Religion: How It Helps Or Impairs Mental Stability – Part 2

Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.

Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!

Secular Beliefs

Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.

“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.

Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.

Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!

Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.

Whenever GOD is not the center of one’s religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Anything can be a religion. God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in Spirit & in Truth! Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards. Keep in mind GOD wants us to be spiritual beings that believe, embrace, implement and trust His Word!

The Bible does not ever contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inclusive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.

It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!

Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD In the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!

Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.

I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. ( I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things… But they never really quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; Did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!

Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.

In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…

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The Narrow Road

Mountins 5
It is through God’s plan of salvation we are given the gift of eternal life. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we embark upon a spiritual journey. His precious Holy Spirit comes to reside within us. The Holy Spirit is there to comfort, protect, lead and guide us. To help us understand what the Word really means. His Word is there to be a “lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path.” In Galatians 5 you will find the Fruit of His Spirit and the works of the flesh. This will help you to know the difference between, when you are walking in the Spirit or walking carnally in the flesh. This is also another reason why it is so very important to know the scriptures for yourself. God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. His Word tells us every now and then you will find a true believer. The scriptures actually say “Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”

God loves us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to leave heaven and take upon Himself a body of flesh. Jesus conquered sin in the flesh for us. So we might have the gift of Salvation! He was born, lived a sinless life was crucified dead and buried. Then he arose with all power! We never become the power, yet we are allowed access. Jesus truly demonstrated His love to us by actually showing us what it is to travel on that narrow road. If you study the life of Jesus Christ you will find that He encountered many things. He was persecuted, mistreated, lied upon and maligned. He was called evil. He was betrayed, misunderstood and abandoned by the very ones He came to help. The scriptures are not just some mere stories written to amuse us. They are there to show us the way. To help us grow spiritually mature and encourage us on that narrow road travel.

The Bible is supposed to be the final authority for the child of God. It is supposed to be our road map for life. As His children we are His Church. The Church is His Bride. One must remain watchful and prayerful. Life will allow many thorns and thistles in order to derail the child of God. That narrow road often appears to take the form of a roller coaster? For some taking a detour onto wide road traveling becomes an alternate route. Regardless as to what is going on about us we must strive to sincerely live each day keeping in mind that Jesus is going to return for His Church. This also helps you to be prepared for whatever obstacles are put in your path. One must learn to lay aside the things that attempt to distract or derail your path. So much of the world has been allowed to creep into the Church. For many it is hard to tell the difference. You must know the Word for yourself in order to not be deceived. Remember the Word tells us that the wheat and the tares are growing together. On many occasions evil is called good and good is perceived as evil. In many cases the world and its way has really become the final authority. Learn to trust God!

Lord help us! Don’t be dismayed! Absolutely nothing gets by God! God knows who are His. Rest assured. When you truly know His Word, you would know that nothing or no one can change that! God’s Word is TRUE! Jesus stood on the Truth. God knows what has happened, is happening and what will happen! We can rely on the Truth! People have an amazing ability to twist the truth in order to suit their purpose. To take things out of context in order to make things appear and seem a certain way. Some people will believe anything and anybody. You never have to force yourself or God’s Word upon anyone. Just be patient. Learn to “be still and know.” You do not have to stoop to their level. Just know in the long run it will only backfire. When anyone tries to oppress you, you never have to be afraid especially when you know that Psalms 27 is true! “The Lord is my Light and my salvation, who shall I fear….” Truth erases doubt and will give you a sure footing. It takes the Truth to bring things to the Light and dispel lies. God does not operate in the dark. There is nothing hidden or uncovered to Him! “Wait on the Lord.”

Study the life of Jesus. You will find that He was there in the very beginning and will be there through eternity. Many consorted together to derail Him. False witnesses were even hired to justify their case against Him. Simply so things could appear a certain way and cast doubt upon His credibility? To undermine His good intentions, perhaps with man but certainly not with God! Just to prove their case against Him. Jesus never sinned. He remained focused and faithful. We too must learn to keep our focus on God. You can rest assured when you know God knows the intentions of your heart. He knows everything. Romans tell us “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” You do not have to walk after the flesh. Yes, we have all “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” But as you grow stronger spiritually we are to sin less. This is why we need a Savior. To help us stay on the right path. It is so important to know the Lord and His Word intimately. The Truth really can set you free! You can rely on the Truth! Not to just read it for the sake of reading. But to consistently study, embrace and digest its contents and seek your path forward. Get off that wide road traveling it leads to destruction. The Truth will untangle a multitude of opinions it will free you from a swamp of uncertainty. It is able to keep you on the right path. God really is able to keep you from falling!

The word scripture comes from the Greek word graphe, which means; what is written. The scriptures are truly the inspired Word of God. They were written to help us navigate through this maze of life. Many times Jesus said nothing. There were times He simply said “It is written.” God does not intend for us to be mislead. Narrow road traveling is possible. Difficult situations and suffering are a part of life. But so is His joy even in the midst of sorrows! He wants us to hide His word in our hearts. It is very important that you remain patient and be prayerful! Jesus wants us to be consistent and stable. Not to let how things appear sway you from what you know is right. In John 17 you will find another one of Jesus’ wonderfully recorded prayers; “I have given them your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the TRUTH, your Word is TRUTH.” When you place your trust in Jesus you become sanctified. He will protect and keep you. You can rejoice and praise Him knowing He has a plan for you as well as each one of His children.

You can depend on God’s Word. It is here to help us through this maze of life. To nourish, feed, water, protect and cleanse us. It is there to keep us on the path that leads to Him! But there are some things that you need to know and expect, to help you live your life seeking His purpose. It really is not about how things look to others. Know who you are and who you belong to! Always be ready to give and answer for the hope that lies within! What is important is what God knows! Do you really know what it means when you say Jesus is your Savior? It means that you are now a child of God. I must tell you, you should know as well, you also become target practice for a lot of spiritual warfare.

It is true the saying that “the moment we admit life is difficult it becomes easier.” II Timothy 3 tells us, “In fact everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But for you to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know from who you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” For the child of God what makes it easier is knowing that the Lord is there 24/7. “He will never leave nor forsake you.” His Word is there to comfort you, help and sustain you, guide you and see you through it all. Whenever you become burdened you must learn to take responsibility and then shift your load to Him. God will never fail you! He promises to “supply all of our needs through Christ Jesus” You must read, know, continuously study, trust and allow His Holy Spirit to illuminate His Word for your path forward. The Word of God is our road map for narrow road travel. Life is a quest. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

Quite often when you find your self in a difficult situation if you are not prayerful your first response will be to respond carnally or in the flesh. To impulsively respond and seek to gratify self or to blame others rather than take your part of the responsibility. This is again when it is important to know; “That the Truth does set us free.” God always has a remedy. One just has to be open and willing to take heed to His way. Remember that narrow path I’ve been talking about? Always remember the Fruit of His Spirit is available. Remember God has a plan for your life. His promises are true! Nothing is too hard for God. Keep your focus! Mediate on the Lord’s Word. The WORD of God tells us to “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians gives us additional insightful words to ponder when going through, “Finally my brothers, 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. Whatever you have earned or received or heard of Me, or seen of Me put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” God is awesome!


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