Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Recognize Him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Indicative and imperative verbs in the bible

In the Bible, indicative and imperative verbs often appear together to present a statement of fact (indicative) followed by a command or instruction (imperative). This combination is commonly used to ground ethical exhortations or commands in theological truths. Here are some notable examples from the New Testament, where this pattern is especially prevalent:

  1. Romans 12:2:

    • Indicative: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world,"
    • Imperative: "but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
  2. Ephesians 4:32:

    • Indicative: "Be kind and compassionate to one another,"
    • Imperative: "forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
  3. Philippians 2:13-14:

    • Indicative: "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."
    • Imperative: "Do everything without grumbling or arguing."
  4. Colossians 3:1-2:

    • Indicative: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,"
    • Imperative: "set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God."
  5. 1 Peter 1:15-16:

    • Indicative: "But just as he who called you is holy,"
    • Imperative: "so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’"
  6. 1 John 3:1:

    • Indicative: "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"
    • Imperative: "And that is what we are! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know him."

These examples show how biblical texts often use the indicative to establish a foundation of theological fact or divine action, which then motivates the imperative as a response to that fact. This pattern underscores the biblical principle that ethical behavior and commands are grounded in God’s actions and character.

There are numerous examples throughout the New Testament where indicative and imperative verbs are paired to express theological truths followed by ethical commands. This style is particularly common in the writings of Paul, but can also be found in other epistles and teachings of Jesus. Here are additional examples:

  1. Ephesians 5:8:

    • Indicative: "For you were once darkness,"
    • Imperative: "but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."
  2. Galatians 5:25:

    • Indicative: "Since we live by the Spirit,"
    • Imperative: "let us keep in step with the Spirit."
  3. 2 Peter 1:3-4:

    • Indicative: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
    • Imperative: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness."
  4. Titus 3:3-5:

    • Indicative: "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures."
    • Imperative: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy."
  5. Philippians 4:6-7:

    • Indicative: "The Lord is at hand;"
    • Imperative: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
  6. 1 John 4:11:

    • Indicative: "Dear friends, since God so loved us,"
    • Imperative: "we also ought to love one another."

These pairs emphasize that Christian ethical instructions are not arbitrary but are deeply rooted in the realities of God’s nature, actions, and promises. This theological grounding ensures that the imperatives are seen not just as moral duties, but as responses to God's grace and activity in the world.

From the Letters of Paul

  1. Romans 6:12-13:

    • Indicative: "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires."
    • Imperative: "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness."
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:20:

    • Indicative: "You were bought at a price."
    • Imperative: "Therefore honor God with your bodies."
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:58:

    • Indicative: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm."
    • Imperative: "Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

From Other New Testament Writers

  1. Hebrews 12:1-2:

    • Indicative: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,"
    • Imperative: "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."
  2. James 4:7-8:

    • Indicative: "Submit yourselves, then, to God."
    • Imperative: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
  3. 1 Peter 2:9-10:

    • Indicative: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession."
    • Imperative: "that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

From the Gospels

  1. Matthew 5:14-16 (Words of Jesus):

    • Indicative: "You are the light of the world."
    • Imperative: "A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
  2. John 15:4 (Words of Jesus):

    • Indicative: "As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me."
    • Imperative: "Abide in me, and I in you."

In the Old Testament, the use of indicative and imperative verbs together is also common, although the style and context can differ from the New Testament. The Old Testament often uses this pattern in laws, prophetic messages, and wisdom literature, emphasizing God's actions and commands. Here are several examples:

From the Law

  1. Exodus 20:2-3 (The Ten Commandments):
    • Indicative: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
    • Imperative: "You shall have no other gods before me."

From the Prophets

  1. Isaiah 1:16-17:

    • Indicative: "Wash and make yourselves clean."
    • Imperative: "Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."
  2. Jeremiah 7:23:

    • Indicative: "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people."
    • Imperative: "And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.'"

From Wisdom Literature

  1. Proverbs 3:5-6:

    • Indicative: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart."
    • Imperative: "And lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
  2. Psalm 37:3-4:

    • Indicative: "Trust in the LORD and do good."
    • Imperative: "Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

These examples illustrate how biblical authors used indicative statements to establish a premise or truth about God’s nature, actions, or the human condition, which then serves as the foundation for the imperative commands that follow. This pattern underscores the responsiveness expected in the relationship between God and His people, emphasizing obedience as a response to divine grace and providence.

 The pattern of using indicative and imperative verbs in the Bible echoes the concept of "Walking in the fullness of God's Guidance, Provision and Care." The indicatives often affirm God's actions, characteristics, or promises—His guidance, provision, and care—while the imperatives call for our response through faith and obedience, which is integral to becoming a "Fully Actualized Kingdom Saint."

This dynamic can be seen as an invitation to enter more deeply into a relationship with God, recognizing His active presence and sovereignty in our lives. Here’s how this concept plays out:

  1. Guidance: Indicative statements often reveal God’s will and His directions for our lives. When we acknowledge this through the imperative of obeying His commands and following His ways, we experience His guidance fully.

  2. Provision: The Bible frequently affirms God’s provision (e.g., “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt”). The imperative response involves trusting in God's provision and stewarding well what He provides, aligning with principles of wisdom and gratitude.

  3. Care: The scriptures declare God’s care and love for His people (e.g., “I will be your God, and you shall be my people”). The response called for is often one of reliance and seeking God, showing that we trust in His care by turning to Him in all circumstances.

By following the biblical model of responding to God’s indicatives with faithful imperatives, you embody the life of a "Fully Actualized Kingdom Saint," someone who operates under radical dependence on God. This not only transforms individual lives but also serves as a witness to the power of God's kingdom here on earth. Engaging with Scripture in this way encourages a holistic approach to faith, where understanding who we are in Christ leads naturally to a life of active faith and obedience.


"The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deut. 31:8

 Isaiah 45:2-3 says:

"I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (NASB)

For a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, there are several key understandings to draw from this passage:

  1. God's Guidance and Preparation:

    • "I will go before you and make the rough places smooth": This signifies that God is actively involved in preparing the way for His people. He clears obstacles and smoothens the path ahead. Believers can trust that God is guiding their steps and preparing the way for their journey in life and faith.

  2. Divine Power and Protection:

    • "I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars": This imagery of breaking through barriers signifies God's power to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. For believers, it underscores the assurance of God’s protection and His ability to remove any barriers that stand in the way of His purposes for their lives.

  3. Provision and Revelation:

    • "I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places": This speaks to God's provision of blessings and resources that are not immediately visible. It suggests that God has hidden blessings that He will reveal in due time. For believers, it’s a reminder that God’s provision may come in unexpected ways and places.

  4. Personal Relationship with God:

    • "So that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name": This emphasizes the personal relationship that God has with His people. He calls them by name, indicating intimacy and personal care. For believers, this highlights the importance of recognizing and responding to God’s personal call in their lives.

  5. Faith and Trust in God’s Promises:

    • This passage reassures believers that God is faithful to His promises. Understanding and trusting in God’s promises helps believers to grow in their faith and dependence on Him, knowing that He will fulfill His word.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (NASB)

The connection between Isaiah 45:2-3 and Proverbs 3:5-6 is quite profound. Here are some key points that align between the two passages:

  1. Trust in God’s Guidance:

    • Proverbs 3:5-6: Emphasizes trusting in the LORD with all your heart and not relying on your own understanding.

    • Isaiah 45:2-3: God promises to go before us, making the rough places smooth, which requires trust in His guidance and sovereignty.

  2. God’s Preparation of the Path:

    • Proverbs 3:6: Assures that if we acknowledge God in all our ways, He will make our paths straight.

    • Isaiah 45:2: Describes God’s active role in preparing and smoothing the path ahead.

  3. Divine Intervention and Provision:

    • Proverbs 3:5: Calls for reliance on God rather than our own understanding, implying trust in His provision and wisdom.

    • Isaiah 45:3: Speaks of God revealing hidden treasures and wealth, symbolizing His provision in ways beyond our comprehension.

  4. Personal Relationship with God:

    • Proverbs 3:6: Encourages acknowledging God in all our ways, implying a continual, intimate relationship with Him.

    • Isaiah 45:3: Highlights that God calls us by name, indicating a personal and intimate relationship.

  5. Faith and Obedience:

    • Proverbs 3:5-6: Requires faith and obedience to trust God fully and acknowledge Him in all aspects of life.

    • Isaiah 45:2-3: Demonstrates the results of such faith and obedience – God’s active intervention and guidance.

In essence, both passages together emphasize the importance of trusting in God wholeheartedly, relying on His understanding and guidance, and maintaining an intimate relationship with Him. They reassure believers that God will prepare the way, provide for their needs, and guide them on a straight path if they place their trust in Him and acknowledge Him in all things. This integration of trust, guidance, provision, and care forms a solid foundation for a believer's faith journey.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cognitive Distortions: Satan’s Schemes Revealed

In Psychology cognitive distortions are patterns of negative thinking that can distort our perception of reality. These distortions often lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. 

“Cognitive distortions are biased thoughts that can distort the way a person sees themselves, their life, their specific day-to-day situations, their relationships, and other people. These thoughts can contribute to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.” Nov 29, 2023

Here are some examples of cognitive distortions:

  • All-or-Nothing Thinking (Black-and-White Thinking):

    • Viewing situations in extremes with no middle ground. For example, believing that if you’re not perfect, you’re a total failure.

  • Overgeneralization:

    • Making broad generalizations based on a single event or piece of evidence. For example, if something bad happens once, expecting it to happen repeatedly.

  • Mental Filtering:

    • Focusing exclusively on the negative aspects of a situation while ignoring the positive. For example, dwelling on a single criticism and overlooking praise.

  • Disqualifying the Positive:

    • Rejecting positive experiences by insisting they don’t count. For example, dismissing compliments by saying they’re just being nice.

  • Jumping to Conclusions:

    • Making assumptions without sufficient evidence. This includes:

      • Mind Reading: Assuming you know what others are thinking (e.g., “They must think I’m stupid.”)

      • Fortune Telling: Predicting negative outcomes without evidence (e.g., “I know I’ll fail this test.”)

  • Magnification (Catastrophizing) or Minimization:

    • Exaggerating the importance of negative events or downplaying the importance of positive events. For example, blowing a small mistake out of proportion or minimizing your achievements.

  • Emotional Reasoning:

    • Believing that your emotions reflect reality. For example, thinking “I feel worthless, so I must be worthless.”

  • Should Statements:

    • Using “should,” “must,” or “ought to” statements to pressure yourself or others. For example, “I should always be happy” or “People must treat me fairly.”

  • Labeling and Mislabeling:

    • Assigning labels to yourself or others based on a single event or behavior. For example, calling yourself “a loser” for failing a test or labeling someone “an idiot” for making a mistake.

  • Personalization:

    • Taking responsibility for events outside of your control or believing others' actions are directed at you personally. For example, thinking you’re to blame for someone else’s bad mood.

  • Blaming:

    • Blaming others for your problems and not taking responsibility for your own role in a situation. Conversely, blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong, even when it’s not your fault.

  • Control Fallacies:

    • Believing you have complete control over everything (internal control) or that you have no control over anything (external control). For example, feeling personally responsible for others' happiness or feeling completely helpless in the face of external events.

  • Fallacy of Fairness:

    • Believing that life should be fair and feeling resentful when things don’t work out that way. For example, thinking, “It’s not fair that I didn’t get the promotion.”

  • Heaven’s Reward Fallacy:

    • Expecting that self-sacrifice and hard work will automatically be rewarded, and feeling bitter when the reward doesn’t come. For example, thinking, “I’ve worked so hard; I deserve to be successful.”

The enemy of our souls, Satan, seeks to distort our thinking and undermine our understanding of our identity in Christ through various tactics that align with cognitive distortions. Here are some ways the enemy uses, and the truth found in scripture:

  1. Lies and Deception:

    • Genesis 3:1-5: Satan deceived Eve by distorting God’s words, making her doubt God’s goodness and intentions. He continues to plant lies in our minds about God’s character and our identity.

    • John 8:44: Jesus calls Satan "a liar and the father of lies." He uses lies to make us question our worth and God’s promises.

  2. Accusations and Condemnation:

    • Revelation 12:10: Satan is described as "the accuser of our brothers and sisters," who accuses them before God day and night. He aims to make us feel unworthy and condemned, despite the forgiveness we have in Christ.

    • Romans 8:1: "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." The enemy distorts this truth to make us feel condemned and separated from God.

  3. Fear and Doubt:

    • 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." The enemy uses fear to make us doubt God’s power and love.

    • James 1:6: Doubt can make us unstable in our faith, and the enemy exploits this to weaken our trust in God’s promises.

  4. Discouragement and Despair:

    • 1 Kings 19:4: Elijah felt so discouraged that he wanted to die. The enemy uses discouragement to make us feel like giving up on God’s plan for our lives.

    • Psalm 42:11: "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God." The enemy tries to keep us focused on our troubles rather than God’s faithfulness.

  5. Distorting Self-Perception:

    • Psalm 139:14: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." The enemy attacks our self-worth and tries to make us feel inadequate or inferior.

    • Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works." Satan distorts this truth to make us feel useless or purposeless.

  6. Temptation and Sin:

    • James 1:14-15: "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin." The enemy uses temptation to lead us into sin, which distorts our view of ourselves and our relationship with God.

    • 1 John 1:9: Confession and forgiveness restore our fellowship with God, but Satan tries to keep us in guilt and shame.

  7. Comparison and Envy:

    • Galatians 6:4-5: "Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else." The enemy uses comparison to breed envy and dissatisfaction.

    • 1 Corinthians 12:12-27: Paul emphasizes the unique role of each member of the body of Christ. The enemy distorts this truth to make us feel insignificant or envious of others.

  8. Isolation:

    • Hebrews 10:25: "Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another." The enemy tries to isolate us from the community of believers, making us more vulnerable to his attacks.

    • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. Isolation weakens us, and the enemy exploits this to attack our sense of belonging and support.

The enemy of our souls leverages these distortions to sow seeds of doubt, fear, insecurity, and isolation. By undermining our understanding of who we are in Christ, the enemy aims to hinder our effectiveness in God's kingdom and diminish our peace and joy. To combat this, it is crucial to be grounded in Scripture, allowing God's Word to continually renew our minds and affirm our identity as beloved children of God, fully equipped and empowered for His purposes.

In spiritual warfare, recognizing these tactics and countering them with the truth of God’s Word is crucial. By immersing ourselves in Scripture, prayer, and the fellowship of believers, we can fortify our minds against the enemy’s attacks and stand firm in our identity in Christ.

By recognizing these patterns, individuals can replace distorted thoughts with ones that align their thinking more closely with a biblical perspective and who they are in Christ. Practice these four disciplines.


  1. Renewing the Mind:

    • Romans 12:2: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

    • The Bible calls believers to renew their minds, which involves recognizing and rejecting cognitive distortions and replacing them with God's truth.

  2. Taking Thoughts Captive:

    • 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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."

    • This passage encourages believers to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Identifying and correcting cognitive distortions is part of this process of spiritual warfare, aligning our thoughts with the truth of God’s Word.

  3. Guarding the Heart and Mind:

    • Philippians 4:7-8: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

    • Focusing on what is true and noble helps guard our minds against cognitive distortions. By meditating on God’s truth, we combat the enemy’s attempts to distort our thinking.

  4. The Armor of God:

    • Ephesians 6:10-18: This passage describes the armor of God, which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the shield of faith. These elements are crucial for defending against the deceptive thoughts and lies that characterize cognitive distortions.

    • For instance, the "helmet of salvation" protects our minds by reminding us of our identity in Christ, countering the distorted thoughts about our worth and purpose.

2 Corinthians 2:11 says…  "so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes." highlights the importance of being aware of Satan's schemes so that he cannot outsmart or take advantage of us. Paul's advice to the Corinthians in this context is part of his larger discussion on forgiveness and reconciliation within the church. By understanding and forgiving, they would prevent Satan from exploiting divisions and discord among them.

This principle of awareness applies broadly to all believers in recognizing the various strategies the enemy uses, including those involving our thoughts and emotions. By understanding the ways in which Satan can distort our thinking and perceptions—such as through cognitive distortions and the undermining of our identity in Christ—we are better equipped to resist and counteract his attacks.

Scriptural teachings encourage us to guard our hearts and minds, use the armor of God, and stay connected with the body of Christ. These practices help us maintain a clear vision of truth and resist the deceptive and destructive influences of the enemy. In doing so, we affirm our faith in the truth of God’s Word and His promises, standing firm in our identity as redeemed and beloved children of God. This knowledge not only protects us but empowers us to live out our God-given purpose and calling.

In summary, cognitive distortions can be seen as manifestations of the enemy's attempt to wage spiritual warfare against believers by distorting their thinking. The Bible provides tools and instructions for combating these distortions through the renewal of the mind, taking thoughts captive, focusing on God's truth, and using the armor of God. By doing so, believers can resist the enemy's lies and align their thoughts with the reality of God's Word.