Barefoot Devotions

Embracing The Root of Affliction

I’ve been the girl standing in the shower, scrubbing my flesh until it is raw.  Attempting to clean it, but it only causes more damage and hurts more.  I could only scrub away the outer layer but I found myself still tainted.

Tainted by the sins of the flesh, tainted by the torment that comes with sin, tainted by the thoughts in my mind,  tormented by the death of my spirit but too rebellious and prideful to allow God to save me.

Running from God to the things of the flesh that will mask and numb the pain because of the fear of confronting what is really underneath the surface.  Grabbing a band-aid of choosing, over and over to cover the taintedness of my life.  After all, I can control the outcome better, I can cover up the pain without addressing the root of the affliction.  If I relinquished control, then I couldn’t control the unknown of what could be released.

Jeremiah 2: 20 | “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.”

Looking back wondering how I’ve gotten to this place at the bottom of a pit and stepping back to see the destruction that is left behind.  The band-aids did a good of numbing the pain and eventually, I forgot why I was running until I was in a bottomless pit surrounded by everything I had run from.

God did not forget.  He was the only viable choice.

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I found myself in front of the very thing I was afraid of – standing bare in front of God surrendering my broken, beaten, and bruised spirit.  I was afraid of facing God because of His judgment and my spirit knew I couldn’t stand in front of God’s holiness without being exposed.  I didn’t want to let him turn the spotlight on and reveal every deep-rooted affliction and scrub me down with His Holy light.  Surely, that would be more painful than my scrubbing.

Scrub all you want, you’re still tainted.  Jesus is the soap you need and His scrubbing is gentle.  It is healing, it is loving, and it washes the tainted flesh away.

Jeremiah 2:22 |  “Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Little by little the bandaids come off and when the flesh rears its ugly head; you find yourself on the verge of fleeing or confronting.  You have to confront the root of the affliction but now it’s easier because you have surrendered to God.  You have bowed in reverence that He is the living and sovereign God.  Your life, every hurt, every addiction, every circumstance, it is all best left to His control.

Matthew 3:10 | “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

But it must be exposed, it must be released because we are on a journey of sanctification.  We are to walk and strive to be like Him so He has to pull the flesh out of you so that you can be all that He called you to be.

John 15:2 | He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

 

So, let go of the control. Let go of the old you and everything that has hurt you.

 

It’s like fearing the wave that is about to come crashing on you-you can run or you can choose to stand. You can withstand the pressure and the force that comes because you have set your focus on Jesus.  When the wave envelopes you,  there is a release of all the old flesh and it is cleansing.

It’s more gentle than holding on to the control and holding everything back from being exposed.

This is why I call on His name, this is why I choose Jesus.  His ways are better than mine.  I may not understand at the time but He always carries me through.  The energy I spent trying to control the situation to avoid the hurt, guilt, and shame became too much to bear on my own and eventually became out of control.

Even when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise Him as He heals the roots of affliction underneath the band-aids.

I leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses that is dear to my heart:

Jeremiah 29:11 | “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Xoxo,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions, The How To Series

How To Slay Your Mental Strongholds

I am going to be writing about my experience with mental strongholds and how I overcame the chains of anxiety and depression that ruled my life.  This is a very sensitive subject but after many weeks of talking myself out of writing this, I am doing it.  This comes from my experience and how I decided to battle these strongholds with the word of God, prayer, and a relationship with Jesus.  After years of depression and anxiety,  I realized that it was my outlook on my circumstances and the perspective that I had.  That perspective was steaming from the enemy and the lies he told me about me.


Lets Start By Defining A Stronghold:

Biblically speaking a stronghold is a belief that is a lie and has taken root and overpowered your ability to think or see clearly according to God’s view and what His word tells us.  This effects you emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.

Lets Look At The Cause Of Strongholds:

It is so easy to get caught up in negativity, a false belief system,  doubts, fear, and our circumstances.  We are trained by the media, by people, and the ways of the world to live and think according to their standards.  We must accept that we fight against unseen spiritual forces of the dark world and that this world is ruled by the dark forces.  Yes, that means demons and malicious spirits that are causing affliction in your mind, on you, and to you.  They have stealthily found a way inside of your mind and they are trying to take over.  Perhaps they already have.

For a cause to take place, there has to be a sin or a circumstance that negatively affected you.  Therefore, that leaves you dealing with the effects.  This could be your sin or even someone else’s sin that has altered your way of thinking and your way of doing things.  If you are unable to let things go, the memory that haunts you can have a negative impact on your life.  If we allow a certain thought to replay in our mind, we start to believe that thought.

Here is an example:  As a child and young adult, I experienced rejection from my dad who was an addict.  Although it was not intentional, his addiction stronghold was the cause of my rejection stronghold.

Ephesians 6:10 | For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Identifying Your Strongholds:

Identifying the areas in your mind that are strongholds require you to take examine your life – the past and present.  It can be uncomfortable at first but as we know from God’s Word, the truth sets you free! Once you begin to identify and see the parallels, you will rejoice in knowing the cause of your afflictions and reasons of why you think or do something a certain way.

Here is a list of the most common strongholds relating to the mind:

(Be in prayer with the Heavenly Father, ask Him to reveal yours to you, and be open to listening to His answer)

  • Rejection
  • Fear
  • Doubt
  • Shame
  • Hopelessness
  • Worthlessness
  • Negativity
  • Anger

Lets Look At The Solutions:

Now that we have identified what a stronghold is and the cause, let us start taking a look at how we tear down the strongholds and replace them with God’s truth about you.

First, you must repent and turn from any sin that is unconfessed.  Once we have done so we will be able to break free from any sin that is causing negative effects.  You must remember that God has already won the battle and you must have faith to fight through.

Second, you must know and accept that God is sovereign.  He is the supreme authority and all things are under His control.  Without Him, you can not win. You need Him to fight a supernatural battle.

Third, you must believe and accept that you are forgiven, our sins and past are washed away by the blood of Jesus! You have the power to live free in Christ.  This is His desire for you!

2 Corinthians 5:17 | Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Fourth, you must act!

Great! So, how do you act?

This will require you to put your faith in action and when you experience the enemy placing thoughts or past memories into your mind, you must exercise your authority in Jesus Christ to reject your past way of thinking and replace your thoughts with all good things that are of Jesus.

Philippians 4:8 |  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

Accepting The Past Is The Past

Unfortunately, the enemy knows about who you were and all the things you have done and said that you are not proud of. There will come a day when he is smearing it in your face and putting every sordid detail back into your mind.

When you start remembering the past, you must stop replaying past memories. You can not allow yourself to be controlled by your past – no matter how painful and haunting it is! It happened and it can not be changed! Get your head out of the past and strain your neck to look forward into your future! Your past is not there!

Philippians 3:13-14  | Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12:2 | Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

You must ask the LORD to guard your mind and to help you keep your mind focused on what is right in the eyes of Him.

Every day you have to wash and bathe in God’s living word.  It refreshes you and each day you will learn something new about the characteristics of God and how he truly feels about you! To renew your mind is to spend time with the LORD, read the Bible, and pray daily!

Taking Every Thought Captive

2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 | For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

Every thought that comes to mind must be tested. Ask yourself – is it from our loving Heavenly Father or is it from Satan who is set out to steal, kill, and destroy?

With God there is life.

With Satan there is death.

With God there is truth.

With Satan there are lies.

With God there is hope.

With Satan there is hopelessness.

With God there is a future.

With Satan there is a past.

With God there is confidence.

With Satan there is fear and doubt.

With God there is boldness and bravery.

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Ask yourself, does this thought come from God or Satan?

If it comes from Satan, then you need to hold that thought captive, pray and ask God to slay this thought and replace it with His truths.  Seek His word and learn what He says in scripture.  Rejoice and praise God for the truth that He is replacing in your life.  Slowly, you will see just how each thought, especially thoughts that seem to be on repeat can cause depression, anxiety, and fear!

Xoxo,

Hannah B.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you did be sure to leave a comment down below and share across all of your social media feeds!

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor and encourage you to seek professional help to determine what is best for your situation and I am not encouraging you to stop current treatments.  I do believe that with physicians and the hands of our great physician, you can be healed! Almost always, there is a root cause and I do believe that we need to get down into the roots to properly heal.

Barefoot Devotions

You Are What You Think

I came across this quote from a fortune cookie, “Your Mind Creates Your Life.” As I began pondering this quote and delving into it, I couldn’t help but think how true it is and how saturated our minds are with junk.

Just like the food you intake in your body, it can provide you with life or death. Real and whole food can be used as medicine and has healing properties for our bodies but junk food can have the opposite effect. It makes us sick and over time we develop diseases that lead to death.

Our minds are the same way and whatever we feed into our minds will lead to the life or death of our life. If we surround ourself with real and whole thoughts, words, positivity, love, and encouragement they can lead the way to a life filled with joy, peace, and a positive mindset. When we are in a better frame of mind, we are able to focus on Jesus’ calling on our lives, serving Him and others, following through with our goals, and living our life to the fullest.

Now, what if you are negativity talking down to yourself, expecting things to go wrong, expecting to not go any where in life or expecting to have a bad day? Chances are you are going to have a rough day. If we are consistently thinking about the things we have done wrong, the things we are not good at, and are focused on the things that aren’t going right in life then eventually you will be diseased with anxiety, depression, fear, and in a contact state of discouragement. When we are in this state, we are not able to find joy in things that we used to love to do or we won’t be able to discover our true purpose if we allow ourselves to stay in this mindset.

If you are what you eat, then you are what you think.

What are you thinking on? Maybe it’s time for a mind detox.

You are the only one who can change your thoughts from negative to positive. Cultivate Your Mind to Cultivate Your Life.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Drop a line in the comments and be sure to share on all of your social media feeds.

Xoxo,

Hannah B.

Barefoot Devotions

Faith Over Fear: Season One // Day Three

Season One // Day Three

Pondering

Blindness is a condition that induces a state of fear and anxiety. You may find yourself going in blindly to decisions you have to make or even relationships. The spirit of fear will often overcome you and cause a rippling effect of anxiety that causes you to shut down. Have you ever noticed that when you are placed under the spotlight you can’t make a decision? You clam up and lose the words that are sitting on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t get them out.  You may make a decision based on what you know, what looks appealing to your flesh, or you may not even make one at all. You are focused on the what ifs of the future, worrying about things you cannot change because they are already painted on your canvas that is slowly coming to life. All you see is a mix of colors, some are blots, and some are running together. It may feel like blindness, but you can’t see what the Lord has painted for you. You aren’t meant to. Oh, but why? Because God desires for there to be a connection between you and him. He wants you to come to him and ask for guidance and seek his will. He wants to prepare you for the moments that make you clam up, run in fear, and shut down so that when the time comes, you will stand up brave and you will stand in awe of God’s glory and see how majestic he is and feel his love that radiates through every part of your inner being. Let go of your fears of your unknown days and trust the God who knows.

Isaiah 48:17 – This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Ephesians 5:8 For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.


Praying

Heavenly Father, I come to you seeking your will for my life, remove the desires in my heart that do not line up to your will. Replace the spirit fear I feel when it comes to life with your peace that surpasses all understanding. I know that the beautiful canvas you are painting for me is far more beautiful than I can even begin to understand. Thank you for loving me that much to guide me to the finished masterpiece, away from darkness and in the light all of my days. Through my eyes my days are unknown, but I trust your will for my life as you know what is unknown to me.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.

Practicing

Prayerfully talk with God to reveal what circumstances in your life that you are going in blindly on.

  • How is Jesus asking you to respond and trust him with the outcome?
  • Will you trust him next time you have a decision to make?
  • Go in blindly with him and let him unravel your surprise.

 

I hope you enjoyed Day Three and are practicing Faith Over Fear!

Do you like the series so far? Comment below and be sure to share with your friends!

Xoxo,

Hannah B.

 

 

Barefoot Devotions // Faith Over Fear Series

Faith Over Fear: Season One // Day Three

Season One // Day Three

Pondering

Blindness is a condition that induces a state of fear and anxiety. You may find yourself going in blindly to decisions you have to make or even relationships. The spirit of fear will often overcome you and cause a rippling effect of anxiety that causes you to shut down. Have you ever noticed that when you are placed under the spotlight you can’t make a decision? You clam up and lose the words that are sitting on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t get them out.  You may make a decision based on what you know, what looks appealing to your flesh, or you may not even make one at all. You are focused on the what ifs of the future, worrying about things you cannot change because they are already painted on your canvas that is slowly coming to life. All you see is a mix of colors, some are blots, and some are running together. It may feel like blindness, but you can’t see what the Lord has painted for you. You aren’t meant to. Oh, but why? Because God desires for there to be a connection between you and him. He wants you to come to him and ask for guidance and seek his will. He wants to prepare you for the moments that make you clam up, run in fear, and shut down so that when the time comes, you will stand up brave and you will stand in awe of God’s glory and see how majestic he is and feel his love that radiates through every part of your inner being. Let go of your fears of your unknown days and trust the God who knows.

Isaiah 48:17 – This is what the Lord says- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Ephesians 5:8 For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.


Praying

Heavenly Father, I come to you seeking your will for my life, remove the desires in my heart that do not line up to your will. Replace the spirit fear I feel when it comes to life with your peace that surpasses all understanding. I know that the beautiful canvas you are painting for me is far more beautiful than I can even begin to understand. Thank you for loving me that much to guide me to the finished masterpiece, away from darkness and in the light all of my days. Through my eyes my days are unknown, but I trust your will for my life as you know what is unknown to me.  In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.

Practicing

Prayerfully talk with God to reveal what circumstances in your life that you are going in blindly on.

  • How is Jesus asking you to respond and trust him with the outcome?
  • Will you trust him next time you have a decision to make?
  • Go in blindly with him and let him unravel your surprise.

I hope you enjoyed Day Three and are practicing Faith Over Fear!

Do you like the series so far? Comment below and be sure to share with your friends!

Xoxo,

Hannah B.