Crown of Thorns

son-of-god-crown-of-thorns

We have all heard the story of The Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.

We know he was unjustly sentenced for proclaiming who He is and all the works and miracles that he performed. We know that even though the government found no wrong in Christ, they allowed the citizens to choose who to set free, and the citizens choose a murderer named Barabbas.

We know that he was taunted by the religious folks of the time, called names, spat upon, whipped forty minus one time by a cat of nine tails.

Forty less one stripe-Jewish law stated that the maximum amount of lashes a person may receive is 40. The reason for them giving 39 is room for error in the counting, so as not to exceed the punishment.

Cat-o-nine-tails- an instrument  of torture comprised of a short cluster of whips approximately 3 feet in length. Each strand made of leather has a sharp piece of bone or metal attached to the end. When it strikes the body, it tears off the upper layer of skin in a stripe several inches wide, causing pain and profuse bleeding.

They then made him carry his Cross down the Via Dolorosa (Way of suffering) to the hill called Galgotha (place of the skull)  outside of the city where he would be nailed to the cross and the cross was erected for all the world to see. He eventually suffocated to death. I highly recommend that you read the actual science behind the crucifixion. This is a very stripped down overview.

All the while this ordeal was taking place, he never said a word. He never fought. He never defended himself. He knew what the end result would be, and this death had nothing on the glory that was to come for both himself and the rest of the world for those who accept this most amazing gift.

I highly recommend reading the entire chapter of Isaiah 53, but here is a short clip from the chapter:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The one thing that I want to focus on is the Crown of Thorns.

When Christ was being crucified, they fashioned a crown of thorns to mock the King. Thorns. They placed this crown upon His head and beat it into his skull.  Take a minute to let that sink in.

We know that by His stripes we are healed. Healing is available to everyone who accepts and believes because of the stripe. It’s been paid for. It’s up to us to accept it and walk by faith in the healing.  The one thing that we overlook is that crown and its symbolism.

Part of the curse in Genesis 3 is that the land would produce thorns. If a crop bears thorns and thistles, that crop is worthless.

So here’s my question for you:

Have you ever been called worthless? Have you ever thought of yourself as worthless?

Have you ever been made fun of? Have you ever felt degraded? Let me go a step further…Have you ever had voices in your head that told you all these things?

You are a nobody

You are worthless

You’ll never amount to anything

You’ll never be good enough

What if …happens?

What if there’s not enough money?

What if I screw it all up?

I’ve made too many mistakes.

Nobody could ever love me

Are you recognizing these voices? These are voices that those suffering from depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses hear.

There is not a single thing that Christ went through that was void of meaning. Jesus wore the crown of thorns…the thorns that went deep into his skull, so you can be free of mental illness and mental oppression. Just as he received 39 stripes so you can be healed. Just as he died on the cross and literally went to hell and defeated Satan, so that you don’t have to.

And the most amazing thing is that 3 days after He died on the cross, He rose from the dead. He walked this earth for 40 days before ascending into heaven. Nine days later, what is now known as the day of Pentecost, He sent His Holy Spirit. It is His Spirit that lives inside of those who have received Christ as their savior. This is very important because it is the still small voice of the Holy Spirit that has the ability to override those voices in your head.

The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. Therefore, we have the mind of Christ.

It would be heartless of me to tell you all this without telling how to deal with it.

The bible says in Philippians 4:6-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy-think on these things.

Think on things that are positive. Stop the “what-ifs”. Find out who you are in Christ. You are worthy. Look up your identity in Christ. Search the scripture. Anytime you see the words, “In Christ”, “In Him”, and “In whom”…that’s talking about YOU. That’s who you are.

The apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh, yet he was who had this revelation. A Thorn. Sound familiar?

Another reference is scripture to read is about the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-17. In this scripture, it speaks of the helmet of Salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

In order to defeat mental illness or mental oppression, it is important that EVERY DAY when you wake up, that you get dressed in the Armor. The helmet protects the head…the mind. The sword of the spirit is the words you speak. A sword is double edged, so be careful with it. You can speak life or death. You can protect yourself, and with the same sword, you can kill people with your words. That’s another story for another time, but right now, we want to put the focus on protecting ourselves. This is where the thinking on these things comes into play. Every action starts with a thought then it manifests through the mouth. That is the action. Stop speaking and thinking negatively. When a negative thought comes into your mind, take it captive and change it to something positive.

Faith is awesome, but it’s dead when there is no action behind it. It’s wonderful to think that Christ took our physical and emotional pain on the cross, but if you don’t put into action what He provided, you will remain in the same predicament that you are in.

Allow me to speak from experience. I come from a long line of worriers. Anxiety is a very strong curse in my family. My grandmother had it, my mother has it, I have been known to suffer from it, and my daughter has it. It’s bad. It can make you sick and paralyze you. Several years ago  I went to a conference called an “Encounter with Christ”. It was a great weekend service where we learned all of the symbolism of the cross, just as I have touched on above. The part that really got me was the revelation of the crown of thorns. Through my battle with worry or anxiety for many years, I finally learned how to put into action the things that I have talked about above. My quality of life drastically changed. I became someone I didn’t even know, and I liked her.

At some point, circumstances in life happened and I started losing ground. The reason I lost ground is because I stopped clothing myself daily with the armor of God and I stopped thinking and meditating on positive things. Now I am basically back to square one. I have determined to find that person again who was free of anxiety. I don’t have it all together, but I do know what I have to do. I just have to do it. Earlier this year, I decided to find her. I do good mentally when I practice this, but I have not yet made it a habit.

I want to encourage everyone who is interested in getting free from anxiety, depression and other mental oppression, to join the journey with me.  Not just for a day or 2, but until it becomes a habit.

Advertisements

You ARE What You THINK

When you first open your eyes and turn over to grab your treasured phone and open up to Facebook, what’s the first thing you see? “What’s on your mind?”
That’s a very good question, what is on your mind? Is it the stress and worries that have overtaken and threaten to become “what-if’s”? Do you obsess over your lack of money, lack of job, the fact that you fear your kids are going to hell in a hand basket because of their uncharacteristic and unacceptable behavior? Are you concerned about what your neighbor thinks or worried about a secret getting revealed and how it can ruin your life?
What takes up space in your mind, that you are allowing to live there rent free? What war is raging?  Have you crossed a line and now you are worried about the consequences?
What is really on your mind?
Joyce Meyers coined the phrase “The Mind is a Battlefield” and boy is she right! What you spend time thinking about will sooner or later take complete control of you if it hasn’t already.
Most people honestly believe that they can’t help what they think about; that they have no control over their thoughts.
I’m here to tell you (and me) that you do have complete control over what you think about. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I will say from experience that it does get easier with practice. There was a point in my life where I could literally take every thought captive as soon as something negative popped into my head.
I’m not saying that things didn’t happen because they did. Life just happens, but the worry that would try to bombard me was very quickly silenced.
Unfortunately, I have gotten out of that practice, but I know that I can get there again, and I’m hoping that I can take some people on this journey with me, but first I must convince you that it will be worth the trip, as well as how to get there.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 reads “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity.”
That’s pretty powerful right there.
Those verses tell you everything you need to know to win the battle within. How many times have you taken a shower and had arguments in your mind with your boss, your kids, your spouse, your in-laws or whoever? You know you won every fight in your mind. By the time you got out of the shower, you were ready to unload both barrels on them.  How did you do that? There is obviously a problem, otherwise, you wouldn’t be playing this argument in your mind. You have either real or imagined perceptions of the character of the person you are arguing with. Somehow, at some point, you bent the details just enough so that in your mind you came out the winner.
That’s good, in a way…I guess, but I bet that you didn’t get out that shower feeling very happy. What if you could get to the point to where the argument doesn’t even exist? It takes practice, but some things to think about before you even begin this argument is, do you have all the facts? Is the problem even an issue? What if you could learn not to worry until there is actually something to worry about? Most conflict happens because of not having all the facts, jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst….and you know what they say that happens when you assume. Ok, so I think we are free to let go of the conflicts now.
So what about other types of worry? Worry about money issues. Yes, I will be the first to say that this is the hardest area to mentally overcome because unfortunately it is a very real and often ongoing issue. First and foremost, I recommend reading anything you can get your hands on by Dave Ramsey. Secondly, you have to take a very real inventory of your current situation and see what is the worst that can happen. Sometimes when you take inventory you realize that although it may be bad, you can bounce back. You may have to find areas you can cut down or cut out altogether and come up with creative, but legal, ideas to get you back on track. Finances are unfortunately one of the biggest demons in most people’s minds, but regardless of the situation, you still have to think on the good things. More than likely you still have a roof over your head and food in your belly, even if it’s not the food you want. Make a list of your blessings and count them. Think about them. As long as there is breath in your body there is still hope.
The point is that whatever you are going through, you cannot allow those negative thoughts to consume you. You have to arrest them, take them captive and think on good things. It starts as a thought, then it becomes an obsession, then you take action on that thought. Next thing you know, you have caused a world of hurt and created your own storm. Keep allowing those negative thoughts to control you and you will become a negative person that nobody wants to be around.
As I mentioned, there was a time in my life when I could guard myself against negativity, starting with myself and my own thoughts. I was very careful about who I would let close enough to me to influence me. I have slipped out of that practice, but I remember the sound mind that I had then. Since I have allowed negative circumstances and people back into my inner circle, I have spiraled out of control mentally. Now every day is a fight to keep going. I literally feel like I am going crazy most days. The good thing is that I recognize it and I have to start kicking some stinking thinking to the curb and once again put that protective wall around my heart to keep negative people out.
Obviously, I have identified those people for myself. There are times when you may not be able to geographically remove those people from your life. You can be friendly and civil to them. It may be your boss or your spouse or your child. You will not be able to fix them and until you can fix yourself, you cannot expect to have any type of positive influence on them. You have to get strong in your mind before you can help others out of that rut. But you can keep conversations on a shallow level. You may even have to put your foot down and explain that you are not able to hear any type of negativity from them. If they insist, then politely walk away.
Mental health has become a big topic these days as more light has been shed. A lot of mental health issues are very real and people are genuinely out of balance chemically. However, there are a lot of mental health issues that can be dealt with by simply taking control of your thoughts. You have to have goals, purpose, vision and drive. It’s within you somewhere.
I want to encourage everyone to reflect inwardly on finding those things. Figure out what your purpose is. What do you like to do? What do you want to do? How can you make it happen…in little bites. Rediscover your vision and find your drive. Then when the onslaught of negative thoughts bombards your mind, think on these things…and remember, you ARE what you THINK.

how-entrepreneurs-think-differently