Monthly Archives: April 2010

Facing your Goliath

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1 Samuel 17:1-9 NKJV

1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim.  2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines.  3 The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.  4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.  6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders.  7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.  8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.  9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”

It was a nice sunny day and I was in a jovial mood while on my way to church. Upon arriving and finding my seat I was asked by a cherub faced young man to read a scripture in front of the congregation. My gloom immediately turned into doom! My heart started palpitating, mind racing, and sweat beads began to drip slowly down my face. I took a deep breath as I gave myself a moment to gather my thoughts “wait a minute, I said, God has not given me the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and a Sound mind!”  So I started standing on the word…going back and forth between fear and the word rather. Then I heard a quaint voice that said,“ Just talk to me.” Immediately I felt a quickening in my spirit. At that moment it gave me confidence and boldness, so much so that when I got up to speak I forgot I was even scared!

In opposition, the same week I had to attend training for my job. Sitting front row, it seemed as if I was the one most appointed to give an analysis and articulate my understanding to the group of what we were concurrently learning. A sinking feeling began to knot up in my stomach and dread engrossed me. “It’s happening all over again,” I say to myself. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had just defeated this area! Each time I was called upon I began to stumble over my words, lose my train of thought, and I started panting very heavily. It was quite draining—oh and did I mention EMBARRASSING. At its conclusion, there I sat yet again withdrawn and in anger.

That was my battle at Gath. The Bible records Gath as being a Philistine city that was infamous for its lineage of giants. I was always an ambitious and courageous person so when I started experiencing panic and anxiety attacks at the height of my career I was taken aback. Public speaking was a dominant part of my profession. It came about all of a sudden; one day I found myself in a room full of people, palms sweaty, heart palpitating and panting for air. It was the beginning of years of anguish, frustration and disappointment. It has brought me before the Lord many nights, with bitter weeping and deep prayers. Because of this fear I pondered deeply about how I would be able to sustain a living, take care of myself, and my future.  Before I knew it worry began to set in and I was slowly succumbing to depression.

It’s inevitable; we will all have to face giants in this life. Your Goliath may be a drug addiction, alcohol dependency, struggles with weight, pornography, a physical or mental handicap or some other debilitating strong hold. I implore you to hold on, keep fighting; until you throw in the towel the enemy hasn’t won. Don’t let the devil lie to you and tell you you’re defeated.  When you get knocked down don’t stay down for the count, you have to get back up, sometimes it will take all the strength we have. But unfortunately, this is when many of us falter and give in, considering ourselves as failed. Proverbs 3:5 admonish us to “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Even though you may be experiencing great hardships, God is allowing this situation to build your character. He’s strengthening your spiritual muscles and teaching you to depend on Him only, not in your flesh.

On the way home from training that day, God was speaking to me. He told me I would never be victorious if I am so concerned about what people think about me. He revealed to me that I had a problem with trying to please people and that I put too much emphasis on what people thought about me. Psalm 118:8 clearly warn us, “it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Also the Lord was building up my faith in Him. I was so used to the safe, the familiar. Everything had to be comfortable, and in order before I made a move. When I started experiencing panic attacks I had to learn how to function outside of my job security, family, and friends. God had to isolate me and bring me to my lowest point in order for me to humble myself and acknowledge that without Him I can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Furthermore, God asked me, “Did you ever believe I could deliver you?” Wooah! That was a wake up call. Actually I hadn’t. In the back, tiny corner of my mind I had succumbed to defeat; that this is how I’m going to have to live the rest of my life. Although I was diligently praying, in my heart I had not really believed that God could free me from this. He had allowed this situation in my life until I made up my mind to believe that He could heal me.

Moreover, when we pray for healing in areas we may be struggling in, God doesn’t just drop deliverance in our laps like, “Here is the patience you asked for!” No, often we will have to go through a trial or test before deliverance comes. But how many of us are willing to go through? I admit, not me! I want it to be over as fast as possible. It hurts to face our shortcomings, fears, and limitations. But in our darkest hour we have to truly believe that God loves us and that He is standing right there with us in the midst of the war. “For He Himself has said ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you,’” Hebrews 13:5. If we don’t press in and go through, how can we ever know we can be victorious?

The area in your life where you are being attacked the most is the area where God is going to use you! The devil is doing everything he can to get you to not believe in yourself, break your confidence, and run you down. He knows your ministry is going to be powerful that‘s why he’s viciously attacking you! Beloved, heed Paul’s words to Timothy,“ Fight the good fight of faith…”1 Timothy 6:12. Face Goliath! Don’t give up! When the enemy comes in like a flood, ride on the tides of the word. After an attack it’s ok to give yourself some time to regroup, but then go back into your prayer closet and stand courageously against your foe. Look him squarely in the eye and boldly proclaim as David did, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine [your trial].” (1 Samuel 17:37)

In conclusion, our enemy isn’t our circumstances, but opposing spirits sent from the master deceiver to thwart God’s kingdom. It’s a spiritual battle! Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. We must remember that no matter what weapons and tactics the enemy uses to intimidate us, God is commander in chief. 1 Samuel 17:47 “ ….the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” Amen!

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Gumbo religion

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Many people today are deeply hurting, broken and unhappy with their lives. They are hopelessly trying to find a place of peace, rest, and acceptance from a hurting world, searching in vain for a spiritual paradigm to anchor their lives. Some, even Christians are borrowing from this religion or that spiritual practice or the latest new age book—promising to know God. They are trying to concoct their own secret formula, or a panacea for true peace and happiness. Many know God, but they think He is far away from them, unreachable. They think maybe if I go down this road, turn right on this lane; stop at this street or avenue maybe I will find God. I can imagine many saying “Maybe He will hear me if I go to this place, bless me if I say this chant, repeat affirmations everyday, stay positive, think positive, just maybe I can reach through to God.” There are also those who were never introduced to any form of God or religion for that matter, and know that there is more to life than what the physical senses ascertain, so they are desperately trying to find something to fill an empty space in their life. Maybe this person is you. Perhaps you are persuaded to study a family member’s religion, or maybe you saw a temporary change in a friend through his/or her spiritual discipline.  Or perhaps you read about the next “hot” new age trend and decided to give that a try. After years of “trying out,” you became exhausted and discouraged. The last religion that you tried was full of hopes and promises but, yet again you ended up being burned, resigning to the fact that there is no God. This merging of spiritual doctrines is what I call a gumbo religion: a lil’ Christianity here, a dash of Buddhism there, a sprig of yoga, a pinch of Hinduism.

As the ubiquitous quote by Peter Marshall states, “Unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything,” relates quite relatively in this text. Joshua 24:15 God says, “choose this day whom you will serve.” It’s time to stop straddling the fence. There is only one true and living God: Jesus Christ. Stop playing the harlot with other religions and get to know the SAVIOR. He’s the only one that can save your soul! You have tried the world’s way, now try God! Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.”  If you don’t know Jesus Christ and would like to accept Him in your life at this moment get a Bible and read aloud Romans 10:9, ask God to come into your heart. Beloved, the time is now to get serious about the things of God.

Revelation 3:16 says, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” Saints, I truly believe this is why many Christians are not hearing from God. God is calling us into a deeper relationship with him and to serve Him only.  Isaiah 43:11 says, “I alone am the Lord, the only one who can save you.” That is the truth coming directly out of the mouth of the Holy One. He commands His followers to “take up his cross and follow me,” just as He commanded the disciples in the New Testament (Mark 8:34). Saints, we are living in the days where the tides have turned back over to that of Babylon in the Old Testament. We are in the midst of spiritual warfare against an ungodly, idolatrous, perverted nation that has no reverence for the things of God. God is loudly blowing His Horn, grievingly calling soldiers in the kingdom to fight His holy war. God is petitioning us to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18). Saints we are coming up against some perilous times and God needs soldiers who are going to press in, and fight through the darkness, pestilence, and demonic forces that are operating in the spiritual realm.

Many are verbally proclaiming to be walking with Christ, but Matthew 15:8 says, “These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Vs.9) and in vain they worship me…” The resulting fruit is Christians who have no compassion, no love, no peace, are uncaring, and unloving.  And I tell you these are spiritually dead! Beloved, it’s time for a revival! It’s time to be on fire for the Lord!  Stop hiding behind the label “Christian” and ask God to come into your heart so you can have a deeper, more profound relationship with Him. You will never know God fully through a mediator (new age book, pastor, friend, counselor). Ask God to have a one on one relationship with you, and that you would be able to know Him intimately. Ask Him to speak to you, to walk with you daily. Saints it’s good to go to church, but you will only be victorious in Christianity when you have a personal relationship with God; when you know His voice, His promptings, and let Him lead your life. That’s when you find victory in Jesus, Amen! When you press in to get to know Him. When you walk with Him daily that’s when He’ll guide you and teach you and tell you His will for your life. When you become proficient in Hearing His voice and assiduously obey His commands for your life, that’s when you’ll enter into His Rest. Hallelujah! For He gives His beloved rest! (Matthew 11:28) Saints it’s a peace that surpasses all understanding, a resting place, a shelter from the pressures of this world. Try Jesus! He’s all you’ll ever need!

Christians in the church consulting psychics

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You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:21, 22)

When I first met *Tina she seemed very eager and hungry for the word of God. She was promptly at every church service, Bible study and workshop; Bible in hand, ears as alert as a dog anxiously awaiting its masters command. I must say I was quite impressed with her fervor to know the word of the Lord. Tina was very humble, and personable and her joy for the Lord easily led to our fellowshipping after church. Being a “babe” in Christ, as time went on I found myself offering counsel to Tina in areas of her life that she was struggling with. Some of those areas we covered meticulously in the word and prayer; others fasting was suggested and scripture was given to study. But for some reason Tina was not getting a breakthrough. One night Tina started talking about problems concerning her health, and went on to say that it was spoken to her that she would suffer years of sickness. Baffled, asked her to elaborate. She then confided in me that she had sought out psychics earlier on in her life. I reassured her with the word of God then told her that there is no condemnation regarding mistakes she made in her past, reiterating Romans 8:1. She was still unsettled. Her anxiousness emanated from across the table as that of a child needing to tell a bad secret. “Ya know, I have been seeing psychics up until recently she said firmly, and they all tell me the same thing: that I’m destined to a life of sickness and suffering.” I shouted, “don’t believe it! That’s a lie from the enemy!” He comes to lie, kill and steal! But she kept saying if it’s not true how can they possibly all tell me the same thing? I said because even though you are seeing a physical person, it is the same spirit operating from person to person; the spirit of death sent from satan himself to try to convince you to believe you are going to die. And he is doing that by confirmation. My heart went out to Tina. All these years she was believing this lie. Saints, sometimes we can worry ourselves sick albeit we are perfectly healthy, because of a word of death spoken over our lives. Don’t believe it! Who’s report will you believe, God’s or satan’s? I was so overwhelmed with Tina’s story I felt compelled to write her a visual guide, lined up with the word of God, to study whenever she starts to think that way. Furthermore, I reprimanded her to cease immediately from consulting any form of psychics or soothsayers. I reminded her of the commandment God gave to Moses regarding the Israelites In Leviticus 19:31 “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” I advised Lisa to study Romans 8:1-6, and the following is an outline that was given:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

**When we came to Christ all our sins were washed away by His blood! Moreover, the packs/curses that were made against our life were broken. Hallelujah! God does not condemn us with guilt, that’s satan’s tactic. Furthermore, God would never speak damnation over our life .

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

**Through the death of Jesus Christ who was crucified on the cross we have been delivered from the former sins (in this case consulting psychics) that condemned us and that was leading us to death. Through Jesus’ death we are no longer under the curse of the law; worldly laws as well as religious laws. The only requirement for a believer is to accept His grace by Faith! He has freed our spirits from all demonic, generational curses and from death perpetuated by the enemy. (Satan’s lies of sickness, disease, physical death). However, we have to apply this FAITH and really believe we are free and we MUST speak it over our life!

3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,

**Worldy law cannot appease the spirit man. When we operate in worldly law and follow after/worship its idols we are left with feelings of emptiness, desperation and hopelessness. Worldly law operates in the flesh. In contrast, spiritual law operates in the supernatural realm, edifying the soul.

4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

**When we give our life to GOD He determines His will for us. Therefore satan’s ordered plans and assignments on our life are null and void! Hallelujah! Its God who has the ultimate say over our life and breaks the curse of darkness! That His kingdom work will be carried out through us. We must walk according to what God & His word says, not according to satan’s cunning lies and the workers of his kingdom whom he uses to deliver his messages. He is the ultimate deceiver! Anything that doesn’t come from God/Bible/Christian Kingdom, DO NOT BELIEVE IT! DO NOT ACCEPT IT/ENTERTAIN IT IN YOUR SPIRIT! It is all lies from the master of darkness. He assigns the same spirits to different workers in his kingdom to try to make you believe it’s the truth because it’s the same message, but always remember what source it’s coming from! His goal is to slowly weaken God’s people to destroy their faith with lies so he can wipe out God’s servants

5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

**When you are in the flesh, because of fear, impatience, despair you consult psychics/fortune tellers. We have to repent of our sins and pray and ask God to deliver us from dependence on man and carnal ways of thinking. We have to pray and ask God for an intimate relationship with Him. Our minds have to be renewed in His spirit! Amen! God speaks directly to us, we do not have to go to any out side source!

6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
**Seeking after fortune tellers brings death: spiritual, emotional, and even financial death. Many people spend thousands of dollars seeking out these mediums often leaving more disturbed then when they first arrived. It’s a spirit of torment and restlessness, and you are entering into soul ties with the powers of darkness. You are dancing with the devil, allowing him to pour forth any lie to you that he wants. It’s not your future that’s being predicted, it’s his lie that he is trying to get you to believe. Unfortunately many people believe it and accept it as truth, even some christians! It’s a scheme, a hoax designed by the enemy to keep you coming back, spending more and more money while bankrupting your soul! Only God can give us the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace.
*Name changed to protect identity