FOCUS ON THE PROMISE NOT THE PROBLEM

A certain trial in my life has kept me away some time from this blog. As I pondered what I am going through, it has taken me through some hills and valleys in my Christian walk. When we are first hit by a life crisis our first response is to go in to “me” mode. We observe the situation, then take off full steam ahead fixing, troubleshooting , applying a panacea and proceeding to rectify the situation in our own strength without first consulting God; stepping back and allowing God to take over the problem. Sure, we know God is there but we really don’t completely trust Him with the situation. Or, we don’t have the patience to wait on God. I was running around in circles, wearing myself out as I often do when I am faced with a trial, until God let me come to the end of myself so He can take over. I must admit I have yet to learn this lesson. Somehow in my mind, I haven’t come to the full conclusion that God is control over every aspect of my life. Thus, I end up giving place to needless worry, fear and doubt. I have often heard God tell me, “be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” It settles me momentarily, but when I am shot with another arrow by satan my flesh arises again and wants to be in control. Be still, He keeps telling me. After I felt like I was at the end of my rope I said, ‘God I cannot do this in my own strength, I need you to take over this problem.’ I finally gave God full control, so I thought.

When you give God control the devil is going to persecute you even more. How do you handle the harassment and torment he inflicts upon you? You go to your prayer closet and God will give you peace, but the devil will have attacks lined up and working through other areas of your life. He will then start using family members, job/co-workers, and relationships to attack you from different angles. You begin to feel like you are being swallowed up on every side. If you are a seasoned Christian you fast and pray, as the Bible commands, “without ceasing.”. But what do you do when it feels like your fasting is meritless and God is nowhere to be found? The problem then begins to eat away at your mind, and emotions; it begins to rob you of your peace, your joy, and happiness. You ration with God, ‘Lord, I know in this life we will suffer for the cross as was taught to us, but please Lord give me the strength to go through this, the strength to carry on.’ Yet, God is silent. Your pleas become desperate, ‘My Lord, where are you? Can’t you see what is happening to me; can’t you see what I am going through?’ Yet I know this is testing my faith walk. It is testing my loyalty to God. This trial is to test the word I profess to believe in. I already know that I am weak in my flesh, I petition to God, ‘so why are you putting me through this?’ But I remembered God said that He is not going to give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). You may be struggling with everything within you to find a reason to wake up each morning. In this particular situation, I found myself becoming angry with God—again. This is something I had struggled with in my baby years as a Christian, not knowing God intimately. After maturing in Christ I thought I had completely given myself over to God, I thought I would completely trust Him no matter what I went through. Perhaps this is why God allowed this particular situation in my life—to show me what’s in my own heart. I was quite surprised. There was still unforgiveness there, anger there, mistrust, and a few epithets too. It’s just that satan attacks us where we are most vulnerable. He attacks us in ways that are least expecting to us, he’s cunning and operates very underhandedly. He knows our weaknesses. He attacks us in places that are closest to our heart, therefore, throwing us out of commission. In our most trying situations we really feel like sheep up for the slaughter. The situation then seems to be impossible; we can’t see a way out with our limited vision. We try to trust God and stand on the word, we get a moment of peace, but satan shoots another dart and there we are again, back-and – forth in our faith. One minute we may be trusting God singing hymns lifting up His name, the next we are dodging arrows sent by the evil one. These arrows seem to pierce straight through God’s word into the confines of our heart. Thus, our peace is compromised once again. What will it require to stay in peace I ask myself? Faith? The Bible says we must walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). It is so easily uttered from pulpits, friends, and family. But how do you really apply it through the situation you’re going through? Is it just a matter of making up your mind to stand on the word? I have heard many times from preachers to meditate on the word. Well, how do you do that? We have to get a scripture that pertains to what we are going through and recite it every time we are attacked. I have applied it before but have not been consistent. But in order to guard my mind, I realize I must not let my mind sit idle, becoming an open field for satan’s attacks against my emotions. I must replace those thoughts with the word of God.

Therefore, no matter what the enemy does, no matter what ploy he uses, you must stand on that word, stand in God, refuse to be moved by what you see with your physical eyes, what you hear. It takes discipline and practice. We so easily want to wallow in self-pity, and the “why me” syndrome. I really believe God is teaching us to fight, to stand up against the enemy until this becomes commonplace in our life; so we will learn how to apply His word to become victorious over every attack we will face. We have to sit down with ourselves and really get this into our mind. Ok, we know in this life we are going to face many trials, but do we just let the enemy rob us of our peace, joy, and happiness; focusing on the problem, turning it over and over in our mind until it depletes us, numbs us, and renders us defeated? That is what satan wants, to isolate us, back us up in a corner so he can go in for the kill mentally. I do believe every battle is fought first in the mind. How can we get our mind so focused on Jesus—His word ingrained in our soul, spirit, being? This is a question I constantly ask myself. How do I not falter when a trial comes? How do I not doubt Him? How do I finitely make up in my mind to trust Him? “We walk by faith, not by sight,” Is what I keep going back to. I have to thoroughly believe God’s promises and His word. He said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deu 31:18). Saints we must believe that deep down in the pits of our soul. I have come to realize the problem arises in our Christian walk by our unbelief. We say we believe God, recite the scriptures, sing the songs, but our true belief really manifests when we are put into a severe trial; do we really trust God or do we give up on God? Do we turn our back on God because of persecution? I believe this is where a lot of Christians walk away from God because they can’t fathom why a merciful God would allow them to go through such atrocities and they are serving Him faithfully. I personally am guilty of doubting God. But my constant prayer is, ‘Lord help me to understand your ways, I may cannot see the end of this situation, Lord, please help me to trust you with my life.’ That is my recurrent prayer when I find myself not trusting God in a trial, that He will have mercy on me despite my sin of unbelief. That He will keep me in his covenant, and not let His spirit depart from me as He did Saul in the Old Testament. He says in His word, His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Many things are taking place in the spirit realm that we have no cognition of, things that God is dping in the unseen. I pray God, “create in me a clean heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (psalm 51:10).” We don’t want to allow trials to cause us to live a bitter and hateful life, leaving us to feel like a victim. We don’t want to be taken out of His grace because of hidden anger towards Him over the way He chooses to sovereign our lives, often allowing severe tragedies, unanswered prayers, and suffering. We have to learn how to get this word so deep in our belly that when satan attacks we focus on the promise, not the problem. The promise He gave to us, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have come to believe unless we trust God 100%, believe in Him 100% we will be defeated in any trial we will face. A house divided cannot stand (Mark 3:25). Satan’s attacks are designed to divide and separate us from God. His aims are to create an inner conflict between God and ourselves. We oft time forget who the real enemy is. Somehow we have to take the focus off ourselves and realize the battle is truly not against us but against God. Satan is doing everything he can to try to destroy God and His Kingdom. We are His Kingdom. We are the chosen ones. We are those who walk in purity and truth, those that will not sacrifice, those that will not compromise, those who will not submit to the demons, and false idols of this world. We have to realize we are not of this world, God choose us and set us aside for His will. I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in, this world seems so foreign to me, I feel like I don’t fit in. I and a few others who are on this path are the anomaly. If we can just remember that this is not our lives, but God’s. What we go through on this earth, though trials seem long, this life is but for a moment. If we can just hold on—one day at a time, never giving up on God, ever seeking His face no matter the trial, difficulty we find ourselves. When we go through distress, if we could just focus on the promise not the problems, I believe God will renew our strength in every trial we face. Beloved, it’s going to require faith, patience, and trust. Hold on. Don’t give up on God. Trust Him. Believe Him. No matter what you are going through He is the master controller of all things (Colossians 1:16.17).

By Puah Neiel

Will you go in disobedience or by faith?

In the book of Jonah, God called Jonah to go and deliver a prophetic message to the city of Nineveh; a great and wicked city. Jonah refused to go and fled to Tarshish. Jonah 1:3 says Jonah went down to Joppa and got on a ship, trying to flee from the presence of Lord. Because of his disobedience God brought great wrath and turbulence upon his life by way of a raging storm. But when Jonah cried out to the Lord (Jonah 2:1-9), God received his prayer (vs 2: 10).

When we willingly disobey God His covering will not be over us, therefore we become vulnerable to all kinds of curses, dark places, and torture from satan. In contrast, the great thing about God is that it is never too late to come to Him. Unfortunately, usually it is when we have come to the end of ourselves and realize we can’t make it on our own. Oh but how loving is our Father, with arms outstretched wide, He rescues us from the hands of our enemies. Verse 2:10 goes on to say, ” So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” In Galatians 5:17 it says, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Many times God may tell us to do something and we simply refuse.  The main root is disobedience which often arises out of fear, unbelief, and the most damming of them all–doubt! We doubt God can do what He sent us to do, and we doubt God’s ability to carry us through to the end. In the midst of life’s tide will come sharks, piranhas, and the proverbial whale. But, do we just let satan throw us overboard to be eaten alive because we selfishly don’t want to go through pain, hurt, and suffering that is often required to walk with God? Or, do we stand up, while inside the belly of the whale, and start praising and worshiping God; stirring up a commotion, agitating its loins, and upsetting its stomach so much so that it has no choice but to regurgitate us out? Light can not live inside of darkness. Either of two will happen: darkness will conform to light, or the light will be too powerful for the darkness and it will have to flee! Hallelujah! Will you heed the voice of God pertaining to your life? God may allow you to be overtaken by the enemy for a moment, but will retrieve you–despite your disobedience, so He can show you how faithful and merciful He is. It’s situations like these that God allows us to go through to increase our faith (1 peter 6,7). When you first started on this Christian journey your trials may have been small, but as you pass one faith test after another, you will begin to see that the level of faith required to go through the next situation will need to be of a higher magnitude. Will you walk bold like David did and face your Goliath, or will you do as James 1:23, 24 says and forget what kind of man you are? Intermittingly, we sometimes forget what God has already brought us through, forget who we are in Christ, and forget that Romans 8:37 says that we are more than conquers.

Moreover, when we finally accept God’s will for the thing that He has called us to do, when it does not go the way we think it should go do we start to murmur, judge and complain? We begin to usurp God’s authority and do His job for Him when all he simply told us to do was obey! The assignment He sent you on was for Nineveh’s (other person’s) deliverance, not you! But, you’re complaining, “why is this person in my life?” “Why am I going through this?” Some of you are even praying and wishing harm on the one that God sent to you to intercede for! Because you are subject to pain in the process, you get angry at God for not punishing the person (vs 4: 1,2). God had to show Jonah the mercy of His heart through a plant (vs 4: 9, 10). Just as Jonah was as passionate about that perishing plant, so was God about His perishing people (vs 4:11). Beloved, God will send us as laborers to the harvest when He is trying to reach unsaved sheep. It takes maturating in Christ not to look at a trial subjectively. It takes a selfless person to love another human being that is perishing in darkness; to suffer for that person so their soul can be saved       (1 corinthians 13:2). Instead most run away from Ninevah. We must have a willing heart and sensitive ear to listen to the voice of God and follow His direction for our life. Instead we let hurt, pain, and anger toward’s a person paralyze us, thus saying “no” to God and forfeiting the person’s salvation. Oftimes, God is already speaking to the person’s heart, calling them out of darkness. God needs you to be His physical body to reach out and embrace them. The people you are assigned to will most often react to you in anger and hatred because like you–before you surrendered to God–they are trying to run away from God’s calling on their lives. Beloved, don’t run away from God. Did He not tell us to, “pick up your cross and follow me?” Matthew 10:24. As Christians this life is not ours,    1 peter 4:2 says, “that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” Saints, we are ambassadors for Christ.

By Puah Neiel

Contentment vs. Persecution

If you are living according to the mandates of the Holy Bible and are being persecuted it’s because you are an effective witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Contrarily, if you are sitting comfortable in the Lord satan doesn’t want to bother you. He see’s you sitting perched high on your religious chair–not ministering to anybody, not praying…let alone praying for anybody else, not reading your Bible, not serving in a ministry. Your ministry is your lip service, “God is good all the time!” Or, “I’m blessed, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost!” Oh, satan’s going to leave that one alone. When you are complacent you are doing his work for him, matter-of-fact he’s going to pamper you, make every thing go right for you, and build you up in false pride. He’s going to get you real comfortable so he can get you to a place of compromise. He whets your appetite by dangling the worldly carrot in front of your eyes, “sure, you can still have, fame, fortune, material prosperity, act like the world, dress like the world, talk like the world, watch what the world watches, party, drink, smoke, have sex; even with somebody’s else’s husband or wife and then tell yourself, “we are in love.” Oh, satan will have you so comfortable in him, until you start believing his lies!!! You will begin to ration in your mind, “we get along so well, God must have put us together.” In your heart you remember the Word, but out of compromise you let satan lead you by your emotions, by your wants, lusts, and the desires of this wicked world. Slowly he’s pulling you back on his side. But you know what’s the best part about it for him? Not only has he snatched you out of God’s hands, He now has you calling yourself a “Christian,” sitting up in the church doing his will! He’s now using you as his protegé to blind, destroy, deteriorate souls that God is trying to save, by your lifestyle. They look at you and say, ‘they’re just like me; they do the same things I do, say the same things that I say, and go to the same night clubs I go to, why should I follow God’? Some others will say ok well it looks like I don’t have to give up anything to become a Christian, so “sign me up!” When you compromise you are leading souls into darkness! You are telling the world a spiritual lie that you can have the world and God at the same time!!! 2 Corinthians 6:17 warns us to,”come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” And you wonder why you don’t have any power or authority in your Christian walk so you blaspheme the person who is on fire for the Lord. Talking about them, ridiculing them. “Oh they think they are Paul, with all of that preaching and ministering! It don’t take all of that!” You wonder why God is not using you! You become jealous of their power and try to speak against what God is doing in their life! But I tell ya, to get that power you gotta suffer, you gotta go through some things, you gotta know what it feels like to be so hungry that your stomach feels like it’s eating your insides! I tell you, you gotta know what it’s like to go in the prayer closet in the morning and don’t come out until late at night. And you’re talking about this person, “if they were living right and doing God’s will they wouldn’t be persecuted. They must not be living right because they are always going through something.” But you just don’t know God has to bring them t-h-r-o-u-g-h before they can get a BREAKTHROUGH! “They are always suffering.” That’s because they are not compromising! They are a threat to satan! They are PRAYING souls out of his hand. Their ministry is breaking the shackles of sin, loosing the bonds of wickedness, feeding the bread of life to a starving and hungry generation. And you wonder why they are being persecuted. They are a threat to the kingdom of darkness! Satan is hot on their trails because they are a formidable opponent to his kingdom. He’s trying to stop the mouth of God with attacks, tribulation, war, and suffering but the more he attacks, the more he’s helping to further spread the gospel. This Christianity was built on the blood of persecution. Need a refresher course? Read the book of Mark. God will allow it for every Christian that desires to know His will for their lives in order to establish a deeper relationship with Him. Because every time they’re attacked, guess what? It’s going to drive them to their knees to seek the heart of God. Oh but when they get back up~ Isaiah 40:31 says but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint…so satan’s attacks are only creating testimonies, bringing resistant souls to Christ by the miracles that’s being done in the spirit realm , and creating a “fire” in that person that you complain about is too zealous for the Lord. God commands us in Mark 16:16 to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Complacency should not be commonplace in the kingdom of God. If you are lukewarm I ask you to reexamine your relationship with Christ. Ask Him to give you a fresh outpouring, a new anointing of the spirit. So many people have been hurt and turned away by the so-called “church.” Beloved, there are souls that are desperate, and hungry for the pure word of God, they are seeking Christians that will walk upright, and in integrity in the things of God. They are tired of being mislead. They seek a people who will speak the truth according to the Holy Bible and live according to its doctrine. Beloved, you are the only Bible some people will ever read. Let your life serve as light on a high tower, beaming ever so brightly to those who are perishing in darkness.

By Puah NeielNagual

Prayer: Your Spiritual Sword

The fighting is intense. Warfare is heavy on both sides. In the midst of battle you gaze around only to see your allies succumbing to their injuries. The enemy is relentless, taking no prisoners. You struggle to maintain your defense as your adversary encroaches your territory. Suddenly you are standing face to face with your foe. You study each other meticulously, your eyes are intently gazed on your opponent; you wait for a slight move to go in for the kill. Methodically, you reach down to pull out your sword. Your hand settles upon an empty holster and you realize it’s not there, in panic you struggle to find a displaced weapon. The enemy, seeing your vulnerability smirks at your unpreparedness and pushes his dagger through your heart, rendering you spiritually dead.

Though the aforementioned seems to tell of a gruesome scene from a Hollywood movie, unfortunately it is the fate we suffer when we don’t arm ourselves with prayer. The devil rages a formidable battle against us when we don’t go to God and allow Him to defend us against the pestilence that walks in darkness. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” As Christians, prayer is our weapon of artillery against the powers of darkness. In Romans 8:36, Paul admonishes, “…For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Beloved, when we don’t spend the necessary time in prayer, we are blindly walking into defeat, persecution, and spiritual attacks unequipped.

There is a war raging around us everyday in the spirit realm and we must go to the battlefield suited up. Ephesians 6:11-18 tells us to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”

Furthermore, when we accepted Jesus Christ as our savior, we entered into a covenant relationship with Him. A relationship requires effective communication from both parties in order to grow and become a successful, healthy union. A relationship with God can be thought of as a relationship with a spouse or significant other. When you are in love, you are concerned about the welfare of the person, you think about them every minute. You want to talk to them everyday and can’t wait to see them. Our relationship with Christ should be the same way. We say we love God, but yet most Christians go days, weeks some even months without humbling themselves on their knees and reverencing God as the Lord of their life. God desires to commune with us; He desires us to come to him with our cares, concerns and the matters of our heart. Unfortunately, many Christians neglect this most important part of their Christian walk, delegating it only to a tragedy or personal loss. Many flock to church Sunday after Sunday awaiting a word regarding God’s direction for their lives. They then return back to the monotony of a prayer less, defeated life, acceding to attacks, torment, and mental bondage. While God does speak through pastors, He desires a personal relationship with us. The only way you will ever know God’s will and desire for your life is to get to know him intimately. How do you do that? Pray. We must get into the habit of praying daily, disciplining ourselves to set a time everyday to communicate with God. Beloved, if we are to be victorious as Christians we have to get our prayer life in order. If we are to conquer the demons of depression, stress, anxiety and worry we must take a stand this day and commit to prayer. It is a sacrifice. Many have families, children, work, and/or school responsibilities that may impede their time. It will require diligence in getting up earlier or staying up later to pray; it’s ideal to wake up early in the morning before everyone awakes or late at night while everyone is sleeping so there will be no interruption. More so, other areas of your lives may have to be compromised i.e. sleeping less, or less time at the gym, or hanging out with friends. In my personal experience when I seek the Lord before I start my day, I am able to handle stressful situations more readily, I’m not as easily agitated, and there’s a lasting peace that resides in my soul when I come out of the prayer closet. It’s only a joy that God can give you! On the contrary when I don’t cover my day with prayer I’m easily agitated, feel exposed, and quite simply, just don’t have the same measure of contentment. Communing with God in the morning is the best time to pray because it sets the tone for the day.

As Christians it should be our desire to want to know the heart of God and to be able to discern His voice when He speaks to us. Beloved, if we are to train our ear to become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we must establish a consistent prayer life.

Moreover, when you pray you are standing in proxy for your sisters and brothers around the world. This is not only our personal battle; it’s a Holy war! When we pray we are stopping the hand of murder, violence, war, preventing an unforeseen accident, sending aide to the less fortunate, and saving the lives of our brethren that are being persecuted for the Gospel’s sake. I implore you, pick up your sword, bend your knee and let’s get ready to battle!

By Puja Nagual

Facing your Goliath

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!

Gumbo religion

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

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