Read an Excerpt
The Power of Right Believing
7 Keys to Freedom from Fear, Guilt, and Addiction Hardcover
By Joseph Prince
FaithWordsCopyright © 2013 Joseph Prince
All rights reserved.
WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS POWERFUL
What you believe is powerful. If you can change what you believe, you can change your life! I have met many precious people who keep struggling to control their behaviors and actions. No matter how hard they try and how much effort, time, and resources they throw into the fight, like a beaten boxer they end up returning to their corners, their bodies defeated, morale crushed, and confidence shattered—trapped once again in guilt, fear, and addictions that simply refuse to go away.
Then the bell rings for the next round. The fight continues, and they unleash everything they have against their adversary. Left, right. Left, right. It seems like they are making progress. But then their opponent starts landing head shots, and each blow comes loaded with poisonous, condemning judgment:
Who do you think you are? Have you forgotten all those mistakes you've made?
Things will never get better. You should just accept your lot.
It's not going to work—you are just going to fail again!
Nobody loves you. You are all alone.
I've seen these deceptive tactics used too many times by the adversary. I've seen too many people try to move out from under the shadow of their past or break free from their addictions, only to end up succumbing to these lies about themselves, their identity, and their destiny.
That's the power of wrong believing.
Wrong believing puts people in a prison. Even though there are no physical shackles, wrong believing causes its inmates to behave as though they were incarcerated in a maximum-security penitentiary. They march inexorably to their dank cells of addictions. They allow themselves to be led into dungeons of destructive behaviors. They have convinced themselves never to dream of a better place, believing that they have no choice but to live in despair, frustration, and defeat.
Right believing, on the other hand, is a light that illuminates the path to freedom out of this prison.
Wrong believing puts people in a prison. Right believing is a light that illuminates the path to freedom out of this prison.
God Wants to Light Your Way
Now before you dismiss this as yet another book that claims that everything will work itself out if only you could think positively, hang on. This is not about human psychology. This is about right believing that is birthed out of a very personal and intimate relationship with a loving Savior and founded upon His Word that brings life and illumination. The psalmist says it this way: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105). The Message translation reads, "By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path."
My friend, God wants to throw a beam of light on your path today. Whatever you are struggling with currently, no matter how insurmountable your challenges appear, when you start believing right, things are going to start turning around for your good!
The breakthroughs you have been fighting to have for years can happen in a supernatural instant. I know this because I have counseled and prayed for many people who have told me about how their years of addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography just vanished when they allowed Jesus to come into their situations. They woke up one morning, and the desire for those things just wasn't there anymore!
If we're honest, we all have some measure of wrong believing in our lives. If you don't believe this, all you need to do is ask yourself, "Have I often felt anxious, worried, or fearful that the worst would happen to me and my loved ones?" My friend, these negative, exhausting emotions are merely flags that indicate what we truly believe about ourselves, our lives, and God.
When we are fearful and worried all the time, we are living as if we don't believe that we have a strong and able Shepherd who is tenderhearted toward us, who only leads us to good places, who protects us and lovingly watches over us. So if worrying or being fearful seems to be your natural default mode, what you need to do is to keep hearing and learning about how much God loves you and how precious you are to Him. The more strongly you believe this—the more this truth gets a hold on the inside of you—the more it will change your thoughts and feelings and the less you will fall victim to unhealthy emotions and behaviors.
In varying degrees, we all have wrong beliefs in our hearts that need to be exposed to the truth of God's Word. That's why we need the Savior. Our wrong beliefs can only be demolished when they are exposed to His grace and the truth of His Word.
Knowing the Truth That Sets You Free
The very premise of this book is based on the oft-quoted verse that says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). This is a verse that has been widely used, even in secular literature. But what does it really mean? What is the truth that sets you free?
It is essential we recognize Jesus said this to the Jews of His day. These were people who at an early age grew up studying and learning the law. Yet these people, much like us today, still battled with fears, anxieties, sicknesses, and all kinds of oppression, bondages, and addictions.
So what is this truth that Jesus was talking about, this truth that if His hearers knew, would set them free of all these destructive things? Well, it clearly cannot be the law because these people were already well-versed in the law. They were already observing the law as best they could, yet they could not find freedom in the law. Freedom, my friend, can only be found in His grace. When you believe right in His grace and His love for you, the shackles of fear, guilt, and addictions will fall off.
Grace—Antidote for the Poisoned Mind
Grace is the truth that Jesus came to give us. His Word proclaims that "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
In the original Greek, "grace and truth" are regarded as one item because the following verb, "came," is used in the singular. Grace and truth are one and the same thing. Grace is the truth that has the power to set you free from fear, guilt, and all addictions—"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).
It is the truth of grace and not of the law that brings you true freedom. The truth of the law only binds you. In fact, religious bondage is one of the most crippling bondages with which a person can be encumbered. Religious bondage keeps one in constant fear, guilt, and anxiety.
The good news is that grace came to set you free from the curse of the law. Grace is not a doctrine or theological subject. When Jesus talks about grace, He is talking about Himself. Grace is a person. Grace is Jesus Himself. "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). The truth that has the power to fling wide open your prison doors is His grace. His grace is the antidote to counteract every poison in your mind! When you taste Jesus' love and savor His loving-kindness and tender mercies, every wrong belief begins to dissolve in the glory of His love.
When you taste Jesus' love and savor His loving-kindness and tender mercies, every wrong belief begins to dissolve.
I've seen this happen over and over again, everywhere I go proclaiming without apology the unadulterated gospel of grace and the unceasing love of our Lord Jesus. When a person starts to calibrate his or her believing so that he or she receives with gladness God's lavish, excessive, and superabounding love, destructive mind-sets or strongholds begin to shatter. And in a supernatural instant, he or she experiences liberation from destructive habits, fears, and bondages. You can't process His grace logically in your mind—it needs to be experienced in your heart!
My friend, your freedom is found in rightly believing in His love, His grace, and His favor in your life. When you believe right about His grace, you will begin to live right. Right believing always produces right living.
God's Grace Uproots Wrong Beliefs
I met a lady at a conference where I was speaking. I wish you could have seen Kate for yourself. She was a confident and attractive young lady, with a face radiant and glowing. So I couldn't believe it when she revealed to me that she had been delivered from more than four years of alcohol addiction!
She had been a corporate highflier, but the stress of work and the strain of maintaining her success and image drove her to consume at least one liter of alcohol a day as a means of escape. Before long, keeping up with the high-octane demands of her career became a constant struggle. Coupled with the self-imposed pressure to keep her veneer of success intact, this struggle pushed her deep into depression.
One thing led to another, and soon, besides being addicted to alcohol, Kate became dependent on a cocktail of strong antidepressants, tranquilizers, beta- blockers, and sleeping pills. She shared that she tried everything to beat the bottle. She made appointments with psychiatrists and psychologists, and even faithfully attended support groups for alcoholics. Through these endless appointments and meetings she experienced what she calls "a few bouts of recovery," but they only lasted several days at best.
One day, Kate's husband decided to take her on a holiday. This filled her with even more anxiety because she didn't know how she was going to get her secret alcohol "fix" while traveling with her husband. Now, she had tried over and over again to quit drinking and was all too familiar with how the withdrawal symptoms had defeated her every time. Her hands would tremble and shake so vigorously that she couldn't even hold a spoon to feed herself. She would feel faint and break out in a cold sweat and would constantly throw up and not be able to keep any food down.
All these symptoms would disappear with a drink or two, so she would sneak off to buy alcohol when she was supposed to be at the gym and guzzle hard liquor in secret when her husband was at work!
To the rest of the world, Kate appeared to have it all together. But she knew. She knew that she was trapped in the prison of alcoholism and there was no way out of this vicious cycle of defeat.
So after repeatedly trying to overcome her addiction without success, Kate was on the verge of giving up. But God had other plans. He led her to one of the leaders in my church who taught her to immerse herself in the Word and to keep praying in the Spirit. As she kept listening to my messages on God's grace, God began uprooting the wrong beliefs that had taken hold in her mind and replacing them with right beliefs.
When it was time for her to leave for the holiday, even though she was filled with trepidation and almost backed out of the trip at the last minute, she decided that she would go. She asked the Lord to help her keep her eyes on Him instead of trying to overcome the withdrawal symptoms. She was determined to enjoy her time with her husband and to give thanks to Jesus for every blessing, no matter how small.
Kate told me that throughout the trip, she just kept resting, praying in the Spirit, and listening continually to my messages on her iPod. To her amazement, she didn't suffer any symptoms. And you know what? It has been more than two years since that trip, and she has never taken another drop of alcohol. Hallelujah!
She admitted that while the thought of having a drink does come to her once in a while, she believes that God has given her the strength to resist the temptation. And by His grace, she knows that she will never give in to the bottle again!
My friend, in a supernatural instant, four long and treacherous years of addiction to alcohol disappeared for Kate. She didn't know it then, but God was freeing her from her addiction (and much more) by filling her with the Spirit as she looked away from her problem and kept her eyes on Jesus. She also shared how she had discovered recently that the answer to her drinking problem was in God's Word all this time: "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18).
I applaud this young lady for having the courage to share her powerful story with me. I pray that her testimony will encourage, inspire, and give you hope.
A Jesus-Encounter Can Free You Supernaturally
You may be asking, "How can this be? How does four years of alcohol addiction just disappear like that? How could such a powerful craving just lose its hold in such a short time?"
The answer is simple but powerful.
Kate allowed God's love to invade her mind as she listened to grace-based messages on her iPod that were full of Jesus and His love. When you allow God's love to saturate your mind, it doesn't matter what wrong believing, fears, or addictions are keeping you bound. His grace will begin to break them down. That is what happens when you have an encounter with your loving Savior. Everyone who encounters Jesus never leaves the same. He came to set the captives free.
Listen to what Jesus says: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18).
My friend, I want to tell you that whatever you are oppressed with, Jesus came to set you free. It could be a debilitating physical condition, or like Kate, whom I met at the conference, you may be entangled in an addiction that has imprisoned you for years.
Whatever you are oppressed with, Jesus came to set you free.
Whatever your condition, however long it has kept you bound—two years, ten years, thirty years—know this: God can set you free in a supernatural instant. He who created time isn't time-bound. He who in a fraction of a second turned water into the finest aged wine can bypass natural processes and accelerate your deliverance from any bondage!
I know of many people who struggled with addictions for decades. But once they had a supernatural encounter with Jesus, they just woke up one morning and found themselves free, with none of that familiar urge or desire to engage in their negative behavior anymore. Frank, who lives in the state of Maryland, wrote to me and shared how he was set free from drug addiction. He had been told that "once an addict, always an addict," and he had believed it.
But when he came to know the truth about the life-transforming love and grace of Jesus through one of my teaching resources, it just destroyed the chains that bound him. He shared, "Man, I could have jumped through the roof when I discovered that all I had to do was accept the finished work of Jesus and His grace! After thirty years of drug addiction, I thought that there was no hope for me. But praise Jesus, I am now drug-free, and I'm in a good grace-preaching church with my wife, who has also been set free of her drug addiction."
My friend, that is the power of right believing!
God's Truth Triggers Your Deliverance
The moment Kate and Frank began to hear and believe the right things about God, it triggered their deliverance in an accelerated fashion. Knowing the truth was the catalyst. Contrast this with those who focus on living right without paying attention to believing right. Sadly, they only experience transient breakthroughs to the extent their willpower, self-control, or discipline persists. But those who focus on and believe the truth about God experience lasting freedom effortlessly. Jesus certainly wasn't kidding or exaggerating when He said that knowing the truth sets you free.
Jesus has the truth that you need, that you've been searching for. He is the way, the truth, and the life (see John 14:6). In love, He willingly laid down His life at the cross to set you free. That's what this book is all about—transforming what you believe through the power of His sacrificial love and eternal truths. I've endeavored to make these truths as accessible and plain to see as possible for you. As you read the words, Scriptures, and stories of real people who have been set free by simply believing these truths about God and what He says about them, I pray that you will encounter God's grace like never before. And as you meditate on these truths, I am confident that you will be walking in freedom sooner than you think. Your liberation is at hand!
Excerpted from The Power of Right Believing by Joseph Prince. Copyright © 2013 Joseph Prince. Excerpted by permission of FaithWords.
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