Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 12

Chapter 12 – Assignments

In this chapter we learn about how the enemy may have an assignment to destroy us, and that he may use different tactics to find our weaknesses to attack successfully.

When we recognize the attacks of the enemy, we must renounce our ties to his lies instead of partnering with his broadcasts / thoughts.

I like how Dawna pointed out through her story that even when you quit partnering with the enemy there's still a fight to be fought: all the antagonism doesn't just disappear, but now the enemy doesn't have power anymore.  I don't get why God doesn't always just zap the enemy into oblivion, but what I do know is that Yahweh (the Lord) wins.

We can use prayer to break assignments of the enemy.  We should not be fearful and focus on the assignments the enemy may have on us, but instead on God’s promises of protection.

The atoning blood of our Messiah is a strong defense against the power of the enemy.

The following quote gives a good summary of what we learn in this chapter:
“If you find yourself or a loved one in the midst of a demonic assignment, partner with God to plead the blood of Jesus over your life. Repent for any fear you have allowed into your life and meditate on the Scriptures that reveal the power of God.”

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 11

Chapter 11 – Shifting Atmospheres over Regions

A key point from this chapter to remember: “We should never search out demons to attack; our focus should be on expanding the Lord’s Kingdom.” “It is our job to provide support to His army through worship, praise, prophetic and scriptural declarations, acts of love, and intercession.”

Intersession is praying on the behalf of others.  I like how Dawna explains that intercession for others does not mean we have to be negatively affected in our spirits, but that it can be a positive and uplifting experience.  We are to not just pray against the enemy, but also release what God wants in its place.

We should always look to God to give us direction on what to do in spiritual warfare.  We are not to just be stewards of the physical aspects of this world, but also the spiritual!

I really like how Dawna pointed out that we are not the ones taking on the enemy.  Also it was very good for me to hear that I am not to be constantly on guard for the enemy.  Nope!  I am to keep focused on the author and completer of my faith, Yeshua (Jesus) the Anointed, and if I encounter anything that is not of Him I am to surrender it to God as the proper stewardess of his earth, allowing him to work his victory into the atmosphere and situation. 

I am to be about life not on the lookout for death.  I am to be involved relationally with the world around me, through what I do pointing the way to Abba, which is, being Yeshua (who is the only way to Abba) / doing what Yeshua does--an ambassador for Yeshua.  I LOVE how Dawna put getting involved in our community through art and work and business in just as valid a place as through acts of service.  We are NEVER to be isolated.  There are hundreds of ways I can sow into my community!  So often we limit what sowing is or can be and put boxes around ourselves and good works.  How can I enrich others’ lives?  By sharing with them the talents God has given me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – Shifting Atmospheres over Yourself and Your Home

As always, this chapter was really good.  I love how Dawna makes sure to point out that we have to forgive the people who have given us the harmful mindsets.  I don't really think of that perspective often.  But it is so important and crucial to full healing, not only for you but for the person who you are forgiving.  They might come up against walls you haven't torn down that they don't have the authority to break.

In order to walk in authority we need to make declarations of truth and follow that with actions of faith!

An important point to remember is that everyone / thing has an atmosphere and we are to consider what atmosphere we are producing and the need to steward our own broadcasts, which begins with the heart.  It is our mindset that broadcasts an atmosphere from our heart.  We can look at people’s responses to us as a possible indication of the message we are broadcasting.

Sometimes the cause and solution to our behavior or broadcasts might be buried and take some examinations to determine the cause and bring about a change.  I found the example from the book interesting…  Strive for intercession of others instead of judgement of them, done for self-preservation, which the underling solution is to be healed of the fear of being hurt by them!

Possible steps for healing wrong atmospheres:
1. What ungodly atmospheres am I emitting?
2. What mindsets caused these atmospheres?
3. What lies am I believing that cause this mindset?
4. Who do I forgive for teaching me these lies?
5. What truth dispels the lies?
6. Transmit an atmosphere based on truths.

The books admonition to think about what atmosphere we want to project from us and our home is important.  This is something everyone should think about and come up with solutions for.  Everything we allow into our home affects the atmosphere.  For me I think an atmosphere of the fruits of the spirit is a good goal to work toward.

My responsibility is to think on all that's lovely and true and pure so that those vibes are being broadcasted by me.  As Dawna says, "The more you steward wholeness into your heart, the easier it will be not to partner with atmospheres that reflect your own inner wounds."  I can't be perfect and only have love in my heart 24/7, but I can pursue wholeness and shalom and prepare the soil of my heart to be fertile for those things, for the fruit of Holy Spirit.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 9

Chapter 9 – Shifting Atmospheres

Here are a few quotes from this chapter that stuck out to me:

    “Shifting atmospheres is a way to shine in such a way that you draw people to the one true God.”

    “We should be walking transmitters of His character and release his attributes into every atmosphere we encounter.”

    “There is something powerful in humbling ourselves before the Lord and offering ourselves to His will that activates us with His power, covering, and victory.”

Shifting atmospheres is spiritual warfare and we are reminded to stay in the shelter of the Most High and to partner with the Holy Spirit and not try to fight the enemy on our own.  To be successful in shifting atmospheres we are to be confident and bold.  To not be intimidated or partner with / take on the atmosphere of the enemy.

I appreciate the real world examples given by the author in this chapter and throughout the book which gives us greater understanding of the principles taught here and shows us that what we are told isn’t just theoretical, but comes from experience and practical application.  Our job is to expose darkness with His light.  I found it interesting in some of the stories how the removal of demonic presence gave a result or impression of an increase in perceivable brightness!  Another aspect gleaned from Dawna’s accounts is that a negative situation we may have been dealing with for years can be changed quickly and dramatically with atmosphere shifting.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – Discerning Atmospheres

This chapter teaches us ways to Identify / discern the atmospheres around us.  We need to start with a healthy normal (see chapter 7) for proper discernment.  It is also important to value truth, because if we devalue truth, discernment is diminished.

I think a big goal for me in reading this chapter is learning to recognize the source of our struggles and the proper way to deal with it.  How easy is it to just pickup and agree with the atmosphere around us and embrace it as our own.  This can happen when we do not recognize when things are coming at us verses originating from us and we need to ask for forgiveness for partnering with these negative atmospheres.  Not only can we pick up these broadcasts from people we encounter, but also from places and things.  It is not specifically mentioned but I think places and things can be like repeaters of the atmosphere or intent imparted on them from people or entities.  The author gives an account from a particular grocery store with a “must buy” atmosphere that she as well as other people have picked up on.

I find it interesting that although atmospheres are largely spiritual, we can commonly pick them up through our natural senses.  When identifying the atmosphere around us, we need to pay attention to our moods, how we feel in different environments and situations. Also pay attention to the voices/messages we hear internally.  The enemy will often mimic God’s moves to spread confusion and fear so it is vital to examine the fruit and tune in to the heart of God.  Other ways mentioned that we may encounter to help us expose the atmosphere is through dreams and vision.

This chapter was so good for me to read because it showed me how simple shifting atmospheres really is, and I now feel empowered to change my moods and the moods of where I am at; it showed me that I don't have to submit to judgmental thoughts, critical thinking, hateful emotions, dishonoring talk, etc.  I now realize that negative and destructive thoughts are not hard to get rid of because they are not me making them up, that is, I don't have to change myself in order to get rid of them because, as Dawna says, they are not coming from me but at me, so I just need to stop listening to the negative channel they are coming from and instead tune into God's channel and thoughts!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Finding Your Normal

This chapter encourages us to examine our “Normal” thoughts or beliefs about ourselves to determine if they are based on the truths of God’s word or the lies of the enemy.  Since it is impossible for any belief system based on a lie to produce good fruit, establishing the proper normal with a true mindset is crucial to properly discerning atmospheres.

When we believe a lie for so long, we think it is normal and thus fail to recognize and reject it as coming from the enemy.  These lies bear bad fruit in our lives.  We do not want to work at hiding the bad fruit, but instead uprooting the lies by taking every thought captive and renewing our minds with God’s truth.

Below are the main points charted in the book to help us examine our normal.

Healthy Normal Unhealthy Normal
Courage         Fear
Accepted         Rejected
Peace Stress
Love Selfishness
Self-Control Perversion
Acceptance Self-Hatred
Prosperity Poverty
Purpose         Aimlessness
Hope Hopelessness
Joy         Sadness

Dawna made a point that stuck out to me: when Holy Spirit reveals something to me, I should not try to cover the mess up but embrace the healing God wants to do now that I see.  It's so true that we can only be free by being honest.  The lies don't have any power once we realize the truth.  Lies only have power when we think they are the truth.  So I can walk out my healing simply by no longer hiding from the facts but acknowledging the voices that are false as what they are: false.  We can ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies and supplant them with truth; that's how Dawna says to develop a healthy normal.

I was struck by the story of the lady at the end of the chapter.  Wow!  The little things do matter and we need God to reveal to us the impact of things!  It's way too easy to ignore thoughts we accept as our own or about ourselves that we embrace as our reality.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 6

Chapter 6 – Spiritual Atmospheres

The author’s definition of Spiritual Atmospheres:  Invisible (spiritual) tones or moods hovering over an individual, community, city, or region.

In this chapter we are taught how moods or attitudes (the atmosphere) can be spread between individuals and provide a feedback loop which can grow more powerful, eventually developing into strongholds.  Just as we can be emotionally pulled along while watching a movie, so too can we be affected by the spiritual atmospheres around us.  We can choose to participate “tune in” or reject “tune out” to these broadcasts, whether good or evil.  I have often wondered why it seems that evil can be more pervasive and easily spread than good…  It doesn’t take much to make one’s mood sour but seems to be much harder for it to change to the positive.  Why would this be?  First off, I think many of us are ignorant of the whole dynamics of spiritual atmospheres, how easily we can be affected, what to look for, and how to combat it.  Second, this statement from the book: “The devil works hard to implement his agendas…” shows that we are starting on the defensive without even realizing it.  I don’t doubt that God and his truths are stronger, but it seems God often waits for us to engage in this battle.  If we are ignorant of the spiritual battle we are in, that makes us an easy mark and we can end up partnering with and spreading the ungodly influences around us.

I like how the author also gives us some practical examples of things we can do to shift the atmospheres around us for God’s kingdom.  Prayer gatherings, infusing our communities with godly oversight, teachings, and community outreach.  Not just boycotting the evil, but supporting the good things.

A key chapter quote:  “As we learn to identify the atmospheres and broadcasts pervading our area, we grow in understanding how to defend or adopt them as truth.”

This chapter opened my eyes to several things, the main one being that atmospheres are broadcasts.  The first step is to quit listening to broadcasts that are sending forth lies; but then the next step is to actually seek God's broadcast of truth and join him, amplifying his frequencies.  I recently learned that frequencies that are the same seek each other out and join together, actually agitating the substances they match so much they begin to dance (because every substance has a frequency).  That's how you can break concrete with sound (if you blast the frequency that the concrete is resonating at).  So through obedience to Yahweh (God) we can join in his frequencies and shatter the darkness!

This chapter showed me how simple it actually is to resist negative broadcasts and transmit positive broadcasts instead.  I like the quote: atmospheres are "cyclical partnerings between broadcasts from the spirit realm and man's participation with them."  So atmospheres are like electrical circuits and I am the switch; I can choose to stay off and then the current can't circle back to itself so there's no power.  I invite sinful broadcasting by sin, and heavenly broadcasting by love.

I feel empowered: I don't have to submit to negative vibes!  I can declare love and truth--the Word of God--and quit bothering about what other people are listening to. Because God is more powerful than any negative broadcast; if someone is partnering with (completing) a negative message I can partner with (complete) a living, positive message.  I am excited to learn more about how to know what to counteract a sinful atmosphere with.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – Spiritual Authority

Although we may desire or wish for imputed spiritual authority passed on to us from Yeshua (Jesus), my observations and experience seems to indicate otherwise for the most part.  Just like authority is generally not un-earned in the physical and takes time and effort to obtain, so to it seems with the spiritual.

One major point mentioned in this chapter is that we are to stay under the umbrella of protection of being in the Father’s will at all times.  Yeshua is our example and we find in scripture that he only did what he saw and heard the Father doing.  (John 5:19)  We need to maintain a relationship and obedience to be able to know what His will is and to continue in it.  Disobedience reduces our spiritual authority.  It seems authority can be gained and increased as we prove ourselves trustworthy and walk in His will and gain experience in spiritual warfare.  The dynamic connection with the Father and Holy Spirit allows us to respond appropriately and in our jurisdiction to various situations that may arise.

KEY:  Spiritual authority is obtained through humility and acts of surrender. (James 4:6)  Contrast to the world where success is often attributed to talent and ambition.  “In God’s kingdom, however, people advance according to how much they are willing to sacrifice.”

IMPLEMENTATION:  “True humility and surrender comes as an act of love.”  “If you desire to grow in spiritual authority, you must give up everything for God and this must come as an act of love.” (Luke 14:26-28)  “Total acts of surrender lead to trust, which activates faith, which in turn results in God increasing our authority.” “Faith is paramount for wielding spiritual authority.” “When we cultivate faith, we increase our authority by placing full confidence in God.”

We also learn in this chapter that partnering with the enemy in sin causes a loss of authority and gives the enemy legal access to our lives.  To be effective we must recognize these situations and break these ties to the enemy to bring deliverance in our lives and others.

Another important key in this chapter is the concept of strength in numbers.  Group unity and prayer increases power and authority over strongholds of the enemy.  We should also ask God to release his angels over the situation.

I was struck in this chapter by the whole idea that I need to operate in my authority or covering and that sometimes it is not good for me to cast out demons, because I had always assumed that since God didn't want anyone to be bound it was my job to eradicate all darkness I met in people.  But this can seriously expose me!  And I want to stay in God's protection.  I had never realized before that I could step outside of God's protection in my spiritual warfare.  Once again, it's more work than I thought: it's an actual relationship!  Now I will ask Holy Spirit if I should pray for the things I see or feel.  God, what do you want me to pray for?

Yeshua stayed in his assignment unless promptings aligned with Abba's will directed him outside.  And that's why it's important to know my purpose, my assignment, so I can live without having to ask every second, "Is this what I should do, God?"  That would tire me out and I couldn't keep going in life.  "We have boundaries assigned to us by God that we must honor."

I liked the strength of the statement Dawna made: "When we partner with unbelief, we forfeit our God-given right to co-labor with Christ."  Wow.  I have a RIGHT to co-labor with Yeshua!  But that is gone when I choose disbelief over him.

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – Weapons of Warfare

Our spiritual arsenal: (to defend or take ground from the enemy)

  • Spiritual armor – needed for protection against attacks of the enemy
  • Discernment – take every thought captive to determine its source
  • God’s Word – equips us with wisdom to outsmart the attacks of the enemy.
  • Worship / praise (of God) – defend against mind / heart attacks.
  • Prophetic declarations – proclaim God’s truths over us / others
  • Prayer (and fasting) – helps us gain God’s perspectives and strategies.
  • Tongues – builds up the spirit, disconnects the mind from trying to solve the problem and prepares us to hear the Lord’s solution.
  • The fruits of the Spirit – helps to carry us past the enemy’s attacks
  • Encouraging one’s self in the Lord (and others) – stay focused on God’s true nature so we can move deeper into our spiritual callings and remove discouragement.

The opening passage in this chapter (2 Cor 10:4) tells us that our spiritual weapons have diving power and are supposed to be used to destroy strongholds.  Not to be stored on a shelf.  A lot of what we do to wage war against the enemy is declaring what we know to be true and making utterance of what God has already done and then receive it.  I must remember that it's important to say the truth out loud because that's half if not more of the battle!  Setting our focus on the truth, that's what it's all about.

Worship is a powerful weapon we should utilize.  “Sometimes worshiping God in the midst of our trials actually creates the breakthrough we are looking for.”  A great example of the effectiveness of worship is found in 2 Chronicles 20.  Putting worship first in our lives helps to confound the enemy’s schemes against us!

Dawna mentions that the gifts of the Spirit should bear the fruits of the Spirit.  Just because something seems to be from the spiritual gifts doesn’t automatically make it from God.  Examine the fruit!

I often find myself praying in tongues when I want to hear from God or pray for someone because it relaxes me and helps me surrender to God.  I really liked how tongues keeps me from solving the problem, and I never should be the one solving a problem regarding spiritual attack.

Declaring and abiding by the Word of God changes not just us, but those around us, and specifically puts the fear of Yahweh (the Lord) in them.  The fear of God leads to so many good things (there are so many promises to those who fear God); it is the beginning to wisdom, so those around us will have insight into who God is!  Dawna said that shifting atmospheres comes when we ingrain the culture with the virtues of Scripture.  The passages in 2 Chronicles 17:7, 9-10 is quoted.  It is interesting to me that the reverence / speaking of God’s word in Judah causes the Fear of the Lord to fall on the neighboring kingdoms.  This is an obvious atmospheric change that effects the spirit realm.  Something we can emulate today!  An example from the book is declaring life into your neighborhood to shift the spiritual atmosphere.

Joy, hope, and peace are fruits of the spirit elaborated on in this chapter.  The joy of the Lord is our strength, believing God’s promises for us produces hope, and seeing our situation from His perspective gives us peace.  I feel like joy and hope go hand in hand.  Hope is the confident expectation of good, as Dawna said, and I feel that joy is the delight we have in the now (present moment) knowing our good future.  So joy is the way I live out my hope.  It was a good reminder to read that anything which does not bring love, joy, peace, patience, etc. is to be discarded from our lives.  So if I am doing something I believe will get me somewhere or help me but I am getting more frustrated as a result, then I should stop doing whatever I am doing because, at least from this moment, it is not coming from Holy Spirit.

I feel the section on peace is crucial to understand and implement in our lives.  Maintaining God’s perspective (peace) and not giving in to fear gives us the clear head needed to properly engage in any situation we may face.  “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of security in God.” God should be our ultimate source of peace. A vantage point of peace is advantages for discerning attacks and hearing God’s strategies.  This peace is a supernatural gift and fruit of the spirit.  We are told to seek peace and pursue it.  (Psalm 34:14)  To do this we mustn’t give in to the spirit of fear.  Complaining also shows a lack of peace.  We are responsible for how we look at and react to every situation.  Seeking peace is seeking to abide in Yeshua (Jesus) because it's through him we receive supernatural peace.  When I read about that I immediately prayed, "God, I receive your peace."  It's not through my own doing that peace is attained.  I can prepare the soil and facilitate ongoing habitation of the gift God gives, but ultimately it's not up to me to get peace, it has to be given and received.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 3

My Study Buddy and I continue our review and discussion of the book Shifting Atmospheres by Dawna De Silva.  We believe everyone can benefit by applying the principles found in this book to their life and we hope you will consider your privilege and responsibility to partner with God and shift the atmosphere around you to expand His kingdom here on earth!

Chapter 3 – Tactics of the Enemy

The primary tactic of the enemy is lies or Deception.  The extremes of disbelief or obsession with the demonic are noted as being equally destructive.  I think this is an important understanding as we consider that the enemy gets the upper hand under either scenario.  It is not important to the enemy what we believe, so long as it hinders our relationship with God.  If this is true then our primary focus should be our relationships over our beliefs!

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (John 8:44)

Having a balanced perspective is important.  The following quote from the book about churches can also apply to the individual.  “When churches focus too much on the enemy, undercurrents of fear and suspicion spread throughout their congregations.  Churches that remain ignorant of the spiritual realm corrode internally as their blind leaders stand by unaware of the underlying spiritual attacks.” 

“By tricking us into believing their mindsets, demons get us to partner with their schemes.”  Agreement over time develops strongholds.  This causes us to act against God’s original design for our lives.  These lies typically exist at a subconscious level, possibly from birth.  This makes us often unable to identify their presence.  We need to ask and allow the Holy Spirit to point out any ungodly mindsets we may have.

Yeshua (Jesus) has full authority over the enemy.  Fighting harder, longer, and louder does not compensate for a lack in authority!  “When we know who we are and who is covering us, we can stand firm in the midst of any spiritual assault.”  I loved the point Dawna made about how identity is linked to authority, no matter how much fighting we do, if we aren't living out of the identity of Messiah Yeshua then none of our efforts work because we are not living out of the authority Messiah has: he conquered, so we are also conquerors. 

I had never connected Romans 8:19 to identity.  Creation wants humanity to be living and operating out the identity of Messiah; creation doesn't want a bunch of caretakers that are deluded and powerless or stuck in mindsets of lies!  How can we be good stewards of this earth if we can't even take ownership of ourselves?  As Dawna mentioned, "Make sure you take ownership over yourself and bring any issues before God."  And it's not complicated: it's a simple declaration, "I don't partner with that lie (thought from the devil), this fear, etc."  Then move on and live out of the freedom God has given you!  This is so liberating!

To combat the darkness we need to partner with God and release His opposite.  A really good point about how when we are faced with enemy activity we should always approach it from God's perspective.  I want to keep learning more and more the heartbeat of God so I can partner with Yahweh (God) in all situations and actually be effective!

Fear is a common tactic of the enemy.  Being fearful keeps the enemy in play.  “Renouncing partnership with fear is one of the quickest ways to disarm demonic attacks.”

Temptation is another tactic of the enemy mentioned in this chapter.  Being tempted in a way that is not normal is a good indication of a spiritual attack.  Submit to God through worship and prayer and don’t give in to the temptation. 

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

To do this we must take every thought captive.  When God is speaking in our thoughts, we will feel His character of love coming through.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  (1 John 4:1)

Sin hinders our communication with God.  Partnering with sin gives the enemy access into our life.  Four main areas the book mentions of ways to partner with sin:  Fear, hatred / bitterness, sexual sin and dealings with the occult.  I might also add pride to the list.

We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.  (John 9:31) 

For success in spiritual warfare make sure to take ownership over yourself and bring any issues before God.  This is not a passive or defensive stance, but an offensive one.

I love how simple spiritual warfare is when we walk in our God-given identity.  I know that the enemy can't bother me because Messiah in me has crushed the enemy; so even if the demon sent to disturb me comes back I have command over him.  I am not subject to the powers of darkness: they are subject to Messiah in me!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 2

We continue with our thoughts and summation to chapter 2 on the book Shifting Atmospheres by Dawna De Silva.

Chapter 2 - Spiritual Strategies

The opening passage in this chapter is Ephesians 6:10-11 that reminds us to don the full armor of God in order to stand against the schemes of the devil.  Each piece of the armor has a strong correlation to our Messiah, so another way of saying this is to put on Christ.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.  (Rom 13:14) 

We are made up of body, soul, and spirit which are intimately connected and effect each other.  Satan may attack us in any part, but his primary way is through the mind.  To be an effective believer, we must have authority over our mind.  We do this by identifying and rejecting thoughts not from God and replacing them with His truth.

A point brought out regarding evil / darkness is how it can grow as more people tolerate or participate in it.  This gives the enemy a stronger influence over our lives and can spread from a person, to a household, to a neighborhood, to a city and beyond.  John 8:34 says if we practice sin, we are its slave.  The fiery arrows of the enemy are lies and deceptions that distract from God’s truth.  Our defense is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  (Eph 6:17)  A key quote from this chapter:  “To be effective in spiritual warfare requires partnership with God’s Spirit and His Word.”

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  (Heb 4:12)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)

I think another important point brought out in this chapter is that our motivation for discernment and shifting atmospheres to spread God’s kingdom should be based on love with the goal of bringing the goodness of God into every aspect of life.  It is crucial to have the right heart and motivation.  Yeshua (Jesus) is our model for success.  Another point of consideration is that to be truly successful takes discipline, prayer, fasting and a strong connection with the Father to help us grow in authority over the enemy.  We must avoid taking shortcuts that may be offered by the enemy.  Just as in the physical, to excel requires training and practice, so too with the spiritual.


This chapter is about Spiritual Strategies, and I feel that Dawna is showing us a different one in each section.  Here is a list to help us remember them:

Identify thoughts--whether they be of God (truth) or from non-God (lies).

  • if the thought is not from God it will not lead you to Yeshua; if the thought is from God it will bring us closer to God and his virtues
  • discerning what's truth means we have to have truth within us - the Word of God

Technique 1: be grounded in Scripture

  • Scripture is truth and having truth in our system gives us discernment
  • Scripture is actually a weapon, not just a defense, and it attacks the darkness

Technique 2: prepare for battle

  • don't partner or tolerate with sin: this is the opposite of preparing for success in combat
  • sin creates open doors to the enemy
  • build a personal relationship with Holy Spirit who is our Helper

Technique 3: study the life of Yeshua

  • he lived out of love
  • “Love, heaven's greatest weapon, covers a multitude of sins; when released, it can crush the enemy's forces no matter how strong."
  • cultivate the culture Yeshua started: victory, love, etc.

Yeshua had... steadfast devotion and closeness to the Father

  • strong connection allows for our gifts and authority to increase and mature
  • surrendering to God allows for God to work miracles

Yeshua had... reliance on Holy Spirit

  • allows you to operate with a strong discernment

Yeshua had... an understanding of timing

  • he was content to operate in the Father's time frame
  • he allowed development to take place in his life (developed character and favor)
  • Yehsua was always prepared because of this
  • he set time aside to draw close to the Father--spiritual discipline: prayer, fasting, etc.

Yeshua had... submission; he did it God's way even if it meant dying on a cross

  • he recognized that victory lies in conforming to God's plan/strategy


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Shifting Atmospheres Chapter 1

Shifting Atmospheres
My plan is to post a blog for each chapter in the book Shifting Atmospheres by Dawna De Silva.  This book teaches us how to recognize the different atmospheres around us that we encounter from time to time and what to do about it!  How to shift the atmosphere of the enemy to the atmosphere of our King!  This is a topic that I believe everyone can benefit by learning more about and implementing in their lives with the end goal of expanding God’s kingdom here on earth!

I find it very helpful to have someone to study with.  It is great to be able to bounce thoughts and ideas off of each other and I find it interesting and insightful as to what another person may notice and elucidate upon.  This also provides accountability and motivation to press on with the assignment.  Special thanks goes out to my Study Buddy who is reading along with me.  Below you will find some of our thoughts and comments on the first chapter in this book.

(Visit Dawna's website: https://www.dawnadesilva.com/)



Chapter 1 - The Spiritual Realm

It is good to be reminded that we (humanity) are in a continual spiritual war, the effects of which have great consequences for the physical.  Being raised a typical westerner, I was not taught to think much about, and can easily neglect the spiritual aspects of the day to day.  The mentality of ignoring the spiritual leads to complete vulnerability of the enemy’s attacks, which in this case, ignorance is not bliss.  It is good that the author reminds the reader not to focus on the enemy, but to keep our eyes focused on God and His strength.  As stated in this chapter, demons can be given assignments to derail us, so as we advance God’s kingdom, we will be more likely to get attacked as we become a greater threat to the darkness, but we should ultimately succeed if we are in God’s will.

I underlined the phrase "our physical lives possess eternal purpose."  Wow; what I do every day, every moment matters.  I loved how Dawna said that our weapons "are not hate, jealously, or outrage."  Our weapons are spiritual and LIFE GIVING--"bringing God's goodness, love and, truth to the situation."  It is so good to be reminded that the enemy isn't the people but the evil forces advising and leading the lost people.  I need to always remember that every person has a heart of flesh, and I am going to search for that heart, letting God manifest the person he created and not seeing the person the enemy is trying to contort.

Another point brought out is how the spiritual realm affects our health, thought processes, and daily lives.  The enemy can and does attack us on several fronts.  Exploiting our weaknesses.  These weaknesses are where we abdicate our own authority by sin or even ignorance.  But thankfully we can fight back by wearing the full armor of God and bringing God’s goodness, love, and truth to the situation!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thoughts on Thoughts…

I have not posted on this blog in a while and was encouraged to make more posts by a recent comment on this blog.  Don’t under estimate the power of encouragement!  We are encouraged to encourage each other unto acts of love and good works in scripture. (Heb 10:24-25)  So do your part and encourage someone today!

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Heb 10:24-25 NLT)

Over the last several months I have been reminded how the enemy’s primary mode of attack on us is through thoughts put in our mind.  He likely has been telling us lies for so long that we no longer recognize them as such and believe it to be true and part of our identity.  We are not our thoughts!  This might not be something you have considered before but do we let our thoughts define us?  I have received multiple confirmations from different sources recently that confirms the statement that we are not our thoughts.  Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. (2 Cor 10:5)  We can only do this if we act outside our thoughts.  The goal is to recognize the source of our thoughts so we can reject lies from the enemy and embrace truth from our Creator. 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:5 NIV)

To help with the taking thoughts captive process I have recently gone through a 21 Day Brain Detox by Dr. Caroline Leaf.  https://21daybraindetox.com/   (NOTE:  This course has an annual fee)  The idea behind this program is to take one toxic thought that you struggle with and work to replace it with a true, healthy, and Godly thought over a period of 21 days.  This online program guides you through the process each day.  We learn from Caroline that we can actually do our own “brain surgery” by breaking down and removing our old toxic thoughts and thought patterns and replacing it with healthy and life giving thoughts.  We actually change the topography of our brain during this process.  Her course is designed so you can repeat it again and again, addressing different toxic thoughts as needed with the goal of mentally and even physically changing the behavior and landscape of the brain!

We don’t have to be stuck in a rut with negative thinking.  With God’s help and some captive thought practice, we can bring hope and new life to our thoughts!