps that you can take to change in an area that you've struggled with long and hard? What if, for all your trying and desperation and even united prayer, you don't seem to be getting anywhere? What if you still seem to be at square one, and you feel like resigning yourself to always being that way? Is there hope for you? Yes, there certainly is!

20. I'll give you an outline of some steps to take in order to effect change in your life, but you must personalize this list by coming to Me for how I would work in your particular situation‚ because each weak­ness and area to be overcome has its peculiar­ities. Some require strong and fervent united prayer. Others require that you humble yourself before those you're close to. Yet others necessitate a time of daily desperate private prayer, between you and Me. There are many variations‚ and according to your heart and state of mind and spirit, I will give you what you need in order to gain the victories through lasting change that you are seeking. But here are some standard points that will be a help and guide to you:

  1. Thank Me for the ability to change that I make available to you, through My power.
  2. Outline on paper the areas that you feel you need deliverance in and that you wish to change in. It can be helpful to concentrate on one at a time in order to devote your attention to it fully.
  3. Seek within your heart to see if you have the faith that I can change you. Ask yourself if you really believe that I can change you completely in your ­areas of weakness.
  4. Ask Me if you truly believe in My power to change you. You may feel that you do, but receive this confirmation from Me, because I can show you any nagging doubts that you may have hidden in your heart, which you would need to get cleansed by the Word and prayer.
  5. Read faith-building Word to increase your faith in My power to change. Read about the miracles that I've done through­out the ages. Ask Me to give you personalized messages that will give you the boost of faith you need, and ask Me to tell you when you're ready to proceed to the next step. Without faith‚ your works are dead.
  6. Ask yourself how badly you want this change. Do you want it badly enough to accept whatever I bring about in your life as a result? Are you willing to forsake yourself, your plans, your pride, your own ways, thoughts and ideas? Are you willing to be made willing? Are you willing to go through the hard land of change? Is it worth it to you?
  7. Come before Me and commit your weakness to Me. Ask Me for the specific change that you want. You can receive a prayer to Me in prophecy‚ if you want, that outlines exactly what you want Me to do for you.
  8. Receive specific promises from Me about the change that I will give you. Ask Me what your part should be and I will give you detailed instruction to follow day by day. Do what I tell you, as that's your part to receive this change in your life.
  9. Be ready to fight and struggle through this land of change for as long as it takes, knowing that the rewards are high—priceless, in fact—as you receive the change that you've requested.
  10. Be willing to ask for united prayer, once you've committed these things to Me pri­vate­ly and heard from Me about what I want you to do. Ask Me if you should come before the body to receive prayer and laying on of hands. There is great power and an added boost in showing your humility and dependence on Me in this way.
  11. Each week, ask Me for specific instruction and a progress report on how you're doing. Ask Me if you're fulfilling your end of the bargain and how things are going. Ask Me for specific ways to react, to respond‚ in order to form new habits, contrary to your old ways of ­doing things, seeing things, and responding to things.
  12. Praise Me every day for working in your life. Praise Me for changing you. Praise, praise, praise! Don't allow yourself to doubt or to become discouraged if you think you're not changing. Rebuke the Enemy when he comes in, and re­fuse to give in. The victory and change is yours, so claim it by faith. Then put feet to your prayers and faith by continuing to work hand in hand with Me and My voice, as I tell you how to keep progressing to the victory and eventual reward!

21. The most important thing is to come to Me, so that I can outline to you what your program for change will be. There are points‚ like those above, which are common to all. But the most important point is the state of your heart. The humble‚ desperate and yielded heart I will not despise. And if you are all three of these things, or desperately desire to be, then I cannot and will not turn you away. I will work with you for months and even years, if need be, to give you the change that you desire. I will be your Personal Counselor and I will never give up on you. Even if your progress is slow, pro­g­ress will be made. I will anoint and empower you and give you dispensations of grace and supernatural strength and encouragement to continue on‚ even when you fall and blow it. I will give you additional spirit helpers who will give you the determination and guts to see this change through.

22. I will be your all in all, for I love to effect change‚ and I especially love the delight and joy it brings to one of My children to see that I have done the miracle for them‚ with them, and through them. As we work together, I am able to create the miracle of change in your heart and life, and this is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Each of My children should try it.

23. Don't despair over something that isn't right in your life—ask Me to change it! But be sure you're willing to see it through, because it's often a long and hard road, and the battles of the mind are especially straining, but the victory is well worth it. The most costly battles yield the greatest results, and the rewards match up to the cost of the fight.

24. So if it's a big struggle and you don't feel you'll make it, you can be encouraged to know that the results of the change in your life will be far–reaching and tremendous. Hang in there! Change, though painful‚ costly, and sometimes almost unbear­able, is a divine blessing from My hand, and a special touch of My love for you. If you ask for it, I'm more than willing to give it to you. (End of message from Jesus.)

Rising Above

ML #3379:52–66, Post–it GN

There Are Times When "Reality" Is Not Reality

52. (Jesus speaking:) You're holding on too much to your own strength and abilities. You don't think of yourself as being so great or so talented, and yet you limit Me and how I can work through you by not being more desperate, prayerful, and hearing from Me more in your work. If you would let go a bit more and lean on Me more, you would find that, number one, I could help you do better at the things you're already good at; and number two, you could improve in many areas and become good at things you aren't naturally so talented in.

53. Also, your mindsets about yourself and about others around you hinder you. You see yourself a certain way, and you've labeled others as being certain ways, and this hinders your faith. You have to be willing to let go of these labels and preconceived ideas and let Me help you truly believe that anything is possible and nothing is impossible, and anybody and anything can change. You don't know the future. You don't know what things will be like in your Home or work or personal life years from now. There's something you do know from past experience‚ though, and that's that things change. People change. Feelings change. Circumstances change. Anything can change! So have faith.

54. Sometimes your desire to want to be realistic, to not get your hopes up, to not have unrealistic or unrealized dreams, becomes a lack of faith. It's good to be a realist to some degree, so that you don't have these big unrealistic expectations of yourself, or others‚ or of life in general; yet on the other hand, too much realism leads to negativity‚ discouragement, and feelings of defeat, even depression.

55. Introspection and dwelling on your weaknesses could lead you to "realistically" conclude that you're a hopeless wreck. "Sensibly" evaluating your gifts and talents could lead you to conclude that you're doing a bad job, that you should be replaced by someone better. "Realistically" looking at your personal situation and love life, you could conclude that it's better to never expect that anyone will love you and then you won't be disappointed. But in doing that, you bring a cloud of despair over your soul. It's good to be patient‚ but it's not good to conclude that "it won't happen; it's impossible." Lack of hope and faith dries up the soul and spirit. Hope in Me—your God, your rock, your salvation, your strength. For if you place your hope and faith in Me, I will honor your trust and will not disappoint it.

56. Believe in Me and in My power to answer your prayers—whether for your personal needs, the needs of your loved ones, or others in your Family around the world. Believe in Me and My power to supply‚ to heal, to deliver, to minister spiritually. Don't let your prayers become an exercise in vain repetition because of your lack of faith. Don't let situations that haven't turned out as you expected cause you to lose faith in prayer, for prayer works, and I answer prayer. When you've prayed for something or someone and it appears those prayers weren't answered‚ that's either because you don't understand the whole situation or because the one you were praying for made key decisions that changed the outcome.

57. Fight against the Enemy's seeds of doubt that he tries to plant in your life to make you feel that because of the way so-and-so turned out, or the way such-and-such worked out, that I don't have the power to change things, and that the things of My Spirit—prayer, My Word, and prophecy, and now the power of the keys of the Kingdom which I've placed at your disposal—are not all they're cracked up to be. These means of power and overcoming are real and they do work, and the more you put them to use in your life, the greater your power to rise above will be. The more you let the Enemy weaken your faith in the new weapons‚ and thus in My ability and power overall, the more difficult it will become to defy the impossible and rise above.

58. Along with all the new weapons I've placed in your arsenal‚ I've placed the gift of greater faith in your heart—and in the heart of each of My Family. This gift is yours, given to you to cherish, to have and to hold. You must hold on to it at all costs, for the Enemy seeks to pull it from your hands. He seeks to belittle and minimize your faith through a little picking here and there, convincing you that there are too many holes and flaws in prophecy, in loving Me‚ in My Word, and in the doctrine. Hold on to your gift of greater faith. Pray for it to be increased. Pray for your spiritual defenses to be strengthened. Claim the power of the keys of the Kingdom!

59. You need to be strengthened in My Word and in faith. If you're not, not only will you fail to fulfill what I will ask of you, but your own faith will be weakened and depleted because of the negativity, doubt, and skepticism you'll be faced with. These are weaknesses that are especially damaging to you personally, because you like to be open minded‚ to give everything a fair hearing, to see things realistically. Yet there are times when the reality you see is not reality.

60. The only true reality lies in Me and My promises. I'm able to defy the laws of nature that I've put in place if I so desire. Don't limit Me. Don't let the Enemy's doubts limit your faith. Fight militantly to hold on to your faith and to cherish and hone the weapons I've given you so that you may have the strength wherewith to fight the battle, to defy the impossible, to rise above. (End of message from Jesus)

Don't Limit Me!

61. (Jesus speaking: ) When you become familiar with the way you perceive yourself to be, and you think certain things aren't doable for you personally, this is the greatest hindrance to really pulling down My power for you. You tend to put yourself, with all your personal limitations, in a box, with a sign that reads, "I can do most things You ask of me, but some things just aren't attainable. Note the ceiling on my box. Please don't ask more of me than You can see I can do." And then when it seems that I do ask something of you that in your mind or heart you seem to have resolved is beyond you, then you start to worry that I'm not looking out for your good or your welfare. You've put limits on what I can ask you to do, or what you've resolved you can or want to do.

62. I ask you, with the deepest love I can express‚ to let yourself break loose. Don't look at the walls you're encased in, thinking, "Thus far and no further—that's all I really can do." Break a hole in it and face the light in the sky above! That's really where you can reach to, with Me and My power.

63. If you get offended because I ask certain difficult or near-impossible things, according to your perceptions, this greatly hinders Me being able to use you to your full potential. Reach for the stars and let nothing stop us! Situations—no matter what they are—will never be too hard for you. It's like working with weights. When you first start and are rather weak, you may look at people using 10 or more pound weights and think that must be super hard. But as you see, if you work up to it, it's no harder for them than it is for someone starting off with three pounds who's not used to it.

64. Let Me bolster your faith and give you courage to reach what I know to be attainable, though it may seem so far for you to reach. I can give you the faith to face anything that you have to encounter‚ and the wherewithal to see it through. Medals will be yours for the encounters you will face, claim My help for, and live through.

65. Don't shy away from hard things, but face them with a sense of joy, because you will get to know more how I can come through. Each hard thing that you face is or can be another opportunity to see a side of Me that you knew was there but haven't yet seen in full action. Let Me show you amazing things, things out of this world, by going through with and tackling what I lead you in‚ or what is placed before you.

66. Men or women who wither in the face of that which they think is unattainable never get to see triumph. They may see it one day, through another who fought that battle they chose to pass up. But when one lets Me use them, and they see the victory before their own eyes, yet more strength is given to them. Faith in Me to see them through all impossibilities builds the muscles of the men and women of faith, and they will go on to see yet greater impossibilities conquered. Courage is a result of faith that one can do it, or is at least willing to try. And when it's done, the faith grows yet more—and thus the willingness to conquer, in faith, greater foes. Such are My men and women of faith—going forth‚ with Me beside them, conquering and to conquer. (End of message from Jesus.)

United Prayer Power

ML #3404:126-131, GN 994

Relating to each other in a new way

126. (Home shepherd: ) You know when we're taking steps to grow and change our habits and the things we say and do, it's really tough. Even when the Lord does the miracle of changing our spirits, those habits are hard to change. One thing that makes it really hard is when you're surrounded by a bunch of people who are used to you reacting a certain way.

127. We often set the stage for people to react in a certain way, because when we're with each other we all have familiarity, and sometimes some bad habits or attitudes that aren't really Word-based. So when someone is striving to change, to be a new person, to not react like they formerly reacted, it helps if all of us have prayer at the same time that the Lord helps us to help that person and to change our attitudes and speech habits.

128. So could we have prayer for ourselves too—that we'll all be able to grow‚ and not just [the person who asked for prayer]? It will be really tough for him if he's trying to do his part and we don't help him by also growing and changing.

129. (Staff member prays: ) Lord, please help us all to strive in the area of letting You take over more of our lives and to seek to have more of Your Spirit in our lives in order to get away from the carnal things that are hindering us. Help us all to make strides, just like [this dear one] is trying to make, to put away the things that are keeping us from You and to allow You to come more into our lives. Please help us to do that. Help us to want to do that. Help us to desire to do that, Jesus. And please do come in, and wipe out anything that is keeping us from You.

130. (Staff member prays: ) Lord, we ask that You help each of us to choose to do the humble thing every time we're faced with a decision. We ask that You help us to choose Your way rather than our old habits or proud ways.

131. (Staff member prays: ) Jesus, please help us to guard the words that come out of our mouths, to realize that out of the abundance of the heart we speak, and to take that seriously. Help us to be on guard to support each other in the spirit—not speaking things even in jest that are ungodly, that promote the System and worldly attitudes, or that are unedifying spiritually. Please help us to realize that our words can either lift up or cast down, but they always have an effect in some way.

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